LGIM launches robotics and automation Unit Trust index fund

AI thinking

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has launched its first unlisted thematics index fund targeted at the UK retail market – the  Legal & General Global Robotics and Automation Index Fund (the Fund), to service a growing client demand. 

In partnership with ROBO Global, the Unit Trust will offer UK retail investors, primarily financial advisers and wealth managers, a new fund vehicle through which they can capture the investment opportunities created through the increasing adoption of robotics and automation technologies across all areas of society.

The Fund tracks the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation UCITS Index, offering investors access to the same strategy as the successful L&G ROBO Global Robotics and Automation exchange-traded fund (ETF), which has so far amassed over $1 billion in assets under management. The Fund has been designed to give investors broad exposure to the global value chain of best-in-class robotics and automation companies as well as enabling technologies.
 
The increasing adoption of sophisticated robots and automation, enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI), is fast becoming an instrument of profound business and societal change, with the robotics and automation sector experiencing rapid growth, expected to be worth USD353 billion by 2024. This is timely, given the focus and demand the sector has seen on the back of the global pandemic, where tech and automation companies have demonstrated growth opportunities as well as further resilience in outlook and future proofing. The index gives investors exposure to providers of key enabling technologies (sensing, computing, machine learning, actuation, etc), as well as providers of applications that deliver capabilities in every industry (factory automation, surgical robotics, food and agriculture, 3D printing, logistics automation, and more). The computing and AI market alone is expected to see compound annual growth of 45 per cent between 2017 and 2025.
 
The index is constructed and managed by research professionals with the guidance of industry experts, academics, and entrepreneurs who help identify tomorrow’s growth leaders and provide the knowledge and insight to forecast emerging trends and new technologies. Currently the index has 87 constituent companies across 14 countries and 12 proprietary subsectors. It also offers a highly diversified market cap exposure, with approximately 75 per cent in small and mid-cap companies, and less than 2 per cent overlap with traditional benchmarks. 
 
James Crossley, Head of UK Retail Sales at LGIM, says: “Investors are increasingly turning to thematic investment strategies, both to access the opportunities created by the disruptive megatrends shaping our society, and to provide greater diversification in portfolios. We have extensive experience in providing investors with access to these long-term structural trends and have seen significant demand for access to automation as an investment theme, via our robotics and automation ETF. We are excited to be launching a Unit Trust version to provide a broader set of investors with cost-effective exposure to this unique and high-growth strategy.”
 
Richard Lightbound, CEO of ROBO Global EMEA, adds: “We believe robotics and automation have been the market’s best kept secrets for a while, and they have proven their worth over recent months, performing comparatively well amid the current turbulence. We launched the index back in 2013 and have a proven track record, remaining nimble and responding to fast-moving developments, to deliver strong returns and outperform major benchmarks. We are delighted to be partnering with LGIM again on the launch of this new fund, to help more investors capture the unique opportunities associated with this exciting sector.”