Chevy Chase Trust Noteworthy - Q & A with Amy P. Raskin

Chevy Chase Trust’s Amy Raskin on why ‘thematic investing’ will drive returns

This post was originally published in the Washington Business Journal’s WBJBizBeat Blog. | Washington Business Journal

Amy P. Raskin
is in her second month as chief investment officer at Chevy Chase Trust. She joined the Bethesda investment management firm from AllianceBernstein in New York, where she was senior vice president and director of thematic research.

Thematic investing takes a global, macroeconomic view of investing. It considers factors such as politics, demographics, culture and climate change in selecting the best companies.

“Thematic investing provides clients with diversified portfolios that benefit from economic changes powerful enough to influence corporate performance across multiple industries and geographies,” Raskin said in a company blog post. “Over time, companies with thematic tailwinds tend to outperform their competitors and provide shareholders with above-market returns.”

I asked Raskin a few additional questions this week via email.

What are some of the key disruptive trends you are watching as critical to your thinking as a proponent of thematic investing? Some key disruptive trends include the advent of molecular medicine, which is being enabled by the dramatic reductions in the cost of genomic sequencing. Understanding the underlying molecular causes of disease is poised to upend diagnostics, and eventually, the treatment of disease. Another disruptive trend includes rapid advances in automation and sensor technologies. Together these movements are making both industrial and personal devices exponentially smarter and more productive.

Any thoughts on being one of the few women to hold this type of position? Happily, more women today are holding prominent positions in finance and other industries previously dominated by men. Janet Yellen, the first female chair of the Fed, comes to mind as an example of this trend. If my being in this position helps to augment the acceptance of women in these types of roles, that is a good thing.

How’s the adjustment to Washington from New York? I look forward to the weather improving so we can enjoy the more abundant green spaces and cherry blossoms. My extended family is still in New York, so when I miss the hustle and bustle in Manhattan, I’ll go visit them for the weekend.

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