Tuesday 3rd November

11:30 – 12:00
Gathering and introduction to the format and features of the online conference

12:00 – 12:10
Welcome & Opening Remarks

John Harrison
Border to Coast Pensions Partnership

Programme Director
Stephen Glover
DG Publishing

12:10 – 13:00
Presentation and Panel Discussion: The Evolving Industry Landscape

Mark Thompson
Member of the Independent Governance Committee
Zurich Insurance

Will Mayne
Senior Director – Distribution Insight
Broadridge Financial Solutions

Hal La Thangue
Senior Consultant
Broadridge Financial Solutions

Denise Le Gal
Brunel Pension Partnership

Francis Sullivan
HSBC Bank Pension Trust

Courtney Bensen
Head of UK LGPS, Client Solutions
Partners Group

Broadridge will present key data and analysis on the asset size, structure and evolution of the three main sectors of UK pensions – LGPS, DB and DC – and the flows between them, together with projections for the future. An expert panel will then debate the implications for managing pensions across the industry, and the investment strategies likely to be of greatest prominence in delivering optimal member outcomes over the medium term.

13:00 – 13:20
Presentation: What is the New Normal for Gilt Yields?

Stuart Fiertz
Cheyne Capital

The level of Gilt yields is vital for UK pension funds. If yields persist at stubbornly low levels, this will weigh heavily both on the value of pensions liabilities and on the ability to achieve required performance. Our speaker will discuss whether we have embarked on a long-term trend of lower yields and identify the optimal investment strategies and instruments in such an environment.

13:20 – 13:40
Presentation: The Role of Core Infrastructure Through the Crisis and Beyond

Gilly Zimmer
Executive Director, Infrastructure Investments Group
J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Core infrastructure, such as regulated utilities and power generation, has a history of generating resilient cash flows through market cycles, particularly in crises. We have witnessed this dynamic during the current crisis and, as importantly, the supporting role it can also play for employees, customers and communities in times of need. Our speaker will examine both the financial and non-financial outcomes that investors in core infrastructure assets can expect over the long-term.

13:40 – 14:10
Coffee at your place and Online Networking

14:10 – 14:35
Presentation: The Coming Paradigm Shift

Atul Lele
Portfolio Strategist
Bridgewater Associates

The large, instantaneous global economic downturn triggered by Covid-19 radically accelerated a pre-existing shift to a new policymaking paradigm. Our speaker refers to this new paradigm as “Monetary Policy 3”, by which he means explicitly-coordinated monetary and fiscal policy. In this policymaking structure, the enhanced role of government resembles wartime management of the economy and has profound implications for investing – the question of what to do about 0% bond yields is just the tip of the iceberg.

14:35 – 15:20
Roundtable Discussions: Member Engagement to Ensure Best Outcomes Across the Industry

Diane Maxwell
Former Retirement Commissioner
New Zealand

With all the policy and regulatory change the industry is facing, not to mention the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, the need to communicate with members has risen exponentially. In this session, we will invite delegates from LGPS, DB and DC plans to compare notes on how their communication strategies are evolving, the implications these have for final outcomes, and what they can learn from one another.

Roundtable Moderators
In each breakout discussion room, a senior pensions executive will manage a debate with the assembled group on the issues introduced by the Facilitator. There will be a feedback session following the return to plenary.

Laurie Edmans
NOW Pensions

Anthony Parnell
Treasury & Pensions Investment Manager
Carmarthenshire County Council

Peter Wallach
Director of Pensions
Merseyside Pension Fund

Matthew Webb
Global Head of Benefits

15:20 – 15:40
Presentation: The 44 Trillion Dollar Problem – The End of Shareholder Primacy

Robert Wilson
Investment Officer
MFS Investment Management

For the past 50 years, global investors have generally viewed the world through a shareholder primacy lens but its negative impacts have led society to increasingly challenge capitalism and corporate behavior. Our speaker will provide practical examples that display the way in which business leaders and investors can go about putting a broader group of stakeholders at the center of corporate and investment activity. Using company-specific examples, he will address who these stakeholders are; what form this change will take; and most importantly how this change will start to rebuild the business and investment world’s social license to operate, which society has increasingly started to question.

