Firing Line: Johan Utterman

We as a nation are living longer – introducing a host of investment opportunities according to Johan Utterman, portfolio manager of Lombard Odier Golden Age fund.

He said that those in the senior years of their lives are opting to lead a more glamorous and healthier lifestyle – opting to jump on to a retro Harley-Davidson motorbike or take up golf.

The image of a vulnerable pensioner struggling to pay their energy bills is one that is often depicted in the media and does not truly reflect the full picture.

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He said there are nearly two million people over 60 with £1m in total wealth, including their property in the UK alone.

“We are not undermining the fact that not everyone is well off. Some have to prolong their retirement. But what we are seeing is that, on a relative basis, they are doing quite well for themselves.

Mr Utterman was appointed to manage the fund in March 2012. He claims its performance level has since shot up by 57 per cent – up 10.6 per cent on the MSCI benchmark.

Launched in 2009, the fund invests in equities globally that are seen to benefit the ageing population in the long term ageing population trend across multiple sectors.

A large portion of the fund – 44.93 per cent according to Morningstar – is invested in the healthcare sector.

The consumer and financial services sectors amount to 20.41 per cent and 18.53 per cent of the fund respectively, while 5.35 per cent is spent on the industrials sector – according to the investment research and management firm.

A mere 4.48 per cent of the fund is currently being invested in technology, although this will soon change as the population becomes increasingly tech savvy, according to Mr Utterman.

One company the fund manager has taken a particular interest in is Tarkett, which produces an innovative sensor, embedded in the floor, which tracks an individual’s movement or falls. It is connected to an alarm system and features a monitoring service for healthcare providers, accessible by a computer, tablet or a smartphone.

He also keeps a keen eye on Google X – a secretive branch of the internet juggernaut which is dedicated to making major technological advancements.

“Technology will be more and more important going forward. We spend a lot of time watching what Google is doing and ensure that we stay up to date on what is going on.”

The Office of National Statistics calculates that in the UK, a household’s net worth peaks when the head of household is between 55 and 64.

In Japan, one in four people is aged 65 years or older and those aged over 60 contribute to more than 40 per cent of consumer spending, Mr Utterman said.

There is money to be made by directing goods and services to this age group, Mr Utterman continued, adding: “Companies have not marketed that well to those people but they are getting better.

“Amazon, for example, has a dedicated website called Amazon 50+, which offers product relevant to this group.”