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Investment and Asset Management

Factor Investing

Unlocking value from the true drivers of risk and return

London |
Speakers include:
Tony Guida

Tony Guida

RPMI Railpen

Avgustina Sarkizova

Avgustina Sarkizova

Albourne Partners

John St Hill

John St Hill



Join the Financial Times and J.P. Morgan Asset Management at this exclusive briefing analysing the rise of factor investing, discussing the critical issues investors are considering when assessing the opportunities of this market.

fallback Add to my Calendar 06/20/2018 09:00:0006/20/2018 12:35:00falseFactor InvestingJoin the Financial Times and J.P. Morgan Asset Management at this exclusive briefing analysing the rise of factor investing, discussing the critical issues investors are considering when assessing the opportunities of this market.Factor-Investing46d27dda655b50d33d599d5b1886850fMM/DD/YYYY

2018 photos

View 2018 event photos here.



Full Overview

Factor investing is one of the fastest growing investment strategies in recent years.  Though not a new concept, these emergence of factors in investible form as components of strategic and alternative beta investments has taken the approach to the mainstream with assets under management in Europe predicted to reach €500bn by 2020.

For DC and DB schemes, factor investing is proving attractive as a flexible tool in portfolio construction.  However, in a world where there are no guarantees how can investors optimise the diversification, yield and cost benefits?  With funds evolving from single to multi-factor, can this rules-based approach deliver on the promise of outperformance in the long-term, when compared with traditional active and passive strategies? As markets remain uncertain and the sector grows in size, how do factors perform under different conditions and what are the most effective strategies to manage investment risk such as correlation, crowding, liquidity and accessibility?  Where will the next phase of growth come for this market and how is it likely to be impacted by increasing levels of digitisation?


Speakers (8)

Tony Guida

Tony Guida

Senior Investment Manager
RPMI Railpen

Tony Guida is Senior Investment Manager, managing multi-factor equity portfolios for RPMI Railpen in London. Prior to that he was Senior Research Consultant for Smart Beta and Risk allocation at EDHEC RISK Scientific Beta, advising asset owners how to construct and allocate to risk premia. Before joining EDHEC Mr Guida worked at UNIGESTION for eight years, as a Senior Research Analyst where he was a member of the research and Investment Committee for Minimum Variance Strategies and he was leading Factor Investing research group for institutional clients.  Mr Guida is the editor and co-author of the forthcoming book: Practical Applications of Machine learning and big data for quantitative investment (Publish date Summer 2018).  He holds Bachelor and Master degrees in Econometry and Finance from the University of Savoy in France.

Avgustina Sarkizova

Avgustina Sarkizova

Albourne Partners

Avgustina Sarkizova joined Albourne’s London office in 2015 as a Dynamic Beta IDD Analyst. She was previously was part of the QIS team at Barclays, London.  Prior to that, she was Head of Risk Management and System Development at HCM Advisory Limited, London. Earlier career highlights include two years as a Software Developer at Microsoft Corporation in Washington and three years as a Researcher at the Florida Institute of Technology.  Ms Sarkizova holds an MSc in Finance from Imperial College London, a BSc in Computer Science, and a BSc in Applied Mathematics from Florida Institute of Technology.

John St Hill

John St Hill

Deputy Chief Investment Officer

John St Hill is Deputy Chief Investment Officer at NEST.  He joined in 2017 and manages the team that looks after asset allocation and manager selection. He was previously with the Pension Protection Fund as Senior Portfolio Manager responsible for the fixed income and equity programs. Prior to the PPF he held various Senior roles at SEI Investments including Head of Fixed Income (UK) and Head of Risk Management (UK).  Mr St Hill holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, and also holds the CFA and FRM designations.

Sherene Ban

Sherene Ban

Managing Director, Head of Beta Specialist Team
J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Sherene Ban is Managing Director and Head of the Beta Specialist team of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, based in London. She is the primary Beta Strategies contact for EMEA and Asia, working closely with client advisors to position our expanding suite of Beta Strategies solutions with clients, including strategic beta, alternative beta and market cap-weighted strategies. Before that, she headed up the Client Portfolio Management team for the Asia Pacific Equities team.  Prior to joining the Firm in 2005, Ms Ban worked as a portfolio manager for Asia Pacific ex-Japan Equities at the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC). She then transferred to London with the GIC to become a portfolio manager for European Equities. She holds a BSc in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley and an MSc in Financial Engineering from Princeton University. She is a CFA Charterholder.

