In an economic squeeze, efficiency and cost-savings are on the front burner, and Scott Billeadeau says that makes a couple of small-cap software names especially attractive.
Billeadeau is director of small and mid-cap growth strategies at Fifth Third Asset Management.
His Fifth Third Lifemodel Aggressive Fund is up an average of 9.8 percent per year over the last five years.
"Companies in a slow-growth environment that we're in, and probably will continue to be in for a while, need to look on how they can be more efficient," he said.
His first pick is Nuance Communications -- and ot might be a play on device-makers like Research in Motion.
"This is the leading provider of speech-to-text, text-to-speech, predictive text technology," he said. "They've finally got processing power up to snuff; pretty soon, people are going to be able to talk to their BlackBerrys, and that will transcribe their e-mail for them. ...Significant productivity savings and cost savings for...end markets."
Billeadeau also likes PROS Holdings.
"They're a price optimization technology," he said. "PROS is the clear leader there, and we're just on...an inflection point for that business."
Scott Billeadeau owns Nuance Communications and PROS Holdings through his fund.