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The Pension Bridge Annual 2016

THE PENSION BRIDGE Annual, San Francisco

The Four Seasons Hotel

Tuesday April 5th, 2016

  Click Here to Download a PDF version of the agenda

7:10 AM



Sponsored By:

8:05 AM

Opening Remarks


Conference Chairman:

Dan McAllister, Treasurer-Tax Collector, San Diego County; Board Member, San Diego County Employees Retirement Association, (SDCERA)

8:15 AM

Keynote Speaker


Risk Parity – Diversifying Away from the Equity Risk Premium



David Villa, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, State of Wisconsin Investment Board

8:45 AM

Macroeconomic View - State of the Markets

  • Bull Market Length and Returns
  • Fed’s Effect on Markets
  • High Valuations
  • U.S. Deleveraging
  • Expected Returns Going Forward
  • International Factors – China, Japan and Europe
  • Options to Take More Risk Efficiently
  • Asset Class Risk and Returns


William J. Coaker Jr., CFA, MBA, Chief Investment Officer, San Francisco Employees' Retirement System, (SFERS)

9:15 AM

Risk Management and Adopting a Risk Culture

  • Overview of the Shift from an Asset Allocation-Centered Process to a more Comprehensive Risk
    Allocation-Based Process
  • Understanding Current Asset Class Behavior Risk – Tendency of Interest Rate and Inflation Shocks Driving Equities and Bonds in the Same Direction
  • Asset Allocation Strategies – which are the most effective ones for dealing with Future Financial
  • From Asset Class Decisions to Risk Allocation Decisions – explain the Transformation and how could it be improved
  • What are the Key Risk Challenges as it relates to Measuring and Managing Risk in Diverse Portfolios
  • What Developments have we seen for Combining Several Risk Premiums as a part of Portfolio
  • Using Risk as a Communication Tool
  • What are the Top Risks Pension Plans should be most wary of?
  • Correlation and Drawdown Risk
  • Transparency and Liquidity Risk – Basing it on a Cost/Benefit Evaluation
  • Upgrading to Daily and Weekly Manager Pricing, Performance and Risk Measurement
  • What’s the best Approach to Liquidity Risk as it applies to Meeting Future Cash Flow Obligations?
  • How does Stress Testing or Scenario Analysis factor into your Process?
  • Leverage Risk – what are the Best Approaches to keep these Risks within Acceptable Parameters?
  • Do your Hedge Fund Strategies and other Allocations provide a Cushion for the next Market Downturn?
  • Monitoring Counterparty Risk being taken by Managers – any new measures?
  • How has the Role of Fiduciary Responsibility Changed in this new Era of Risk?
  • What should Boards/Organizations Consider when Building a Risk Culture?
  • How can Fiduciaries Adapt and Safeguard against today’s Challenges?
  • How do you go about Educating a Board on Risk?
  • What Metrics Aid in the Decision Making Process?
  • How does a Plan’s Size affect the Approach to Pension Risk Management?


Rob Feckner, President, Board of Administration, California Public Employees' Retirement System, (CalPERS)



Stephen Cummings, CFA, CEO, Senior Partner, Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting

Timothy F. McCusker, FSA, CFA, CAIA, Chief Investment Officer, Partner, NEPC, LLC

Donald Pierce, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, San Bernardino County Employees' Retirement Association

Daniel Farley, CFA, Executive Vice President, CIO of the Investment Solutions Group, State Street Global Advisors

10:05 AM

Refreshment Break


Sponsored By:

10:35 AM

Risk Allocation Framework – A New Paradigm


Understanding how knocking down old walls and developing new asset class boundaries through risk allocation can protect your portfolio

  • Is Risk Allocation Framework is the same as Asset Allocation?
  • The Shifted Focus from Traditional Asset Class Allocations to a Dynamic Analysis of Cross-Asset Class Drivers of Risk and Return
  • Problems with the Old Paradigm of Asset Class Based Allocation – Equity Risk Dominated, Proliferation of Classes, Dealing with Hybrid Classes, Liquidity Continuum, etc.
  • Are we looking at the End of Asset Class Allocation when finding the Most Useful Way to Break Down particular Investments into Subsets?
  • What Irregularities have we seen in Portfolios as Asset Classes are Redrawn and Renamed via Risk
    Allocation? Are we still too heavy with the “New” Equities Allocation?
  • Might we see Duration or Lock-Up Periods being established to Distinguish Between Liquid and Illiquid?
  • Hybrid Assets and Hybrid Factor Portfolios?
  • More Managers to Develop Blended Vehicles?
  • What is the Most Important Change to make when taking Steps towards the New Paradigm of Risk Asset Class Allocation?
  • What’s the Biggest Challenge that has Prevented Wide-Spread Adoption of Risk Factor-Based Portfolios?
  • Changing Landscape of Fixed Income – Should Return Seeking Fixed Income such as Fixed Income Hedge Funds, High Yield/Bank Loans, Emerging Market Debt and other Alternative Approaches be a Separate Bucket from Traditional Risk Reducing Fixed Income?
  • What Fixed Income Sub-Allocations make sense to meet Liquidity Needs?
  • “Opportunity” or “Diversified Growth” as its own Separate Bucket. Any other terms that you prefer for this Subset? Which Investments belong in it?
  • Equity Hedge Funds – have we seen Progress towards Re-Classifying this into the Equity Bucket?
  • Where do Global Macro Hedge Funds fit?
  • Private Equity – should Buyouts fit into the Equities Bucket because of the Historic Correlation?
  • Real Assets – Own Separate Bucket or Classified in Inflation Linked Bucket?
  • Strategies that provide a Low Correlation to Traditional Investments that can Provide Outsized Returns during Periods of Market Stress – which ones do you like the most? Should this be its own Bucket?


