Programme List - Trustee Senate 2018


09:00 – 09:30

Delegate Registration

09:30 – 09:35

Chair’s introduction and opening remarks

Stephanie Baxter, Deputy Editor, Professional Pensions

09:35 – 10:05

Opening keynote address: Michael Crick

10:10 – 10:40

ESG: Understanding your asset manager's approach

ESG appears to be one of the most talked about topics across the UK institutional marketplace this year but, unfortunately, it is not clearly defined. In this presentation, Loomis Sayles' Director of ESG, Kathleen Bochman, outlines the firm's approach. Kathleen will then consider what searching questions Trustees should be asking the managers of their scheme assets in order to avoid being ‘greenwashed', particularly as it relates to fixed income investing. For Trustees looking to improve their ESG awareness, this presentation should prove educational.

Kathleen Bochman, Director of ESG, Loomis Sayles

10:45 – 11:15

Alternative assets: what’s new?

Recent research has shown UK pension funds are set to boost their allocations to alternative income assets by more than 50%. In a bid to secure greater downside protection, diversification and illiquidity premia, UK schemes said they are planning to increase their allocation from an average 4.3% to 6.5% of portfolios. While pension funds have turned to alternative assets with now long standing low levels of return in gilts this session will look at what is concerning Trustees with this investment; illiquidity barriers, high costs or finding suitable opportunities.

Roberto Cagnati, Managing Director, Partners Group

11:15 – 11:40

Coffee and exhibition networking

11:40 – 12:10

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

A look at the current health of the UK pensions market with respect to pension scheme governance. We have surveyed a wide range of trustees and other stakeholders to examine the pressures they face, their perceptions of pension scheme governance practices, the extent to which these meet current requirements and, most importantly, what could be improved for the long term benefit of pension provision.

Paul Francis, Director, Kempen

12:15 – 12:45

An active approach to asset allocation and operational due diligence

In this session, we explore two areas in which we believe investors should be more ‘active'. The first is looking at asset allocation in the context of end-game objectives, and how you can actively evolve your investment strategy and portfolio along the journey. The second area where active management pays off is focusing on operational due diligence; a common blind spot for large schemes which can lead to performance drag if done wrong. We will look at how schemes can implement these ideas and draw upon some short case studies to give you practical answers.

Sonia Gogna, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Aon

12:45 – 13.45

Lunch and exhibition networking

13:45 – 14:15

Maximising value from your DB scheme

Finding ways to create extra value is a win-win for sponsors, trustees and members. As such, there is a clear drive in the industry to improve value for money, with the new DB Chair's Statement likely to require schemes to demonstrate how they are achieving this. In parallel we are seeing very attractive buy-in pricing and new DB consolidators coming to the market, opening up new opportunities to settle DB liabilities.

In this session we will explore the drivers for value creation in DB, what the concept means beyond just cost control, and innovative ways in which you can maximise value throughout your strategy in order to improve security for members.

Susan McIlvogue, Head of Trustee DB Consulting, Hymans Robertson

14:20 – 14:50

Integrated risk management: using credit assets to manage risk

The provision of cash flows to meet benefits and managing funding level risk are two major topics within a maturing UK pensions landscape. As the UK DB market becomes increasingly mature and cash flow negative, there will be significant implications for investment policy and the management of overall risk, including reliance on plan sponsor contributions. In this session our expert speaker will look at how schemes can address the funding, risk and cash-flow challenge.

Hannah Simons, Head of Fiduciary Management, Schroders

14:55 – 15:25

Eliminating the unintended consequences of factor investing

With some factors, or styles, demonstrating strong historic returns, investors have increasingly looked to tap-into their potential. As a result, the popularity of products offering access to the likes of ‘value', ‘momentum' and ‘low volatility' has boomed. When considering the merits of these types of strategies, however, it is important for investors to understand the implications of how styles are identified and accessed. In this session we will explain how unwanted exposures can creep in when the ‘overlap' of styles is not effectively removed, and how our Global Equity Market Neutral strategy refines the raw styles using a systematic methodology that aims to remove the unwanted overlaps. Capital is at risk.

Erik Rubingh, Managing Director, Head of Factor Investments, Quantitative Investments, BMO Global Asset Management

15:25 – 15:45

Afternoon tea

15.45 – 16:15

Market outlook: Are you preparing for a downturn?

Many schemes have seen recent improvements in their funding level, through strong asset performance, coupled with successful liability hedging strategies. Even without that, changes in mortality assumptions have put some schemes ahead of their journey plan, perhaps unexpectedly. As trustees you may be feeling like the job is almost done. But in our view now is the time to act through de-risking. But this is not just about the funding position and sponsor covenant. The underlying market backdrop is very important to consider as well. And we believe now is the time to start de-risking to manage current market conditions. Our proprietary models are pointing to a downturn coming. We'll tell you how to prepare your investment strategy to protect the gains made to date.

Barbara Saunders, Managing Director, River and Mercantile Solutions

16:20 – 16:50

Closing keynote:  Changing TPR powers 

Nicola Parish, Executive Director of Frontline Regulation, The Pensions Regulator

16:50 – 17:00

Chair’s closing remarks

Stephanie Baxter, Deputy Editor, Professional Pensions