Public Funds Summit East 2018

Newport Marriott, Newport, RI
July 16, 2018 - July 18, 2018

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Opal Financial Group’s annual public funds conference addresses issues that are critical to the investment success of senior public pension fund officers and trustees in the new millennium. Concerns of funding liabilities for beneficiaries in a world of declining returns yet maintaining a balance between the risk/ reward paradigms is center in the mind of many trustees and representatives of pension plans around the country. The exchange of ideas both in and out of the session halls are key in educating and identifying viable alternatives that will address these concerns. We will discuss how surplus returns should affect employee benefit plans; closely examine the processes for selection and evaluation of investment managers. Beyond the investment sphere we also address legal issues facing pension plans, ethic regulations and the importance of on-going education for plan sponsors and their fiduciaries. Although attendance is not limited to those in the public sector, the conference takes aim at topics that are of particular relevance to public pension funds. By focusing on an atmosphere of education rather than sales or marketing, the Public Funds Summit provides a unique environment in which members of the public sector can exchange ideas and learn from other delegates, money managers and consultants. Opal will kick off the event with its Annual Regatta Cup, in which attendees will have the opportunity to work with a professional sailing charter crew while competing against industry peers.

CONFERENCE FORMAT
This conference will exclusively feature dialogue driven panel discussions led by consultants and family offices. Power Point presentations are prohibited during the sessions but may be made available on our mobile app. Please send in PDF or PowerPoint format if you would like to have presentation included on App. *Only Standalone Speakers will be allowed to use PowerPoints, but cannot pitch products or advertise anything with their firms.*

Current as of July 12, 2018

7:30AM

America’s Regatta Cup Networking Event (Shuttle Service Begins at 7:15 AM)

 

7:15 am – 8:30 – Shuttle Service begins
8:00 am – Breakfast & Registration
8:30 am – Departures for 12 Meter Racing Boats
8:45 am – Departures for Viewing Boat
11:00 am – Boats Return & Return Shuttle Service

Boat Sponsors include: TerraCap Management, LLC

 

Limited space available. Advanced registration required.

9:00AM

Exhibitor Setup

9:00AM

Conference Registration Desk Opens

11:00AM

Closed Door Pre-Conference Workshop and Luncheon (Investors ONLY)

 

Part 1: Private Markets – A Case for the Lower-Middle Market

Presented by:
Howard Searing, III, CFA, Director, Portfolio Manager, Private Markets, DuPont Capital Management 

 

 

Part 2: What Factors are Driving Factors

Presented by:
Robert Pari, Portfolio Manager, Structured Equities, DuPont Capital Management 
Andrew Smith, Associate Portfolio Manager and Senior Equity Analyst, DuPont Capital Management 

1:00PM

Welcoming Remarks

Russ Kamp, Managing Partner, Kamp Consulting Solutions, LLC

1:15PM

State of the US Retirement System: What are the challenges pensions are facing and what does the future look like?

  • DB plans need to be protected. What can we do differently to insure that they will be available to the next generation of workers?
  • Unfunded liabilities have grown despite strong markets for bonds and equities. Why?
  • Do you know what your promise (liabilities) looks like?
  • Should the ROA or a plan’s liabilities drive asset allocation?
  • Should plans with stronger funded ratios get more or less aggressive?
Moderator

Russ Kamp, Managing Partner, Kamp Consulting Solutions, LLC

Panelists

Leonard Gilroy, Senior Managing Director, Pension Integrity Project, Reason Foundation

Panelists

James Maloney, Board of Directors, Illinois Public Pension Fund Association (IPPFA)

Panelists

Steve Nelsen, Executive Director, Washington State Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' (LEOFF)

2:15PM

Unique and Attractive China A-Shares Market for the Global Investors

Vivian Lin Thurston, Partner, Global Research Analyst, William Blair & Company, LLC

2:45PM

Gold as a strategic tool to address the challenges pension funds face

  •  Key challenges pension funds face and common strategies to solve them
  • Gold’s investment attributes and how these can help pension plans achieve their objectives
  • Common issues pension funds face when using gold as a strategic asset
Presenters

Matthew Mark, Director, Asset Owners, World Gold Council

Presenters

Juan Carlos Artigas, Director, Investment Research, World Gold Council

3:15PM

Refreshment Break


Sponsored by:

