Inflation is roaring back after a decade of hibernation, and central banks seem uncertain about its duration, while nations around the world struggle with
their economic recovery from the Covid pandemic. Pledges from COP26 must move from promises to reality, requiring trillions in investment from all types of asset owners. Here in the UK, pension investors are being asked to participate in a ‘big bang’ of investment, to fund the infrastructure needed for our green future, while complying with some of the world’s strictest climate investment regulation. At the same time, the nature of work is changing, with working from
home becoming a norm in many industries and a projected sea change in skill requirements just around the corner. In a broader development, workers everywhere are insisting on different behaviour from their employers, and a fresh look at the employer/employee relationship.
The UK’s pension investment sector, having coped admirably through the pandemic, must now contend with these shifts while continuing to provide for the later life livelihoods of some 30 million savers.
Owing to the complexity of the issues and their critical importance to pensions investors, for IV22: A new boost, the PLSA are assembling some of the best economic minds in the world to offer their individual perspectives on these concerns and provide guidance and support against the backdrop of rapid change.
The conference also features many concurrent sessions, roundtables and a new ‘fireside chat’ format of small group presentations, which will offer up practical solutions and ideas for pension investors – demonstrating how to put the conference’s overarching themes into practice.
Our keynote speakers include Dame DeAnne Julius, who was a founder member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and a former chair of Chatham House, who will give us an overview of the geopolitical and macroeconomic environments, and explain the connections we may draw from them.
Tim Harford, the Financial Times’ Undercover Economist, discusses the behavioural element of investment, how irrationality can shape markets and why our understanding of investor behaviour can help us communicate with our members, encouraging them to engage with their pensions and become active participants in the process.
Dame Kate Barker, chair of USS and the British Coal Superannuation Scheme, and an adviser to previous UK governments on social issues, joins our annual panel of economists – this year focusing on inflation, rates, monetary and fiscal policy and labour markets.
Although IV22 provides a deep dive into macroeconomic issues, we also bring a lens to the policy areas that have the most impact for investors, including the next phase of cost transparency, which looks at value for money in the investment industry. Sarah Pritchard, executive director of markets at the Financial Conduct Authority, will tell us, alongside The Pensions Regulator, how the regulators are looking at this, and how value for money will come centre stage in the coming months.
Integrated risk management, the regulations covered by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures for pensions, investing for decumulation are additional policy areas that will be thoroughly investigated at the conference.
And the best thing about IV22? It’s in person! In Edinburgh, back in its home at the EICC, with an exhibition hall, lots of networking events and that indescribable buzz that only face-to-face events bring.
The chief investment officers, investment committee chairs, trustees, scheme managers, consultants, asset managers and others who comprise our membership have let us know they are keen to attend so they can meet up, exchange ideas, share strategies and learn from one another. To (mis)quote Aaron Burr in the musical Hamilton, “you want to be in the room where it happens!”
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