Rethinking Responsible Investment for a Better World

Climate Change Masterclass Mini–Series

January – March 2024

Most current climate scenarios significantly underestimate financial risks. This has far-reaching consequences for the governance and investment of pension scheme assets. 

To address this profound challenge, we are excited to announce the SGPE Climate Change “Rethinking” Series. 

There will be four related events:

REAL WORLD ANSWERS TO REAL WORLD PROBLEMS

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It cannot be said that UK pension schemes have not been engaging with climate change.  Most large funds are signatories to the UN PRI and the Paris Agreement, members of the IIGCC and other climate bodies, and are actively complying with TCFD and other regulations. 

Amidst this engagement, great effort has been expended to develop scenario analysis to provide pensions trustees and actuaries with a framework for managing climate risk. Powerful recent work suggests, however, that current scenario models understate this risk significantly.  Combined with a likely underestimation of the pace of climate change, these factors underscore the need to develop more realistic scenarios and assessments upon which pensions trustees can make meaningful decisions to fulfil their net zero targets.

Delegates to the Masterclass will examine these new ideas, the degree to which current decision frameworks need to be overhauled, and the practicalities of so doing.

In common with all SGPE Masterclasses, the event will be highly interactive, with free and frank exchanges of views, and participants encouraged to engage and contribute proactively throughout.

Devil's Advocates Panel

Robert Gardner, Co-CEO & Co-Founder, Rebalance Earth
Charlotte O'Leary, Chief Executive Officer, Pensions for Purpose
Nick Spencer, Sustainable Investment Strategist, Gordian Advice

A panel of Devil's Advocates will be on duty for the course of the afternoon. They will pose challenging questions to any of the conference speakers when invited to do so by the Moderator in each session. They will provide an end of day summary of the main learning and action points from the conference



13.30 – 13.45
Meet & Greet

13.45 – 14.00Welcome & Introduction

Chair: Mike Clark, Founder Director, Ario Advisory
Programme Director: Stephen Glover, Director, SG Pensions Enterprise

14.00 - 14.25 – Keynote Presentation

Mark Cliffe, Visiting Fellow – Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter

Our speaker will discuss the main conclusions from the recent report entitled "No Time To Lose" from the University of Exeter and the USS, of which he is the lead author. These focus on the need for new 'decision useful' climate scenarios, reflecting real world uncertainty, the shorter horizons relevant to financial decision-making, and the financial implications missing from most existing scenarios. He will present a set of proposed new climate scenarios and discuss their implications with delegates.

14.25 - 15.05 – Panel Discussion: The Practical Implications of New Climate Scenarios

Moderator: Mike Clark, Founder Director, Ario Advisory
Mirko Cardinale, Head of Investment Strategy, USS Investment Management
Jennifer Devine, Head, Wiltshire Pension Fund
Cadi Thomas, Head of Sustainable Investment, isio
Emma Hunt, Head of Responsible Investment, HSBC Bank Pension Trust

A panel of practitioners and other thought leaders will debate the practical implications of the new climate scenarios for the actions of pension scheme fiduciaries and managers.

What existing approaches have to be abandoned and which new ones adopted? Has TCFD reporting become a crutch and a waste of time? How does a sensible fiduciary approach account for the transition and physical risks of climate change, while not forgetting the opportunities? In short, how can pensions executives see through the noise, avoid the box ticking and develop a decision framework that mitigates climate risk within their portfolios and beyond?

15.10 - 15.30 – Coffee Break & Online Networking

15.30 - 16.00 – Interview: Rethinking Governance & Investment Approaches

Interviewer: Mike Clark, Founder Director, Ario Advisory
Interviewee: Julius Pursaill, Strategic Adviser, Cushon

Julius Pursaill, who has done much to establish Cushon as "The World's First Net Zero Pension", will discuss the far-reaching implications for pension governance and investing implied by the new climate scenarios and the challenges posed in adopting them. On the governance side, he will discuss stewardship approaches, reimagining fiduciary duty, in-house vs external management, risk mitigation, and trustee education. The investment consequences include the development of more effective indices, changes to the asset mix implied by better climate-aligned strategies, and the overall satisfaction of required return objectives.

