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September 8, 2020  |  Podcast
Part 3: COVID-19 Science and Economics

In the third installment of our COVID-19 series, our moderator, Hugo Scott-Gall, co-director of research on the Global Equity team, checks back in with our in-house COVID experts, Research Analyst Camilla Oxhamre Cruse, Ph.D., and Global Strategist Olga Bitel, on why cases are rising in some areas and declining in others, where we are on a vaccine and testing, and potential risks to our base-case scenario for the global economic recovery.

Camilla’s and Olga’s comments are edited excerpts from our podcast, which you can listen to in full below.


We hoped summer would bring steadily falling cases, but we’ve seen cases rise in key parts of the world. Why is that happening?

Camilla: Case increases have varied. In the United States, we’ve seen case increases in states that opened early—many southern states. In other states, like New York, we’ve seen a decline. But in the past week, we appear to have reached some sort of peak, with both cases and death rates stabilizing. I think that’s because we’ve learned more about the virus and how it spreads most efficiently—loud indoor environments with poor ventilation where people are in close proximity. With that knowledge, we can adjust our behavior.

Summer’s nearly over. We’re going to be indoors more. How will we avoid an increase in infections, and therefore a heavier economic hit?

Camilla: We shouldn’t forget that we’ve been going through this now for months. People spent a good part of spring and early summer basically locked into their homes. So there’s a measure of COVID fatigue. And with that comes more high-risk behavior.

Olga: When the second wave comes, our respiratory and healthcare systems will be inundated by COVID-19 along with the ordinary flu, which spikes around October and November. The ability of healthcare providers to care for this case load will influence how much of a renewed lockdown we need.

But the medical community has gotten much better. We know a lot more about the virus than we did in February and March. And we’re better able to deal with cases before they show up in hospitals. So our base case remains that there will be no significant lockdowns. The risk is higher in the United States and lower in Europe and in China.

Nevertheless, the risk of lockdowns raises the specter of additional headwinds to the economic recovery. But we need to remember that while industrial production (supply) is lagging, retail sales volume (demand) has already exceeded pre-crisis levels. So, there’s significant room for catchup to address current levels of demand, even before we see further acceleration in demand.

What if we don’t see lockdowns, but people just don’t want to go out?

Olga: The fear factor is omnipresent and will likely increase as cases skyrocket. This will further limit socializing indoors. Small businesses, such as restaurants, that have mitigated this by having outdoor space will have to close in large parts of the United States, Europe, and even China. But most large-scale events have been closed to the general public, even in the summer, so they shouldn’t be affected.

Will some of our behavioral changes become permanent?

Camilla: I think there will be sustainable behavioral changes that affect how we interact with others. But behavioral changes don’t have to be evil. We didn’t fully utilize technologies we had before, because they weren’t part of our culture; now they are.

We didn’t fully utilize technologies we had before because they weren’t part of our culture; now they are

While in-person interaction is still important in the business world, working from home is working fine for many people. The same goes for trends in healthcare, such as telemedicine; we’re getting more comfortable interacting with our doctors online. Post-pandemic, the pendulum might, to some extent, swing back. But it doesn’t necessarily have to swing back to exactly where we were pre-COVID.

Olga: Humans are social animals, so I don’t think a pandemic, however long it lasts, will disrupt hundreds of thousands if not millions of years of evolution. We’ve seen this in previous pandemics, in 1918 and more recently in the 1950s, when there was another flu-like pandemic. People reverted back to normal social interactions with a vengeance. I expect something similar to happen this time, when we’re finally rid of this for good.

Can we talk more about how the pandemic has inspired the adoption of new technologies?

Olga: A lot of the technology-enabled social interaction and consumerism we’re seeing in this pandemic was not available in previous pandemics.

Payments is a good example. Large groups, especially in southern Europe, were forced overnight to drop in-person shopping with cash and shop online with digital payments of different forms. Now that their convenience, cheapness, and safety have been proven, I think digital payments are likely to stay.

As Camilla noted, the same thing is true of working remotely, especially for high-end services firms—accountants, asset managers, architects, etc. It doesn’t mean that we’ll never go back to the office. But the pandemic has forced us to rethink the quality of our daily interactions, such that we may end up going to the office three days a week rather than five. Some studies have shown this leading to a sustained increase in productivity.

We’re all very focused on a vaccine; should we be more focused on testing?

Camilla: We need both. We will get a vaccine; the question is how long it will take to develop a reasonably good one for the different patient population cohorts, because we’re not all equal in terms of our immunological response. Then there will be a rollout phase. We’re probably looking at mass distribution of a vaccine in the fall of 2021.

What are we going to do until then? We have to get on with life, with our economy. But at the moment we’re fighting an invisible virus. We don’t know where it is, we don’t know where it’s spreading. The only way we can get control over the pandemic is to put eyes on it, and that means testing—of the symptomatic and asymptomatic.

But testing has been surprisingly poor, particularly in the United States. We have the technology, but we have struggled with the logistics. To give you an idea how much, testing has doubled over the last couple of months, but over the same period the viral spread has quadrupled.

