NOVEMBER 3, 2016

Mercer Global Investment Forums – Montréal, 3 November, 2016

Forum Agenda

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15:00–15:30Registration and Refreshments

15:30–17:15Asset Manager Session

18:00–21:30Welcome Offsite Dinner
Pre-dinner address: Louis Gagnon, Market Leader and CEO - Canada

Meet in the lobby at 6:00 pm for coach transfers to our offsite dinner venue, Le Salon Richmond. Dinner will conclude by 9:30 pm and coach transfers to the hotel will be provided.

Louis GagnonMarket Leader and CEO — Canada



09:00–09:10Welcome and Opening

Jaqui ParchmentInvestments Business Leader — Canada

09:10–09:15Morning MC

Yvan BretonHead of Fiduciary Management — Canada

09:15–09:55Investment Themes and Opportunities

The current economic and market environment presents investors with many sources of uncertainty. Although risk management remains high on the agenda, investors should also prepare for the opportunities that might arise from periods of market stress. In this session, we explore our key strategic research themes: tilting portfolios from beta to alpha, handling reduced liquidity in "liquid" markets, preparing for a maturing credit cycle and thinking long term. We discuss how these themes translate into practical investment opportunities for our clients across Canada.

Deb ClarkeGlobal Head of Investment Research

Sofia AssafDirector of Client Consulting (DOCC) — Canada

Simon CabralSenior Investment Consultant

Travis PruitUS Proposition Leader, Not-For-Profit OCIO

09:55–10:25Long-Term Investing: From Theory to Practice

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.

Dave MakarchukMarket Business Leader — Central Canada

10:25–10:55Networking and Coffee Break

10:55–11:55Keynote Address: Canada's Shifting Political Landscape

A year into his term, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is an international "rock star" and a popular leader at home. Can the legend endure as the federal government gets down to making difficult choices.

Chantal HébertPolitical Raconteur and Columnist

Is it now time to buy emerging market equities or is this actually the time to sell? Are interest rates set to drop further or have they reached their lows — and therefore should you hedge more or less of your long-term liabilities? How is the Canadian dollar positioned, and what does this mean for your foreign currency exposure? In this session, we debate these three topical investment issues and you can decide if you are a bull or a bear.

David ZanuttoDirector of Strategic Research — Canada

Frank BelvedereSenior Investment Consultant


14:05–14:10Afternoon MC

JD CôtéSenior Investment Consultant

You want to diversify your portfolio and provide additional returns above mainstream assets, but which asset class should you invest in? In this session, we put forward three different investment opportunities: European private debt, a "sustainable opportunities" strategy and global real estate. These will be hotly debated by three of our specialists, who will aim convince you to select their investment opportunity of choice. Which will get your vote as the most compelling in the current environment?


Brian DayesSenior Investment Consultant


Jesse ChrumkaInvestment Consultant

Ryan PolliceInvestment Consultant

Global Real Estate

Ghiwa NakhléSenior Investment Analyst

15:00–15:10Lightning Talk: Robo-advisors - The Future Of DC & Wealth Management

Computerized investment advice, or "robo-advice", is gaining substantial momentum and has the potential to be at the centre of technology disruption in the investment industry. In this lightning talk, we outline how robo-advice can remove many barriers to success that investors face, and how it can potentially improve member outcomes. We will also discuss how robo-advice can be incorporated into current institutional and retail service models to better meet the needs of DC plan participants.

Vartkes RubenyanSenior Investment Consultant

15:10–15:40Pension Plans of the Future — The Next Generations of DC & DB

Over the recent years, we have seen an acceleration in the transition from traditional defined benefit (DB) pension plans to defined contribution (DC) pension arrangements. Have DC plans won the pension war? Will DB plans gradually disappear? Will DC plans be able to deliver a desired level of retirement income? What will the pension plans of the future look like? During this session, we discuss some of the trends in pension plan design, management and regulation, and the impact they have on how plan assets are invested.

Hrvoje LakotaHead Strategist, Dynamic De-risking Solutions

Todd SaulnierSenior Investment Consultant

15:40–16:10Networking and Coffee Break

The concept of diversity as a tool to improve the quality of decision-making is nothing new, but are we actually doing anything about it? In this session, we look at different types of diversity and explore how we are using these in our manager research for our assessment of managers. We take one particular aspect — gender diversity — and discuss where the asset management industry is today in terms of women and what actions we can all take now to make a difference.

Lamar SmallSenior Hedge Fund Research Specialist

As DC and savings assets increase and more plan participants rely on these types of plans to support their retirement income, the needs of individuals. In the past, the DB and DC world has typically focused on the accumulation of retirement assets, and more recently on decumulation and overall benefit adequacy; however, we believe that a broader financial wellness approach is the key to understanding and providing for individuals' needs in the future. In this session, we discuss the importance of financial wellness and present opportunities to build and implement employer solutions that will engage employees and support overall company objectives.

Jillian KennedySenior Investment Consultant

Brett JenningsInvestment Consultant, Defined Contribution

In this session, we draw together the major themes highlighted over the course of the Forum. We put forward suggestions for how investors should act, both to manage the short term, by capitalizing on opportunities and responding to changing risk environments, and to achieve long-term goals, by positioning the portfolio to address perceived long-term themes, risks and opportunities.

Samantha CleynSenior Investment Consultant

17:10–17:20Closing Remarks

Jean-Philippe ProvostRetirement Business Leader — Canada


Did you know?

Members of some professional bodies may be able to claim continuing professional development credits for attending this event

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