Perspectives Blog

Digital dining: How restaurants are applying technology to drive sales

Daniel Spelman, Equity Analyst | February 24, 2014

Restaurants are modernizing dining with consumer-centric tech focus. Large chains are the leaders, investing more and increasing market share. Innovation is boosting efficiency and reducing costs. In a $680 billion industry that is notoriously low margin, competitive and high touch, restaurants are increasingly using technology to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Advancements in digital ordering, loyalty, payments and convenience are i…

Labor markets in the new digital age

Columbia Management, Investment Team | April 14, 2014

…mpetitive advantage. By Marie Schofield, Chief Economist and Toby Nangle, Head of Multi Asset Allocation A theme not touched on so far in our series on income inequality and secular stagnation is the impact of innovation and technology on economic growth and income. Technological progress carries long-term benefits raising standards of living and boosting productivity; however, it also causes short-term dislocations and job loss for those displa…

It’s a mobile world

Dave Egan, Senior Equity Analyst | March 10, 2014

…long-held and provocative view that IoT is a 5 to10x bigger opportunity that the original Internet. From a use case perspective, IoT can be bucketed into wearables, connected home & auto and industrial automation. From a technology perspective on the component side, the three key technologies are connectivity (Wifi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Ethernet), sensors (motion, temp, positioning) and processing, with connectivity being the most important, i…

Take an active approach to selecting your active manager

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | April 7, 2014

…in low correlation sectors might result in a cumulative residual bet on a factor the manager did not intend. We have observed many cases where managers thought they were betting on attractive sounding themes such as specific technology innovations that increase productivity, but unfortunately, a residual exposure to an unintended factor exposure such as currency fluctuation ended up being the primary driver of success or failure. A careful look…

Surveying the landscape for M&A

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | March 3, 2014

…mance over one, two and three year periods. A recent academic paper on the subject by Mehmet Akbulut of California State University* has drawn a lot of attention, particularly in the wake of some recent all stock deals in the technology sector. He goes one step further, by examining the returns of acquirers who use “over-valued” stock as currency. His work shows that these “over-valued” acquirers have historically underperformed by an even larger…

Predatory trading – Just how big an issue is high-speed trading?

Matt Waldner, Head of US Equity Trading | April 7, 2014

…lator investigations. The first focus will be on latency arbitrage. With faster connections to exchanges, high-frequency firms are able to get faster signals, and “jump ahead” of slower orders. With significant investments in technology, HFT traders hold a big speed advantage, which has yielded huge profits. Example: An HFT firm places a sell order on an exchange. When executed, HFT signaled: “There is a buyer of the stock.” HFT quickly race to t…

Three investments that could return to favor in 2014

Jeffrey Knight, CFA, Head of Global Asset Allocation | December 16, 2013

…be rediscovered When investors lose confidence in an asset class, especially one that had been popular enough to attract outsized allocations, subsequent rebalancing generally leads to prolonged periods of underperformance. Technology stocks after 1999, for example, underperformed the S&P 500 in eight of the next 10 years and by a cumulative total of more than 40 percentage points. Today, many believe that interest rate sensitive bonds migh…