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Thursday 20 April 2017

Views from the Allianz Technology Trust AGM

ATTYesterday I attended the AGM of the Allianz Technology Trust - #ATT. My 10th since I was appointed as a director in Jan 2007. I was re-elected as a director despite the convention that directors should not serve more than 3 terms of 3 years and the indisputable fact that I am now over 70!

PriceWhen I joined #ATT, I bought a slug of shares as I believe that all directors should have ‘skin in the game’. I bought at 221p - yesterday #ATT closed at 912p. So, with the added bonus of the Subscription share issue, I have nearly quadrupled my money. I could joke and take all the credit for this superb performance but actually the best I could claim is having been instrumental in the appointment of Walter Price and his team in SF as the Fund Managers in mid 2007. Since then, #ATT has consistently outperformed its benchmark index (the Dow Jones World Technology Index - DJWTI) and its peers. That outperformance has continued in 2017 with #ATT growing at twice the rate of the DJWTI.

Current largest shareholdings are Apple (9.1%), Amazon (6.8%), Micron (4.4%), Samsung (3.9%) and Facebook (3.9%).

Walter Price outlined the current investment themes to shareholders yesterday as:

Cloud Computing and SaaS- where the significantly lower cost of ownership was driving massive growth

Artificial Intelligence

Cyber Security - including holdings in the UK’s Sophos

AutoTech - #ATT was an early investor/beneficiary from Tesla. But this has now branched out to cover all areas of autoTech from cameras to radar systems, battery management, sensors, in car connectivity etc. Indeed, the #ATT investment in Mobileye was particularly remunerative as they were acquired by Intel in March 17 for $15.3b.  

Digital Media

Semiconductors - One of the ‘mature’ sectors of the portfolio. But #ATT’s position in Micron was its best contributor to recent performance.

Walter is still bullish over the prospects for the technology sector. “Today, technology is all about creative destruction. Companies are allocating existing spending to new technologies that provide more efficient and productive methods of doing things. Corporations and governments are accelerating the move to next generation solutions. Eg cloud storage. Mobile devices and the internet are continuing to have a huge impact on our daily lives. On top of that, many tech companies have loads of cash and generate excellent free cash flow - companies are returning more of this cash to investors’.

Of course, it is not just about selecting the right sectors - but even more so the right companies within those sectors. Even high growth sectors - like cyber - can produce its ‘dogs’ too.

Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. But, as both a director and shareholder, I have continued faith in Walter and his team to guide #ATT in the right direction.

Posted by Richard Holway at '09:11'

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