Day 1

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Welcome

Tom Ellis, Editor, Professional Adviser

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Key points advisers need to know about ESG

• ESG is being driven by UN and has global support - its not going away

• Don’t confuse ESG and ethical investing- they are very different

• The data issue is tough, but we are where we are

• We don’t want to discover our fund invested in Boohoo

• Regulation will be the biggest driver to making ESG normal practice


Clive Waller, Managing Director, CWC Research

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Keynote - Sustainable Investment: The Giant Awakes

COVID-19 has laid bare our vulnerability and fed the growing recognition that much of our accumulated wealth is fool’s gold. Waking from his slumber the investment giant has a decision to make: does he listen to the warnings and calls for help from corners of his fiefdom as far apart as the UN and schoolchildren, activists and business, regulators and public opinion? Or does he turn over and go back to sleep - safe in the knowledge that there is no such thing as fool’s gold?

Some had spent years trying to wake the giant, appealed for help. Others tried to stir him with stories of the limitless wealth the necessary changes will deliver. The giant is confused and smells both risk and opportunity but he is gradually finding his coming round...

This session will explore this landscape.

We will be looking at the role of the different key players, different retail fund strategies, and how - with what COVID is teaching us - we can pull together to build a brighter, safer future.

Julia Dreblow, Director, SRI Services and Founder of Fund EcoMarket



Learning outcomes:

- To recognise the important role investors play in addressing major threats such as climate change

- Learn to recognize different issues and approaches that can usefully be adopted by fund managers to meet the needs of clients who wish to consider environmental, social and ethical issues when investing

- Learn to recognise different client aims and match them to fund styles

- Recognise common SRI / ESG fund labels and terminology and their implications for investment strategies

- Understand what greenwash is and why it is a problem

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Coffee Break - grab yourself a coffee and head to the exhibition area to ask your questions!
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Performance that does not have to cost the planet

Every time you invest, you have an environmental impact. Make yours a positive one.

In less than 30 years’ time, the planet will be home to nine billion human beings. This is certain to put even more pressure on the environment, testing it to breaking point.

Environmental awareness is now widespread amongst consumers, governments and the private sector. Their converging interests, technological advances and increased health concerns, are underpinning a global drive to safeguard the world’s natural resources.

The Pictet-Global Environmental Opportunities fund is an unconstrained global equity fund which invests in firms that help solve environmental challenges. Companies tackling environmental problems are growing fast. We believe that this should lead to attractive capital gains while making a positive contribution towards a more sustainable world.

Dr Steve Freedman, Senior Product Specialist, Thematic Equities, Pictet Asset Management


Learning Outcomes:

- Understand the concept of environmental Planetary Boundaries and how they extend beyond climate change

- How identifying firms with both strong environmental footprints and that are tackling environmental challenges can be a driver for growth

- Be able to explain how companies tackling environmental challenges can come from a broad spread of sectors and industries from technology to water supply

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Investing Responsibly for Income

2020 has clarified the dangers of looking for income in the wrong places – and also the benefits of a responsible, long-term approach to income investing. As companies with unsustainable business models have been forced to slash dividends, many businesses with big growth opportunities, and the right long-term mindset, have offered much more resilient dividend streams. The Baillie Gifford Responsible Global Equity Income Fund, which focuses entirely on these growth businesses, was the first fund of its type in the Global Equity Income sector. The manager will explain how engaging hard with sustainability issues is vital to delivering the long-term outcomes that responsible income investors seek. 

Toby Ross, Co-Head of Global Income Growth, Baillie Gifford 

Learning outcomes:

- The importance for responsible strategies of integrating ESG into stock selection, exclusions and constructive engagement

- The characteristics of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ long-term income investments – and how focusing on the former is likely to deliver better long-term outcomes

- The benefits of global diversification for responsible income investors

- How long-term investors can help companies make better decisions during periods of stress

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Coffee Break - grab yourself a coffee and head to the exhibition area to ask your questions!
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The Future of (Responsible) Investing

Responsible investing and ESG have had quite a journey in a relatively short time – from niche to mainstream to mandatory. So where will it go from here and what will the future of investing look like?