Kishen Ganatra

Kishen Ganatra

Senior Associate, Manager Research

Kishen Ganatra is a Senior Associate within Manager Research, a unit of Mercer’s Wealth business. Based in London, he is responsible for Manager Research’s Solutions effort, where he assists clients and consultants globally on outcome oriented investment solutions and broader portfolio construction based advice. He is also part of the Hedge Fund Boutique, performing manager research on multi-asset and hedge fund strategies. Mr Ganatra is the lead researcher for core and idiosyncratic international multi-asset strategies and chair of the Multi-Asset Ratings Review Committee.  Prior to joining Mercer in 2012, he was an analyst in the Global Prime Finance division at Deutsche Bank, as well as an associate in the Enterprise Risk Services group at Deloitte.

John Raisin

John Raisin

Independent Advisor and Chair

John Raisin is Independent Advisor for Governance and Investment to the Pension Funds of the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Haringey and Waltham Forest. These three Funds have combined assets of around £3 billion and approximately 60,000 individual members.  He is also Independent Chair of the Board of the Merseyside Pension Fund which has assets of approximately £8 billion and over 135,000 individual members, and also Advisor to the Nottinghamshire Pension Board. He has additionally provided consultancy support including Training covering Governance, Investment and Pensions Administration as well as reviews of Fund Governance and Pension Administration arrangements to a number of other LGPS Funds and acted as consultant to other LGPS stakeholders including Asset Managers.  Mr Raisin was previously Head of the Northamptonshire County Council Fund and then the London Borough of Waltham Forest Fund from 2004 to 2011. He was also Director of Finance of the London Borough of Waltham Forest. He is a CIPFA Qualified Accountant, holds the Level 4 Investment Management Certificate of the CFA UK, and the Financial Times Non-Executive Director (post graduate level) Diploma. He also holds an MBA in Public Service Management from the University of Stirling and a BA in Ancient and Medieval History from the University of Sheffield.

Yazann Romahi

Yazann Romahi

Managing Director, CIO for Quantitative Beta Strategies
J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Yazann Romahi is Managing Director and CIO for Quantitative Beta Strategies at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, focused on further developing the firm's factor-based franchise across both alternative beta and strategic beta. Prior to that he was Head of Research and Quantitative Strategies in Multi Asset Solutions, responsible for the quantitative models that help establish the broad asset allocation reflected across Multi-Asset Solutions portfolios globally. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan Asset Management in 2003, Dr Romahi worked as a research analyst at the Centre for Financial Research at the University of Cambridge and undertook consulting assignments for a number of financial institutions including Pioneer Asset Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers and HSBC. He holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Cambridge and is a CFA charterholder. 

Max Townshend

Max Townshend

Investment Director, Head of Total Return

Max Townshend is responsible for managing the Total Return strategy at LPP. This allocation focuses on diversifying relative value and macro directional return drivers in liquid assets, along with opportunities in alternative asset classes like insurance markets and riparian rights. He joined LPP in 2016 from the London Pensions Fund Authority, one of LPP’s founding clients, where he was an Investment Manager for liquid strategies and covered technology & healthcare stocks for the internal global equity team.  Mr Townshend has over 10 years investment experience. He spent six years at Record Current Management, undertaking quantitative research in FX, rates and options markets. He holds a degree in Aeronautical and Avionic Systems Engineering from the University of Bristol.


Agenda - 20th Jun

  • 9:00am
    Registration and Networking
  • 9:30am
    Opening Remarks

    Pádraig Floyd, Financial Journalist

  • 9:40am
    Demystifying Factor Investing

    As DC and DB plans consider factor investing and the key drivers behind their returns, what are the major issues they should weigh up when communicating the strategy to members, and embedding it into portfolios, reflecting on as cost management, diversification and returns?  How has the technique evolved in recent years and what are the key factors being used in the world of pensions?  How are factor based investments performing in the current market – have they proven themselves and what risks remain?

