Annual Bond Investment Strategies for Pension Funds

January 9, 2020

London – Le Meridien Piccadilly, London


This event aims to examine the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing pension funds in managing your bond investments.  In the current market environment of low interest rates, ultra-low yields, political uncertainty plus increased awareness of environmental concerns, our speakers will be discussing ways to help you find the right balance between risk and return, looking at multi-sector fixed income solutions and ways to implement ESG principles into your fixed income portfolios. As well as sessions on emerging market debt and short-dated bonds, the conference will also feature a panel of pension funds and trustees discussing their fixed income strategies and experiences.


Annual Bond Investment Strategies for Pension Funds


Registration and coffee


Welcome and opening remarks

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Managing Director

Specialist Pension Services


Session 1: Fixed Income in the Current Environment


Professional Trustee

Capital Cranfield

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Senior Investment Manager, Global Bonds

Pictet Asset Management

What does Absolute Return Fixed Income mean and why does it make sense in the current environment?

  • With low rates here to stay, it is crucial for fixed income investors to find the right balance between risk and return.

  • Predicting the path of markets, economics and policymakers is notoriously difficult; instead, focus on identifying long-term structural trends and identify the investment opportunities they create.

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Managing Director, Client Portfolio Manager

Neuberger Berman

Make your Bonds work harder - how to run a multi-sector fixed income portfolio in today's market

Current market environment of ultra-low yields and heightened uncertainty creates unprecedented challenges for pension funds managing their bond portfolio. Multi-sector fixed income solutions can be effective in providing income and improving returns, but their practical implementation today requires a different approach with a particular focus on the following:

  • Broaden your opportunity set to include mispriced and under discovered market segments.

  • Be dynamic and flexible, focus on security selection as much as sector allocation.

  • Implement ESG across all parts of your portfolio, not just public corporates.




Session 2: ESG



Independent Trustee & Scheme Secretary

Inside Pensions



TwentyFour Asset Management

ESG in Fixed Income

ESG is a complex and evolving subject within asset management, but at the highest level there should be two main objectives – enhancing investor returns and promoting better societal and environmental outcomes. How can you apply these principles to the fixed income investment process?

  • Why you should chose ESG integration over screening models.

  • The implications for performance and volatility

  • The limitations of ESG investing and how it will evolve

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Portfolio Manager, Fixed Income Team

Newton Investment Management

"Quantity and Quality" - more (Government Bond) supply and more scrutiny (of Governments and corporate)

Ultra-low bond yields, growing political influence and rising environmental concerns will all influence fixed-income markets over the next 12 months. Over the longer term, we expect growing political disruption to drive an increase in budget deficits and a rise in government issuance. Meanwhile, with sustainability moving up the agenda for many investors, we anticipate that faster implementation of ESG principles will create a greater disparity between the strong and the weak.


Drinks and lunch


Session 3: EMD & Short Dated Bonds

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Senior Investment Director

American Century Investments

Emerging Market Corporate Debt: A Hidden Gem?

EM Corporate Debt is today one of the fastest growing areas of global fixed income, and EM companies are among the most globally diversified in by revenue streams. This results in favourable volatility comparisons with similar asset classes, yet some common misconceptions by investors also give rise to excessive risk aversion. This in turn allows for an attractive return opportunity relative to comparable asset classes. Richard will discuss some of the overlooked opportunities in EM Corporate Debt while sharing American Century’s proprietary insights into managing EM-specific risks, and how that should inform a portfolio approach.


Investment Manager

Kames Capital

The Long View on Short-Dated Bonds

As DB pension schemes mature, there is a greater focus on de-risking and generating reliable cash to meet pension payments. Focusing on short-dated corporate bonds which are less than three-years from maturity can help schemes to capture attractive, consistent yield with minimal interest-rate sensitivity, low portfolio volatility and attractive levels of liquidity. Illustrating with client case studies we will explain why short-dated bonds are particularly well-suited for buy-and-maintain portfolios, where bonds are held until maturity with low turnover.

Panel Session

A panel of pension scheme executives and trustees will talk about their pension fund’s fixed income investment strategies and experiences. 


Panellists to include:

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Group Head of Pension Funding & Investment

Rio Tinto



Royal London Group Pension Scheme


Drinks reception 


Close of conference


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.

Media Partner

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.

Media Partners

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