Mercer Global Investment Forums 2018

MELBOURNE13 March 2018

Forum Agenda

Contains links to related content on Mercer.com

12 MARCH, MONDAY

15:45–16:30Fund Manager Session Registration

16:30–18:55Fund Manager Session

19:00–22:00Welcome Reception & Buffet Dinner

13 MARCH, TUESDAY

07:30–08:30Breakfast

08:45–08:55Welcome and Opening

Simon EagletonInstitutional Wealth Leader, Pacific

08:55–09:00MC

Anthony SchiavoState Manager, Queensland

With the global economy in the midst of a widespread upswing in growth, what does 2018 hold in store? In this session, we set out our investment themes for 2018, which we believe will present both challenges and opportunities as well as drive change in the investment landscape. We outline major issues impacting different investors around the world, and invite you to raise the key investment challenges you are facing, which our panel will look for the panel to address.

Deb ClarkeGlobal Head of Investment Research

Panel

Phil EdwardsGlobal Director of Strategic Research

Kylie WillmentChief Investment Officer, Pacific

Michael MaherSenior Investment Consultant

09:50–10:05Mind Games 2: Plotting a Digital Odyssey

In 2017, Forum delegates participated in the Mind Games to achieve the highest portfolio returns based on asset allocation; 2018 will be about investing with style. In order to win, delegates must now understand the behaviour of risk premia as they evolve through time. Journey into the unknown with Mind Games 2 and this time plot the future of a digital odyssey as it transforms the world around us. Join us to engage in a lively table debate, create new and exciting portfolios, and finally, discover the future of mankind.

Dr. Harry LiemSenior Investment Consultant

10:05–10:35Networking and Coffee Break

10:35–11:35Keynote Address: AIs, Blockchains, and Quantum Everything: Plotting a Route to Success Beyond the Tech Hype

Accelerating technologies are transforming market opportunities faster than today's finance professionals, not to mention regulators, can adapt. From machine learning to cryptocurrencies, blockchains to predictive analytics, the new investment tools promise a new level of data-enabled understanding of customer needs and competitive advantage. But how do you distinguish the must-haves from the hype?

David Rowan, founding editor-in-chief of WIRED's UK edition and a long-time Mercer friend, spends his time travelling among the startup ecosystems, university research labs and VCs investing in this new world. He explores where the smart money sees the near-term opportunities in tech - and risks of being left behind.

David RowanEditor-at-Large, WIRED UK

11:35–12:10Which Way Forward? A Principled and Practical Approach to Good Investment Stewardship

In this session, we explore what Good Investment Stewardship or Responsible Investment means both locally and globally and how, as fiduciaries, asset owners can work out which way forward is most appropriate for their organisation. While there is no "one size fits all" approach, we outline some key components of a robust investment stewardship strategy, as well as examples and indicators of best practice. We also investigate some of the common pitfalls or challenges of implementing an investment stewardship program and how asset consultants, investment managers and other service providers can provide practical support along the journey.

Alexis CheangResponsible Investment Consultant

Philip-Houghton BrownChief Investment Officer, New Zealand

Today there 250 million migrants on the move, of which 65 million are refugees. Drawing on the World Economic Forum Global Risks report and Mercer climate change research, this lightning talk asks questions such as "Are we really understanding the connections between global social issues like migration on social and economic stability?", "Are investors at risk of having blind spots, not recognising that social system issues are already impacting economies, governments and companies the world over?", "Do these issues impact sovereign risk and mean headwinds for equities?" We suggest that, as long-term investors, there are ways of assessing social issues and share ideas on tools and indicators for addressing them.

Helga BirgdenGlobal Business Leader, Responsible Investment

12:20–12:30Mind Games 2: Plotting a Digital Odyssey

In 2017, Forum delegates participated in the Mind Games to achieve the highest portfolio returns based on asset allocation; 2018 will be about investing with style. In order to win, delegates must now understand the behaviour of risk premia as they evolve through time. Journey into the unknown with Mind Games 2 and this time plot the future of a digital odyssey as it transforms the world around us. Join us to engage in a lively table debate, create new and exciting portfolios, and finally, discover the future of mankind.

