2022 Theme: Metamorphosis – redrawing the investments map together

 

Join us at Mercer’s Asia Global Investment Forum in September 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. Watch this space for details on the agenda.


Wednesday, 21 September

Times are in Singapore Local Time (UTC +8)

      Time                                |   Session/speaker(s)

Thursday, 22 September

Times are in Singapore Local Time (UTC +8)

      Time                                |   Session/speaker(s)
      8:00 am - 9:00 am   |   Registration and breakfast
  • 9:00 am – 9:10 am   |   We meet again: Overcoming challenges with resilience

    Janet Li, Wealth Business Leader, Asia
    Chee Loong Chong, Wealth Leader, Singapore

  • 9:10 am – 9:30 am   |   Themes and opportunities: Hindsights and insights

    Nick White, Global Strategic Research Director

    Our themes and opportunities summarise our views of the forces driving markets, economies and client practices over the next three to five years and beyond. The past five years have been marked by an extraordinary period of change driven by the global pandemic, inflation shock and elevated geopolitical tensions. Although the specific events that occurred seemed to come out of the blue, some of the underlying pressures these shocks to the system released were indeed identifiable in advance. In our session, we look back on events and how our themes and opportunities have evolved. And in the context of the regime change we’re currently experiencing, we ask, “Are we there yet?”

  • 9:30 am – 10:00 am   |   Inflation and the macro environment: Where do we go from here?


    Cameron Systermans, Senior Portfolio Manager
    Ben Abell, Director of Analytics, Research and Tools, Asia

    After an eventful few years in which the global economy has endured the impacts of the largest pandemic in a century and the highest rates of both real economic growth and inflation in more than four decades, Ben Abell and Cameron Systermans discuss what’s in store for the macro environment. Has inflation peaked? Are we heading for a recession? Will China continue to buck broader global trends? Listen in as the speakers tackle all the big questions.

  • 10:00 am – 10:45 am   |   Buttressing the portfolio for change


    Ann Leepile, CEO, Alex Forbes Investments
    Wey Fook Hou, Chief Investment Officer, DBS Bank
    Bernard Wee, Group Head Markets and Investments, Monetary Authority of Singapore
    Moderator: Alvin Tay, Chief Portfolio Advisor, Asia

    We seem to be entering a period of significant change in the global economy, with a number of developments that can profoundly impact the economy and financial markets occurring in concert. This panel session brings together three investors to discuss how they are adjusting their investment approaches to ensure their portfolios are resilient as we prepare for an environment that looks to be very different for investing than what we’ve experienced over the previous decade.

      10:45 am – 11:15 am   |   Break
  • 11:15 am – 11:35 am   |   Elements of energy transition

    Simon Coxeter, Head of Manager Research, Asia Pacific

    Progress for our species has relied on finding new materials to burn and harnessing the combustion energy. Of all the energy transitions so far, a confluence of environmental and geopolitical exigencies make this one the most critical for humankind. One in six of us dies prematurely due to inhalation of particulates from the burning of hydrocarbons, and climate change is expected to cause 83 million excess deaths by the year 2100. Investors are increasingly focused on the energy transition needed to address climate change, and they can be part of the solution by stewarding and allocating capital and managing portfolio risk.

  • 11:35 am – 11:55 am   |   Private markets: What you need to know

    Bill Muysken, Global Chief Investment Officer, Alternatives
    Amarik Ubhi, Global Head of Infrastructure, Alternatives

    Mercer Global CIO for Alternatives Bill Muysken and Global Head of Infrastructure Amarik Ubhi talk about the evolution of private markets over recent decades, how to decide how much to allocate to private markets and the most important considerations for investors when making decisions on their private markets allocations.

