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Insurance, Investment and Asset Management

Managing Assets for Insurers UK

Investment strategies in a negative yield environment

London |
Speakers include:
Nigel  Wilson

Nigel Wilson

Legal & General

Emily  Kreps

Emily Kreps

CDP

Jan Toporowski

Jan Toporowski

SOAS University of London

Overview

Investors continue to enjoy the longest bull run in history despite interest rates in developed markets being kept at record lows in order to combat deflation. However, with recession signals flashing around the world, they need to build resilient portfolios while this extended cycle prevails. Geopolitical uncertainties, such as Brexit and US-China trade tensions, are also influencing investment decisions. 

Bonds worth approximately $15tn – a quarter of the debt issued by governments and companies globally — are currently trading with negative yields. The global shift to alternative assets is therefore gathering pace. Investors have flooded private markets with funds in search of returns, but is there now too much dry powder? Emerging market debt remains strong, though whether this asset class will continue to offer high returns in the face of a slowing global economy is uncertain. As yields tighten, the focus on asset management fees is greater than ever, because every basis point matters more. Will insurers’ asset management pendulum eventually swing to passive management? 

At the same time, sustainable investing is becoming mainstream, but the lack of standards in ESG reporting is an ongoing debate. How can regulators offer more clarity and consistency in their guidance on ESG and help investors avoid greenwashing? 

Finally, while the terms of a Brexit deal are finalised, there are still concerns over future relations between the UK and the European Union. What will the implications be for insurers? How will they be regulated, which operations will be affected, and how will they serve their European clients?

Presented by Financial Times Live and MandateWire, Managing Assets for Insurers, now in its sixth year, is a meeting point for leading investors from the insurance sector to discuss the most effective strategies to deliver growth at a time of economic slowdown and increasing market volatility.

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fallback Add to my Calendar 04/02/2020 12:00:0004/02/2020 19:00:00trueManaging Assets for Insurers UK Investors continue to enjoy the longest bull run in history despite interest rates in developed markets being kept at record lows in order to combat deflation. However, with recession signals flashing around the world, they need to build resilient portfolios while this extended cycle prevails. Geopolitical uncertainties, such as Brexit and US-China trade tensions, are also influencing investment decisions. Bonds worth approximately $15tn – a quarter of the debt issued by governments and companies globally — are currently trading with negative yields. The global shift to alternative assets is therefore gathering pace. Investors have flooded private markets with funds in search of returns, but is there now too much dry powder? Emerging market debt remains strong, though whether this asset class will continue to offer high returns in the face of a slowing global economy is uncertain. As yields tighten, the focus on asset management fees is greater than ever, because every basis point matters more. Will insurers’ asset management pendulum eventually swing to passive management? At the same time, sustainable investing is becoming mainstream, but the lack of standards in ESG reporting is an ongoing debate. How can regulators offer more clarity and consistency in their guidance on ESG and help investors avoid greenwashing? Finally, while the terms of a Brexit deal are finalised, there are still concerns over future relations between the UK and the European Union. What will the implications be for insurers? How will they be regulated, which operations will be affected, and how will they serve their European clients?Presented by Financial Times Live and MandateWire, Managing Assets for Insurers, now in its sixth year, is a meeting point for leading investors from the insurance sector to discuss the most effective strategies to deliver growth at a time of economic slowdown and increasing market volatility.Managing-Assets-for-Insurers-UK-378800bce21ecf8790c65fb2eb134450MM/DD/YYYY

2019 Managing Assets for Insurers UK Highlights

2019 Managing Assets for Insurers UK Highlights

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Speakers (9)

Nigel  Wilson

Nigel Wilson

Group Chief Executive
Legal & General

Nigel Wilson has been Group Chief Executive of Legal & General since 2012, having joined the company as Group Chief Financial Officer in 2009. He was Senior Independent Director (SID) of The Capita Group Plc from 2009 till 2012, and SID/Chairman of Halfords Group Plc from 2006 till 2011. Prior to his he was at McKinsey & Co and other roles have included Group Commercial Director of Dixons Group Plc; Managing Director of Stanhope Properties Plc; Chief Executive, Corporate, of Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA); Managing Director of  Viridian Capital; and Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer of UBM.

