Programme 2020

The IPE Conference & Awards 2020 will be the largest virtual gathering of European pension funds including more than 40 world class speakers, over 20 sessions across three days, culminating each day in the presentation of the coveted IPE Awards 2020.
9:00 AM - 9:10 AM

Key issues and trends from IPE’s perspective and what to expect from this year's event.

9:10 AM - 9:45 AM

You will learn from a leading strategic thinker on global political analysis

  • November’s US elections have not resolved political tensions
  • Are investors too complacent about a smooth transition?
  • Will Biden deliver on trade, climate change and ‘building back better’?
  • Brexit, democracy, populism and the world order
9:55 AM - 10:40 AM

You will learn from senior figures in European institutional investment:

  • As investors seek to embed ESG principles in their organisations, what barriers are they encountering and what best-practice models are emerging?
  • How can sustainable investing be embedded in the business models of asset owners and managers?
  • Avoiding me-tooism by investors, whitewashing by investee companies and greenwashing by managers
10:50 AM - 11:20 AM

The author of a review into the Swedish Premium Pension System shares his insights with you:

  • In an age of increasing individual responsibility for long-term savings, what have we discovered about how to structure reforms to get the best outcomes for the largest number of people?
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

You will learn about the highlights from an extensive institutional investor research study conducted in 2020 as the coronavirus took hold:

  • No free lunch from the exceptional central bank action
  • Re-emergence of fundamentals and mean reversion
  • Rise of resilience as a new pillar of asset allocation
12:15 PM - 12:35 PM

Don't forget to schedule your 1:1 video meetings with other participants.

12:35 PM - 12:40 PM
12:40 PM - 1:10 PM

Investment firms are increasingly seeing sustainable investing as critical for the sustainability of investing. This wide-ranging discussion will focus on investors’ changing expectations in relation to sustainability and impact. Additional themes include:

  • How alternative data and technology advancements are enabling better decision-making;
  • The supply and demand of sustainability expertise;
  • How to support the pathway of sustainable investing at the individual, organisational and industry level.
1:20 PM - 1:50 PM

You will learn from a regulator and long-standing pension professional with engaging insights into pension challenges.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Join the discussion with leading institutional investors and from the head of the global umbrella group for long-term investing:

  • Taking stock of 2020
  • Investment opportunities and long-term strategies
  • How investors are seeking to finance a sustainable recovery
  • What needs to change in the investment value chain?

Presentation (15 mins) by Timo Löyttyniemi, CEO, State Pension Fund (Finland) followed by a panel discussion (45 mins) with:

3:10 PM - 3:55 PM

Deep dive in selected approaches with interactive Q&A

A strategic asset is one with ‘predictable’ risk return behaviour for the purpose of matching liabilities. Equity protection has long been used as a tactical trade for two main reasons. Firstly, financial crisis used to happen decades apart in the previous century, leaving time to capture enough equity risk premium between two of them. In the meantime, investment services firms didn’t offer benchmarked solutions for equity protection, rather dedicated and discretionary trades. Since the new millennium, equity markets shocks occur several times within the same cycle. This warrants a new response to downside protection. This session reveals how systematic solutions can protect against extreme risks as strategic components of the asset allocation.


The number one question when portfolios don’t deliver outcomes as expected is ‘why?’. Over the past four years, Northern Trust Asset Management has individually partnered with institutional investors and consultants around the globe to try and find the answer. After examining more than 200 portfolios and 1,000 investment strategies worth more than $200bn from a quantitative lens, six common drivers across all investor segments emerged. This session seeks to provide new insights gained from resulting study: The Risk Report. Key discussion points include:

  • Magnitude of uncompensated risks diluting excess returns;
  • New perspective of the “cancellation effect”;
  • The most common hidden risks with style tilts;
  • Over diversification - when diversification backfires.
4:05 PM - 4:35 PM

A leading Canadian institutional investor in a virtual fireside chat with IPE’s editorial director. Among the topics for discussion will be strategic objectives, COVID-19, ESG, governance, and the work of The 300 Club of leading institutional investors.

4:40 PM - 5:10 PM

The first session of this year's IPE Awards. Join us as we reveal the winners and highly commended of the Themed Awards. 

