2022 theme: Metamorphosis – redrawing the investments map together

 

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.



Agenda – what you can expect

 

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.


 

28 March, 2022

  • 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.

    Themes and Opportunities 2022

  • 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.

    Raising your impact investment - a case for impact investment

     

  • 11:10 – 11:40 am   |   Breakout sessions

    1. Private banks client panel: The future of savings

      Amit Popat
      , Head of Wealth Management and Not for Profit, Europe and AMEA (Moderator)
      João Miguel Rodrigues, Senior Consultant, Oliver Wyman

      Bank profit margins are under pressure from myriad angles, not to mention increasing expectations from clients and regulators which mean that banks have to reconsider multiple aspects of their investment business. Investment management fees, in the main, have been coming down; there continues to be strong momentum to passive management driven by challenging performance of many active strategies and cost-capping; and, with high equity valuations and low bond yields, there is a question around banks’ ability to obtain future returns for their clients.  These pressures go hand in hand with increasing regulatory requirements and the need to integrated sustainable investing into both their organisation and investment portfolios.  In this session we will explore how banks are looking to address these challenges both internally and within their clients’ portfolios and also discuss some of the future trends within the banking/asset management sectors.

      Weathering change - Ensuring a balanced portfolio come rain or shine

    2. Impact investing: The future of finance?

      Dr Klaus Kunz, Head of ESG, External Engagement and Performance Reporting, Bayer AG
      Saja Oddhammar, Chief Investment Officer, VFF Pension
      Angelika Delen, Europe (ex UK) Strategic Research Director & Europe Impact Investment Leader (Moderator)

      There has been an increase in impact investing because — as the name implies — investors realize that every investment has an impact. Impact investing offers a range of opportunities on social and environmental solutions and produces strong financial returns. There are success stories to be shared about thinking differently, supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and benefiting from innovative solutions. Why do investors decide to go with impact investing? How did they get started? What hurdles did they have to overcome? The challenges facing the world right now require a systemic solution. Will impact investing become the next “new thing” in finance and play a role in providing that solution?


    3. Navigating private debt: Making sense of the mosaic

      Thor Abrahmsen
      , CFA Senior Investment Risk Analyst, Gard
      Soli Preuthun, Chief Investment Officer, LB Forsikring
      Tamsin Coleman, Private Debt Specialist (Moderator)

      With banks retreating from the lending market, and yield-starved investors looking to optimise their portfolios using their illiquidity budget, direct lending has become a popular asset class for asset owners and asset managers alike. However, the explosion of private debt as an asset class has not stopped there. The financing needs of borrowers have grown in precision and sophistication, and an ever-increasing number of capital solutions have been launched to meet these needs. Given the sheer range of different private credit strategies on the market today, it’s all easy to feel like a rabbit in the headlights. In this panel session, we will hear directly from asset owners on how to navigate the private credit landscape to build a private debt programme.

      Private debt - The evolution and next frontier for investors

      Investment grade private credit – Fit for purpose

    4. The power of stewardship

      Mike Hugman,
      Director, Climate Finance, Children's Investment Fund Foundation
      Jake Goodman, Fixed Income Engagement Manager, Federate Hermes
      Sarika Goel
      , Global Head of Sustainable Investment Research (Moderator)

      Stewardship has risen to the top of investors’ agenda as they try to enhance the effectiveness of their sustainability approach by harnessing the power engagements at company, industry and policy levels. Net-zero commitments, broader sustainable development goals and in the UK, the revised UK Stewardship Code, have provided a slew of engagement frameworks for investors to develop and improve their approaches. What are some of the key and emerging themes that investors are engaging on, and how successful are they at influencing companies to enhance their business practices? What is best practice in stewardship and how can we extend this to asset classes beyond listed equities? In this panel session, we hear about the trends that we are seeing in stewardship across asset classes, and asset owners’ expectations of asset managers.

      ESG in credit portfolios: Insights from buy and maintain strategies
  • 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.

