Investment Strategies for Pension Funds


14 February 2019
London – Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel




Investment Strategies for Pension Funds

08.45    :    Registration and Coffee


09.15    :    Welcome & Opening Remarks


TrevorTrevor Cook, Managing Director, Specialist Pension Services





09.20   :      Session 1:  Balancing Risk & Reward


  Moderator: Jo Holden, CIO, UK DB Business, Mercer






Daniel MorrisDaniel Morris, Head of Multi Asset Solutions, Wells Fargo Asset Management


Next Generation Return-Seeking Portfolios 

Return-seeking portfolio allocators are faced with a seemingly endless menu of investment options that must be assembled and managed to achieve one or multiple objectives. The enormity of this task can lead to a piecemeal approach to portfolio construction that can cause portfolios to become more complicated and costly than necessary. Worse yet, the resulting portfolio may not deliver the exposures required to accomplish scheme’s long-term goals. The approach we discuss in this presentation was conceived specifically to address these shortcomings. 



Anthony LawlerAnthony Lawler, Co-Head, GAM Systematic


Bringing Alternative Risk Premia to Life for a UK Pension Scheme

What is ARP?  Why are investors allocating to ARP?  Case Study - UK Pension Scheme allocation to ARP.



Simon Bentley Simon Bentley, Director, LDI Client Portfolio Management, BMO Global Asset Management


 Incorporating ESG into End-Game Portfolios 

Strong market growth, company contributions and revised longevity assumptions have improved the funding position of many DB pension schemes in recent years. This stronger financial position has put de-risking and end-game planning back on the table for many trustees and sponsors. At the same time, interest in ESG and responsible investing is gaining momentum and new regulations are in the pipeline which will require trustees to consider their approach in this area more formally. In this session, we will discuss how environmental, social and governance factors can be incorporated into an end-game portfolio in a governance efficient way, without forgoing the performance needed to meet pension scheme objectives.


11.05     :    Coffee/Tea


11.35     :    Session 2: Equity Strategies


Michelle McGradeModerator: Michelle McGrade, Investment Committee Advisor, Sainsbury's Pension Scheme






 Erik Norland, Executive Director and Senior Economist, CME Group


Asset Allocation in a Rising Volatility Environment 

What are the key macroeconomic risks facing UK pension investors?  Which sectors could deliver the strongest returns if volatility explodes?  Which are the sectors to avoid?



Jens HansenJens HansenHead of Investments and Portfolio Manager, Macquarie Investment Management


Approaching risk in global equities with discipline!

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, global equity markets generated exceptional returns. Where do markets go from here? Market timing is a challenging endeavour. Missing out in strong markets, or suffering from falling markets, can destroy returns. This session takes the view that limiting the downside is far more critical for long term returns than beating a benchmark on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. Aim to win by losing less! We will make the case that balancing quality with valuation of earning stable business, offers lower downmarket capture and deliver solid returns for the long-term.


12.50    :    Drinks and Lunch


14.00    :    Session 3:  Focusing on the End Game


Nadeem LadhaModerator: Nadeem Ladha, Professional Trustee, 2020 Trustees 




Mark Foster Mark Foster, Global Head of Outcome Based Product Strategies & Solutions, Aberdeen Standard Investments


Constructing a Cash-flow and liability aware portfolio for the end-game

Many pension schemes are faced with significant funding and/or liquidity risk associated with increased maturity and negative cashflows. In this session Mark will explore the importance of a liability aware and cash-flow driven approach going forward, particularly as schemes’ increasingly consider their “end-game” approach. He will also cover key considerations when building a cash-flow aware investment strategy including what skill sets you need and things we can learn from insurance companies.


