Positioning for reinvention
9:30 am – 9:55 am | Where do we stand, what's next and what matters?
Dan Melley, Head of UK Investments
We set the stage for the Forum by exploring the major themes and challenges that our investors are facing and the areas to watch in the quarters ahead. These span from inflation, low yields, China and private markets to sustainable investing and cryptocurrencies.
9:55 am – 10:35 am | Investing post-pandemic: What should we be doing differently?
What will asset owners do differently and what do we expect from consultants and asset managers?
Facilitator: Helen Hope, Head of UK Client Relations, Investment Solutions
Susan Anyan, Professional Trustee and Pensions Governance Expert, Capital Cranfield
Rene Poisson, Managing Director, Poisson Management Ltd.
David Vickers, Chief Investment Officer, Brunel Pension Partnership Limited
The pandemic has changed the way we live and work, and some of these changes are expected to have permanent repercussions. What do investors think about the future that has been reshaped by recent events? We talk to three asset owners and hear their views, including their expectations for both asset managers and consultants.
10:35 am – 10:50 am | Inflation — post-reopening phenomenon or something more structural?
Sinéad Twohig, Senior Investment Consultant
Alongside new patterns in online shopping, technology and consumer habits, an unprecedented wave of monetary and fiscal stimulus has helped us through the pandemic. Will this lead to a prolonged rise in inflation? Or is the current inflation a temporary spike caused by the reopening of the economy? In this session, we present our views (setting out alternative scenarios), with recommendations for how to factor this into your portfolio construction.
10:50 am – 11:05 am | Investing in China: Emerging market allocations for the new world
Gareth Anderson, Senior Equity Research Specialist
As we grapple with the complex dynamics of the new world, how should we view China’s evolving role across the global investment landscape? How can you position yourself to meet challenges and capitalise on opportunities that lie ahead in an uncertain geopolitical and macroeconomic future? Ignore these questions at your peril; the stakes are high for critical aspects of portfolio diversification, access to valuable sources of return and risk mitigation. We help you answer these and other questions with our latest guidance on emerging market allocations.
11:30 am – 12:10 pm | From zero to hero: Planning a sustainable journey
Jo Holden, Global Head of Investment Research
Niall O’Sullivan, AMEA Chief Investment Officer, Investment Solutions
Don Gerritsen, Head of Principles for Responsible Investment, The Netherlands
The next 10 years will be a “decade of delivery”. The latest reports from the IPCC and the upcoming COP26 summit will focus investors and regulators alike on climate change and environmental issues. There is also increasing momentum around the social and governance elements of ESG and the need to incorporate them into portfolios.
This session discusses how Mercer and our clients think about ESG within a total portfolio framework. It includes some practical insights from our PRI speaker on ways to think about asset allocation. Following our Responsible Investment Total Evaluation (RITE) assessment of all Mercer’s UK clients, we also share a state-of-the-nation perspective on how investors are addressing ESG.
12:10 pm – 12:55 pm | How to build a portfolio for impact
Deborah Wardle, Alternatives Investment Director
Hill Gaston, Senior Sustainable Investment Specialist
What is impact investing? Is it any different to sustainable investing? In this session, we set out what we mean at Mercer by impact investing, demonstrate what an impact-investing framework looks like and show how to build an impact portfolio in practice. We discuss the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and how they can be used to support impact investing. We also discuss the key challenges with an impact fund, such as “greenwashing”, and cover effective measurement and reporting as well as the asset classes and impact themes available for investment.
2:10 pm – 2:55 pm | A conversation with keynote speaker, Lord John Browne
Lord John Browne, Former CEO, BP
Sylvia Pozezanac, President and CEO, UK
Sylvia Pozezanac, CEO for Mercer UK, leads a conversation with Lord John Browne, former CEO of BP. Lord Browne shares his own diversity and inclusion story, his thoughts on current geopolitics, and his point of view on the carbon economy and sustainability.
3:05 pm – 3:35 pm | Breakout sessions – round 1
3:45 pm – 4:15 pm | Breakout sessions – round 2
4:20 pm – 4:55 pm | Exploring digital finance and bitcoin
Matt Scott, Senior Strategic Research Specialist
The tentative institutionalisation of Bitcoin, a non-sovereign currency that has had a decade of parabolic, albeit bumpy, price increases, has had investors wondering whether or not to be amongst the first movers in the latest phase of adoption, or whether it’s a case of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. In this session we demystify Bitcoin and its competitors and introduce the arena in which they now sit: decentralised finance or DeFi, an exciting new financial services system native to the internet that caters to cryptocurrency users.
5:10 pm – 6:00 pm | Asset owner networking event — Mercer’s analysis on the future of DB
Andrew Ward, Head of Risk Transfer and DB Journey Planning
There has been a significant tail off in the number of DB schemes over the last decade although asset values have conversely risen, largely due to falling yields. This session presents the results of Mercer’s research into what might happen in the coming decade...and how we as asset owners, managers or advisers need to react to stay relevant. As well as presenting the results of our analysis, there will be an opportunity for discussion and an exchange of views.
1:15 pm – 2:45 pm | Fund manager workshop – “Come off mute” on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)
An interactive workshop for fund manager attendees on the opportunities of leading in DEI
Members of some professional bodies may be able to claim continuing professional development credits for attending Mercer's Global Investment Forums.