Kristen Doyle, CFA, Partner, Head of Public Pension Funds, Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting



Vijoy Chattergy, CAIA, Chief Investment Officer, Employees' Retirement System of the State of Hawaii (HIERS)

Girard Miller, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Orange County Employees Retirement System, (OCERS)

11:05 AM

Simplify, Grow, Protect: Your Route to a Sustainable Pension Plan


For pension plans, striking the balance between risk and return is critical to maintaining funding status and meeting long-term liabilities. One of the biggest drivers of risk is the fact that volatility and correlation among asset classes is not stable over time, even though this is a key assumption in modern portfolio theory. Learn how adding risk management to a portfolio can provide more reliable performance than asset allocation alone. Pension plans are vital to the security of the employee in retirement and risk management is vital to the security of the pension plan promise.


Sponsored by:




Tamara Burden, FSA, CFA, MAAA, Principal and Managing Director, Milliman Financial Risk Management LLC

11:25 AM

Tail Risk Hedging

  • Understanding Tail Risk Frequency, Severity and Impact – are the Markets Vulnerable to a Substantial Decline Today?
  • Connected Marketplace – Understanding Risk of the Globalization of Capital Markets
  • Why is this a Good Time to Mitigate Equity Tail Risk?
  • Is Raising Cash a Proper Tail-Risk Strategy?
  • Importance of Understanding where in the Market your Existential Tail Risks come from and how Big they Could Be – Analysis of your Liquidity and Leverage. What Liquidity Considerations should Investors pay attention to?
  • Implicit vs Explicit Hedging – what are the Advantages and Disadvantages of each?
  • Limits of Diversification and Beta Hedging
  • What Types of Strategies and Approaches are used to Hedge?
  • Using Information from the Derivatives Markets to assess Stress Points – where we are seeing Tail Risks building?
  • Option Overlay Strategy – Cash Flow Generation in Down Markets but can you Maintain Upside
    Exposure in Rising Markets?
  • Does the Growth in the VIX Universe pose a Risk?
  • Active Management
  • Pension Plans developing a Contingency Plan – What are the Best Practices to Navigate through Stressful Periods?
  • Disadvantages – Cost, Implementation, Risks, etc.
  • Why is there often Difficulty Implementing a Tail Risk Program within the context of a Committee and how can we overcome this? Any other Implementation Challenges?


Stephen P. McCourt, CFA, Co-CEO, Managing Principal, Meketa Investment Group, Inc.



Derek Dunn, Chief Investment Officer, Coastland Capital

Thomas Lee, CFA, Managing Director - Investment Strategy & Research, Parametric Portfolio Associates

11:55 AM

Multi-Asset Strategies

  • What are the Common Sub-Asset Classes Included in Multi-Asset Strategies?
  • Why is Multi-Asset Investing Attractive to Investors?
  • Investor Profile – are these Strategies Favored by Smaller Institutions?
  • Do these Strategies Reduce Correlation, Lower Volatility and Limit Downside Risk or Drawdown? If so, by How Much?
  • How do Investors utilize Multi-Asset Strategies in their Portfolios?
  • Formulating an Asset Allocation Strategy – Customization and Flexibility
  • Constructing the Portfolio – Risk Factor Approach
  • How important is it to be Dynamic within this Style of Investing?
  • How do you Measure Performance and Success?
  • What Are the Skills Required to Make a Multi-Asset Strategy Product Successful?
  • Do these Strategies Rely Too Heavily on Market Timing?
  • Is Transparency often Obscure or Hazy?

Presented by:




Ashwin Alankar, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Global Head of Asset Allocation & Risk Management, Janus Capital Group

12:25 PM


1:35 PM

Unconstrained Fixed Income Strategies

  • Assessing the Current Environment – Fed and Global Central Bank Policy, Interest Rates, Spreads, U.S. Dollar, Foreign Investment in US Treasuries, Global Fixed Income Landscape and Default Rate Expectations
  • Supply and Demand Imbalance in Long-Duration Fixed Income
  • What are your Best Ideas for ways to Simplify the Sub-Allocations within the Fixed Income space? Any preferred Allocation Breakdowns or Weightings?
  • Portfolio Construction – Need for Increased Disaggregation of Alpha Sources
  • Impact of the Non-Linearity of Risk Correlations and Volatility Not being Stable through time – how do these Products Perform during Periods of Dislocation? Is that something you look to Measure?
  • From a Risk Factor Approach, what Asset Class replaces Duration as a Deflation Hedge in a Portfolio?
  • Modern Risk Management – what Progress have we seen for Developing a Risk Premium Approach?
  • Is Smart Beta justifiable in Fixed Income?
  • Using Structured Products, Swaps and Derivatives to Create Alpha and Hedge Volatility
  • Opportunities in Global and Emerging Market Debt – why is it appealing?
  • Emerging Markets Local Fixed Income – what are the Currency Risk Factors?
  • Outlook for Corporate Debt
  • Bank Loans – Attractive or Not a Good Hedge in Rising Rate Environment?
  • Landscape for MBS Market with GSE Reform Considerations
  • Risk/Reward for TIPS, Interest Rate and Inflation Swaps, Inflation Bonds and Overlays
  • Where do you see the Greatest Risks in the Debt Markets and what might be the Trigger Points that enhance that potential?
  • Understanding how to Select Alternative Managers – Multi-Sector, Multi-Region and Multi-Currency Skill Set
  • Understanding the Correlation in Recent Years that Unconstrained Funds have had with High Yield, Leveraged Loan and Emerging Market Debt Funds


