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Times are in UTC-4 Toronto/New York

 

Agenda

 

Monday June 14, 2021

 

Tuesday June 15, 2021

  • 10:30 – 10:45 am   |   Welcome and Opening

    Teresa Palandra, Canada Wealth Leader

  • 10:45 – 11:05 am   |   2021 Investment Themes and Opportunities

    Jo Holden, Global Head of Investment Research
    Yusuke Khan, Director of Strategic Research, Canada

    As investors, we need to adapt our outlooks and expectations to ensure portfolios are positioned to manage new risks and capture opportunities that may just fleetingly arrive. We encourage investors to focus on the themes and opportunities where we see the most potential in the years ahead.

    Our New World theme considers the impact of monetary and fiscal policies on the global economy, along with shifting power and alliances on the global stage. In our Business as Unusual theme, we explore the changing trends in business, as both markets and work change, and we enter a world of increased engagement. Finally, within our Position for Transition theme, we see action by investors on climate change as crucial, and a total portfolio approach fundamental in supporting this.

  • 11:05 – 11:25 am   |   Taking Fresh Stocks: Four Ways to Rethink Your Equity Portfolio

    Host: David Willers, Senior Investment Consultant, Toronto

    Panelists:
    Dasha Zuck, Investment Consultant, Vancouver
    Marie-Léa Girouard, Investment Consultant, Montreal
    Shaun Cogswell, Investment Consultant, Halifax
    Claudia Lipping, Senior Investment Consultant, Toronto

    Recent years have tested conventional wisdom. Pandemic winds, interest rate droughts and monetary and fiscal stimulus have buffeted portfolios. Investors are wondering whether they should be finding refuge in what’s tried and true, or seeking new forms of shelter. Should investors be looking to the comfort of home? The stability of low volatility? The ambition of active or the low cost of passive? Will value return to favor or is it all about growth? This session provides a fresh perspective on equity investments, and explores the answers to these timeless questions.

  • 11:25 – 11:45 am   |   Position for Transition: Are You Ready to Act?

    Lovey Sidhu, Investment Consultant, Toronto
    Jillian Kennedy, Leader of DC and Financial Wellness, Canada 

    You need to futureproof your portfolio. Explore how investors can meet investment and climate goals as the globe transitions to a low-carbon economy. Hear how Mercer is using innovative tools and analytics to help its clients answer key questions such as how to reduce emissions and set aligned targets while meeting investment objectives and not simply divesting today’s high carbon companies. We also discuss how this can be practically implemented, monitored and communicated to key stakeholders.

  • 11:45 am – 12:20 pm   |   A Conversation with Keynote Speaker Mark Carney

    Mark Carney, Former Governor of the Bank of Canada and Bank of England
    Martine Ferland, President and CEO Mercer, Vice Chair, Marsh and McLennan

    Our Mercer President and CEO, Martine Ferland, talks to Mark Carney on broad economic issues, with a particular focus on how climate change will shape government policies, financial regulations and investment strategies, and what actions asset owners can take to ensure a sustainable future. Mr. Carney also shares his personal and professional reflections on the global economy based on his distinguished career, having led the central banks of two countries, and held a number of corporate and advisory leadership roles.  

  • 12:30 – 12:55 pm   |   Breakout Panel Discussions – Round 1

    1 . Transformational Investing: Addressing Systemic Risks for Long-term Investment Success

    Ashley Knight, Mercer’s Fellow at the World Economic Forum
    Peter Grant, Senior Investment Consultant, Norwalk

    We’re very excited to share recently completed research with the World Economic Forum that explores the advanced investment practices of asset owners around the globe. The research focused on the most complex issues of our time (for instance, climate change, low/negative interest rates and technological evolution).

    The research findings were informed by over 200 interviews with the investment community and an asset-owner survey – representing more than $3.4 trillion in aggregated assets – that highlighted how investors integrated the trends. We also share insights about a climate change self-assessment framework that incorporates the steps that advanced organizations take and the lessons learned through their transformational investment journeys.

     

    2. Breaking the Bond: Where Will Returns Come From Going Forward?

    Facilitator: Todd Saulnier, Senior Investment Consultant, Ottawa

    Panelists:
    Jeff Bunce, Asset Class Specialist, Fixed Income Boutique
    Marlene Puffer, President and CEO, CN Investment Division

    Over the years, bonds have played an important role in investor portfolios, whether it be a liquidity source, a liability-hedging asset, a diversifier or even a tail-risk hedging asset. Decades ago, we also got decent yields from bonds.  With historically low yield on bonds in many parts of the world, we now ask ourselves “where will returns come from going forward?”  Our panelists will review their thoughts on how bonds can still play important roles in portfolios and how we can make our bond portfolios work even harder to deliver returns while playing those important roles. Maybe we do need to break the bond and consider other types of fixed income outside of our comfortable bond indices.  We may need to venture into the world of commercial mortgages, private debt, multi asset credit, emerging market debt, and unconstrained fixed income strategies to get the returns we need.

