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Finance & Investment Virtual Conference 2021

About this event

Welcome to the programme for our 2nd Finance & Investment Virtual Conference. This year's Finance and Investment Virtual Conference sessions have been recorded and are available to purchase and re-watch in the IFoA's Finance and Investment Learning Resource Area.

This year’s theme was ‘resilience’, something we have all learnt a lot more about in the last year! Our diverse range of talks explored the theme of resilience in a variety of ways including in building robust investment portfolios, in the incorporation of ESG factors, in government policy and in our own methods of working. 

Plenary session Mon, 10/05/2021 - 10:00 - 11:00 Developing and executing a climate risk strategy

This webinar offers a snapshot of an example climate risk strategy setting out key work streams and activity steps for successful execution.  It will also provide an overview of a climate risk strategy execution timeline – turning planning and theory into practical reality, and review the core components of a climate risk strategy such as how does net-zero, the Paris Agreement and “supporting the transition” all fit together?  What does the future hold? The road to COP26 and steps for success.


Ryan Allison, Ernst & Young

Ryan Allison is EY’s UK Sustainable Finance Actuarial Lead and is a member of the IFoA Biodiversity and Natural Capital Working Party. Ryan has supported a number of UK insurers with their climate risk strategy, wider ESG programme implementation, and stewardship reporting


Sandy Trust, Ernst & Young

Sandy Trust is a Sustainability Actuary, he is Sustainable Finance consulting lead at EY and Chair Elect of the IFOA Sustainability Board.


Chaired by Louise Pryor, President-elect

Plenary session Mon, 10/05/2021 - 13:30 - 14:30 Fixed income in the Anthropocene

The session provides a practical approach to looking at climate change exposures in fixed income portfolios, from the inclusion of green bonds to the avoidance downside risks from stranded assets and fossil entities. It describes how the fixed income markets are central to the climate transition, and how investors are only in the starting blocks of a secular change to decarbonize portfolios.


Dr Ulf Erlandsson, Executive Chair, Anthropocene Fixed Income Institute

Dr Ulf Erlandsson is the CEO of Anthropocene Fixed Income Institute, research and activist institute taking a markets approach to fixed income and the climate transition. Prior to founding AFII, he headed the global credit and SSA portfolios of AP4, including green bonds and total return mandates. He started his career as a quant strategist at Barclays Capital. Erlandsson earned his Ph.D. in econometrics from Lund University, and it the author of several books on credit trading as well as seminal papers on climate focused credit.

Chaired by Theresa Ruhayel

Plenary session Mon, 10/05/2021 - 16:00 - 17:00 Risk, the state's balance sheet, government as CRO, and me

Government is both CEO and Chief Risk Officer (CRO). In the light of COVID, climate change, Grenfell Tower, Carillion and the GFC, how well does government carry out that role? How are the fiscal risks to the state’s balance sheet managed by government? In this webinar, we look at HM Treasury’s Balance Sheet Review and aim to answer the question; How are the state’s risks shared between public and private sector?


Mike Clark, Ario Advisory

Mike founded a responsible investment advisory firm in 2016. A lot of the work deals with the financial risks of climate change, looking across policymakers, regulators, asset owners, investment managers and consultants. Mike represents the profession on the Oxford Smith School’s global Advisory Council, and authored the IFoA’s curated climate reading list, published at the end of last year.

Chaired by Colin Wilson, Government Actuary’s Department 

Plenary session Tue, 11/05/2021 - 10:00 - 11:00 Incorporating climate change in a diversified global equity portfolio

This session will look at how to incorporate climate change into a diversified global equity portfolio. The talk will cover three broad areas:

  • climate alignment in finance
  • the investment opportunity for investors and
  • how to construct a climate-aligned diversified global equity portfolio.


Chris Gower, Fulcrum

Chris Gower, FIA, leads Fulcrum Asset Management’s institutional client team which involves working in close partnership with a wide range of Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Pension Schemes and Charities.