Allan Emkin, Managing Director, Pension Consulting Alliance, LLC, (PCA)



Kathleen C. Gaffney, CFA, Co-Director of Diversified Fixed Income, Portfolio Manager, Eaton Vance Investment Management

Allen Huang, Director of Fixed Income, Indiana Public Retirement System, (INPRS)

Bob Michele, CIO and Head of Global Fixed Income, Currency & Commodities, J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Tony A. Rodriguez, Managing Director, Co-Head of Fixed Income, Nuveen Asset Management

2:20 PM

Emerging Markets

  • Macro Environment and Recent Developments
  • Knowing the Historical Correlation of Commodity Prices and Emerging Markets, should we be Hesitant to Increase Allocations?
  • Impact from U.S. Fed – how Large an Impact did it have on Capital Inflows?
  • How are the Long-Term Growth Expectations?
  • What would be the Effects on Emerging Markets if we see a Recession in Developed Markets?
  • Impact from Instability in Eurozone?
  • What might be the Impact from a Rise in U.S. Interest Rates? Are particular Sectors or Countries more at Risk?
  • What Impact have we seen as a Result of the Strong U.S. Dollar?
  • How do Valuations look Relative to Risk?
  • Outlook for China – have we seen a Bubble and if so, did it pop? Understanding the Risks
  • India to Benefit from its Fast Rate of Urbanization? Still in Need of Substantial Reform?
  • Are you Investing in Higher Growth Markets such as Southeast Asia, Africa or Latin America? Which particular Countries? Do you see Higher Risk, Returns and Diversification Factors here?
  • Which Markets in Frontier Countries can you Profit from Strong Growth? Lower Correlation to Developed and other Emerging Markets?
  • The Case for Emerging Markets Corporate Debt
  • What is an Appropriate Long-Term Allocation to Emerging Markets?
  • Public vs. Private Emerging Markets – Benefits and Drawbacks of each
  • Choosing an Emerging Markets Fund or Manager – should you be Investing by Region, Country or Sector?
  • Broad Global Emerging Markets vs. Local Specialists
  • Any Allocation Trends?
  • Active vs. Passive Debate
  • Given the Current Environment, will Emerging Markets Outperform Developed Markets?
  • What are Realistic Return Expectations? How might that Differ based on Region?


Glenn Ezard, Senior Consultant, Segal Rogerscasey



Nathan Chaudoin, Vice President, Client Portfolio Manager, American Century Investments

Florian Grandcolas, Head of Fixed Income Product Specialist, AXA Investment Managers

Celia Dallas, Chief Investment Strategist, Cambridge Associates LLC

2:55 PM

Refreshment Break

3:25 PM

Currency Overlay Hedging and Currency Alpha


(A) Currency Market Overview

  • Central Bank Intervention, More Volatility, Liquidity Characteristics
  • What is the Relationship Between Volatility and Currency Returns?
  • Yuan Inclusion in the SDR Basket – what are the Implications?
  • Can Currencies be Forecasted via Fundamentals, Cycles and Trends?
  • Benefits of Active Management
  • Widely Confused Difference Between Currency Hedging and Currency as an Asset Class – how do they Differ in terms of Implementation Approaches?

(B) Currency Overlay Hedging

  • Importance of Currency Hedging to Reduce Portfolio Volatility and Risk
  • Each Investment Tailored to the Home Currency of the Equities or Fund
  • What might have been the Return Differential Between a Portfolio that was Hedged Against a Rising Dollar and one that wasn’t?
  • When Hedging against a Further Dollar Rise, what are the Risks if Dollar has a Significant Decline?
  • Can it be More Beneficial to be Unhedged?
  • Given Plan Sponsor Non-U.S. Exposure and the Move the U.S. Dollar has made, is it Time to Consider Implementation of Currency Hedging? Still Attractive to have a Program in place?
  • Different Skills Required for Currency Hedging vs. Currency Alpha – should a Different Manager be used for Each Approach or is it Possible to be Skilled in Both?

(C) Currency Alpha

  • Goals of a Currency Program
  • Benefits of Non-Correlated Returns to Equities, Fixed Income, and Alternative Investments
  • How does Investing in Currency Diversify and Reduce Risk? Natural Diversifier for the Duration Risk in Bonds?
  • How do you Manage Risk Factors?
  • When considering Investing in an Active Currency Strategy, what should you look for in a Manager?


Eileen L. Neill, CFA, Managing Director, Wilshire Consulting



Peter Fegelman, Investment Strategist, Millennium Global Investments Ltd.

