CHICAGO

JUNE 8–9, 2016

Mercer Global Investment Forums – Chicago, 8-9 June, 2016

Forum Agenda

Contains links to related content on Mercer.com

TUESDAY, JUNE 7

14:30–15:00Registration

15:00–17:30Asset Manager Session

18:00–20:30Welcome Reception and Buffet Dinner for All Attendees

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8

08:00–09:00Breakfast

09:00–09:10Welcome and Opening

Rich NuzumInvestments Business Leader, North America

09:10–09:15Master of Ceremonies for Day 1

Kelly HensonSenior Investment Consultant

The current economic and market environment presents investors with many sources of uncertainty, from the pace and impact of monetary policy "normalization" and the slowdown in China to geopolitical risks in the Middle East. Although risk management and a focus on the long term should remain high on the agenda, investors should also prepare for opportunities that might arise from periods of market stress. In this session, we discuss our key strategic research themes through the lenses of DB and DC pension plans, using actual client examples to explore how clients apply these themes to help reach their investment objectives.

Deb ClarkeGlobal Head of Investments Research

Panelists

Gordon FletcherHead of Delegated, Defined Benefit

Jay LoveUS National Segment Leader, Defined Benefit

Phil SuessSenior Investment Consultant

According to Wikipedia, "big data" is a term for data sets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. The challenges of big data include its analysis, capture, data curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization, querying, and information privacy. Despite these challenges, however, there are many opportunities for asset managers to use big data to their advantage to improve long-term returns. This is critical in actually managing the firm, but can also be used to manage clients' portfolios. In this lightning talk, we discuss what managers should be considering in this space and what difference big data will make to investors in the future.

James LaFleurDirector of Client Consulting, East Market

10:00–10:30Networking and Coffee Break

10:30–11:30Keynote Address – Economic Innovation: Keeping Corporations Competitive in the 21st Century

Austan GoolsbeeChairman, President's Council of Economic Advisers (2010–2011) and Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Long-term investing is a philosophy many investors aspire to, but how many really adopt a long-term focus in practice? This session provides clarity around what it means to invest for the long term, addressing topics such as:
  • How long is long term?
  • What factors should we take into account when investing for the long term?
  • What practical steps can long-term investors take in their portfolios?
In particular, the session focuses on how investors might adopt a broader perspective on risk in order to address some of the difficult-to-measure risks and secular trends ignored by traditional risk models.

Phil EdwardsDirector of Strategic Research, Europe

12:00–13:00Overcoming Hurdles to Long-term Investing: A Panel Discussion

In this panel session, we discuss how our clients balance short-term metrics with long-term investment opportunities. What are the hurdles, and what strategies are our clients employing to ensure they maintain a long-term focus?
Moderator

Jason BlackwellInvestment Consultant

Panelists

David EisenbergDirector of Client Consulting, North America

Ray KannerManaging Director and Chief Investment Officer, IBM Retirement Funds

Shaila KarimDirector of Global Trust Investments, RR Donnelley

Liz KoopChief Investment Officer, EducationQuest Foundation

13:00–14:30Lunch

14:30–15:10BREAKOUT SESSIONS 1

Are Your Investments Protected Against Cybersecurity Threats?

Cyber risk is an escalating threat and one of the most challenging issues facing the financial world today. Cyber risk mitigation isn't just a challenge for the IT department — it requires engagement by everyone and must be on the full executive leadership team's radar. Effectively managing cyber risk today requires a comprehensive, multidimensional approach that encompasses people, processes, and vendors — and includes response and recovery plans in addition to prevention tactics. In this breakout session, we discuss why we should all be taking this more seriously and what this means for asset owners and the investment management community.

Gregg SommerHead of Mercer Sentinel's ORA group, North America

Thomas FuhrmanManaging Director, Cyber Security Consulting and Advisory Services, Marsh Risk Consulting

Investment Considerations for a DB Annuity Buyout

We have seen the pace of DB pension risk transfer activity, particularly annuity deals, increase significantly in the past few years. Whether large or small, annuity buy-outs are likely to be one of the most complex transactions that a plan sponsor will ever deal with. Once a plan sponsor decides in principle to go ahead with such a transaction, how do you ensure that it runs smoothly? In this breakout session, we discuss the investment implications of a DB annuity buy-out, specifically ways to reduce risks – before, during and after a deal – and frictional costs and improve efficiency.

Annie BruneauFinancial Strategist

Kevin ArmantSenior Investment Consultant

The US DC landscape is evolving rapidly as retirement coverage is likely to be expanded and transparency improved, and we expect to see more significant and potentially market-disrupting changes. Using the experience seen in other countries as a base, this breakout session covers how policy actions aimed at expanding DC savings impact employer sponsors, investment managers, and wealth advisors. We also examine what long-term outcomes for US DC savers will look like as the environment changes.

Katie HockenmaierInvestment Consultant

Liana MagnerUS DC Investment Leader

What's New in Retirement Income?

"Retirement income" is a topic everyone has a view on, but outside of talk, how much action is actually taking place, and what are retirees really looking for in retirement? In this breakout session, we discuss traditional and emerging views of retirement income needs. We also review which retirement income solutions are getting traction, and which aren't. We conclude with a look at what we believe the future in this area will bring and what investors should be doing about it.