15:40 – 16:00
Coffee at your place and Online Networking

16:00 – 16:40
Panel: The Role of Policy and Regulation In Supporting Better Pensions Outcomes

Jeff Houston
Head of Pensions
Local Government Association

Fiona Frobisher
Head of Policy
The Pensions Regulator

Pete Searle
Director – Private Pensions and Arms Length Bodies
Department for Work and Pensions

Nike Trost
Head of Pensions and Funds Policy
Financial Conduct Authority

Speakers from the DWP, TPR and the FCA will discuss how they see their role in creating a strong and healthy pensions industry, the initiatives they are pursuing, and the challenges these present. They will pay particular attention to the long-term effects of the Covid-19 crisis on LGPS, private DB and DC schemes, and the regulatory response which has been necessary as a result.

16:40 – 17:00
Presentation: The Long-Term Outlook for Multi-Asset Credit

Donal Kinsella
Institutional Portfolio Manager
Eaton Vance

Our speaker will examine the opportunities presented to UK pension funds across the board from a long-term allocation to multi-asset credit. What have been the historical drivers of return; what is the outlook; and how should LGPS, corporate DB and DC funds structure a portfolio to take best advantage of the opportunities?

17:00 – 17:40
Breakout Discussion Groups

Group 1. Do We Need a Pensions Dashboard, Open Pensions, Or Both?

Henry Tapper

Lead Discussants
Chris Curry
Principal – Pensions Dashboard Programme

Samantha Seaton

Rob Yuille
Head of Long-Term Savings Policy

Group 2. The Evolving Asset Management Model for Large Institutions: Outsourcing vs Insourcing vs Collaboration

David Stewart
BA Pensions

Lead Discussants
John Chilman
Chief Executive

Debbie Fielder
Deputy Head
Clwyd Pension Fund

Sam Gervaise-Jones
Head of Client Consulting, UK & Ireland

Mark Hedges
Nationwide Pension Scheme

17:40 – 18:40
Food and wine delivered to your door courtesy of DG Publishing

Featured Address
The Rt. Hon. Stephen Timms MP
Chair – Work & Pensions Committee
House of Commons

Stephen Timms took over as Chair of the Work & Pensions Committee earlier this year, replacing Frank Field. He will give a personal view of the main challenges in delivering sufficient pensions outcomes across society, including protecting members’ savings in their journey towards retirement, together with insights into the work and powers of the Committee.

Wednesday 4th November

11:30 – 12:00
Gathering and reacquaintance with the format and features of the online conference

12:00 – 12:10
Welcome & Opening Remarks

John Harrison
Border to Coast Pensions Partnership

Programme Director
Stephen Glover
DG Publishing

12:10 – 12:50
Panel: Sustainable Investing Across UK Pensions

Chris Hitchen
Border to Coast Pensions Partnership

Victoria Barron
Head of Sustainable Investment
BT Pension Scheme

David Farrar
ESG and Climate Governance
Department for Work and Pensions

Julie Moret
Head of ESG
Franklin Templeton Investments

Tom Nelson
Co-Head of Thematic Equity
Ninety One Asset Management

The panel will discuss the overriding importance of sustainable investing to LGPS, DB and DC plans alike, the challenges and benefits of implementation, and the consequences for social good, investment performance and member outcomes over time.

12:50 – 13:10
Presentation: Climate Change and Fixed Income: The Important Role of Credit on the Path to Net Zero

Henrietta Pacquement
Head of Investment Grade Europe
Wells Fargo Asset Management

The need to transition to a carbon-neutral, zero-net-emissions global economy is now a given for most people and governments. In the investment world, climate transition is often regarded principally as an equity story. However, within fixed income, investment grade credit alone is a larger asset class than equities. Our speaker will illuminate three main considerations in achieving effective climate transition in this sector: the process by which this can be accomplished; how to simultaneously maintain investors’ performance expectations in investment grade credit; and the overall contribution that success in this area will make alongside all other initiatives to decarbonise investment portfolios.

