2020 Agenda

12:00 PM - | Registration Opens

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM | Opening Remarks from the Chair

2:15 PM - 2:45 PM | Keynote: “The Opportunities and Risks for Investors in the Move to a Decarbonized Economy”

Hear about fascinating and overview of the latest scientific evidence on climate change.  Learn about the risks —
as well as the opportunities — facing companies and investment fiduciaries.  Discover from an expert — the
founder and CEO of London-based Carbon Cap — just how decision-makers can take action to lower risk and
generate attractive returns in the move to a decarbonized economy.  Not to be missed!

Speaker:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Michael Azlen, Founder and CEO, Carbon Cap Management LLP (London, England)

2:45 PM - 3:30 PM | Multi-Strategy Asset Allocation in a Fragmented Market: The Experts Speak!

How do pension funds now allocate assets in a fragmented alternative investments market?  And what do the asset managers recommend?  In this unique session, hear a panel of top pension investors and leading asset managers discuss what to invest in — and how to allocate your assets — for 2020 and beyond:

  • How has multi-asset investing evolved over the years?
  • How to navigate the various options and approaches that are available today
  • Do these strategies reduce correlations, lower volatility and limited downside risk or drawdown?  And, if so, by how much?
  • Constructing the portfolio with a risk factor approach
  • Where is the “smart money” currently invested?
  • Given market conditions and a risk of overexposure, what are your allocation and investment plans for 2020  and 2021?

Marina Mets, Head of Americas, Fixed Income and Multi-Asset Index Product Management, FTSE Russell

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM | Networking Break

3:45 PM - 4:15 PM | The Coming of Age of Infrastructure Debt

A recent report from the Institute of Civil Engineers indicated that closing the global investment gap in infrastructure would require spending the equivalent to 3.8% of global GDP; that has created the long-term demand for infrastructure financing.  In this session, you will hear a review of the market outlook and growing opportunities for infrastructure projects from a global perspective and why infrastructure debt would be an interesting strategy to include into an institution’s asset mix. Hear an exploration of the advantages of infrastructure debt as an asset class with a focus on duration, sector and geographical diversification, credit quality and yield comparison to corporate credit and public markets.

Shantini Nair, Senior Product Specialist, HSBC Global Asset Management 

4:15 PM - 5:00 PM | A Unique Fireside Chat: The Hidden Costs of Reporting

Investor fees continue to come under scrutiny.  Are these fees really too high?  Or just a lack of transparency? And what does transparency mean for pension funds?  Will technology radically alter reporting practices while allocations to private equity increase?  And, most importantly, does investor behaviour need a radical change as well?  In this session, you will get the answers to those questions — and more — from a speaker whose widely-praised plans are vital to the entire institutional investment community.  This is a revealing not-to-be missed session!

Speaker:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Lorelei Graye, President & CEO, ADS Initiative

Terri Troy
, President, Troy Advisory Services Inc. Retired CEO and CIO Halifax Regional Municipality Pension Plan

5:00 PM - | Networking Reception

8:00 AM - | Breakfast

8:45 AM - 9:00 AM | Opening Remarks from the Chair

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM | Keynote: “Why Norway’s Largest Pension Fund Divested from the Alberta Oil Sands”

Norway’s largest pension fund, KLP, is pulling out of the Alberta oilsands.  The US$1-trillion wealth fund is selling its shares in the province’s oil and gas companies.  That is in addition to its withdrawal from all coal investments.  By going coal and oilseeds free, it is determined to send a strong message to the urgency of shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy.  In this fascinating keynote session, hear KLP’s Chief Sustainable Officer discuss what prompted the decision — and how other pension funds can learn from it.

Speaker:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Jeanett Bergan, Head of Responsible Investments, KLP (Oslo, Norway)

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM | Investment Officers’ Roundtable: How do Pension CIOs Tackle the Poison of Uncertainty?