     

    3. The ESG Experience: Different Approaches to ESG-ing a Portfolio

    Facilitator: Monika Freyman, Head of Responsible Investment, Canada

    Panelists:
    Hyewon Kong, Vice President, Responsible Investing, Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO)
    Annette Aquin, Executive Vice President, Finance and Operations, Hamilton Community Foundation
    Franka Adibe, Senior Manager, Risk Management, CBC Pension Fund

     

    4. How Healthy is Your DC Plan: Retirement Readiness Barometer

    Facilitator: Roddy MacKenzie, Investment Consultant, Toronto

    Panelists:
    Neil Lloyd, Wealth Leader, Western Canada
    Bernadette Chik, Senior Investment Consultant, Toronto

     

    5. Endowment and Foundations Funds’ Response to a Low Expected return Environment: A Discussion

    Facilitator: Peter Hallett, Senior Investment Consultant, Vancouver

    Panelists:
    TBC

  • 1:25 – 1:50 pm  |   Breakout Panel Discussions – Round 2

    1. Transformational Investing: Addressing Systemic Risks for Long-term Investment Success

      Ashley Knight, Mercer’s Fellow at the World Economic Forum
      Peter Grant, Senior Investment Consultant, Norwalk

    2. Breaking the Bond: Where Will Returns Come From Going Forward?

      Facilitator: Todd Saulnier, Senior Investment Consultant, Ottawa

      Panelists:
      Jeff Bunce, Asset Class Specialist, Fixed Income Boutique

    3. The ESG Experience: Different Approaches to ESG-ing a Portfolio

      Facilitator: Monika Freyman, Head of Responsible Investment, Canada

      Panelists:
      TBC

    4. How Healthy is Your DC Plan: Retirement Readiness Barometer

      Facilitator: Jillian Kennedy, Leader of DC and Financial Wellness, Canada

      Panelists:
      Neil Lloyd, Wealth Leader, Western Canada
      Bernadette Chik, Senior Investment Consultant, Toronto

    5. Endowment and Foundations Funds’ Response to a Low Expected return Environment: A Discussion

      Facilitator: Peter Hallett, Senior Investment Consultant, Vancouver

      Panelists:
      TBC

  • 1:50 – 2:10 pm   |   Re-positioning your infrastructure and real estate assets for the future

    Brandon Perra, Real Estate Specialist, Alternatives
    Michael McGowan, Senior Infrastructure Specialist, Alternatives

    Can we say it’s different this time? The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 was the defining event of 2020, and is likely to be for 2021. This session explores the impact the pandemic has had upon infrastructure and real estate markets, and what we consider to be the lasting effects of this great disruption. We look at how investors should reposition existing, or build out new portfolios and share our views of where the next opportunities will arise.

  • 2:10 – 2:20 pm   |   Day 2 Close

    TBC

 

Wednesday June 16, 2021

  • 11:00 – 11:30 am   |   Are We Heading for Inflation or Disinflation?

    Chair: Stéphanie Mariamo, Senior Investment Consultant, Montreal

    Kimberley Hart, Senior Investment Consultant, Toronto
    Jonathan Croft, Senior Investment Consultant, Halifax

    We have seen unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus to help us through the pandemic. Economists have been dividing into the same camps as in 2009.

    The first camp is worried that inflation is returning. They believe that policymakers have not only overstimulated the recovery but — unlike after the global financial crisis — this time stimulus has gone straight into the real economy.

    The second camp is less optimistic on the recovery and less worried about inflation because there is a risk that COVID-19 has fed into the ongoing trend of secular stagnation.

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

  • 11:30 – 11:50 am   |   Humanizing Transformation

    Ravin Jesuthasan, Global Leader, Transformation Services

    Satya Nadella famously said that we have seen a two-year trend in digitalization accomplished in two months. The impact on the future of work has been far more profound, as the combination of digitalization and the democratization of work compresses a five-year trend into five months. This is requiring organizations to transform at unprecedented pace. But this transformation is not just about business models and technology — it is ultimately about human change. As the world prepares to emerge from the pandemic, organizations are rightly asking the question as to how they can continue to transform their operating models to be more resilient, flexible and agile.

  • 11:50 am – 12:00 pm   |   Final Remarks

    Jacqui Parchment, CEO, Canada






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