IIC2015 Resources



IIC 2015



The 2015 Investment Innovation Conference will look at how innovation today is paving the way for change in the future. How will we do things differently in the decades ahead and will today’s innovative practices and approaches shape our investment thinking right now? This conference will look closely at innovation in the context of pension investment and also in the broader context in which plan sponsors operate today: from finance to healthcare, to disruptive business models that will change the way we think.

  • Dress for conference sessions is business casual.
  • Each session includes a question-and-answer period.
  • Dress for the Thursday night reception is business.


6:00 a.m.
Bus to golf course

6:20 – 7:20 a.m.
Continental Breakfast and Driving Range

7:20 a.m.
Investment Innovation Golf Tournament Tee-offs Start

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Mandatory Speaker Rehearsal

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Registration, Opening Cocktail Reception and Dinner



7:15 – 8:15 a.m.

8:15 – 8:20 a.m.
Introduction and Opening Remarks

8:20 – 9:20 a.m.
Long Life in the 21st Century
In coming years, the number of Canadians over 65 will surpass the number of children under 15. And, by the time these children reach old age, living to 100 will be commonplace. These demographic changes will influence virtually all aspects of life: education, families, financial markets and politics. This session will focus on key challenges and opportunities associated with very long life.

Laura L. Carstensen, Ph. D., director, Stanford Center on Longevity; professor of psychology and the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. professor in public policy

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9:20 – 9:50 a.m.
Innovative Insights Into the Emerging Market Consumer

This presentation will focus on why consumers in the emerging markets—not just the growing middle class but also the rich and those with lower incomes—are important to understanding the development in this area. The speaker will talk about a unique approach to research and the insights it provides both within countries and across them. He will demonstrate how the research is applied to the investment process and portfolio construction in a global emerging market portfolio and provide examples of specific stock ideas that showcase the value of this research.

Tassos Stassopoulos, PM, emerging consumer, global growth and thematic strategies, AB Global

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9:50 – 10:15 a.m.
Networking Break (Foyer)

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.
Income or Outcome? The Evolution of Active Bond Strategies Through the Lens of European Pension Funds
Likely future patterns of bond returns and changes in the focus of pension funds are shifting fixed income allocations away from traditional benchmarked funds and toward fixed income solutions. What are the benefits and drawbacks of outcome-oriented strategies such as unconstrained bonds and absolute return? How could a smart beta approach be applied to global high yield?

Andy Howse, head, institutional(Pyramis Global Advisors)

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10:45 – 11:15 a.m.
From Risk Averse to Risk Diverse
Most investors are diversified from the bottom up. But how diversified are they at the macro level? The globalization of industry and trade, the interconnectedness of the global financial system and the impact geopolitics is having on financial markets make navigating the investing universe ever more complex. This session explores how investors can diversify risk.

Edouard Senechal, research analyst, dynamic allocation strategies, William Blair

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11:15 – 11:45 a.m.
Infrastructure Debt Chat – Building the Bridge to Funding the Infrastructure Gap in Canada

The pension fund and investment communities have a solid understanding of the long-term benefits of lending to and/or investing in infrastructure assets: durational matching, attractive risk-adjusted returns, predictable and stable long-term cash flow, improved diversification, reduced volatility and a hedge against inflation. On a less tangible front, these kinds of longer-term, perhaps renewables investments, can help not only achieve the ESG needs of investors but also show their constituents visible and long-term commitments to building communities and quality of life in Canada. Except for the largest of plans, the issue of access to these kinds of investments can be a challenge. Similarly, for the largest of cities, municipalities or regional governments, access to private capital to fundtheir infrastructure investment needs is constrained. The solution to this conundrum centres aroundthree players: funds looking to access the renewables investment opportunities, potential borrowers looking to access private funds and credible intermediaries who can provide the risk assessment, management and operating skills to make and monitor investments. What do you really need from this asset class, what are your concerns (short and long term) and how can you deal with crowding out in co-investment transactions?

Philip Robson, president, Integrated Private Debt, Integrated Asset Management Corp.

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11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Lunch Break

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.
Innovative Investment Solutions in a Low-return Environment

Few people in our industry have a better window on the retirement world than DB plan sponsors. These are the companies directly affected by market movements, regulation and policy changes, and shifts in government retirement programs. We surveyed the leaders at Canada’s largest pension plans and learned what’s on their minds: concerns about interest rate levels and market volatility, and increased focus on risk management. This session explores innovative investment solutions designed to address the top concerns of DB plan sponsors.

Carl Bang, president, Sun Life Investment Management Inc.

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1:15 – 1:45 p.m.
Using Overlays to Balance the Yin and Yang of Your Portfolio

As investors look for ways to balance risk management and return enhancement in their portfolios, many are calling on overlays to implement investment strategies in an efficient and cost-effective manner. This session will share how overlays can be used for de-risking, currency management and tactical positioning.

