Landmark Report from EquitiesFirst and Institutional Investor Reveals Prevailing Equity Strategies of Investment Decision Makers Worldwide

Global survey captures views of 300 CIOs, portfolio managers and investment directors; Investors on average expect equities to deliver a 5.9% return in 2023

EquitiesFirst, the global equities-based financing specialist, has published a landmark report in partnership with business-to-business publisher Institutional Investor to mark its milestone 20th anniversary as a pioneer of progressive capital.

Compiled through a series of comprehensive quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews conducted between February and March 2023, the report sheds light on how the global investment community is responding to dramatic shifts in the macroeconomic and geopolitical environment amidst heightened uncertainty for equity markets.

In particular, it reveals that investors worldwide expect equities to rebound in 2023 and remain bullish on the technology and healthcare sectors. Respondents also expressed confidence in growth-oriented stocks over the medium-term, despite the challenges presented by rising interest rates and persistent inflation.

Over the past two decades, EquitiesFirst has provided partners with efficient access to capital across all major financial markets through an innovative investment approach that transcends limitations of traditional financing. Leveraging EquitiesFirst’s thought leadership in financial innovation and the extensive research capabilities of Institutional Investor’s Custom Research Lab, the report captures the perspectives of more than 300 CIOs, portfolio managers, and other investment decision-makers at asset management firms, foundations, pensions and endowments across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Solid returns in sight despite volatility: Respondents expect equities to deliver a mean return of 5.9% this year, regaining ground after some of last year’s double-digit losses. However, nearly three-quarters of all respondents expect volatility to increase in their market of focus regardless of location.
  • Inflation and interest rates are top of mind: 63% identify these as the key macroeconomic drivers of equity performance over the next 18 months. Also top of mind are operating concerns such as trade policy (47%), business spending (33%) and energy costs (25%).
  • Regional risks make a difference: Investors focused on North American equities are most concerned about interest rates (84%) and inflation (79%). Cost and availability of energy is the biggest worry for Europe, while trade relations and tariffs are the top concern in Asia.
  • Climate tops geopolitical concerns: Respondents singled out climate change (70%), the war in Europe (65%), and rogue cyber attacks (52%) as the most important geopolitical drivers of equity performance.
  • Bullish on technology and healthcare: Globally, 69% of investors are bullish on information technology and 64% see upside opportunities in the healthcare sector over the next three years.
  • Bearish on real estate and finance: Few investors were optimistic about sectors that are more susceptible to high interest rates and slower economic growth – in particular, real estate and finance.
  • Smart beta is the way to go: Some 67% of survey respondents worldwide see smart beta strategies, which use quantitative factors to fine-tune broad index strategies, as a preferred investment strategy, especially in the most liquid and developed equity markets. 
  • ESG is an advantage: A majority of all investors – and two-thirds covering developed markets – strongly agree that ESG considerations increasingly provide a valuable information advantage to investors seeking to outperform the market.

Mr Al Christy Jr, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EquitiesFirst said, “We are delighted to collaborate with Institutional Investor to conduct EquitiesFirst’s 20th anniversary research program that shares pertinent insights with the global investment community. The health and stability of the global equity markets is important to the success of our partners and to our ability to serve them as a co-investor in the long-term. In continuing EquitiesFirst’s 20-year tradition of being invested in our partners’ success, we look forward to doubling down on our commitment to financial innovation for their benefit.”

“The fog of uncertainty in equity markets becomes clearer and easier to navigate with the viewpoints from experts, and the report covers authoritative voices of investment decision making at institutions around the world,” said Mr Sam Knox, Managing Director of Institutional Investor’s Custom Research Lab. “We are pleased to partner with EquitiesFirst to impart the thinking and expectations of 300 investment professionals, who manage more than $8.5 trillion in institutional assets, on these important dimensions of investing in equity markets in the next few years.”

The full report, titled “Global Equity Markets: The Near-Term and Mid-Term Outlook Amid Inflation, Rising Rates, Global Conflict and Pandemic Recovery,” is now available on EquitiesFirst’s website here.

EquitiesFirst, the global equities-based financing specialist, has published a landmark report on equity markets worldwide in partnership with business-to-business publisher Institutional Investor to mark its milestone 20th anniversary as a pioneer of progressive capital.

Media Enquiries:

Christy Ng, EquitiesFirst

+852-3958-4512 | cng@equitiesfirst.com

Winky Chow, Ruder Finn

+852-2201-6474 | choww@ruderfinnasia.com

About Equities First Holdings

Founded in 2002, EquitiesFirst is a global investor specializing in long-term equities-based financing. EquitiesFirst’s approach overcomes traditional limitations and redefines the financing experience through providing efficient access to capital for listed companies, entrepreneurs and investors against publicly traded securities. The total value of loans transacted is more than US$4.5 billion as of January 2023.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, USA, EquitiesFirst maintains an international footprint of twelve offices in eight countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, China (Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing), South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Australia (Sydney, Perth and Melbourne). EquitiesFirst is licensed and/or registered in all jurisdictions where required.

EquitiesFirst is the pioneer of Progressive Capital – a partnership approach to investment, rooted in respect, mutual interest and understanding. EquitiesFirst delivers liquidity solutions that are vital, transformative and move partners forward.

For more information, please visit www.equitiesfirst.com/.

About Institutional Investor

For more than 50 years, Institutional Investor has consistently distinguished itself as the world’s foremost financial publication and event producer for global institutional investors. By leveraging Institutional Investor, exclusive memberships, forums, industry benchmarks, award-winning content, and custom research, Institutional Investor is the essential hub for the world’s financial decision-makers. 

Institutional Investor’s Custom Research Lab works with clients in the asset management, professional services, and technology industries to develop insightful primary research on asset markets, portfolio management, and investment decision making.


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