Dr Wilson was Chairman of the Investment Association’s review of Executive Pay (2016-2017) and the government's review of Mission Led Business (2016-2017). He was also a member of the government's Patient Capital Review Industry Panel (2017–2018) and a Commissioner in the Resolution Foundation’s Intergenerational Commission (2017–2018). 

He holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Kennedy Scholar, and a recipient of the Alfred P Sloan research scholarship. He also worked at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has a BA and an MA from the University of Essex. He won the ‘Most Admired Leader’ award at Britain's Most Admired Companies Awards 2017, for Management Today. He was also City AM "Business Personality of the Year" in 2014, and a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group from 2015 to 2016. He has won numerous national masters Athletics Championships and has five daughters. He is leading the 50/50 by 20/20 gender diversity initiative.

Emily  Kreps

Emily Kreps

Global Director, Investor Initiatives
CDP

Emily Kreps leads the Investor Initiatives program at CDP, which supports investors, companies, cities, states and regions in disclosing and managing their environmental impacts. She is experienced in defining and leading sustainable and responsible businesses, including a period as head of corporate development for a renewable and alternative energy company, as well as various start-up CFO positions.

In her previous career, Emily spent more than a decade as an investment banker and an equity salesperson for Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. She received her degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Jan Toporowski

Jan Toporowski

Professor of Economics and Finance
SOAS University of London

Jan Toporowski is Professor of Economics and Finance at SOAS University of London, and at International University College, Turin, Italy. Mr Toporowski has worked in fund management, international banking, central banking, and economic consultancy. He has advised governments, UN agencies and professional associations on economic policy, debt management and financial stability. Mr Toporowski has written nearly 300 articles, books and papers on finance, monetary theory and macroeconomics. A central concern in his work has been the portfolio management of pension funds and insurance companies as a factor in credit cycles. When not working on finance Jan Toporowski plays violin and is a Trustee of the London Medical Orchestra. He studied Economics at Birkbeck College, University of London, and the University of Birmingham. 

Tim Schmidt

Tim Schmidt

Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
Prudential Financial

Tim Schmidt is Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for Prudential Financial, Inc. responsible for asset/liability management, portfolio construction and investment strategy for Prudential’s international and domestic business operations. Schmidt also oversees the company’s alternative asset investing and the hedging of variable annuity guarantees and chairs the Senior Asset Liability Committee. In addition, he serves as Prudential’s representative to the Institute for International Finance’s Committee on Asset and Investment Management.​

 Previously he was the head of Global Portfolio Management for Prudential responsible for the investment portfolio and asset/liability management for Prudential’s global business operations. Before that Tim was responsible for the overall asset/liability management for Prudential’s Retirement and Group Insurance businesses, and for providing leadership in the ongoing efforts to improve investment results and return on investment risk capital across all portfolios.​

Prior to joining Prudential in July 2010, Tim served as CFO for MetLife’s Individual Business, which included the individual life and annuities businesses and MetLife’s Affiliated Distribution Group. Before that, he headed MetLife’s Wealth Strategy Group, which included MetLife’s Brokers/Dealers. Earlier during his 25-year tenure at MetLife, Tim held various positions in the investment organization, including head of MetLife’s Portfolio Management Unit, as well as its Structured Finance and Government Securities units. He started at MetLife as a private placement credit analyst.​ 

​Tim earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from Augustana College. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.​

Toby Belsom

Toby Belsom

Director of Investors Practices
Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