And the testing logistics have to work across the entire country. It doesn’t help if one area in the country gets control over the virus when the neighboring area does not, because the virus doesn’t really know borders.

Why has testing been so slow to scale up in the United States?

Olga: This is not a problem of molecular biology; it is a problem of industrial organization. While we’re great believers in free-market economies and the capitalist systems of industrial organization, rapidly scaling testing requires a centrally coordinated, organized, and even mandated response.

You’re asking a company to build a large-scale manufacturing testing facility that will be closed within a year or 18 months. It’s really hard to get private-sector investment to scale up very quickly for that, because most private-sector investment is geared toward longer-term payouts with more durable asset bases and business models.

How would you rate your confidence in a reasonably effective vaccine coming to market in the next six to nine months?

Camilla: We don’t need the perfect vaccine. We can develop that in the second or third generation. What we need is a reasonably good vaccine, and by “reasonably good,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration means about 50% better than a placebo in reducing infection and the likelihood of developing severe disease. And I’m quite confident that we will have a reasonably good vaccine by early next year.

Data from the leading vaccine candidate will start coming out in October or November. Then we will have real-world data from sizable trials of 30,000 patients, different population cohorts, so we can compare how the vaccine works in the younger versus older population.

What do you make of claims that there are some ongoing negative health consequences for people who have contracted COVID-19?

Camilla: We tend to focus a lot on the cases and the death rate, and underestimate the morbidity of the virus, which is the impact on the body. This virus is not just a respiratory virus; it has a systemic impact—neurological and cardiovascular effects. It induces a potent immunological response, and that has a detrimental effect on the entire body. Patients survive but become critically ill, so it’s a long way back to a normal, pre-infection life.

Here’s a tricky but important question for Olga. As we speak, the S&P 500 Index is back at its all-time high. Why?

Olga: From my vantage point, there are a couple of reasons.

First, equity market multiples are a function of prevailing interest rates, and interest rates are a fraction of what they were in February 2020. The 10-year U.S. Treasury was a touch above 2% then, and now it’s 0.6%. If you use the prevailing interest rate as your denominator and nothing else changes, you can expect equity-market multiples to be more than double their levels in February 2020.

Second, we are in the early stages of economic recovery, and valuations in the equity space tend to adjust first. Stock prices are bid up on the expectations of better earnings.

And given the extreme levels of recession, the dynamic is starker this time.

Companies with the best earnings-growth visibility have been disproportionately rewarded, but as we move into the economic recovery, what is already apparent in the macro data will start to filter through bottom-up earnings revisions and expectations for repricing more of the cyclical components of the market.

If the economic recovery slows because we all want to stay indoors, would that present a risk to equity markets?

Olga: I see two risks, the first being that the recovery is minimized by the prevailing pandemic headwinds, such that everybody suffers—akin to the scenario that we experienced in March, with at least the threat of lockdowns if not outright lockdowns.

Another risk, which I think is just as powerful but a bit more subtle, is that underneath the index gains, we’re going to see a more pronounced rotation in market leadership.

Companies with the best earnings-growth visibility (quasi-technology/digital consumer stocks and select portions of the healthcare universe) have been disproportionately rewarded, and rightly so. In recessions, that happens.

But as we move into the economic recovery, what is already apparent in the macro data will start to filter through bottom-up earnings revisions and expectations for repricing more of the cyclical components of the market, such as higher-quality industrials, technical equipment, industrial commodities, higher-end chemicals, things like that.

Hugo Scott-Gall, partner, is co-director of research for William Blair’s Global Equity team. Olga Bitel, partner, is a global strategist on the Global Equity team, and Camilla Oxhamre Cruse, Ph.D., is a global equity research analyst.

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Glossary

INDICES
The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based benchmark that measures the investment grade, U.S. dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market, including Treasuries, government-related and corporate securities, mortgage-backed securities (agency fixed-rate and hybrid ARM pass-throughs), asset-backed securities, and commercial mortgage backed securities.

The MSCI ACWI IMI Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures large, mid, and small cap representation across developed and emerging markets.

The MSCI ACWI ex-US IMI Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures large, mid, and small cap representation across developed and emerging markets, excluding the U.S. The Value and Growth Indices are a subset of the Index that adopt a framework for style segmentation in which value and growth securities are characterized using different attributes. Multiple factors are used to identify value and growth characteristics.

The MSCI ACWI Small Cap Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures small cap representation across developed and emerging markets.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of emerging markets.

The MSCI World Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets.

The Russell 2000 Index is a market capitalization-weighted index designed to represent the small cap segment of the U.S. equity universe.

Index performance is for illustrative purposes only. The indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested in directly.

TERMS
Alpha is a measure of an investment's return in excess of the market's return, after both have been adjusted for risk.

Beta is a measure of the volatility of an investment relative to the overall market, represented by a comparable benchmark.

Half-life is a statistical measure of the time required for the discrepancy between price and value to contract by half of its starting value. Fundamental value estimates are based on the Dynamic Allocation Strategies team's proprietary research.

P/E Ratio is a measure of valuation which compares share price to earnings per share, calculated using estimates for the next twelve months.

