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Agenda

 

Monday 21 September 2020

 

Tuesday 22 September 2020

  • 8:45 am – 8:50 am   |   Opening Remarks

    Sylvia Pozezanac, CEO, UK

  • 8:50 am – 9:00 am   |   Welcome

    Fran Browne, Senior Investment Consultant

  • 9:00 am – 9:20 am   |   It’s a Matter of Time: Themes and Opportunities

    Deb Clarke, Global Head of Investment Research
    Nick White, Global Strategic Research Director

    Executive summary

    Investors need to be clear on their time frames, prepared for more “business as unusual” and positioned for climate change — all of which require a clear understanding of how related risks and opportunities could develop over time. In this session, we outline these themes and discuss the potential opportunities and risks investors should take into account to succeed over the next few years.

  • 9:20 am – 9:45 am   |   The Future of Energy in the Transition

    Jillian Reid, Senior Responsible Investment Specialist
    Rob Bailey, Director Marsh and McLennan Insights, Oliver Wyman Group
    Amarik Ubhi, Global Head of Infrastructure, Alternatives

    Executive summary

    The UN is labelling this the “decade of delivery”, when we respond to the science-based warnings and implement “a better and more sustainable future for all”. There is debate around the timing, methodology and portfolio implications for different “transition” approaches, but the starting point is generally agreed: the energy sector. Energy fuels so much of our economy, and it is now facing the greatest disruption. So where are the known risks and where might the surprises lie? How can we successfully connect the risks with the opportunities? A successful transition in the decade ahead will require navigating both and finding the investable solutions across asset classes.

  • 9:45 am – 10:00 am   |   Liability Hedging at Near-Zero Yields

    Wayne Davidson, Senior Investment Consultant

    Executive summary

    At near-zero yields, hedging strategies may underperform liabilities and be less effective than intended. Furthermore, the balance between rates and inflation hedging may no longer be appropriate. This market environment could persist for many years, and periods of negative yields cannot be ruled out. The next 10 years are critical for defined benefit schemes. Investors should understand how to manage their keys risks in this environment.

    In this session, we explore the issues with liability hedging at near-zero yields and offer insights into how investors should construct risk-efficient liability-hedging mandates in this environment.

  • 10:00 am – 10:05 am   |   A Timely Check-in

    Fran Browne, Senior Investment Consultant

  • 10:15 am – 10:35 am   |   Coffee Break and Table Topics

    1. Insurance Linked Strategies – A Unique Diversifying Asset Class
    2. Vintage Diversification
    3. ODD: What Will Be the New Normal?
    4. Is Securities Lending Compatible with an ESG Investment Philosophy?
    5. Insurance
    6. Defined Contribution
    7. Defined Benefit
    8. Wealth Manager Solutions
    9. Analytic and Research Tools
    10. DS Investment Solutions
    11. Asset Allocation
    12. Finding Your Perfect Match – Manager Selections
    13. Equities
    14. Where Is the Value in Traditional Fixed Income These Days?
    15. Real Estate
    16. Hedge Funds
    17. Private Markets
    18. Emerging Markets
    19. Alternatives
    20. Responsible Investment
    21. Financial Wellness
    22. Diversity
    23. Defined Benefit Consolidation

  • 10:40 am – 11:10 am   |   Keynote Address

    Geoff Mulgan, Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation, University College London

    Interviewer:
    Jo Holden
    , Chief Investment Officer, UK Wealth

     

  • 11:15 am – 11:45 am   |   Breakouts

    Breakout 1: Accessing Illiquid Assets in DC
    Phil Parkinson, UK DC Leader
    Nick Rosenblatt, Proposition Leader
    Panelists: 
    Jenny Doyle,
    Head of Fiduciary Management, Universities Superannuation Scheme 
    Giles Payne, Independent Trustee at Capital Cranfield

     

    Breakout 2: Credit Across the Spectrum – Tailoring Your Credit Exposure to Your Needs
    Joe Abrams
    , Private Debt Specialist
    Kirstin Irvine, Asset Class Specialist, Fixed Income
    Panelists:
    Andrien Meyers,
    Head of Treasury and Pensions, London Borough of Lambeth
    Mark Thompson, Chair of the Investment Committee, UBS
    Rob Treich, Director of Investment Solutions, Coal Pension Trustees Investment (CPTI)

    Executive summary

    In this session, we talk to three panellists about their experiences of investing in a variety of credit strategies to fulfil their strategic objectives. We discuss some of the benefits and challenges associated with investing in less-liquid credit strategies, as well as the challenges of integrating environmental, social and governance considerations into credit exposures.