Toby is Director of Investors Practices at the PRI – leading the developing of tools and guides for PRI global signatories across all asset classes. Prior to that, he has subsequently managed the research and advocacy team at ShareAction, helped launch an activist investment trust and worked on business development at Edison Investment Research as well as a short spell working as a consultant at Aviva Investors. Previously, he spent nine years as a UK equity portfolio manager at Aviva Investors with responsibility for UK equity portfolios. While in the role, he gained a number of awards including a Citywire A rating fund manager. Before that, he was an equity analyst at Henderson Global Investors 

Wolfgang  Kuhn

Wolfgang Kuhn

Director of Investor Engagement
ShareAction

Wolfgang Kuhn is Director of Investor Engagement at ShareAction with 20 years’ experience in fixed income markets, investing in corporate and government debt on behalf of institutional investors around the globe. With a strong interest in risk management, he has been on a quest for the right approach to sustainability in bond management since 2006. Wolfgang is convinced that the orthodox investment framework of risk and return is dangerously incomplete, and needs to be complemented by a third one, real-world impact. His most recent role was that of Head of Pan-European Fixed Income at Aberdeen Asset Management, managing European credit and macro teams. Previously, he worked for UBS, Deutsche Asset Management and DG Bank. Wolfgang graduated from the Technical University of Berlin, having also studied at University of Wisconsin and University of Freiburg. Wolfgang is a CFA Charterholder, a Certified EFFAS Financial Analyst (CEFA) and a Financial Risk Manager (FRM).

José Luis Jiménez  Guajardo-Fajardo

José Luis Jiménez Guajardo-Fajardo

Chief Investment Officer
Mapfre

José Luis Jiménez is Chief Investment Officer of MAPFRE since September 2015 where he is in charge of the Investment Unit. Before joining MAPFRE he was CEO of March A.M, the boutique asset manager of Banca March in Spain. Prior to joining March A.M. he was Head of Asset Allocation at Skandia Investment Group - Skandia’s global investment arm - based in the United Kingdom. Before that he was Chief Investment Officer at SkandiaLink in the European and Latin America Division- first in Madrid and then in Paris. He began his professional career as an economist in the Research Department of Caja Madrid before joining Skandia Vida as Chief Economist.

Mr Jimenéz is Founder and Chairman of the Group of Boutique Asset Managers (GBAM): an international network of specialized asset managers with more than 17 members Worldwide.

He has combined his professional work with lecturing in Macroeconomics at the IE Business School. He is an Economics graduate from the Universidad Complutense. He has a diploma from the London School of Economics and attended the Global Senior Management Programme (GSMP) at the IE Business School and Chicago Graduate School of Business. Finally, he attended also the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme at Oxford Said Business School.

Remmert  Koekkoek

Remmert Koekkoek

Head of Insurance & Pension Solutions
Robeco

Remmert Koekkoek is Head of Insurance & Pension Solutions at Robeco. In this role, he focuses on the management of balance sheet solutions and buys and maintains portfolios for insurance companies and pension funds. He has worked at Robeco since 2011. Prior to joining Robeco, he was part of the insurance and pension solutions group of Credit Suisse in the period 2010 – 2011, where he was responsible for providing hedging and investment solutions to Dutch pension funds and insurance companies. Between 2005 and 2010 Remmert worked at Robeco's as structurer in the Structured Investment team. He started his career in the industry in 2004 at ING Risk Management. Remmert holds a Master's (cum laude) in Econometrics from Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Heneg Parthenay

Heneg Parthenay

Head of Insurance
Insight Investment

Heneg Parthenay joined Insight in January 2015, as Head of Insurance. Before joining Insight, he was Head of Insurance at BNY Mellon Investment Management EMEA Limited. He also sat on BNY IM EMEA’s executive committee. Prior to joining BNY Mellon, he spent eight years at Aviva, holding a range of corporate development and capital management positions. His last assignment at Aviva was on the executive committee of their global asset management arm as M&A and Strategy Director. Prior to joining Aviva, Heneg worked in the Insurance Division of Renault and was asset liability manager for the Global Corporate Insurance Division of AXA. He holds a Masters in Finance, Banking and Insurance and a Masters in Risk Management from Paris Dauphine University. He also holds a Masters in Actuarial Science and is a Fellow of the French Institute of Actuaries. 