William Blair & Company, LLC

3:45PM

Equity Investing Strategies and Their Role in Today’s Pension Portfolio

  • Does it make sense to invest by geographies or globally?
  • Equity markets continuously move through cycles, such as growth/value, large /small, etc. What style(s) do you see leading the way forward?
  • Factors (smart beta) used to be sources of alpha and now they are betas, do they have a role in a diversified equity portfolio, and if so, who should be responsible for their implementation?
  • Are there opportunities to use ETFs within a diversified institutional portfolio?
  • Active versus Passive
  • If plan sponsors are skittish about using active managers because of recent underperformance, why not use performance-based fees instead of paying a manager full freight w/o a promise of delivery?
Moderator

Kevin Nichols, Senior Investment Management Consultant, The Forma Group – Morgan Stanley Consulting Group & Institutional Services

Panelists

Richard Bernstein, CEO, Richard Bernstein Advisors

Panelists

Pete Lelek, Director, Allianz Global Investors

Panelists

Nadine Pfeifer, Consultant, Chartwell Consulting

Panelists

Andrew Smith, Associate Portfolio Manager and Senior Equity Analyst, DuPont Capital Management

Panelists

Ryan Myers, Portfolio Strategist, Causeway Capital Management LLC

5:00PM

Investment Officers’ Roundtable: A Conversation with Pension CEOs, CIOs and Executive Directors

This panel will consist of investment officers and executive directors from highly respected institutions. The panelists will discuss the investment strategies and industry sectors that they expect will drive their investments in the years to come, as well as a series of key issues facing plan sponsors in the current investment environment.

  • Are you considering changes to your plan’s asset allocation?
  • If yes, what is driving that decision?
  • Highlight your most successful and least successful investment decision.
  • Do you use your plan’s funded status to make asset allocation changes?
  • At what percent of payroll does this plan become unsustainable?
Moderator

Eileen Neill, CFA, Managing Director, Senior Consultant, Verus

Panelists

Derek Dobson, CEO and Plan Manager, CAAT Pension Plan (Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Pension Plan)

Panelists

Gary Draghi, Chief Investment Officer, Hartford Municipal Employees' Retirement System

Panelists

Gerry Fleury, Executive Director, Manchester Employees' Contributory Retirement System

Panelists

Daniel Miller, MPA, Deputy Executive Director, Board of Education Retirement System of the City of New York

Panelists

Alec Stais, Chief Investment Officer, Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island

6:15PM

Cocktail Reception


Sponsored by:

DuPont Capital Management

7:45AM

Breakfast in Exhibit Hall

8:20AM

Welcoming Remarks

8:30AM

Opportunities in the Fixed Income Marketplace for Pension Investments

  • What is the role of traditional fixed income in a DB plan?
  • Where are the opportunities in the next 24 months?
  • Will we potentially face a liquidity crunch from markets such as HY, Preferreds, Converts,
    bank loans, CDOs, etc.
  • Will interest rates rise in the US and abroad? If yes, how dramatically?
  • Will investing in TIPS finally make sense?

 

Moderator

Mark Meyers, Trustee, Dearborn Heights Police & Fire Retirement System

Panelists

Michael Salice, Director of Research, SKY Harbor Capital Management, LLC

Panelists

Troy Dixon,Managing Partner, Chief Investment Officer, Hollis Park Partners LP

Panelists

Anthony Lombardi, Associate Partner, Vision Emerging Manager Platform, Aon Hewitt

Panelists

Sam Dunlap, Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager, Angel Oak Capital

9:30AM

Real Estate Markets and your Pension System: What should you be looking for?

  • Where are we in the Real Estate Cycle
  • Where can upside potential be found
  • What are the biggest risks
  • U.S. versus non-U.S.
  • Technology and the commercial real estate landscape
  • New administration effect on commercial real estate
Moderator

Robert Grden, Executive Director, Wayne County Employees Retirement System

Panelists

Michael Acton, Managing Director, AEW Capital Management, L.P.