Standard deviation is a statistical measurement of variations from the average.

QUANTITATIVE MODELS – FACTOR DEFINITIONS
The William Blair Earnings Trend Model captures information about short- and medium-term changes in analyst estimates in an attempt to anticipate future estimate changes and stock performance. The score combines measurements of earnings revisions, momentum, and earnings surprise.

The William Blair Valuation Model combines varying metrics used to characterize the relationship between the stock’s trading price and its intrinsic value. By going beyond using only one or two measures, the model attempts to build a more holistic version of a stock’s worth vis-a-vis the market. The score combines measurements of earnings/cash flow based, asset-based, and model-based factors.

Cookie Policy

At William Blair, your privacy is important and we want to be clear about the information we may collect when you visit our website. This policy explains how we use cookies and may be amended, from time to time, without notice. Please read the information below about our cookie use. By using this site you agree to the placement of cookies on your computer in accordance with the terms of this policy. If you would like to modify your browser to notify you when you receive a new cookie or to disable cookies, please refer to Managing Cookies below. Additional resources, and a link to our full Privacy and Security Policy may also be found below.

What are cookies? Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information that are downloaded to your device when you visit a website. When you revisit the website, the cookies allow the website to recognize your device and remember certain information about you. Cookies can serve many purposes (helping us to understand how visitors use the website, letting you navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improving your user experience). Cookies also can help ensure that we provide information to you that is relevant or that you have requested.

You also can learn more about cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org.

Our use of cookies

Session Cookies
Session cookies are used to temporarily store information about logged in users. These cookies do not collect information from the user’s computer, and do not identify the user. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing purposes or remembering where you have been on the internet. The William Blair website uses the following session cookies:

  • “ASP.Net_SessionId”: this cookie helps to identify each browser session on the server so that the user has an uninterrupted journey through the William Blair Website. It expires automatically when the session ends.
  • “ARRAffinity”: these cookies are set by our hosting provider to help load pages efficiently by routing users to the same server consistently. They expire as soon as you close your browser.

Permanent Cookies
Permanent cookies are used to enhance a user’s browsing experience by “remembering” users on subsequent visits. Please note that if you delete these cookies, we will not be able to remember your preferences or your login details or provide you with the content you have requested. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing purposes. If you no longer wish for us to remember your selections, you should delete cookies on your machine. The William Blair website uses the following permanent cookies:

  • “recentOffice” and “recentPeople” cookies to speed up navigation by giving you the option to return to pages you have already visited. The cookies expire one year after the last page was requested.
  • “SC_Analytics_Global_Cookie”: this persistent cookie identifies repeat visits from a single user. The cookie expires one year after the last page was requested.
  • “SC_Analytics_Session_Cookie”: this cookie is used to collect anonymised information about how visitors use the site, including the number of visitors, where visitors have come from before coming to the site and the pages they visit on the site. The cookie expires one year after the last page was requested.

Analytics Cookies
There are also certain unique cookies and/or third-party cookies that we may use for analytics purposes to enhance the performance of our website. These cookies may track and provide trend analysis on how our users interact with our website, or help us to track errors. The data collected will generally be aggregated to provide trends and usage patterns for business analysis, site/platform improvement and performance metrics. The type of information we collect includes how many visitors visit our website, when they visited, for how long and which areas of our website are visited and which services are used. While this analysis may be performed by third parties, only William Blair will review the analytics. Your use of our website indicates your consent to the use of these web analytics cookies. One of these third party analytic tools used is a web analytics service provided by Google. Google Analytics is one of the most widespread and trusted analytics solutions on the web for helping us to understand how you use the site and ways that we can improve your experience. Google Analytics uses cookies to help analyze how visitors use the William Blair & Company website. Four types of cookies are used by Google Analytics:

  • __utma Cookie A persistent cookie – remains on a computer, unless it expires or the cookie cache is cleared. It tracks visitors. Metrics associated with the Google __utma cookie include: first visit (unique visit), last visit (returning visit). This also includes Days and Visits to purchase calculations which afford ecommerce websites with data intelligence around purchasing sales funnels.
  • __utmb Cookie & __utmc Cookie These cookies work in tandem to calculate visit length. Google __utmb cookie demarks the exact arrival time, then Google __utmc registers the precise exit time of the user. Because __utmb counts entrance visits, it is a session cookie, and expires at the end of the session, e.g. when the user leaves the page. A timestamp of 30 minutes must pass before Google cookie __utmc expires. Given__utmc cannot tell if a browser or website session ends. Therefore, if no new page view is recorded in 30 minutes the cookie is expired.
  • __utmz Cookie Cookie __utmz monitors the HTTP Referrer and notes where a visitor arrived from, with the referrer siloed into type (Search engine (organic or cost per click), direct, social and unaccounted). From the HTTP Referrer the __utmz Cookie also registers, what keyword generated the visit plus geolocation data. This cookie lasts six months.
  • __utmv Cookie Google __utmv Cookie lasts “forever”. It is a persistent cookie. It is used for segmentation, data experimentation and the __utmv works hand in hand with the __utmz cookie to improve cookie targeting capabilities.

