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Editor's note


SOCIAL entrepreneurship is often thought of as the process of founding a business venture which sets out to do good.

Our Spotlight in this edition focuses on Bill Drayton, widely known as the father of social entrepreneurship. Yet Mr Drayton’s concept, which began in 1980 when he founded non-proft organisation Ashoka, encompasses much more than a business venture.

Social entrepreneurs, as he and Ashoka defne the term, are those who take on the mission of changing an aspect of one’s surroundings – whether in the social, environmental or education sphere or more – in an effort to improve conditions for all. Eventually that effort ripples out beyond one’s country to the world.

In that framework, business is often an avenue for a “changemaking” – a term coined by Mr Drayton – but not necessarily the only or the most appropriate one. Still, interest in social entrepreneurship is the greatest it has ever been. Among high net worth individuals in the Asia-Pacifc, Capgemini has found that over 37 per cent of their portfolios are geared towards social improvement, compared to 31 per cent globally. For millennials in particular, fnancial return is no longer the sole criteria for an investment.

Ashoka strives to move the needle by spotting and supporting early stage social entrepreneurs who are selected as Fellows, extending funding and a supportive community. Since its founding, Ashoka believes social entrepreneurship has reached a tipping point, and the challenge now is to institutionalise it. “Today Ashoka’s role is not to convince people that social entrepreneurs are a good investment, but to respond to governments, corporations and inter-governmental organisations that are trying to fgure out the best ways to invest in them.”

We hope this edition also gives you insights into the mega investment themes that are likely to provide returns and anchor a portfolio for the medium to longer term. On our expert panel, Credit Suisse’s John Woods believes one major theme, for instance, is that of angry societies exacerbated by inequalities. In this context, investment ideas include defence and security, and national brands.

Pictet Wealth Management’s Cesar Perez Ruiz points to radical innovation in felds such as Internet and life sciences, and the emerging markets as some major themes.

Still on investments, Citi investment strategist Ken Peng writes that the current combination of mild growth and in?ation is a powerful support for asset valuations of emerging market Asia equities. Other supporting factors include a weaker US dollar and global investors who remain under-invested in the region.

Nikko Asset Management’s Tanuj Dutt and Robert Samson argue that the principles of value investing are just as relevant as they have ever been, particularly when investors are hungry for yield. Finding decent quality yield is a challenge, but not impossible, they say. One place is in emerging market bonds and Asian equities where valuations remain attractive though not compelling.

On a contrarian note, Leonardo Drago of AL Wealth challenges the idea that a low Volatility Index (VIX) suggests complacency and that a bear market the likes of 2008 is around the corner. His analysis of two decades of S&P 500 returns suggests the reality could be far from popular conception.

Elsewhere in this edition, Joanna Yap of Withers KhattarWong writes that there are circumstances when the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty may not apply in the case of residential properties purchased under certain trust arrangements, an issue that will be of interest to families looking into the structure of their wealth.

On a lighter note, Rahita Elias sums up your options for a luxury staycation. And, Tara Loader Wilkinson casts the limelight on the renown Alpine resort St Moritz where a change in real estate laws is expected to pave the way for a greater number of foreign investors to gain a foothold in luxury serviced apartments, where stock is limited and the view divine.

We wish you a rewarding investment journey.

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