Axa IM launches robotics fund

robotAxa Investment Management has launched a new active fund for its Framlington equities team focused on companies in robotics.

The AXA World Funds Framlington Robotech fund will be managed by Axa IM’s Tom Riley and Jeremy Gleeson in the AXA IM Framlington Equities team.

Gleeson is already the lead fund manager of the $430m AXA Framlington Global Technology fund. It is a Sicav Luxembourg-domiciled fund, open to UK and European investors.

The fund has an unconstrained, multi-cap, and “robotics strategy”, aiming at companies in robotics and automation applications across various sectors including industrial, technology, manufacturing, healthcare and transportation.

The news comes as the December launch of another dedicated global robotics mandate for the Japanese retail market which has seen its assets grow to approximately $1bn to date, Axa says.

The firm says the new fund will be managed by the same team following the same investment approach.

Riley says: “We are at the early stages of the robotics revolution, the robotics market is expected to grow by 10 per cent a year until 20252.. While this is an emerging multi-decade theme, it is already an investible area from which we aim to select 40 to 60 fast growth companies to build a global portfolio diversified across market cap and sectors.

“Robotics will continue to have a significant impact on society for years to come and an increasing number of new listed small and mid-cap companies will become investment opportunities over time.”

AXA IM’s Mark Beveridge, global head Framlington equities says: “AXA IM have a long history and track record in thematic equity investing. We have been early adopters of the robotics trend and have been investing in areas such as industrial automation, autonomous vehicles and robot assisted surgery for a number of years in other strategies.

“We fundamentally believe you need an active manager to access new growth areas such as robotics – there is no broadly used standard robotics benchmark that you can try to replicate. We have great momentum in an uncrowded space; demand for our robotics strategy has been incredible from clients in Japan and we are excited that we can now offer this strategy more widely.”

Ongoing charges for the fund are 0.79 per cent.