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Rethinking investing in an era of disruption - Risk, return and sustainability 

Navigating the post-COVID world requires an action plan that helps build resilient portfolios. Bringing together individuals at the cutting-edge of their respective industries – from environmentalists and sustainability experts to MSCI specialist researchers – this year’s conference promises to deliver unparalleled insight into understanding tomorrow’s world. 

Among the trends that have emerged in recent years which will be discussed, the reshaping of portfolios to better reflect the importance of sustainability and climate-related investments will be centrals themes throughout the event. We will also discuss how to re-think conventional approaches to investing so that long-term investment strategies are fit-for-purpose. 

Join us to hear more about the new world order and the big environmental challenges facing planet earth, which will be communicated through a series of digestible, visionary talks. 

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Nov 2 and 3, 2020

Virtual Platform


Time

Monday, November 2, 2020
2:00 p.m - 4:30 p.m. GMT London

Tuesday, November 3, 2020
2:00 p.m - 4:25 p.m. GMT London

Location

Virtual Platform


Agenda

November 2, 2020
TIME DETAILS
2:00 p.m. GMT

WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS
Henry Fernandez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MSCI

2:15 p.m. GMT

KEYNOTE: EXPLORING DOUGHNUT ECONOMICS AND THE INVESTMENT INDUSTRY
Kate Raworth, Senior Visiting Research Associate, Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University

Previous ways of doing business are being challenged and boundaries questioned. Not least has been the general consensus that corporations need to shift their focus from shareholder to stakeholder capitalism. But how do we redefine corporate ‘purpose’ in a stakeholder-first era? Doughnut Economics, a new model that challenges conventional thinking, seeks to provide a framework for resetting capitalism and offer new insights that could help the investment management industry make this transition. 

Questions moderated by Roger Urwin, Global Head of Investment Content, Willis Towers Watson 

3:00 p.m. GMT

PANEL: THE THIRD DIMENSION - EMBEDDING SUSTAINABILITY WITH RISK AND RETURN TO BUILD A NEW INVESTMENT PARADIGM (THE CEO’S PERSPECTIVE). 
Moderator: Huw van Steenis, Senior Adviser to the Chief Executive, UBS
Suni Harford, President of Asset Management, UBS Asset Management
Ingrid Albinsson, Executive Vice President and CIO, AP7 
Anne Richards, Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity International

No longer is understanding the investment risk-return characteristics enough when managing portfolios. Incorporating sustainability into the investment framework alongside risk and return has added a third dimension and altered the investment paradigm as we know it. A panel of industry CEOs discuss this evolution and how it has lengthened their investment horizons as they navigate in an era of disruption. 

3:45 p.m. GMT

PRESENTATION: DOES A FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY MEAN REDEFINING THE INVESTMENT HORIZON?
Peter Zangari, Global Head of Research and Product Development, MSCI

Geo-politics and financial markets are becoming ever-more intertwined, where the rules of the game are changing. This has led to imbalances building around the world and created disruptive forces which are altering investors’ attitudes to risk, return, liquidity and their investment time horizon. MSCI presents new research on how investors can manage risk and optimize their portfolios to help navigate this new world. 

4:15 p.m. GMT

PRESENTATIONS: MSCI SOLUTIONS
Introduction by Dimitris Melas, Global Head of Core Equity Research, MSCI

MODELING CLIMATE RISK: INNOVATIONS AND CHALLENGES
Oliver Marchand, Global Head of ESG Research & Development, MSCI

The past ten years has seen the development of a number of climate risk management tools. But blending two complex areas – the climate and the economy – can generate some real science and data challenges. We address some of these challenges and illustrate through examples some of the significant progress that has been made towards practical applications for investors.

CLIMATE STRATEGIES FOR GLOBAL INVESTORS 
Guido Giese, Executive Director, Applied Equity Research, MSCI

The climate emergency remains the defining threat of our time and could pose serious financial risks for asset portfolios. But – in some areas – it may also offer new investment opportunities. In this session, we will explain the development of MSCI’s climate change offering for investors as well as the different portfolio integration methodologies investors may consider to address climate change risks and opportunities in their portfolios.

BEYOND CLIMATE: SOCIAL RISKS RETURN TO THE FORE WITH COVID-19
Meggin Thwing-Eastman, Global ESG Editorial Director and ESG Research Director, EMEA, MSCI

From employee health and safety to racial and economic inequalities and social unrest, 2020 has brought social issues into sharp relief for both issuers and investors. We highlight how companies manage the social risks and opportunities most pertinent to the long-term resilience of their business models and how this could have an impact on their valuation and overall performance. 

4:35 p.m. GMT

END OF DAY ONE

November 3, 2020
TIME DETAILS
2:00 p.m. GMT

KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: CLIMATE CHANGE: DELAY ACTION AT YOUR PERIL 
Bill McKibben, Author, educator and environmentalist
Diana Tidd, Head of Global Index and Chief Responsibility Officer, MSCI

As the economic impact grows, the time to act on global climate change has become ever-more critical. For the investment management industry integrating climate risk into the decision-making process now could avert significant portfolio risk in the future. In this session, world-famous author, environmentalist and activist, Bill McKibben, who is widely credited with launching the movement to combat climate change, highlights the environmental challenges and answers some of the existential questions that new technologies such as AI bring.

