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2019 Pension Bridge Alternatives Conference
2019 ALTERNATIVES CONFERENCE, BEVERLY HILLS
Hotel: The Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills
Monday, October 28th, 2019
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Registration, Meet and Greet
“Private Debt – Opportunities in Corporate Direct Lending”
Stephen L. Nesbitt, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer, Cliffwater
- What are the Differences Between Multi-Asset Funds and Hedge Funds? What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Choosing Multi-Asset Funds over Hedge Funds?
- How can a Multi-Asset Approach help you Manage Drawdown Risk? What Strategies should be used based on Experience from the Financial Crisis?
- Do you believe Downside Protection with Multi-Asset Strategies are as Effective as Managers Claim?
- How do you Devise Effective Asset Allocation Strategies? What Stress Scenarios do you Consider?
- Do Most Multi-Asset Portfolios need to be Restructured to Thrive in Today’s Environment?
- How can Factor Analysis be used to Mitigate Risk and Improve Multi-Asset Portfolios?
- How Worrisome is the Reliance on Stable Correlation Relationships with No Certainty those Relationships will Persist?
- Is Excessive Leverage a Concern?
- How do you go about the Right Balance of Public and Private Equity when building the best Multi-Asset Portfolio for you?
- How have Returns been and how do you Measure Performance?
- How do Multi-Asset Managers Differentiate Themselves in this Crowded Field?
Alexander Leiken, Manager Research Consultant, RVK
Brian Payne, Senior Hedge Fund Analyst, Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois
Samantha Foster, Managing Director, University of Southern California, (USC)
Alternative Risk Premia
- Understanding Alternative Risk Premia – how does it Differ from Smart Beta? From Alpha?
- Risk Premia to Choose From – Momentum, Value, Carry, Other
- How can a Multiple Market Neutral Alternative Risk Premia Combined in a Single Portfolio show Low or No Correlation to a 60/40 or Hedge Fund Portfolio?
- Explain the Potential Benefits – Diversification, Liquid, Transparent, Efficient, Systematic Exposure
- Lower Fees – what are the Typical Fees Investors can Expect?
- What are the Different Ways you can Use and Implement Alternative Risk Premia?
- What are the Biggest Risks?
- Do you Worry about the Fallout if Correlations Change over Time?
- How should Investors determine which Alternative Risk Premia Strategies Best Meet their Objectives?
- How should you Approach Manager Selection?
James Walsh, Head of Portfolio Group, Albourne America
Chris Walvoord, Partner, Global Head of Hedge Fund Research, Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting
(A) CLIENT CHALLENGES
- How has the Increased Blurred Lines Between Asset Classes affected Portfolio Construction? Do you see the need to work more with CIOs rather than the Heads of Asset Classes?
- With the Longer Lock-Up Periods from Alternative Investments, have you helped Clients examine their Liquidity Profile that may Evolve under Different Economic Scenarios?
- Do you feel Investment Committees have the Investment Expertise and Time to handle today’s Complex Landscape? If not, what would you suggest to Overcome the Knowledge Gap?
- How can you Remain at the Forefront in terms of what Solutions you can Offer to your Clients to Meet their Needs? How Involved is your In-House Research Team?
- Do you take a Role in Ensuring that Clients’ Boards, Staffs and their Investment Managers are Diverse? If so, how do you go about Inclusion?
- With Large Distributions over the last few years and Investors often Shut Out of Oversubscribed Top Tier Private Equity Funds, have you found it Difficult to Maintain or Expand your Client’s Allocation?
(B) INVESTMENT CHALLENGES
- Aside from Lower Fees, what has been the Impact of Passive Management or Index Fund Investing on the Industry? Do you see any Unintended Consequences?
- Do you believe Direct Lending is a Bubble and if so, what does it mean for how would you Invest When it Pops?
- What is the Most Challenging Aspect of presenting the right Hedge Fund Investment for your Client?
- Do you believe ESG will Add Value to the Bottom Line? Do we have Proof and is this an Obstacle for Full Implementation with your Clients?
- Do you believe Industry Specialized Firms will Outperform Generalist Firms going forward? If so, why?