13:10 – 13:55
Roundtable Discussions: Defining and Implementing Governance Best Practice

Robert Branagh
Chief Executive Officer
London Pensions Fund Authority

Studies have shown that there is a very strong causal link between better governance on the one hand and investment performance together with improved member outcomes on the other. Delegates will be invited to compare notes on the evolution of governance practices at their schemes, how these differ across the DB, DC and LGPS sectors, the work remaining to be done, and the outcomes which they expect.

Roundtable Moderators:
In each breakout discussion room, a senior pensions executive will manage a debate with the assembled group on the issues introduced by the Facilitator. There will be a feedback session following the return to plenary.

Claire McCormick
Board Trustee
Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank Group

Tony Filbin
Crystal Master Trust

Kim Gubler
The Pensions Administration Standards Association

13:55 – 14:20
Coffee at your place and Online Networking

14:20 – 14:45
Presentation: The Prospects for Emerging Market Debt

Michael Ganske
Portfolio Specialist
T. Rowe Price

The emerging markets will likely have to do more of the heavy lifting on global growth than they have in the past. As a consequence, the instruments used to fund that growth will continue to present significant investment opportunities. Our speaker will discuss the overall return prospects for emerging market debt, and make the case for the long term inclusion of this asset class across UK pension fund portfolios – LGPS, DB and DC.

14:45 – 15:25
Panel: Should Investors Plan for the Return of Inflation?

Mike Weston
Chief Executive
LGPS Central

Daniel Booth
Chief Investment Officer
Border to Coast Pensions Partnership

Ben Funnell
Joint Lead Portfolio Manager – Multi Asset
MAN Group

Padmesh Shukla
Head of Investments
TfL Pension Fund

There is a strong bifurcation of opinion among CIOs, economists and others on whether there will be a significant resurgence of inflation in the global economy over the next five years. Since the main asset classes can be expected to perform very differently under various inflation scenarios, it is important to come to a firm view on the direction of inflation or, in its absence, a hedging strategy which maintains investment performance under multiple outcomes. Our panel will debate the outlook for inflation and the optimal response for pension fund investors across the board.

15:25 – 15:45
Presentation: Achieving Diversified Long-Term Performance For UK Pensions

Daniel Seiler
Head of Multi-Asset Investing
Vontobel Asset Management

In addition to the outcome for inflation, many further uncertainties persist due not least to the following: the still unknown endgame to the current crisis; years of extraordinary central bank intervention; a stuttering outlook for global growth and exceptional political division in many countries. Our speaker will examine how UK pension schemes can achieve diversified long-term performance in an environment in which the forecasting of all key factors has become far more challenging.

15:45 – 16:05
Coffee at your place and Online Networking

16:05 – 16:50
Keynote Address and Q&A

To be announced

16:50 – 17:15
Presentation: The US Presidential Election

Steven Bell
Chief Economist
BMO Global Asset Management

The result of the US Presidential election will have come in overnight. Subject to challenges and delays in counting postal ballots, we should be very sure of the result at this time. Either outcome – a second term in office for Donald Trump or a new President in Joe Biden, will be momentous. Our speaker will discuss the implications for geopolitics, the global economy and pensions investments in particular.

17:15 – 17:30
Closing Remarks

17:30 – 18:40
Food and wine delivered to your door courtesy of DC Publishing

You are invited to settle in for:

An Audience with Ruby Wax
Beginning with her breakthrough role in the sitcom Girls on Top in the mid-80s, through extensive work as a celebrity interviewer over the next two decades in shows such as The Full Wax, multiple further television appearances, notably for Comic Relief, and more recently the stand-up show Losing It, dealing with mental health issues, Ruby Wax has become a household name to millions of television and theatre viewers. She also teaches business communication, with leading clients across both the private and public sectors. Ruby will bring her unique combination of humour, insight and life experience to bear on the extraordinary times we are currently living through.