Diversification Benefits & Non Benchmarked Strategies for Pension Funds


20 April 2017
London – Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel



Diversification Benefits & Non Benchmarked Strategies for Pension Funds

08.30    :    Registration and Coffee


09.00    :    Welcome & Opening Remarks


FredFred Jaffe, Executive Director, Specialist Pension Services





09.10   :      Session 1:  Setting the Scene


Headshot Moderator: Nicola Ralston, Director, PiRho Investment Consulting





Jerome NunanJerome NunanInvestment Director, Multi-Asset, Aviva Investors


Importance of Risk and Portfolio Construction in an Uncertain World

Investor perception of 2016 is that the year was dominated by risk events.  Is 2017 to be a re-run?   Faced with ever heightening political risk and tighter valuations, but an apparently more robust global economy, investors are questioning how they should position their portfolios.  What are some of the risk events that markets have to navigate during the course of the year?  What are the challenges of delivering investor outcomes irrespective of market conditions, and how can the construction of multi-strategy portfolios serve to limit downside risk?



Stefan LowenthalStefan LöwenthalChief Investment Officer, Portfolio Manager, Macquarie Asset Management


Asset allocation decisions in a big data world

In the age of information overload, managing a multi asset strategy presents investment teams with an ever increasing number of decisions. While technology can help, ultimately pension funds invested in multi asset strategies are reliant on portfolio managers (humans!) to decide how to optimally allocate across investment opportunities. How can you acknowledge the human factor and ensure asset allocation decisions are less impacted by behavioural biases? Can a behavioural finance lens help to more efficiently and effectively translate those views into a portfolio.

10.25     :    Coffee/Tea


10.55     :    Session 2:  A Review of FI Strategies


HeadshotModerator: Rita Powell, Founding Director, Inside Penisons and Independent Trustee





david newmanDavid Newman, Head of Global High Yield, Rogge Global Partners (Allianz Global Investors)


Non Benchmark Strategies as Replacement for Investment Grade Credit

Why a benchmark doesn't work at this stage of the cycle: Duration? Fundamental? Why a non-benchmark strategy is suitable as an investment grade alternative?  What components make sense in a low volatility strategy? The importance of asset allocation in deciding weighting.  Pitfalls and solutions in implementing a global multi asset credit strategy.




Jean Luc HivertJean Luc HivertCIO Fixed Income and Cross Asset, La Française Asset Management


Absolute Return Fixed Income, dealing with a persistent low yield environment

Fixed Income exposure remains a « must » for Institutional Investors. Meeting ALM and return requirements is now much harder in the low-yield environment.  How can Asset Managers provide, within the Fixed Income space, a risk-reward profile similar to that of a ‘pre-crisis’ 10-year bond? One possible solution is to construct an absolute return fixed income portfolio with a flexible, quasi-unconstrained approach. The ability to implement long and short duration positions under this approach is also a key potential performance driver.


Nicholas Hardingham, Portfolio Manager, Franklin Templeton


Reaching the Areas other EMD Strategies Don't Reach

Emerging Markets Debt attracts investors for its relatively high potential returns and diversification, so it’s important that a manager has the flexibility to exploit these qualities to the fullest extent.  In this Masterclass we will show how a non-benchmark oriented blend of hard and local currency, sovereign and corporate debt can make the most of a risk budget – and how it leads us to some opportunities rarely exploited in other EMD strategies.


12.45    :     Drinks and Lunch


14.00    :     Session 3:  Looking for the Best Outcome



Neil McPhersonModerator:  Neil McPherson, Managing Director, Capital Cranfield





Derek DevensDerek Devens, Managing Director & Senior Portfolio Manager, Neuberger Berman


How to be on the "Write" Side of the Trade

Investors employ equity options to pursue a variety of investment objectives: speculation, hedging, income generation, asset-liability management or arbitrage. Consequently, option markets  are in the ‘business’ of earning premiums to provide investors with defined investment outcomes and routinely assume risks investors are willing to overpay to mitigate. Hence, the most profitable option strategies tend to be on the sell side of the option markets today. This presentation will explore how writing fully collateralized put options using a systematic process can lower volatility, improve drawdown and increase risk-return efficiency for investors’ portfolios. 




Kevin Frisby

Kevin FrisbyPartner, Lane, Clark & Peacock


Practical Solutions for Pension Schemes

When is It more important not to lose money than to see return? Can volatile markets be your friend rather than a danger? What are the essential differences between an Absolute Return Fund and a Diversified Growth Fund and when should you focus on one strategy rather than another? Can you be too diversified and should you put constraints on a manager? How much diversification do you really need? 



15.15         Coffee/Tea


15.30         Session 4:  The Practical Session


Neil McPhersonModerator: Neil McPherson, Managing Director, Capital Cranfield





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


Peter VosPeter Vos, Trustee, Invensys Pension Scheme





Liam O'Keeffe, Trustee and Managing Director, Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank Trustees




16.20    :    Drinks Reception & Close of Conference


This conference aims to consider the rationale for and the benefits of pursuing various diversified, non-benchmarked and other non-traditional investment strategies and to look at a selection of opportunities available to pension funds. As well as talks on a variety of diversified and non-benchmarked strategies, we aim to also compare strategies and explore what different approaches can offer investors and to consider practical issues such as risk management, liquidity management, hedging, due diligence and fees.


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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