Join us at Mercer’s European Global Investment Forum in March to discuss the evolution that will define markets and investing for many years to come. The Forums bring together asset owners, asset managers and senior investment professionals to discuss current and emerging themes impacting investors. They also provide an opportunity for you to catch-up with peers and expand your knowledge and professional network.
The Forum offers a day of main sessions, breakout and keynote addresses, as well as hundreds of 40-minute separate virtual manager-led sessions. Some of the topics that will be covered in the agenda include the latest themes and opportunities, sustainable investing, private markets, transformational investing and more.
8:15 – 9:20 am | Breakfast and Registration
9:20 – 9:40 am | Metamorphosis: Themes and opportunities in 2022
Niall O’Sullivan, CIO, Europe and AMEA, Investment Solutions
Metamorphosis, the theme of this year’s forum, is the process of transitioning from one natural state to another. Substantial and profound changes are rapidly reshaping the world as we know it, with significant implications for investors. There will be winners and losers in this transition. In this session, we will highlight the key trends and opportunities that in our view will drive long-term success. We challenge you to think differently and this session will provide the starting point.
9:40 – 10:05 am | Hearing from our clients: Investments that endure
José González, Head of Retirement, Santander Asset Management
Alberto Gómez Reino, Head of ESG, BBVA Asset Management
Jordi Balcells, Head of ESG, VidaCaixa
Cristina San Juan, Head of Investments, Spain (Moderator)
Sustainability and ESG are always under discussion in the investment community, but how are pension plans and other institutional investors actually addressing them while still pursuing appropriate returns? Local Spanish asset-owners make up this panel, which examines how they are approaching these key concepts and offer global lessons for building an investment portfolio that endures.
10:25 – 10:50 am | Opportunities for private banking in alternative investments
Álvaro Villanueva, CIO Alternative Assets, CaixaBank Private Banking
José Luis Segimón, Global Head of Private Markets at BBVA Asset Management
Iñigo Gallastegui Alcoz, Head of Product Strategy and Marketing and Advisory Services at Santander Private Banking
Milagros Mendez, Senior Sustainable Investment Specialist (Moderator)
In this panel session, we discuss a number of key questions on the topic of alternative investments with the three biggest private banking houses in Spain. For example, what percentage should investors allocate to illiquid assets? What type of vehicle: direct funds or fund of funds? Which strategies are more appropriate for private investors? What is the best way to select the managers?
10:50 – 11:00 am | Impact investing: Is it on your agenda?
Hill Gaston, Senior Sustainable Investment Specialist
Impact investing allows investors to fund sustainable solutions that not only address the most pressing needs of our time but also enhance investors’ ability to meet their financial objectives. Is impact investing on your agenda? In this session, we explore the case for impact investing, including its ability to connect capital to the greatest sustainability challenges and its potential to transform people, places and systems. We look at impact investing as a source of new investment ideas across environmental and social issues and as a key to the solutions that are available in this space.
11:10 – 11:40 am | Breakout sessions
12:10 – 12:20 pm | The resource code: Transition beyond just carbon
Nick White, Global Head of Strategic Research
Investors’ attention is firmly focused on climate change and the energy transition needed to reduce emissions over this decade and beyond. Energy use by industry, transport and buildings accounts for more than half of emissions but other high-emission sectors, like agriculture, must be next on the agenda. And the energy transition is just part of a broader resource-transition required: sweeping changes lie ahead in how we all extract, use and dispose of the world's resources, resources that range from energy to metals and minerals, to food and water, and all that relies on biodiversity. Portfolio practices employed to reduce emissions need to reflect this broader context, as part of an integrated process that both allocates to capital that supports that broader transition and employs active ownership.
12:20 – 12:40 pm | Private markets: Capturing thematic opportunities
Speaker: Michael Butler, Senior Investment Consultant
Investors all over the world are grappling with the uncertainty surrounding inflation following a sustained period of both fiscal and monetary stimulus. Investors are also concerned about elevated valuations across multiple asset classes. All of this is happening at a time when investors are trying to position their portfolio for transition to a lower carbon economy. In this session, we examine how private markets can help investors address these challenges through a diverse and innovative range of strategies.
12:40 – 1:30 pm | The great debate on equities: China or US?
Philip Saunders, Co-head of Multi-Asset Growth, Ninety One
Rosanna Burcheri, Portfolio Manager, Fidelity International
Simon Coxeter, Strategic Research Director, AMEA & Latin America (Moderator)
The strengths and weaknesses of the investment case for Chinese public equities are often addressed in isolation, particularly with the increasing polarisation in views on China over recent years. But relativities do matter when building global portfolios, as investors must make difficult choices between different assets as well as evaluate their standalone merits. Rather than exploring the investment case for Chinese equities in isolation, this session contextualizes the discussion with contrasting perspectives on the US and China. Where will you decide to invest?