Panelists

Steve Hagenbuckle, Founder and Managing Partner, TerraCap Management, LLC

Panelists

Jeff Mayer, Managing Director, Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

10:15AM

Refreshment Break


Sponsored by:

Backstop Solutions Group, LLC

10:30AM

Investing in Private Debt and Direct Lending (or Opportunities in Credit Investing)

  •  Investment opportunities across the credit spectrum – BDCs, CLOs, Private Credit Funds, Mezz Funds, Broader Strategies
  • Trends in the credit market
    o Regulated Banks, Non-Regulated Arrangers, Direct Lenders
    o Credit quality – structures, covenants, “Adjusted” EBITDA
    o Supply and Demand
  •  Risk Adjusted Returns for Credit vs PE, Mezz, Public Markets
  •  Macro Outlook
    o The broader economy – Impact on credit
    o The Credit Cycle – Where are we now?
    o Expected impact from Tax Reform & Interest Deductibility
    o Fat-tailed world – What are the current worries?
Moderator

Ziv Ehrenfeld, Managing Director, Private Debt, PSP Investments USA

Panelists

Timothy J. Conway, Head of Private Credit, NewStar Financial, The Alternative Credit Group of First Eagle

Panelists

Walter Jackson, Portfolio Manager, ONEX CREDIT

Panelists

Brian G Reynolds, Managing Partner, Chatham Capital

John Liguori, Co-Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Direct Lending, Jefferies Finance

11:30AM

Today’s Digital CIO is Using Technology to Break Down Silos

John Pettit, CTO, Backstop Solutions Group, LLC

12:00PM

Pension Fund Asset Allocation

Valerie Sill, CFA, CAIA, President and CEO, DuPont Capital Management

12:30PM

Networking Luncheon

1:45PM

Opportunities, Strategies, Risks & Rewards Investing in Real Assets

  • Assets: How do real assets fit into a pension fund’s portfolio?
  • Risks involved
  • Infrastructure
  • Oil and Gas investing
  • Direct vs. indirect investments
  • Impact of oil prices and outlook for the year to come
Moderator

Don Ruiter, Trustee, Daytona Beach Police and Fire Pension Fund

Panelists

Ted Brooks, Portfolio Manager, CenterSquare Investment Management

Panelists

Mark Foley, Managing Director, CIO, Domain Timber Advisors

Panelists

Larry Pokora, Director, Institutional Sales and Consultant Relations, Tortoise

Panelists

Nancy Davis, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Quadratic Capital Management LLC

2:45PM

Private Equity and Venture Capital: How to Extract New Alpha

  • There seems to be a lot of money chasing opportunities within private equity, how does this impact returns for these vintage years?
  • Is bigger better or can you make money with smaller firms/asset bases?
  • Do you need a robust IPO market to capture private equity returns?
  • Are there opportunities in sectors outside of technology? If so, provide examples?
  • Do fund of funds make sense anymore?
Moderator

Will Buividas, Trustee, City of Phoenix Police and Pension Board

Panelists

Marty Dirks, Trustee, Federated Retirement System for the City of San José

Panelists

Maria del Carmen López, CTP, Executive Director, University of Puerto Rico Retirement System

Panelists

Managing Director, VCFA Group

3:30PM

Investing in Niche Strategies and Emerging Managers

  • Defining today’s niche strategies and how niche can become mainstream
  • Investing early to build relationships for successor funds
  • Finding scalable niche and emerging opportunities
  • Seed and acceleration economics
  • Underwriting newer firms, additional diligence steps: terms, team, track record, infrastructure
Moderator

Doug Watler, Board Member & Trustee, Deerfield Beach Fire Pension

Panelists

C. Laroy Brantley, Principal, Meketa Investment Group

Panelists

George M. Douglas, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, SSI Investment Management

Panelists

Sheryl Mejia, Director of Emerging Managers, New York State Common Retirement Fund

Panelist

Daniel Johnson, Director of Consulting/Senior Consultant, AndCo Consulting

4:30PM

Portfolio Harmony: Balancing Your Asset Allocation and Portfolio Construction While Managing Risk to Maximize Investment Returns

  • Risk? What Risk? Risk is more than volatility
  • Net under the High Wire? Protecting portfolios against volatility
  • No, Wait, I Can MAKE Trading? Investing in volatility
  • Prognosis for markets, near and longer-term
  • Targeted asset allocation strategies moving forward for pension plans
  • Using technology to monitor your portfolio and manage risk
  • What is the greatest risk for a DB pension plan?
  • US equity and bond markets have enjoyed lengthy bull markets, are we at risk of these markets going against us?
Moderator

