DEVIL’S ADVOCATES PANEL – MORNING SESSIONS
Tim Mpofu, Head of Pensions & Treasury, London Borough of Haringey
Alistair Sutherland, Independent Adviser
Dawn Turner, Independent Adviser & NED

 

08:30 – 09:00
Coffee

 

09:00 – 09:05
Chair’s opening remarks

Chair
Eric Lambert
Independent Investment Adviser


09:05 – 09:25
Presentation: Current market conditions – threat or opportunity?
Allspring will provide an overview of the challenges the economy is facing and in particular insights into inflationary factors the market is pricing in. Sharply rising inflation and the hawkish reaction function of central banks, have had a significantly negative impact on both equities and bonds. As central banks catch up, investors are in need of tools to distinguish between cyclical and structural forces. During the presentation, Allspring will introduce an inflation framework which allows for better understanding of inflation dynamics. Our framework will be shown to put current developments into context as well as provide an outlook on inflation and asset class performance.

Presenter
Matthias Scheiber
Head of Systematic Multi-Asset & Portfolio Manager
Allspring Global Investments


09:25 – 09:45
Presentation: Investing locally in renewable energy
Investment in energy generation, heat, battery storage and hydrogen can fulfil a major role in the coming low carbon transition, what are their characteristics and why are they an ideal investment for a UK Pension Fund. Our speaker considers how renewable generation assets can be part of a local impact offering that delivers both an investment return and assists public pension funds meet their requirement to invest an additional 5% locally.

Presenter
Matt Ridley
Partner
Greencoat Capital


09:45- 10:05
Presentation: Evaluating opportunities in Private Markets
How Private Market investing can meet some of the current pension fund challenges. Where are the current opportunities?

Presenter
Samuel Foster
Investment Professional, Alternatives Team
PIMCO


10:05 – 10:45
Panel: The Endgame – evaluating insurance solutions
With higher Gilt yields and asset values remaining relatively robust, pension funds are evidencing improved funding levels. The private sector buy-out market has seen a significant recent uptick in activity. What are the conditions and factors to appraise when considering either partial or full buy-out and/or buy-in? The Panel will explore these insurance options.

Moderator
Eric Lambert
Independent Investment Adviser

Panellists
Ben Farmer
Senior Investment Consultant
Hymans Robertson

John Nestor
Chair
Prudential Corporate Pensions Trust

Fraser Smart
Director
SmartCats Consultancy


10:45 – 11:05
Presentation: Beware new governance pitfalls
Is governance keeping up with the wider use of private market investments? With both allocations and the expected time to deployment increasing, current oversight may not account for the associated risks. This session shines a light on some of those governance essentials in the safe environment of this DB Strategic Investment Forum.

Presenter
Michael Walsh
Solutions Strategist
T. Rowe Price

 

11:05 – 11:30
Coffee Break

 

11:30 – 12:05
Roundtable Discussion: Dealing with rising interest rates and inflation
UK price inflation, whether measured by CPI or RPI, is at high levels not seen since the 1980s; and rising. The Bank of England’s MPC has responded – and will continue to respond – by increasing short-term interest rates, although these are still moderate in a historical context. These trends are broadly echoed globally. What are the implications for pension funds: liabilities and their actuarial value; assets and their value; and pension fund balance sheets?

Facilitator
Joanne Donnelly
Board Secretary
Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board


12:05 – 12:45
Panel: Infrastructure opportunities
Infrastructure, in a number of ways, is the ideal asset for pension funds; not least the decent level of predictable income which, along with its capital value, often carries sensitivity to growth and inflation. And infrastructure frequently embeds positive RI/ESG features. However these benefits gave not gone unnoticed by pension funds and other investors: yields have been compressed. The Panel will explore the current infrastructure opportunities and how best to access them.

Moderator
Eric Lambert
Independent Investment Adviser

Panellists
Phelim Bolger
Director
IFM Investors

Ted Frith
Chief Operating Officer
GLIL Infrastructure LLP

Ciaran Henry
Senior Vice President, Head of Distribution Europe & Asia
Fiera Capital

Martin Kellaway
Chair of Trustees
CMI Pension Scheme


12:45 – 13:05
Presentation: Impact Investing across Private Markets
To best support the needs of DB and DC members, and to drive the transition to #netzero, Impact Investing can have a material effect on creating an inclusive society and sustainable economy whilst delivering highly competitive risk-adjusted returns. In this session, the private markets manager Tikehau Capital will share how pension schemes can decarbonise their portfolios, to reduce climate risks and to capture impactful and sustainable returns from financing the energy transition.