- What compelling Non-Correlated Strategies would you Recommend?
- What should Investors do to Protect their Portfolio for the Next Recession?
- What Changes you’d like to see the Institutional Investing Community Make in the Future?
Alexander Browning, Senior Vice President, Callan
Stephen Cummings, CFA, Global Investments Officer, Head of North America Investment Consulting, Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting
Jim Voytko, President, Director of Research, Senior Consultant, RVK
Faraz Shooshani, Managing Director, Senior Private Markets Consultant, Verus
Andrew Junkin, CFA, CAIA, President, Wilshire Consulting
COCKTAIL RECEPTION CONCLUDES
Tuesday October 29th, 2019
- How much has the Fed Balance Sheet Unwind Impacted Equities and the Dollar?
- What are the Long-Term Implications of the Tax Cuts Adding to the Deficit?
- Would you say we have an Everything Bubble or is it Isolated?
- Corporate Debt Growth for Financial Engineering
- High Yield Defaults Outlook and Risks
- Algos and Passive Investment as a Market Risk
- What are your Expectations for Inflation or Deflation?
- Where are the Most Unfavorable Demographics Globally?
- Which Country’s High Debt and Risks pose the Biggest Threat in Europe? Does that put the EU and Euro at Risk?
- China – Tariffs, Slower Growth, Debt Levels, Leverage and Real Estate Bubble
- Japan’s Demographics and Debt – what might be the Far-Reaching Effects?
- Which are the Shakier Emerging Market Countries that have High Debt that can be Hurt by a Strong Dollar?
- How do you think about Derivatives Risk?
- What are your Expectations for Equities and Bonds?
- Where have you seen the Most Speculative Excess or Froth in the Markets?
- What is the Single Largest Risk Factor or your Expectations for the Next Black Swan?
- What are the Most Appealing Investments for this Low Return Environment?
Anthony M. Novara, CFA, Research Director – Global Hedge Fund Strategies & Capital Markets, DiMeo Schneider & Associates
Current and Future State of the Hedge Fund Industry
- Would you Invest in Hedge Funds Over Multi-Asset Strategy Funds for the Next Downturn and Why? Which Strategies will have the Best Performance? Any Strategies to Avoid?
- Which Non/Low Correlated Strategies are Most Attractive?
- Are the Struggles of Long-Short Equity here to Stay? What has been the Root of the Struggle for this Strategy and will that Change or be a Mainstay?
- How do you go about making your Approach and Strategy More Flexible?
- With Previous Crowded Trades such as Short Volatility Eventually Backfiring, what Performance Chasing Trade should be Avoided Today?
- What does the Future Hold for the Fund of Funds Space? How has it Changed in Recent Years? Where will Fees be? What will it take to Stay Competitive?
- How do Emerging Managers Differentiate Themselves in the quest for Institutional Capital?
- Any Recent Trends you’ve seen for Pension Plans as far as Fees, Transparency, Customization, Increased Partnership, etc.? Will the 1 or 30 Model developed by Albourne and TRS Texas Catch On?
- As an Investor, do you Negotiate the Frequency of Performance Fee Payments (Fee Crystallization), with your Managers so that it Doesn't Lead to Hidden and Higher Costs?
- What is the Role of Separate Managed Accounts? What are the Benefits? Are they Better than Commingled Funds?
- Do you see any Trends Developing in regards to the way we Evaluate Liquidity Provisions for Hedge Funds?
- Importance of Operations Due Diligence. Any recent Developments? How often should Operations be Reviewed?
- If there was a Hedge Fund Strategy you would Invest in over the next Few Years, which one would it be and why?
Jim Vos, Chief Executive Officer, Aksia
Panayiotis Lambropoulos, CFA, CAIA, FRM, Portfolio Manager – Hedge Funds, Employees Retirement System of Texas
David E. Francl, Managing Director, Absolute Return, San Francisco Employees' Retirement System, (SFERS)
Derek Drummond, CAIA, Portfolio Manager – Funds Alpha, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, (SWIB)
Quantitative Hedge Funds
- Does Machine Learning have the Ability to Identify and Forecast Market Cycles?
