ROBO Global Index Performance

The data shown is derived from the published index values.
Data prior to August 2013 is based on simulated back-tested data.

Global Growth Trends

at a glance

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  • 46% Growth in 2017

    The first to market in 2013, the ROBO Global Index was up 46% in 2017 and delivered the strongest EPS growth (+29%) since inception in 1Q18.

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  • $3.7+ Billion AUM

    The index exceeded $3.7B in global licensing agreements in January 2018.

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  • Global Reach

    Designed to mitigate the risk of overweighting by market cap or geography, the index includes 84 diverse holdings in 14 countries.

BEHIND THE

MACHINES

The ROBO Global® Industry Classification system includes 12 subsectors that focus specifically on the intersection between technology and its applications. The result is an investible universe of market leaders with strong growth prospects and revenue generation across the landscape of robotics, automation, and AI.

Logistics Automation

The manufacturing of items is incomplete without the material handling and distribution channels that bring the objects to their intended users. The many economic advantages to speedy and error-free distribution, such as operating with low-inventory and being responsive to customer demands, is a significant growth area for robotics and automation. This is continually reducing the costs for end-users, both businesses and consumers.

Food & Agriculture

Feeding and sustaining the world continues to be one of our most important economic activities. A new generation of autonomous systems, sensors and data analytics tools are bringing tremendous benefits, not only to farmers and breeders in terms of increased yields and lower costs, but also to the environment in terms of improved water, pesticides and fertilizer use. Meanwhile, the food processing industry continues to automate aggressively to meet increasingly demanding volume, cost and safety requirements. Emerging markets offer significant penetration upside for traditional automation equipment from dairy and beverage to bakery and meat processing to packaging. In the more mature food markets, robotics and automation helps companies develop a more agile response to changing customer tastes and increasingly stringent safety requirements.

Security & Surveillance

Removing people from harm’s way has always been a main driver for robotics research. Up until recently, it has been difficult for machines to duplicate a human’s flexibility and cognitive skills. However, with today’s technologies, unmanned aircraft and ground vehicles are now capable of detecting hazardous materials, disposing of bombs, operating in space and performing critical national defense functions (surveillance).

Computing, AI & Processing

Autonomous systems must make decisions at various levels, from determining the state of the environment they are operating in, to optimally planning actions and controlling motion. It is analogous to our brain, and is what allows the processing of information to produce actuation to take place. This requires raw computing and processing power as well as increasingly advanced software. Computing can vary from embedded systems smaller than a fingernail to hyper-scale data centers implementing sophisticated algorithms including Artificial Intelligence (AI). Machines are getting smarter as improvements in data storage and processing power have enabled the emergence of AI across a rapidly expanding range of applications. Advancements in AI, especially machine learning, are key to the growth of autonomous systems. AI also encompasses perception, such as machine vision and natural language processing.

Healthcare

As global healthcare costs continue to rise, robotics and automation is poised to provide a countering force to this trend. Through rehabilitation, diagnostics, exoskeletons and elderly care, using robotics and autonomous systems promises to drastically reduce costs, while improving quality of life. In addition, robotics and automation can transcend cost-cutting by using robots for difficult surgeries and neurological treatments that were previously unfeasible.

Consumer

From interactive robots for entertainment to automating household chores, consumer companies work to make everyday lives easier and more enjoyable. The Internet of Things promises to usher in a new era of interconnectivity. By communicating through the existing internet infrastructure, devices will no longer be isolated islands of limited capabilities. This impact will be particularly pronounced for these types of consumer products, which need to be inexpensive for wide adoption. Through the internet, consumer robotics will finally become broadly affordable to individuals.

Sensing

In order for a system to exhibit autonomy, it must be able to sense its environment, in addition to determining its own internal state.  For human beings, these are called exteroception and proprioception.   Sensing is important for the same reasons that our exteroceptive senses (sight, sound, etc.), and our proprioceptive senses (ability to know where our limbs are and what they are doing without directly observing them) are important for human beings.  For robotic systems, however, we are not limited to the standard senses. Almost anything that can be measured can be made into a sensor.

Actuation

Actuation is the means by which machines interact with the physical world.  For human beings, this mainly refers to our limbs, and in particular, our hands. However, machines are not limited to manipulation.  Almost anything that has an effect on the physical world can be made into an actuator.  Actuation techniques include electric, hydraulic (compressed fluid), mechanical, and pneumatic (compressed air).