In this session, we explore what’s driving the unstoppable rise of RI/ESG; looking at both regulatory change and client behaviour. We also question whether we have reached the tipping point for responsible investing. Of course, all this change impacts investment managers, so we will discuss the implications for stock selection. And with corporate behaviour, good business practices, company financials, strategy and growth all under intense scrutiny we ask; what does this means for the companies in which we choose to invest

Julie-Ann Ashcroft, Head of Investments, Aberdeen Standard Investments


Learning outcomes:

- Consumer preferences and evolving trends in their investment choices

- Translating interest in sustainability into demand for investment proposition

- ESG regulation - the impact on investment building blocks as well as defining and meeting client requirements

- The future landscape of responsible investment – our view

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Q&A with all four speakers

Hosted by Tom Ellis, Editor, Professional Adviser

Day 2

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Welcome

Tom Ellis, Editor, Professional Adviser

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Keynote: ESG under the spotlight

To what extent does investing responsibly contradict Milton Friedman’s assertion that companies should focus solely on maximising profits for shareholders to the exclusion of anything else.

Peter Toogood, Managing Director, The Adviser Centre & CIO, Embark Group

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Coffee Break - Head to the exhibition area to ask your questions!
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A practical guide to sustainable investing

Social and environmental change is happening faster than ever. Global warming, shifting demographics and the technology revolution are reshaping our planet. In this fast changing world, there are a growing number of investors who want to understand how social and environmental change is affecting their investments, and how the way they invest affects the environment and society. In her presentation, Claire will explain why investing sustainability has become so important, how sustainable investing affects you as a financial adviser and most importantly how you can help to encourage positive and sustainable financial behaviour from your clients.

Claire Herbert, Product Executive – Sustainability Investment team, Schroders 


Learning outcomes:

- Describe what sustainable investing is

- Identify why sustainable investing affects you as a financial adviser

- Understand how you can help your clients to make the right choices

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Covid shines a light on a wider set of sustainable solutions

The Covid crisis has caused an unprecedented shock to society and an abrupt change to our daily lives. We have all had to rapidly adapt to this new normal. Many of the companies that have been pivotal in helping us function during this crisis have often come from outside areas that we would naturally think of as sustainable solutions or indeed those generated by quantitative ESG screens and third-party rating agencies. The scope for a wider set of companies beyond just the conventional sustainable leaders to address many of today’s challenges, and the opportunities that this presents to capture ESG alpha, has become more apparent.

Malcolm McPartlin, Investment Manager, Aegon Asset Management

Learning Outcomes:

- Understand how sustainable investing fits in the context of the wider Responsible Investing space

- Understand some of the different approaches within sustainable investing

- Understand the limitations of relying solely on ESG ratings agencies and the alpha opportunities this presents

- Understand how Covid may have changed perceptions of what a sustainable investment is

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Coffee Break - Head to the exhibition area to ask your questions!
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What makes an ideal sustainable fund?

With a significant increase in the number and range of responsible investment offerings in recent times, we look to address key issues around the ideal responsible offering and some of the pitfalls to be aware of. This talk will address how responsible multi-asset solutions are constructed, the thought process behind it and the importance of transparency in terms of engagement, voting records and reporting.

Keith Balmer, Director, Product Specialist, Multi Asset Solutions, BMO Global Asset Management


Learning outcomes:

- Understand the limitations of certain approaches when constructing responsible investment solutions

- Be able to explain the voting and engagement process and why this is key both for returns but also to fulfill investors’ sustainability expectations

- Understand the information that investors will expect from responsible investments today and in the future

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Q&A with all four speakers
Hosted by Tom Ellis, Editor, Professional Adviser

Please note: programme is subject to change