Chris qualified in 2003 after working at Aon as an Actuarial Benefits Pensions Consultant and as an Investment Consultant with Lane Clark & Peacock. Having finished the actuarial exams Chris took a (deserved) 18 month break where he travelled the world. On returning to London in 2005 he moved into a client-facing asset management. Over the last 16 years he has worked with a broad range of institutional asset owners and their investment consultants with the ultimate objective of helping them to meet their investment objectives.

Chris has always held the view that investing sustainably and generating returns are not mutually exclusive and he considers himself fortunate enough to have worked with a number of inspirational and market-leading investment experts over the course of his investment career.

Rahil Ram, Fulcrum

Rahil Ram, FIA, is a Director at Fulcrum Asset Management and is involved in portfolio implementation, portfolio strategy, research and idea generation for the discretionary macro and thematic strategies.

Prior to joining Fulcrum, Rahil was part of the Asset Allocation team at Legal & General Investment Management for five years, during which time he completed his Masters’ in Actuarial Management from Cass Business School and qualified as an Actuary in 2017. He also graduated with the highest degree average in his undergraduate Actuarial Sciences class.

Rahil believes in driving capital allocation towards opportunities that have a positive social, financial and economic impact for the world.

Plenary session Tue, 11/05/2021 - 13:30 - 14:30 Economic Scenario Generators and Public Policy

Economic Scenario Generators are now widely used to inform public policy in areas ranging from collective DC pensions and lump sum personal injury awards to rates of return for policy illustrations. The underlying models are complex and disclosures sometimes poor. It may be difficult to judge the extent to which hidden model features affect recommendations. This report from the IFoA’s Extreme Events Working Party proposes disclosure standards to permit fair model comparisons. The results are illustrated with reference to several published models.

Speaker: Andrew Smith, Extreme Events working party and Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at University College Dublin.

Andrew is an internationally renowned actuary who specialises in the application of advanced mathematical and statistical methods to solve problems in the financial services industry.



Chaired by Kedi Huang

Plenary session Tue, 11/05/2021 - 17:00 - 18:00 How we say it changes if they’ll read it!

How we say it changes if they’ll read it!  Today, more than ever, we as actuaries need to hone our communication skills.  This session will focus on how we can make investment related content more engaging to our readers, everyone from clients through to colleagues.  We think this is really important and closely aligned with IFoA strategy and the tone set by Tan Suee Chieh who is quoted as saying: “We want to enable our members and the profession to thrive in the digital age, and in a future filled with both uncertainty and opportunity. We also want to ensure that the generations who come after us have the right range of skills and the growth mindset to succeed as the industrial landscapes we work in are re-drawn. The goal is to be recognised as actuaries and analytical problem solvers, not only in our core fields but across a wide range of domains, wherever our unique attributes can add value." This session will include presentations by two leading communications experts with a focus on investment content. Both of the experts bring a combination of a rigorous analytical approach to what makes for engaging writing, combining empirical evidence with compelling storytelling.


David Butcher, Communications and Content

David is the founder of Communications and Content, a business which helps investment and financial brands communicate with more imagination, energy and purpose. David founded the business in September 2017, because he wanted to distil his long experience and understanding of investment and financial communications into a format that any client could use. Back in the late 1990s, David was working in media relations with clients such as and – and rapidly came to realise that the key to effective financial communications is compelling story telling, supported by good quality empirical evidence. Over a long career, in consultancy and in-house roles, David has evolved this approach across corporate positioning, thought leadership, corporate communications, product communications, content and client communications, including request for proposals.

Vered Zimmerman, FinText

Vered is the founder of FinText, a financial services text analytics business which combines human analysis with automated language processing. FinText was founded in 2019 and includes investment writers, financial professionals, and specialist software developers. Vered is an experienced financial writer who spent her early career in machine learning. Vered writes for leading asset managers and pensions funds. She’s previously worked as a management consultant, advising on power asset transactions. Prior to that, Vered worked for Euromoney-Institutional Investor, covering investments in renewable energy and climate change finance. Vered holds an MSc. in Mathematics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a BSc. in Computer Science from the Technion – The Israeli Institute of Technology. Vered also holds an MBA from Cass Business School.

