Bringing you live news and features since 2006 

Water crisis creates investment opportunity, says Leavitt


Water is a new asset class that will become an integral part of high net worth and institutional portfolios, according to William S. Leavitt, president of Leavitt Capital Management.

Speaking at a private family office conference in Singapore, Leavitt said the global water crisis is creating a mass of involuntary buyers, resulting in a tremendous, uncorrelated investment opportunity.

“Global demand for water has been rising for a century,” Leavitt said. “The world population is expected to grow 50 per cent in the next 40 years, WHO estimates 66 per cent of the world will live in water stressed areas by 2025 and while 70 per cent of the planet is water, only 0.25 per cent is available to drink.

“It’s a very serious issue, whether or not people realise it. Populations and global demand are increasing rapidly, which exasperates the problems with infrastructure, pollution, food production and so forth.”

Approximately 40 per cent of China’s water supply is unfit to drink due to pollution, while 300 million Chinese lack access to safe water. Major US cities lose more than 40 per cent of their drinking water due to leaks in century-old infrastructure. Furthermore, those leaks create safety risks by letting contaminants into the water supply.

“Male fish are developing female organs and laying eggs,” said Leavitt. “This is caused by people taking medications and passing the waste into the water.”

Leavitt identified several major themes his investment team is focusing on. The most opportunistic in his view are pollution and technology solutions, water rights, infrastructure, desalination and remediation.

Identifying the themes is not the difficult part, according to Leavitt. Finding skilled managers that can capitalise on those themes is.

“In terms of viewing water as an investment, let alone a separate asset class, we are in the very early stages. Consequently, the most difficult task is finding skilled managers in this space with a proven track record,” he said. “We know thematically these are the areas to be in, but it has taken four years of combing the earth to find the right people.”

Latest News

ETF data providers ETFGI has reported that the ETFs industry in the United States gathered net inflows of USD8.17 billion..
Chimera Capital LLC, an Abu-Dhabi-based investment management firm, has announced that BHM Capital, a UAE-based financial services firm, has become..
Fidelity International has announced the launch of the Fidelity Global Government Bond Climate Aware UCITS ETF, expanding its climate-focused ETF..
ETFs in Europe gathered net inflows of USD8.61 billion during February, bringing year-to-date net inflows to USD27.94 billion, according to..

Related Articles

Off the Record Episode 1
ETF Express is pleased to announce the launch of Off the Record, a new podcast series, in partnership with Truss...
February ETF flow figures from iShares at BlackRock reveal that inflows into global ETPs were moderate for a fifth consecutive...
Noel Archard, AllianceBernstein
Noel Archard has been in position as the global head of ETFs at AllianceBernstein for just over a year and...
Subscribe to the ETF Express newsletter

Subscribe for access to our weekly newsletter, newsletter archive, updates on the site and exclusive email content.

Marketing by