It’s important for global investors to heed the technological disruption occurring around the world. It’s even more interesting to focus on the relationship between that disruption and the emerging market investment opportunity.

Disruption can be evidenced by the pace of innovation. Bloomberg recently published a multi-factor innovation model showing innovation by country. The breadth of innovation around the world is surprising, and is certainly not just a U.S. or Chinese phenomenon. Asia more broadly dominates, and Europe is well represented, as the chart below illustrates.

The concept of innovation is a consideration in our proprietary quality growth model, which we use to determine the sustainability of corporate performance. In 2002 a full half of the top-quintile quality-growth companies around the world were in the United States, and only about 15% were in emerging markets.

Since then, there has been a broadening of superior corporate performance: today, the United States is home to a third of sustainable-value-creating companies, while a full third are now found in emerging markets. The chart below illustrates.

We believe this change in market leadership is an important consideration in favor of active management. As innovation changes, market leaders change, and as market leaders change, investment decisions must be rooted in corporate performance rather than benchmark positioning.

This makes active management essential. As active investors, we seek to allocate capital where the innovation leaders are, company by company, around the world.

Ken McAtamney, partner, is a portfolio manager on William Blair’s Global Equity team.

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Please carefully consider the Funds’ investment objective, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. This and other information is contained in the Funds’ prospectus and summary prospectus, which you may obtain by calling +1 800 742 7272. Read the prospectus and summary prospectus carefully before investing. Investing includes the risk of loss.

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Factual information has been taken from sources we believe to be reliable, but its accuracy, completeness or interpretation cannot be guaranteed. Investments are subject to market risk. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein are based upon proprietary research and should not be interpreted as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation, nor as the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. Statements concerning financial market trends are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate.

William Blair does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult your tax and/or legal counsel for specific tax questions and concerns.

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Copyright © 2019 William Blair & Company, L.L.C. "William Blair” is a registered trademark of William Blair & Company, L.L.C. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written consent.

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Please carefully consider the Funds’ investment objective, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. This and other information is contained in the Funds’ prospectus and summary prospectus, which you may obtain by calling +1 800 742 7272. Read the prospectus and summary prospectus carefully before investing. Investing includes the risk of loss.

Any statements or opinions expressed are those of the author as of the date of publication, are subject to change without notice as economic and markets conditions dictate, and may not reflect the opinions of other investment teams within William Blair Investment Management, LLC or the Investment Management Division of William Blair & Company, L.L.C.

This content is for informational and educational purposes only and not intended as investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Investment advice and recommendations can be provided only after careful consideration of an investor’s objectives, guidelines, and restrictions.

Factual information has been taken from sources we believe to be reliable, but its accuracy, completeness or interpretation cannot be guaranteed. Investments are subject to market risk. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein are based upon proprietary research and should not be interpreted as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation, nor as the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. Statements concerning financial market trends are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate.

William Blair does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult your tax and/or legal counsel for specific tax questions and concerns.

Distributed by William Blair & Company, L.L.C., member FINRA/SIPC.

Copyright © 2019 William Blair & Company, L.L.C. "William Blair” is a registered trademark of William Blair & Company, L.L.C. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written consent.

Statement of Financial Condition | NMS Rule 605 & 606 | Business Continuity Plan | UK Stewardship Code
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