ESG Focus - Online Conference
Discovering the detail

In a recent blog, executive director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice David Fairs said the regulatory and governmental response to ESG risks, are not a "passing fad" but "fundamental" to pensions, given the long-term nature of both - adding that climate change would also have an effect on how the watchdog approaches meeting its statutory objectives.

The blog coincides with the start of requirements for trustees to publish an implementation statement describing whether policies in their schemes' statement of investment principles (SIP) have been followed after they were last year updated to explain their policies to financially material ESG considerations.

Join Professional Pensions for this year’s virtual
ESG Focus taking place on the 12th November where we will be discovering the detail in ESG requirements and the developments in the market. This half day virtual event will provide you with the opportunity to keep up to date on all things ESG, gain CPD hours, chat with your peers in our event chat and visit our exhibition hall. Plus all the sessions will be on demand in case you miss anything.

This event is working towards the International Standard ISO 20121 and follows guidance set out by the Sustainable Event Alliance (SEA)

Time until the event

Who should attend?

Professional Pensions welcomes delegates from the following job types:


Pension Scheme Managers

Pension Scheme Administrators

Pensions Communication Specialists

Chairs of Trustees

HR Directors/Managers


Financial Directors



Welcome and opening remarks by Jonathan Stapleton, Editor, Professional Pensions
Morning Keynote

Catherine will present key findings from ShareAction’s 2020 global analysis of responsible investment performance in the asset management sector. She will identify the role pension schemes can play in driving up asset manager ESG performance.

Catherine Howarth, CEO, ShareAction

Sustainability and impact, we know it matters, but how do we measure it?

With the growing adoption of ESG outcomes as an investment objective, attention is increasingly focusing on measurement. Asset owners need to be able to judge these outcomes on a consistent basis, and across their entire portfolio. This session will explore methods of assessing the impact that an investment has on the environment and society and how this approach can be extended across asset classes, not just equities.

Hannah Simons, Head of Sustainability Strategy, Schroders

Are pension reforms driving better ESG?

October 2019 saw the first set of deadlines for pension trustees to document their approaches to ESG in their statements of investment principles. By October 1 2020, trustees will need to include further detail in their SIPs on their stewardship policy and arrangements with asset managers. In this session we will consider how schemes are responding to these new regulatory changes, and what Trustees should consider if they’re yet to implement changes to their investment strategy.

Anna Taylor, Counsel, Linklaters

Live Q&A 10:10 – 10:20

Refreshment and networking break

Grab a cuppa, stroke the dog and head to our exhibition hall

Is all that glitters gold?

As the economic consequences of Covid-19 started to bite, with Q1 2020 quarterly performance the worst on record, there is a strong argument that, aligned with recent regulatory changes, pensions funds could ‘build back better' by further integrating ESG factors into all investment decisions. Gold as an investment asset has been largely overlooked by UK pension professionals and advisers. In this session we will look at how gold can be used as a diversifier and ‘market insurance' and its ESG credentials.

Terry Heymann, CFO, World Gold Council

Live Q&A 10:50 – 11:00

Back to the Future: Forward looking ESG for investing now

Are E, S and G risks material enough for you to do something about it?

Understanding the reason why you are investing in specific ESG funds can make implementation easier. We believe allocation through contributions can reduce cost and that ESG can pay for itself through performance, if investors are willing to consider the long-term.

In this session will we focus on the forward looking trends and importance of ESG risks, increased importance of ESG by both the government and plan members and why schemes should look to embed ESG considerations now for the long-term.

Sam Tripuraneni, Lead product strategist, BlackRock Sustainable Investing

Live Q&A 11:15 - 11:25

Translating climate change into investment action

The climate-change challenge is intensifying, with COVID-19 bolstering the resolve for industries to develop more environmentally friendly business models. Investors face pressure to adapt; they must get their arms around the complexities of climate science and translate that knowledge into analytical tools that drive better decisions.

AB’s collaboration with Columbia University’s Earth Institute, started in 2019, is designed to accelerate this process. Climate experts and investment experts are working side-by-side to bridge the latest climate-change research and scientific discovery with a deep, fundamental understanding of financial markets and investment analysis. This session will offer our perspectives on the risks and opportunities climate-change presents and share the latest insights from our collaboration with Columbia University’s climate experts.

Michelle Dunstan, Global Head—Responsible Investing; Portfolio Manager, AllianceBernstein

Live Q&A 11:40 – 11:50 

Closing remarks by Jonathan Stapleton


For programme queries contact:
Paige Reeves
Conference Manager
+44 (0)207 484 9810

For registration & media partnership queries:
Joshua Wrazen
Head of Events and Brand Marketing
+44 (0)20 7484 9995
For logistical queries:
Samantha Morris
Event Coordinator
+44 (0)20 7484 9878
For sponsorship queries contact:
Liam Barrett
Sales Director
+44 (0)207 484 9977