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Alternative Market Briefing

Infusive Asset Management generates alpha by trading on joy

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

Can you run a portfolio based on joy? Infusive, an asset manager with offices in New York and London, says yes. The firm manages a UCITS fund that invests in products that elicit joy in consumers. According to Infusive, emotionally driven consumption creates inelastic demand in some consumer names which drives portfolio performance.

Infusive started its asset management business in 2013 and launched the UCITS fund in late 2016. In 2017, CEO Andrea Ruggeri joined the firm from Goldman Sachs to help institutionalize the business and support the launch of the fund. The strategy emerged out of the work of a family office and was developed over 30 years before being formalized into the asset management business.

"The process started with a sort of ethereal feeling," says Nikolas Schrobenhauser, senior director at Infusive. Consumers tend to return to certain products - like chocolate - because of the emotional response they get from eating it. The investment team started to dig into the drivers of positive emotions and how that could translate into picking investments. "Over the years it has grown into a scientific understanding of consumerism," Schrobenhauser explains.

The resulting portfolio of 40-50 names includes a range of consumer brands, communications companies, consumer staples, and IT services across the globe. Portfolio turnover is low. The investment team recently added positions in Asia to reflect the growth of the cons......................

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