NEW YORK (Reuters) - Media executives have had a tumultuous year, with the slump in advertising spending and the game-changing business conditions caused by the flood of content onto the Internet.
As 2009 comes to a close, Reuters asked executives at the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York and London what they saw as the most promising investment opportunities.
Executives were given a hypothetical $10 million to invest as they saw fit, with the one rule that they could not put the money into their own companies.
Here are their answers:
MARTIN SORRELL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF WPP (WPP.L)
“I really think the IOC decision on the next Olympics was emblematic ... so I’d be very long on Brazil.”
GEORGE BODENHEIMER, PRESIDENT OF DISNEY‘S (DIS.N) ESPN AND
“I believe in the strength of the United States economy. I’d invest it broadly, a combination of blue chips and start-ups. We’re all experiencing a bit of a downturn here. Needless to say ... I think the economy is coming back strong and our country will be on as firm a footing as ever, so I’d invest in the good old United States of America.”
ROBIN FREESTONE, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, PEARSON (PSON.L)
”I would put some into pharmaceuticals, and other defensives, some in gold. Informa (INF.L), I’d put a bit in that, and some in Anthony Bolton’s new China fund.
“I would go all in, double-down on the emerging markets -- media and communication in emerging markets.”
“I would put it into green enterprises, in clean energy.”
DAVID LEVIN, CEO, UNITED BUSINESS MEDIA (UBM.L)
“I would put it in technology. In Autonomy AUTN.L -- Mike Lynch (Autonomy CEO) has a great business. Also in emerging markets -- It’s much more important to think about the people/partners than saying ‘I want to be in this sector come what may.'”
“I like Asia right now. When we think about investing -- and there is a lot of untapped growth yet to come in Asia.”
“I would invest in technology that will do an increasingly effective job connecting people to content, particularly sports.”
NIKESH ARORA, PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL SALES, GOOGLE (GOOG.O)
“I have to stick to my knitting. It has to be in the Internet space. There’s 1.8 billion people in the world connected to the Web. There’s going to be 4 billion, 5 billion, 6 billion. So the trend is our friend and that’s the sector I‘m going to be in.”
Additional reporting by Tiffany Wu, Alex Dobuzinskis, Franklin Paul, Ben Klayman and Paul Sandle; Editing by Steve Orlofsky