For further details on Google analytics cookies, visit cookies set by Google Analytics.

Targeting Cookies
William Blair may utilize a select set of cookies provided by third parties, such as Like and Share buttons. These cookies store non-personally identifiable information, but may store information that is available to third-party advertisers, publishers, or ad networks.

Managing Cookies
Most browsers are initially set to accept cookies. However, you have the ability to disable cookies if you wish, generally through changing your internet software browsing settings. It may also be possible to configure your browser settings to enable acceptance of specific cookies or to notify you each time a new cookie is about to be stored on your computer permitting you to decide whether to accept or reject the cookie. To manage your use of cookies, there are various resources available to you. For example the “Help” section on your browser may assist you. As our cookies allow you to access some of our website’s essential features, we recommend that you leave cookies enabled. Disabling cookies may mean that you experience reduced functionality or will be prevented from using our site altogether.

Additional Resources

http://www.allaboutcookies.org

https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/online/cookies

William Blair & Company Privacy and Security Policy

Social Media Disclaimer

William Blair & Company, L.L.C. is a broker dealer and investment adviser dually registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). William Blair, along with affiliated entities William Blair Investment Management, LLC and William Blair International, Ltd (collectively, “William Blair”) sponsors and publishes posts on or through pages, profiles, accounts, feeds, channels or other portions of various social media platforms, including but not limited to YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (each, a “Site”) for educational, promotional or other business reasons.

About William Blair Posts

No William Blair post published on any social media platform is an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy shares of any William Blair investment product to any person in any jurisdiction in which an offer, solicitation, purchase or sale would be unlawful under the laws of such jurisdiction. Additionally, all William Blair posts published on any social media platform are for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or recommendations to invest in any particular security, strategy or investment product.

William Blair posts on social media may include statements concerning financial market trends, and are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. Historic market trends are not reliable indicators of actual future market behavior or future performance of any particular investment which may differ materially, and should not be relied upon as such. The investment strategies and broad themes discussed in William Blair’s social media posts may be unsuitable for investors depending on their specific investment objectives and financial situation. Information contained in posts has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. You should note that the materials on the social media platforms are provided “as is” without any express or implied warranties. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. All investments involve a degree of risk, including the risk of loss. No part of William Blair posts may be altered without express written permission from William Blair.

William Blair posts may provide links to third party websites only as a convenience and the inclusion of such links does not imply any endorsement, approval, investigation, verification or monitoring by William Blair of any content or information contained within or accessible from the linked sites. While we make every attempt to provide links only to those websites we think are trustworthy and accurate, we cannot be responsible for the content or accuracy of the information presented on those websites and we specifically disclaim any liability for any loss or damages which you may incur, directly or indirectly, as a result of your use of them. We reserve the right to terminate a link to a third party website at any time.

General User Guidelines

Due to the highly regulated nature of our industry and as a matter of policy, William Blair, in some instances, may not reply to user comments. Please ensure that your contributions in relation to any William Blair posts are relevant and topical. Do not publish your own advertisements of any kind on any William Blair social media page or with respect to any William Blair posts. We ask you to be respectful and courteous and refrain from publishing, including through hyper-links, inappropriate or offensive material on any William Blair social media page. Do not attempt to promote investments (this includes posting testimonials, giving investment advice, or making recommendations about specific securities, securities strategies, products or services) on any William Blair social media page. Do not attempt to submit to William Blair any personal, confidential or account information through any William Blair social media page. William Blair is not subject to any obligations of confidentiality regarding information submitted to them through any William Blair social media page or otherwise through any social media platform.

Third-Party Posts on any William Blair Social Media Page

While William Blair may monitor third-party posts published on any William Blair social media page, such posts may be reviewed to ensure regulatory compliance, but otherwise are not edited before being displayed. Third-party posts on any William Blair social media page are the view and responsibility of the third-party, not William Blair. William Blair cannot guarantee the appropriateness, accuracy or usefulness of any third-party posts or of any third-party hyper-link, nor are they responsible for any unauthorized or copyrighted materials contributed by a third-party in any William Blair social media page. William Blair reserves the right to remove or edit any third-party posts or comments on any William Blair social media page that are inappropriate or that violate (or may violate) applicable regulations.

William Blair does not publish or otherwise disseminate statements relating to current or former clients’ positive experiences with or endorsements of William Blair and expects you to refrain from publishing such posts on any William Blair social media page. You should limit your posts on any William Blair social media page to investment themes rather than commenting, positively or negatively, on William Blair, its products, services or personnel. Although our clients may follow this account, this should not be interpreted as a testimonial regarding any client’s experience with our firm.

Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services do not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship by, or affiliation with William Blair with respect to any hyper-linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by William Blair. William Blair expressly disclaims any responsibility for the posts, the accuracy of the information, and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites, as posted by third-parties on any William Blair Social media page.