2:40 p.m. GMT

KEYNOTE: THERE IS NO PLANET B: IMPLICATIONS FOR ASSET OWNERS AND ASSET MANAGERS
Mike Berners-Lee, Founder, Small World Consulting 

It is clear action is needed on many fronts to save the world from climate change. From how we grow food, to travel, ocean acidification to carbon taxes, to reducing emissions. But how much change is achievable and by what means? What can action led by investors accomplish? Following the publication of his bestselling book, There is no Planet B, Mike Berners-Lee, discusses how the challenge is rooted in technology, values and governance and the empowered role investors can take in driving change to prevent climate catastrophe.

Questions moderated by Roger Urwin, Global Head of Investment Content, Willis Towers Watson 

3:25 p.m. GMT

PANEL: DOES THE NEED FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD DRIVE MANDATE TRANSITION?
Moderator: 
Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive, ShareAction
Karoliina Lindroos, Head of Responsible Investment, Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company
Fiona Reynolds, CEO, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
Fannie Wurtz, Head of Amundi ETF, Indexing & Smart Beta, Amundi Asset Management

Having sustainability at the forefront of your overall investment strategy is just the first step. But how are investors navigating the period of transition, as sustainability is incorporated into investment mandates? What are some of the factors to be mindful of to ensure a smooth transition? Leading CIOs will debate how they are managing the reallocation of capital from a market-cap based allocation to one that includes sustainability.

3:55 p.m. GMT

PRESENTATIONS: MSCI SOLUTIONS
Introduction by Dimitris Melas, Global Head of Core Equity Research, MSCI

MEASURING AND MANAGING CLIMATE RISK IN REAL ESTATE PORTFOLIOS
Will Robson, Executive Director, Global Head of Real Estate Solutions, MSCI

As a long-term asset class with fixed asset locations, private real estate may be especially vulnerable to both physical and transition risks from climate change. This session will discuss the challenges with accurately and consistently measuring climate risk in real estate portfolios and highlight the importance of getting this right. By doing so investors can gain important insights about the climate risks facing their portfolios and how best to manage and mitigate the risks.

CLIMATE SCENARIO ALIGNMENT: AN INDEXED APPROACH
Stuart Doole, Global Head of New Product Development Index Research, MSCI

The climate emergency remains the defining threat of our time. But current action plans fall well short of meeting the 1.5°C degree pathway governments and society are demanding. Institutional investors globally are factoring in the economic risks that climate change and transition to a lower carbon economy will pose to their portfolios. We look at how an indexed solution can be built to be part of their toolkit – an index which is aligned with targeting a 1.5-degree climate scenario.

A NOVEL APPROACH TO FIXED INCOME FACTOR AND ESG INVESTING
Hitendra Varsani, Executive Director, Core Index Research, MSCI

Extensive research has investigated how ESG information impacts equity risk and performance via the economic transmission channels of cash flows, systematic risk and idiosyncratic risks. We extend this analysis to cover developed-market corporate bonds while recognizing fundamental links to equities via the Merton Model. How has ESG impacted USD vs. EUR markets? Long-dated vs. short-dated bonds? High yield vs. investment grade bonds? How have changes in ESG scores impacted subsequent performance and risk?

CLIMATE-RELATED STRESS TESTING OF FINANCIAL PORTFOLIOS
Thomas Verbraken, Executive Director, Risk Management Solutions Research, MSCI

The world’s attitude toward climate change is rapidly evolving. Analyzing climate change and its effect on financial portfolios can be challenging due to the high degree of uncertainty and the long horizon. In this session, we will use MSCI’s climate change stress testing model to help investors better understand potential risks in their portfolios and how portfolios may be impacted under various scenarios for global warming.

4:25 p.m. GMT

END OF CONFERENCE

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Event Speakers

Ingrid Albinsson

Executive Vice President and CIO | AP7

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Mike Berners-Lee

Founder | Small World Consulting

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Stuart Doole

Global Head of New Product Development Index Research | MSCI

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Henry Fernandez

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer | MSCI

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Guido Giese

Executive Director, Applied Equity Research | MSCI

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Suni Harford

President of Asset Management | UBS Asset Management

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Catherine Howarth

Chief Executive | ShareAction

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Karoliina Lindroos

Head of Responsible Investment | Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company

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Oliver Marchand

Global Head of ESG Research & Development | MSCI

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Bill McKibben

Author, educator and environmentalist |

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Dimitris Melas

Global Head of Core Equity Research | MSCI

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Kate Raworth

Senior Visiting Research Associate, Environmental Change Institute | Oxford University

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Fiona Reynolds

CEO | Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

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Anne Richards

Chief Executive Officer | Fidelity International

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Will Robson

Executive Director, Global Head of Real Estate Solutions | MSCI

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Huw van Steenis

Senior Adviser to the Chief Executive | UBS

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Meggin Thwing-Eastman

Global ESG Editorial Director and ESG Research Director, EMEA | MSCI

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Diana Tidd

Head of Global Index and Chief Responsibility Officer | MSCI

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Roger Urwin

Global Head of Investment Content | Willis Towers Watson

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Hitendra Varsani

Executive Director, Core Index Research | MSCI

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Thomas Verbraken

Executive Director, Risk Management Solutions Research | MSCI

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Fannie Wurtz

Head of Amundi ETF, Indexing & Smart Beta | Amundi Asset Management

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Peter Zangari

Global Head of Research and Product Development | MSCI

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