Ronald G. Layard-Liesching, Chairman, Mountain Pacific Group, LLC

Ian Toner, CFA, Managing Director, Verus

4:00 PM

ESG, (Environmental, Social and Governance)

  • What are the Recent Market Developments in ESG for the U.S. and Abroad?
  • How do you Approach ESG from a Fiduciary Standpoint and for the Development of your Plan’s Investment Beliefs?
  • How ESG should be best Incorporated into the Investment Process – Portfolio Integration into all Asset Classes?
  • Do we have Proof that ESG Integration Adds Value?
  • What are some ESG Misconceptions?
  • ESG Fund Performance vs. Traditional Funds
  • What type of ESG Research or Data is most helpful and are you using it?
  • Climate Change and Investment – what’s the Relationship and how do you Integrate Climate Risks into your Process? What are the Alternatives to Divestment?
  • What should Pension Funds be asking their Existing Active Managers in terms of whether they are looking at Climate Risk or Opportunity?
  • What Progress have we seen with Portfolio Decarbonization?
  • For those Invested in an ESG Index, should we consider a Low Carbon Index?
  • Will Supply Chain Management be the new Normal? – Looking past the Portfolio Company with a View on its Relationship with Large Enterprise Customers
  • Do you believe there will come a time when Plan Sponsors Only Invest with UNPRI Investment Manager Signatories Firms?
  • Relevant Benchmarks for ESG Risk Measurement and Assessing ESG Factors
  • Do you have Internal Staff or an Outside ESG Consultant for Assistance with Implementation?
  • What is the Current State of ESG Data? Will we have a Standardization of this Data?


Laura B. Wirick, CFA, CAIA , Principal, Investment Consultant, Meketa Investment Group, Inc.



Travis Antoniono, Investment Officer, Corporate Governance, California State Teachers' Retirement System, (CalSTRS)

Mary Jane McQuillen, Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance Investment, ClearBridge Investments

Kevin Bourne, Managing Director, FTSE Russell

4:35 PM

Investment Committee Best Practices

  • What are the Common Challenges of Institutional Investment Committees?
  • Defining the Scope of Authority and Establishing a Functional Delegation Framework
  • Challenges of Selecting Investment Committee Members
  • Establishing an Optimal Committee Size and Minimizing Turnover
  • Identifying Key Member Roles
  • Identifying Value-Added Member Attributes and Recruiting Qualified Committee Members
  • Maintaining Strategic Continuity – Orientation for New Committee Members
  • Periodic Formal Reviews of the Investment Strategy
  • Optimizing Decision Making and Execution
  • Engage Committee Members to Improve Meeting Preparation, Attendance and Participation – Guest Speakers, Pre-Meeting Conference Calls, Pre-Meeting Summary to Prep Committee Members, Decision Prioritization Framework


Mark Higgins, CFA, Consultant, RVK, Inc.

4:55 PM

Executive Director/CEO Roundtable


(A) Fiscal Health/Sustainability

  • How are Demographics Affecting Retirement Systems?
  • How do we approach Increases in Longevity and Costs for Healthcare Drugs for Retirees? What are some possible Solutions?
  • What are the Key Attributes for a Successful Retirement Plan in the Future? Any Key Reforms for Non-Enrolled Workers?
  • What does the Future hold for Raising the Retirement Age, Reducing Benefits and Increasing Employee Contributions?
  • Discussing Quantitative Easing and Interest Rate Risk, how has Government Policies Impacted Retirement Funding?
  • The Continued Struggle to Retain Top Talent due to Constraints on Compensation and Performance-Based Pay – will it get worse because of Increased Public Scrutiny? Any Solutions?
  • Is your Fund adequately Protected for Liquidity and Cash Flow Requirements whether it is for Benefits and/or other Commitments?
  • Has your Funded Status altered your Long Term Decisions with regards to Liquid or Illiquid Investments?
  • Do you believe Plans in general will be able to Meet or Beat the Assumed Rate of Return over the next 10 Years?
  • Do you see the Benefits of a Hybrid DB/DC Plan? What are the Drawbacks? What's holding back the Adoption of these Hybrid Plans?
  • Explain the Argument as to why States should not offer a 401(k) DC Plan as a Solution

(B) Governance

  • Best Governance Practices to Keep Plans Optimally Invested, Managed, Funded, and in Regulatory Compliance
  • Lowering your Costs as a Percentage of Assets Under Management – what are the Best Approaches for Lowering All-In Costs for Managing your Pension Plan?
  • Do you think we’ll see a Shift towards the Canadian Model with more Assets being Managed In-House to Lower Investment Costs? If so, which kind of Mandates should be Outsourced to External Managers?
  • What do you feel is the Most Important Change to make when taking Steps towards the New Paradigm of Risk Asset Class Allocation?
  • Requirement for Full Manager Transparency – Upgrading to Daily and Weekly Manager, Strategy and Aggregate Fund Pricing/Performance Measurement and Risk Measurement
  • How do you ensure your Board Members receive Continual Education of their Fiduciary Roles, Duties and keep them Updated on Risk Factors?
  • Dealing with Legislature – what is your Biggest Concern? Is Trust a Factor?


Gary A. Amelio, Chief Executive Officer, San Bernardino County Employees' Retirement Association



Gregory W. Smith, Executive Director, Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association

R. Dean Kenderdine, Executive Director, Maryland State Retirement and Pension System

Steve Yoakum, Executive Director, Public School and Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri, (PSRS/PEERS)

Brian Guthrie, Executive Director, Teacher Retirement System of Texas

5:50 PM

Cocktail Reception

7:00 PM

Cocktail Reception Concludes

Wednesday April 6th, 2016

7:15 AM


Sponsored by:

8:15 AM

A Principles-Based Approach for Alignment of Client Interests

  • How do you Build a Trust Relationship between Managers and Fund Sponsors?
  • Easing the Burden of Regulation while Reducing Complexity
  • Regulators could Focus on Ethical Principles Rather than Writing New Rules
  • Focus on Achieving Better Outcomes rather than just “Best Practices”
  • CFA Institute Asset Manager Code of Conduct is a Principles Based Approach
  • Three Fiduciary Elements: Expertise, Alignment and Accountability
  • The Role of a Firm’s Values and a Vision for doing good things


Brian Golob, Global General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer, Russell Investments



Ronald D. Peyton, Chairman & CEO, Callan Associates, Inc.