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Chair (1)

Oliver  Ralph

Oliver Ralph

Insurance Correspondent
Financial Times

Oliver Ralph is the Insurance Correspondent at the Financial Times. Prior to this Mr Ralph was Deputy Head of Lex since 2014, specialising in banking, finance and consumer. He has also been a Lex writer and, prior to this, the FT UK Companies Editor. He joined the Financial Times in 2009, having worked at Investors Chronicle from 2000 to 2009 and Euromoney from 1998 to 2000. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1996.

Agenda - 2nd Apr

  • 12:00pm
    Registration and networking lunch
  • 1:00pm
    Opening remarks
  • 1:05pm
    Decoding the economic outlook: How are insurers preparing for an inverted world?

    How is the current macroeconomic outlook affecting the insurance industry? After a decade-long bull market, there is always the chance that a bear market could be around the corner. Should the industry be alarmed? 

    Jan Toporowski, Professor of Economics and Finance, SOAS University of London

  • 1:20pm
    The view from the US

    The Federal Reserve’s three rate cuts have helped the US equity market to reach record highs in the final quarter of 2019 and many forecasters expect the bull run to continue in 2020.  However, the presidential election and trade talks with China risk causing fresh volatility. Against this backdrop, what will US insurers’ asset allocation look like in 2020? 

    Tim Schmidt, Chief Investment Officer, Prudential Financial

    interviewed by Oliver Ralph, Insurance Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 1:40pm
    Panel: Navigating the investment landscape
    • Alternative asset classes are on the rise but how easy is it for insurers to invest in this space? Do they have the in-house expertise required? 
    • As volatility and uncertainty remain key concerns, investors tend to become short-termist. Is shifting allocations to more long term, illiquid investments the key to securing yield and delivering returns?
    • Private markets are going mainstream. What are the key opportunities and risks in this area?
    • As volatility increases in the UK market, which non-UK denominated assets do insurers favour? Will emerging markets continue to have long-term potential? 
    • Amid unpredictable conditions, which investment strategy will deliver strong returns –  active, passive, smart beta or a combination of all?

    José Luis Jiménez Guajardo-Fajardo, Chief Investment Officer, MAPFRE

    Heneg Parthenay, Head of Insurance, Insight Investment

  • 2:30pm
    Dual interview: The future of the insurance industry post-Brexit
    • How will the insurance and asset management sectors in the UK and Europe be affected by Brexit?
    • While the authorities in the UK are looking for ways to develop a business-friendly jurisdiction for the London insurance market, how will European authorities help insurers to minimise the effects of Brexit in the European market? 
    • Have concerns regarding Solvency II, such as the risk margins, been addressed in the European Commission’s review? Which problems need to be tackled in the 2020 Solvency II review?
    • Following Brexit, will UK insurers – who have been critical of Solvency II – continue to comply with it or look for alternative regulatory standards? How will capital requirements be affected? 
    • What other regulatory issues are a concern for insurers?
  • 3:00pm
    Refreshment Break
  • 3:30pm
    Roundtables
    1. ETFs: How do insurers integrate fixed income ETFs into their portfolios? As the number of products in the market increases, how do insurers select which bond ETFs to invest in?  Will they continue to eclipse mutual funds? 
    2. Active vs passive management: Almost every other downturn has led to a faster shift to passive management and low-cost products. Will the next bear market hinder active management? Beyond the characteristics of the market, what should investors consider when thinking about whether to go active or passive?
    3. Emerging markets debt:  Do emerging economies still offer value despite the global slowdown and concerns over trade wars? 
    4. Green bonds: How green are green bonds? How can investors measure the greenness of products offered? Despite rapidly growing support for green initiatives, banks have not cut the funding available to the fossil fuel industry. Against this backdrop how can green bonds be successful in contributing to environmental sustainability? 
    5. Technology: How do investors use technology? Could using a common technology create a group-think dynamic – industry-wide miscalculation of risk, incorporation of similar investment decisions?
    6. Private equity: Private equity continues to attract funds from investors who are on the hunt for high returns and it is estimated that approximately $2.5tn of dry powder has been accumulated. Will this boom come to a halt soon? 
    7. Smart beta: For advisors and investors seeking a happy medium between active strategies and plain-vanilla passives, smart-beta products may seem like an attractive option. How are smart beta investments performing in the current market? Have they proven themselves and what risks remain?
  • 4:20pm
    Panel: The next stage in sustainable investing
    • Integrating ESG into investment portfolios is now a priority but how easy is it? What changes does it require in day-to-day operations? What systems and tools do investors need?
    • Different definitions of sustainability and ESG make it difficult for investors and analysts to set standards. How can stakeholders clarify this alphabet soup and bring uniformity to the industry? 
    • Lack of standards in ESG reporting is an ongoing debate but the real problem might be the voluntary nature of ESG disclosure. How can investors put pressure on companies for greater disclosure? 
    • Some high-profile funds’ products are revealed to have notable exposure to sectors like tobacco, gambling and defence despite their ‘ethical’ labels. How can investors avoid greenwashing? 