16.00 - 16.40 – Panel Discussion: Building Resilience for Climate Outcomes

Moderator: Marian D'Auria, Head of Risk & Sustainability, GFG Alliance
Kerry King, Director – Asset Owners Network, Accounting for Sustainability
Mark Hill, Climate & Sustainability Lead, The Pensions Regulator
Amanda Latham, Director – Sustainable Investment, IFM Investors
Naomi L'Estrange, Co-Chief DirectorVidett

In face of the increasing belief that climate pledges will not be met within indicated time scales, what are asset owners doing to build resilience for the necessary outcomes, both in their own portfolios and in the wider world?  How are they facing up to the real financial risks, transition risks and double materiality considerations.  Are they going beyond a compliance exercise and genuinely embracing the twin crises of climate and biodiversity loss?   A panel of pensions executives and leading experts will discuss the practical actions they are taking to meet these challenges.

16.40 - 16.50 – Devil's Advocates Summary

16.50 - 17.00 – Final Thoughts & Close

Mike Clark 
Founder Director 
Ario Advisory

Mike runs a responsible investment advisory firm, Ario Advisory. With a background in investment management, governance, pensions and insurance, much of his work is concerned with the financial risks of climate change. He works across the investment sector with asset owners, investment managers, policymakers, regulators, investment consultants and NGOs.

Among his roles, he represents IFoA (actuaries) on the Sustainable Finance Advisory Council at the Oxford Smith School and sits on the WHEB Asset Management independent Advisory Committee. He recently left the Brunel (LGPS) board, where he was a NED (chairing Audit&Risk, more recently Remco), and he was Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee for their 2018 Green Finance inquiry.

Mark Cliffe 
Visiting Fellow - Global Systems Institute
University of Exeter

Mark Cliffe is an experienced economist & Board Advisor. At the Global Systems Institute, he leads on sustainability projects, with a focus on developing decision-useful climate scenarios. Based on his experience in banking and consultancy on climate risk and opportunities, he co-launched the Real World Climate Scenarios initiative last year to accelerate the development of fit-for-purpose scenarios for policymakers and business. Mark is well known for his distinctive insights on disruptive change in economics and policy, environment and climate, society and politics, and technology and consumer behaviour. He has long been prominent in the global media.

Mark served as Group Chief Economist and Head of Research at ING Group from 2006 to 2020, having previously led its financial markets research team. He led ING’s global team of 80 client-facing analysts covering macro-economics, market forecasting and scenario planning across multiple international markets. Before joining ING in 1998, Mark was Chief International Economist at HSBC, and before that was Chief Economist at ANZ Merchant Bank and Nomura respectively. He received a Double First in Economics from Christ's College, Cambridge University. 

Mirko Cardinale
Head of Investment Strategy
USS Investment Management

Mirko joined USS Investment Management Limited (USSIM) in 2015 and has been in his current role as Head of Investment Strategy since 2019. He is responsible for the design and management of the asset allocation of DB and DC funds as well as for providing investment advice to USS non-executive bodies.

Prior to USSIM, Mirko was Head of Asset Allocation-EMEA at Russell Investments where he was responsible for designing model portfolios and reviewing the asset allocation of EMEA funds. Before his appointment at Russell, Mirko held positions at Aviva Investors, where he was Head of Strategic Asset Allocation and Multi-Asset Fund Manager, and Willis Towers Watson, where he was a senior investment consultant.

Mirko holds a PhD in Finance from Imperial College, London with a thesis on the interrelationships between pension funding and capital markets.

Marian D'Auria
Global Head of Risk & Sustainability
GFG Alliance

Marian is the Global Head of Risk & Sustainability at GFG Alliance. 

Prior to joining GFG, she was a Managing Director at Redington and before that led Deloitte’s Trustee Advisory team in London. Her experience covers pension risk management, sustainability, trusteeship, scheme actuarial work, corporate advisory and investment consulting.

Rob Gardner
Co-CEO & Co-Founder
Rebalance Earth

Rob is an entrepreneur, investor and innovator with a proven track record of success in protecting and growing assets in the pensions and wealth management industry.

Previously serving as Director of Investments at FTSE100 company SJP, he managed over £150 billion in client investments.

Rob is also a successful B-Corp founder, having built companies such as Redington and MallowStreet, and a financial education charity called RedSTART. Rob's dream is a world worth living – economically, environmentally and socially.

He is currently the Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Rebalance Earth. They create high-integrity nature credits that protect and grow biodiversity and generate prosperity for the communities that preserve nature and capture carbon.

Over the next decade, Rebalance Earth aims to protect and restore nature, capturing over a gigatonne of CO2 and generating daily income for millions worldwide to create a world worth living in.  