Chaired by Brandon Horwitz, NomBom Consulting

Plenary session Wed, 12/05/2021 - 10:00 - 11:00 The practitioner's guide to Climate Transition B&M Credit

Buy & Maintain Credit covers challenges with and solutions for sustainability and climate data, resilient portfolio construction, and portfolio management. 

  • Data – the challenges in the usage of a variety of sustainability and climate data sources and metrics. For example, how to combine internal and external data, exclusion versus engagement, what metrics to focus on for E, S or G, and in relation to climate; carbon intensity versus alignment and scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions
  • Resilient portfolio construction – how to use quantitative techniques of solving multi-objective problems, with traditional investment as well as sustainability related measures versus insurance and pension cash flow objectives
  • Portfolio management – the importance of qualitative expert input for portfolio management and cost effective buy and maintain implementation.

The session will cover the practical application of climate change challenges into buy and maintain credit portfolios that aim to generate cash flow for investors such as pension funds and insurance companies and facilitating the funding of a more sustainable future. The speakers, both practitioners working in asset management, will use practical examples to bring the topic to life.


Martijn de Vree, Wells Fargo Asset Management

Martijn de Vree is head of International Solutions with the Multi-Asset Solutions team at Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM). In this capacity, he delivers solutions to meet the financial, sustainability and climate objectives of global institutional investors. He has extensive experience designing customized solutions for institutional investors, including pension and insurance. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Wells Fargo (Lux) Worldwide Fund and WFAM Luxembourg, S.A. He is also part of the WFAM Climate Change Working Group, which provides a research engine to drive engagement on climate issues.

Prior to joining WFAM, Martijn served as senior solutions specialist at Insight Investment, Bank of New York Mellon, where he designed and delivered bespoke liability driven investing (LDI) and risk management solutions for institutional investors. Martijn began his investment industry career in 2006 as an investment consultant at Watson Wyatt.

Martijn serves as volunteer on the Board of Examiners and as Chief Examiner Subject SP6 – Financial Derivatives supporting the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the U.K. He also has a voluntary position as Treasurer for “De Nederlandse Regenboog School” in London, U.K., a school run as a charity promoting Dutch language and Dutch and Flemish culture in the London region.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business and economics (BSc) and a Latin Legum Magister (LLM) in financial law, both from the Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and a master’s degree in economics (MSc) from the National University of Singapore where he graduated top of his class. Martijn is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (FIA) in the U.K. He has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation. He is also member of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP).

Henrietta Pacquement, CFA

Henrietta Pacquement is head of Investment Grade with the Credit Europe team at Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM) and a senior portfolio manager. Henrietta joined the firm in 2006 as a quantitative analyst before becoming portfolio manager, then head of the European Investment Grade business for Credit Europe in London. Henrietta has over fifteen years of buy-side experience in portfolio and risk management. She is also part of the WFAM Climate Change Working Group, which provides a research engine to drive engagement on climate issues.

Prior to joining the firm, Henrietta was a quantitative analyst at Barclays Global Investors, where she specialized in investment solution design for institutional clients and multi-asset class portfolio risk/return calibration. Prior to this, Henrietta spent four years in Paris working for AXA Investment Management in a similar role. She began her investment career in 2001. Henrietta earned a master’s degree in astrophysics from Cambridge University and has earned the right to use the CFA designation

Chaired by Theresa Ruhayel

Plenary session Wed, 12/05/2021 - 13:30 - 15:15 MASTERCLASS: Connecting Through the Lens – Communicating in a Virtual World (Interactive Session)

This interactive masterclass will show you how to bring tools and techniques from the world of theatre, film and voice work, to the world of business. You can step away from the demands of your working life, to troubleshoot the challenges of communicating critical messages under pressure.  You will leave the masterclass having observed common mistakes and how to troubleshoot them, as well as having had the opportunity to see how simple adjustments can transform your presence and the impact you have on your audience. This session will help to inspire and equip you with the tools to continue developing your communication skills long after it is over.