Wednesday 23 June 2021

Day 2 will focus on sessions aimed at the Professional Pensions audience of pension consultants, trustees, scheme managers and more.

Registered delegates will get access to the entire Festival so please do feel free to take a look at all of the agendas. While we hope you will be able to attend as many sessions as possible, we understand that you are busy professionals so you are welcome to attend as much as time allows. The platform we are using to host the digital event allows you to easily log in and out of the event.

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Pre Festival Workshop: Preparing for new climate change governance and reporting requirements

New Climate Change Governance and Reporting Regulations will apply to trustees of larger schemes from October 2021. Trustees will need to get ahead in order to ensure that they are ready to meet the new obligations relating to climate related risks and opportunities from October 2021.

Stuart O’Brien, Partner at pension law firm Sackers will consider the practical implications of the draft regulations and new statutory guidance. The session will focus in particular on those aspects that trustees will likely need to spend most time preparing for, such as scenario analysis, agreeing metrics and setting targets, as well as how trustees should align their approach with their fiduciary duties.

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Festival welcome

Opening welcome and interview remarks with Peter Harrison, Chief Executive, Schroders.

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Keynote: A call to action - considering and reporting climate change in the investment portfolio

Highlighting the need for investors and asset owners to take effective action on engagement in order to influence and make a positive impact on environmental outcomes.

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Why invest in the energy transition?

This session explain the key drivers behind the rapid rise of Clean Energy and the investment opportunities this creates:

  • Public awareness and desire to change
  • Governments including the EU, China, Japan, UK and the US under President Biden are taking decisive action on both the climate emergency and air pollution
  • Complete transformation of energy landscape. Wind and solar are now the cheapest sources of electricity generation, even without subsidy
  • Complete transformation of transport industry: e-mobility and autonomous driving
  • New manufacturing methods, with more software and A.I.
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Keynote: Shifting mindset towards stewardship and adopting a net zero approach to investment

How does a pension fund look to make a positive impact on society, measure the non-financial impact of their investments, prioritise climate change and improve ESG risk awareness?

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Achieving your sustainable investment goals through quantifying impact and transparent reporting

2020 was a landmark year for both sustainability regulation and asset owners’ attitudes towards sustainable investing. For Schroders, as investors, the way we direct our clients’ capital, not only shapes the financial returns we achieve for our UK pension scheme clients, but also the type of impact we have on the world.

In this session, Hannah Simons, Head of Sustainability Strategy at Schroders will demonstrate how understanding the impact companies have on society and the planet is fundamental to understanding long-term prospects for your portfolios. Investing is now more than the relationship between what risk you take, for what return you expect to receive. A third dimension – Impact Risk – has emerged. But how can we quantify that impact into financial costs and benefits for our clients? And critically, how can we demonstrate and report on this to help you meet your governance objectives and sustainability goals?

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How the Environment Agency Pension Fund set a net zero target and what it learnt along the way

Marion will set out the challenges the Environment Agency Pension Fund faced, how they overcome them and why all pension funds should be thinking about net zero.

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What sustainable investing tells us about the future

The last two decades have shown that integrating sustainability into stock selection can enhance investment returns. In this session, Harriet Parker will discuss what the development over this period tells us about successful sustainable investing today, the key sustainable themes of the next two decades, what the world will look like in 20 years’ time and what this means for investors now.

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Differentiated but recognisable alpha: Investing through an impact lens

Impact can sound like a bit of a stretch for trustees when surrounded by a discombobulating myriad of responsible investment acronyms. Take a step back and consider impact with us, as one of many investment lenses available to you. An impact lens enables us to identify not only megatrends for the next 5, 10, 15yrs, and companies that are aligned with them, but also helps avoid risks and companies that are perhaps lagging behind. Discover how high intensity impact and robust financials make a potent combination.

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The roadmap to net zero – turning pledges into reality

Are all net zero commitments equal? With more and more providers making net zero pledges, Gareth Trainor and Sindhu Krishna will explore why these are so important, what challenges are faced when delivering on these commitments, and what steps need to be taken to deliver on these promises. Looking at everything from accountability to validation, Gareth and Sindhu will go beyond the headline announcements and look at the roadmap required to meet these ambitious targets.

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In conversation with: How asset owners can make a difference through active stewardship
Outsourcing investment management might be the right thing to do to secure best member outcomes but it doesn’t absolve asset owners from their responsibility of stewarding those assets and using their influence to encourage positive change. This session looks at how asset owners in the pensions industry can move the dial on stewardship by working with their asset managers, the wider industry and engaging directly with companies they invest in on behalf of members to ensure sustainable business practices.
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Keynote: Evolving responsibilities and regulatory changes driving investment decisions, processes and strategies
  • How have schemes amended their SIPs and what does a good implementation statement look like?
  • What impact does the increased public disclosure have on schemes and trustees?
  • Preparing for future incoming ESG regulation and policy
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How pension funds can integrate ESG to improve outcomes for members and make a difference
  • The importance of top-down ESG factors (e.g. policy related to climate change or health care, government control of public companies, embargos & tariffs)
  • How can pension funds avoid the unintended consequences of divestment?
  • Why does active management complement stewardship?
  • Spotlight on active ownership opportunities in emerging markets and small caps
  • How can pension funds effectively hold their fund managers to account?
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Biodiversity and the problem of microplastic pollution

Pollution, population growth and climate change are driving animal and plant species to extinction at a rate higher than anything the Earth has experienced in 10 million years. Each of these losses is a tragedy and each can have unpredictable and worrying consequences for the natural processes that make life possible. Discussing the fiduciary duty to protect biodiversity, Will Oulton, Global Head of Responsible Investment at First Sentier Investors will discuss their investor engagement programme to help stop millions of tonnes of plastic entering our oceans every year and provide call to actions for the investor community.

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“The markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.” John Maynard Keynes

Why do the views of the market matter? Whatever your view on Sustainable Investment, from irrational bubble to fundamental principle for the future of our planet, the way you invest has always been a combination of your own beliefs and the long term trends that markets follow.

In this talk, David and Eva will argue that Sustainable Investment is a long-term trend you need to take account of, whatever your personal view. They’ll explore a little of the background of how Barnett Waddingham have formed this view and explain the importance of putting Sustainable Investment into context, given the wide range of risks faced by pensions schemes. They’ll also cover the dangers greenwashing can pose to the value your portfolio, and why proper due diligence is key to ensure your beliefs on Sustainable Investment are reflected in the assets you own – not just in the glossy marketing headlines from your fund manager.

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The evolution of the ‘S’ in ESG

Historically some people have referred to the ‘S’ in ESG as the overlooked middle child however, in light of recent regulatory requirements, there is now significantly more focus on ensuring it is given the same attention as both the ‘E’ and the ‘G’ when implementing an investment strategy. During this session Roger Lewis, Head of ESG at River and Mercantile, will discuss the evolution of the Social theme in more detail and will look at ways that trustees can integrate this across their entire portfolio.

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Closing remarks