    Top considerations for private markets in 2022

    The private equity value add premium

    China private equity and venture capital - too big to ignore

  • 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

    China bonds - watch this space

  • 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

    1. Solvency II - neither a revolution nor immaterial

      Carlos Montalvo Rebuelta, Partner, PwC
      William Gibbons, Senior Investment Consultant (Moderator)

      After 15 years in the making and five years of application, the time has come to adapt Solvency II to today's challenges. It is a fact that Solvency II has worked well, so (to adapt the aphorism) if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Furthermore, when it comes to changes, to what extent should the concept of a "balanced outcome" or the goals of a political agenda prevail over keeping it technically sound?

      Solvency 2.5 - A €90 billion reboot?

    2. Impact investing: The future of finance?


      Saja Oddhammar, Chief Investment Officer, VFF Pension
      Ania Manczyk
      , Senior Private Equity Specialist 
      Angelika Delen, Europe (ex UK) Strategic Research Director & Europe Impact Investment Leader (Moderator)


      There has been an increase in impact investing because — as the name implies — investors realize that every investment has an impact. Impact investing offers a range of opportunities on social and environmental solutions and produces strong financial returns. There are success stories to be shared about thinking differently, supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and benefiting from innovative solutions. Why do investors decide to go with impact investing? How did they get started? What hurdles did they have to overcome? The challenges facing the world right now require a systemic solution. Will impact investing become the next “new thing” in finance and play a role in providing that solution?

      Raising your impact investment - a case for impact investment

    3. Navigating private debt: Making sense of the mosaic

      Thor Abrahmsen
      , CFA Senior Investment Risk Analyst, Gard
      Soli Preuthun
      , Chief Investment Officer, LB Forsikring
      Tamsin Coleman
      , Private Debt Specialist (Moderator)

      With banks retreating from the lending market, and yield-starved investors looking to optimise their portfolios using their illiquidity budget, direct lending has become a popular asset class for asset owners and asset managers alike. However, the explosion of private debt as an asset class has not stopped there. The financing needs of borrowers have grown in precision and sophistication, and an ever-increasing number of capital solutions have been launched to meet these needs. Given the sheer range of different private credit strategies on the market today, it’s all easy to feel like a rabbit in the headlights. In this panel session, we will hear directly from asset owners on how to navigate the private credit landscape to build a private debt programme.

      Investment grade private credit – Fit for purpose

    4. The power of stewardship

      Mike Hugman,
      Director, Climate Finance, Children's Investment Fund Foundation
      Jake Goodman, Fixed Income Engagement Manager, Federate Hermes
      Sarika Goel
      , Global Head of Sustainable Investment Research (Moderator)

      Stewardship has risen to the top of investors’ agenda as they try to enhance the effectiveness of their sustainability approach by harnessing the power engagements at company, industry and policy levels. Net-zero commitments, broader sustainable development goals and in the UK, the revised UK Stewardship Code, have provided a slew of engagement frameworks for investors to develop and improve their approaches. What are some of the key and emerging themes that investors are engaging on, and how successful are they at influencing companies to enhance their business practices? What is best practice in stewardship and how can we extend this to asset classes beyond listed equities? In this panel session, we hear about the trends that we are seeing in stewardship across asset classes, and asset owners’ expectations of asset managers.

      ESG in credit portfolios: Insights from buy and maintain strategies

 

29 March, 2022


 

31 March, 2022


 

1 April, 2022



Meet the speakers

Each Forum features top thought leaders from within Mercer and the investment community and renowned experts shaping the way we think.


Keynote speaker

Speakers

  • Thor Abrahamsen

    Thor Abrahamsen

    CFA Senior Investment Risk Analyst Investment Management, Gard AS


    Thor has over 20 years of experience from institutional investment and risk management, including several years as senior analyst and portfolio manager for fund of funds specialising across alternative assets. His background also involves risk management within fixed income and investment advisory for institutional clients. He is currently a Senior Risk Analyst in the investment department of Gard, the world’s largest P&I Insurance club, where he is responsible for market risk, asset allocation and manager research.