    Toby Belsom, Director of Investment Practices, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

    Emily Kreps, Global Director, Investor Initiatives, CDP 

    Wolfgang Kuhn, Director of Investor Engagement, ShareAction 

  • 5:00pm
    Fireside chat: Spotlight on the UK insurance market

    Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Legal & General

    interviewed by Oliver Ralph, Insurance Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 5:30pm
    Closing remarks
  • 5:35pm
    Networking drinks

Who Attends?

This event is free to attend for professionals representing insurance firms with job titles including: 

  • Chief Investment Officer
  • Chief Risk Officer
  • Heads of Asset Liability Management
  • Heads of Capital Management
  • Heads of Asset Allocation
  • Members of investment committees 

A limited number of paying places are available to senior representatives of professional service firms, asset managements, fund management, technology, payments companies and business consultancies to purchase here.

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Venue

Hilton Tower Bridge Hotel
5 More London Place, Tooley Street
London SE1 2BY

United Kingdom

Tel: +44-203-002-4300

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Organisers (2)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

MandateWire is a leading source of institutional asset management intelligence. It’s a financial information database delivering high-value sales intelligence, market data and analysis to the European, North American and Asian institutional investment market. By leveraging close relationships with many leading global institutional investors, MandateWire provides fund managers, investment banks and specialist investment houses with well-timed and credible intelligence on investor strategies and business opportunities.

With a particular focus on hard-to-find private information, MandateWire is a proven sales and business development tool providing reports on confirmed and forthcoming tenders, as well as analysis of market trends and finalised deals. Our database holds key contact details for over 20,400 institutional investors, with a combined known worth of over $76tn in 2017.

With MandateWire, you can extract reports on a single investor, on particular consultants and managers, or institutional investors around the world. Search results can also be split into equities, fixed income and alternatives, so you can view activity in those asset classes. We have skilled, multi-lingual journalists and researchers based in London, New York, Hong Kong and Manila. Engaging with investors in their native language, they focus on relationship-building within their specific market: this leads to unique and dependable institutional intelligence.

The MandateWire CRM Integration Solution takes the power of MandateWire (Intelligence, Investor/ Consultant Directories and Analysis) and centralizes it within Salesforce to dramatically improve the workflow of your sales team.

To learn more on how MandateWire can help you win more business, or to sign up for a free trial and emo, visit: www.mandatewire.com.

