Welcome and opening remarks

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief, Professional Pensions

Keynote: Post COP, can we say that the fossil fuel age is finally over?

How is the speed of the clean energy transition impacting markets and how should investors in the fossil fuel economy prepare?

Mark Campanale, Founder and Executive Chair, Carbon Tracker

Take Control of your sustainable investment agenda

The desire to better incorporate ESG into pension scheme management is high, but the pace of change is slow, and many do not know where to start. Through Mercer’s Responsible Investment Total Evaluation (RITE), we have now carried out detailed analysis of over 650 UK pension schemes. In this session, you’ll be among the first to see some of the findings from our analysis. You’ll find out where schemes are already getting it right, where work needs to be done and what actions are being taken to pick up the pace and take control of the sustainable agenda.

Brian Henderson, Partner and Director of Consulting, Mercer

TCFD and reporting

From October 2021 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) bought in new regulation around climate related disclosures. Occupational pension schemes with more than £5bn in assets and authorised master trusts will need to disclose how they assess and manage climate risks and opportunities. Trustees must publish a Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) report and include a link to the report in their annual report and accounts by the end of 2022.

Sam Tripuraneni, Lead Product Strategist, BlackRock

ESG: The impact on fixed income

ESG in fixed income is not just about companies: despite government bond and securitised sectors comprising more than two thirds of the global aggregate index and making up well over half of many flexible bond funds, ESG coverage for these sectors by third-party ESG providers has historically been low to non-existent. So how can fixed income managers assess E, S and G characteristics in these securities to identify either material risks for integration or to distinguish better securities for strategies that positively promote ESG factors? We will explain the unique challenges of these sectors relative to corporate bonds. We will also take a closer look at the rise in green, social and sustainable bond issuance and discuss some of the nuances and pitfalls to consider.

Liam Moore, Fixed Income Investment Specialist, JP Morgan Asset Management

Networking break
Towards resilient pensions – top tips for trustees

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and COP26 recently underlined, this decade of climate action is urgent and non-negotiable. IPCC’s latest report painted a catastrophic picture of what could happen if we fail to limit global average temperature increases to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, i.e. if we fail to halve global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, reach net zero by 2050 and be negative during the second half of the century. As guardians of over £2.5 trillion in UK pension assets, trustees are essential to financing the transition to a net zero economy, driving capital towards positive outcomes, adaptive infrastructures, and technologies to ensure climate resilience. Climate change also presents a significant financial risk factor to pension funds, threatening the scheme’s ability to provide long-term, risk-adjusted returns to its scheme members. This session will run through practical top tips that pension scheme trustees can take to set net zero targets, implement new zero strategies, and fund climate mitigation & adaption.

Emiko Caerlewy-Smith, Capital Markets Advisor, Accounting for Sustainability

A data driven approach to investment stewardship and wider ESG

Popping the cork on pension power! In this session, Veronica Humble will reveal how a data-driven approach to ESG and climate scoring is vital to both investment stewardship and environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis. She will also explore how new technologies are driving engagement by giving pension savers a voice on the ESG issues they care most about.

Veronica Humble, Head of DC Investment Strategy, LGIM

Sustainable transitions and the path to Net Zero

Many clients want their investments to make a difference to the world as well as deliver attractive financial returns. Climate stability is a critical component of a sustainable world, and a complex one from an investment perspective. in this session, James Clarke, Senior Fund Manager at RLAM, will detail why we should be willing to consider companies currently transitioning towards Net Zero - and how this can deliver attractive investment returns.

James Clarke, Senior Fund Manager, RLAM

Panel discussion: Thematic investing vs a generalised approach

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as deciding to switch to investing in sustainable funds. There are always more layers to these important decisions, such as raising the bar more generally by deciding to invest in ESG conscious businesses, or perhaps to take a more thematic approach, such as targeting a specific environmental or social issue to invest in solving. This panel will discuss the pros and cons associated with either approach.

Tegs Harding, Director, Independent Trustee Services
Andrew Warwick-Thompson, Professional Trustee, Capital Cranfield
Duncan Willsher, Trustee Director, 20-20 Trustees

Chair: Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief, Professional Pensions

Closing remarks

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief, Professional Pensions

Please note: programme is subject to change