Investment Conference 2019
Investment Conference 2019

Engage to change

Rethinking investing

Rosewood London, Holborn | 1st October 2019.

Our 2019 investment conference sought to provide perspectives on change and explain how our businesses need to evolve in order to thrive in the future.

Highlights included:

  • Embracing the challenge – our CEO Kristi Mitchem highlighted the impact of change in the investment industry and the need for a responsible mindset.
  • Big picture – Steven Bell – our Chief Economist – talked prospects for the world economy, Germany’s structural challenges and Brexit.
  • Panel debate – we heard fascinating insights from our panel of Rosey Hurst (Impactt), Giles Bolton (Tesco) and Laura Houët (CMS) as they explored how and why environmental, social and governance considerations should be embedded within our businesses.
  • Breakout sessions – we held a series of sessions with experts from across our investment capabilities. There’s more detail on each breakout and presentation downloads below.
  • Andrew Marr – provided timely insights into the corridors of power, giving his unique perspectives on the latest UK and global political developments.

Highlights video

AIC 2019 Conf Highlights


Andrew Marr

Reporter, journalist, presenter and interviewer
Andrew Marr is one of the most familiar reporters, journalists, presenters and interviewers on television. He is the host of weekly BBC ‘The Andrew Marr Show’, during which he conducts live interviews with a host of high-profile guests discussing topical issues. He also presents the Radio 4 programme, ‘Start the Week’, on a regular basis. Prior to this, Andrew spent five years as Political Editor at BBC News. Andrew has received many major awards for writing and broadcasting – including from BAFTA, the Royal Television Society and the Broadcasting Press Guild, which awarded two prizes for the Andrew Marr Show and Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain, including the award for the ‘Best Specialist Factual Programme’ at the 2008 ceremony. More recently in May 2017, Andrew won the RTS Scotland award for Current Affairs.

Kristi Mitchem

Chief Executive Officer, BMO Global Asset Management
Kristi Mitchem is chief executive officer and head of BMO Global Asset Management (BMO GAM), BMO’s asset management division, where she leads a team of investment professionals dedicated to delivering superior performance across a range of asset classes including multi-asset, alternative and more traditional exposure to listed fixed income and equities. BMO GAM has over $300 billion in AUM and is recognised as a world leader in ESG investing and corporate engagement. Prior to joining BMO in 2019, Ms. Mitchem served as the CEO of Wells Fargo Asset Management where she led 28 autonomous investment teams. She has more than 20 years of experience in roles related to asset management, defined contribution pension plans and equities markets at State Street Corporation, BlackRock, and Goldman Sachs. Ms. Mitchem is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion. At State Street she was a driving force in bringing to market a gender diversity index exchange-traded fund (ticker: SHE) designed to invest in U.S. companies committed to advancing the roles women play in their management and on their boards. Ms. Mitchem was named one of the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business by the San Francisco Business Times in 2018, as one of the Top Women in Asset Management by Money Management Executive in 2017, and as one of Treasury & Risk's Top 100 Influential People in 2008. She is also listed in several patent filings focused around guaranteed income requirements. Ms. Mitchem earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Davidson College, where she graduated summa cum laude and was awarded First Honors. She earned a master's degree in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was an Arjay Miller Scholar. She is also a Fulbright Scholar.

Steven Bell

Managing Director, Portfolio Manager & Chief Economist, Multi Asset Solutions
Steven Bell is a Managing Director, responsible for providing macro strategy input to a broader range of multi asset investment portfolios. He joined the company in July 2013 having run the GLC’s Global Macro programme for the previous seven years. Before that he was Global Chief Economist and Investment Head of the UK multi asset business at Deutsche Asset Management during his tenure 1984 – 2005. Steven began his career as an Economic Adviser at the UK Treasury and has degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and Stanford University, California.