Sustainable Platinum Sponsor (1)

Robeco is a pure play international asset manager founded in 1929. It currently has 17 offices worldwide and is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Through its unique integration of fundamental, sustainable and quantitative research, Robeco is able to offer both institutional and private investors an extensive selection of active investment strategies, covering a broad range of asset classes. As at 30 September 2019, Robeco had EUR 199 billion in assets under management, 72% of which were institutional. Robeco is a subsidiary of ORIX Corporation Europe N.V. which had assets under management of EUR 313.9 billion as at 30 September 2019.

 

As an active owner Robeco engages with companies on plastic and waste management. It is proud to be the Sustainability Investing Partner of City to Sea, subscribing to their mission to prevent marine plastic pollution at source. As the supporting partner of their Refill Campaign – designed to promote the use of refillable bottles - Robeco will be offering reusable water bottles and free refills for the Insurers conference delegates.

 

Learn more about Robeco and the Refill project at www.robeco.com

As an active owner Robeco engages with companies on plastic and waste management. It is proud to be the Sustainability Investing Partner of City to Sea, subscribing to their mission to prevent marine plastic pollution at source. As the supporting partner of their Refill Campaign – designed to promote the use of refillable bottles - Robeco will be offering reusable water bottles and free refills for the Insurers conference delegates.

 

Learn more about Robeco and the Refill project at www.robeco.com

Gold Sponsors (2)

Insight Investment has built a unique investment platform that delivers outcome-oriented investment solutions. Our clients are among the most sophisticated institutional investors in the world and include leading insurers, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and corporations. Our investment strategies include fixed income portfolios focusing on assets ranging from conventional sovereign and corporate bonds to emerging market debt and illiquid credit. Our strategies are designed to evolve dynamically to meet changing needs and stay ahead of market and regulatory developments.

Invesco is a leading independent global investment management firm, dedicated to helping investors worldwide achieve their financial objectives. By delivering the combined power of our distinctive investment management capabilities, Invesco provides a wide range of investment strategies and vehicles to our institutional clients around the world.

 

Invesco has a disciplined approach to investment management and a commitment to the highest standards of performance and client service. We manage over $34bn of institutional insurance assets* and have a deep knowledge of our insurance clients and their evolving needs including flexible mandates and customized reporting.

 

Invesco can deliver customized insurance investment solutions across a variety of asset classes including fixed income, bank loans, equities, ETFs, real estate and cash management.  Visit our website 

(* As of 30/09/2019)

Silver Sponsor (1)

HSBC Global Asset Management, the investment business of the HSBC Group, is dedicated to managing assets for a diverse client base from retail and private banking clients to intermediaries, commercial and corporate clients and some of the biggest institutional investors in the world. We have USD516.4bn (September 2019) of clients’ assets under management. We have an asset management presence in 26 countries offering a comprehensive range of investment strategies, with expertise across all major asset classes.

Exhibitors (2)

Amundi is the European largest asset manager by assets under management and ranks in the top 10 globally. It manages 1,563 billion euros of assets across six main investment hubs. Amundi offers its clients in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and the Americas a wealth of market expertise and a full range of capabilities across the active, passive and real assets investment universes. Clients also have access to a complete set of services and tools. Headquartered in Paris, Amundi was listed in November 2015.

 

Thanks to its unique research capabilities and the skills of close to 4,500 team members and market experts based in 37 countries, Amundi provides retail, institutional and corporate clients with innovative investment strategies and solutions tailored to their needs, targeted outcomes and risk profiles.

 

Visit amundi.co.uk for more information.

Pictet Asset Management is an independent asset manager, overseeing over GBP 150billion (as at 30 June 2019) for our clients across a range of equity, fixed income, alternative and multi asset products. We provide specialist investment services through segregated accounts and investment funds to some of the world’s largest pension funds, financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, intermediaries and their clients. We have 951 employees located in 17 offices across the world, close to the markets in which we invest and the clients we serve.  We have had an office in London since 1980. This is an investment centre with nearly 300 employees where we have a dedicated team looking after our UK clients. We are part of the Pictet Group, founded in Geneva in 1805.

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