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

This session was for investors only. If you would like to learn more, please contact Eliza Abel Smith at or Jayna Vishram at

You will learn:

  • Perspectives and data on trustee remuneration from the UK and the Netherlands
  • How trustee duties are changing and evolving
  • Best practice in board composition and recruitment
  • What qualities make good trustees stand out?
10:10 AM - 10:15 AM
10:15 AM - 10:35 AM

Financing the energy transition is a core commitment of Amundi, materialising in the development of dedicated partnerships and solutions to fight climate change. This workshop will highlight Amundi’s credentials in green fixed income (green credit continuum and green bonds solutions) and introduce <2°C trajectory dedicated solutions.


10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Deep dive in selected approaches with interactive Q&A

Investors rely on ESG equity strategies to comply with their performance objectives. Solutions often combine ESG best in class with best in universe approaches. ODDO BHF Asset Management’s proprietary ESG rating methodology is focused on human capital and corporate governance and its portfolio must obtain a higher ESG rating than its benchmark, the Stoxx Europe Sustainability ex AGTAFA. But performance also matters. In this session, ODDO reveals how its proprietary algo model has outperformed its benchmarks and underlines the importance of ESG performance.


In recent years, environmental, social and governance (ESG) themes have rapidly risen to prominence within equities and fixed income. In commodities however, this discussion is still in its infancy, with relatively little guidance for investors. To develop an investment framework to incorporate ESG into commodities portfolios, we need to identify the key metrics, understand whether these can be standardised across sectors, and construct investible portfolios that reflect these metrics. Using Bloomberg corporate ESG data and the Bloomberg Industry Classification Standard (BICS), Bloomberg constructs greenhouse gas (GHG) estimates for each metal that is a constituent of the Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM) benchmark. The estimation procedure is regression-based and incorporates an error measure for full transparency. As an alternative to a carbon offset-based approach, this uncovers three possible routes by which commodities investors can control ESG in their portfolios.


While the global COVID-19 pandemic will impact economies and some asset classes, infrastructure continues to play an important role in asset allocation thanks to its strong resilience and the key benefits that it offers institutional investors. This session will discuss the state of the sector and innovative strategies that can leverage the diverse investment pipeline available in infrastructure, with the aim to exploit unique opportunities to accelerate the focus on ESG with tangible impacts on society.


This session discusses the third annual DWS sponsored CREATE-Research paper that examines the relevance of passive strategies for pension funds. This year the study focused on climate risk and highlighted how 65% of 130 pension funds globally plan to increase their climate-linked passive allocations. Points to consider include:

  • Understanding the 2020 survey results in light of the current environment;
  • Suppressing the curve on greenhouse gas emissions: What are the key drivers and blockers?
  • Passive strategies anchored in a core portfolio: How will the recent market volatility affect passive funds?


12:10 PM - 12:40 PM

You will learn:

  • ARG includes actuaries, longevity specialists and epidemiologists, coming together in response to the lockdown of Lombardy in early March
  • So far members have published over 80 information bulletins
  • Hear an overview of their work and investigations into the implications of COVID-19


12:40 PM - 1:00 PM

Don't forget to schedule your 1:1 video meetings with other participants.

1:00 PM - 1:05 PM
1:05 PM - 1:35 PM

Even before the crisis, investors had been placing increasing emphasis on companies’ social as well as financial performance. But does responsible investing actually pay off, or do investors have to sacrifice financial returns to achieve social goals? How do you actually assess whether a company is responsible, and implement responsible investing in practice?  This session will discuss all these questions, with a particular emphasis on what it means to be a responsible investor in the new normal. It will draw on rigorous academic research, real-world examples, and Alex’s new book, 'Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit', which was named to the Financial Times Best Business Books of 2020.


1:35 PM - 2:05 PM

Immediately following the keynote presentation from Alex Edmans, we focus on:

  • Defining what makes a good corporate citizen
  • Corporate purpose and why we need to be wary of warm words
  • Where institutional investors fit in as long-term owners
  • Who decides the balance of interests between investors, management and stakeholders?
  • Can we rely on good companies to perform better?