Matthew Lay, Trustee, Oklahoma Firefighters Pension & Retirement System

Panelists

Robert Appling, Managing Director, Wilshire Consulting

Panelists

Max Giolitti, Chief Risk Officer, Verus

Panelists

James Perry, Head of Institutional Investor Solutions, Maples Fund Services

Panelists

Matt Moran, Head of Global Benchmark Indexes Advancement, Cboe Global Markets

5:30PM

Role of Treasurers in Pensions

Moderator

Lily Cavanagh, Treasurer, Redford Township Police & Firemens Retirement System

Panelists

Michael Fitzgerald, State Treasurer, State of Iowa

Panelists

Curtis Loftis, Jr., State Treasurer, State of South Carolina

Panelists

Seth Magaziner, State Treasurer, State of Rhode Island Treasurer's Office

6:15PM

Summer Social Networking Bash

Join us and unwind with fellow industry professionals for Live Music, Great Food, & Refreshments during our Networking Party
(Registered guests only)
(Shuttle Service begins at 6:00PM to Goat Island)

Featuring Live Music
Global Impact Award Presentation


Thank you to our Sponsors!


AEW Capital Management, L.P.

TerraCap Management, LLC

8:00AM

Breakfast in Exhibit Hall

8:20AM

Welcoming Remarks

8:30AM

Best Strategies for Proper Manager Selection

  •  The importance of manager selection
  •  Do you use the same approach for every asset class?
  •  Due diligence and attribution
  •  Risk – do you adjust depending on how well funded the plan?
  •  Guaranteed strategy to winning Fantasy Football
  •  Consideration of fees
Moderator

Jack Frost, Trustee, West Palm Beach (FL) Police Pension Fund

Panelists

Ed Burton, Trustee, Virginia Pension Reform Commission Scott Schaefer, Senior Investment

Panelists

Scott Schaefer, Senior Investment Officer, Office of Investment and Innovation | SBA

Panelists

Darryl Walker, Board Trustee, Alameda County Employees Retirement Association

9:15AM

Learning from Actuaries: Actuarial Science and your Pension Plan

  • How do actuaries decide on whether return and inflation assumptions are reasonable?
  • What horizon should be used for investment return forecasts when setting the return
    assumption? Short-term (0-5 yrs), mid-term (10-20 yrs) or long-term (30+ yrs)
  • What is the difference between the geometric expected mean and the arithmetic
    expected mean? Which is more appropriate for annual actuarial valuations?
  • Which comes first: Return assumption or asset allocation?
  • What can actuaries bring to the table on enterprise risk management?
  •  How will the new Actuarial Standard of Practice (No. 51) regarding risk disclosure affect
    public plan actuarial valuations?
  •  How does the current low inflation forecasts affect our expected return and salary
    increase assumptions?
  • Generational mortality vs. static mortality tables
  • Withdrawal liability
  • Entry Age Normal – As a funding method
  • What is the Pension Objective?
  • Is the ROA a calculated number based on the funded status?
  • If the plan earns the ROA, will it be fully funded?
  • Since Assets and liabilities both use the ROA as the projected growth rate wouldn’t
    projected contributions grow at the
  •  ROA rate too?
  •  Should projected benefits be reduced by contributions in calculating the Funded Ratio?
  • If interest rates go UP as a trend… would that enhance the Funded Ratio?
Moderator

John Girard, Trustee, Boca Raton Police and Firefighters’ Retirement System

Panelist

Brad Heinrichs, President/CEO, Foster & Foster, Inc.

Panelists

Ronald Ryan, CEO, Founder, Ryan ALM, Inc.

Panelists

Greg Knoll, Executive Director, Illinois Professional Firefighters Association

Panelist

Tayt Odom, Chief Operating Officer, Actuary and Principal, Nyhart Company, Inc.

