Interview with Johan Roslund – Asset Manager at GP Bullhound and Senior Advisor at Nordic Asia

2020-11-04Nordic Asia Team
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Please tell us briefly about yourself and your background?

I am working with investing in public tech companies at GP Bullhound. I have previously worked with Fintech, SaaS and Ecommerce. I have always been very interested in investing and technology. When I was thirteen, I launched my first website in the middle of the 2000 IT boom. On a more personal note, I live in Stockholm with my wife and our one-year-old daughter.

Why do you think it is interesting to invest in Technology stocks in Asia?

Asia is in the forefront in adapting many new technologies such as mobile payments and automated retail. Many Chinese technology companies have also gone from being copycats to becoming innovators. An example is how many messaging tools in the west is looking at WeChat.

What challenges do you face as a foreign investor when investing in Asia?

There are a lot of challenges. First there is the difficulty to get information in English and also in many cases having to rely on third party sources. When investing it is very important to understand and test the product yourself. We often ask our Hong Kong office to test apps or other services. With the US-China tensions more companies have their main trading domestically. We prefer the US-listings as the trading is in USD and the information is more available. Therefore, the lack of transparency and language barriers is a challenge for us to look at more tech investment opportunities domestically in China.

What is the allocation ratio of your Asian exposure in GP Bullhound? Which companies do you currently hold and why?

We currently have 10-15% exposure to Asian companies which include for example Tencent, Alibaba and Nintendo.

Which sectors are you particular interested in today when you are looking to increase your allocation to Asia Tech?

We mainly focus on Digital Entertainment, Marketplaces, Fintech, and Software. If I should mention one sector it would be Gaming and Esports. Asian developers have created a lot of strong gaming brands such as Mario, PUBG and Pokémon. Together with a huge consumer interest for gaming in many Asian countries and high usage of smartphones the mobile gaming industry is really exiting.

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