Presenter
Lindee Wong
Director of Climate & Biodiversity
Tikehau Capital


13:05 – 13:15
Devil’s Advocate Summaries

Tim Mpofu, Head of Pensions & Treasury, London Borough of Haringey
Alistair Sutherland, Independent Adviser
Dawn Turner, Independent Adviser & NED

 

13:15 – 14:10
Lunch

DEVIL’S ADVOCATES PANEL – AFTERNOON SESSIONS
Jeff Dong, Head of Finance, City and County of Swansea Pension Fund
Joanne Donnelly, Board Secretary, Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board
John Nestor, Chair, Prudential Corporate Pensions Trustee

 

14:10 – 14:50
Panel: How funds implement Net-Zero
A number of pension funds have already declared Net Zero, albeit with little commonality of the date by which this ambition is to be realised. It is expected most funds will follow suit over the next few years. Supporting the public announcement there has to be a plan to achieve this objective. The Panel will examine the practical implementation of Net-Zero.

Moderator
Eric Lambert
Independent Investment Adviser

Panellists
Graham Cook
Chief Investment Officer
Environment Agency Pension Fund

Simon Eaves
Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of the Clean Energy Team
Capital Dynamics

Stephanie Maier
Global Head of Sustainability & Impact Investment
GAM Investments

Dawn Turner
Independent Adviser & NED


14:50 – 15:10
Presentation: Climate Change reporting (TCFD)
A key component of decarbonising pension funds is measurement and reporting. In this session Brendan will explain The Pensions Regulator’s view of TCFD reporting requirements.

Presenter
Brendan Walshe
Consultant
The Pensions Regulator


15:10 – 15:45
Roundtable Discussion: The impact of Covid and Brexit on asset class profiles
Covid and Brexit have had many, and varied, impacts especially on socio- and macroeconomic factors. Separately and together they have also been blamed for many other problems! What has been their real impact on the investment profile (return, risk, investment efficiency and investment income) of the major asset classes such as equities, bonds, real estate and infrastructure? Post Covid and Brexit which asset class profiles are more attractive, and which are less attractive?

Facilitator
Eric Lambert
Independent Investment Adviser

 

15:45 – 16:10
Coffee Break

 

16:10 – 16:30
Presentation: Affordable housing
The Private Rented Sector is increasingly becoming the housing solution for many on modest incomes. Historic undersupply vs surging demand provides a compelling opportunity for private capital to address this imbalance and access the potential for resilient returns and positive impact. Does this type of investment fit into the asset allocation for a defined benefit pension funds, and does the impact benefit align with the financial returns?

Presenter
Emma Gullifer
Co-Fund Manager, Columbia Threadneedle UK Housing Fund
Columbia Threadneedle Investments


16:30 – 17:10
Panel: The limitations and benefits of fund consolidation and pooling
The advantages of scale in pension funds’ asset management arrangements are well evidenced hence a number of forms of aggregation, whether consolidation and/or pooling, are currently in place or high on pension fund agendas. The Panel will articulate the drivers of the trend and examine the limitations and benefits of aggregation from both private and public sector pension fund perspectives.

Moderator
Eric Lambert
Independent Investment Adviser

Panellists
Chris Rule
Chief Executive
Local Pensions Partnership

Luke Webster
Co-Founder
The Pension Superfund


17:10 – 17:30
Keynote Speaker
Charles retired last year after a long and hugely successful career with Baillie Gifford, predominantly latterly in global equities. In this address he will to share some of his investment and behavioural insights and will answer your questions. This offers a unique opportunity to engage directly with one of the very best and most respected pension fund investors.

Speaker
Charles Plowden
Former Joint Senior Partner at Baillie Gifford


17:30 – 17:40
Devil’s Advocate Summaries
Jeff Dong, Head of Finance, City and County of Swansea Pension Fund
Joanne Donnelly, Board Secretary, Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board
John Nestor, Chair, Prudential Corporate Pensions Trustee


17:40 – 17:45
Chair’s closing remarks

Chair
Eric Lambert
Independent Investment Adviser

 

18:30
Drinks


19:30
Dinner at Howie’s Restaurant