  • 12:05 am – 12:35 pm   |   Breakouts – Round 1


    1. Insurance industry trends

    Dr. Graeme Riddell, Climate & Sustainability Consulting Leader, Marsh Asia
    Shaz Islam, Investment Consultant

    Improving portfolio returns while managing downside risk remains the fundamental challenge facing insurance companies today. The ultimate objective is no longer merely to beat a benchmark but to contribute positively to growth in overall enterprise value. In this session, we share some of our findings from our recent Global Insurance Survey . These findings provide insights into some of the megatrends and opportunities shaping the investment landscape for insurance companies.

    2. Cryptoverse: Metamorphosis, mirage or miracle waiting to happen?
    Anubhuti Gupta, Senior Consultant

    Since the launch of Bitcoin more than a decade ago, cryptocurrencies have captured imaginations and attracted swathes of investors despite frequent and massive crashes. As we take stock of the current state of the cryptoverse, the promises of real-world utility remain largely a work in progress, and recent market events have undermined some of the narratives put forth by crypto enthusiasts. What does it mean for institutional investors as they navigate the rapidly evolving crypto space?

    3. Retirement and target date fund best practices

    Dr Man Juttijudata, Chief Investment Strategy Officer, Thailand Government Pension Fund
    Mandy Chan, Retirement Services Leader, Asia
    Kasin Sutuntivorakoon, Wealth Business Leader, Thailand

    Join Dr Man, Deputy Secretary General of the Thailand Government Pension Fund (GPF) and Head of Investment Strategy and External Fund Management Group, and Mandy Chan, Mercer’s Asia Retirement Services Leader, in a discussion on opportunities from pension market reform in Asia. Topics include roles and prevalence of target date funds, common and best practices, and innovations to look out for. 

    4.  The real risk is doing nothing: Why operational due diligence matters

    Pohlay Lim, Senior Manager, NUS Investment Office
    David O'Sullivan, Chief Investment Officer, Europe
    Moderator, Igor Evangelij, Head of Sentinel Asia

    When overseeing an institutional investment program, the predominant focus is invariably on investment returns and risk management. Asset owners are inundated with information and resources to help manage their investment portfolios, whereas operational risks associated with the investment infrastructure have typically received limited attention. However, prescient investors recognize the increasing complexity of operational processes resulting from the pandemic, geopolitical concerns, ESG, cybersecurity, regulations and the related risks. In this session, we explore with our expert panellists the value of operational due diligence, recent trends and panellists’ approaches to managing operational risks in their portfolios.

      12:35 pm – 1:50 pm   |   Lunch
  • 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm   |   Keynote conversation: EQ Leadership in Industry 4.0: A need for resilience now more than ever

    Jamelle Lindo, Emotional intelligence leadership coach and trainer
    Moderator: Peta Latimer, CEO, Mercer Singapore

    Our keynote speaker, Jamelle Lindo, makes the case for emotional intelligence and building resilience in your workforce. An expert in his field, hear from Jamelle on how human behaviour impacts efficiency and performance in the workplace, and how the personal state of individual investors influences group decision-making and market confidence. The session concludes by connecting the culture of companies with that of sustainable corporate growth.

  • 2:50 pm – 3:10 pm   |   Sustainability and ESG in practice

    Adeline Tan, Wealth Business Leader, Hong Kong
    Jaimee To, Sustainable Investment Consultant, Asia Pacific

    Climate change is taking centre stage in Asia, with regulators strengthening regulations and investors ramping up reporting and disclosures. Almost everyone has made some progress on climate reporting or energy transition — but is that all? Meanwhile, there is an opportunity to make money through the circular economy, which focuses on how products are designed, used and recovered, with a view towards minimising waste. The circular economy is set to change our current mode of production and consumption and is critical for reducing carbon emissions associated with food and materials production. Asset allocators may want to learn more and use these concepts to enhance returns while meeting climate goals.

  • 3:20 pm – 3:50 pm   |   Breakouts – Round 2


    1. Insurance industry trends

    Dr. Graeme Riddell, Climate & Sustainability Consulting Leader, Marsh Asia
    Shaz Islam, Investment Consultant

    Improving portfolio returns while managing downside risk remains the fundamental challenge facing insurance companies today. The ultimate objective is no longer merely to beat a benchmark but to contribute positively to growth in overall enterprise value. In this session, we share some of our findings from our recent Global Insurance Survey . These findings provide insights into some of the megatrends and opportunities shaping the investment landscape for insurance companies.

