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ESG & Sustainable Investment Issues for Local Authority Pension Funds

November 14, 2019

London – Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Purpose

ESG Investment issues are now becoming mainstream. This conference will enable local authority pension funds investors to explore a range of investment strategies and assets where all/some of these concepts are an important part of the investment process. We welcome discussion of both public and private assets as well as those covering equity or fixed income approaches. We will also aim to cover other topical investment issues for local authority pension funds and pools.

Programme

ESG & Sustainable Investment Issues for Local Authority Pension Funds

08.45

Registration and coffee

09.15

Welcome and opening remarks

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Conference Director

Specialist Pension Services

09.20

Session 1: Active Equity ESG Strategies

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Moderator:

Co-Founder & Director, Chronos Sustainability

and Visiting Professor in Practice, LSE

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Head of Sustainability & ESG, Managing Director

IMPAX Asset Management

How do you Build and Active Core Equity Portfolio to Transition to a Sustainable Economy?

Active equity exposure to shift to a more sustainable economic model has shown it can deliver attractive financial returns and positive impact, but scalability challenges mean exposure tends to be through satellite portfolios. What mechanisms are available to build core equity portfolios that can invest in all sectors? Multi-thematic has been mooted, but is something of a half-way house. Applying a “sustainability lens” is a more positive approach than negative screening and helps portfolio managers identify and analyse opportunities and risks. We examine sector examples and consider the results you can expect. We also consider how this approach can be used as part of scheme member engagement.

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Head of ESG Capital Markets & Stewardship

Union Investments

How to Add Value through Active Engagement

This presentation focuses on the practical approaches to engagement as practised by an active manager. This includes speaking and voting at AGM, including supporting all actions that will sustainably increase the value of the company in the long term and voting against any actions that go against this objective. Thus, the primary objective of active engagment is to actively influence the company in terms of ESG practices and, thus, to contribute to a sustained increase in corporate value. The presentation will include case study examples of recent engagement cases (Bayer/Monsanto, RWE, BASF, Shell and Vale).

10.35

Coffee/Tea

11.05

Session 2: ESG Approaches

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Moderator:

Senior Advisor

MJ Hudson Allenbridge

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Co-Portfolio Manager, Global Environment Strategy

Investec Asset Management

Decarbonisation: Active Equity Strategies to Move to a Low Carbon Economy

For many institutional investors assessing climate risk, measuring carbon emissions has been the first step.  However, the more we deepen our analysis of the true footprint including direct and indirect emissions the more we realise that climate risk is systemic and likely undivestable. With more systemic climate risk in portfolios than initially thought, how can asset owners respond? Rather than focusing on divestment, we believe that investing positively in companies reducing carbon emissions and enabling transition to a de-carbonised growth model offers the best opportunity to improve the level of protection from climate risk in your portfolio and importantly can provide maximum impact.

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Principal and Portfolio Manager

QMA

Balancing Transparency with Performance: Adding and Adjusting ESG Exposures to your Equity Portfolio

ESG investing has evolved considerably over the last two decades: from simple, stock exclusion strategies to more specialised thematic, engagement and impact-oriented solutions.  However ESG investing is still in its relative infancy. There is no agreed-upon “best approach” to ESG. Investors have very different goals for their ESG portfolios. Going forward, a core-satellite framework  would encourage investors to pair complementary ESG strategies to achieve their overall ESG investment goals.

12.20

Drinks and lunch

13.30

Session 3: Fixed Income

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Moderator:

Founder Director

Ario Advisory

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Investment Specialist

Wellington Management

Impact Investing in Public Fixed Income Markets

Impact investing has historically been associated with niche private market opportunities, with little discussion of the role for public debt markets. In addition, addressing major social and environmental challenges has generally been considered the responsibility of governments or philanthropists. But finding solutions to large-scale issues like environmental degradation and the fulfillment of basic human needs will also require capital from institutional investors and the efforts of public companies. This presentation will show how public debt markets can be used to potentially align your asset allocation and return expectations with the values of your LGPS beneficiaries.

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Lead Engager, SDG Engagement High Yield Credit

Hermes Investment Management

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CFA, Senior Emerging Market Debt Portfolio Manager

Hermes Investment Management

ESG: An Investment Imperative for Credit

Whilst often erroneously thought to be exclusive to equity-investing, ESG integration is not only a good idea in credit investing, it is imperative.  Company behaviours affect operating cashflows, and therefore credit risks.  Engagement is that inexorable link to companies that makes ESG integration all the more effective.  As financial stakeholders in a company, credit investors—just like equity investors—have a right to encourage companies to take actions that strengthen the credit profile of a company.  Afterall, many of these companies are entirely dependent on the debt capital markets to finance their corporate and operating activities.  Invest.  Engage. Change. Perform.

14.45

Coffee/Tea

15.00

Session 4: Keynote & LGPS Panel

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Moderator:

Advisor

Gordian Advice

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Professor in Practice - Sustainable Finance

Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change & The Environment, LSE

A 2020 Outlook for ESG & Sustainable Investment:

Connecting the Environmental & the Social

A look at how Institutional Investors should be responding to the challenge to ensure that action on climate change supports an inclusive economy in the UK, what efforts that are already underway, and what actions investors can take in the years ahead.

LGPS ESG in Practice

Panellist will discuss their approaches to ESG investment, the practical difficulties they encounter and the work with their pool providers.

 

Panellists to include:

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Investments Manager

Avon Pension Fund

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Policy Governance and Risk Manager

Environment Agency Pension Fund

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Head of Treasury & Pension Fund Management

London Borough of Islington

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Assistant Director Investments & Finance

West Midlands Pension Fund

16.15

Drinks reception and close of conference

Cost

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.

 
Venue

Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel, London

21 Piccadilly

London W1 0BH

Hotel Tel: 08700 400 8400

Hotel Fax: 020 7437 3574

www.lemeridienpiccadilly.co.uk

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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Media Partners

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COVID-19

Given the continuing situation with Coronavirus/Covid-19, we have taken the decision to run some of our conferences virtually. Our updated conference calendar gives the dates of those events and the events we are currently planning to hold physically.

SPS conferences is a division of Specialist Pension Services Limited

Registered Address: Northside House, Mount Pleasant, Barnet, Herts, EN4 9EE

Registered in England & Wales No 2706061

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