Mark Hill 
Climate & Sustainability Lead
The Pensions Regulator

Mark is the Climate & Sustainability Lead within The Pensions Regulator (TPR), responsible for developing the regulatory response to climate change and sustainability disclosure requirements and delivering TPR's Climate Change Strategy. He brings some 30 years of experience working predominantly in the public sector. 

Mark is actively involved in work across government and the sector from the Climate Financial Risk Forum to the Transition Plan Taskforce in support of sustainable finance and better outcomes for savers. 

Prior to joining TPR, Mark worked for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) within the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, where he led on climate change and sustainability. During his time with the MoD, Mark contributed to the Defence Climate Change & Sustainability Review, which ultimately led to the publication of the Climate Change & Sustainability Strategic Approach in 2021. 

In tandem, he developed a Defence Energy & Emissions Strategy and was involved in work to facilitate the mobilisation of third-party capital to invest in renewables across the Defence estate, before attending COP26 as part of the Cabinet Office's COP 26 Unit. 

Just before leaving the MoD to join TPR, he was busy supporting cross sector work to integrate climate risks into sustainable land management practices and specifically brownfield land development. 

Emma Hunt
Head of Responsible Investment
HSBC Bank Pension Trust

Emma has been at the forefront of developments in stewardship, ESG, sustainable investment for 25 years.

She is an expert in change management and the development and implementation of policy and strategy. The power of strong partnerships, effective change management, commercial acumen and good humour are cornerstones of Emma’s approach to work. 

Amanda Latham
Director – Sustainable Investment
IFM Investors

Joined IFM Investors in May 2023. Amanda leads on development and implementation of IFM Investors’ sustainable investment strategy, working with the investment teams to deliver for clients and stakeholders. She has extensive experience embedding sustainability across organisations and for clients and was previously responsible for policy and strategy at Barnett Waddingham, the investment and pensions consultancy. Formerly at The Pensions Regulator (TPR) for 9 years, Amanda worked across a number of policy areas including sustainable finance and investment, trustee governance and standards, and consolidation of pension schemes.

Amanda is a non-actuary member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries Sustainability Board, advising the profession on policy and regulation of environmental and social issues. She is also a member of the CFA Institute ESG Technical Committee. She is also a charity trustee and currently holds the Vice Chair role on the board of Age UK in Sussex; using her time and expertise to support the community.

Naomi L'Estrange
Co-Chief Director
Vidett

Joining Vidett in 2014 (when we were formally known as 20-20 Trustees), Naomi led our Nottingham team, before becoming managing director in 2019.

Naomi began her career at Herbert Smith Freefalls, spending 10 years there as a pension lawyer. This saw her advising a range of clients, before being seconded to the government to advise on the establishment of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), and the moral hazard provisions of the Pensions Act 2004.

Naomi then worked for the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) as its inaugural director of legal, leading the team advising on the world’s first risk based levy, international insolvency litigation and a multi-billion investment portfolio. Subsequently, as director of strategy and policy and a member of the executive committee, she was responsible for negotiation with government and the EU on pension policy as well as overall strategy for the PPF.

During her career, Naomi has built up a very broad experience of issues affecting pension schemes of all sizes, funding positions and covenant strengths. She’s been involved with ongoing financial negotiations, complex investments and asset backed funding, benefit structures and equalisation, liability management, distress and employer debt, wind ups and buyouts, both inside and outside the PPF and the PPF levy.

Naomi specialises in bringing parties together in robust, constructive and good-humoured communication to improve outcomes for members and employers alike. She is passionate about all matters regarding environmental / sustainability / biodiversity, both in work and out, and has been actively driving change in pension trusteeship and the broader pensions market on this topic.

Away from work, Naomi is a keen vegetable grower who is trained to help new growers – so feel free to ask for tips! For eight years she was a trustee of Garden Organic, a national charity whose patron was the now King Charles.

Charlotte O'Leary
Chief Executive Officer
Pensions for Purpose

Charlotte is the CEO and an executive director of Pensions for Purpose. In her role, Charlotte oversees the running of the business, develops the growth and innovation strategy and looks for opportunities to build partnerships to achieve Pensions for Purpose's mission.

Charlotte is also a member of the Impact Investing Institute's Pensions Expert Panel, an ambassador for the Transparency Taskforce and a founder of 10 Billion World, an end-to-end sustainability project management business aimed at businesses and organisations setting net zero and carbon reduction targets.

