In order to capture the growth potential of the robotic revolution, the opportunity must be defined from an investor’s perspective – ROBO Global sought out to do just that. As the creator of the first benchmark index to track the global robotics and automation market, ROBO Global brings these solutions to investors.

Through the expertise of its leadership team and strategic advisors, Robo Global searches worldwide to find cutting-edge companies in the space. From healthcare to industrials to aerospace, these companies span across a multitude of industries. By identifying these prospects, they are able to track the global growth of the industry.

The index is comprised of over 80 stocks focused on the entire robotics and automation value chain. The stocks include rapidly developing companies in the global robotics and automation industry, covering over 15 countries across our 12 sub-sectors. With offices in Dallas and London, and indices listed on multiple exchanges, ROBO Global defines and delivers the only index to target robotics and automation.


Travis Briggs

Travis Briggs


Travis is CEO and Partner of ROBO Global. A veteran of the finance and wealth management industry, Travis is responsible for managing daily operations of the firm, executing business strategy and serving on the Index Committee. Prior to joining ROBO Global in March 2014, Travis served as managing director at Smith Group Asset Management in Dallas, where he created and led the firm’s Private Client Group. Before joining Smith Group, Travis served as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Business Development at Dallas-based hedge-fund Discovery Management. Earlier in his career, Travis was the Director of Investor Relations at Triton Energy and worked as an analyst at Bank of America.

Richard Lightbound

Richard Lightbound


Richard Lightbound has worked for 15+ years within the financial services sector with Wells Fargo and Standard Chartered Bank in senior management positions with responsibility for Institutional and Corporate clients across Europe, MENA and Asia. Richard enjoyed a 7 year break from banking to join an early cloud computing company funded by Warburg Pincus and now part of Infor. Richard launched and managed operations across Asia and Europe.

In 2014 Richard joined ROBO Global and in addition to managing daily operations in Europe and Asia, he is responsible for executing business strategy and serves on the Index Committee.

Richard is a frequent speaker at Robotics & Automation conferences and events. During his career Richard has lived and worked in Hong Kong, USA, Europe and Sri Lanka.

William Studebaker

William Studebaker

President & CIO

William Studebaker is President and CIO, while also serving on the Index Committee. Prior to ROBO, he joined Apex Capital in April 2002 (through June 2015) and was the portfolio manager covering industrials. For the previous seven years he held a number of positions at Merrill Lynch, including trader on the New York Stock Exchange floor and, most recently, director in institutional equity sales. From 1991 to 1994 William Studebaker was an analyst in the structured finance group of Cargill. He received his BA in Political Science and International Relations (double major) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991.

Chris Buck

Chris Buck

Head of Capital Markets & Sales

Chris Buck is head of capital markets and sales for ROBO Global US. He brings over 25+ years of experience in capital markets and sales.

Prior to ROBO Global, he was Head of Client Execution Services, Americas iShares Capital Markets at BlackRock, where he was responsible for leading institutional and private wealth sales engagement across US, Canada, and Latin America. Prior to joining iShares, he was Director of Global Sales for Capital Institutional Services (CAPIS) in Dallas and spent seven years at UBS Investment Bank in NY, where he was Head of Alternative Research Provider Marketing Sales and Global Head of Soft Dollar and Directed Commissions Sales. Chris received his BA in Economics and Management from DePauw University and holds FINRA Series 7, 66, 63, 9, 10, 24 and CIMA® (Certified Investment Management Analysts).

Rob Wilson

Rob Wilson

Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer

Rob Wilson, CSO and co-founder of ROBO GLOBAL, is a 20+ year veteran of the wealth management industry. While attending a robotics think-tank presentation, Rob realized robotics isn’t just a trend of the future, but it’s here now. He set about to create a way to invest in the long-term robotics and automation technologies trend.

Besides co-founding ROBO Global, Rob previously worked at RBC Wealth Management, serving as First Vice President, Financial Consultant; UBS Wealth Management as Vice President, Investments; and with Dean Witter Reynolds where he was Associate Vice President, Investments.

