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Global Innovation team

Meet the team

The three-strong Global Innovation team is co-headed by James Dowey and Storm Uru who are supported by Clare Pleydell-Bouverie. Previously part of the Global Equity team, the team manages the Liontrust Global Innovation and Liontrust Global Dividend funds. James and Storm jointly developed the Global Innovation investment process. The three managers joined Liontrust as part of the acquisition of Neptune Investment Management in October 2019.James has 16 years of industry experience and has researched and taught the history of innovation at the London School of Economics, Storm has 10 years’ industry experience and Clare undertook third party research for private equity firms across a variety of industries before moving to Neptune.

Our investment process

The team seeks to generate strong returns by investing in innovative companies. They believe that innovation is the single most important driver of stock returns, underpinned by three pillars:

  • Innovative companies deliver superior operational performance and shareholder returns over the long run.
  • Innovation is much more than technology and is the key to success in every sector.
  • Innovation is complementary to the traditional investment styles of value and quality, and a key part of an investment portfolio in the 21st century.

Stage 1

The team sets their investible universe to only those companies that are listed, liquid (with a market capitalisation above $1billion at the time of purchase) and have the resources to innovate (based on metrics of financial strength).

Stage 2

The team manages the Global Innovation 200 watchlist, an ever-evolving list of the most innovative companies around the world across all sectors and regions. Every company that makes it onto the list has four attributes:

  • Innovation: Creates genuine value for customers by driving down prices or providing more for its customers' money.
  • Barrier: Has strong barriers to competition to capture value for shareholders.
  • Management: Has good management with the right incentives and ability to execute.
  • Cash returns on capital: Can convert its investments in innovation into cash.

Stage 3

The team identifies the price they are willing to pay for a company using a 10-year DCF model. Their hurdle to invest is an anticipated 15% annual compound return. As part of valuation the team conducts a risk assessment, covering financial, disruptive innovation and ESG factors.

Stage 4

The team manages the portfolio based on the following principles:

  • Stock weights are determined by each stock's current valuation upside and its contribution to the diversification of the portfolio.
  • Portfolio fundamentals are monitored through management meetings, company results, and announcements and industry research.
  • The team's typical intended holding period is three to five years. Stocks are sold for three reasons: they hit their target price, a better opportunity is identified on the watchlist or there is a breakdown in fundamentals.

"The past decade saw a doubling in the rate of patenting in the US and a six-fold increase in China. Meanwhile the average age of a company listed on the S&P500 has decreased from 60 years in 1960 to 20 years today, as companies on the wrong side of disruptive innovation fall faster and harder.”

Awards and ratings

Citywire fund manager rating Citywire Manager Rating: + James Dowey