08:30 – 09:00
Coffee

09:00 – 09:05
Chairman’s Opening Remarks

Forum Chair
John Harrison
Adviser
Border to Coast Pensions Partnership

09:05 – 09:25
Presentation: What EM local currency bonds can offer DB pension portfolios
In a world of historical low and in many cases negative yields in global fixed income markets, investors that rely on income and want to achieve an attractive long term return on their investments have to broaden their scope when searching for investment opportunities. Emerging markets local currency bonds offer attractive yields and the opportunity to participate in currency gains. Andrew Keirle will discuss his assessment of the opportunity and what investors should consider when investing in this asset class.

Presenter
Andrew Keirle
Portfolio Manager, T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond Fund
T. Rowe Price


09:25 – 09:45
Presentation: Diversification with factor investing in credit in the current low-yield environment
In an environment characterised by historically record-low yields, stability of performance and the avoidance of drawdowns is more important than ever. This is where factor investing, the construction of portfolios with systematic above average exposure to factors like value and momentum, comes into play in the corporate bond market. In the presentation, we show that a systematic factor approach in credit harvests risk premia on the market, is uncorrelated with the direction in which spreads are going and has systematically different characteristics from traditional fundamental approaches in corporate bonds. By mixing factor investing with fundamental approaches, investors can earn superior risk adjusted returns.

Presenter
Dr Harald Henke
Head of Fixed Income
Quoniam Asset Management


09:45 – 10:05
Interview: An alternative approach to private debt
Pension funds have been increasing allocations to private debt and direct lending as an alternative asset class. In this interview we discuss how investors in private debt can generate superior returns with low correlation to equities and bonds.

Interviewer
John Harrison
Adviser
Border to Coast Pensions Partnership

Interviewee
Joe Pigott
Managing Director, COO, Europe
Crestline Investors


10:05 – 10:50
Roundtable Discussion: Monitoring the effectiveness of trustee investment decisions; setting appropriate targets, measuring them properly and then responding accordingly

10:50 – 11:20
Coffee

11:20 – 11:40
Presentation: Intensifying inflationary pressures – how real assets can help pension schemes manage the risk of rising inflation
Inflation is back on the agenda but with increasingly expensive hedging costs pension schemes face a difficult choice – bet that inflation is overpriced and will be short-lived or otherwise sacrifice return to protect their portfolio from long-term price rises. In this session, Luke Layfield will explore how secure income real assets can help schemes to manage inflation risks while still achieving attractive risk-adjusted returns.

Presenter
Luke Layfield
Fund Manager – Real Assets
Aviva Investors


11:40 – 12:00
Interview: Infrastructure and a post-Brexit Britain
Infrastructure is of growing interest to pension funds, and recent socio-economic changes will likely create opportunities and present challenges for investors in UK infrastructure. This session examines where infrastructure debt sits in the lifecycle of a pension fund, and looks at expectations for the asset class in a post-Brexit/post pandemic world.

Interviewer
John Harrison
Adviser
Border to Coast Pensions Partnership

Interviewee
John Carey
Investment Director (UK/Europe)
IFM Investors


12:00 – 12:20
Presentation: Opportunistic capital – addressing market dislocation
Lionel will discuss the evolving landscape for distressed assets and special situations in the post-COVID world. Monetary and fiscal stimulus have caused asset prices to surge across the board, especially in the more liquid, large-cap recovery trades. Nevertheless, attractive investment opportunities remain in markets characterised by an imbalance between supply and demand, such as those driven by dislocation in various market segments.

Presenter
Lionel Laurant
Head of Recovery Fund
ICG


12:20 – 12:40
Presentation: Can ESG be integrated into the Insurance Linked Securities Market?
Scientists may be uncertain whether climate change will lead to an increase in the number of hurricanes, there is more confidence that warmer ocean temperatures and higher sea levels are expected to dramatically increase their intensity and impacts. How can DB Pension funds benefit from the uncorrelated characteristics to the economic cycle of ILS and how can ILS Managers integrate ESG into a market that is trying to insure against events increasingly triggered by the impact of Climate Change.