Charlotte has over 15 years of professional experience in asset management, starting in fund analysis and progressing through to institutional business development. Charlotte has worked for some very well-known institutions, including Jupiter, Pictet and Cambridge Associates.

Through her roles, Charlotte has built a knowledge and passion for responsible and sustainable investing. She has demonstrated this in co-authoring a paper with the Society for Pension Professionals on Social Impact Investing and speaking on topics such as fee and service transparency at PLSA and Transparency Taskforce events. Charlotte played a key role in developing the Impact Investing Institute's Impact Investing Principles for Pensions and led the launch of the Impact Investing Adopters Forum.

Outside of work, Charlotte is a mother to two children, a fitness and running enthusiast, a volunteer with Redstart (a charity working to educate children on savings and investments) and always looking for ways to improve her own social and environmental impact.

Julius Pursaill
Strategic Adviser
Cushon

Julius spent his executive career working with DC Pensions in both the insurance and asset management industries. 

In his subsequent non-executive career, Julius has held a number of independent pension and investment governance roles. 

Julius was one of the founding trustee directors of NEST Corporation, and chaired both its investment and risk committees. 

Nick Spencer
Sustainable Investment Strategist
Gordian Advice

Nick is a Sustainable Investment Strategist with over 30 years' experience in investment advisory, asset management and asset owner roles. In 2018, he founded Gordian Advice, to help UK pension funds and insurance companies integrate responsible investment into their investment strategies and portfolios. 

Nick is an Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) member, and a past chair of its Sustainability board, where he championed IFoA efforts on biodiversity. He co-authored a prize-winning paper on Climate Scenario analysis as well as the DCIF Good Citizen's Guide to ESG, and was an expert witness to the UK Parliament's Environment Audit Committee. 

Nick is an advocate for aligning the asset management industry with a broader societal purpose, and is an Ambassador for the Diversity Project. 

Cadi Thomas
Head of Sustainable Investment 
Isio

Cadi is Isio’s Head of Sustainable Investment leading on sustainability research and client solutions.

Cadi has been working in the world of ESG for over 5 years and leads on ESG advice for a range of institutional investors (across DB, DC and LGPS) on various aspects of their bespoke sustainability journeys, from e.g. setting net zero targets, reviewing managers and providers' ESG capabilities, implementing strategic portfolio changes as well as supporting on monitoring and regulatory reporting (including leading on TCFD activities).

She dedicates time to further market-wide ambition on sustainability, from leading the Investment Consultants Sustainability Working Group (ICSWG) on standardising sustainability approaches in the industry, to working with FTSE 100 Pension Managers Group on TCFD matters.

THE POWER OF ASSET OWNERS TO EFFECT REAL CHANGE

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Our first Masterclass proposed more realistic climate scenarios and assessments upon which pensions trustees can make meaningful decisions to fulfil their net zero targets.

In this Masterclass and for the remainder of the series, delegates will debate how climate change drives the need to rethink other key aspects of their investment decision framework, assisted by more realistic scenario analysis. Here the focus is on stewardship, defined in the Financial Reporting Council’s UK Stewardship Code as “the responsible allocation, management and oversight of capital to create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries leading to sustainable benefits for the economy, environment and society”. This embraces voting policies, voting, vote reporting plus wider engagement with investee companies and key stakeholders, while leading pension funds are now putting greater stewardship emphasis on capital allocation, which starts with SAA.

And of course stewardship extends to asset classes beyond equities. The main question for delegates will be the extent to which climate-driven stewardship can be made more effective.

In common with all SGPE Masterclasses, the event will be highly interactive, with free and frank exchanges of views, a focus on original and thought-provoking content, and with participants encouraged to engage and contribute proactively throughout.

Devil's Advocates Panel

Shalin Bhagwan, Chief Actuary, Pension Protection Fund
Kerry King, Director – Asset Owners Network, Accounting for Sustainability
David Russell, Chair, Transition Pathway Initiative

A panel of Devil's Advocates will be on duty for the course of the afternoon. They will pose challenging questions to any of the conference speakers when invited to do so by the Moderator in each session. They will provide an end of day summary of the main learning and action points from the conference



09.30 – 09.45
Meet & Greet

09.45 – 10.00Welcome & Introduction

Chair: Sarah Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Minerva Analytics
Programme Director: Stephen Glover, Director, SG Pensions Enterprise

10.00 - 10.25 – Keynote Presentation

Laura Hillis, Director – Climate & Environment, Church of England Pension Board

The Church of England Pensions Board has recently published its inaugural Climate Action Plan, underscoring its credentials among asset owners as a true leader in addressing climate change issues, with a focus on systemic financial risk and overall societal impact. The Board also made the eye-catching decision to withdraw from all oil and gas investments over time. 

