Global Equity portfolio outlook, positioning, and attribution as of 6/30/2021

June 30, 2021


  • We expect the rapid global economic recovery to shift to a more normalized economic expansion, led by a surge in consumer spending and business investment alongside the global vaccine rollout and declining coronavirus cases.
  • We anticipate continued positive equity returns in the coming quarters, as earnings growth should offset valuation compression, which is typical in a recovery, but we believe sector selection will be crucial in the period ahead.
  • Internationally, the prospects for Europe’s economic recovery have improved materially as the EU vaccination rollout accelerated in Q2, and we believe European GDP growth is likely to rebound sharply in the second half of 2021 as lockdown measures are eased.
  • Even though economic and market risks remain, including potential for higher interest rates and a deceleration in growth rates, we believe the global economic recovery will continue to progress and an overweight of select economically-sensitive areas of the market is appropriate.

Portfolio Positioning

  • In Q2, we began to make adjustments to and within our more economically-sensitive allocations in anticipation of a shift from rapid economic recovery to sustained expansion.
  • In U.S. large-cap equity allocations, we have increased our exposure to the Information Technology and Financials sectors, which we believe will benefit from positive secular tailwinds and a potential rise in interest rates, respectively.
  • We reduced exposure to the U.S. Industrials sector, which may see less pent-up demand going forward than in prior cyclical recoveries, while the sector’s valuation seems to have already priced in a strong earnings rebound.
  • We remain underweight international equities, as a whole, but we have eliminated an allocation to U.S. small-caps and increased our exposure to Europe.
  • We are overweight Emerging Asia, where we see relative success containing COVID-19 has underpinned significant economic recovery.

Q2 Attribution

Positive Contributors:


  • United States


  • U.S. Consumer Staples
  • U.S. Utilities

Negative Contributors:


  • U.S. Small-Cap Equities
  • U.S. Financials


  • Western Europe

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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