Dr. Harry LiemSenior Investment Consultant

12:30–13:45Lunch

13:45–13:55Lightning Talk: Will All Stock-pickers Be Robots?

Advances in artificial intelligence have continued at an ever increasing pace over the past few years, and today the world's best chess and poker players are machines. Is it conceivable that before long the world's best investors will be machines, too? In this lightning talk, we explore the impact of technology developments on the investment industry and consider whether advances in big data and machine learning will mean that robots entirely take over from human stock-pickers in the future.

Denis WalshInvestment Consultant

13:55–14:40Does Our Industry Remain Fit For Purpose?

The asset management industry is part of a wider savings and investment eco-system. In the eyes of many, this industry is malfunctioning. The charge is that it is increasingly remote from end savers (who are the ultimate providers of the capital), fraught with agency issues and failing in its central role as an effective allocator of capital. The symptoms are there for all to see: lack of trust, increasing regulatory scrutiny and little evidence of progressive change. In this session, we consider the conditions for success, understand the barriers to change and identify potential remedies to a healthier industry.

Divyesh HindochaSenior Investment Consultant

Rich DellGlobal Leader, Equity Boutique

Tetiana MaierSenior Engagement Manager, Oliver Wyman

Mercer Question Time: You Ask, We Answer

Here is your chance to further quiz our panel of experts on the major investment issues that you are facing. We start off by setting out our perspectives and potential solutions to many of the issues and challenges raised in the discussions during the earlier 2018 Investment Themes and Practical Application session. We then open it back up to you for more question time and hopefully a lively discussion!
Facilitator

Russell GarrettHead of Institutional Wealth Consulting, New Zealand

Mercer Experts

Paul CavalierGlobal Leader, Fixed Income Boutique

Craig HughesSenior Investment Consultant

Nick WhiteGlobal Director of Portfolio Construction Research

Mythbusters: Alternative Risk Premia

Investors are looking to address the challenge of relatively unattractive risk/return trade-offs across traditional asset classes by seeking a greater contribution from alternative strategies. Some investors are considering whether alternative risk premia strategies could offer more meaningful diversification at a more attractive price. In this breakout session, we look at what alternative risk premia strategies are, their attractive features and associated risks. We also consider the outlook for these strategies and how they can be used in a portfolio context.

Derek MockSenior Investment Specialist

John JacksonGlobal Leader, Hedge Fund Boutique

Against the backdrop of an ongoing shift in assets away from active managers towards lower-cost passive approaches, in this breakout session, we examine the role active management can play within an equity portfolio and identify the pre-conditions for success. In particular, we assess what reasonable expectations for active management might look like, and shift the spotlight away from asset managers and focus instead on the asset owners themselves and what they can do to enhance the probability of positive outcomes.

Rich DellGlobal Leader, Equity Boutique

Chris BakerResearch Specialist, Fixed Income Boutique

Mindful Leadership

In a time when the pace of life is more hectic than ever, how does a leader remain emotionally consistent, calm, and able to make sound decisions grounded in clarity and foresight? How does a leader balance the need for mental agility with the need to be consistent, empathic and anchored in a strong values base? Experience and science tell us that mindfulness is not only an essential tool but also a framework to help leaders cultivate who they are and in turn lead their teams to achieve extraordinary things. In this session, Mercer Australia's Learning & Inclusion Practice Leader, Yolanda Beattie, and global mindfulness expert, Charlotte Thaarup, share the latest evidence on why mindfulness should be part of every leader's development agenda.

Yolanda BeattiePractice Leader, Learning & Inclusion

Charlotte ThaarupDirector, The Mindfulness Clinic

Mercer Question Time: You Ask, We Answer

Here is your chance to further quiz our panel of experts on the major investment issues that you are facing. We start off by setting out our perspectives and potential solutions to many of the issues and challenges raised in the discussions during the earlier 2018 Investment Themes and Practical Application session. We then open it back up to you for more question time and hopefully a lively discussion!
Facilitator

Russell GarrettHead of Institutional Wealth Consulting, New Zealand

Mercer Experts

Paul CavalierGlobal Leader, Fixed Income Boutique

Craig HughesSenior Investment Consultant

Nick WhiteGlobal Director of Portfolio Construction Research

Mythbusters: Alternative Risk Premia

Investors are looking to address the challenge of relatively unattractive risk/return trade-offs across traditional asset classes by seeking a greater contribution from alternative strategies. Some investors are considering whether alternative risk premia strategies could offer more meaningful diversification at a more attractive price. In this breakout session, we look at what alternative risk premia strategies are, their attractive features and associated risks. We also consider the outlook for these strategies and how they can be used in a portfolio context.