Positioning your portfolio for the future of emerging markets
3:00 – 3:45 pm | Keynote conversation
Misha Glenny, Journalist, broadcaster, and European affairs expert
Fiona Dunsire, AMEA & Latam Wealth Leader (Moderator)
Fiona Dunsire leads a conversation with noted journalist, broadcaster and European affairs expert, Misha Glenny. Misha shares his take on the current Ukraine crisis, the role of digital and cyber warfare, and the context and background for the conflict. Misha also comments on the future of Europe and the current state of global investment risk.
3:55 – 4:25 pm | Breakout sessions
5:00 – 5:15 pm | Principles for building a robust equity portfolio
Gareth Anderson, Senior Equity Research Specialist
As equity markets ebb and flow, there will be winners and losers at different points during the cycle. How should equity investors position themselves to benefit from the anomalies present in listed equity markets, while ensuring their portfolio is sufficiently robust to navigate the twists and turns of markets over time?
Mercer’s equity guiding principles and what they mean for your portfolio
5:15 – 5:45 pm | Epilogue: Thoughts on the changing world
Rupert Watson, Head of Asset Allocation, Investment Solutions
Sheena Frost, Head of Portfolio Management Solutions, Europe ex-UK
Paul Cavalier, Global Head of Fixed Income (Moderator)
After a period of unprecedented monetary easing across the world, central banks in many regions are looking to reverse these policies. In addition, inflation in the US and other countries is at multi-decade highs. What impact will these issues and other factors have on markets in the years to come? In this panel session, we highlight some of our thoughts on asset allocation and the advice we are giving to clients, and open up the floor for an interactive discussion on your views and any questions you may have.
What does the Russian-Ukraine conflict mean for sustainable investment decisions?
Offloading Russia - Investment implications of Russia being removed from indices
Peering through the fog - Examining previous examples of the impact of geopolitics on financial markets
5:45 – 5:50 pm | Closing remarks
Michael Lernihan, Wealth Leader, Europe
9:30 am – 10:00 pm |  Redrawing the research map together
Rich Nuzum, President, Wealth
Jo Holden, Global Head of Investment Research
10:00 – 10:20 pm |  Update on Spanish market
Jorge Bernaldo de Quirós Martin, Senior Investment Consultant
Beatriz Camacho Álvaro, Investment Consultant
Xavier Bellavista Badia, Senior Investment Consultant
10:20 – 10:35 pm |  European strategic research update
Angelika Delen, Europe (ex UK) Strategic Research Director & Europe Impact Investment Leader
10:35 – 11:05 pm |  DEI: A progress report
Indira Sabitova, Portfolio Manager, Equities
Sarika Goel, Global Head of Sustainable Investment Research
Niall O’Sullivan, CIO, Europe and AMEA, Investment Solutions
Diversity, equity and inclusion: An open letter to asset managers
11:05 – 11:25 pm |  Break
11:25 – 11:55 pm |  Breakouts – Round 1
12:05 – 12:35 pm |  Breakouts – Round 2
12:35 – TBC pm |  Lunch
Each Forum features top thought leaders from within Mercer and the investment community and renowned experts shaping the way we think.
Journalist, broadcaster, and European affairs expert
Misha is an award-winning journalist who first came to prominence as the BBC’s Central Europe Correspondent, when he covered the 1989 revolutions in the region and the wars in the former Yugoslavia. He has a Sony Gold Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting and is also a winner of BT’s Information Security Journalist of The Year.
His book McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime and DarkMarket: How Hackers Became the New Mafia was shortlisted for several prizes; it was adapted in a joint production between AMC (in the US) and the BBC into a major television series.
Misha’s series Putin: Prisoner of Power was one of Audible’s best-selling politics podcasts in 2019 as was his 2020 follow-up, The Rise of the Iron Men, which looked at the surge in support for leaders such as Trump, Johnson, Orban, Erdogan, Bolsonaro, Modi and Duterte.
Misha can speak on all aspects of organised crime, from money laundering to cyber malfeasance, people-smuggling and the drugs trade. He has unique insights into how new technology is reshaping traditional organised crime in the narcotics. He also draws on his background in geopolitics to show how great power relations are driving insecurity in cyberspace, and why companies cannot rely on government to shore up their vulnerabilities.