Global Equity portfolio outlook, positioning, and attribution as of 03/31/2023

March 31, 2023


  • We see continued risk of slowing economic activity tied, in part, to the Fed’s aggressive monetary tightening, and elevated stress in the U.S. financial system resulting, in part, from aggressive monetary policy has exacerbated the late-cycle challenges to growth.
  • While headline data for some areas of the global economy remain sound, such as the U.S. employment and consumption, leading areas of the job market and reduced consumer savings suggest to us that the full impact of the Fed’s rate hiking cycle has yet to be felt.
  • In this evolving environment, we see significant risk to corporate earnings for the most economically sensitive parts of the markets.
  • We expect earnings growth to vary significantly across U.S. sectors in 2023, as is typical when risk of recession is elevated, and we believe sector allocation will be key to investment outcomes in the coming quarters.
  • Internationally, as global economic growth slows, we believe Europe still faces significant risks from monetary and fiscal tightening with a lower savings cushion to support consumers, and we expect slowing growth to present headwinds for economically cyclical emerging markets, while we see developed Asia as a relative bright spot.


  • We are avoiding early-phase cyclical U.S. sectors and, instead, are emphasizing sectors that we expect will see less deceleration in earnings and less margin degradation as economic growth slows.
  • We have continued to add to late-phase U.S. sector exposure, with overweights of Health Care, Consumer Staples, and Utilities.
  • We maintain allocations to the U.S. Information Technology and Communication Services sectors, which we believe are attractive at this stage of the cycle given their lower revenue volatility and more secular-oriented growth profiles versus more cyclical sectors.
  • We remain underweight to international equities, as a whole, including underweights of Europe and emerging markets, but we maintain an overweight of developed Asia, where we see the greatest potential for economic resilience abroad.

Q1 Attribution

Positive Contributors:


  • U.S. Communication Services


  • U.S. Financials
  • U.S. Energy

Negative Contributors:


  • U.S. Health Care
  • U.S. Utilities
  • U.S. Consumer Staples

Attribution Analysis is relative to the MSCI ACWI (Net) Index benchmark and was current as of the date specified in this presentation. A complete attribution report is available upon request.

The most recent complete presentation can be viewed here.

Any portfolio characteristics, including position sizes and sector allocations among others, are generally averages and are for illustrative purposes only and do not reflect the investments of an actual portfolio unless otherwise noted. The investment guidelines of an actual portfolio may permit or restrict investments that are materially different in size, nature and risk from those shown. The investment processes, research processes or risk processes shown herein are for informational purposes to demonstrate an overview of the process. Such processes may differ by product, client mandate or market conditions. Portfolios that are concentrated in a specific sector or industry may be subject to a higher degree of market risk than a portfolio whose investments are more diversified.

Holdings, Sector Weightings, and Portfolio Characteristics were current as of the date specified in this presentation. The listing of particular securities should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell these securities. While these securities were among WestEnd Advisors’ Global Equity holdings at the time this material was assembled, holdings will change over time. There can be no assurance that the securities remain in the portfolio or that other securities have not been purchased. It should not be assumed that recommendations made in the future will be profitable or will equal the performance of the securities presently in the portfolio. Individual clients’ portfolios may vary. Upon request, WestEnd Advisors will provide a list of all recommendations for the prior year.

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