September 23, 2019

5:30 PM - 6:00 PM | Registration & Networking

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM | Welcome Reception

September 24, 2019

7:45 AM - 8:15 AM | Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:15 AM - 8:30 AM | Opening Remarks from the Chair

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM | Special Keynote | Canada's Expert Panel Report on Sustainable Finance: What's In It For Asset Owners?

This special keynote will be of immense and necessary value to every pension fund in Canada — because the future investment portfolios of every single one of them will be affected by it.
In April 2018, the Government of Canada announced the formation of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance to consult with Canada’s financial market participants on issues related to sustainable finance. The panel released its final report on June 14, 2019. These findings will significantly impact the investment decisions of every pension plan in Canada.  In this interactive keynote, hear from two of the four members of that panel.  They are, as Pension Pulse has noted, two of the most powerful women in Canada’s pension field in an elite club dominated by men.  This is a not-to-be-missed special keynote!
Moderator: Gordon R. Power, Owner & Chief Investment Officer - Earth Capital Partners, LLP
Speaker: Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice President, Legal & Secretariat - CDPQ
Speaker: Barbara Zvan, Chief Risk & Strategy Officer - Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM | Investment Opportunities with the Synergy between Climate Change and the SDGs

Synergies between the Paris Accord and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development align the climate change and SDG processes to create investment opportunities for institutional investors at the nexus between climate change, energy, food and water.  In this session, you will discover:
  • Examples of how to invest successfully by aligning with both SDGs and climate action at global, regional and country levels to produce scalable investments for institutional investors
  • How to measure the impact of investment opportunities to illustrate the social, environmental and financial metrics from the potential of synergistic and interlinked approaches that can be used to realize the objectives of the SDGs Agenda and the Paris Accord
  • How to profit from these measures
Speaker: Gordon R. Power, Owner & Chief Investment Officer - Earth Capital Partners, LLP

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM | A Debate Between an Investor and an Asset Manager: Different Perspectives on Yield Expectations, Portfolio Optimization and Risk-Taking

What does it take to succeed in today’s challenging investing landscape?  In this session, join a top asset owner and a leading investment manager in a candid debate about alternatives.  Dissect where the market is heading.  Discover the risk and return expectations for alternative assets — as well as performance and compensation.  You will walk away with an understanding of the key investment challenges from both sides and discover what each party can do to capitalize on opportunities through partnership and innovation.  A not-to-be-missed session!
Moderator: Charles Quintal, President, Retirement Committee - Assembly of Quebec Catholic Bishopss
Speaker: Vincent Jacob-Goudreau, Director, CIO Group - Portfolio Construction - PSP Investments

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM | Networking Break

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM | How to Effectively Capitalize on International and Domestic Real Estate and Farmland

Investing in international and domestic real estate can bring real value to alternative investors — if they are know what they are doing.  Despite its illiquid nature and high valuations, real estate has served as a core performer for investors. Gather expert perspectives on current developments — and where real estate demands are heading in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. You will discover a broad range of strategies and property types to discover new opportunities in a crowded market.
Moderator: Francois Audet, Senior Director, Credit & Private Investment Risk - PSP Investments
Speaker: David Pappin, President - IAM Real Estate Group
Speaker: Joelle Faulkner, President - Area One Farms

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM | The Savvy Managers and Consultants Speak: Where is the Smart Money Being Invested?

How are savvy managers navigating high prices and growing competition in today’s frothy market to generate superior returns? Faced with uncertain financial markets and increasing disruption, what is the smartest money purchasing? In this session, you will hear from some of Canada’s leading institutional investors and asset managers give you their views on:
  • How to achieve portfolio harmony in 2020
  • Balancing your asset allocation and portfolio construction
  • What will happen to the US equity and bond markets
  • Targeting allocation strategies moving into 2020 and beyond
  • Using technology to monitor your portfolio and manage risk 
  • Using un-correlated strategies for maximum gain
Speaker: Blair Richards, CEO - Halifax Port ILA/HEA
Speaker: Dominic Blais, Senior Risk Manager - The Canadian Medical Protective Association
Speaker: Anne Lefebvre, Director, Total Fund Strategy - PSP Investments
Speaker: Dr. Toby Goodworth, Managing Director, Head of Risk & Diversifying Strategies - bfinance

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM | Networking Luncheon

Sponsored by: 

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM | Keynote | Fireside Chat - How CDPQ delivered Outstanding Results with Alternative Investments in 2018

Given the losses in the markets in 2018, some investors — like CDPQ — have managed to post a positive return because of their alternative investments portfolio.  Discover what they did to make their portfolio more resilient, given market headwinds.  What alternatives did they invest in — and how did they make that decision?  And, importantly, how should a mid-sized pension fund go about it if it posted negative returns on other investments — and alternatives were not recommended by its consultants?  In this exclusive and riveting session — by a senior member of CDPQ’s investment team in conversation with a prominent investing consultant, you will walk away with a wealth of knowledge!
Speaker: Maxime Aucoin, Executive Vice President, Investment Strategies & Innovation - CDPQ

2:45 PM - 3:15 PM | The Value of Gold as a Strategic Asset Class

There is value in considering an allocation in gold in your institutional portfolio.  Discover what leading experts will show you:
  • The strategic case for gold - and the outlook for 2019 to 2020
  • Gold's long-term performance versus traditional asset classes
  • How investors are incorporating gold into their portfolios today
  • Improving risk-adjusted returned in volatile markets
Speaker: Bobby Eng, Vice President, Head of SPDR ETFs Canada - State Street Global Advisors
Speaker: George Milling-Stanley, Vice President, Head of Gold Strategy - State Street Global Advisors
Speaker: Juan Carlos Artigas, Director, Investment Research - World Gold Council

3:15 PM - 3:45 PM | Afternoon Networking Break

Sponsored by: 

3:45 PM - 4:15 PM | Advanced Factor Investing: Is the Strong Correlation between ARP and Equities in 2018 a Cause for Alarm or a Question of Implementation?

