Annual Bond Investment Strategies for Pension Funds
08.45 : Registration and Coffee
09.15 : Welcome & Opening Remarks
Trevor Cook, Managing Director, Specialist Pension Services
09.25 : Session 1: Setting the Scene
Moderator: Giles Payne, Professional Trustee, Capital Cranfield
Darren 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 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
Moderator: Bob Hymas, Trustee Executive, BESTrustees
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 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
Moderator: Georg Inderst, Independent Consultant
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 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
Moderator: 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?
A panel will talk about their fixed income investment strategies and experiences.
Ian 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.
March 21, 2019 Apollo Hotel, Amsterdam
April 10, 2019 Le Meridien Piccadilly, London
April 17, 2019 Le Meridien Piccadilly, London
May 9, 2019 Le Meridien Piccadilly, London
June 11, 2019 Dublin
June 18, 2019 Le Meridien Piccadilly, London
July 11, 2019 Le Meridien Piccadilly, London
September 5, 2019 Le Meridien Piccadilly, London
September 12, 2019 Le Meridien Piccadilly, London
September 24, 2019 Apollo Hotel, Amsterdam
October 3, 2019 7A Strandvägen, Stockholm
October 10, 2019 Le Meridien Piccadilly, London
November 7, 2019 Le Meridien Piccadilly, London
November 14, 2019 Le Meridien Piccadilly, London
November 21, 2019 The Met Hotel, Leeds
December 5, 2019 Le Meridien Piccadilly, London