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The 2015 All-Europe Research Team: Technology/Software, No. 2: Michael Briest & team
Falling back to second place after a year on top is the three-strong UBS squad under the guidance of Michael Briest.
Total appearances: 15
Team debut: 2000
Falling back to second place after a year on top is the three-strong UBS squad under the guidance of Michael Briest. The London-based analysts have increased their coverage universe by three names over the past year, for a total of 20 regional software companies. They have a cautious outlook on the group. “For the last two to three years, there has been a steady inflation in multiples, and while earnings growth has been positive, it has failed to show much acceleration,” says Briest, 42. “Entering 2015, multiples look high against history in many cases, although not high in comparison with the market. Currency should turn from a headwind to a tailwind, but unless the underlying European economy shows some acceleration to support a better trend, we see upside generally as limited in the sector, absent riding the coattails of a wider market rerating.” The UBS team’s favorite name going into 2015 is Capgemini. The French consulting and outsourcing giant has a well-advanced offshore position to tackle the rising threat from Indian information technology services vendors in Europe and is cyclically exposed, the team leader advises. Moreover, management takes an investor-friendly approach to the balance sheet, he says, and is likely to return excess cash if suitable acquisition targets are not found.