Ruthless policy is rattling markets.  Trump is erratic — ramping up pressure on China, the EU and others.  Brexit has caused great uncertainty.  Climate change — and the horrors it might bring —  is on everyone’s minds.  These uncertainties — and many others — are poison for the economy and risk sentiment alike.  These uncertainties all remain the key drag on global economic uncertainty.  Investors in alternatives, however, can take advantage of these risks --if they have the knowledge and are aware of the risks.  This panel, consisting of CIOs from highly respected institutions, will discuss the strategies and industry sectors they expect will drive their investments in the years to come.
Hear them discuss:

  • Are you considering changes to your plan’s asset allocation?
  • If yes, what is driving that decision?
  • How are you navigating high prices and growing competition to generate superior returns?
  • Highlight your most successful and least successful investment decision
  • Do you use your plan’s funded status to make asset allocation strategies?
  • Discuss how your fund approaches ESG/Sustainability investingWhat is the smartest money buying?
  • How did alternatives help the ROI of your fund?

Michel Malo, Chief Investment  Officer, Provident10
Stephen Thompson, Executive Director, Capital Markets, Department of Treasury Board and Finance, The Government of Alberta                                                
John Denham, Chief Investment Officer', Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario

10:45 AM - 11:05 AM | Networking Break

11:05 AM - 11:35 AM | Derivatives Strategies as a Diversified Source of Alpha

The use of derivatives in investment strategies can add diversification across several important axes (instruments, asset classes and geographies). Learn how to address common derivatives investing challenges and why vanilla options (though they may appear simple because they are easy to access) might actually be the most complex to manage.  Practical examples illustrate how derivatives strategies can take advantage of structural market anomalies linked to flows to generate all-weather performance.

Yann Le Her, Partner and Senior Portfolio Manager, LFIS


11:35 AM - 12:20 PM | Taking Advantage of Innovative Non-Correlated and Niche Fund Strategies

  • Defining today’s niche strategies and how niche can become mainstream
  • What role do non-correlated investments play in a well-dressed allocation and risk model?
  • What are the key drivers of return and what are the key risks?
  • Investing early to build relationships.
  • Current strategies and opportunities that exist in the world against which non-correlated investments mitigate or eliminate risk.
  • What alternative classes are well-suited for the current market environment?
  • Investing in art and  litigation financing -- both hot areas of great interest
  • Considering alpha, does investing in private or direct alternatives offer a premium significant enough to warrant the perceived or real risks associated with these investments?

Maximilian (Max) Doyle, Country Manager, Canada Augusta
Nancy Hoi Bertrand, Managing Director, Citi Private  Bank

Moderator:                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Brandon Gill New, Senior Porfolio Manager, Capital Markets Group, External Public Investments, OPTrust

12:20 PM - 12:50 PM | To Be Announced

12:50 PM - 2:05 PM | Lunch

2:05 PM - 3:00 PM | Does Sustainable Investing Constrain a Portfolio?

Sustainable investing is very hot right now — but it is often misunderstood.  Many investors think a sustainable agenda limits a portfolio to a narrow piece of the market. Conventional wisdom suggests that creating a sustainable equity portfolio is a restrictive exercise that involves screening out stocks and fishing in a condensed subset of the broader equity market.  But both research and practice shows quite the opposite:  many companies across a wide range of industries and countries are, in fact, aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).  In this session, hear from leading experts about how to get the very best return on investments using sustainable investing — and why it works so well!

Jeanett Bergan, Head of  Responsible Investments, KLP (Oslo, Norway)
Alison Loat Managing Director, Sustainable Investing, Innovation,OPTrust
Sarah Takaki, Senior Director, Responsible Investing, HOOPP

Moderator :
Joy Williams, Climate Change Specialist for Finance and Industry, Mantle

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM | Have Private Credit and Private Markets Reached their Saturation Point?

Investments in private credit and debt have been hot recently — and investors have embraced them with great enthusiasm.  But have they hit the saturation point?  Or are there still great opportunities to be found that deliver high ROI?  From interest rates to trade tariffs, structures to covenants, is the industry still searching for yield without sacrificing deal quality?  With corporate balance sheet leverage and consumer leverage high —  plus high market valuations — is there still capacity in the market?  What is the impact on returns as companies chase weaker deals? 