Steven J. Foresti, Chief Investment Officer, Wilshire Consulting

8:45 AM

Keynote Speaker – 2016 Private Equity Market Outlook

  • Macroeconomic Overview – Economic Growth, Unemployment, Inflation, Sovereign Banks and Public Markets
  • Buyouts – Fundraising, Investment Activity and Exits for North America & Europe
  • Outlook for Buyouts
  • Distressed Debt
  • Mezzanine
  • Secondaries
  • Venture Capital


David Fann, President & Chief Executive Officer, TorreyCove Capital Partners


Interviewed By:

Michael J. Moy, Managing Director, Pension Consulting Alliance, LLC, (PCA)

9:15 AM

Hedge Funds


(A) Current and Future State of the Hedge Fund Industry

  • How Large is the Industry now? How many Good Hedge Funds are there?
  • How much Risk Reduction should you get for 2 and 20?
  • Pension Inflows – are they still going to the Largest Hedge Funds or has this Trend from a few years ago Shifted to Small and Mid-Sized Managers?
  • What sort of Trends are you seeing for Overall Fees? Do Investors have the ability to Renegotiate?
  • How do you assess the Tradeoff between Lower Fees and Longer Lock-ups?
  • Returns of Liquid Hedge Fund Strategies Lagging Private Partnership Versions of the Same Approach – why and will this continue?
  • What is the Future of the Fund of Funds Space? How is it Changing? Where will Fees be? What will it take to Stay Competitive?
  • How do you see Succession Planning playing out? What Tends to Work and what Does Not?
  • Importance of Operations Due Diligence. Any recent Developments? How often should Operations be Reviewed?
  • Transparency and Risk Aggregation Data – are they Accurate?
  • Valuation Procedures and Controls – when should Asset Managers use a Third-Party Valuation Advisor?

(B) Hedge Fund Portfolio Construction, Selection and Strategies

  • Considerations for Selecting the right Hedge Fund or Fund of Funds – Due Diligence and Manager Selection. What are the Key Traits you should be looking for?
  • Deciding Between Fund of Funds vs. Direct – what are the Key Considerations?
  • What have you seen regarding Small Hedge Fund Performance vs. Large Hedge Fund Performance?
  • Have Hedge Fund Managers Accumulated Too Many Assets which will Dilute their Alpha over a Larger Asset Base? If so, does this Increase Investor Risk because of the Larger Bets?
  • How many Hedge Fund Strategies do you need? Should you focus on a few better Strategies or is the Size of your Portfolio a Factor?
  • Long-Short Hedge Funds – should they be in the Domestic Equity Allocation to Reduce Exposure?
  • Which Strategies offer more Transparency and Liquidity?
  • Does Portfolio Construction change based on the Size of the Portfolio?
  • Can Hedge Fund Strategies be Tactically Managed?
  • Should you ask for a Separate Account?
  • Do you find Opportunities within the Global Macro Space attractive and if so, why?
  • Is the Trend towards Managed Accounts the Future? Understanding the Benefits of Increased
    Transparency and Control, more Liberal Liquidity Terms for Redemption/Termination, Outsourcing Operational Oversight/Support
  • What are your thoughts on Other Liquid Hedge Funds such as UCITS and Hedge Fund Replication? Will it catch on? Has Performance Matched Hedge Funds? Is it Worth the Lower Fees?
  • If the S&P loses 30%, what Drawdown or Return Range do you expect we’ll see from each of the
    Different Hedge Fund Strategies?
  • If there was a Hedge Fund Strategy you would Invest in over the next Few Years, which one would it be and why?


Dr. John Claisse, CEO, Albourne America LLC



Anne Casscells, Managing Director, Co-President and Chief Investment Officer, Aetos Capital

Manny Friedman, Chief Executive Officer, EJF Capital LLC

Simon Savage, Co-Head of GLG European and Global Long-Short Strategies, Man Group

David E. Francl, Managing Director of Absolute Return, San Francisco Employees' Retirement System, (SFERS)

Derek Drummond, CAIA, Managing Analyst, State of Wisconsin Investment Board

10:05 AM

Refreshment Break

10:35 AM

Managed Futures

  • Global Macro’s place in the Hedge Fund Industry – what are the key Differences from other Hedge Fund Strategies?
  • Diversification and Non-Correlation to Equities and Hedge Fund Strategies
  • Qualitative Traits – Liquid, Transparent and Regulated
  • Historical Performance of Managed Futures
  • Performance during Periods of Market Stress or Crisis Events
  • Decreasing Depth of Portfolio Drawdowns and Volatility
  • Volatility is usually Perceived as Risk within Portfolios – is this the same within Managed Futures?
  • Increasing your Exposure to Global Markets and Non-Financial Sectors
  • How to Implement an Allocation to Managed Futures
  • How do you Manage Risk and Volatility?
  • What Questions should an Investor as 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?