- How will many Quantitative Strategies Perform in a Bear Market given that they were created during a Bull Market?
- Any Conclusions as to why Most Previously Accurate Historical Stock Market Tendencies Backfired for Quants in 2018? Might this continue given that most have Access to the Same Information?
- How does your Quant Hedge Fund implement the ability to Generate Alpha through Big Data and Machine Learning?
- What Quant Strategies and Characteristics are Attracting Institutional Capital Today?
- Where do you Allocate most of your Research Resources?
- What are Multi-Dimensional Data Sets and why are they Valuable?
- How has your Risk Analysis, Risk Management and Modeling Evolved?
- What are the Advances in Trading Technology and Big Data Innovations that Improve Trading Performance?
- Are Dynamic Factor-Timing Approaches still in the Early Stages and do you Forecast this to be a Growth Area for the Quantitative Equity Field?
- With Shifts in Cross-Asset Correlations Impacting Overall Portfolio Risk, how should this Impact an Investor's Approach to Risk Analytics?
- Are Investors happy with Previous Allocations to Quant-Based Strategies?
- Manager Selection for Quantitative Strategies – what are the Key Characteristics and Traits you should be looking for?
Joseph Marenda, Managing Director, Cambridge Associates
Norman Kilarjian, Partner, Head of Macro and Quant Strategies, Aksia
Global Macro and Managed Futures Hedge Funds
- Global Macro’s place in the Hedge Fund Industry – what are the key Differences from other Hedge Fund Strategies?
- Attributes – Diversification, Uncorrelated, Liquid, Transparent and Regulated
- Volatility is usually Perceived as Risk within Portfolios – is this the same within Global Macro and Managed Futures?
- Discretionary vs. Systematic – where is the Money Flowing and which Approach do you Favor?
- Performance during Periods of Market Stress or Crisis Events
- How much can Global Macro Decrease the Depth of Portfolio Drawdowns and Volatility? Managed Futures?
- Historical Performance of Managed Futures
- How do you Implement an Allocation to Managed Futures?
- How do you Manage Risk and Volatility?
- What Questions should an Investor ask a Prospective Manager?
- Size of the CTA in terms of Assets Under Management – any considerations to factor in?
- Is the Proliferation of Managed Futures as a Risk Premia going to Change the Landscape?
- What are the Biggest Global Macro Themes you’ll focus on in the Coming Years?
Keith Seibert, Managing Director, Hedge Funds & Public Markets, C.M. Capital Advisors
Brad Gilbert, CFA, CAIA, Director of Hedge Funds, Teacher Retirement System of Texas
Changing the Landscape through Liquid Alts – 40 Act Mutual Funds, ETFs and UCITS
- Liquid Hedge Fund Products and Hedge Fund Replication – what are the Benefits aside from Lower Fees? What are the Limitations?
- How has their Performance been relative to Actual Hedge Funds?
- Have Alternative Mutual Funds as a whole provided Meaningful Diversification Benefits in Recent Years?
- Based on the Previous Downturn, are you Expecting Lower Drawdowns?
- For Top-Down or Factor Replication for Hedge Funds – Where Does it Work Best? Where Doesn’t it Work so Well?
- For Bottom-Up Replication or Alternative Risk Premia – Where Does it Work Best? Where Doesn’t it Work so Well?
- What are the Hidden Risks of Smart Beta?
- What is your Best Advice when Allocating to Smart Beta?
- What are the Best Ways to use ETFs and Funds in Portfolio Construction for Smaller Investors?
- Any Emerging Trends you’ve seen?
Reino Ecklord, CFA, CAIA, Research Consultant, Hedge Funds, NEPC
- Current State of the Credit Market
- What will be the Catalyst that will cause Credit Spreads to Widen and Defaults to Rise?
- Do you see Investors being more willing to Trade Liquidity for Yield and should that be of Concern?
- Have Excess Returns been Generated by Adding Risk to the Portfolio?
- What Subsectors of Credit are Most Attractive given the Stretched Valuations? Any Areas you are Avoiding?
- Is Direct Lending in a Bubble and how would you Position for that? What Speculative Excesses or Over-Exuberance have you seen?