Chuck DobsonInvestment Consultant, DC & Financial Wellness

Neil LloydHead US DC & Financial Wellness Research

15:10–15:50BREAKOUT SESSIONS 2

Wealth Management: Surviving and Thriving Amid Regulatory Change

The long-awaited final Fiduciary Regulations were released by the DOL on April 6. Although many of the final regulations were widely anticipated, some wealth managers are in the process of adapting their business models to conform to the regulations and evolve with the changing wealth management landscape. How are firms adapting to remain competitive and profitable under these new regulations? How onerous are the new regulations? What are firms building in house versus outsourcing? What are considered industry best practices under the new regulations? How does this change the product onboarding and monitoring process? In this breakout session, we give our perspective on all of these questions and more.

Nicole KramerInvestment Consultant

Bradley KellumPartner, Wealth & Asset Management and Retail & Business Banking, Oliver Wyman

Investment Considerations for a DB Annuity Buyout

We have seen the pace of DB pension risk transfer activity, particularly annuity deals, increase significantly in the past few years. Whether large or small, annuity buy-outs are likely to be one of the most complex transactions that a plan sponsor will ever deal with. Once a plan sponsor decides in principle to go ahead with such a transaction, how do you ensure that it runs smoothly? In this breakout session, we discuss the investment implications of a DB annuity buy-out, specifically ways to reduce risks – before, during and after a deal – and frictional costs and improve efficiency.

Annie BruneauFinancial Strategist

Kevin ArmantSenior Investment Consultant

The US DC landscape is evolving rapidly as retirement coverage is likely to be expanded and transparency improved, and we expect to see more significant and potentially market-disrupting changes. Using the experience seen in other countries as a base, this breakout session covers how policy actions aimed at expanding DC savings impact employer sponsors, investment managers, and wealth advisors. We also examine what long-term outcomes for US DC savers will look like as the environment changes.

Katie HockenmaierInvestment Consultant

Liana MagnerUS DC Investment Leader

What's New in Retirement Income?

"Retirement income" is a topic everyone has a view on, but outside of talk, how much action is actually taking place, and what are retirees really looking for in retirement? In this breakout session, we discuss traditional and emerging views of retirement income needs. We also review which retirement income solutions are getting traction, and which aren't. We conclude with a look at what we believe the future in this area will bring and what investors should be doing about it.

Chuck DobsonInvestment Consultant, DC & Financial Wellness

Neil LloydHead US DC & Financial Wellness Research

15:50–16:20Networking and Coffee Break

Is it time to buy emerging market equities? Are interest rates on the rise? Is it time to invest in alternatives? In this session, Shaum Shrinivas and Stan Mavromates will go head-to-head with opposing views on these three important investment topics and then you will give your verdict.

Shaum ShrinivasInvestment Consultant

Stan MavromatesChief Investment Officer, North America

17:10–17:20Closing Remarks

Rich DabrowskiCentral Market Business Leader, Investments

18:30–21:30Cocktails and Offsite Dinner

Please gather in the main lobby at 6:00pm for coach departures to the venue.

THURSDAY, JUNE 9

08:00–09:00Breakfast

09:00–09:10Welcome

Marina BatliwallaSenior Investment Consultant

09:10–10:10The Importance of Population Dynamics

Prof. Sarah HarperDirector, The Oxford Institute for Population Ageing

Benchmarking is a common practice in the investment industry. However, given benchmarking's role in evaluating performance, it is prudent to ask are we using the 'right' benchmark for the right purpose. We try to find the answers in this Lightning Talk, as we sketch out a process to help ensure better benchmarking in the midst of the challenges it poses.

Chris KohlerDirector of Client Consulting, Not-For-Profit

Dealing with personal financial problems is the single biggest cause of stress for Americans. This stress can result in a less productive workforce and, in some instances, deterioration of an individual's physical health. In this session, we explain the concepts underlying a world-class financial wellness program and illustrate how employers are adopting such programs to help their employees achieve better financial success. We share case studies from successful client engagements, provide practical steps on how to make progress in improving financial wellness, and challenge your views on what's required to successfully improve the financial well-being of your workforce.

Betsy DillUS Financial Wellness Leader

Derek CushmanUS Financial Wellness Solutions Leader

10:50–11:20Networking and Coffee Break

11:20–11:25Lightning Talk: Robo Advisors – The Future of Wealth Management?

Computerized investment advice, or "robo-advice," is gaining substantial momentum. Instead of viewing it is a threat to existing business models, we believe wealth managers should embrace this technology as part of their firms' long-term strategies to service some of their client segments. In this lightning talk, we discuss the long-term business strategy for incorporating robo-advice into advisory business models.

David HymanUS Wealth Management Segment Leader

Are you invested in hedge funds or are you overwhelmed by the opportunity set, nervous about downside risks and put off by high fees? Perhaps it's time to reconsider. In this session, we discuss best practices for hedge fund portfolio construction, including avoiding common pitfalls, and how to navigate the complexities of hedge fund investing. We also show that by taking a thoughtful, long-term approach, having a strong and consistent due diligence process and manager selection approach, investing in hedge funds may have the potential to generate good risk-adjusted performance over the market cycle.

Lamar SmallSenior Hedge Fund Research Specialist

A true long-term investor never loses sight of long-term goals, and positions portfolios accordingly to reflect perceived long-term risks and opportunities. The pragmatic long-term investor acknowledges, however, that the long term is ultimately a series of short terms, and the ability to meet long-term goals is heavily influenced by how effectively investors manage the short term; that is, how effectively they capitalize on opportunities and respond to changing risk environments.

In this session, we pull together the various themes and topics highlighted over the course of the Forum and put forward suggestions for how investors should respond.

Travis PruitUS Proposition Leader, Not-For-Profit OCIO

Kenneth ShimbergChief Investment Officer, Endowments & Foundations

12:10–12:20Concluding Remarks

Rich NuzumInvestments Business Leader, North America

12:30–13:45Lunch

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