NAOS CEO Insights



July 24, 2020

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

“By the start of the second quarter, we saw the biggest workforce shift and reallocation of skills since World War 2, with skills needs shifting from aviation and hospitality to driving and information security at an unprecedented scale” Jonas Prising, CEO, ManpowerGroup Inc [world’s second largest employment firm]

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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Banking, Finance & Lending

“Do you keep using public finances to support companies or do you let creative destruction happen? This is going to be a real challenge particularly in the SME space around the world, I suspect this will be a big, big challenge next year. This means that you’ll start seeing a lot more default, which in turn means that you’ll start seeing the problems spill over to the financial sector” Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS Bank Ltd [multinational banking group]


“If there was ever a moment in time for a resetting of the vision for the next 10 years for telecommunications, as we are on the sort of eve, if you like, of the rollout of the NBN, we're in the dawn of the 5G era, we need a road map for the future” Andy Penn, CEO, Telstra Corporation Ltd


“We see increased interest in telehealth solutions, like tele-ICU [intensive car unit], tele-radiology, tele-pathology, which can help virtual working and collaboration of care professionals, as well as move care into the community to relieve the tremendous pressure on the physical constraints of the hospitals” Frans van Houten, CEO, Philips NV [global healthcare company]

Employment & Workplace

“By the start of the second quarter, we saw the biggest workforce shift and reallocation of skills since World War 2, with skills needs shifting from aviation and hospitality to driving and information security at an unprecedented scale” Jonas Prising, CEO, ManpowerGroup Inc [world’s second largest employment firm]

“LinkedIn continues to be impacted as fewer companies, including ours, need to hire at the same volume they did previously” Ryan Roslansky, CEO, LinkedIn

“More companies will adopt more permanent remote work coming out of this crisis, which will have a positive environmental impact as congestion eases in cities and hopefully, improve quality of life for more people, and uptake in the use of technology by more people than ever before will catalyze change in many industries” Larry Fink, CEO, BlackRock Inc

“I haven't heard a great alternative that allows companies to build careers, build leaders, build culture, build camaraderie entirely remotely. But who knows, it may happen. I mean there's all kinds of innovation happening so it's possible, but our bias is that people will congregate in person in offices, again, in a meaningful way” Joey Levin, CEO, InterActiveCorp [global media conglomerate]

Energy & Resources

“As economic growth returns, we expect the key producing regions to maintain productive spare capacity so they can quickly meet demand. Offshore, longer cycle barrels and new exploration activity will likely be the farthest out in terms of incremental contribution to the supply stack” Jeff Miller, CEO, Halliburton Company [world’s second largest oilfield services company]

“In order to achieve a sustainable energy future, we have to have sustainable energy generation, which I think is going to be primarily solar and followed by wind, and those are intermittent. So, you need to have a lot of batteries to store the solar energy because the wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine. So, there's three elements of the sustainable energy future: wind and solar sustainable energy generation; battery storage; and electric transport” Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Inc


“Consumers [will now] pay more attention to health and hygiene, meaning that there is an increasing need for products that can boost personal resilience and physical well-being. Hence, we see a clear demand for vacuum cleaners and for air and water purifiers, but also for dishwashers and washing machines” Jonas Samuelson, CEO, AB Electrolux


“Obviously over the medium to long term, the prospects of coming back to a positive trend line with the megatrends of increased population mobilisation, e-commerce, etc., they are still there” Martin Lundstedt, CEO, AB Volvo


“I can’t see any changes in the marketplace in terms of that countries will avoid continuing with protecting their societies and protecting their countries. And the geopolitical situation is not going really in the right direction. It’s actually becoming a bit worse during the COVID-19. So, I see still our prospects being extremely valid [for selling non-civilian aircraft components] going forward” Micael Johansson, CEO, Saab AB

Media & Advertising

“Advertising demand in Q3 has historically been bolstered by factors that appear unlikely to materialise in the same way they have in prior years, including the back-to-school season, film release schedules, and the operations of various sports leagues” Derek Anderson, CFO, Snap Inc

Global Economy

“We generally align with forecasts that imply the global economy could take two to three years to fully recover” James Quincey, CEO, The Coca-Cola Company


“The trend we see in the market is clear. Clients want to modernise apps, move more workloads to the cloud and automate IT tasks. They want to infuse AI [artificial intelligence] into their workflows and secure their IT infrastructure to fend off growing cybersecurity threats. As a result, we are seeing an increased opportunity of large transformational projects” Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM Corp

“Acute skills shortages in tech, cyber security, software development, and data analysts for example continue unabated, reinforcing that the need for skills revolution is here in force” Jonas Prising, CEO, ManpowerGroup Inc [world’s second largest employment firm]

Tourism & Entertainment

“In all of the years I’ve been here in Las Vegas, I’ve never felt more gloomy than I do today about what’s happening in Las Vegas short term” Robert Goldstein, COO, Las Vegas Sands Corporation [world’s largest Casino group]

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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