Our speaker will describe their approach to stewardship. Asset owners can, and often should, use their powers as shareholders more effectively to engage investee companies as well as to increase their policy advocacy.

10.25 - 11.05 – Panel Discussion: Rethinking Voting, Engagement, Escalation & SAA

Moderator: David Farrar, Senior Policy Manager, Peers for the Planet
Paul Hewitt, Responsible Investment ManagerLondon Pension Fund Authority
Georgia Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Tumelo
Janice Turner, Co-Chair, Association of Member Nominated Trustees
Further speakers to be announced.

The effective exercise of voting rights that come with share ownership is central to stewardship, and should be supported by appropriate escalation. Transparency in reporting is essential to determine that votes have been properly exercised in line with the policy of pension fund trustees and/or their service providers.

Our panel will debate various ways in which voting can become more transparent, ownership actions need to be made more effective in response, especially in response to our evolving understanding of the climate crisis. These include the division of resources between "downward" engagement with companies and (potentially more powerful) "upward" engagement with policy makers, as well as identifying and managing voting misalignment between asset owners and managers, and escalation strategies.

Some investors are beginning to focus their stewardship efforts on climate change as the most pressing issue when investing for a world worth living in – but should asset allocation decisions become a more integral part of stewardship activity?

11.05 - 11.20 – Coffee Break & Online Networking

11.20 - 12.00 – Panel Discussion: The Power of Bond Stewardship

Moderator: Lily Tomson, Department Fellow – Finance for Social & Environmental Systemic Change, Jesus College Cambridge
Ulf Erlandsson, CEO & Founder, Anthropocene Fixed Income Institute
Luisa Florez, Director of RI Research, OFI Invest Asset Management 
Catriona Glascott, Lawyer – Accountable Finance, ClientEarth
Further speakers to be announced

RI strategies have predominantly focused on public equities, despite the fact that debt markets are the largest asset class, account for some 90% of new capital flowing into fossil fuels, have greater exposure to high-emissions assets, and largely represent new flows of capital. As a result, bondholder stewardship presents a huge opportunity to combat climate change. In particular, the regular refinancing cycles of bonds mean investors have a recurring point of leverage attached directly to the provision of new capital to a company.

This panel will explore the evidence base and leading practitioner examples of high-impact bondholder stewardship in action: the efficacy of ‘engage equity, deny debt’ approaches, the potential of engagement prior to buying new issuance, evidence that companies threatened with exclusion from an index are more likely to change their behaviour, and the role of setting investor ‘guardrails’ based on the science and using these tools to implement them.

12.00 - 12.30 – Interactive Discussion including Devil's Advocates

With the rapidly changing landscape, this session will give attendees, assisted by the Devil’s Advocates to raise the questions the issues and most important to them. The Masterclass Chair will draw upon her own experience and those of thought leaders present to conduct an interactive discussion.

12.30 - 12.40 – Final Thoughts & Closing Remarks

Shalin Bhagwan, the Chief Actuary of the Pension Protection Fund.

Shalin Bhagwan
Chief Actuary
Pension Protection Fund

Shalin Bhagwan is Chief Actuary and Interim Chief Financial Officer of the Pension Protection Fund. He is also a member of the FRC’s Advisory Panel. His career experience spans investments, insurance and pensions with a focus on the de-risking of defined benefit pension funds.

Having started his career at a BPA insurer and large DC master trust in South Africa, Shalin then moved into investment advisory and asset management in the early 2000’s. His asset management experience includes the management of liability driven investment strategies for pension funds and Solvency 2 insurers across fixed income, derivatives as well as listed and private debt. He has managed these strategies for asset owners in the UK, USA and South Africa. He has also supported recent initiatives in the UK to bring about changes in UK pension scheme voting implementation.

Shalin is a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries and holds an Honours Degree in Statistics & Actuarial Science from the University of Cape Town.