- What is the LP Reaction to the Weakest Lending Protections on record for a Lender’s Ability to Recoup Capital? When the Downturn comes how will Lenders get Burned?
- How will Private Credit Perform in a Stressed Market?
- What Sub-Sectors are you Favoring and Avoiding in the Middle Market Direct Lending Space?
- What Trend are you Expecting with Sponsored vs. Non-Sponsored with Crowding in the Sponsored Space? What do you see as the Benefits/Risks?
- How do you Assess the New Credit Players in this Space when Selecting a Credit Manager?
- Any Specialty or Non-Correlated Opportunities that are Appealing such as Venture Debt, Life Settlements or Litigation Finance? How is the Risk/Return?
- How is the Opportunity Set in European Private Credit? Where is the Best Value? Areas to Avoid?
- Opportunities and Risks for Asia?
- Outlook and Considerations for Structured – Are CLOs Safer than Pre-Crisis and Well-Positioned for a Rising Interest Rate Environment? If so why don’t More Fixed Income Strategies Include Higher Allocations to CLOs?
- Can Securitized Credit Weather Market Turbulence? How has it Performed During Previous Credit Events? Is there a Lower Correlation to Broader Fixed Income Sectors?
- How do you View the Mezz Space given the Maturing Cycle?
- How should Investors think about Fund Level Leverage? Is there an Optimal Leverage Point for Various Credit Strategies Across the Spectrum?
- How do we Benchmark Performance?
Thomas A. Shanklin, Managing Director, Head of Private Debt, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
Neil N. Sheth, Partner, Director of Alternative Assets Research, NEPC
Distressed Investing – Opportunistic and Special Situations
- Current Environment – Interest Rates, Fed Balance Sheet Unwind, Catalysts for Next Distressed Cycle and Expectations for Default Rates going forward
- What is Most Worrisome in Distressed Markets Today Versus a Few Years Ago?
- Where do you see the Largest Demand from Clients? What are they Most Interested In?
- Which Sectors, Strategies and Geographies will create the Best Opportunities? Any Areas that should be Avoided?
- Will the Froth in Direct Lending provide a Distressed Opportunity?
- What Distressed Opportunities are we seeing the Energy Sector?
- What’s the Potential Impact of the Debt Piled up by Corporations for their Share Buybacks?
- Will the Prevalent Covenant-Lite Deals create Problems during the Next Cycle?
- What are the Opportunities and Risks in Europe? Any Countries, Sectors or Types of Deals that Stand Out?
- Do you see Opportunities in Asia or Elsewhere Globally?
- Has the Regulatory Environment Changed the Opportunity Set? How has it Impacted your Firm?
- How do Investors go about Choosing the Right Distressed Strategy, Size, Investment Style and Approach?
- How will the Different Implementation Approaches affect Expected Returns? Control vs. Non-Control? Private vs. Public?
- When taking Operating Control of a Company, what Problems/Issues can Arise? What’s the Upside of Getting it Right?
- Distressed Debt Vehicles in Hedge Fund Format vs. Private Equity Drawdown Structures – what are the Pros and Cons of Each?
- What Skill Sets/Characteristics should Pension Plans look for in a Distressed Manager?
Reginald D. Tucker, Managing Director – Investments, Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS)
Amit Thanki, CAIA, Investment Officer, San Bernardino County Employees' Retirement Association, (SBCERA)
- Given the Macro Environment, what if anything are you Doing Differently? Are you Preparing for the next Global Financial Crisis?
- How are you Managing Risk? How can Pension Plans Avoid getting involved in Expensive Deals? How are you Approaching New Investments or Guarding Against your Existing Portfolio?
- Where are your Most Optimistic Returns Going Forward as far as Sector, Geography or Niche Strategy? What’s your Biggest Worry or Sectors to Avoid?
- Which Strategies might Perform Well Independent of the Economy? Any Non-Correlation Strategies that you have Allocated to?
- Does the Use of Subscription Lines Concern you with a Rise in Interest Rates and/or a Down Trending Market? Will we accomplish Improved Transparency to Look Past this Fund-Level Financial Engineering? Any Updates from ILPA on Use of these Facilities?