    Breakout 3: Value Investing
    Rich Dell, Global Leader, Equity Boutique
    Tony English, Senior Investment Consultant

    Breakout 4: Why Bother with Active Management?
    Host:
    Andrew McDougall, Head of Portfolio Management, Delegated Solution
    Jonathan Marshall, Asset Class Specialist, Equity Boutique
    Suzanne Lubbe, Asset Class Specialist, Equity Boutique

    Executive summary

    For years, the debate has raged on: active or passive? As passive options have evolved, perhaps it is time for active to throw in the towel. Or is it? In this session, Andrew MacDougall will referee as Jonathan Marshall and Suzanne Lubbe climb into the ring. They will address some of the key aspects of the debate, bringing a more practical perspective to the bout, as well as sharing some pointers on how your portfolio can roll with the punches.


    Breakout 5: Don’t Sweep Currency Under the Carpet

    Michael Cross, Senior Strategist, Delegated Solutions
    Matt Scott, Strategic Research Specialist

    Executive summary

    We often find minimal attention is given to currency positioning in asset allocation discussions. Investors may take the view that currencies are too hard to call, or that the long-term impact will be minimal, and choose to adopt a “neutral” position.

    In our recent research, we have concluded that currency decisions deserve greater attention. To us, it is not even obvious what a “neutral” position is — so to have no view is not an option.  We have considered the impact of currency on risk and return — and how this has changed over time for sterling-based investors.

    In this session, we discuss these issues, we challenge received wisdom on currency positioning decisions, and we implore investors not to sweep currency under the carpet.

    Breakout 6: Addressing the ‘S’ in ESG
    Lucy Tusa, Senior Investment Consultant

    Panelist:
    Tracey Preece
    , Director of Finance, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

    Recent years have seen an increased interest in sustainable or ESG strategies. Initial interest was driven by a focus on the environment, specifically climate change. The second area of ESG that has come to the fore in the COVID-19 crisis is the “S” — the social aspect of corporate governance — such as labour rights.

    One of Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s (JRF’s) key priorities is helping people find a route out of poverty through work. The issue of good work, and what this looks like, is a particular focus for them at the moment. This discussion between Lucy Tusa of Mercer and Tracey Preece, Director of Finance at JRF, looks at how JRF engages with fund managers on this issue and shows how they are moving to an alignment of purpose and financial investments that go beyond traditional ESG.

  • 11:50 am – 12:15 pm   |   Timely Investment Insights

    Facilitator:
    Vanessa Hodge
    , Senior Investment Consultant

    Panelists:
    Ian McKinlay
    , Chief Investment Officer, Lloyds Banking Group Pensions Schemes
    Colin Hately, Group Pensions Director for Associated British Foods plc

    Executive summary

    The first quarter of 2020 was a period of extreme market volatility and asset drawdowns. Trustees and scheme managers have had to respond quickly to help protect funding levels, and risk-management processes have been put to the test. In addition, the amount of regulatory disclosure for asset owners is increasing, requiring trustees and scheme managers to dedicate more time and resources to ensure compliance and to provide information helpful to their scheme members. In this session, three chief investment officers from UK pension schemes talk about their current investment priorities, share the lessons learnt this year and discuss how they are addressing the additional disclosure requirements.

  • 12:15 pm – 12:25 pm   |   Final Remarks

    Rich Nuzum, President, Wealth

 

Wednesday 23 September 2020

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Members of some professional bodies may be able to claim continuing professional development credits for attending Mercer's Global Investment Forums.