Use Social Media Platforms at Your Own Risk

William Blair is in no way affiliated with any social media platform and has no responsibility for any social media page’s operations and services. William Blair and their respective affiliates, directors, officers, or employees are not liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, punitive or special damages arising out of or in any way connected with your access or use of, or inability to access or use, a social media platform, any William Blair social media page thereon or reliance on any William Blair post or any failure of performance, interruption, defect, delay in transmission, computer viruses or other harmful components, or line or system failure associated with a social media platform or any William Blair social media page thereon. Use of a social media platform or any William Blair social media page thereon is at your own risk.

Privacy Policy

William Blair is not responsible for the terms of use or privacy policies of any social media platform on which William Blair posts may appear, including in any William Blair social media page. For additional information regarding account security and privacy, refer to our Privacy and Security statement

Copyrights and Trademarks

Each social media page’s content and information, and all trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade dress, logos, copyrights and other intellectual property displayed on the Site by William Blair (“Content”) are protected by U.S. and worldwide copyright and trademark laws and treaty provisions, and are owned by, controlled by or licensed to William Blair or their respective owners. By using any social media page, we do not grant you any rights to reproduce, sell, or license any of the content contained herein, except that you may print a copy of the information contained herein for your personal use only. You may not reproduce or distribute the text or graphics to others or copy all or substantially all of the content to your own hard drive or server without the prior written permission of William Blair.

Permitted Uses of Our Sites and Content

We have listed below the permitted uses of our Content. We reserve the right to change our permitted uses at any time.

  • William Blair grants you a limited, revocable, nonexclusive and nontransferable right to view, store, bookmark, download, copy and print pages from the Site for your personal and noncommercial use only. Unless you receive our permission in advance, you may not exploit any of the Content commercially or forward it as a mass distribution.
  • If you link other websites to any Site, you may not imply or suggest that William Blair has endorsed or is affiliated with such websites and you may not display this Site as “framed” within another website.

Prohibited Uses of Our Sites and Content

William Blair does not grant, by implication, estoppel or otherwise, any license or right to use Content on any social media page other than those set forth above, and you shall not make any other use of such Content without William Blair’s written permission. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing:

  • You agree not to copy large portions of any social media page (such as by bots, robots or spiders that “harvest” the Site), interfere with the functioning of the Site or restrict or inhibit any others from using the Site.
  • If you download any pages from any social media page, you agree that you will not remove or obscure any copyright or other notices or legends contained in any such Content. You may not alter or modify the Content in your copies.
  • You may not (and may not encourage or assist others to) violate any law, regulation, rule or the intellectual property or contractual rights of others, or attempt to violate the security of any social media page or use or gain access to the identities, information or computers of others through any social media page.
  • You may not transmit any virus, worm, time bomb or similar system interference or corruptant through any social media page.

William Blair has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor any social media page for unauthorized or objectionable conduct and to take all appropriate actions in response, without notice to you. We reserve the right to change or supplement our website policies at any time to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements made on any social media page that look forward in time involve risks and uncertainties and are forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the adverse effect from a decline in the securities markets or a decline in William Blair’s products’ performance, a general downturn in the economy, competition from other companies, changes in government policy or regulation, inability of William Blair to attract or retain key employees, unforeseen costs and other effects related to legal proceedings or investigations of governmental and self-regulatory organizations.

Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, the operations and performance of our businesses. You can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “outlook,” “believe,” “expect,” “potential,” “continue,” “may,” “should,” “seek,” “approximately,” “predict,” “intend,” “will,” “plan,” “estimate,” “anticipate” or the negative version of these words or other comparable words. Forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual outcomes or results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

International Use

The Content provided in or accessible through any social media page is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation or which would subject William Blair to any registration or other requirement within such jurisdiction or country. William Blair reserves the right to limit access to the Site to any person, geographic region or jurisdiction. Unless otherwise expressly set forth herein, William Blair makes no representations that transactions, products or services discussed on or accessible through the Site are available or appropriate for sale or use in all jurisdictions or by all users, or that access by any user in the place it is located is not illegal or prohibited. Users who choose to access the Site from other locations do so on their own initiative and are responsible for establishing the legality, usability and correctness of any information or Content on the Site under the laws of any applicable jurisdictions. You may not use or export the Content on the Site or accessible through the Site in violation of applicable laws and regulations.

Transmission to and From any Social Media Page

Subject to any applicable terms and conditions set forth in our Privacy and Security Statement, any communication or other material that you send to us through the Internet or post on any social media page by electronic mail or otherwise, is and will be deemed to be non-confidential as between you and us and William Blair shall have no obligation of any kind with respect to such information. William Blair will be free to use, for any purpose, and without compensation due or payable to you, any ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques provided by you to William Blair through any social media page.

Disclaimer and Indemnity

William Blair and its affiliates disclaim, to the fullest extent permitted by law, all express and implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. If you live in a state that does not allow disclaimers of implied warranties, our disclaimer may not apply to you.

William Blair does not warrant that the information in any social media page is accurate, reliable or correct, that any social media page will be available at any particular time or location, or that any social media page is free of viruses or other harmful components. Electronic communications can be intercepted by third parties and, accordingly, electronic mail and other transmissions to and from any social media page or made via any social media page may not be secure.