Grant Jaffarian, President, CIO, AlphaTerra, LLC

10:50 AM

Credit Strategies

  • Current State of the Credit Market
  • What will be the Catalyst that will cause Credit Spreads to Widen and Defaults to Rise? Is Global Central Bank Policy preventing this from happening?
  • Global Financial Institution Balance Sheets – Pressure to Shrink and Deleverage
  • Are Bargain Buys still Tough to Find and are Firms still Accumulating Dry Powder?
  • High Yield Market – is it possible to see a High Yield Meltdown with a Lack of Liquidity? Understanding the Risk Factors and how there’s a Strong Correlation to Equities
  • What Subsectors of Credit are Most Attractive? What are your Best Ideas for Finding Value? Any Areas you are Avoiding?
  • State of Securitized Markets – how Cheap is Securitized Risk vs. Unsecuritized Risk and how do you measure that? Long-Term Prognosis for Spreads?
  • Bank Loans Overview – High Risk in Covenant-Lite Loans?
  • How is the Credit Quality of New Issuance?
  • What do you expect will be New Issuance Volumes in ABS, CLOs, CMBS and RMBS in 2016?
  • CLO Market Outlook and Reinvestment Challenge
  • Regulatory Changes such as Dodd-Frank Risk Retention, Volcker Rule and Leveraged Lending Guidelines – how will it Impact Credit Strategies and Market Liquidity?
  • European Market – are there Opportunities Now or More Downside Risk?
  • How should Investors Approach their Outlook for Emerging Market Corporate Credit as part of their Portfolio Allocations?
  • Considerations for Selecting a Manager and Strategy
  • How will the Sector you Invest in Perform when Rates Rise? Is that a Concern and how do you Manage that?
  • What are the Trade-offs between Mid-Market and Large Market Credit Investing?
  • Do you see Investors being more willing to Trade Liquidity for Yield and should that be of Concern?
  • Credit Investment Mandates – are they Too Narrow? Which Bucket or Asset Class does it fit into and should it be Defined as Opportunistic Credit?


Stephen L. Nesbitt, CEO, CIO, Cliffwater LLC



Peter E. Ehret, CFA, Director of Internal Credit, Employees Retirement System of Texas

Christopher J. Creed, Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, Co-Head of Global Securitized Investments, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Mark K. Okada, CFA, Co-Founder, Chief Investment Officer, Highland Capital Management, LP

Steven Oh, CFA, Global Head of Credit and Fixed Income, PineBridge Investments

11:35 AM

Distressed Investing – Opportunistic and Special Situations

  • Where are we in the Distressed Cycle? When will the Vast Sums of Undeployed Capital come in off the Sidelines?
  • How does the Current Economic and Interest Rate Environment affect the Attractiveness of Distressed Strategies?
  • Prevalent Covenant-Lite Deals – are we seeing Bubble Conditions setting us up for Problems during the Next Cycle?
  • What are your Expectations for Default Rates going forward? Has the Fed and Easy Credit Masked Fundamentals?
  • Use of Leverage – Attractive or too much of a Repeat of 2006-2007?
  • How have Regulations Changed the Opportunity Set? Has it added to the Reduced Liquidity?
  • How have Changes in the Financing Markets and Shadow Banking System affected the Opportunity Set and what is the Outlook? Is there still a looming Maturity Wall?
  • Scope of the Distressed Market and Segments – Corporate Credit, Structured Credit, Commercial Real Estate, Hard Assets, Liquidations, Segmentation by Deal Size, etc.
  • Which Sectors, Strategies and Geographies will create the Best Opportunities? Any Areas that should be Avoided?
  • Do you find Europe Attractive or is it still Too Early? Which Countries, Sectors, Types of Deals should be looked at?
  • What Distressed Opportunities are we seeing the Energy Sector?
  • Marketable Distressed Strategies – how Correlated are they to Public Equities?
  • How do Investors go about choosing the right Distressed Strategy, Investment Style and Approach?
  • How will the Different Implementation Approaches affect Expected Returns? Control vs. Non-Control. Private vs. Public
  • What Skill Sets/Characteristics should Pension Plans look for in a Distressed Manager?
  • What are the Return and Risk Expectations? What are the Biggest Challenges you face to Delivering Returns?


Pete Keliuotis, CFA, Senior Managing Director, Cliffwater LLC



Keith Williams, Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager, Crestline Investors, Inc.

Tom Capasse, Principal and Co-Founder, Waterfall Asset Management, LLC

Andre A. Hakkak, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, White Oak Global Advisors, LLC

12:10 PM

Emerging Managers

  • How are Plans defining Emerging Managers and what has been the Evolution of the Programs?
  • What are the Benefits and Opportunities offered by Investing in Next Generation Managers?
  • Explain Diversity and how you Achieve it
  • What are the Best Practices for Deploying Capital in this space?
  • Due Diligence and Key Points of Analysis for Selecting Emerging Managers
  • What Separates the Emerging Managers that will be Top Performers from the Rest of the Pack?
  • What are the Perceived Risks of Emerging Managers? Are they Myths or Realities?
  • Comparing the Risk/Return Profile of Emerging Managers to Established Managers
  • Research Statistics and Results on Emerging Manager Performance
  • Are there certain Asset Classes where Emerging Firms do better or have a Performance Advantage?
  • Are there any Differences in Procedures for Monitoring Emerging Managers?
  • New Firms Fundraising – how important is it to be spun out from Traditional or Name-Brand Firms? Key Differentiators that enable a Successful Fund Raising?
  • Insider’s View – Fundraising Process, Responsibilities, Balancing Time and Priorities
  • What Success and Challenges have you Experienced? Any important Lessons Learned?
  • Is there a Need for Niche Strategies to Capitalize on Market Inefficiencies in order to Expand in this Market?
  • What is happening with Firms that have Reached Critical Mass?


