Venue information 



Alternative & Innovative Investment Strategies for Pension Funds


12 September 2019
London – Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel



Alternative & Innovative Investment Strategies for Pension Funds

08.30    :    Registration and Coffee


09.10    :    Welcome & Opening Remarks


TrevorTrevor Cook, Managing Director, Specialist Pension Services





09.15   :      Session 1:  Diversification - Portfolio Construction & Opportunities



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






Sushil WadhwaniDr. Sushil Wadhwani, Chief Investment Officer, QMA Wadhwani, A PGIM Business


Diversifying Strategies

None of us knows with certainty what the markets will bring in the next few years.  However, we can recognise that the years prior to 2018 have been exceptionally benign. This has meant that diversification - constructing more robust total portfolios - has been both unrecognised and unrewarded. If we are entering a period of more volatile markets, which the first half of 2019 has hinted at, the rules of the game are already changing and diversification is coming back into fashion. Now is the time for clients to look at the robustness of their portfolio construction through fresh eyes, focusing on the underlying exposures that will drive the outcome.



Sandro MullerSandro Müller, Product Specialist, Credit Suisse Asset Management


Supply Chain Finance Capabilities 

As businesses expand and face an ever-changing global environment, they are looking for the most efficient ways for balance sheet optimizations. In the light of higher cost of capital driven by regulatory changes imposed on banks, conventional methods of obtaining working capital like direct lending are becoming a less attractive solution. By using advanced financial technology, supply chain finance offers a set of solutions that enable companies to optimize working capital and enhance their liquidity positions by unleashing billions of dollars trapped in their supply chains each year. Being short-term in nature, supply chain finance offer investors an opportunity to invest on a short-term basis while earning attractive returns. More-over trade receivables’ low correlation to traditional fixed income investments enables investors to diversify the return profile of their portfolios. Nonetheless, the market potential for supply chain finance remains so far largely untapped. 



Tom McCartanTom McCartan, Vice President of Liability-Driven Strategies, PGIM Fixed Income


Searching to Maximize Risk Adjusted Return in Emerging Markets Debt?

The size and shape of EMD strategies has grown substantially in the past decade. Hard currency sovereign, local currency sovereign, corporate, blend, and opportunistic long-only strategies abound. How can an active manager balance the freedom to fully express their views and “best ideas” with the potential downside risks of a strategy unconstrained by a benchmark? Where does an EMD Total Return strategy fit relative to benchmark-oriented, EMD hard currency or local currency mandates?  And for professional investors with a larger risk appetite, where does an EMD long/short strategy, which allows a manager to fully express their positive and negative views, fit relative to long-only emerging markets debt strategies? Join us for a discussion on the opportunities and challenges of managing EMD total return and long/short portfolios. 



11.00     :    Coffee/Tea


11.30     :    Session 2: Secured Income and a View on Crowding


Bob HymasModerator: Bob Hymas, Trustee Executive, BESTrustees






 Dean StewartDean Stewart, Head of Markets and Quantitative Research, Macquarie Fixed Income


Secured Finance: An Alternative Income Solution

Focusing on income and capital preservation, secured finance strategies can form part of a pension fund’s defensive allocation or cashflow-driven investment approach. Allocating across a range of debt securities featuring collateral backing or secure cashflows, these strategies can also deliver enhanced risk-adjusted returns via access to illiquidity, complexity and scarcity premia, traditionally challenging to harness from other asset classes. In this presentation we’ll explain how a multi-asset approach to secured finance may effectively support a pension fund’s long-term investment objectives. 



Adrian JonesAdrian Jones, Director, Alternative Assets, Allianz Global Investors


Co-ownership in UK housing: challenges of being a first move

Real Assets continue to provide pensions schemes attractive returns and cashflows. However, today’s challenge is extending the comfort-zone to new innovations such as residential property. The UK residential market has previously been hard to access for UK institutional investors, with a lack of scaleable solutions from a fragmented market. We will explore an innovative solution that allow investors the chance to access this asset class via a co-ownership model. Institutional investors can have the possibility to achieve valuable inflation linked cash flows and the societal benefit of helping buyers get onto the property ladder.



Dan MorrisDaniel Morris, Head of the Asset Solutions Team, Wells Fargo Asset Management


 Nobody Goes There Anymore, It's Too Crowded!

Crowding reflects a collective belief in a risk premiums existence, yet its garnered a bad reputation in the financial media. We've all heard the warning bell: as more portfolio owners chase the benefits of a particular investment strategy, the subsequent surge in flows will lead to negative outcomes. Without crowding, risks are only idiosyncratic and not systematic. Therefore, we embrace crowding, this presentation explains why. 


13.15    :    Drinks and Lunch


14.25    :    Session 3:  Practical Session & Case Studies


Moderator: tbc 




Philip Edwards Philip Edwards, CEO, Ricardo Research


Dynamics of Innovation and Risk 

Innovation is usually viewed by economists and policymakers as a productivity-enhancing force, powering economic growth in modern capitalist societies. Innovation is no less sought after in the investment industry, where new products are assumed to help investors meet their differing objectives. However, this optimistic view ignores the damage that can be done by innovations in the financial sector, where agency issues and complexity create the potential for negligence and rent extraction. This session will explore the merits of a more cautious and questioning approach to innovations in investment strategy as a corrective to the generally rosy view presented across the industry.



A panel of pension scheme executives and trustees will talk about their pension fund’s investment strategies and experiences. Panellists to be confirmed.



15.45   :    Drinks Reception & Close of Conference


This conference seeks to help pension funds to review the place of alternative and innovative investment strategies in their portfolios. We will look at a range of different strategies seeking to assess their impact on diversifying risks, improving returns and/or funding levels and on meeting specific income requirements.  We will also aim to include consideration of practical issues such as liquidity, fees, transparency and implementation. 


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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