The investments and strategies discussed in the content may not be suitable for all investors and are not obligations of William Blair or any of its affiliates or guaranteed by William Blair or any of its affiliates. The investments are not bank deposits and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other entity and are subject to investment risks, including the loss of the principal amount invested. Nothing contained on the Site constitutes investment, legal, tax or other advice nor is to be relied on in making an investment or other decision. You should obtain and carefully review any applicable prospectus, statement of additional information and/or offering memorandum as well the William Blair Form ADV, as applicable, before making any investment decision. Decisions based on information or materials contained on any social media page are the sole responsibility of the user.

As consideration for access to any social media page, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless William Blair and their employees, contractors, affiliates, officers and directors from and against any claims whatsoever and of any nature for damages, losses and causes of action, including but not limited to actions by third parties against you, William Blair or any of its Related Person, arising out of or in connection with any decisions that you make based on such Content, your use of any social media page, or your violation of our website policies. You agree to make William Blair, whole for any and all claims, losses, liabilities, and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) arising from your use of the Site or any violation of this the policies laid out in this Disclaimer, unless prohibited by law.

Miscellaneous Provisions

YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other social media sites are public sites. William Blair is in no way affiliated with them and has no responsibility for their operations and services or for related service sites. William Blair is not responsible for any social media platform’s terms of use or privacy or security policies, or any other third party sites that may be linked to by a social media platform. By using a social media platform, you accept at your own risk that the Internet and online communications medium may not perform as intended despite the efforts of William Blair, your Internet Service Provider, and you.

For additional information regarding account security and privacy, refer to our Privacy and Security statement. For customer service inquiries or questions about your accounts, please visit our website at: www.williamblair.com.

Your Acceptance of these Terms

Your use of the Site constitutes your acceptance of the terms contained herein. You may reject these terms by leaving the Site at any time.

For additional information about William Blair or to contact us, please visit our website at: www.williamblair.com.

Glossary

INDICES
The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based benchmark that measures the investment grade, U.S. dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market, including Treasuries, government-related and corporate securities, mortgage-backed securities (agency fixed-rate and hybrid ARM pass-throughs), asset-backed securities, and commercial mortgage backed securities.

The MSCI ACWI IMI Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures large, mid, and small cap representation across developed and emerging markets.

The MSCI ACWI ex-US IMI Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures large, mid, and small cap representation across developed and emerging markets, excluding the U.S. The Value and Growth Indices are a subset of the Index that adopt a framework for style segmentation in which value and growth securities are characterized using different attributes. Multiple factors are used to identify value and growth characteristics.

The MSCI ACWI Small Cap Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures small cap representation across developed and emerging markets.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of emerging markets.

The MSCI World Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets.

The Russell 2000 Index is a market capitalization-weighted index designed to represent the small cap segment of the U.S. equity universe.

Index performance is for illustrative purposes only. The indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested in directly.

TERMS
Alpha is a measure of an investment's return in excess of the market's return, after both have been adjusted for risk.

Beta is a measure of the volatility of an investment relative to the overall market, represented by a comparable benchmark.

Half-life is a statistical measure of the time required for the discrepancy between price and value to contract by half of its starting value. Fundamental value estimates are based on the Dynamic Allocation Strategies team's proprietary research.

P/E Ratio is a measure of valuation which compares share price to earnings per share, calculated using estimates for the next twelve months.

Standard deviation is a statistical measurement of variations from the average.

QUANTITATIVE MODELS – FACTOR DEFINITIONS
The William Blair Earnings Trend Model captures information about short- and medium-term changes in analyst estimates in an attempt to anticipate future estimate changes and stock performance. The score combines measurements of earnings revisions, momentum, and earnings surprise.

The William Blair Valuation Model combines varying metrics used to characterize the relationship between the stock’s trading price and its intrinsic value. By going beyond using only one or two measures, the model attempts to build a more holistic version of a stock’s worth vis-a-vis the market. The score combines measurements of earnings/cash flow based, asset-based, and model-based factors.

Cookie Policy

At William Blair, your privacy is important and we want to be clear about the information we may collect when you visit our website. This policy explains how we use cookies and may be amended, from time to time, without notice. Please read the information below about our cookie use. By using this site you agree to the placement of cookies on your computer in accordance with the terms of this policy. If you would like to modify your browser to notify you when you receive a new cookie or to disable cookies, please refer to Managing Cookies below. Additional resources, and a link to our full Privacy and Security Policy may also be found below.

What are cookies? Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information that are downloaded to your device when you visit a website. When you revisit the website, the cookies allow the website to recognize your device and remember certain information about you. Cookies can serve many purposes (helping us to understand how visitors use the website, letting you navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improving your user experience). Cookies also can help ensure that we provide information to you that is relevant or that you have requested.

You also can learn more about cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org.