Panel discussion including a video interview with André Hoffmann, Vice-Chairman, Hoffmann-La Roche


2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Some of the world’s most prominent thought leaders and practitioners in the world of impact investing share their perspectives:

  • How investors are integrating the SDGs and impact objectives into their portfolios
  • Robustness and integration of impact data
  • Integrating sustainability and impact into investment goals and reporting


3:10 PM - 3:55 PM

You will learn:

  • Key trends and innovations in tech for pension funds
  • Insights from APG, one of the leading innovators in tech in European pensions
  • Data in ESG and corporate governance
  • How to measure impact, not just sustainability


4:00 PM - 4:30 PM
The second session of this year's IPE Awards. Join us as we reveal the winners and highly commended of the Country & Regional Awards.
9:15 AM - 9:25 AM

Welcome and a short conversation with the Chair of the Pension Scholarship Trust.


9:25 AM - 10:05 AM

Strategic takeaways from this discussion:

  • What happened when the world stopped but investing didn’t?
  • Adapting manager search to an online world
  • What trends will emerge if we shift to online meetings?


10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

Join leading institutional investors as they share their insights into how they approach key asset classes:

  • Credit Risk Sharing: PGGM’s ‘balance sheet’ credit-risk-sharing strategy: how it works, what it has achieved and a new co-investing partnership with Alecta
  • Alternatives: An outline of Border to Coast's private markets structure, its infrastructure offering, key portfolio themes and a summary of commitments made to date


11:10 AM - 12:25 PM

Deep dive in selected approaches with interactive Q&A

After an initial period of panic, emerging market debt is ending 2020 on a positive note. This session will explore what has changed in emerging market debt and how investors should look at the risks and opportunities in 2021.


Infrastructure and in particular real assets are central to fields of interest to many institutional investors looking to expand into alternatives. While many asset managers cover the investment-side, investors are often unsure about how best to access the asset class. This is particularly true for German and European investors, who are operating in a highly regulated environment. Building on over 50 years’ experience providing fund services to investors and over 12 offering services in alternatives, this presentation reveals Universal Investments’ view from the perspective of an institutional investor on how to structure efficient investment vehicles.


In this session, PGIM Fixed Income shares its outlook on stressed and distressed debt; whether they expect to see more defaults in the post COVID-19 world and where it sees pockets of opportunity.


The global sovereign debt market is one of the largest asset classes in the world, yet fixed income markets have typically lagged other asset classes in relation to ESG integration. Sovereign debt investors are exposed to a range of climate-change risks that are typically not well understood or incorporated in the investment process. Part of the challenge has been the lack of sustainable investment products and viable climate data. During this session, we will talk about three important climate risk pillars to consider when looking to make asset allocations to sovereign bonds and climate strategies:

  • Transition risk – the level of climate related risk exposure of a country’s economy as measured by the distance to reach the modelled emissions needed to meet a 2°C alignment
  • Physical risk - the level of climate related risk exposure to a country and its economy from the physical effects of climate change
  • Resilience - a country’s preparedness and action to cope with its level of climate related risk exposure


12:25 PM - 1:05 PM

Don't forget to schedule your 1:1 video meetings with other participants.

1:05 PM - 1:10 PM
1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic also has significant implications for pension funds, insurance companies and actuaries who model and measure longevity risk in the global pension risk transfer market. In a study examining how COVID-19 may affect the future of mortality rates at higher ages, PFI joined Prof Andrew Cairns of Heriot-Watt University and Prof David Blake of Cass Business School to develop a new model that seeks to help pension funds and insurers properly assess liabilities in a post-pandemic world. This presentation will provide a deep-dive into this new research and address three important questions:

  • How is COVID-19 impacting mortality among elderly populations?
  • Will COVID-19 change the way actuaries measure liabilities?
  • How is the current crisis impacting pension funds and the market for pension risk transfer?
1:40 PM - 2:25 PM

Join the discussion with leading institutional investors about how they view diversity:

  • Recruitment and retention of key talent
  • Manager selection
  • Organisational and other impediments
2:35 PM - 3:05 PM

A unique perspective from one of the world’s most important strategic thinkers on pension fund governance and board effectiveness.

3:10 PM - 3:40 PM
The final session of this year's IPE Awards. Join us for the climax of this year's IPE Conference & Awards as we reveal the winners and highly commended of the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.