Current Investment Issues for Pension Funds


8 November 2018
London – Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel




Current Investment Issues for Pension Funds

08.45    :    Registration and Coffee


09.10    :    Welcome & Opening Remarks


FredFred Jaffe, Executive Director, Specialist Pension Services





09.15   :      Session 1:  Active Management & Mutli-Assets


  Moderator: Naomi L'Estrange, Director, 2020 Trustees






Mike Rogers, Partner, Delegated Consulting Solutions, Aon


Let’s get active 

Does pension scheme investment require an ‘active’ mind-set? When we talk about active management for investment we are usually referring to whether our fund managers are active or passive in their approach. But being active is more than just investing with active fund managers. It's also a mind-set. With lower expected returns and market volatility likely to rise, being active on all fronts will be more important than ever. As correlations shift, are schemes being dynamic enough in considering and implementing new exposures? Which areas should we invest in to reap the greatest benefits for our scheme? 



Leandros Kalisperas, Head of Pensions Solutions, Aberdeen Standard Investments


Multi-Asset: response to volatility or changing market structures?

The frequent measuring of client assets relative to liabilities has naturally led to a focus on diversifying or exploiting volatility. Multi-asset investing has become an emblem of that trend, with strategies variously focused on capital preservation, newer opportunity sets and finding alpha. The combination of the strength of the equity bull run and reduced volatility has somewhat obscured a longer term trend: financing structures have changed with pension funds playing the part of lenders and structurers, as well as their traditional role as asset owners. In this setting, multi-asset investing should really be seen as defining a more sophisticated strategic asset allocation, rather than an optimisation of it. 


 Andrew Cole, Head of Multi Assets, Pictet Asset Management


 The prospects for various assets 

The issues surrounding diversification in a period of Financial Repression. Low volatility in equities: what does it mean? Are we receiving the appropriate risk premia for what lies ahead? What about the alternative? Economic expansions end because of a lack of credit not old age.


11.00     :    Coffee/Tea


11.30     :    Session 2: Alternative Investment Strategies


John ChilmanModerator: John Chilman, Group Head of Pensions, National Grid plc






 Bill DeRoche, CIO & Portfolio Manager, AGFiQ Asset Management (AGFiQ)


De-Risking – Options for DB plans in a low-rate environment

Traditionally, Institutional investors have been relying on equities for their returns but rock bottom interest rates globally won’t allow a move to fixed income when volatility returns to the markets. This session will explore strategies for de-risking an overall portfolio with a move to alternatives that can be accessed by plans of all sizes, unlike the traditional hedge fund or infrastructure investment.



Jeff SkoglundChief Operating Officer, Fixed Income, AllianceBernstein


The Future of Fixed Income - How Innovative Technology can Yield Better Returns

Fixed income markets are evolving and creating challenges for investors. The market has rapidly expanded, yet post the financial crisis inventories and liquidity have shrunk. Clients need to ask their investment managers if they can meet three key challenges that could have significant impact, particularly in times of heightened stress; liquidity, scarce alpha and regulation. Empowering portfolio management teams by integrating sophisticated technology into robust fundamental and quantitative fixed income processes will be key to solving this.


12.45    :    Drinks and Lunch


13.50    :    Session 3:  Guest Speaker Session


Moderator: Roger Mattingly, Director, PAN Trustees





Ros AltmannBaroness Ros Altmann


Pensions: Challenges & Opportunities

Ros will share her views on today's topical issues. 



 Anastasia Guha, Head of UK & Ireland, PRI


The Impact of a Growing Institutional Interest in ESG

What are the Megatrends we are seeing? Where is Institutional Investment having the most Impact? What is the Trend Index 2017 (which outlines key megatrends that are impacting the global economy and financial system) showing? How are Institutions implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). What do the results from a PRI signatory survey show? Reviewing the major risks and opportunities for investors in terms of asset allocation, portfolio management, integration and active ownership.


15.10    :    Coffee/Tea


15.30    :    Session 4: Practical Issues & Panel Session


David MartinModerator: David Martin, Member of the Investment Committee, URC Pensions Trust






 Rebecca Craddock-Taylor, Investment Consultant, Hymans Robertson


Practical Thoughts on Driving an ESG agenda

Developing an approach to responsible investment and ESG integration takes time. There are a number of stumbling blocks for investors to overcome, including the misuse of language, the complexity of the data available and the introduction of new terms, such as impact. How can investors simplify everything that they could do, into well defined, simple objectives to start their own journey to developing an ESG agenda?


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


Sally Bridgeland, Chair of the Investment Board, Local Pensions Partnership and Trustee, NEST 





Yodia Lo, Senior Alternatives Analyst, Church Commissioners for England








16.40   :    Drinks Reception & Close of Conference


On the 25th Anniversary of this always popular conference, we aim to examine, discuss and debate some of the more important and pertinent issues, challenges and opportunities currently facing pension fund investors, seeking ways to manage the many risks and to turn unexpected shocks into investment opportunities.


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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