    2. Cryptoverse: Metamorphosis, mirage or miracle waiting to happen?
    Anubhuti Gupta, Senior Consultant

    Since the launch of Bitcoin more than a decade ago, cryptocurrencies have captured imaginations and attracted swathes of investors despite frequent and massive crashes. As we take stock of the current state of the cryptoverse, the promises of real-world utility remain largely a work in progress, and recent market events have undermined some of the narratives put forth by crypto enthusiasts. What does it mean for institutional investors as they navigate the rapidly evolving crypto space?

    3. Retirement and target date fund best practices

    Dr Man Juttijudata, Chief Investment Strategy Officer, Thailand Government Pension Fund
    Mandy Chan, Retirement Services Leader, Asia
    Kasin Sutuntivorakoon, Wealth Business Leader, Thailand

    Join Dr Man, Deputy Secretary General of the Thailand Government Pension Fund (GPF) and Head of Investment Strategy and External Fund Management Group, and Mandy Chan, Mercer’s Asia Retirement Services Leader, in a discussion on opportunities from pension market reform in Asia. Topics include roles and prevalence of target date funds, common and best practices, and innovations to look out for. 

    4. The real risk is doing nothing: Why operational due diligence matters

    Pohlay Lim, Senior Manager, NUS Investment Office
    David O'Sullivan, Chief Investment Officer, Europe
    Moderator: Igor Evangelij, Head of Sentinel Asia

    When overseeing an institutional investment program, the predominant focus is invariably on investment returns and risk management. Asset owners are inundated with information and resources to help manage their investment portfolios, whereas operational risks associated with the investment infrastructure have typically received limited attention. However, prescient investors recognize the increasing complexity of operational processes resulting from the pandemic, geopolitical concerns, ESG, cybersecurity, regulations and the related risks. In this session, we explore with our expert panellists the value of operational due diligence, recent trends and panellists’ approaches to managing operational risks in their portfolios.

      3:50 pm – 4:20 pm   |   Afternoon break
  • 4:20 pm – 4:50 pm   |   In conversation: Integrating sustainability into the investment process

    Fiona Dunsire, AMEA & LatAM Wealth Leader
    Tzu Mi Liew, Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income and Chair of the Sustainability Committee, GIC

    Issues driving sustainability investing continue to gain attention, and urgency around these issues is only increasing. In this session, we talk to a major asset owner to find out how it’s  addressing sustainability and integrating it into the company’s processes. We also discuss the impact of increasing regulatory requirements for investors in the region.

  • 4:50 pm – 5:10 pm   |   Beyond China public equities

    Henry Ching, Head of Private Markets, Asia Pacific
    Jean de Kock, AMEA Director of Strategic Research

    The investment case for China’s public equities has been explored extensively over recent years, and, more broadly, China continues to elicit polarised views from global investors. If you’re considering exposure to China, we think it’s important not to neglect other asset classes, such as fixed income, real estate and private markets. Do current economic, regulatory and geopolitical risks present investors with opportunities beyond public equities? In this session, we tackle some of the risks and discuss our current thinking on various asset classes in China.

  • 5:10 pm – 5:25 pm   |   Actions speak louder than words: What do we do now?


    Jo Holden, Global Head of Investment Research

    You’ll leave our Forum with plenty of ideas and opinions; let’s focus on some real actions. Regardless of your goals and objectives, this session takes the final few moments of the day to make sure you leave with some clear, pragmatic plans for action to drive the change our new environment demands.