Our use of cookies

Session Cookies
Session cookies are used to temporarily store information about logged in users. These cookies do not collect information from the user’s computer, and do not identify the user. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing purposes or remembering where you have been on the internet. The William Blair website uses the following session cookies:

  • “ASP.Net_SessionId”: this cookie helps to identify each browser session on the server so that the user has an uninterrupted journey through the William Blair Website. It expires automatically when the session ends.
  • “ARRAffinity”: these cookies are set by our hosting provider to help load pages efficiently by routing users to the same server consistently. They expire as soon as you close your browser.

Permanent Cookies
Permanent cookies are used to enhance a user’s browsing experience by “remembering” users on subsequent visits. Please note that if you delete these cookies, we will not be able to remember your preferences or your login details or provide you with the content you have requested. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing purposes. If you no longer wish for us to remember your selections, you should delete cookies on your machine. The William Blair website uses the following permanent cookies:

  • “recentOffice” and “recentPeople” cookies to speed up navigation by giving you the option to return to pages you have already visited. The cookies expire one year after the last page was requested.
  • “SC_Analytics_Global_Cookie”: this persistent cookie identifies repeat visits from a single user. The cookie expires one year after the last page was requested.
  • “SC_Analytics_Session_Cookie”: this cookie is used to collect anonymised information about how visitors use the site, including the number of visitors, where visitors have come from before coming to the site and the pages they visit on the site. The cookie expires one year after the last page was requested.

Analytics Cookies
There are also certain unique cookies and/or third-party cookies that we may use for analytics purposes to enhance the performance of our website. These cookies may track and provide trend analysis on how our users interact with our website, or help us to track errors. The data collected will generally be aggregated to provide trends and usage patterns for business analysis, site/platform improvement and performance metrics. The type of information we collect includes how many visitors visit our website, when they visited, for how long and which areas of our website are visited and which services are used. While this analysis may be performed by third parties, only William Blair will review the analytics. Your use of our website indicates your consent to the use of these web analytics cookies. One of these third party analytic tools used is a web analytics service provided by Google. Google Analytics is one of the most widespread and trusted analytics solutions on the web for helping us to understand how you use the site and ways that we can improve your experience. Google Analytics uses cookies to help analyze how visitors use the William Blair & Company website. Four types of cookies are used by Google Analytics:

  • __utma Cookie A persistent cookie – remains on a computer, unless it expires or the cookie cache is cleared. It tracks visitors. Metrics associated with the Google __utma cookie include: first visit (unique visit), last visit (returning visit). This also includes Days and Visits to purchase calculations which afford ecommerce websites with data intelligence around purchasing sales funnels.
  • __utmb Cookie & __utmc Cookie These cookies work in tandem to calculate visit length. Google __utmb cookie demarks the exact arrival time, then Google __utmc registers the precise exit time of the user. Because __utmb counts entrance visits, it is a session cookie, and expires at the end of the session, e.g. when the user leaves the page. A timestamp of 30 minutes must pass before Google cookie __utmc expires. Given__utmc cannot tell if a browser or website session ends. Therefore, if no new page view is recorded in 30 minutes the cookie is expired.
  • __utmz Cookie Cookie __utmz monitors the HTTP Referrer and notes where a visitor arrived from, with the referrer siloed into type (Search engine (organic or cost per click), direct, social and unaccounted). From the HTTP Referrer the __utmz Cookie also registers, what keyword generated the visit plus geolocation data. This cookie lasts six months.
  • __utmv Cookie Google __utmv Cookie lasts “forever”. It is a persistent cookie. It is used for segmentation, data experimentation and the __utmv works hand in hand with the __utmz cookie to improve cookie targeting capabilities.

For further details on Google analytics cookies, visit cookies set by Google Analytics.

Targeting Cookies
William Blair may utilize a select set of cookies provided by third parties, such as Like and Share buttons. These cookies store non-personally identifiable information, but may store information that is available to third-party advertisers, publishers, or ad networks.

Managing Cookies
Most browsers are initially set to accept cookies. However, you have the ability to disable cookies if you wish, generally through changing your internet software browsing settings. It may also be possible to configure your browser settings to enable acceptance of specific cookies or to notify you each time a new cookie is about to be stored on your computer permitting you to decide whether to accept or reject the cookie. To manage your use of cookies, there are various resources available to you. For example the “Help” section on your browser may assist you. As our cookies allow you to access some of our website’s essential features, we recommend that you leave cookies enabled. Disabling cookies may mean that you experience reduced functionality or will be prevented from using our site altogether.

Additional Resources

http://www.allaboutcookies.org

https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/online/cookies

William Blair & Company Privacy and Security Policy

Social Media Disclaimer

William Blair & Company, L.L.C. is a broker dealer and investment adviser dually registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). William Blair, along with affiliated entities William Blair Investment Management, LLC and William Blair International, Ltd (collectively, “William Blair”) sponsors and publishes posts on or through pages, profiles, accounts, feeds, channels or other portions of various social media platforms, including but not limited to YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (each, a “Site”) for educational, promotional or other business reasons.

About William Blair Posts

No William Blair post published on any social media platform is an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy shares of any William Blair investment product to any person in any jurisdiction in which an offer, solicitation, purchase or sale would be unlawful under the laws of such jurisdiction. Additionally, all William Blair posts published on any social media platform are for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or recommendations to invest in any particular security, strategy or investment product.

