Our Investment Conference 2021 – redesigned to deliver you unique insights through a virtual platform – brought together independent investment-focused insights across four different but equally engaging streams.

Across four streams, over 1,600 investors tuned in live to hear reasons to be cheerful and fearful from across the industry. If you missed it and want to know how you can prepare for the investment challenges of 2021, fear not – each of our streams are now available to view on-demand.

The series kicked off with a look towards the economic outlook for 2021 and beyond. Against the backdrop of Covid-19, will investors find reasons to be positive against the ominous outlook that many forecasters are predicting? We then hosted sessions providing practical advice on the challenges for both DB and DC Pensions investment before wrapping up with a fresh look at ESG – a topic rapidly working its way to the top of the agenda for trustees.

Click on the sessions below to watch or find out more about our latest Investment Conference.

Get access to all four streams of our interactive conference

Meet our expert speakers

IAN MILLS

Partner and Head of DB Ebdgame Strategy

About Ian

ROD GOODYER

Partner and Senior Investment Consultant

About Rod

SONIA KATAORA

Partner and Head of DC Investment

About Sonia

ESTHER HAWLEY

Principal and Senior Investment Consultant

About Esther

What you may have missed in 2021

Stream one

10:00 11:15

Economics and markets

Our guest speakers – Rupert Harrison, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions at BlackRock, and Chris Iggo, CIO at AXA Investment Management – kicked off the conference by exploring the economic outlook for 2021.

Alongside our experienced research team, the session highlighted the current opportunities and challenges for investors, as well as what surprises 2021 may have in store.

You can also hear the Q&A session in which investors asked questions of our panel to gain further insights into the outlook for the year ahead.

Watch now

Chairman
  • Alex Pocock

    Partner and Head of Investment Consulting

    Barnett Waddingham

Keynote speakers
  • Chris Iggo

    Chief Investment Officer

    AXA Investment Management

  • Rupert Harrison

    Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions

    BlackRock

  • Sarah Lochlund

    Principal and Senior Investment Consultant

    Barnett Waddingham

  • Matt Tickle

    Partner

    Barnett Waddingham

  • Shuntao Li

    Co-Head of Manager Research

    Barnett Waddingham

Stream two

10:00 11:15

Mapping your DB journey

For defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, 2021 is already looking like a challenging environment.

Our first panellist, Senior Investment Consultant Jude Bennett, provided a high-level review on what aspects of investment strategy would have most influenced outcomes over 2020. This covered the challenges posed to trustees and scheme managers by the Covid-19 crisis, and what lessons can be drawn to help improve the resilience of schemes to future shocks.

Danielle Markham, head of our LDI team, followed on, talking about issues impacting on pension scheme’s risk reduction strategies. The potential for negative interest rates and the changes to RPI were explored, alongside the importance of having a robust collateral management framework in place, to help ensure that Liability Driven Investment strategies will hold up in volatile markets.

Our third speaker, Chris Pritchard from our Strategy Research team, covered the importance of prior preparation. Having a target in place, and a sensible plan for how you expect to progress towards that target would have helped make life a little easier for investors trying to navigate markets over the last 12 months. With the impact of the events of 2020 very much still being felt by us all, Chris provided a few valuable suggestions for your investment strategy in 2021 and beyond.

Watch now

Chairman
  • Alex Pocock

    Partner and Head of Investment Consulting

    Barnett Waddingham

Keynote speakers
  • Jude Bennett

    Principal and Senior Investment Consultant

    Barnett Waddingham

  • Danielle Markham

    Associate and Senior Investment Consultant

    Barnett Waddingham

  • Chris Pritchard

    Investment Consultant

    Barnett Waddingham

Stream three

10:00 11:15

DC in 2021

Barnett Waddingham’s defined contribution (DC) consulting team presented their latest research in the DC space.

Reena Tanna discussed the importance of monitoring members’ projected retirement incomes against targets and looked at the PLSA retirement living standards as a potential starting point in thinking about those targets. She also considered how representative member portfolios have fared over 2020 and what reasonable decisions these members might take to realise their respective retirement targets.