  • 5:25 pm – 5:35 pm   |   Towards a brighter future

    Rich Nuzum, Executive Director, Investments and Global Chief Investment Strategist

      5:35 pm – 7:10 pm   |   Closing drinks

Monday, 19 September

Times are in Singapore Local Time (UTC +8)

      Time                                |   Session/speaker(s)
      10:00 am - 5:00 pm   |   Learn, share, connect sessions (virtual)

Tuesday, 20 September

Times are in Singapore Local Time (UTC +8)

      Time                                |   Session/speaker(s)
      10:00 am - 5:00 pm   |   Learn, share, connect sessions (virtual)

Meet the speakers

 

Each Forum features top thought leaders from within Mercer and the investment community and renowned experts shaping the way we think. We look forward to sharing these names with you soon.

 

Keynote speaker

Jamelle Lindo

Emotional intelligence leadership coach and trainer

 

Speakers

Ben Abell

Director of Analytics, Research and Tools, Asia

  • Read more

    Ben is a principal in Mercer’s Wealth business, based in Singapore. He is responsible for managing the Analytics, Research & Tools (ART) practice for the Asia region. This involves the sales, support and development of a range of investment tools, publications and systems used both internally and externally. He is also responsible for producing specialist quantitative research, including the production of an Asian dynamic asset allocation service.

    Ben was previously at Schroders in the UK. As part of the Multi-Manager Team, he was involved in all aspects of fund selection and asset allocation. He researched and met with fund managers for potential inclusion in the portfolio and also conducted qualitative and quantitative research and style and risk analysis on the funds in the portfolio.

    Prior to Schroders, Ben worked for Mercer in the UK. He was a member of the Technical Products and Services Team, where he conducted quantitative research, worked on the development of portfolio-style risk analysis, contributed to the production of a European dynamic asset allocation service and was a member of the Hedge Fund Specialist Research Team.

    Ben has completed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA®) exams, the Securities Institute Diploma and the Investment Management Certificate in the UK. Additionally, he also obtained a Bachelor of Science in economics from Royal Holloway, University of London.2

Mandy Chan

Retirement Services Leader, Asia

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    Mandy is Mercer’s Retirement Services Leader, Asia, based in Hong Kong. She oversees the Retirement teams and drives and develops retirement plan solutions for private and public sectors in Asia.

    Mandy has extensive experience in retirement and benefits consulting projects, advising clients on change strategy for pension plans, including pension plan design, DB-to-DC conversion, international pension plan advisory, asset liability modelling, benefits changes and implementation, member communication, financial wellness, M&A benefits harmonisation strategy, provider selection, and governance review.

    She has also been the lead actuary on advice to local and multinational clients, including the actuarial funding and accounting valuations of retirement schemes, from civil servant pensions to conglomerate group retirement funds.

    She currently acts as the Profile and Events Sub-Committee Head for the Hong Kong Retirement Schemes Association and organises industry events to empower employers in managing pension schemes.

    Mandy is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and has attained the Society’s Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst credential. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration in insurance, financial and actuarial science from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Charles Chiang

Senior Private Equity Specialist, Alternatives

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    Charles is a principal with Mercer Alternatives, based in Singapore. He joined Altius Associates/Pavilion Alternatives Group in 2014, which was acquired by Mercer in 2018. Charles is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and monitoring private equity and private debt funds in Asia-Pacific.

    Charles has been in the financial services industry since 2006, focusing on private equity since 2009. Before joining Altius, he worked as an associate for Capital Dynamics, where he evaluated private markets fund investment opportunities in Asia-Pacific and monitored existing fund portfolios. Previously, he was an assistant vice president at Alternative Investment Capital, where he reviewed and analysed prospective private equity and venture capital fund investment opportunities in Asia-Pacific. Charles also worked at Taishin International Bank and Ernst & Young, both in Taiwan, where he engaged in corporate banking and auditing, respectively.

    Charles holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting and a Bachelor of Arts in English literatures from the National Taiwan University. He also received an MBA in international business from International University of Japan.

Henry Ching

Head of Private Markets – Asia Pacific

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    Head of Private Markets — Asia-Pacific, Henry joined Mercer in 2011. He is located in Hong Kong SAR and reports to the Alternatives practice of Mercer. His responsibilities include overseeing research of Asia private markets investment strategies while also assisting clients with private markets portfolio construction and strategy.