Christopher Jernstrom, portfolio manager, Russell Implementation Services

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1:45 – 2:15 p.m.
Hedge Funds Deconstructed: Alternative Risk Premia and Outcome-based Investing

At a time when inflows into the hedge fund space and into alternative investments in general continue to grow, so has the importance of being able to deconstruct hedge fund return drivers. Alternative Risk Premia, in conjunction with traditional beta, can explain a portion of overall hedge fund performance and can be used to complement existing beta portfolios. Furthermore, understanding this Alternative Risk Premia allows for their thoughtful use within the broader portfolios toward specific outcome-based investments.

Federico Gilly, managing director, advanced beta strategies, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

2:15 – 2:45 p.m.
Networking Break (Foyer)

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Enhanced LDI for a Low Interest Rate World

With interest rates at multi-generational lows, investors seeking a better match for their liabilities are reluctant to take on significant exposure to traditional fixed income assets. However, there are other solutions when it comes to LDI. A diversified mix of return-enhancing strategies with income or absolute return characteristics can help fine-tune a pension’s liability-hedging portfolio, with little impact on overall risk expectations.

Michael Reid, senior strategist, pension solutions, Manulife Asset Management

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3:15 – 3:45 p.m.
Utilizing a Risk Premium Approach to Identify Opportunities in Commodities

The commodity markets are rife with risk premia created by supply and demand imbalances, producers needing compensation for the potential high volatility of spot prices and variances between the liquidity of different commodity contracts. A commodity investor who understands why these risk premiums exist, and where they exist, can use this as a lens to identify compelling opportunities across the asset class. The presenter will walk through several examples of these risk premiums, why they exist and how an investor might think about incorporating this concept into their portfolio.

Nicholas J. Johnson, executive vice-president, PIMCO

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3:45 p.m.
Closing Remarks

6:00 – 9:15 p.m.
Reception and Dinner


7:45 – 8:25 a.m.


8:25 – 8:30 a.m.
Opening Remarks

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Forward-looking Stress Testing

To implement a forward-looking scenario framework, it’s important to create a rich set of extreme but plausible outcomes in which to incorporate expert judgment. By integrating investment experts with scenario construction, investors can benefit from richer scenarios, more complex views and an additional layer of oversight.

K. Stuart Peskin, investment director, Standard Life Investments

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9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Garbage Can Theory of Real Estate Investment Management

Canadian versus U.S. investment/asset management (IAM) spheres behave very differently. At the same time, both are headed in similar directions. Real property has emerged as a small but steady part of the institutional investment diet. IAM has a special role to play in the hard asset classes for institutional investors and can add value. However, the character of the investment relationship between principal and advisor is a function of many factors, including the makeup of both parties themselves. And so goes the Garbage Can Theory—a chaos-based, decision-making theory that posits the notion that, even in a perfect market, chaos dominates and arbitrage becomes available. Under such circumstances, market leaders keep things simple: use operating leverage and maintain strategies tailored to vision discipline and client goal.

Patrick Seward, VP-Corp Development and Planning – Head of US Investments Morguard Corporation, Morguard Investments Ltd.

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Investing in Resource Optimization Opportunities

Long-term global trends—including rising populations and wealth, inadequate infrastructure, environmental constraints and climate change—are increasing demand for resource optimization and environmental solutions. Globally, companies are responding with innovative solutions in energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste and resource recovery, water, food and agriculture markets. This session will look at these markets and the investment potential for DB plan sponsors.

Ken Lockin, director, Impax Asset Management (U.S.) LLC

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10:00 – 10:15 a.m.
Networking Break (Foyer)

10:15 – 11:00 a.m.
Fireside Chat: Water Shortages and Solutions

Drought and a lack of snow melt over the past few years have caused historic water shortages across much of the American West. Globally, many other countries are considering or have implemented simple recycling and filtration systems due to impending water shortages. This panel will discuss how leading technologies and sectors that can benefit from water shortages–but also highlight how pension plans are innovatively integrating the consideration of this risk into their research and decision-making.

Monika Freyman, senior manager, water program, Ceres
Andrew Maddocks, communications and outreach lead, water program, World Resources Institute
Deborah Ng, portfolio manager, asset mix and risk, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

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11:00 – Noon
Aggregation Theory

The idea that the Internet will have a transformative effect that spreads beyond the IT industry is not a new one. However, a close examination of disruptive consumer companies—including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber and Airbnb—reveals a consistent pattern that affects incumbent companies and consumer behaviour in predictable ways. The presenter will explain the theory and how it can help guide long-run investment choices.

Ben Thompson, author/founder, Stratechery

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Closing Remarks followed by Lunch


** This is not the final agenda and it is subject to change at any time.**

For more information on the agenda, please contact Yaelle Gang , senior editor, conferences, Rogers Media

Interested in participating? Limited spaces are available. Contact Robert Martins, national account manager, Rogers Media

Transcontinental Media G.P.