Factor investing has become mainstream for investors to maximize diversification and uncorrelated returns.  The ARP industry faced its first real test in 2018, leaving many wondering if it can really deliver on promises of uncorrelated performance.  Understand what drove ARP’s difficult year and learn how to avoid common mistakes by institutional investors in deploying factor investments to access sources of diversifying returns.
Speaker: Luc Dumontier, Partner & Head of Factor Investing - La Francaise Investment Solutions
Speaker: Alex Da Costa, Principal - Mercer | Pavilion Advisory Group Ltd

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 2018, emerging markets expanded at a rate of 4.8% — 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!
Speaker: Emma Radloff, Manager, Public Assets - NAV Canada

5:00 PM - 5:15 PM | Summary and Conclusion of Day 2

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM | Cocktail Reception

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM | Gala Dinner

September 25, 2019

*The above agenda is subject to change.

8:20 AM - 8:50 AM | Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:50 AM - 9:00 AM | Remarks from the Chair

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM | Capturing the Strength and Momentum in Private Debt and Alternative Credit Growth: The Remarkable Achievements of a Small Asset Class

There are enormous opportunities to be found in private debt and alternative credit growth. In 2018, assets under management globally by private debt funds reached $638 billion, with aggregate capital raised surpassing the $110 billion mark. Hear about the latest developments in asset-back debt, direct lending, and alternative credit. Access the full spectrum of credit instruments to deliver absolute performance while limiting your duration risk and interest rate sensitivity.
Moderator: Vishnu Mohanan, Manager, Private Investments - Halifax Regional Municipality Pension Plan 
Speaker: Theresa Shutt, Chief Investment Officer - IAM Private Debt Group
Speaker: Ian Fowler, Managing Director, Co-Head of North American Private Finance Group - Barings
Speaker: Richard Byrne, President, Benefit Street Partners

10:00 AM - 10:20 AM | The Liquidity Conundrum: How to Design to Liquidity Policy to Incorporate Increasing Liquid Allocation

Confronted with toughness in the funding regime and diminishing market returns, what can pensions do in face of liquidity challenges? Learn how to determine the ideal liquidity ratio for your mandate and devise a holistic a liquidity policy to meet obligations and maintain cash-flow. Acquire strategies to enhance the use of leverage and prevent the need to liquidate during a sub-optimal market.
Speaker: Anne-Marie Fink, Portfolio Strategist, Alternative Program Management - State Street Global Advisors

10:20 AM - 10:50 AM | Networking Break

10:50 AM - 11:50 AM | “The Trillion Dollar Shift”: 5 Key Trends Changing the ESG Investing Landscape in 2019 - 2020

The “Trillion Dollar Shift” is the winner of the Gold Axiom Business Book Award for 2019.  And for good reason:  natural disasters triggered by climate change have doubled since the 1980s, violence and armed conflict now cost more than 13% of GDP, social inequality and youth unemployment is worsening around the world and climate change threatens the global population with tremendous environmental and social problems.  Opportunities now abound for business and capital to unlock markets which offer endless potential for profit while working towards sustainable development goals.  Astute institutional investors realize this is the way of the future — and that ESG is an essential component of every investment decision.  In this session, learn:
  • Why has sustainable finance become such a front-burner issue across the global financial community?
  • What are the 5 key trends changing the ESG landscape in 2019 to 2020?
  • How are institutional investors - both large and small alike - successfully Integrating ESG  considerations into their portfolios
  • How ESG considerations can mitigate risk - and provide higher ROI
  • What does every institutional investor need to do to understand and integrate ESG into its portfolio?
  • The unique sustainable bond issue by Concordia University- and what every investor in Canada can learn from this ground-breaking development
Speaker: Marc Gauthier, Treasurer & Investment Officer - Concordia University 
Speaker: Erica Barbosa, Director of Solutions Finance - The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation
Speaker: Deborah Ng, Director, Strategy & Risk - Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
Speaker: Katharine Preston, Director, Responsible Investing - OPTrust
Speaker: Hannah Skeates, Global Head of Environmental, Social & Governance - Wells Fargo Asset Management

11:50 AM - 12:20 PM | On the Hunt for Liquid Alternatives

Diversification is a very personal property — and varies with each investor’s existing exposures, liquidity profile and risk tolerance, as well as the market environment.  In this session, discover how one of the most significant allocation trends appears to be a shift towards liquid-diversifying alternatives.  You will walk away understanding how liquid-diversifying alternatives may be critical in your portfolio.
Speaker: Ahcene Gareche, Head of Quantitative Strategies - AXA Investment Managers Chorus

12:20 PM - 1:00 PM | How Infrastructure Disruption is Shifting Investor Mindsets

If your plan invests in infrastructure - or plans to do so - are you ready for the disruption that awaits you? It is a big new development because you'll either be a disruptor or be disrupted.  In short, infrastructure investments will require a major shift in investor mindsets. Plan sponsors will need to take a shorter-term approach and focus on multiple, smaller-scale projects that are no longer just comprised of large and centralized assets. In this session by one of the world's leading infrastructure investing experts, you will discover:
  • Why investors need to take a short-term approach to infrastructure and focus on multiple smaller-scale projects
  • How small and mid-size plans can benefit from this disruption with smaller investments
  • The growing role of private capital in infrastructure procurement and management
  • How technology has disrupted traditional infrastructure - a massive way!
  • How investors can take advantage of the disruption for greater returns

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM | Conclusion of Conference and Networking Luncheon