William Blair posts on social media may include statements concerning financial market trends, and are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. Historic market trends are not reliable indicators of actual future market behavior or future performance of any particular investment which may differ materially, and should not be relied upon as such. The investment strategies and broad themes discussed in William Blair’s social media posts may be unsuitable for investors depending on their specific investment objectives and financial situation. Information contained in posts has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. You should note that the materials on the social media platforms are provided “as is” without any express or implied warranties. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. All investments involve a degree of risk, including the risk of loss. No part of William Blair posts may be altered without express written permission from William Blair.

William Blair posts may provide links to third party websites only as a convenience and the inclusion of such links does not imply any endorsement, approval, investigation, verification or monitoring by William Blair of any content or information contained within or accessible from the linked sites. While we make every attempt to provide links only to those websites we think are trustworthy and accurate, we cannot be responsible for the content or accuracy of the information presented on those websites and we specifically disclaim any liability for any loss or damages which you may incur, directly or indirectly, as a result of your use of them. We reserve the right to terminate a link to a third party website at any time.

General User Guidelines

Due to the highly regulated nature of our industry and as a matter of policy, William Blair, in some instances, may not reply to user comments. Please ensure that your contributions in relation to any William Blair posts are relevant and topical. Do not publish your own advertisements of any kind on any William Blair social media page or with respect to any William Blair posts. We ask you to be respectful and courteous and refrain from publishing, including through hyper-links, inappropriate or offensive material on any William Blair social media page. Do not attempt to promote investments (this includes posting testimonials, giving investment advice, or making recommendations about specific securities, securities strategies, products or services) on any William Blair social media page. Do not attempt to submit to William Blair any personal, confidential or account information through any William Blair social media page. William Blair is not subject to any obligations of confidentiality regarding information submitted to them through any William Blair social media page or otherwise through any social media platform.

Third-Party Posts on any William Blair Social Media Page

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We have listed below the permitted uses of our Content. We reserve the right to change our permitted uses at any time.

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William Blair does not grant, by implication, estoppel or otherwise, any license or right to use Content on any social media page other than those set forth above, and you shall not make any other use of such Content without William Blair’s written permission. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing:

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William Blair has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor any social media page for unauthorized or objectionable conduct and to take all appropriate actions in response, without notice to you. We reserve the right to change or supplement our website policies at any time to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.

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The investments and strategies discussed in the content may not be suitable for all investors and are not obligations of William Blair or any of its affiliates or guaranteed by William Blair or any of its affiliates. The investments are not bank deposits and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other entity and are subject to investment risks, including the loss of the principal amount invested. Nothing contained on the Site constitutes investment, legal, tax or other advice nor is to be relied on in making an investment or other decision. You should obtain and carefully review any applicable prospectus, statement of additional information and/or offering memorandum as well the William Blair Form ADV, as applicable, before making any investment decision. Decisions based on information or materials contained on any social media page are the sole responsibility of the user.

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Miscellaneous Provisions

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Glossary

INDICES
The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based benchmark that measures the investment grade, U.S. dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market, including Treasuries, government-related and corporate securities, mortgage-backed securities (agency fixed-rate and hybrid ARM pass-throughs), asset-backed securities, and commercial mortgage backed securities.

The MSCI ACWI IMI Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures large, mid, and small cap representation across developed and emerging markets.

The MSCI ACWI ex-US IMI Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures large, mid, and small cap representation across developed and emerging markets, excluding the U.S. The Value and Growth Indices are a subset of the Index that adopt a framework for style segmentation in which value and growth securities are characterized using different attributes. Multiple factors are used to identify value and growth characteristics.

The MSCI ACWI Small Cap Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures small cap representation across developed and emerging markets.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of emerging markets.

The MSCI World Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets.

The Russell 2000 Index is a market capitalization-weighted index designed to represent the small cap segment of the U.S. equity universe.

Index performance is for illustrative purposes only. The indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested in directly.

TERMS
Alpha is a measure of an investment's return in excess of the market's return, after both have been adjusted for risk.

Beta is a measure of the volatility of an investment relative to the overall market, represented by a comparable benchmark.

Half-life is a statistical measure of the time required for the discrepancy between price and value to contract by half of its starting value. Fundamental value estimates are based on the Dynamic Allocation Strategies team's proprietary research.

P/E Ratio is a measure of valuation which compares share price to earnings per share, calculated using estimates for the next twelve months.

Standard deviation is a statistical measurement of variations from the average.

QUANTITATIVE MODELS – FACTOR DEFINITIONS
The William Blair Earnings Trend Model captures information about short- and medium-term changes in analyst estimates in an attempt to anticipate future estimate changes and stock performance. The score combines measurements of earnings revisions, momentum, and earnings surprise.

The William Blair Valuation Model combines varying metrics used to characterize the relationship between the stock’s trading price and its intrinsic value. By going beyond using only one or two measures, the model attempts to build a more holistic version of a stock’s worth vis-a-vis the market. The score combines measurements of earnings/cash flow based, asset-based, and model-based factors.

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