09:00 – 09:45
Welcome & Opening Remarks

Forum Chair
John Harrison
Adviser
Border to Coast Pensions Partnership

09:05 – 09:45
Panel: Taking Stock of the Damage to the DB Sector and the Likely Responses

The combination of the economic downturn, lower contributions and falling Gilt yields have given rise to weaker valuations at many DB funds, while a minority which were fully funded and largely invested in Gilts have survived the crisis well. Our panel will assess the true extent of any lasting damage done across the sector as a whole, and how schemes are adapting their funding and investment strategies for the future.


09:45 – 10:05
Presentation: The Value in Investment Markets After the Crisis

Investment assets have had mixed fortunes during the crisis as well as different prognoses emerging from it. Our speaker will present the outlook for the main asset classes over the medium term, with particular reference to DB funds. Have we entered a new normal, or can investors continue to rely on the risk premia and relationships between major assets that have determined their portfolio construction strategies in the past?


10:05 – 10:45
Panel: Is Sustainable Investing Becoming Mainstream?

Speakers
Speaker to be confirmed
Candriam

Speaker to be confirmed
Federated Hermes

Most pension plans now invest in dedicated ESG and sustainable investment portfolios. The panel will discuss the extent to which sustainable investment is becoming the norm across traditional portfolios as well, the costs involved, and the expected impact on future performance.

10:45 – 11:10
Coffee Break

11:10 – 11:30
Presentation: The Role of Currency Management in De-risking Strategies

Speaker
Speaker to be confirmed
Metzler Currency Management

Currency management has a clear role to play in hedging strategies across international portfolios. Our speakers will also demonstrate how active currency management can significantly enhance cash returns for DB funds at highly acceptable levels of risk.


11:30 – 12:10
Roundtable Discussions: Governance and Consolidation Trends

We invite delegates to compare notes at their tables on how they consider best practice governance and consolidation trends are evolving at DB schemes and whether the latter have accelerated as a result of the crisis.


12:10 – 12:30
Presentation: To be announced

12:30 – 13:50
Lunch

13:50 – 14:30
Panel: The Outlook for Private Markets

Speakers
Speaker to be confirmed
Partners Group

In many cases, private market investments promise returns and income in excess of those available in comparable listed markets, together with significant diversification benefits. These generally come at a cost of lower levels of liquidity and higher than average management and performance fees. The panel will explore the outlook for private equity and private debt in the current environment.


14:30 – 14:50
Presentation: Opportunities in Global Credit Investing

Speaker
Speaker to be confirmed
MFS Investment Management

Despite a long term bull market in bonds and persistently low levels of interest rates, fixed income markets overall still offer value in light of continued central bank buying programmes, no immediate resurgence of inflation, and a mixed outlook for other asset classes. This is especially true for corporate bonds, where the crisis has thrown up multiple anomalies among the various country and industry sectors of the market. Our speaker will provide a guide to the most striking opportunities.


14.50 – 15.10
Presentation: To be announced


15.10 – 15.30
Interview: To be announced

15:30 – 15:55
Coffee Break

15.55 – 16.35
Panel: A Special Case – Infrastructure Investments

The UK government is promising an infrastructure boom over the next decade. As these investments are a natural fit for maturing DB schemes, the panel will explore the nature of the boom that is envisaged, the extent of new flows into infrastructure projects, the incentives that will be put in place to achieve the government’s objectives, the performance and income benefits to investors, and the expected enhanced outcomes for participating DB schemes.


16.35 – 16.55
Case Study: Approaching the Endgame – Lessons from BA Pensions

Speaker
Fraser Smart
Chief Executive Officer
BA Pensions

Our speaker will present how BA Pensions have moved to derisk and guarantee pensions liabilities over time, with reference to their two principal DB schemes.


16.55 – 17.35
Panel: Horses for Courses – The Merits of Competing Endgame Strategies

There are multiple endgame strategies available to DB plans: self-sufficiency, buy-in, buy-out (partial or otherwise), the PPF, and various consolidation solutions made possible by the authorisation of the superfunds this year. Our panel will evaluate their various merits and the conditions at particular DB schemes which make some preferable to others.


17.35 – 17.40
Closing Remarks

17.40 – 19.00
Drinks Reception

19.00 – 22.00
Dinner at FishWorks Restaurant