Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) has launched the Allianz Global Artificial Intelligence equity fund, the first of its kind in Europe which will be available to both retail and institutional investors.

AI is a term applied to technologies which are able to perceive the outside world, process that information and act by way of response.

AllianzGIs new fund has a remit to invest in companies pushing forward the development of AI in all its forms around the world.

With the AI market expected to grow to USD36.8 billion by 2025, the fund will benefit from rapid advancements in a range of areas, including Big Data analysis, machine learning, self-driving cars and the Internet of Things.

The Allianz Global AI fund is an expansion of a strategy which launched in Japan on 9 September 2016 in partnership with Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management and Nikko. However, this is the first time the strategy will be open to European investors. In its current form, the strategy currently has USD1.8 billion AUM.

The fund will be managed by Sebastian Thomas, portfolio manager and director, US head of technology research. Thomas joined AllianzGI in 2003 as a senior analyst covering software and internet companies, and has over 10 years experience managing global technology portfolios. The AllianzGI technology team currently runs over USD7.2 billion in tech-focused portfolios.

Thomas says: We are a real pioneer in this space and, having seen such strong initial demand in Japan, I am very pleased to be bringing the strategy to a wider audience. We are now at an inflection point for Artificial Intelligence, where this kind of technology is beginning to make significant differences to the way we live our lives. AIs potential to revolutionise entire industries means this fund represents an exciting opportunity for investors to access future sources of innovation and growth across the market.