SPS Virtual:
Current Investment Issues
for Pension Funds

November 5, 2020


This conference aims to examine the most pressing issues and challenges currently facing pension fund investors and to assess a variety of investment solutions and strategies designed to address, manage and control these taking into account a number of practical influences such as IT and AI developments, regulation, governance, impact investing and ESG considerations, political and geopolitical factors, fund maturity, implementation and custody, fees, monitoring and reporting.


This will be a virtual conference with approximate timings of:


Registration with optional "meet and greet"


Session One: What to do now? Market opportunities in the current regulatory and economic climate



Michelle McGrade

Advisor to Investment Committee

J Sainsbury Pension Scheme


Hymans Robertson

Opportunity in the Time of Coronavirus

The ongoing pandemic has created immense challenges and exposed structural weaknesses in many developed economies and societies. Pension funds and their sponsors/managers have not been immune to these challenges, however it’s not all bad news. Despite the severity of the crisis, and the high levels of uncertainty it has created, interesting investment opportunities have arisen. So how can you navigate these turbulent markets and invest wisely in the most attractive opportunities?


By sharing practical examples of how we’ve been supporting schemes over the past few months, this session will help you understand:

  • The process involved in screening and evaluating potential opportunities

  • The investment case for some of the more attractive and accessible opportunities

  • How these opportunities can be aligned with scheme objectives, investment and funding strategies and regulatory constraints.

Senior Investment Consultant

Michael Walsh.jpg

Multi-Asset Solutions Strategist, EMEA

T. Rowe Price

Expanding the Liquid Fixed Income Toolkit

For DB schemes, the historically low levels of yields means fixed income portfolios hedging interest rate and expected inflation movements can deliver less and less in terms of much-needed cashflows and expected returns. The answer for many has been to look to less liquid debt instruments, but are there options within liquid fixed income markets that may be worth exploring? What are the opportunities and challenges in these areas?


Break and continuing discussion in the networking rooms


Session Two: Fixed Income to deliver Climate Change and Sustainable Investing



Karen Shackleton

Senior Adviser

MJ Hudson Allenbridge

Paul Skinner.jpg

Investment Director

Wellington Management

Sustainable Credit Investing. Nice or Necessary?

There is a growing desire for asset owners to integrate sustainability and climate change considerations into investment portfolios, with pressures from various stakeholders. Paul Skinner, Investment Director, outlines his views on how to   approach integrating these considerations within fixed income, how proprietary climate research is informing the investment agenda and the importance of these applications to credit investors.

Tammie Tang.jpg

Fixed Income Portfolio Manager

Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Impact Investing through Fixed Income

Discussions on impact and sustainable investing for pension funds is often limited to the private markets or equity allocation within their portfolio.  Yet according to the PPF’s purple book a whopping average of 62.8% of a pension fund portfolio is now fixed income, 28.4% of which is corporate bonds. This talk will outline why fixed income is uniquely placed to deliver positive impact for our society and the environment, discuss specific-use of proceeds bond and the unique opportunity they offer for constructive engagement with issuers and outline how the market has evolved to enable pension funds to deliver impact, and the returns they need from one of their largest asset class exposures.


Break and continuing discussion in the networking rooms


Session Three: Investing for a sustainable growth



Philip Edwards


Ricardo Research


Senior Investment Manager, Pictet-Clean Energy

Pictet Asset Management

Investing in the energy transition. Aligning with COP21

Investing in the transition to clean energy has now arrived at multiple inflection points that will drive development for the foreseeable future. This includes increasing public and political awareness, technological innovation and, importantly, with energy from renewable sources now being cheaper to develop than fossil fuels, economic sense.

Public interest in environmental sustainability and the adoption of clean energy production is high with investors looking for ways to build exposure to this trend.

Martin Grosskopf.jpg

Lead Portfolio Manager, Global Sustainable Growth Equity Strategy

AGF Investments

ESG 2.0 

From the margins to the mainstream, ESG factors have become an essential component in modern investment management. Yet the very popularity of common ESG approaches ensure their reduced efficacy in the next 20 years, whether for alpha generation or impact.  Todays ESG risk management emphasis will likely evolve into a focus on the purpose of the corporation itself as investors recognize the need for more proactive approaches and the transformative opportunities of key sustainability challenges. The Covid-19 crisis has provided a challenge  for investors to accept a broader societal role than solely generating income for retirement.


End of virtual presentations and continuing discussion in the networking rooms


Close of virtual 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.

SPS Virtual

SPS Virtual will be hosted on a dedicated webpage so you won’t need to download any specific software.

Full login and password details will be sent to you after you register.


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