Focus Conference 2020

The Drive for Efficiency

Achieving more with less

The pension industry is caught in a devilish bind between ever-increasing calls for tailored solutions and the equally urgent demand to lower costs. How can pension schemes reconcile  passive investing with ambitious ESG policies, harvest illiquidity premiums without paying top dollar, or employ AI strategies to win the efficiency battle?

Thursday 26th of November 2020
Fort Voordorp, Groenekan (Utrecht)


Please note that this is a draft programme and therefore subject to change.


Lower cost and tailor-made solutions: an (im)possible combination?

Speakers: Hartwig Liersch, CIO, PMT and Gerco Goote, Head of Fiduciary Management, MN

Registration and Lunch
André de Vos, Editor Print and Events Pensioen Pro
Keynote Presentation
Active versus Passive in Nature 
Living organisms employ very different survival methods, from roaming hunters to patient trappers. Which strategy is the most effective?

          Speaker: tba
Long Term Investing in a Short Term World
Pension funds are long term investors, but find themselves in a short term squeeze, forced to focus on near daily fluctuations in returns and coverage ratios. Short-termism is clearly hindering efficiency – but is long term investing still viable, or even allowed in a short term environment?
          Speaker: Marleen Bosma, Head of Research & Strategic Advisory, Bouwinvest Real Estate Advisors
Case Presentation
DIY Benchmarks 
Off-the-peg benchmarks often cannot meet pension funds’ tailor-made needs. Can do-it-yourself benchmarks offer affordable, viable solutions? A case presentation.
          Speaker: Guido Veul, Client Portfolio Manager, NN Investment Partners


Stream A: Passive Investing and ESG

How can smaller to mid-size schemes implement ESG strategies and make their portfolios more sustainable at reasonable cost levels?
With among other speakers: Joseph Molloy, Global Head of Index & Systematic Equity Portfolio Management, HSBC Global Asset Management
Stream B: New Tools in the Drive for Efficiency: AI and FinTech

Smart technology can lower the execution costs and streamline processes from benefit administration to communication and asset management. What innovations have already proven themselves, what is yet to come?
With speakers: Rik de Kort, Data Scientist, PGGM and Marcel Kruse, Director Pension & Investment Risk, Milliman Pensioenen
Stream C: It's the Administration, Stupid

Late or incorrect benefit payouts, ‘lost’ participants, or even hacked accounts: benefit administration is a veritable minefield for pension schemes. Many benefit administrators are working to update their IT systems, but is there such a thing as a foolproof benefit admin system? 
With speakers: Jeroen Hartogensis, consultant, SIVI and Arno Ijmker, Partner, Quint
Coffee and tea
Race to the Bottom
Pension funds face immense pressure to negotiate lower asset management fees, and in categories such as equities fees have dropped to 20 basis points. At the same time ultra-low fees are prompting asset managers to turn away some Dutch pension fund clients. Should fees be pushed even lower? Or has the focus on low costs gone too far? 
          With: Huub van Berkel, Investment Manager EMEA, Pension Fund Mars; Reiniera van der Feltz
          Uitvoerend bestuurder Beleggingen en Vermogensbeheer, Pension Fund SBZ; Henk van der Kolk,
          Voorzitter, Pension Fund Detailhandel; Jan Willem Wijckmans, Expert Investment Manager,
          Pension Fund ABN Amro
Efficiency in Risk Management 
Investment returns are determined in large part by a scheme’s risk budget and when the budget is tight, an efficient approach to risk management is all the more vital. 
Less is More: The Resurgence of ‘Risky’ Instruments
After the financial crisis, instruments like leverage, arbitrage and securities lending went out of fashion. Yet these instruments can significantly improve portfolio efficiency. Is it time for a comeback?
Keynote Presentation
Too Much Efficiency?
For years the regulator has pressed for lower costs, more transparency and simplicity in investment portfolios. But has the relentless drive for efficiency bred unwanted uniformity with its attendant risks?
          Speaker: Sven van den Beld, Afdelingshoofd Expertisecentrum financiële risico’s pensioenfondsen, DNB

Tour in Fort Voordorp, followed by Networking Drinks

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