Remote working is likely to persist even once a Covid-19 vaccine is found, as companies shift their priorities in order to “find the best talent wherever it exists”, according to Polar Capital’s Ben Rogoff, who said he is “a believer in the new normal”.
On the buy side, Rogoff said the trust "increased exposure to things that benefit from time at home and work from home".
That selection ranged from computer game maker Take-Two Interactive, audio streaming service Spotify and video streaming service Netflix, which went from a small position in the trust to "a more material position" in the ‘time at home' category.
The ‘work from home' selection included web infrastructure providers CloudFlare and Akamai, alongside cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to take advantage of the move towards 5G.
Later, "once we had comfort that there was probably going to be unlimited support from policymakers", Rogoff began building his exposure to the likes of digital advertising and robotics back up once more.
Robotics, he said, "was a cunning way to play exposure to things like re-shoring, but also social distancing in manufacturing".
"Our turnover is definitely higher for the year as a result of this positioning for a different world," Rogoff said.
Valuations high, but no bubble forming
Cash levels currently stand at around 6%, giving it "firepower" should the market and "the names we would like to own that feel somewhat beyond us in terms of valuation" today pull back once more.
In the trust's annual report, chair Sarah Bates noted worries over valuations: "We worry that the sector has become a media favourite in some ways."
But Rogoff noted that while "valuations on some of the best stories have moved up quite meaningfully", the tech sector trades on a multiple just 1.15 times higher than the overall market, as opposed to the 2.5 times it did in the late 1990s before the dotcom bubble burst.
"And investor sentiment was basically bullish all the way through from 1995 to 2000. If you look at the various surveys we look at, the last ten years has been characterised by post-great financial crash trauma," Rogoff reasoned.
"From a distance, there are similarities and always within tech there are pockets of over excitement; in aggregate, things might look a little like they did in the late 1990s, but it doesn't feel like that."