Return to Pensions & Investments


Preliminary Conference Agenda
updated March 5, 2013

7:30 am – 8:30 am
Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:30 am – 8:35 am
Opening Remarks

Conference Chair and Moderator:
Nolan O’Neill, CFA
| Senior Research Associate | Slocum, Inc.

8:35 am – 9:05 am
MORNING KEYNOTE: Demography & Debt

The great run in the US bond market coincides with the aging of Baby Boomers. They’ve favored bonds over stocks, especially over the past 12 years. In retirement, Baby Boomers will rely on those bonds as a form of income. But will it provide enough lasting income and what will those bonds be worth in the coming years? Meanwhile, demographics show the U.S. is turning into a nation of singles. A top researcher believes our growing population of singles could favor an expansion of the deficit-financed social welfare state since singles, many of whom have government-subsidized student loans, tend to be less concerned about leaving the next generation with more debt. If the outlook for the U.S. bond market is for less demand and more supply, are there other bond markets around the world with a better demographic profile for bonds?

Keynote Speaker:
Edward Yardeni, Ph.D.
| President and Chief Investment Strategist | Yardeni Research, Inc.

9:05 am – 9:45 am
WORKSHOP: Risk Redefined—Managing Fixed Income Risk in 2013

Rates are low, spreads are low. In an environment that seems unlikely to deliver much in the way of total return, many fixed income investors are focused on preserving capital. So in this session we'll take a look at tools to help you better understand and manage risk in your fixed income allocation.
Thomas J. Coleman | VP and Investment Director, Product Management| Wellington Management Company, LLP

9:45 am – 10:35 am
PANEL DISCUSSION: Emerging Market Debt’s Potential for Robust Risk-Adjusted Returns

The popularity of emerging-market bond funds has analysts wondering if investors are smartly diversifying or foolishly ramping up risk. But as developing markets mature, these markets’ debt can add diversification to portfolios. In some cases, bonds in the emerging markets look more attractive than those of the developed world which raises questions such as:

Christopher Diaz, CFA/strong> | Head of Global Rates and Co-Portfolio Manager | Janus Capital

Jeff S. Kalinowski | Portfolio Specialist, Emerging Market Debt Strategies | T. Rowe Price
Stephen Kroah, CFA | Director - Fixed Income | Wespath Investment Management, a division of the General Board of Pension & Health Benefits -United Methodist Church (Chicago only)
Jen Shen | Head of External Management | Google (NYC only)

10:35 am – 10:55 am
Networking Break

10:55 am – 11:35 am
WORKSHOP: Preparing Portfolios for Liquidity Gaps—Implications of Diminished Credit Market Liquidity

Decreasing market liquidity and an increase in credit ETFs are combining to create a potential collision course for investors searching for yield in the corporate credit markets. This new market dynamic, coupled with the real threat of rising interest rates are creating significant challenges for plan sponsors, consultants and participants alike. This presentation will outline strategies to evaluate and manage portfolio liquidity and portfolio positioning options for an eventual rise in interest rates.

Colleen Denzler, CFA | SVP and Global Head of Fixed Income Strategy | Janus Capital (NYC)
Cody Farmer, CFA | Client Portfolio Manager | Janus Capital (Chicago)

11:35 am – 12:15 pm
WORKSHOP: LDI in 2013—A Path to the End Game

Many defined benefit pension plans are evaluating and implementing liability driven investing (LDI) strategies to better control their funded ratio and contribution volatility. However, the passage of MAP-21 and General Motors, Ford and Verizon’s pension risk transfer transactions coupled with a continued low interest rate environment has caused many plan sponsors to re-examine both their short-term and end game strategy. In this environment of historically low interest rates, regulatory relief and increased pressure to mitigate risk, where do plan sponsors go from here? Incorporating the results of a recent pension survey, this workshop will present tactical and strategic solutions to the many challenges plan sponsors are facing.

David R. Wilson, CFA | Managing Director, Customized Strategies | Cutwater Asset Management

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm
Networking Luncheon

1:30 pm – 2:10 pm
AFTERNOON KEYNOTE: Google’s Fixed Income Trailblazer

As the Head of the Google’s Global Portfolio Management Group, Tony Altobelli helped build and manage a unique world-class global investment portfolio management organization and investment platform to efficiently manage and optimize the investment returns on Google's growing cash balances. Discover how he has developed key fixed income strategies that have contributed to Google’s financial success. Could these same methods be applied to building a fixed income retirement portfolio?