- Should Secondaries be a Core Holding? What should Investors expect in terms of Returns for Diversified Secondaries Funds compared with a Diversified PE Portfolio?
- What are your Views on GP Led-Secondaries?
- Could the Co-Investment Boom Come Back to Bite? What is Highest on the Risk Curve that could Go Wrong?
- For Co-Investment Deals that Underperform, what are the Reasons Why?
- Current State of Venture Capital – what are the Biggest Challenges or Headwinds Facing Venture Today?
- Which Technological Disruption will directly affect Private Equity and Create the Best Opportunities?
- What are the Reasons why we’ve seen Outperformance of First Time Funds? Any Caution for First Time Funds during the Upcoming Downcycle?
- Are there any Less Desirable or Favorable Investments as a Result of Demographic Trends or Population Aging?
- How are you thinking about Gender Diversity at the Manager Level? Could it become a Deal-Breaker in the Future without seeing Meaningful Efforts by GPs for Diversity?
- Have you seen Progress with Cyber-Risk Management for PE Firms and their Portfolio Companies? Will Investors Demand to have a Policy in place?
- What are the Most Attractive Sectors and Opportunities you’re seeing Europe?
- Where do you see the LP/GP Relationship in the Future when it comes to Separately Managed Accounts, Strategic Partnerships, Co-Investments, LPs Concentrating Portfolios, etc.?
Jose Fernandez, Partner, Co-Chief Operating Officer, StepStone Group
Didier Acevedo, Investment Officer, Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, (LACERA)
- Are you Expecting a Drop in Pricing and Lower Returns? What are your Returns Expectations for the next 5-10 Years?
- Where do you See the Most Risk? How are you De-Risking?
- Are you Slowing Down, Maintaining or Increasing your Pace of Investment?
- Where are the Most Crowded Trades? Are there any Less Crowded Trades?
- What are your Return Expectations for Core?
- Within Non-Core, what Risks are Investors Willing to Take?
- What is the Biggest Threat to Commercial in the next few years for this Fully Priced Market?
- Are you Making Pivots or Tilts to Take Advantage of Macro or Socio/Demographic Trends?
- What are the Best Investment Opportunities that will be created by the Aging Population?
- What are you seeing in the Market Today with Respect to Volume of Transactions and Pricing?
- Thoughts on the Bridge Financing Opportunity for Maturing Commercial Real Estate?
- What do you see as the Advantages and Disadvantages of REITS in the Current Environment?
- What Real Estate Technology Trends are you Watching Most Closely?
- What’s happening with Leverage? LP Preferences for Use of Leverage?
- Any Niche Property Types that you Like?
- Asia and European Real Estate Outlook – Opportunities and Investment Trends
- With the Privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a Possibility, what would be the Effect on Real Estate Portfolios?
- Will Co-Investments become more Common?
- Current State of the Real Estate Secondary Market
- Thoughts on Programmatic Joint Ventures?
- Are we still seeing a Decline in Closed-Ended Funds? If so, why and will it Continue?
- Larger vs. Smaller Fund Size – which ones will Outperform going forward?
- What Strategies do you see as the Biggest Risks and the Biggest Rewards/Relative Value for the Future?
David Glickman, Executive Vice President, Meketa Investment Group
John F. Freihammer, CAIA, Portfolio Manager, Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund
- State of the Infrastructure Market
- What have been the Effects of the Low Interest Rate Environment on Infrastructure and how might that Aect Returns and Leverage Going Forward?
- How has Performance been and what are the Recent Return Expectations?
With Too Much Capital Chasing Too Few Deals, could there be More Return Potential in Smaller Projects?
- Which Sectors are Most Attractive?
- Which Geographies are Most Appealing? Developed or Emerging Economies?
- Approach – Greenfield vs. Brownfield?
- Do you find Infrastructure Debt Attractive? Will it deliver for Investors Searching for Yield?
- What are the Biggest Challenges/Risks associated with Infrastructure today?
- Do you believe Credit Risk might be Under-Appreciated?
- Opportunities in Public-Private Partnerships?