Kelli Schrade, CFA, CAIA, Managing Partner, Director of Manager Research, Marquette Associates, Inc.



Laurie Weir, Investment Director, California Public Employees' Retirement System, (CalPERS)

Tina Byles Williams, CEO, CIO, Portfolio Manager, FIS Group, Inc.

Nancy Davis, Managing Partner & CIO, Quadratic Capital Management LLC

12:45 PM



Sponsored by:

Real Asset Strategies


1:50 PM


  • Current Market Environment – might Lower Commodity Prices be Here to Stay for the next Several Years?
  • Deflationary Pressures – how should this affect our Allocation and Approach in the Commodities Space?
  • What’s your Long Term Outlook based on Global Supply, Demand, Pricing, Fed Policy and China/Emerging Market Growth as Factors?
  • Diversification and Low Historical Correlation to Equities
  • Performance during Previous Down Equity Markets
  • What are your Views on particular Sub-Sectors and Where are the Pockets of Value?
  • Understanding the Different Approaches to Investing in Commodities – Equities, Indexes, Futures, Physical Commodities, Private Equity Real Assets
  • Investing in Commodities through Private Equity vs. Stocks or Indexes – Benefits and Drawbacks
  • Argument that Natural Resource Stocks are Not an Efficient Way to get Commodities Exposure – Less Correlation to Inflation than Commodities, Higher Correlation to Equities, Different Return Pattern to the Commodity, Higher Volatility, Lower Diversification Benefit
  • 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


Scottie D. Bevill, Senior Investment Officer - Global Bonds and Real Return, Teachers' Retirement System of Illinois



Jason M. Kellman, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Pinnacle Asset Management, L.P.

Jodie Gunzberg, CFA, Global Head of Commodities, S&P Dow Jones Indices


2:20 PM


  • Portfolio Benefits – Inflation Hedge, Diversification, Low Correlation, Attractive Risk Adjusted Returns
  • Projections of Global Energy Supply/Demand and Consumption
  • China and Emerging Market Consumption Projections
  • Oil and Gas Pricing Trends – Are Investments likely to produce Returns Independent of Prices?
  • For those with Dry Powder, where are the Best Opportunities in this Dislocated Sector?
  • Are the Debt Markets Attractive or have they seeing Less Distress?
  • What are the Advantages of Investing in Private Energy?
  • Market Underserved by Private Equity Capital?
  • Recent and Long-Term Performance
  • Upstream, Midstream and Downstream Overview
  • Equipment and Services Sector
  • What does the Future Hold for Shale?
  • Is Portfolio Decarbonization a Concern and will it Accelerate Clean Energy Investments that Reduce Carbon Emissions?
  • Access – Public, (Stocks and MLPs), Indexes, Futures, Private, (Direct, Funds, Fund of Funds). Which one is most likely to Benefit?
  • Big vs. Small Funds, Deal Size


Kirk T. Rostron, Board of Trustees, Investment Committee, Florida State University Foundation



Jim Gasperoni, CFA, Head of Real Assets, Aberdeen Asset Management Inc.

Ronald Funderburk, Investment Director, Credit & Inflation, North Carolina Department of State Treasurer

2:50 PM

Infrastructure Market Outlook

  • Why should Investors consider Committing Capital to the Infrastructure Space?
  • Deal Flow Activity and Fundraising Environment
  • Is there Too Much Money Chasing Too Few Opportunities?
  • In which Sectors will Investors find the Most Appealing Opportunities and Returns?
  • Trend of Infrastructure Debt, (Non-Bank) – How Attractive is it?
  • Mature vs. Emerging Markets Opportunities
  • If the Low Interest Rate Environment has led to Increasing Valuations, what should we Expect when Interest Rates Rise?
  • How has Performance been and what are the Return Expectations?
  • How will Returns be Impacted by Low Oil Prices?
  • What are the Biggest Challenges/Risks associated with Infrastructure Investing?
  • Any Advantages or Limitations of the Particular Implementation Approaches?
  • What are the Advantages of Open-Ended Funds over Closed-Ended Funds? Will we see a Surge in Open-Ended Funds in the Coming Years?
  • Is the Rise in Public-Private Partnerships Inevitable due to Lack of Gov’t Funding and High Debt? What Opportunities will this Create?
  • Debt Heavy/Equity Shortage Deals – how and when will Pension Investors Overcome this Highly Leveraged Roadblock?


