FIS Digital – May 2021

Inflation: The question on everyone’s lips

This session takes an indepth look at an issue being discussed around every investment table… inflation. 

It looks at whether inflation risk exists and how different asset classes behave in inflation regimes. It asks whether inflation is entirely negative for portfolios and under which scenarios inflation is desirable and controllable. It questions whether there is a new relationship between growth and inflation, or whether historic patterns will prevail and, if so, which ones.

Click here to view Patrick’s presentation slides


With over two decades of experience at Pictet, Zweifel has been crucial in building the firm’s macroeconomic research capabilities. At Pictet Asset Management, he leads a team of four economists. Zweifel plays a key role producing research that helps shape the global investment strategy of the firm and which is fundamental to the investment decisions of fund managers. His analysis helps identify structural imbalances and business cycle turning points through the use of proprietary quantitative models and leading indicators on activity and inflation.

Zweifel’s interest for emerging and Asian economies began following his work on International Economics for the World Bank and for the European Commission in the mid-1990s. He went on to teach econometrics and monetary theory at HEC Lausanne and HEC Genève until he joined Pictet Wealth Management in 1997, where once again he focused on emerging markets and currencies and rose to head of macro research. Zweifel then joined Pictet Asset Management as chief economist in 2009. He holds a PhD in Econometrics from the University of Lausanne.


White is responsible for the content across all Conexus Financial’s institutional media and events. She is responsible for directing the bi-annual Fiduciary Investors Symposium which challenges global investors on investment best practice and aims to place the responsibilities of investors in wider societal, and political contexts, as well as promote the long-term stability of markets and sustainable retirement incomes. She is the editor of, the online news and analysis site for the world’s largest institutional investors. White has been an investment journalist for more than 20 years and has edited industry journals including Investment & Technology, Investor Weekly and MasterFunds Quarterly. She was previously editorial director of InvestorInfo and has worked as a freelance journalist for the Australian Financial Review, CFO, Asset and Asia Asset Management. She has a Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney. She was previously a columnist for the Canadian publication, Corporate Knights, which is distributed by the Globe and Mail and The Washington Post. White is currently a fellow in the Finance Leaders Fellowship at the Aspen Institute. The two-year program consists of 22 fellows and seeks to develop the next generation of responsible, community-spirited leaders in the global finance industry.

Key takeaways

  • Inflation is set to rise further but the consequences are not all bad
  • It is important to distinguish between the two sources of inflation – supply side or demand side and how each feeds into different cycles.
  • Goods have a much lower share in most inflationary indices compared to services.
  • Uncertainty about consumption spending could cool inflation as could uncertainty about how much of this spending will be tilted to services.
  • Avoiding risk assets when growth is low; good inflation hedges include gold and inflation linked bonds.
  • Inflation can occur in a period of strong or low growth.
  • Emerging market equities and fixed income (hard and local currency) also offer investors opportunities, performing well in a climate of strong growth and rising inflation.
  • Investors should look at emerging markets in the context of their own growth, rather than comparing growth to developed markets.

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