In this session, the experts will guide you to discover:

  • Investment opportunities across the credit spectrum — BDCs, CLOs, Private Credit Funds, Mezz Funds, Broader Strategies
  • Trends in the credit market 
    •  regulated banks
    • non-regulated arranger
    • direct lenders
    • credit quality
    • supply and demand
  • Macro-outlook on the broader economy:  impact on credit to the credit cycle
  • Risk-adjusted returns for credit vs PE, Mezz, Public Markets
  • Will specialization start to see better risk-adjusted returns than generalist direct lending funds?
  • How can private credit boost investor returns and improve diversification?
Greg Walker, Head of Institutional Sales ETFs, Vanguard Investments Canada Inc.
Tyler Gately, Product Manager, Barings Global Private Finance Group
Andrea Kenyon, Portfolio Manager, Private Debt, AIMCo

4:00 PM - 4:15 PM | Networking Break

4:15 PM - 5:00 PM | The Explosive Power of Enhancing Yields with Emerging Market Opportunities

Although they are more prone to extreme ups and downs, emerging markets as a whole typically grow at a faster pace than developed markets.  In 2019, emerging markets expanded at a rate of 4.9% — more than twice the rate of developed markets.  Technological advances, GDP growth, and demographic shifts are some of the key drivers of transformative change in emerging markets. But not all opportunities are created equal. How can you help clients tap into this growth story while being mindful of the risks? Hear industry veterans weigh in on this debate - and your investment decisions in this most interesting area will be vastly improved!

  • What is the rationale and investment thesis for a Canadian investor to have EM exposure?  Conversely, what are the reasons to be cautious on EM?
  • What are the best opportunities and where are they?
  • How to tap into the EM market opportunity – particularly from far afield. The importance of co-investment and investing through funds to tap EM
  • Importance of macro -- and political considerations -- in country selection
  • What are the best choices:  public markets v. private; Credit v. equity
  • ESG and Impact Investing in Emerging Markets


Peter Cashion, Chief Investment Officer, Financial Institutions Group, International Finance Corporation
Roberta Brzezinski, Managing Partner, Capitalworks Emerging Markets
David Ross, Managing Director, Capital Markets Group, OPTrust

6:00 PM - | Gala Reception & Dinner

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM | Breakfast

8:45 AM - 8:55 AM | Opening Remarks from the Chair

8:55 AM - 9:15 AM | To Be Announced

9:15 AM - 10:00 AM | How to Effectively Incorporate Real Assets into your Portfolio

Real assets -- including real estate and infrastructure — are playing an ever-important role in a multi-class portfolio.  This expert panel will examine and delve into a wide array of performance trends and risks in various real asset classes that will result in a better portfolio.


  • The newest opportunities, strategies, risks and rewards involved in real assets
  • Impact of oil prices and outlook for the year to come
  • How do real assets fit into a portfolio?
  • Exploring what’s happening in Infrastructure
  • Oil and gas v. Renewables
  • The value of investing in farmland
  • Natural resources — energy, water, timber

Speakers:                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Steven D'Cunha, Senior APM, Investment Management Corporation of Ontario
Daniel Marchand, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Investor Sales, Trez Capital

Moderator:                                                                                                                                                                                                                       TBA

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM | To Be Announced

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM | Networking Break

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM | Effectively Capitalizing on International and Domestic Real Estate Markets In 2020 and Beyond

Real estate has served as a core performer for investors — despite its illiquid nature and high valuations.  In this session, discover expert perspectives on current developments.  Learn where real estate demands are heading in Canada, the U.S. and internationally — and find out where — and how — to make your investments profitable.  You will get to examine a broad range of strategies and property types to discover new opportunities in a crowded market.  You will walk away with new perspectives that will enhance your real estate investments.

Moderator:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Charles Quintal, President, Retirement Committee, Assembly of Quebec Catholic Bishops

Marie-Josee Turmel Director, Real Estate Investments, Canada Post Pension Plan

11:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Closing Keynote Presentation: Why we all need to be concerned about the Canadian Retirement Income System

Canada is undergoing an unprecedented demographic shift. For the first time in our history, there are more people over the age of 65 than there are children under the age of 15.  This is not mere trivia.  An ageing population demands different considerations than does a younger population.  This is true for our retirement income systems -- governments, the pension sector and Canadians themselves.  It will soon create problems -- and, in this session, Canada's foremost pension expert will explain the problems and discuss the solutions.  A must-attend session for every pension plan!
Keith Ambachtsheer, Director Emeritus, International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM); Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; Senior Fellow, National Institute on Aging (NIA), Ryerson University; President, KPA Advisory Services

12:15 PM - | Closing Remarks from the Chair and Networking Luncheon