Programme List - Investment Conference 2019



Delegate registration


Chair’s welcome and opening remarks

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief, Professional Pensions


Opening keynote: An economic overview and look to 2020

Steven Bell, Chief Economist, Managing Director,  BMO GLobal Asset Management EMEA


Integrating investment strategy with long term funding targets

The recovery in markets from the financial crisis, and the improvement in many DB schemes' funding levels, has highlighted the need to place greater emphasis on DB exit strategies. With the Pensions Regulator introducing Long Term Funding Targets how can DB pension schemes invest to get to their specific destinations? This session will demonstrate investment techniques to get you to your final goal.

Lucy Barron, UK Partner (Pensions Investment), Aon


ESG investing in Emerging Market Debt

Why investors in emerging market sovereign bonds need to pay attention to environmental, social and governance factors.

Mary-Therese Barton, Head of Emerging Market Debt, Pictet Asset Management


Morning networking break

With refreshments


Cost transparency

The conversation around cost transparency in the UK pensions industry remains a top priority as it continues to climb ever higher on trustee's agendas. The Cost Transparency Initiative's (CTI's) launch of a number of templates and guidance to help schemes deliver greater value for savers with enhanced disclosure of transaction cost information is a welcome move. The CTI expects asset managers to be in a position to use the new tools to report against December 2019 and April 2020 year ends. This session will address how advisers can help schemes to fully understand the implications across their strategies.


Emerging market debt - The missing piece of the cashflow matching puzzle

Cashflow matching strategies are customised investment solutions, designed to enable clients such as pension schemes or insurance companies to meet their liabilities. We believe that emerging market fixed income has an important role to play in these strategies and is often overlooked.

John Gray, Emerging Markets Credit Analyst, Legal and General Investment Management


Are alternatives open to DC?

In 1997, alternative investments accounted for 4% of the total asset allocation by global pension schemes in the seven largest markets. Today, alternatives account for 25% of the same pool. The McKinsey Global Private Markets Review 2019 found that in the five years to 2018, 766 private debt funds raised $509bn (£406bn) for both European and US strategies. This session will consider how to remove some of these barriers, such as the liquidity restrictions, for UK DC pension schemes


Networking buffet lunch


Building risk management into growth funds

Markets continue to rise (at the time of writing) but they wobbled through 2018, was this a reminder that complacency may be lurking. Are we confident that our portfolios are robust enough to face future challenges? What questions should we be asking ourselves to ensure we are positioned appropriately. Phil will take us on a tour of the world today, its potential impact on our pension funds and bring out some of those key questions that should be asked.

Phil Redding, Head of UK Business Development, Cardano


Investments for buyout

Around £12.9bn of deals has so far been disclosed this year, including the £4.6bn partial buy-out by the Rolls-Royce Pension Fund with Legal & General. This is largely because the estimated buyout position of the average FTSE 100 UK pension scheme has improved by around 10% over the last two years, increasing affordability and making transfers to an insurer an increasingly viable option. This session will look at an investment strategy to target buyout.




Afternoon break

With refreshments


Afternoon keynote: Behavioural finance biases in the decision-making of pension trustees

Leo Cohen, Research Fellow, University of Leeds


The challenges of CDI

CDI is a strategy that has gained popularity in the last few years and an increasing numbers of schemes are looking to adopt a CDI strategy. With estimates that more than 85% of schemes will be cashflow negative by 2028, it's no wonder this is now a big concern. If there is such a significant move towards CDI, the question is what could these strategies look like and what are the potential difficulties?

  • Is the supply there to meet demand
  • Achieving diversification



Can fixed-income ETFs help pension schemes tailor exposure?

The macro environment is not easy to navigate and in the coming months investors will have to find ways to diversify and protect their portfolio from market volatility. ETF's are proving attractive to pension schemes as they appreciate the transparency the ETF wrapper provides. However, fixed-income ETFs, either passive, smart beta or active, are still in their infancy.

  • What does the future of this market look like?
  • Is this a cost effective strategy?
  • How can ETF's help pension schemes tailor exposure?


16.40 - 16.45

Closing remarks and close of conference

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief, Professional Pensions

*Please note this programme is subject to change