Andrew Wilson, the head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management in Europe and global head of fixed income, remains among the optimists in today’s uncertain market world. He argues investors are more worried than the global economic situation warrants.
Mr. Wilson called the recent stock-market sell-offs around the world “exaggerated.” Perhaps most importantly, he rejected the notion that global stocks have entered “bear-market” territory. With prices falling, he suggested the time to buy again may soon be at hand.
Germany’s blue-chip DAX stock index on Monday fell below 9,000 points, the lowest level since 2014, due to slower growth from China, continuing worries about the global economy and the low price of oil for the foreseeable future.
Mr. Wilson is chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management International, with responsibility for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is also responsible for the asset manager’s fixed-income business. He came to Goldman in 1995 after stints with the Bank of England, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Rothschild Asset Management.
Goldman’s asset-management business has been running since 1989 and is one of the world’s largest fund managers. It had $1.028 trillion (€920 billion) in assets under management at the end of 2015.
Mr. Wilson based in London but spoke to Handelsblatt in Düsseldorf after meetings in several cities across Germany.
Handelsblatt: Over the last few days you have met a number of German investors. How is their mood?
Andrew Wilson: After the turbulent start to the year the level of uncertainty and lack of information are high. Investors naturally want to hear our forecasts, to hear what returns are still on the cards and what risks and opportunities we can see.
First and foremost, the large share indices have plummeted. Is the boom over and is this being succeeded by a bear market?
I don’t think that this is the beginning of a bear market. That said, the mood is very negative. And we have experienced an unusually long period of increasing share prices.
It has been over seven years…
There are three main factors that currently worry the markets. And market commentators tend to treat these three as one big issue. They come to the conclusion that global economic growth is dramatically slowing down as a result of China’s weakness. That is why the oil price is falling. That is why the share markets are crashing.
And is that wrong?
I think in reality we are seeing three separate events. Of course the oil market is important. The fact that the oil price is sinking is a significant development. But we see this as the result of increased supply, from Iraq for example, and not as a sign of slow-down in global growth. In the past year demand has even gone up and not declined. It is the amount of supply that is keeping the oil price this low.
So if the oil price is no indicator of an imminent recession, what about China?