NAOS CEO Insights



April 24, 2020

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 24 April 2020 By NAOS Asset Management

“I believe that humanity will beat this pandemic, but only when most of the population is vaccinated. Until then, life will not return to normal” Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

As part of the NAOS investment process, we pay particular attention to the comments made by company CEOs and business leaders in order to gain a greater understanding of the current investment environment and key trends that may be emerging. Below are quotes from the week which in our view detail some of the most important and prominent industry trends and economic factors impacting their businesses.  


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Energy & Resources

“Despite the recent agreement by the world’s largest oil producers to cut production, Q2 is likely to be the most uncertain and disruptive quarter that the [oil] industry has ever seen” Olivier Le Peuch, CEO, Schlumberger [world’s biggest oilfield services company]

“Now is the time to buy fuel, and we are doing that” Angus Taylor, Energy Minister, Australian Federal Government

“Refined products volumes are coming down in a way we’ve never seen before” Steve Kean, CEO, Kinder Morgan Inc [global oil & gas pipeline owner]

“Out of the different aluminum end use sectors this impact is likely to be felt most strongly in the transportation sector, where automotive plants have been shut down for varying lengths of time, followed by the building and construction sector where the projects have been slowed or delayed in the first quarter” Roy Harvey, CEO, Alcoa Corporation [global aluminum producer]

Domestic Property

“Residential rents are falling by 10 per cent. They are falling because people have no work. We can still lease them but rent is falling” Harry Triguboff, CEO, Meriton Group

Tourism & Travel

“Later this year, maybe in July or August, some domestic intrastate travel will begin on a state by state basis. Then at some point, hopefully by September (October at the latest), cross-border travel will be permitted, and domestic flights will start to resume. But re-emergence of international travel is 9 to 12 months away from today” Andrew Burnes, CEO, Helloworld Travel Ltd


“If there are some entirely ineffective social distancing measures like having middle seats empty because if middle seats are empty, we’re not returning to flying at all.... We can’t make money on 66 per cent load factors. Even if you do that, the middle seat doesn’t deliver any social distancing, so it’s kind of an idiotic idea that doesn’t achieve anything anyway” Michael O’Leary, CEO, Ryanair DAC


“Nothing employs like an automotive industry, from the steel through to the financing” Vivek Sehgal, CEO, Motherson Group [global automotive parts manufacturer]

“The economic cost of COVID-19 is going to be so huge, suddenly arguments about $500 or $1000 extra for a car are of no relevance. They [government] should redo their sums, look at the flow-on jobs and innovation and invite some car companies back [to manufacture in Australia]” Vivek Sehgal, CEO, Motherson Group [global automotive parts manufacturer]

Consumer Goods

“We’re seeing an increase in the number of loads of laundry that are done per week, the number of garments that are cleaned after one wearing. With much more in-home meal preparation, there's a lot more cleaning that needs to be done” Jon Moeller, CFO, Procter & Gamble Company

“We have seen demand for hair clippers go through the roof, right, as people are now involved in home hair care” Frans Van Touten, CEO, Philips Electronics NV

“We expect most, but not all of the demand increases from consumer stock up [stockpiling] will reverse out later in the year” Michael Hsu, CEO, Kimberly-Clark Corporation


“We think digital dependence will be much higher than before the crisis. Businesses will continue to avail themselves of the cost savings opportunities the crisis has allowed for” Paul Tyler, Chief Customer Officer, NBN Co Ltd

“We believe 'ramifications of the pandemic' will accelerate the digital transformation across many businesses, and that the heightened levels of activity we are seeing today will lead to a sustained uplift in the digital economy over time” Evan Spiegel, CEO, Snap Inc

“The work from home and school from home requirements put unprecedented demands on home networks. Families recognized that strong WiFi performance at home is now a necessity, and responded by upgrading their WiFi connections” Patrick Lo, CEO, NETGEAR Inc

Financial Markets

“During the pandemic induced downturn, we're seeing continued positive flows into ETF’s [exchange traded funds] despite the market pullback, while private equity firms are raising new capital that might be put to work in particularly distressed industries” Adena Friedman, CEO, Nasdaq Inc


"This has severely reduced overall economic and construction activities globally, significantly impacting the elevator and the escalator industry. Subsequently, we have seen delays and postponements, particularly in new installations and modernisation." Thomas Oetterli, CEO, Schindler Holding AG [global elevator/lift manufacturer]


“I believe that humanity will beat this pandemic, but only when most of the population is vaccinated. Until then, life will not return to normal” Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Important information: This material has been prepared by NAOS Asset Management Limited (ABN 23 107 624 126, AFSL 273529) (NAOS) for general information purposes only and must not be construed as investment advice. Certain economic, market or company information contained in this material may have been obtained from published sources prepared by third parties. Nothing contained herein should be construed as granting by implication or otherwise, any license or right to use such third party content without the written permission of the owner.


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