10:15AM

The Role Consultants Play with Pension Funds and How They Make Decisions

 

  • What level of involvement does your consultant have in shaping your investment program?
  • Choosing the right consultant for your plan
  • Consultant obligations during manager selection and what characteristics do consultants focus on?
  • How can managers get to a consultant?
  • Can trustees help get managers on the radar?
  • How do they make decisions on new managers?
  • What are the primary functions of the asset consultant?
  • Should asset consultants focus on the liabilities to a greater extent?
  • What metrics do you use to evaluate your consultant?
  • Do you engage in a generalist/specialist model?
  • Are all the specialists on the asset side of the equation?
  • Have you ever thought to hire a liability-aware consultant to help drive investment structure and asset allocation decisions?
  • How proactive is your consultant with regard to identifying new opportunities?
Moderator

John Agenbroad, Chairman, Inter-Local Pension Fund

Panelists

Thomas Forma, Senior Vice President - Senior Institutional Consultant, The Forma Group - Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Panelists

Russ Kamp, Managing Partner, Kamp Consulting Solutions, LLC

Panelists

Julian M. Regan, Senior Vice President, Segal Marco Advisors

11:00AM

Practical Tools to Improve Governance, Fiduciary Responsibility & Avoid Conflicts

  • Restrictions on food & drink and disclosure requirements
  • Importance of process as a fiduciary
  • Fundamental expectations for board meetings
  • Importance of investment beliefs; facilitating board members to a shared set of beliefs
  • Governance & Decision making “dashboards”: focus board on highest order tasks and decisions
  • Risk Management approaches & frameworks
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest (real & perceived): approaches?
  • Board composition: “portfolio of viewpoints”, continuity vs. new perspectives
  • Governance scorecards/benchmarking
  • Freedom of Information
  • Open Meetings statutes
  • What is a Fiduciary and how do you monitor your board/committee?
  • How often do you review the investment policy statement (IPS)?
  • Do you regularly review your assets versus the plan’s liabilities (the promise)?
  • Do you have a de-risking strategy in place?
  • How do you monitor potential conflicts of interest?
  • Education is paramount. How often do you provide educational opportunities for your board?
Moderator

Art Alfaro, Former City Treasurer, Austin Firefighters' Retirement & Relief Fund

Panelists

Mark Eisner, Chairman, Daytona Beach Police and Fire Pension Fund

Panelists

David McConico, Chairman, City of Aurora (CO) General Employees' Retirement Board

Panelists

Jim Strouse, Chairman, Burlington (VT) Employees' Retirement System

Panelists

Dana Blydenburgh, Director, City of Lakeland Retirement System

12:00PM

Conference Concludes

1star
Newport Marriott, America's Cup Avenue, Newport, RI, United States


Room Rate $349
*Prices exclusive of 13% tax & $1.00 Newport Tourism Assessment per night
  • Rooms are available only to those participants who are registered conference attendees.
  • The name on the form will be the name of the guest room.
  • Rooms are allocated on a first come first serve basis. Room types/rates are subject to availability.
  • Rooms will not be guaranteed without a credit card.

Registration Pricing

Earlybird Rate III (exp 5/31/18) Standard Rate
Managers/Service Providers $2,695 $2,895
Investors: Plan Sponsors, Pension Trustee & Staff, Non-Discretionary Consultants, True End Only Family Offices, Endowments and Foundations* ---- Complimentary*

*Subject to Opal Group’s verification and approval. Only individuals who are solely investing on their own behalf can be verified for a complimentary pass. Solution Providers or Fund Providers to 3rd parties will not be able to receive complimentary access. As investment portfolios/strategies are constantly changing, we reserve the right to re- verify past delegates for future complimentary passes.

Sponsorship, Exhibition & Speaking Opportunities 212.532.9898 info@opalgroup.net
  • Pension Outlook: The State of the U.S.Retirement System
  • New Styles and Strategies for Investing
  • Asset Allocation best Practices
  • Ongoing Education for Plan Fiduciaries and Participants
  • Challenges facing Public Pension Plans
  • Risk Management
  • Manager Selection
  • Equity Investing
  • Securities Lending
  • Hedge Funds
  • Private Equity/Venture Capital
  • Real Estate
  • Real Assets – precious metals, timber, infrastructure, agriculture, managed futures, etc.
  • Emerging and Frontier Markets
  • Choosing the right advisor/consultant
  • …and many more!
  • Pension Rep – Trustee, Administrators, Commissioners, Staff
  • Consultants
  • Attorneys
  • Taft Hartley Reps – Trustee, Administrators, Commissioners, Staff
  • Accountants
  • Hedge Funds
  • Fund of Funds
  • Real Estate Managers
  • Equity Managers
  • Venture Capitalists
  • Private Equity
  • Insurance Companies
  • Benefit Companies
  • Public Service Administrative Providers

Manager vs. Investor Breakdown

    Investor Breakdown