Agenda

November 5, 2019

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM | Registration Opens - Welcome Reception


7:00 PM - 9:00 PM | Welcome Dinner


November 6, 2019

7:30 AM - 8:15 AM | Registration & Breakfast


8:15 AM - 8:25 PM | Opening Remarks from the Chair

Charles Quintal, President, Retirement Committee, Assembly of Quebec Bishops Pension Plan

8:25 AM - 9:15 AM | The Turbulent Economic Outlook: What’s Ahead for Investments

The global economy remains unpredictable by some dramatic financial swings alongside what some predict is emerging evidence of a broad-based slowdown. Canada has not been immune to economic moderation, with growth stalling. This session will be a wide-ranging discussion of issues facing the Canadian and global economies in a fast-changing world of politics and policy. Topics will range from the current state of the Canadian housing finance and housing markets to the relative issues of monetary and fiscal policy.
 
Speaker:
Chris Lawless, Former Chief Economist, Strategy and Risk, BCI
 

9:15 AM - 10:00 AM | Making the Right Moves: Developing an Uncorrelated Assets Strategy to Reduce Risk in Uncertain Times

Faced with uncertain financial markets, changing microeconomic conditions, and increasing disruption, seeking returns from as many uncorrelated sources as possible can help to ensure investors are not taking on undue risk. Just adding new funds won’t reduce volatility if correlations are the same, so careful consideration and analysis of finding the combination of assets that have a positive correlation remains the challenge. In this session, panelists will discuss the concepts and strategies of incorporating an uncorrelated asset strategy into the investment portfolio.
 
Moderator:
Philip Falls, Practice Leader & Senior Investment Consultant, PBI Actuarial Consultants
Speaker:
Chris DeMeo, Strategic Client Solutions, Head of Americas, Aberdeen Standard Investments

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Gold as an Alternative Asset Class

There is value in considering an allocation in gold in your institutional portfolio. This session will address the strategic case for gold; an overview of gold's long-term performance versus traditional asset classes; how investors are incorporating gold into their portfolios today; and how to improve risk-adjusted returns in volatile markets.
 
Speakers
Bobby Eng, Vice President, Head of SPDR ETFs Canada - State Street Global Advisors
Adam Perlaky, Manager Investment Research, World Gold Council
Diego Andrade, Vice President, Senior Gold Strategist, State Street Global Advisors
 

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM | Break


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Private Debt & Alternative Credit

A recent report by the Alternative Credit Council stated that 70 percent of all private credit committed capital comes from institutional investors, and the ACC projected that the global private credit industry will grow to $1 trillion by 2020 as the base of borrowers and institutional investors continue to expand. This session will evaluate strategies to take advantage of private financing and achieve superior results.

Moderator:
Jeremy Bell, Partner, George & Bell Consulting
 
Speaker:
Jean-Christophe Greck, Managing Director, Fiera Private Debt 

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM | Advanced Factor Investing: Decrypting the Strong Correlation between ARP and Equities in 2018 – Cause for Alarm or a Question of Implementation?

Factor investing has become mainstream for investors looking 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 Française Investment Solutions

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM | Lunch


1:45 PM - 2:30 PM | Keynote Presentation : The Shifting Global Landscape: Investing at a time of Maximum Geopolitical Risk

Where -- and how -- should investors be looking to put their money in 2020?  In this fascinating presentation by the Director of Global Strategic Analysis at the Eurasia Group in New York, one of the world's most prominent political risk advisory forums, you will discover the very latest on the shifting global landscape and how it will affect institutional investors everywhere.  This is a not-to-be-missed session!
 
Speaker:
Caitlin Dean, Director, Global Strategic Analysis, The Eurasia Group

2:30 PM - 3:00 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: 
Augustin Landier, Head of Research at AXA IM Chorus, AXA Investment Managers Chorus
 

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Networking Break


3:30 PM - 4:15 PM | Capitalizing on International and Domestic Real Estate Markets

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 and demands are heading in Canada, the U.S. and internationally.  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 investment opportunities!
 
Moderator:
Colyn Lowenberger, Founding President & CEO, Mobius Benefit Administrators Inc.
 
Speakers:
David Pappin, Senior Vice President and Fund Manager, Fiera Real Estate
 

4:15 PM - 5:00 PM | Incorporating Real Assets in 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 real assets portfolio.
 
Moderator:
Les Marton, Senior Director, bfinance Canada Inc.
Speakers:
Lincoln Webb, Executive Vice President & Global Head, Infrastructure & Renewable Resource Investments, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation
Jonathan Braams, Associate Portfolio Manager, Infrastructure and Renewable Resources, Alberta Investment Management Corp.
Paul Frecon, Specialist, Pension Assets, Canadian Pacific Railway Company
 

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM | Gala


November 7, 2019

7:45 AM - 8:15 AM | Breakfast


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

Charles Quintal, President, Retirement Committee, Assembly of Quebec Bishops Pension Plan

8:30 AM - 9:10 AM | The Evolution of the ETF Market: Recent Developments and Trends

The market for ETFs has grown rapidly in the past two decades, tilting the balance of power in favor of investors. ETFs are now utilized by a growing number of institutional investors for tactical asset allocation, completion strategies, and as a liquid cash substitute, their attractiveness underpinned by their relatively lower costs, speed of execution, and transparency. The market is now entering a new phase of growth as providers enter the space to enhance potential returns by offering actively managed ETFs, but these may have higher tracking errors and debatable outperformance compared with the older passive ETF structures.
 
Moderator:
Brandan George, Partner, George & Bell Consulting 
 
Speaker:
Mark Webster, Director, ETF Institutional, BMO Global Asset Management
 

9:10 AM - 9:55 AM | The Strategy Behind Investing in Emerging Markets

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. This session will delve into the opportunities in emerging markets.
 
Moderator:
Sahar Sharafzadeh, Senior Analyst, Treasury, Teck Resources Limited
 
Speakers: 
Alan Nolan, Product Specialist, LGM Investments – BMO Global Asset Management
Jun Li, CIO, Power Pacific Corporation Limited 
Vivian Lin Thurston, Partner and Portfolio Manager, William Blair
 
 

9:55 AM - 10:25 AM | Break


10:25 AM - 10:45 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 the 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

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM | The Key Trends in ESG Investing -- and the Future of Investing in Energy

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 are worsening around the world while climate change threatens the global population with tremendous environmental and social problems.  Opportunities now abound for business and capital to unlock markets that 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 how ESG has taken root so strongly -- and what it portends for the future of investments into energy projects, especially renewables.
 
Moderator:
Charles Quintal, President, Retirement Committee, Assembly of Quebec Bishops Pension Plan
 
Speaker:
Jennifer Coulson, Vice President, ESG, Public Markets, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation
Alison Schneider, Director, Responsible Investment, AIMCo

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM | Keynote Presentation: Machine Learning -- Analyzing New Data Sources for Investment Decisions

The 21st century has witnessed the rapid growth and adoption of machine learning in almost all industries. However, applying machine learning to the financial markets has a set of challenges that make it considerably harder than other domains. In this presentation, we will walk through some of the core concepts in machine learning, why it’s difficult to apply it to the markets, and how neural networks work at a high level. 
 
Speaker:
Brandon Da Silva, Associate Portfolio Manager, Strategic Relationships and Innovation, OPTrust

12:15 PM - 1:30 PM | Lunch


*The above agenda is subject to change.