David Altshuler, Partner, StepStone Group

3:05 PM

Refreshment Break

3:30 PM

Real Estate

  • Current State of the Real Estate Market – do you perceive it to be High Risk right now?
  • How much has the Fed Impacted our Current Environment?
  • What would be the Impact of Rising Rates on your Real Estate Portfolio? What are the Short-Term and Long-Term Implications?
  • Has the Cycle of Expansion Ended?
  • Is Supply and Demand in Balance?
  • Is Core Too Expensive? Is it likely to get your Expected Returns right now?
  • Do you see Capital Moving Out of Core and Into Value Added and Opportunistic?
  • What Value-Added and Opportunistic Strategies are most appealing?
  • What’s happening with Leverage?
  • Do you believe Commercial is Fully Priced and Not Pricing in Risk or Disruption?
  • Opportunity Set for Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities Maturing over the next Two Years that will need to be Refinanced or Restructured. Attracting Bridge Financing Opportunity in the CMBS space?
  • Multifamily Conditions – might it become Less Desirable compared to the past few years?
  • Tactical Strategy of Investing in Single-Family Homes and Institutionalizing the Sector – Thoughts on this Trend?
  • Joint Ventures with REITs – will we see more Pension Plans re-enter the Market by Teaming up with Commercial REITs? Why are these Joint Ventures being done?
  • Analysis of Cap Rates and Vacancy/Occupancy Rates – any Conclusions you can draw?
  • Asia and European Real Estate Outlook – Opportunities, Investment Trends and Capital Flows
  • Larger vs. Smaller Fund Size – which ones will Outperform going forward?
  • Closed Ended Funds Unpopular?
  • Entry Issues with Open-Ended Funds and Concentration into Fewer Funds?
  • Will Co-Investments become more Common?
  • Current State of the Real Estate Secondary Market
  • What Strategies do you see as the Biggest Risks and the Biggest Rewards/Relative Value for the Future?


Jennifer Young, Principal, The Townsend Group



Charles E. Garner, II, Principal, Investments, CIM Group, LP

Max Swango, Managing Director, Head of Client Portfolio Management, Invesco

Ralph F. Rosenberg, Member & Global Head of Real Estate, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, (KKR)

Yvonne Nelson, Head of Real Estate, New York City Office of the Comptroller, Bureau of Asset Management

4:15 PM

CIO Roundtable


(A) Risk, Allocation and Macro-Based Decisions

  • Do you believe Global Central Bank Intervention has created Overvaluation or a Bubble?
  • With many of the Major Asset Classes Fully Valued, has your Fund taken adequate Risk Measures and Diversified via Non-Correlated Strategies? Which Strategies to you Like?
  • How big a Concern is Slowing Global Growth and Geopolitics? Has it Impacted your Allocations or Strategies you Run?
  • Has the Rise in the U.S. Dollar changed your Asset Allocations or Investments in Equities? Have you Hedged your Non-U.S. Exposure?
  • What sort of De-Risking Strategies or Risk Management Approaches has your Fund Integrated into the Investment Decision Process?
  • Does LDI or Risk Parity Make Sense Now Considering Current and Future Market Conditions?
  • What Strategies do you incorporate for a Dynamic or Opportunistic Approach?
  • Do you believe your Hedge Fund Strategies will provide a Cushion for the next Market Downturn? How do you use them to Reduce Risk?
  • Have you Allocated to Liquid Alternatives and if so, through which Vehicles?
  • Do you Incorporate Multi-Asset Investing and do you believe it can Limit Downside Risk?
  • What Strategies does your Fund utilize that will Protect against Interest Rate Risk and Duration Risk?
  • How has the Current Deflationary Environment seen in Commodities Impacted your Planning? Have you Allocated Funds to take Advantage of the Dislocation in Energy/Oil?
  • What Strategies does your Fund utilize that will Protect or Hedge against Future Inflation?
  • What do you feel is the proper Emerging Markets Allocation and are there any Regional or Frontier Strategies that interest you?
  • Any Challenges related to the Impact of Regulation?

(B) Alignment of Interests

  • What Changes or Trends have you noticed in Fee Structures/Terms and your Bargaining Power?
  • What Tactics work best for you when attempting to Negotiate Private Placement Agreements?
  • What are your Concerns about Operational Due Diligence and what have you done about this Issue?
  • What Support would help you to do a better job of Addressing and Solving Investment Problems? What Discretion and Authority do you have with those Problems?
  • Any Progress in granting you and your Investment Departments more Latitude in Tactically Managing your Portfolios in response to Extreme Economic Conditions?
  • Any important Lessons Learned that you can share from your Individual Plan Experiences?


Richard Charlton, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, NEPC, LLC



Tom Tull, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Employees Retirement System of Texas

William D. Lee, CFA, Chief Investment Officer and Vice President, Foundation & Pension Investments, Chair Investment Committee, Kaiser Permanente

Scott C. Evans, CFA, Deputy Comptroller - Asset Management, Chief Investment Officer, New York City Office of the Comptroller, Bureau of Asset Management

John D. Skjervem, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Oregon State Treasury; Oregon Investment Council


5:15 PM

Conference Concludes

5:20 PM


Tickets for Networking Event handed out in Conference Room


Attendees must be present to attend event

6:00 PM

Wine Tasting Networking Dinner


Hosted by The Pension Bridge – Join our group at for a wine tasting and dinner at the Press Club, located just next door to the Four Seasons. Meet your industry peers in great setting as California Wine Country comes to the heart of the city. Experience the finest winemakers with new and rare vintages. We’ll have a fun wine tasting reception, followed by a tasteful dinner with the highest quality organic ingredients. The Pension Bridge will utilize the 9000 square feet of the award winning “Best Restaurant Design” event space for networking for our high quality conference group.



Supporting Educational Partner of The Pension Bridge Annual

Disclaimer: Pension Bridge Conferences are produced
for qualified institutional investors only



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