Giles Bolton

Responsible Sourcing Director, Tesco
Giles is Responsible Sourcing Director at Tesco. He leads a team of 60 human rights, environment and packaging experts across 10 key sourcing countries, responsible for ensuring good working conditions and sustainable practices across Tesco’s supply chain.  Prior to Tesco, he had a 10-year career at the Dept for International Development, managing aid programmes in Kenya, Rwanda, Iraq and on trade. Giles is on the Boards of the Ethical Trading Initiative and the Marine Stewardship Council, co-chair of the Consumer Goods Forum working group on Forced Labour and Chair of the aid transparency NGO Publish What You Fund. He is also author of the activist book ‘Aid and Other Dirty Business’.

Laura Houët

Laura Houët is a partner in CMS’ Financial Services and Products team in London with over 10 years’ experience advising the asset management industry. Laura is a regulated funds specialist with particular expertise on the product side. She advises a broad range of large asset managers on all aspects of their regulated fund ranges, from structuring and authorisation to reorganisation and rationalisation. Laura also advises her clients on governance issues, including the appointment of non-executive directors. Laura has significant experience leading large scale reorganisations and business critical projects and has particular expertise in responsible investment issues. Laura has been closely involved in all major UK authorised fund developments over the last decade from UCITS III, IV and V to AIFMD and MiFID II.

Rosey Hurst

Rosey Hurst is the founder and Director of Impactt, an ethical corporate consultancy company. She has over 22 years’ experience in the field of ethical trade and labour standards. Impactt works with organisations to improve working conditions in their supply chains in a way that brings clear business benefits to both ends of the chain. Impactt’s approach is change-focused, innovative and practical. Impactt bridges two different worlds - that of the boardroom and corporate strategy, and the world of workers and production sites.

Vicki Bakhshi

Director, Analyst, Responsible Investment Team
Vicki Bakhshi is a Director in the Responsible Investment team. She joined the firm in November 2006, prior to which she spent five years in the UK government, including as the Prime Minister’s policy adviser on climate change, and as a senior member of the team responsible for the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. She also spent three years as a leader writer at the Financial Times, and two years as an economist at the Bank of England. Vicki chairs the UKSIF Leadership Committee, has served on the Board of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, and was also named by Financial News in 2013 as one of the top 100 influential women in finance in Europe. Vicki holds an MSc in Economics from Warwick University and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University.

Breakout Presentations

View summaries of each breakout session and download the presentations.

  • A look at the latest tools and techniques for ensuring cost effective and efficient trade execution for LDI portfolios.
  • Exploring the benefits of combining ‘human and machine’ across industries – and the application of this approach for investment.
  • Integrating human and machine within research, stock selection and risk management.
  • Integrating ESG – the role of data and human interaction.
  • Why integrating ESG within credit strategies at every stage of the process matters.
  • Exploring how ESG can have an impact on performance and the options available to investors.
  • Explaining fiduciary management and the increasing role ESG considerations play. 
  • Integrating and implementing ESG-related strategies, including robust company engagement, with case studies.
  • Considering the risks and opportunities of emerging market investing and exploring secular growth drivers like population growth and technology adoption.
  • Explaining our approach to investment with an emphasis on sustainability and engagement.
  • Our team define the concept of sustainability and explain how it links with a robust stock-picking approach, emphasising high quality and attractively valued businesses.
  • Using stock examples, the team illustrate opportunities created by challenges such as resource scarcity, and explain why active dialogue with investee companies matters.
  • We retain our modestly positive stance – property offers an attractive income, while opportunities can still be found in the severely challenged retail sector. 
  • A focus on responsible investing, with a case study on Royal Standard Place in Nottingham.
  • Looking ahead: what are the prospects for property from here?
  • In this session we explored Responsible Investment’s transition to the mainstream, examining key drivers and themes within a fast-evolving marketplace.
  • Our approach is a holistic one and we focus on key elements including active ownership, as we seek to push for improvement through engagement.
  • Highlighting the importance of moats and durable competitive advantage.
  • Focusing on the increasing pace of disruption and exploring how sustainability-related challenges provide impetus and investment opportunity.
  • We explain how robust company assessment can help counter the threat of greenwashing.
  • How to source returns in the current financial environment: asset allocation, stock selection and risk management.
  • An exploration of suitability and client alignment.
  • Considering cost pressures – how to achieve active management at passive prices, focusing on the MAP fund range.

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