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CPPIB tracks four ways the pandemic is changing us to hone its investing strategy

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Another example of a post-pandemic investment might be in a company or technology that makes online grocery ordering and delivery more efficient and profitable, he said.

Pedersen said the research on pandemic impacts — including how things might look like if an effective vaccine is developed — is being shared with other investing groups across the organization that focus on area classes including real estate and infrastructure.

“They are taking them (the conclusions) into their assumptions,” he said, adding there is also potential downside risk to consider in areas that have thrived on public markets during lockdowns but might ease off in a post-pandemic world.

CPPIB Investments’ research included interviews with companies in its portfolios and with partners, as well as custom surveys of consumers and supply chain managers. More than 3,000 people were tapped across five countries.

Wednesday’s report was co-authored by senior portfolio manager Caitlin Walsh and portfolio manager Ruby Grewal. It is a product of Thinking Ahead, a lab within CPPIB created to assess large global issues and identify emerging trends.

In an interview, Walsh said the latest research revealed key differences across geographies. For example, tele-health is more likely to embraced over the long term in countries such as India and China, and less so in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany. Even within those geographies there were differences, she said, with middle-aged people more likely to remain with tele-health options while older people indicated they plan to return to in-person medical appointments when that’s possible.

Walsh said the research also revealed an acceleration of people moving to “second-tier” cities in parts of the United States and Europe as more remote working becomes possible, which could have implications for businesses ranging from ride-sharing to real estate.

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