Clay Shepherd

Clay Shepherd

Operations Manager

Since ROBO Global’s founding in 2013, Clay has acted as the Operations Manager as well as a member of the index committee. Clay graduated with honors in business from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.  Previous to his employment at ROBO-GLOBAL, Clay worked as an associate intern for Silicon Valley Bank and a financial analyst at Bamford Partners.  Clay also co-founded Presidential Advantage Tutoring, which he sold in early 2013.

Erica Allaby

Erica Allaby

Communications and Marketing

Erica moved from Connecticut to Texas to join the ROBO Global team after graduating from High Point University with a B.A. in journalism. She manages the creative content and marketing materials by covering company updates, emerging technologies, and events. During undergrad, Erica followed her love of language to Spain to study Spanish and dedicated her time to multiple editorial, research and social media internships.

Jeremie Capron

Jeremie Capron

Managing Director of Research

Jeremie Capron is the Managing Director of Research and serves on the Index Committee. Jeremie joined ROBO Global in 2017 with more than ten years’ experience as an equity research analyst in Asia, Europe and the United States, with a focus on industrial technology. Most recently, he led CLSA’s industrial research out of New York. For the prior seven years he served as a Senior Research Analyst with CLSA in Singapore and Japan, receiving a No.1 stock picker award from Nikkei/Starmine and ranking No.1 for Japan Materials Research in Asiamoney Brokers’ Poll for three consecutive years. Before that he was a project manager with Veolia Environment in Europe and Asia. Jeremie is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), holds a Master’s Degree in Science and Executive Engineering from the École des Mines de Paris, FINRA series 7, 63, 87 and is fluent in French and Japanese.


Henrik Christensen, Ph.D

Henrik I Christensen is the director of UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute, whose mission is to develop safe and practical robotics systems to interact seamlessly with human in their everyday lives. Prior to joining UC San Diego he served as the Director of Robotics at Georgia Tech. He was the KUKA Chair of Robotics and a distinguished professor of computing. He was the founder of the European Network of Excellence in Robotics that included more than 200 universities. He coordinated formulation of the US Roadmap for Robotics initially released 2009 and revised 2013 (a new revision is underway). He is the coordinator of the Robotics Virtual Organization that formulates the national robotics agenda, coordinates educational efforts and promotes technology transfer of research results. Dr. Christensen has published more than 350 contributions across robotics, computer vision and artificial intelligence. He collaborates with many major companies worldwide on utilization of robot technology. Dr. Christensen is also the co-founder of 5 companies.

Raffaello D’Andrea, Ph.D

Spanning academics, business and the arts, Raffaello D’Andrea’s career is built on his ability to bridge theory and practice: He is Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich, where his research redefines what autonomous systems are capable of. He is co-founder of Kiva Systems, now operating as Amazon Robotics, a robotics company that revolutionized material handling by deploying thousands of autonomous mobile robots in warehouses. He was the faculty advisor and system architect of the Cornell Robot Soccer Team, four time world champions at the international RoboCup competition.


He recently founded Verity Studios, a company developing a new breed of interactive and autonomous flying machines. In addition, he is a new media artist with exhibitions at various international venues, including the Venice Biennale, Ars Electronica, and the FRAC Centre. Other creations and projects include the Flying Machine Arena, the Distributed Flight Array, the Balancing Cube, the Blind Juggler, Cubli, and RoboEarth. His most recent awards include the IEEE Robotics and Automation Award and the Engelberger Robotics Award, two of the highest achievements in the field.

Manish Kothari, Ph.D.

Manish Kothari, Ph.D., is president of SRI Ventures and is a vice president of SRI International. In this role, Kothari leads the creation of high-value venture opportunities and is intimately involved in the venture creation process from concept through market development, team building, technology transition, seed funding, partner and investor identification, and launch. Kothari joined SRI in 2013 as a business development consultant and entrepreneur-in-residence. He became a program director in the Robotics Program in 2013. In 2014, he moved to SRI Ventures as director of commercial ventures and licensing, with an emphasis on healthcare, engineering, and physical sciences.


