The Plan Sponsor Exchange
February 25 -26, 2020 - Langdon Hall, Cambridge, ON
The first annual Plan Sponsor Exchange will focus on sharing best practices among plan sponsors about challenges and opportunities in the current investment climate.
The 2020 Plan Sponsor Exchange will be held at Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario.
Who Should Attend this Event?
The conference is an exclusive, educational forum that brings together senior representatives of Canadian pension plan sponsors.
How Do I Attend?
Participation is by-invitation-only. For more information on the Plan Sponsor Exchange, please email Alison Webb (Alison.Webb@tc.tc), publisher of Canadian Investment Review for consideration.
Canadian Investment Review is Canada's leading forum for academics, institutional investors and industry practitioners to exchange ideas on the capital markets, investment and economic theory and the related sociology and demographics. To that end, it publishes articles that offer original ideas based on existing literature and brings new insight to relevant themes and practices within the institutional investment community.
The Plan Sponsor Exchange Agenda:
Navigating change: Sharing best practices in an uncertain world
Pension plan sponsors across Canada face similar challenges and uncertainties, while also sharing the common goal of ensuring a secure retirement for their members. The Plan Sponsor Exchange is a best practices forum that will feature expert presentations, case studies and off-the-record roundtable sessions where plan sponsors can learn from the experiences of their peers. Topics will span asset classes and borders and provide practical takeaways for pension plans of all sizes.
February 25, 2020
Registration and cocktails (Main conservatory)
Dinner (Orchard room)
February 26, 2020
Breakfast (Firshade hall)
8:15 - 9: 15AM
OPENING KEYNOTE (Firshade room)
Why central bankers are fighting the last war
David McWilliams, economist, broadcaster, bestselling author, Trinity College Dublin
Governance, asset allocation and investment transformation at the York University Pension Plan
In this session, Guy Burry, the chair of the Pension Fund Investment Committee at the York University Pension Plan will provide an overview of the plan’s governance structure, how it has evolved over the years and the plan’s approach to investment decision-making. He will then zero in on asset allocation decisions and key strategic changes recently made within the plan’s equity and fixed income portfolios. This session will leave plan sponsors with key takeaways about how an effective decision-making structure and approach to asset allocation can lead to success at the total portfolio level and within asset classes.
Guy Burry, chair of pension investment committee, York University
Networking break (Firshade Foyer)
10:15- 10:45 a.m.
Panel: Risk management of private market portfolios
Private-market solutions present an attractive option for plan sponsors seeking to build or fortify their global-growth portfolios. This panel session will explore the rise of private markets and how to implement them globally through strategic asset allocations. It will detail the related risks and how these risks are addressed, including the evolution of risk management, risk transparency and subsequent risk-optimization strategies. The panel will also explore how private markets not only present an opportunity for global growth and risk-optimization, but also to implement ESG principles proactively.
- Nalaka De Silva, head of private markets solutions, Aberdeen Standard Investments
- More panellists to be announced
Peer-to-peer roundtable: Getting governance right
When navigating the world of investing, strong governance is key. In this roundtable session, plan sponsors will share their approach to investment governance. They’ll look at how boards and committees are structured, considerations around internal and external delegation and how to ensure effective board education. This session will also be a chance to share how each plan measures success and optimizes the decision-making process.
11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Panel: Navigating the world of private assets
With historically low bond yields and volatile equity markets, plan sponsors are looking to alternative assets to find returns. This is a broad area, which includes multiple asset classes including private equity and debt, real estate and infrastructure. Each of which comes along with its own challenges. In this session, expert panelists from leading Canadian pension plans will share their approach to investing in alternatives and answer questions about how they make the most of these portfolios.
-Julie Cays, chief investment officer, Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Pension Plan
-Sean Hewitt, chief executive offer, TTC Pension Fund Society
-Daren Smith, president and chief investment officer, University of Toronto Asset Management Corp.
Lunch (Firshade Hall)
Generating alpha through AI: Lessons in AI and machine learning from AIMCo
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are major buzzwords right now. But as much as people are talking about AI, who outside of big tech is truly putting this technology into real use? This case study will dive into the unique structure the AIMCo embarked on to achieves its AI/ML goals, real stories from the trenches (including what not to do) and what types of use case in investment management are working. This session will provide tangible experiences on lowering costs and generating alpha to help organizations on their AI/ML journeys. Fear not, this will be a tech-free presentation. No jargon, no geek-speak, just how AI/ML relates to lowering costs, and generating alpha.
-Michael Baker, senior vice-president of strategic implementation, Alberta Investment Management Corp.
-Cory Janssen, co-founder, AltaML
Panel: The governance shift and the evolving roles of stakeholders, shareholders and boards
How are large pension plans bringing change to the governance landscape around the globe? Join us for a discussion about evolving corporate governance standards and the shifting roles of stakeholders and shareholders. We will outline case studies showing how some companies are getting it right, while others offer cautionary tales that can inform investors on what to do when problems arise. We will also explore a shift in what investors expect from boards. The board agenda is more complex than it was five to 10 years ago, with increased focus on geopolitics, ESG as a business imperative, cybersecurity, talent and culture, and more. Where is this heading? Are today’s boards equipped to oversee this new mix of issues? Join us as we explore these emerging governance matters and implications for pension plans.
- Donna Anderson, head of corporate governance, U.S. equity division, T.Rowe Price
- More panellists to be announced
2:00- 2:30 p.m.
Networking break (Firshade Foyer)
Peer-to-Peer roundtable: With great responsibility comes great power
You can’t open the news without hearing about environmental, social and governance factors. But how are different pension plans approaching this issue? What can be done internally to incorporate sustainability into investments and how can plans evaluate external investment managers on their approach to ESG. In this session, plan sponsors will participate in a facilitated discussion about how they are implementing ESG, challenges on the journey so far and discuss how they are approaching tough issues like scenario analysis and measurement.
Momentum is everything: The transition journey of Provident10
Provident10 was established in 2015 as a result of pension reform in Newfoundland and Labrador. Since then, the organization has transitioned pension administration and investment oversight from the former administration under the government of Newfoundland and Labrador to Provident10. During this session, Chuck Bruce and Michel Malo will share Provident10's experience in its transition journey from a government organization to pension organization. This session will highlight key learnings from the transition and share the organization's visions for the future. While not all plans have a major transition like this in store, the speakers will zero in on areas that would be relevant to any pension plan in a change management situation, whether changing governance structure, investment strategy or facing other key organizational changes.
-Chuck Bruce, chief executive officer, Provident10
-Michel Malo, chief investment officer, Provident10
Improving Canada’s retirement income system
The Melbourne-Mercer Global Pension Index ranks the quality of Canada’s retirement income system ninth out of the 37 countries it currently assesses. Which countries rank ahead of us and why? What would we have to do to move up in the rankings? Can we do it? These are the questions Keith Ambachtsheer will address and he invites you to join in this important conversation.
Keith Ambachtsheer, director emeritus, International Centre for Pension Management, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, senior fellow, National Institute on Ageing, Ryerson University, president, KPA Advisory Services
Langdon Hall, Cambridge, ON
1 Langdon Dr, Cambridge, ON N3H 4R8
Phone (519) 740-2100
Nestled within the Carolinian Forest, Langdon Hall is one of 14 properties in Canada recognized by Relais & Châteaux for a standard of excellence and is known for incredible Five-Diamond dining experiences, exquisite accommodations and storybook architecture.
For more information, contact Joanne Merrick, Event Manager
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