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.

A map and directions to the Grove can be found here.


Advisory Board



Wednesday 19th July


08:30 – 09:00
Coffee and registration

09:00 – 09:05
Chairman’s opening remarks
John Harrison (Independent Adviser)

09:05 – 09:25
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Long term challenges for pension funds: Shifting Demographics
With the focus of the English and Welsh LGPS funds, understandably, on the immediate challenges of pooling, it’s timely to also take a moment to step back and consider the changing nature of demographics globally and what this might mean from an investment perspective.

  • Is there a “Demographic Tax” that we need to start planning for today?
  • What will both lower global and UK GDP growth and population growth mean for future asset return expectations?
  • How might shifting demographics impact financial markets?
  • Ben Bruck, Macquarie Investment Management

    09:25 – 09:45
    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

    09:45 – 10:25
    LGPS Asset Pooling – Will we be ready?
    Part 1: Roundtable Discussion with an introduction by Jeff Houston (Head of Pensions, LGA)
    Moderators: Matt Bowmer (LGSS), Rachel Brothwood (West Midlands), Graham Burrow (Independent Concultant), Peter Davies (Independent Adviser), Mathew Dawson (Warwickshire), Debbie Fielder (Clwyd), Anthony Fletcher (Independent Adviser), Paul Guilliotti (Richmond and Wandsworth), Ola Owolabi (East Sussex), John Raisin (Independent Adviser), Phil Triggs (Surrey)

    10:25 – 11:05
    LGPS Asset Pooling – Will we be ready?
    Part 2: Panel
    Jeffrey Dong (Swansea), Abigail Leech (Lancashire), Denise Le Gal (Brunel PP), Andy Todd (State Street)


    11:05 – 11:25


    11:25 – 11:45
    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

    11:45 – 12:05
    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

    12:05 – 12:25
    Interview: Private debt
    An interview with John Harrison
    Niels Bodenheim, bfinance

    12:25 – 13:00
    Roundtable Discussion: Fund manager monitoring
    What information do administering authorities need to be given by the pools, and how frequently?
    Moderators: Howard Bluston (Independent Adviser), William Bourne (Independent Adviser), Rachel Brothwood (West Midlands), Peter Davies (Independent Adviser), Debbie Fielder (Clwyd), Paul Guilliotti (Richmond and Wandsworth), Philip Hebson (Independent Adviser), Denise Le Gal (Brunel PP), Alex Noble (Noble and Associates), Ola Owolabi (East Sussex), Jo Ray (Lincolnshire)


    13:00 – 14:00


    14:00 – 14:40
    Panel: Setting investment strategy in the new world
    Moderator: John Harrison
    Panellists: William Bourne (Independent Adviser), Mark Gayler (Devon), Phil Triggs (Surrey), Peter Wallach (Merseyside)

    14:40 – 15:00
    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

    15:00 – 15:20
    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

    15:20 – 16:00
    Panel: Accessing infrastructure and other real assets
    Moderator: John Harrison
    Panellists: Nick Buckland (JLT), Mathew Dawson (Warwickshire), Andrea Echberg (Pantheon)


    16:00 – 16:20


    16:20 – 16:40
    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.
    Ian Ashment, UBS Asset Management

    16:40 – 17:25
    Railpen’s approach to asset pooling
    Julian Cripps, RPMI Railpen
    Railpen manages over £25 billion of assets for over 100 underlying funds. Julian will explain how the Railpen asset pool works for their scheme. The years of experience of a large asset pool provides valuable insights to help us address the challenges and opportunities facing the LGPS.

    17:25 – 17:30
    Chairman’s remarks


    17:30 – 19:00

    Dinner with featured address: “Groupthink versus The Wisdom of Crowds”
    Paul Craven, Behavioural Specialist, asset management industry veteran and member of The Magic Circle.


    Thursday 20th July


    09:00 – 09:30

    09:30 – 10:20
    Question Time 1: Maintaining diversification in the new LGPS pools
    Moderator: Eric Lambert (Independent Adviser)
    Panellists: Debbie Fielder (Clwyd), Kieran Harkin (JLT), Dawn Turner (Brunel)

    10:20 – 10:40
    Portfolio Manager Interview: Real estate investing
    An interview with John Harrison
    Alex Greaves, M&G Real Estate

    10:40 – 11:00
    Portfolio Manager Interview: 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
    An interview with John Harrison
    Declan Canavan, J.P. Morgan Asset Management


    11:00 – 11:20


    11:20 – 11:40
    Portfolio Manager Interview: Globalisation under the spotlight
    An interview with John Harrison
    Ron Temple, Lazard Asset Management

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

    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



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