James Tomlin, Client Manager, Cardano


Brexit - proofing your Investment Strategy

With so much uncertainty around the eventual outcome of Brexit and the subsequent consequences for the UK economy, should Trustees just cross their fingers and hope for the best? No.  Despite the uncertainty, Trustees can put in place contingency plans to ensure their investment strategy is resilient to the possible outcomes.  This session will consider what markets are most likely to be affected as the Brexit storyline unfolds and aims to quantify the possible impact on pension scheme funding. We will discuss the benefits of considering all pension scheme risks holistically when deciding what actions should be taken before offering some practical steps Trustees can take to  navigate the uncertainty. 




15.15    :    Coffee/Tea


15.30    :    Session 4: Keynote Presentation and Case Studies


Moderator: Jane Middleton, Independent Trustee, Pi Partnership Group






Chris SierDr. Chris Sier, Chairman, Fintech North and Visiting Professor of Financial Technology, University of Leeds


Fees & Cost Transparency



A panel of pension scheme executives and trustees will talk about their pension fund's investment strategies and experiences. Panelists to include:


Padmesh ShuklaPadmesh Shukla, Head of Investments, TFL Pension Fund






Henrietta BranwellHenrietta Branwell, Chairman, Equity Pension Fund







16.40   :    Drinks Reception & Close of Conference


This event, one of the broadest in scope of the SPS calendar, aims to examine a wide range of investment strategies to help pension funds to review their overall strategy. In addition to discussing practical implementation issues, we will seek to discuss factors such as growth, income and protection and how to balance risks with expected returns to achieve differing scheme objectives.


The conference is by invitation only for pension funds and other institutional investors. If you are not already receiving an invitation please contact us. A limited number of Complimentary invitations are usually available to genuine pension fund representatives (executives and trustees) and other approved institutional investors. However, to ensure we have room for as many funds as possible, we have to limit free places to 2 attendees per approved organisation thereafter a reduced rate fee is payable per delegate. Furthermore, SPS always reserves the right of admission (free or paid) and our decision is final.



Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel, London

21 Piccadilly

London W1 0BH

Hotel Tel: 08700 400 8400

Hotel Fax: 020 7437 3574


The hotel is located on the north side of Piccadilly, close to Piccadilly Circus, only two minutes walk from Piccadilly Circus underground station.





Annual Investment Strategies for Dutch Pension Funds            

March 21, 2019                              Apollo Hotel, Amsterdam

Fiduciary Management & Investment Governance for Pension Funds                   

April 10, 2019                                Le Meridien Piccadilly, London 

Annual DC Pension Investment Developments & Current Issues

April 17, 2019                                Le Meridien Piccadilly, London 

ESG & Sustainable Investment Strategies for Pension Funds

May 9, 2019                                    Le Meridien Piccadilly, London   

Irish Pension Fund Investment & Current Issues             

June 11, 2019                              The Westbury, Dublin

Infrastructure & Real Asset Investment Strategies for Pension Funds

June 18, 2019                                Le Meridien Piccadilly, London 

Investment Strategies & Cash Flow Management for Maturing Pension Funds             

July 11, 2019                                    Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Credit & Private Debt Investing for Pension Funds  

September 5, 2019                            Le Meridien Piccadilly, London 

Alternative & Innovative Investment Strategies Conference for Pension Funds 

September 12, 2019                          Le Meridien Piccadilly, London   

ESG Investments & Issues for Dutch Pension Funds

September 24, 2019                          Apollo Hotel, Amsterdam 

Nordic Institutional Investors' Conference

October 3, 2019                    7A Strandvägen, Stockholm

Property & Infrastructure Investment Strategies for Pension Funds 

October 10, 2019                           Le Meridien Piccadilly, London 

Current Investment Issues for Pension Funds                  

November 7, 2019                            Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

ESG & Topical Investment Issues for Local Authority Pension Investors

November 14, 2019                          Le Meridien Piccadilly, London 

Annual Northern Investment Conference for Pension Funds 

November 21, 2019                          The Met Hotel, Leeds

Private Equity & Debt Investors' Annual Seminar

December 5, 2019                            Le Meridien Piccadilly, London