Sonia Kataora explored the extent to which inflation-based return objectives for DC accumulation strategies should be recalibrated in light of sustained falls in real yields and how additionally incorporating risk targets within investment strategy design can help improve certainty of outcomes for members. She also looked at how external influences such as consolidation of schemes and climate change could impact the future path of DC investment strategies.

Our third panellist, Esther Hawley, examined what is currently available for DC schemes providing post retirement options for their members - and what else might be needed. She explored some expected future developments as well as sharing her views on how better retirement options could be delivered.

Watch now

Chairman
  • Alex Pocock

    Partner and Head of Investment Consulting

    Barnett Waddingham

Keynote speakers
  • Reena Tanna

    Associate and Senior Investment Consultant

    Barnett Waddingham

  • Sonia Kataora

    Partner and Head of DC Investment

    Barnett Waddingham

  • Esther Hawley

    Principal and Senior Investment Consultant

    Barnett Waddingham

Stream four

10:00 11:15

Practically addressing ESG

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) has shot up to the top of trustees agendas in recent years and the asset management industry has taken note.

Our ESG seminar began with Hugo Gravell exploring a case study of a DC pension scheme seeking to limit exposure to fossil fuels within their passive equity allocation. The scheme ultimately invested in a climate-aware passive fund managed by Northern Trust. Valeria Dinershteyn, Senior Sustainability Investment Strategist at Northern Trust, joined the session to explore the fund’s characteristics and portfolio construction process.

We then moved onto the area of impact investment. Along with its impact on the elderly, Covid-19 has highlighted the devastating effect of high density living and poverty within the UK. Additional and improved, social infrastructure is needed to help address this.

Pete Smith was joined on the panel by Stuart Fiertz, CIO and co-founder of Cheyne Capital, and Nareser Osei, Councillor and Chair of the Pensions Committee at London Borough of Newham, to discuss developments in impact real estate investment and the opportunities created by the supply and demand characteristic in the housing space.

Our final speaker looked further at the ‘S’ within ESG. We can all think of companies who have displayed exemplary behaviours during the current crisis, and likewise those that have not. With social factors impacting on 12 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, Navindu Katugampola, Head of Sustainable Investment in Fixed Income and Liquidity at Morgan Stanley, discussed what these mean in practice, and how he identifies the priority social themes impacting fixed income investments.

Watch now

Chairman
  • Alex Pocock

    Partner and Head of Investment Consulting

    Barnett Waddingham

Keynote speakers
  • Hugo Gravell

    Investment Consultant

    Barnett Waddingham

  • Valeria Dinershteyn

    Senior Sustainable Investment Strategist, EMEA & APAC

    Northern Trust Asset Management

  • Pete Smith

    Principal and Senior Investment Consultant

    Barnett Waddingham

  • Stuart Fiertz

    Co-Founder, President and Head of Responsible Investment

    Cheyne Capital

  • Nareser Osei

    Chair of Pension Committee at London Borough

    Newham Pension Fund

  • Navindu Katugampola

    Head of Sustainable Investing

    Morgan Stanley

Barnett Waddingham is the fourth largest investment consultant to pension schemes in the UK, offering truly independent consultancy services to institutional investors such as Trustees, Employers, Universities, Charities and Local Authorities.  

Our Investment team consists of over 90 professionals overseeing more than 450 clients with over £70 billion in assets, collectively. We enjoy what we do and we aim to bring this enthusiasm to our discussions with you.

We owe our growth and free thinking approach to having no outside shareholders that we need to satisfy and we do not run an investment management or fiduciary management business. Neither do we offer our own master trust for DC members. This allows us to avoid conflicts of interest and leaves us free to provide bespoke advice suitable to your specific scheme and requirements.

We believe it is fundamental for stakeholders to understand their current position, their objectives and what needs to be achieved in order to meet these goals. We work collaboratively to reach an investment approach that benefits and protects your scheme members.

Watch the first virtual gathering in the 10+ years of our Investment Conference history