Prior to joining SRI, Kothari co-founded and was CEO of Mytrus, which offers a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) platform for direct-to-participant clinical trials. Earlier, he was vice president of R&D quality and operations for Simpirica Spine. There, he successfully built a spinal implant for lower back pain and spondylolisthesis. Kothari also held a series of executive roles at Synarc, a global clinical trials medical imaging start-up company. He holds multiple patents and is the author or co-author of several peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.


Kothari received his M.S. degree and Ph.D. in biomechanical engineering from Cornell University, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. His bachelor of technology degree in aerospace engineering (summa cum laude) is from the Indian Institute of Technology.

Wyatt Newman, Ph.D

Wyatt Newman’s research is in the areas of mechatronics, robotics and computational intelligence, in which he has 12 patents and over 130 technical publications. He received the S.B. degree from Harvard College in Engineering Science, the S.M. degree in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T. in thermal and fluid sciences, the M.S.E.E. degree from Columbia University in control theory and network theory, and the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T. in design and control.


Dr. Newman spent 8 years in industrial research at Philips Laboratories, Briarcliff Manor, NY, engaged in electromechanical design and control. He joined Case in 1988, and in 1992 he was named an NSF Young Investigator in robotics, and subsequently was named a Herbold Fellow, a Tau Beta Pi “distinguished engineer”, a Woody-Flowers FIRST-robotics mentor awardee, and a CWRU awardee for teaching and for leadership. In 2007, he led “Team Case” in the DARPA Urban Challenge, involving autonomous vehicles operating among live and robotic traffic.



In addition to visiting appointments at Sandia Labs, NASA, and Princeton, he has held international appointments at Philips (Eindhoven, The Netherlands), as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at U. Edinburgh, and The Hung Hing Ying Distinguished Visiting Professor at U. of Hong Kong, where Prof. Newman organized HKU’s team in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, involving humanoid robots for disaster response.

Louis-Vincent Gave

After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Duke University and studying Mandarin at Nanjing University, Louis joined the French Army where he served as a second lieutenant in a mountain infantry battalion. After leaving the army, he worked as a financial analyst with Paribas in Paris and Hong Kong. Following Paribas, Louis launched GaveKal Research with Charles Gave and Anatole Kaletsky in London in 1999. Since 2002 he has been based in Hong Kong where he oversees GaveKal’s money management business as well as contributing to the firm’s research. He is the author of five books, including his latest Too Different for Comfort, published in October 2013.

Morten Paulsen

Morten Paulsen is the Head of Research and a Managing Director at CLSA Japan. He has covered the Japanese robotics and machinery industry as a Tokyo based equity analyst since 1999. Mr. Paulsen was among the first financial analysts to highlight the Asian Automation trend as an underlying driver for the sector one decade ago, and he has built strong relationships with automation equipment suppliers and system integrators across Asia.


Mr. Paulsen joined CLSA Japan from WestLB Securities Pacific in 2003 and he has received numerous rewards for his research. He was among others ranked number one in his field by AsiaMoney every year from 2007 to 2013 (the Capital Goods segment was discontinued in 2014), and he was also ranked by Starmine as one of Japan’s top 10 stock pickers in 2013.

Frank Tobe

Frank is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report. After selling his business and retiring from 25+ years as provider of targeted campaign materials and consultant to the Democratic National Committee as well as major local and national campaigns and initiatives across the U.S. and abroad, he has energetically pursued a new career in researching, writing about and investing in robotics.


In 2008 he started The Robot Report, a regularly updated web-based resource for news and links about the business of robotics. The site focuses on startups, acquisitions, IPOs, funding and failures; about successes, technological achievements, and forecasts; overall, the site tracks the business of robotics. Frank is also a panel member for the Robotics by Invitation series sponsored by Robohub, a Swiss-based online platform that brings together leading communicators in robotics research, start-ups, business, and education from around the world.

Sign up to receive the latest news about our ETF’S and more.