Annual Bond Investment Strategies for Pension Funds


10 January 2019
London – Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel




Annual Bond Investment Strategies for Pension Funds

08.45    :    Registration and Coffee


09.15    :    Welcome & Opening Remarks


TrevorTrevor Cook, Managing Director, Specialist Pension Services





09.25   :      Session 1:  Setting the Scene


Giles Payne  Moderator: Giles Payne, Professional Trustee, Capital Cranfield







Darren TonerDarren Toner, Portfolio Manager, CQS


Rising dispersion in credit markets: capturing opportunities in Multi Asset Credit 

We believe portfolios should be structured and positioned to reflect the growing levels of dispersion which have been a key recent theme in financial markets. The forces driving this are evident in leading macroeconomic indicators across a variety of geographies, as well as at the micro level, where more idiosyncratic economic cycles are at play. Diverging monetary and fiscal policies will exaggerate this dispersion and introduce new technical risks, such as capital flows, which need to be anticipated and managed, as do systematic risks from the reduction in the trading balance sheet of banks and the rise of daily liquidity funds. We believe this dispersion and volatility presents an opportunity for long-term investors as well as a risk. However, with parts of the credit markets experiencing a compression in risk premiums, driven in part by the move in the risk-free rate and US monetary tightening, we believe investors need to be both nimble and highly selective with respect to asset specific and geographic investments. Finally, while geopolitical risk and its influence on markets, including the populist movements and the impact of terrorism, have abated somewhat, portfolio managers must continue to be mindful of these risks. 




Ben HaywardBen Hayward, Partner, Portfolio Manager, TwentyFour Asset Management


Opportunities in European Asset Backed Securities

Income is hard to come by these days. Ultra-low interest rates have meant that previous sources of income have become increasingly elusive. That is why asset backed securities (ABS) – once shunned in the wake of the financial crisis – are now back in favour. They are one of the few types of bonds which are able to deliver an attractive return today. This session will cover an overview of the Euro ABS market, fundamentals and technicals driving the market and how ABS can fit into a fixed income portfolio. 




10.40     :    Coffee/Tea


11.10     :    Session 2: Income and Liquidity


Bob HymasModerator: Bob Hymas, Trustee Executive, BESTrustees





Rory Sandilands Rory Sandilands, Investment Manager, Fixed Income, Kames Capital


Beating the freeze in illiquid bond markets

Compared to a decade ago there is significantly less liquidity in global bond markets. What are the reasons for the decline in market liquidity?  Why this is likely to persist and what are the implications for pension schemes and asset managers? The session will examine what this means for investor expectations, pricing, capacity management, and the prospects for active investment strategies such as absolute return bond funds.



Jeremy CunninghamJeremy Cunningham, Investment Specialist, Capital Group


The Power of Income: The role of higher yielding, liquid fixed income in a derisking portfolio

As pension funds move cashflow negative and derisk, they need to consider income and liquidity alongside the traditional metrics of risk and return. Liquid, higher yielding fixed income – in particular Corporate high yield and Emerging market debt – can have an interesting role to play in this context. Given the turbulence in those markets, why do we think they should be a strategic allocation in a portfolio?


12.25    :    Drinks and Lunch


13.35    :    Session 3:  ESG and Late Cycle Investing


Georg InderstModerator: Georg Inderst, Independent Consultant




Paul Brain Paul Brain, Investment Leader, Fixed Income Team, Newton Investment Management


The Fixed Income Clock

The period of extremely loose monetary policy is coming to an end and bond yields are on the rise once more. The investment cycle over the next couple of years may continue to be challenging for bond investors, so using historical data as our framework, we will attempt to guide investors. We will also reveal the important role that themes play in our investment process, and how we use them to enhance our fixed income investments. A growing area of influence is the integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analysis into our bond-selection process, which we believe can have a significant positive impact. The importance of adding ESG considerations to the fixed-income investment process will, in our view, become increasingly apparent over the coming years and we will aim to demonstrate how a sustainable approach to bond investing can add value.


Erick MullerErick Müller, Head of Product and Investment Strategy, Muzinich & Co


Late Cycle Credit Investing

One of biggest questions pension funds face when investing in Credit is how can they plan to have the right exposure at the right time to maximise their return potential, minimise risk and dampen volatility? Investors need to be tactically nimble to take account of what Global corporate credit can offer, with a range of risk/return profiles dependent on a number of political and economic variations. So how can you tactically allocate across broad investment opportunities, reduce risk, but still generate attractive returns with less volatility even late in the credit cycle? 


14.50    :    Coffee/Tea


15.10    :     Session 4: Practical Issues


Peter MartinModerator: Peter Martin, Investment Officer, Medical Defence Union






 Matt Buchanan,Senior Investment Consultant, Hymans Robertson


 Putting it all together

With such a lot going on in the economy and so many investment opportunities apparently available at the moment, how do pension fund trustees choose?  Today's presentations demonstrate the extent of the opportunities in fixed income alone but how should trustees choose which are the most appropriate opportunities for their fund and how can you best combine opportunities to enhance return and reduce risk?


Investor Perspective

A panel will talk about their fixed income investment strategies and experiences. 


Ian MayburyIan Maybury, Chair of Trustees, RNIB





Nicolas J. Firzli, Director-General, Head of Research, World Pensions Council (WPC)





Matt Buchanan, Senior Investment Consultant, Hymans Robertson



16.15   :    Drinks Reception & Close of Conference


This conference aims to examine a range of the more important and pertinent issues, challenges and opportunities facing pension funds in managing their bond investments in the current environment.  We will look to include consideration of the prospects for bond markets and to take into account practical implementation issues whilst also assessing the various options for improving returns and managing volatility and other risks.


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.





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