Mercer Global Investment Forums 2018

MONTRÉAL13 November 2018

Forum Agenda

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12 NOVEMBER, MONDAY

12:00–17:00Welcome and Registration

15:15–16:00Asset Manager Session Registration

16:00–18:15Asset Manager Session

18:30–21:30Offsite Dinner

Offsite dinner will commence at 18:30. Walking directions and assistance will be available in the lobby of the Fairmont hotel.
Pre-Dinner Address

JP ProvostWealth Leader, Canada

13 NOVEMBER, TUESDAY

07:30–08:30Breakfast

08:45–08:55Welcome and Opening

JP ProvostWealth Leader, Canada

08:55–09:00MC

Michel FortinWealth Leader, Quebec

09:00–09:50Investment Themes and Practical Application

With the global economy in the midst of a widespread upswing in growth, what do the next few years hold in store? In this session, we set out our investment themes, 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 your key investment challenges for the panel to address.

Deb ClarkeGlobal Head of Investment Research

Panel

Jay LoveUS Director of Strategic Research

Jillian KennedySenior Investment Consulting Leader

Dave MakarchukInvestment Sales and Strategy Leader, Canada

09:50–10:10Stewardship in the 21st Century – Creating Sustainable Long-Term Growth

In this session, we explore what good investment stewardship or responsible investment mean, and how asset owners can work out which way forward is most appropriate for their organization. Though 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.

Max MesservySenior Investment Consultant

Karen LockridgeSenior Investment Consultant

10:10–10:25Mind Games 2.0 – Round 1

In 2017, Forum delegates participated in the Mind Games to achieve the highest portfolio returns based on asset allocation; 2018 is about investing with style. In order to win, delegates must now understand the behaviour of risk premia as they evolve through time. Go on a digital odyssey to three scenarios set in the future and take up the challenge to invest successfully. The game involves table discussions and the chance to create new portfolios with an eye to getting to the top of the leader board and winning a surprise gift.

Marianne AssafSenior DB Actuarial Consultant

10:25–10:55Networking and Coffee Break

10:55–11:05Lightning Talk: 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 Lightning Talk, we look at what alternative risk premia strategies are, as well as their attractive features and associated risks. We also consider the outlook for these strategies and how they can be used in a portfolio context.

Jonathan CroftSenior Investment Consultant

11:05–12:05Keynote Address

Nancy GiordanoStrategic Futurist

12:05–12:15Mind Games 2.0 – Round 2

In 2017, Forum delegates participated in the Mind Games to achieve the highest portfolio returns based on asset allocation; 2018 is about investing with style. In order to win, delegates must now understand the behaviour of risk premia as they evolve through time. Go on a digital odyssey to three scenarios set in the future and take up the challenge to invest successfully. The game involves table discussions and the chance to create new portfolios with an eye to getting to the top of the leader board and winning a surprise gift.

Marianne AssafSenior DB Actuarial Consultant

12:15–13:30Lunch

13:30–14:10Meeting the Needs of Our 21st Century Constituents

The asset management industry is part of a wider savings and investment ecosystem. 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. In this session, we consider the key challenges facing the industry and discuss what can be done to ensure we can all meet the needs of all end savers.

Rich DellGlobal Leader, Equity Boutique

Samantha CleynSenior Investment Consultant

Stephanie MariamoSenior Investment Consultant

14:10–14:20Lightning Talk: What You Can't See Can Still Hurt You

Market risk and security selection risk dominate most governance meetings. In this Lightning Talk, we focus on the hidden risks borne by asset owners and put forward suggestions on how asset owners can mitigate them.

Todd SaulnierSenior Investment Consultant

14:20–15:20An 'Alternative' Showdown

The environment of continuing low interest rates has been one of the driving forces behind the increasing prominence of alternative assets in recent years. Many institutions now commit to at least one alternative asset class. In this session, four asset-class specialists each argue how the addition of a specific alternative asset class in a portfolio can make it more robust and help enhance return. The audience can ask questions and ultimately vote for the most convincing presentation.
Host

Aisling DohertySenior Investment Consultant

Sessions

1.Flatter for Longer – Adapting Your Fixed Income Portfolio to Include Alternative Fixed Income Strategies

Jeff BunceResearch Specialist

2.Leveraging Illiquidity: Private Equity, Timber and Agriculture

Sid VittalAsset Class Specialist, Mercer Private Markets

3.Go Global! Real Estate and Infrastructure Considerations for Canadian Investors

Mike McGowanResearch Specialist

4.Low Beta Solutions: Exploring Liquid Alternatives

Kishen GanatraEuropean Director, Strategic Research

15:20–15:50Networking and Coffee Break

15:50–16:35What's Next for Canadian Pension Fiduciaries?

1.Mind the Gap: Addressing the Retirement Challenge

We all focus a lot of time ensuring the investment portfolios we offer DC participants are well structured, have strong performance expectations and levy reasonable fees. But is this enough? This session explores what else needs to be focused on to enhance DC participant outcomes and ultimately address the broad retirement funding gap. In particular, we highlight that it's no use having great portfolios if participants aren't participating, contributing enough or investing in those portfolios at the right time.

Dominique LavoieDB Actuarial Consultant

Julie DuboisSenior Investment Consultant

2.Liability Driven Investing for Canadian Plan Sponsors

Liability driven investing, or LDI, has been an ongoing topic of discussion for many pension investment committees. But what exactly is LDI? And what is the future of LDI in today's low interest environment where the funding focus is shifting from solvency to going concern liabilities? How have LDI solutions evolved over the last years and what solutions are currently available? In this session, we explore these questions and talk about tools that investors can use to improve their outcomes.

Hrvoje LakotaMDDS Strategy Consultant

Dario MorroneDB Actuarial Consultant

16:35–17:05Debate: Is Inflation Ever Coming Back? The Implications for Strategic Asset Allocation

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 after 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 debaters will attempt to persuade you of the merits of their respective viewpoints on this topic, the resolution of which may have a profound impact on asset-class returns.

Andrew KirtonGlobal Chief Investment Officer

David ZanuttoMarket Business Segment Leader

17:05–17:20Plot a Route to Success in This Extended Cycle

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.

Gilles LavoieSenior Investment Consultant

17:20–17:30Mind Games 2.0 – Round 3

In 2017, Forum delegates participated in the Mind Games to achieve the highest portfolio returns based on asset allocation; 2018 is about investing with style. In order to win, delegates must now understand the behaviour of risk premia as they evolve through time. Go on a digital odyssey to three scenarios set in the future and take up the challenge to invest successfully. The game involves table discussions and the chance to create new portfolios with an eye to getting to the top of the leader board and winning a surprise gift.

Marianne AssafSenior DB Actuarial Consultant

17:30–17:40Closing Remarks

Rich NuzumPresident, Wealth

17:45–19:00Drinks

Draft Agenda. Subject to change.
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