    Kishen Ganatra, Senior Associate, Manager Research, Mercer

    Introduced by: Pádraig Floyd, Financial Journalist

  • 10:10am
    Factor Investing Through the Cycle

    In the coming years, factors will become even more accessible as the market expands and appetite grows.  This session will explore how the dynamics of factor investing may change over time exploring the implications for returns of factor crowding, factor timing and the impact of liquidity and accessibility.  How is the market likely to develop over the next 12 to 18 months and where are the opportunities and risks for investors?  How likely are the factors’ excess returns to persist into the future?

    Sherene Ban, Managing Director, Head of Beta Specialist Team, J.P. Morgan Asset Management

    Introduced by:Pádraig Floyd, Financial Journalist

  • 10:40am
    Morning break
  • 11:10am
    The Pension Schemes’ View – Factors as the Building Blocks of Portfolio Construction

    Factor investing is growing in popularity amongst pension funds as they hunt for yield, diversification and cost efficiencies.  In this sessions, leading UK pension funds will share their insights into why they use the strategy, and the products and techniques they are adopting to maximise returns and manage the potential downsides. 

    John St Hill, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, NEST

    Max Townshend, Investment Director, Head of Total Return, LPP

    John Raisin, Independent Advisor and Chair

    Moderator: Angus Peters, Associate Editor, Pensions Expert

  • 11:50am
    Panel: Innovation and New Directions for Growth

    Complacency is not an option when it comes to factor investing.  The onset of digitisation, machine learning and Big Data are leading to a growing range of factor sets, subsets and investment styles.  Speakers on this session will explore the growing sophistication of factor investing, influenced by advances in technology including AI, natural language processing and more.  In this rapidly evolving universe where not all factors are created equally, how should investors evaluate emerging factor based strategies and manage their exposure to unintended risks?

    Tony Guida, Senior Investment Manager, RPMI Railpen

    Yazann Romahi, Managing Director, CIO for Quantitative Beta Strategies, J.P. Morgan Asset Management

    Avgustina Sarkizova, Partner, Albourne Partners

    Moderator: Angus Peters, Associate Editor, Pensions Expert

  • 12:30pm
    Closing remarks

    Angus Peters, Associate Editor, Pensions Expert

Co-Chairs (2)

Angus Peters

Angus Peters

Pensions Expert

Angus Peters has reported on a wide variety of issues affecting DB and DC schemes since joining Pensions Expert in June 2016. Having been introduced to the world of pensions and investment as an intern at Pensions Expert and MandateWire, he went on to work as a reporter at The Sun Online before returning to the FT.

Pádraig  Floyd

Pádraig Floyd

Money Journey Media

Pádraig Floyd is an award-winning financial journalist who writes on personal finance subjects, particularly pensions, investments and workplace savings. A regular commentator on pensions and investment issues, Mr Floyd shares views via Twitter at @gogetemfloyd, his website and his Linkedin profile at He was a member-nominated trustee director of the Pearson Group Pension Plan and is a former committee member of the Association of Member-Nominated Trustees. 

Who Attends?

Attendance is complimentary for pension scheme investment decision makers including:

  • Pension Scheme Board Members
  • Scheme Managers
  • Heads of Pensions
  • Trustees
  • Independent trustees and consultants

Places are strictly limited and subject to approval by the Publisher.



Financial Times Headquarters, One Southwark Bridge
One Southwark Bridge
London SE1 9HL

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7775 6653



Pensions Expert is the Financial Times' specialist title for UK workplace pension schemes. It is the authoritative source of information on how these schemes and their sponsoring employers are working together to provide their members with an adequate retirement income.

Our case studies, news analysis and informed comment provide trustees, management teams and their providers with timely, practical information to inform their day-to-day jobs.


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J.P. Morgan is distinguished by its capital markets knowledge, global investment expertise and the long-term, proactive partnerships it establishes with clients. Our investment strategies span equity, fixed income, real estate, private equity, hedge funds, infrastructure and asset allocation.

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