- How have GPs Adopted ESG Principals?
- What are the Most Attractive Investments within Renewables?
- Listed vs. Unlisted – which do you Favor in a Volatile Market for Downside Protection? Do Rising Interest Rates Favor Either?
- Any Advantages or Limitations for Co-Investments? Separate Accounts?
- What are the Advantages of Open-Ended Funds over Closed-Ended Funds? Will we Continue to see a Surge in Open-Ended Funds in the Coming Years?
- What are the Major Technological Trends that will Shape Infrastructure Investing in the Coming Years?
Gabrielle Zadra, Senior Managing Director, Cliffwater
Michael Lombardi, CFA, CAIA, Senior Investment Officer - Real Assets, New York State Common Retirement Fund - Office of the State Comptroller
- Is now the Time to be Investing Given the Risk and Uncertainty? What’s been the Recent Investor Sentiment and Approach?
- With Energy Private Equity in a Holding Pattern with EBITDA Multiple Offers coming in Lower than Valuation Expectations, what will Spur Exits?
- Where do you see the Best Opportunities and Most Attractive Sectors? Appealing Projects in Upstream, Midstream, etc?
- Where do you see Opportunities in the Royalty Space?
- How Important are the Credit Markets in the Deployment of Private Capital and what Role has it Recently Played?
- How much Leverage is Too Much Leverage?
- Risk Protection – will Hedging Protect you in a Multi-Year Price Disruption?
- How should we think about the Risk and Approach to this Space in a Climate Change Focused World?
- Public vs. Private Investing in Energy – what are the Advantages and Disadvantages of each?
- Current and Future State of Midstream MLPs – what are the Tailwinds and Obstacles?
- How do you think about Supply/Demand in North America due to the Permian?
- What does the Future hold for Shale and Natural Gas?
- What Sectors within Renewables or Alternative Forms of Energy do you find Attractive? Will the Best Opportunities be in the U.S. or in Emerging Markets?
Thomas Martin, Managing Director, TorreyCove Capital Partners
Christopher Chow, CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager, Real Assets, San Francisco Employees' Retirement System, (SFERS)
- Current Market Environment and Impact on Commodities Prices for the Slowdown in China
- Where do you Stand on the Inflation vs. Deflation Debate?
- What do the Long-Term Commodities Supercycles say about when to Invest?
- What Factors do we need to see for us to Believe that Commodities have Bottomed and we are ready to begin a Reflationary Regime?
- Based on Previous Down Equity Markets, what Performance can we Expect from Commodities/Natural Resources if we have Market Turbulence? How Strong is the Correlation?
- What are your Views on particular Sub-Sectors and where are the Pockets of Value?
- How are Renewables Aecting Specific Commodities?
- What Currency or Weather-Related Impacts are you seeing on Specific Commodities?
- Investing in Commodities through Private Equity vs. Stocks or Indexes – Benefits and Drawbacks of Each
- True or False – Natural Resource/Commodity Stocks are Not an Efficient Way to get Exposure to this Space
- Are MLPs more Highly Correlated to Commodity Prices than we thought?
- Investing in Long/Short vs. Long Only
- Active vs. Passive
- Any Recent Developments in Commodities Risk Premia? Smart Beta as applied to Commodities?
- What are the Key Criteria that would lead to Manager Outperformance?
- Risk Factors
Trevor Jackson, Senior Consultant, AndCo Consulting
Amy Ridge, Principal – Advisory Services, Mercer Alternatives
Wristbands handed out in Conference Room for Networking Event
5:40 PM - 8:40 PM
The Blvd Restaurant Cocktail Reception and Dinner Networking Event
Hosted by The Pension Bridge – Join our group for a cocktail reception and dinner at The Blvd, located inside the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The Blvd is a beautiful and delightful venue with oversized windows facing Rodeo Drive. Glamorous and sophisticated, this world-class restaurant is the ideal environment for The Pension Bridge conference group to network. We’ll utilize this space for meetings and conversation with quality contacts while taking in the upscale environment in the heart of Beverly Hills.
Disclaimer: Pension Bridge Conferences are produced
for qualified institutional investors only