In 2015, United Nations member states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), calling them a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.” This also holds true […]

Supertrends. Investing for Purpose

Thomas Wood | Senior Investment Counsellor and Portfolio Manager, Credit Suisse

In 2015, United Nations member states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), calling them a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.” This also holds true for investors, who can contribute to achieving these goals by carefully selecting their investments.

Supertrends provide a valuable guide in this regard. Rooted in the understanding of demographic and other deep societal trends, they uncover areas where companies can provide tangible solutions to key demands and aspirations reflected in the UN SDGs. In short, Supertrends help investors combine financial performance with purpose and impact.

The global coronavirus pandemic has heightened the importance of the 17 UN SDGs to serve as the guiding principles for economic activity and development, as well as government cooperation and international relations. A recent acceleration in global efforts to fight climate change through sustainability-related infrastructure investments serves as a good example of how investment opportunities can be paired with the SDGs.

We highlight the following Supertrends in this presentation:

Anxious Societies – Inclusive capitalism
Over the past year, the key concerns of citizens around the world, including inequalities with regard to lack of opportunities or limited access to basic necessities, rapidly changing work environments, old age funding, housing, affordability, healthcare and education have accelerated at the same time as government deficits have skyrocketed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Infrastructure – Closing the gap
As the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect developed and emerging countries to make an even greater effort to achieve this goal and strengthen the backbone of their economies by overhauling vital transport, power and telecom systems.

Technology – at the service of humans
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation. Among others, it led to the advent of a new “touchless” industry, opening up new opportunities that we capture in this Supertrend.

Silver Economy – investing for population aging
Central to our Silver economy Supertrend lies the projection that the world’s senior population will double to more than two billion by 2050. This shift will create demand, but will also unearth challenges that call for innovative solutions — in healthcare, insurance and consumer and property markets.

Millennials’ values
We all lived like Millennials during the Covid-19 crisis, shopping, working and socializing online, and paying more attention to our health and the environment. As a result, digitalization trends accelerated sharply including in finance — a new focus area for this Supertrend. There was also a noticeable shift toward sustainability during the pandemic.

Climate change – Decarbonizing the economy
In the year since we introduced this Supertrend, global leaders have taken a number of measures to achieve their ambitious targets. Additionally, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented financial stimulus to support economic growth, and many global infrastructure projects are tied to sustainability.

thomas wood


Thomas Wood is a senior investment counsellor and portfolio manager for the CS Onshore team based in Bangkok, Thailand. In his previous Singapore-based role, he advised UHNW clients, EAM and Family Offices based in Asia, CIS and Europe. Prior to this, he had worked more than 10 years for Merrill Lynch, starting within equity research sales to Swiss institutional clients in Zurich and moving on to a role as a Financial Advisor in New York, Zurich and Geneva. Thomas grew up in Switzerland and is a Swiss and British national. He is both a CFA and CAIA charterholder. In his spare time, he likes to ski, hike and kiteboard.