Energy

Exploration, extraction, and the maintenance of the energy infrastructure require extensive and growing resources.  Robotics and automation continues to expand from structured

environments, such as warehouses and factories, to unstructured ones, such as outdoors, underground, and underwater. The energy sector will reap the rewards of this transition with lower operational costs.

Integration

An autonomous system is made up of many components (sensors, actuators, and computational units), which can be distributed over large spaces.  Integration consists of architecting a system – figuring out how to put all of these components together – to achieve the desired objective in a robust, high performance, and cost-efficient way.

3D Printing

Traditionally, products are built either by assembling separate parts, or by removing material from a larger work-piece. 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, adds yet another capability by depositing different types of materials where they are needed. One of its main benefits is the potential for customization that is not economically feasible with traditional techniques.

Manufacturing

Broadly speaking, this is the main way in which companies take raw materials through a manufacturing process to create products. It is also the earliest successful application for robotics and automation – for example, automobile assembly – and continues to be one of its largest growth areas.

our team

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Travis Briggs

CEO - US
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William Studebaker

President & CIO
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Richard Lightbound

CEO - EMEA & Asia
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Chris Buck

Head of Capital Markets & Sales
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Jeremie Capron

Head of Research
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Travis Briggs

CEO - US

Travis is CEO and Partner of ROBO Global. A veteran of the finance and wealth management industry, Travis is responsible for managing daily operations and executing the firm’s business strategy.

Prior to joining ROBO Global in March 2014, Travis served as managing director at Smith Group Asset Management in Dallas, where he created and led the firm’s Private Client Group. Before joining Smith Group, Travis served as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Business Development at Dallas-based hedge-fund Discovery Management. Earlier in his career, Travis was the Director of Investor Relations at Triton Energy and worked as an analyst at Bank of America.

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William Studebaker

President & CIO

Bill Studebaker joined the ROBO Global team in 2015 after more than 20 years in capital management. For more than a decade, he served as a portfolio manager at Apex Capital where he covered industrials and the economies of supply chain management. Earlier in his career, he held a number of positions at Merrill Lynch, including as a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and as a director in institutional equity sales, and he was an analyst in the structured finance group of Cargill.

Bill received his BA in Political Science and International Relations (double major) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Richard Lightbound

CEO - EMEA & Asia

Richard Lightbound joined ROBO Global in 2014. In addition to managing daily operations in Europe and Asia, he is responsible for executing the firm’s global business strategy.

Richard has worked for 15+ years within the financial services sector with Wells Fargo and Standard Chartered Bank in senior management positions with responsibility for Institutional and Corporate clients across Europe, MENA and Asia. He enjoyed a 7-year break from banking to join an early cloud computing company funded by Warburg Pincus (now part of Infor) where he launched and managed operations across Asia and Europe.

A frequent speaker at Robotics & Automation conferences and events, he has lived and worked in Hong Kong, USA, Europe, and Sri Lanka.

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Chris Buck

Head of Capital Markets & Sales

Chris Buck brings more than 25 years of experience in capital markets and sales to his role of head of capital markets and sales for ROBO Global.

In his role as Head of Client Execution Services, Americas iShares Capital Markets at BlackRock, he was responsible for leading institutional and private wealth sales engagement across US, Canada, and Latin America. He also served as Director of Global Sales for Capital Institutional Services (CAPIS) in Dallas and spent seven years at UBS Investment Bank in NY, where he was Head of Alternative Research Provider Marketing Sales and Global Head of Soft Dollar and Directed Commissions Sales.

Chris received his BA in Economics and Management from DePauw University. He holds FINRA Series 7, 66, 63, 9, 10, 24 licenses and is a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®).

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Jeremie Capron

Head of Research

Jeremie joined ROBO Global in 2017 with more than ten years of experience as an equity research analyst in Asia, Europe, and the United States, with a focus on industrial technology.

Most recently, Jeremie led CLSA’s industrial research out of New York. For the prior seven years he served as a Senior Research Analyst with CLSA in Singapore and Japan, receiving a No.1 stock picker award from Nikkei/Starmine and ranking No.1 for Japan Materials Research in Asiamoney Brokers’ Poll for three consecutive years. Earlier in his career, he was a project manager with Veolia Environment in Europe and Asia.

Jeremie is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder, holds a Master’s Degree in Science and Executive Engineering from the École des Mines de Paris, and holds FINRA series 7, 63, 87 licenses. He is fluent in French and Japanese.

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