Keynote Speaker:
Tony Altobelli
| Assistant Treasurer | Google

2:10 pm – 2:50 pm
WORKSHOP: Opportunity Capture—The Benefits of Global Multi-Sector Fixed Income Investing

Global multi-sector fixed income strategies can offer an expanded opportunity set and low correlations with U.S. fixed income markets. While often categorized as a plus sector allocation – along with high yield, leveraged loans, and emerging markets – they offer better opportunity for tactical management. Non-U.S. investors are increasingly defining global multi-sector portfolios as a more meaningful part of their fixed income allocations and are constructing customized portfolios with the support of their managers and consultants. We believe the timing is particularly appropriate for U.S. investors to consider such strategies, given uncertainties involving central bank intervention, European geopolitical risk, developed market economic challenges, and emerging market inflation.

Peter S. Austin | Head of Fixed Income Solutions | T. Rowe Price
Terry A. Moore, CFA | Portfolio Specialist Fixed Income Solutions & Global Multisector Strategies | T. Rowe Price

2:50 pm – 3:40 pm
PANEL DISCUSSION: Fixed Income Alternatives

As we look at the horizon of Fixed Income, potentially higher rates in the future could be bad news for bonds due to increased credit risk. How does this make it a good time to consider alternatives? Panelists discuss various fund options and why they may be a good diversifier for portfolios:
  • Market Neutral Funds: Why is it typically a good stabilizer during market downturns?
  • Currency Funds: Seeks to hedge the inflation risk in a bond fund- How much of a portfolio should be weighted in this specific area
  • Non-Traditional Bond Funds: How do they work?
  • Managed Futures Funds: Looks for price trends across different futures contracts. Since they are uncorrelated to stocks and bonds what is the risk-return profile in comparison to some of the other alternative strategies?
Panelists: Matthew Clink, CFA | Head of Portfolio Management | Hewitt EnnisKnupp (Chicago)
John W. Geisslinger CFA | Partner| Hewitt EnnisKnupp (NYC)
David R. Wilson, CFA | Managing Director, Customized Strategies | Cutwater Asset Management
T. Henry Yoshida, CFP®, CIMA® | Principal | Maresh Yoshida 401kGroup (Chicago)
Thomas Raftery, CAIA | Principal | Mercer Investment Consulting (NYC)

3:40 pm – 4:00 pm
Networking Break

4:00 pm – 4:40 pm
WORKSHOP: Casestudy - The Intersection of Assets and Liabilities

De-Risking assets relative to liabilities is a common form of pension risk management. However, when including the de-risking of liabilities into the equation, the process becomes highly dynamic and complex. This workshop will provide transparency with respect to the fixed income aspects of a recent, large pension annuitization transaction. With insight from the fixed income investment strategist and the Plan Sponsor directly involved in this transaction, this discussion will cover fixed income-annuity dynamics including; portfolio preparation and transition, custom bond portfolio construction, hedging, settlement and delivery mechanics.

Daniel J. Tremblay, CFA | Senior Vice President & Director of Institutional Fixed Income Solutions | Pyramis Global Advisors
Nicholas G. Botticelli | Executive Director – Global Investments | Verizon Investment Management Corporation

4:40 pm – 5:30 pm
PANEL DISCUSSION: Fixed Income Absolute Return

After three decades of broadly declining yields, the interest rate outlook has thrown the spotlight on absolute-return fixed-income strategies, which target a positive return in all market environments — that is, irrespective of whether indexes are rising or falling. Panelists discuss the implications of this strategy:
  • How is interest rate risk managed in absolute return?
  • How important is a particular manager to achieve yield in this wide range of alpha sources — government fixed income, investment-grade credit, high yield, emerging market debt, currencies, etc…
  • Why must the fund maintain liquidity?
Thomas J. Coleman | Vice President and Investment Director, Product Management | Wellington Management Company, LLP
Christian Pariseault, CFA |Senior Vice President & Director of Bonds, U.S. | Pyramis Global Advisors
Keith R. Watson, CFA, CFP® | Director Pension Investments | Textron Inc. (NYC)
Bryon J. Willy, CFA | Principal | Mercer Investment Consulting (Chicago)

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Closing Cocktail Reception