    Henry sits on a number of internal Mercer private markets committees and working groups that are responsible for rating private markets strategies, investment decisions for Mercer’s Private Investment Partners (PIP) funds and discretionary accounts, and dynamic market allocation for certain private markets strategies. He is also an executive committee member of CAIA’s Hong Kong chapter.

    Henry was previously Head of Asia Real Estate at Mercer. Before joining Mercer, Henry worked at Towers Watson (Hong Kong), where he was responsible for researching Asia-focused private markets managers and consulting to Asian clients. He also worked for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in Toronto, where he was responsible for researching and implementing new asset classes into CPPIB’s investment portfolio and analysing direct investments.

    Henry earned his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto and his MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business, the University of Western Ontario. He is also a CFA® charterholder and holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation.

Chee Loong Chong

Wealth Leader, Singapore

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    Chee Loong is the Chief Executive Officer of Mercer Investment Solutions (Singapore) Pte Ltd, and he heads Mercer’s Wealth business in Singapore. He has more than 25 years of professional experience in financial services, spanning financial supervision, investment management and investment consultancy.

    Before joining Mercer, he was an investment consultant with Cambridge Associates, where he worked with institutional investors to develop investment strategy and implement portfolios. He also served as an adviser on the construction and oversight of the company’s hedge fund portfolios.

    Chee Loong started his career with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in 1995, first as a financial regulator, primarily responsible for formulating policies regulating the securities and financial advisory industries. He subsequently held the position of Lead Portfolio Manager with MAS, where his core responsibility was the investment management of Singapore’s official foreign reserves. After leaving MAS in 2008, Chee Loong joined Pacific Asset Management Singapore as an investment manager.

    Chee Loong holds a Bachelor of Accountancy (with first-class honours) from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and is a CFA® charterholder.

Noel Collins

Asia Pacific Leader, Fixed Income Boutique

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    Noel is a partner at Mercer, based in Dublin. He works in Mercer’s Fixed Income Boutique, with extensive involvement with Mercer’s Global Fixed Income Teams. Noel is a lead researcher on emerging market debt and APAC fixed income strategies and leads Mercer’s private wealth research process in a number of countries, including India and Canada.

    Before joining Mercer, Noel worked for seven years as a fixed-income and currency asset manager with a Dublin-based fund manager.

    Noel is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and holds a degree in economics and mathematics (with first-class honours) from Trinity College Dublin.

Simon Coxeter

Head of Manager Research, Asia Pacific

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    Based in Singapore, Simon is the Head of Asia-Pacific Manager Research, working with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that Mercer’s manager research capabilities continue to fulfil an increasingly complex spectrum of client needs. Before taking up his current role in 2022, Simon was Director of Strategic Research for AMEA and Latin America. Additionally, Simon has performed advisory engagements across a diverse range of investment-related issues and client types.

    Having first joined Mercer in 2010, Simon returned to the company in 2017 after a period as Head of Investment Solutions in Asia for Franklin Templeton Investments. Before joining Mercer, Simon was Managing Director in a Swiss-headquartered private equity firm. Previously, he co-founded AsiaSource Capital, a boutique investment firm based in Singapore and New York, where he managed a fund of hedge funds. Earlier in his career, Simon worked in Hong Kong as a sell-side equity analyst at Cazenove. His first professional role was as a global equity analyst at Prudential M&G in London.

    Simon holds a bachelor’s degree in Chinese studies from the University of Oxford and an MBA from the HKUST Business School in Hong Kong and is a CFA® charterholder.

Jean De Kock

AMEA Director of Strategic Research

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    Jean is Strategic Research Director for the AMEA region and a principal within the Fixed Income Boutique, based in Singapore. Part of his role involves influencing and promoting Mercer’s strategic research in the region. As a member of the Global Manager Research Team, he is also responsible for researching fixed income investment strategies managed within the Asia ex-Japan region and represen