LAPF Strategic Investment Forum 2017


Andaz London Liverpool Street
40 Liverpool Street
London, England (United Kingdom), EC2M 7QN,
Tel: 020 7961 1234



The 6th LAPF Strategic Investment Forum will take place on the 2nd February 2017 at the Andaz Hotel, Liverpool Street, London. In attendance will be representatives from local authority pension funds and independent advisers to those funds, who will examine in detail key investment issues for pension funds in the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Agenda for the day is as follows:

09:00 – 09:10
Chairman’s opening remarks

Meeting the investment challenges of an uncertain and changing world
John Harrison (Independent Adviser)

09:10 – 09:30
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Improving risk awareness and diversification through portfolio analytics

In an age of uncertainty, understanding risks, their implications, impacts and uses can offer improved financial outcomes over the long term. What tools and procedures are available to help pension funds assess and manage those investment risks?
Will Fox-Robinson (Natixis Global Asset Management)

09:30 – 09:50
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Using alternative beta to deliver an absolute return

Alternative Betas expand the tools of diversification. They are non-traditional, non-correlated market payoffs captured in a quantitative, cost effect and transparent way. This session explores the evolution in alternative beta across a number of asset classes.
Benjamin Simonds (Columbia Threadneedle)

09:50 – 10:35
Panel: Global equities

Global equities remain the single most important source of long term investment return for most LGPS funds. What can we expect from markets in the years ahead and how should mandates be structured in the new LGPS?
Moderator: John Harrison (Independent Adviser)
Panellists: Joey Alcock (bfinance), Andrew Lovegrove (Warwickshire), Paul Markham (Newton Investment Management), Maksim Piskunov (AGF Investments)


10:35 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:20
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Liability aware investing in a cashflow negative world

With LGPS funds’ benefit payments continuing to rise, asset strategies that can deliver growth and harvest income are moving to the forefront. Pension funds need long-term plans for generating liability cashflows – but without giving up growth potential. In this session we look at how a cashflow focused investment approach can deliver a modern day liability aware solution for the LGPS.
Dianne Ramsay (Legal & General Investment Management)

11:20 – 11:40
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Seeking income in a low return world

As pressures on funding levels and costs continue to dominate, where can asset owners turn to in their search for income?
Vivek Paul (BlackRock)

11:40 – 12:20
Roundtable Discussion: Strategic asset allocation

In the new LGPS, administering authorities will remain responsible for asset allocation – but what should that mean in practice?
Moderators: Howard Bluston (Independent Advisor), Graham Burrow (Gloucestershire), Peter Davies (Independent Advisor), Debbie Fielder (Clwyd), Sam Gervaise-Jones (bfinance), Philip Hebson (Independent Advisor), Cameron McMullen (JLT), Alex Noble (Noble & Associates), Anthony Parnell (Dyfed), John Raisin (Independent Advisor), Karen Shackleton (Independent Adviser), Peter Wallach (Merseyside)

12:20 – 13:00
Panel: Navigating uncertainty: a flexible investment strategy

High valuations of financial assets combined with uncertainty in political and policy decision making suggest we may face greater market volatility in the coming years. How should we structure our asset allocation and investment governance to deliver more stable returns?
Moderator: John Harrison (Independent Adviser)
Panellists: Kieran Harkin (JLT), Ian Pizer (Aviva Investors), Dawn Turner (Environment Agency Pension Fund), Peter Wallach (Merseyside)


13:00 – 14:00


14:00 – 14:20
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Emerging market debt

The single most important factor for EMD performance is growth and after years of decline, growth is expected to rebound in 2017. However, the dispersion between countries and currencies is likely to be high which will necessitate an unconstrained approach from skilled investors.
Darren Madden (Lazard Asset Management)

14:20 – 14:40
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Infrastructure

2017 is being described by many as the year for Infrastructure. With unprecedented volatility in global markets, low growth and inflation on the rise, many are seeing infrastructure as a solution to these issues. J.P. Morgan takes a look at defining and accessing the investment class, and why a strong focus on ESG is the bedrock of sustainable, long-term investment.
Mark Walters (J.P. Morgan Asset Management)

14:40 – 15:20
Panel: Private markets

With low starting yields, prospective returns from equities and bonds may be lower than in the past. Should we invest more in illiquid assets instead, and if so, how?
Moderator: John Harrison (Independent Adviser)
Panellists: Trevor Castledine (Local Pensions Partnership), Nalaka De Silva (Standard Life Investments), Debbie Fielder (Clwyd), John MacDonald (Hymans Robertson)

15:20 – 15:40
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Factor investing

Many academic studies have shown that equity styles such as value, momentum, size or low volatility, outperform the market index. Can active management capture extra return in a systematic and low cost way by removing shared elements across the styles?
Erik Rubingh (BMO Global Asset Management)


15:40 – 16:00


16:00 – 16:20
Portfolio Manager Presentation: Active ownership investing in Europe

Building on a brief review of the historical context, Petteri Soininen provides a practitioner’s perspectives on Active Ownership Investing in Europe today with concluding remarks on the future.
Petteri Soininen (RWC Partners)

16:20 – 16:45
LGPS asset pooling opportunities

In addition to lower costs, asset pooling should in time widen the range of investment opportunities available to us. What do we need to do to enable this to happen?
Part 1: Roundtable Discussion
Moderators: Graham Burrow (Gloucestershire), Peter Davies (Independent Adviser), Philip Hebson (Independent Adviser), John MacDonald (Hymans Robertson), Euan Miller (Greater Manchester), Alex Noble (Noble & Associates), Anthony Parnell (Dyfed), John Raisin (Independent Adviser), Jo Ray (Lincolnshire), Karen Shackleton (Independent Adviser), Sarah Smart (Independent Professional Observer), Peter Wallach (Merseyside)

Part 2: Panel
Panel Chair: Jeff Houston (LGA)
Panellists: Fiona Miller (Cumbria), Mark Schoen (BNP Paribas Securities Services), Chris Toone (Partners Group), Matthew Trebilcock (Cornwall & Brunel)

17:30 – 17:35
Chairman’s closing remarks

17:35 – 19:00
Drinks reception

19:00 – 21:00
Seated dinner


To Register
The LAPF Strategic Investment Forum annual conference and dinner is free to attend, on a first-come-first-served basis, by invitation, exclusively to:

  • Senior LGPS Investment Officers
  • CFOs of Administering Authorities
  • Chairs of LGPS Investment Committees
  • Independent Investment Advisers to LGPS Funds


To book your place
Telephone: 020 7353 9134

A maximum of three delegates may attend from any one LGPS fund.


Click here for nearby hotels if you require accommodation



CPD points: This conference qualifies for 6 hours 45 minutes CPD

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