Presenter
Mark Gibson
Head of Products and Solutions ILS
Schroders Capital

12:40 – 13:50
Lunch

13:50 – 14:40
Panel: Climate change – our journey to net-zero
Climate change is recognised by many – if not all – as the most significant risk facing investors today. While pension funds may be highly exposed to the risks associated with climate change, they also have the ability to bring about change though engagement and allocation of capital. So how can pension fund investors respond to the challenges presented by net-zero goals? And how can pension funds ensure that their journey to a more sustainable future is, itself, sustainable? Our panel discusses the issues.

Moderator
John Harrison
Adviser
Border to Coast Pensions Partnership

Panellists
Chandra Gopinathan
Senior Investment Manager – Sustainable Ownership
RPMI Railpen

Cristina Hastings
Head of Sustainability
Westchester (Nuveen affiliate)

Thomas Hohne-Sparborth
Senior Sustainability Analyst
Lombard Odier Investment Management (LOIM)

Simon Jones
Head of Responsible Investment
Hymans Robertson


14:40 – 15:00
Presentation: Impact investing to accelerate the decarbonisation of our economy
Laure will discuss how pension fund capital and long-term savings can be utilised in response to the climate emergency, to help companies to be more sustainable and ultimately for our society to achieve net zero carbon. It is this ‘decarbonisation’ of our environment that presents one of the greatest challenges and also one of the greatest thematic opportunities for investors in the next years ahead. It sits across the entire portfolio: public and private markets exposure, and we will share examples of how these can be implemented in practice.

Presenter
Laure Villepelet
Head of ESG/CSR
Tikehau Capital

15:00 – 15:30
Coffee

15:30 – 15:50
Presentation: ESG in private debt – understanding and managing the risks
During this session, Patrick will discuss how Direct Lenders can fully integrate ESG into the investment process, with a view to minimising ESG risks and improving fund performance for investors. This session will address the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to sustainable investing in the Direct Lending market and argue that an understanding of sustainable investing is vital in allowing a manager to provide superior risk adjusted returns to investors. Case studies will be discussed.

Presenter
Patrick Marshall
Head of Private Debt & CLOs
Federated Hermes


15:50 – 16:30
Panel: The End Game
As the market for an alternative for risk reduction, both for pensioners and deferred members, the panel will discuss the appropriateness of a “do it yourself” self-sufficiency approach and the opportunities available from both traditional insurers and consolidators.

Moderator
John Harrison
Adviser
Border to Coast Pensions Partnership

Panellists
Emmanuel Bocquet
Head of Investment
TPT Retirement Solutions

John Nestor
Non-Executive Director
LGPS Central

Fraser Smart
Strategic Adviser
Aquila Heywood

Kate Yates
Chief Executive
Plumbing Pensions UK Ltd


16:30 – 16:45
Keynote Speaker
The new chair of The Pensions Regulator discusses the strategic direction for TPR, the risks she sees coming down the line, and how its work can help pension funds meet the expectations of their various stakeholders.

Speaker
Sarah Smart
Chair
The Pensions Regulator


16:45 – 17:25
Panel: Diversity, Equality & Inclusion
Diversity, equality and inclusion is increasingly becoming high on agendas of all groups, including pension fund committees and their service providers. Our panel discusses the reasons why DE&I is important, how individuals and organisations can bring about change, and how fair treatment and opportunity for all can be of benefit to society as a whole.

Moderator
John Harrison
Adviser
Border to Coast Pensions Partnership

Panellists
Caroline Escott
Vice Chair
NextGen

Jeff Houston
Head of Pensions
Local Government Association

Alexander Prout
Activist & Vice Chair
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO

Sarah Smart
Chair
The Pensions Regulator


17:35 – 17:40
Chairman’s Closing Remarks

17:40 – 19:00
Drinks


19:00
Dinner with Featured Address