July 2017 LAPF Strategic Investment Forum

2017 is shaping up to be a highly significant year for the LGPS. While local authorities continue to deal with the day-to-day management of costs, liabilities and investment returns, pooling arrangements continue apace. How will pension funds deal with the complexities of pooling, and issues such as manager selection, costs, transparency and responsible investment? What are the investment trends to look out for in 2017 and beyond, and what should pension funds focus on when selecting and implementing investment strategies?

This two-day event is designed to help pension funds and their advisers face those challenges head on. Round table discussion groups, ideal for the exchange of ideas and perspectives, combine with in-depth panel discussions and strategy presentations to make this conference the perfect place to get to grips with all of this and more.

This event is free of charge to LGPS delegates and bed and breakfast accommodation at the Grove Hotel is included, also free of charge. However please note that should you cancel your place at the event after 7 July, or you do not attend the event, then a cancellation fee of £210 (+VAT) per night will be charged.


Advisory Board



Wednesday 19th July


08:30 – 09:00
Coffee and registration

09:00 – 09:10
Chairman’s opening remarks
John Harrison (Independent Adviser)

09:10 – 09:30
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Long term challenges for pension funds
Ben Bruck, Macquarie Investment Management

09:30 – 09:50
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Secured finance for income and growth
With yields on UK and European corporate investment grade bonds close to historic lows, investors have been exploring alternative sources of returns across credit markets. Many have moved into leveraged finance, risky multi-asset credit and direct lending. There is a safer alternative that we call secured finance which aims to deliver cash +4% per annum without taking the risks embedded in these other approaches whilst offering a contractual income that can help pension funds with cash flow needs.
Andy Burgess, Insight Investment

09:50 – 10:35
Panel: Seizing the best co-investment opportunities
Panellists so far confirmed: JLT


10:35 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:20
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Macro trends – climbing the wall of worry
In an era of elevated political risk, rising inflation and compressed yields, we discuss why markets may continue to climb the “wall of worry”, and what this means for bond investors.
Andrew Mulliner, Janus Henderson Investors

11:20 – 11:40
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Addressing the cash-flow challenge
When a pension fund becomes cash flow negative there are three actions that need to be considered:

  • Revisit the asset allocation, accounting for the outflows
  • Identify how the income from the pension fund will be generated
  • Decide what to disinvest from in order to fund an allocation to income generating assets

We will discuss each of these three issues, and give guidance on what decisions need to be taken in a pension plan. We’ll discuss what the key drivers of those decisions are, what the main options are, and the impact of those choices on the portfolio. We’ll close with some cautionary tales of income management.
David Buckle, Fidelity International

11:40 – 12:20
Roundtable Discussion: Fund manager monitoring
What information do administering authorities need to be given by the pools, and how frequently?
Moderators so far confirmed: William Bourne (Independent Adviser), Peter Davies (Independent Adviser), Debbie Fielder (Clwyd), Denise Le Gal (Brunel PP), Philip Hebson (Independent Adviser), Alex Noble (Noble and Associates)

12:20 – 13:00
Panel: Setting investment strategy in the new world
Moderator: John Harrison
Panellists so far confirmed: William Bourne (Independent Adviser), Phil Triggs (Surrey), Peter Wallach (Merseyside), JLT, TBC


13:00 – 14:00


14:00 – 14:20
Portfolio Manager Presentation: DGFs
It is time to diversify. Genuinely. 60/40 is no longer enough.
As we look out over the next 5 years we can see a range of compelling investment opportunities – but also a significant set of risks, including the headwind of historically low yields and rising rates. In the past multi asset funds would have tried to navigate this environment with a simple blend of equities and bonds. Today, multi asset funds need to do more – or risk disappointing their clients.
The answer isn’t simply to make heroic bets, or to aggressively market time. As we have seen with the world’s largest and most sophisticated investors, genuine diversification benefits can be achieved through exposure to a broader range of asset classes, including infrastructure, emerging market bonds, loans, insurance linked securities, aircraft leasing and peer to peer lending.
We will talk through the exciting options available – and how our unconstrained approach is offering “more”.
Simon Fox, Aberdeen Asset Management

14:20 – 14:40
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Infrastructure
Infrastructure has long held an important place in history as the backbone of an economy, and a cornerstone of economic growth. As an asset class for private investment, infrastructure has matured over the last decade with pension funds finding a growing number of ways they can access the asset class; at different stages in the assets’ life cycle; and various strategies which can be adopted to maximise value.
Martin Lennon, Infracapital

14:40 – 15:20
Panel: Alternative Investments – Private Debt
Moderator: John Harrison
Panellists so far confirmed: Mark Gayler (Devon), bfinance, TBC, TBC

15:20 – 15:40
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Climate aware investing
In 2016, the world reached a major milestone in recognising the risks from climate change and agreeing to tackle them. The transition to a greener global economy will take place over the next few decades.

  • As long term investors, how do we evaluate climate change and the investment risks our scheme might face?
  • What options are open to investors currently?
  • How can we make the transition to a lower greenhouse gas emission economy in a cost efficient manner?
  • What impacts might this have on investment performance?
  • Conclusion

We will address these key questions.
Sponsored by UBS Asset Management


15:40 – 16:00


16:00 – 16:35
LGPS asset pooling – will we be ready?
Part 1: Roundtable Discussion with an introduction by Jeff Houston (Head of Pensions, LGA)
Moderators so far confirmed: Matt Bowmer (LGSS), Graham Burrow (Independent Consultant), Mathew Dawson (Warwickshire), Debbie Fielder (Clwyd), Anthony Fletcher (Independent Adviser), Ola Owolabi (East Sussex), John Raisin (Independent Adviser), Phil Triggs (Surrey)

16:35 – 17.10
Part 2: Panel
Moderator: John Harrison
Panellists so far confirmed: Andy Todd (State Street), Dawn Turner (Brunel PP & the Environment Agency Pension Fund), TBC, TBC

17:10 – 17:15
Chairman’s remarks


17:15 – 19:00

Dinner with featured address: Groupthink versus The Wisdom of Crowds
Paul Craven, Behavioural Economist & Magician


Thursday 20th July


09:00 – 09:30

09:30 – 10:20
Panel – Question Time 1: Maintaining diversification in the new LGPS pools
Moderator: Eric Lambert (Independent Adviser)
Panellists so far confirmed: Matthew Trebilcock (Cornwall), JLT, TBC

10:20 – 10:40
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Real estate investing
Alex Greaves, M&G Real Estate

10:40 – 11:00
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Achieving diversified income from opportunities arising out of pooling economies
The fundamental role of Alternative investments in portfolios continues to be debated and evaluated. Ranging from “diversifiers” to “return enhancers”, different Alternative asset classes exhibit different benefits including volatility mitigation, inflation protection and the ability to deliver attractive levels of income. In this session we will assess a range of Alternative asset classes to determine what they bring to portfolios before illustrating a potential Alternatives income solution
Declan Canavan, J.P. Morgan Asset Management

11:00 – 11:20

11:20 – 11:40
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Globalisation under the spotlight
Ron Temple, Lazard Asset Management

11:40 – 12:30
Panel – Question Time 2: Implementing ESG in the pools
Moderator: Eric Lambert (Independent Adviser)
Panellists so far confirmed: Jill Davys (London CIV), Michael Marshall (West Midlands), bfinance, TBC

Lunch and Close


For more information or to reserve a place, please email dkeogh@dgpublishing.com or call 020 7353 9134.


CPD points: This conference qualifies for 9 hours and 10 minutes CPD