Derek MockSenior Investment Specialist

John JacksonGlobal Leader, Hedge Fund Boutique

Against the backdrop of an ongoing shift in assets away from active managers towards lower-cost passive approaches, in this breakout session, we examine the role active management can play within an equity portfolio and identify the pre-conditions for success. In particular, we assess what reasonable expectations for active management might look like, and shift the spotlight away from asset managers and focus instead on the asset owners themselves and what they can do to enhance the probability of positive outcomes.

Rich DellGlobal Leader, Equity Boutique

Chris BakerResearch Specialist, Fixed Income Boutique

Mindful Leadership

In a time when the pace of life is more hectic than ever, how does a leader remain emotionally consistent, calm, and able to make sound decisions grounded in clarity and foresight? How does a leader balance the need for mental agility with the need to be consistent, empathic and anchored in a strong values base? Experience and science tell us that mindfulness is not only an essential tool but also a framework to help leaders cultivate who they are and in turn lead their teams to achieve extraordinary things. In this session, Mercer Australia's Learning & Inclusion Practice Leader, Yolanda Beattie, and global mindfulness expert, Charlotte Thaarup, share the latest evidence on why mindfulness should be part of every leader's development agenda.

Yolanda BeattiePractice Leader, Learning & Inclusion

Charlotte ThaarupDirector, The Mindfulness Clinic

15:50–16:20Networking and Coffee Break

In 2010, an individual bought two large pizzas in exchange for 10,000 Bitcoins in what is believed to be the first cryptocurrency transaction. By the end of 2017, a single Bitcoin was worth over $14,000 and Bitcoin had a market capitalisation higher than New Zealand's economy. So, what lies ahead for the future of cryptocurrencies? With the substantial rise in value, will a practical use for cryptocurrency beyond speculation be established? Could this therefore represent a new asset class? In this lightning talk, we discuss the truths and myths surrounding cryptocurrencies. We examine the underlying blockchain technology, and looking beyond Bitcoin we also outline how other digital currencies have performed. Finally, we set out the developments in regulatory response and practical applications for financial institutions.

Elizabeth PaineSenior Investment Analyst

16:30–17:20Debate: Is Inflation Ever Coming Back?

Our annual debate is back! Older members of the audience may recall the chaotic inflation of the '70s, when rampant price rises around the world decimated living standards and left investors with substantial losses across most asset classes. However, since 1980 inflation has been on a steady downtrend and post the GFC, deflationary threats have replaced inflation as central banks' main preoccupation. Will structural disinflation prevail, or is inflation likely to return to haunt markets? Our customary protagonists, Andrew Kirton and David Stuart, will attempt to persuade you of the merits of their respective viewpoints on this topic, whose resolution may have a profound impact on asset class returns.

Dave StuartGlobal Head of Dynamic Asset Allocation and Chief Strategist for Mercer Funds, Pacific

Andrew KirtonGlobal Chief Investment Officer

17:20–17:30Mind Games 2: Plotting a Digital Odyssey

In 2017, Forum delegates participated in the Mind Games to achieve the highest portfolio returns based on asset allocation; 2018 will be about investing with style. In order to win, delegates must now understand the behaviour of risk premia as they evolve through time. Journey into the unknown with Mind Games 2 and this time plot the future of a digital odyssey as it transforms the world around us. Join us to engage in a lively table debate, create new and exciting portfolios, and finally, discover the future of mankind.

Dr. Harry LiemSenior Investment Consultant

17:30–17:45Plot a Route To Success

In this session, we bring together the various themes and topics highlighted over the course of the Forum. We put forward suggestions for how you as investors can build these into a fiduciary calendar for the year and ultimately help you plot a route to success in this extended cycle.

Helen MurdochDelegated Solutions Leader, Pacific

18:00–22:00Drinks and Offsite Dinner

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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