Ulf Erlandsson
CEO & Founder
Anthropocene Fixed Income Institute 

Dr Ulf Erlandsson is the CEO and founder of the Anthropocene Fixed Income Institute (AFII), a research institute and advocacy focusing on fixed income markets and the climate transition

Launched in 2020 and backed by prominent climate philanthropies, AFII’s work is based on the team’s practical experience from fixed income market, and specifically how to apply sophisticated climate impact investing in credit.

Dr Erlandsson was previously running global credit, SSAs and a total return alpha strategy at Swedish state pension fund AP4. Prior to that, he held a position as quantitative strategist at Barclays Capital. His publication record covers a spectrum of credit and climate pieces such as “Credit alpha and CO2 reduction”,High-frequency CDS index trading”, Contingent Resilience-Linked Bonds”, “An option pricing approach for sustainability-linked bonds” and books such as “Systematic CDS index trading handbook”, “CDS curve trading handbook” and “Empirical analysis of the credit cycle.”

He was recently awarded Environmental Finance’s Bond Personality of the Year 2022 as well as CFA Sweden’s ESG Prize 2021. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Lund University, Sweden. 

David Farrar
Senior Policy Manager
Peers for the Planet

David works as a senior policy manager for Peers for the Planet, which supports members of the House of Lords with legislation, briefing and questions on the climate and nature crises.

In relation to financial services, he has supported peers on legislation relating to vote reporting and fiduciary duty clarification, as well as SDRs, taxonomy and transition plans. He also works as a research and policy manager with the EV thinktank New AutoMotive.

Prior to entering the portfolio phase of his career, David was employed by the Department for Work and Pensions for 18 years, working for 7 years on consumer-protection aspects of occupational pensions, including latterly as policy lead on sustainable investment, leading the team which delivered the ESG and TCFD regulations. 

Luisa Florez
Director of RI Research
OFI Invest Asset Management

Before joining OFI Invest AM, Luisa had been at LBPAM since 2017, where she held the posts, successively, of Head of SRI Research and Head of SRI Solutions. She began her career in 2005 at Vigeo, before entering asset management as SRI analyst at Groupama AM and taking on the role of Head of ESG research at AXA IM.

Luisa holds a Master’s degree in Finance and Strategy from the Paris Institute of Studies (Sciences Po Paris).

Catriona Glascott
Lawyer – Accountable Finance
ClientEarth

Catriona is a lawyer at the environmental law charity ClientEarth, focusing on bonds. She was previously a Financial Services lawyer for eight years, including four years in private practice in London and four years as an Enforcement lawyer at the Financial Conduct Authority.

She is also on the BBC Expert Women programme and has worked in the UK Houses of Parliament and US Congress.

Paul Hewitt
Responsible Investment Manager
London Pension Fund Authority

Paul joined LPFA in October 2022, and is responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of our approach to responsible investment, including our net zero commitments. Paul has worked in the responsible investment industry for twenty years.

Prior to joining LPFA, he had 14 years working at Minerva with institutional investors – including a portfolio of LGPS clients – on a variety of stewardship-related solutions including proxy voting, monitoring of manager voting, RI policy development, company engagement and stewardship reporting. He also spent 4 years working for Vigeo Eiris (later Moody’s ESG) providing ESG integration-related solutions to investors.

Paul has also served as Vice-Chair of the Pension Advisory Board at the Essex Pension Fund, as well as a member of the Pensions Climate Risk Industry Group which was tasked with drawing up guidance for the private pensions industry in the UK to meet climate risk reporting regulations.

Laura Hillis
Director – Climate & Environment
Church of England Pension Fund

Laura is the Director, Climate and Environment at the Church of England Pensions Board and leads climate stewardship, policy and targets for the organisation as well as managing key strategic projects such as corporate climate lobbying. She has nearly fifteen years of experience in sustainability and ESG focused on finance and investment, including working for Australian financial institutions such as Bank Australia and the Suncorp Group.

Most recently, Laura led Climate Action 100+ for the APAC-based Investor Group on Climate Change, working with over 100+ institutional investors to engage high-emitters on climate change. She also served on the Steering Committee for Climate Action 100+ and on an advisory committee for the Transition Pathway Initiative.

Laura holds degrees from the University of Melbourne and Queensland University of Technology and is currently a candidate in the Master of Sustainability Leadership program at the University of Cambridge.

Kerry King
Director – Asset Owners Network
Accounting for Sustainability

Kerry leads A4S’s Capital Markets programme to accelerate awareness and action towards a global sustainable financial system. This includes: running the A4S Asset Owners Network for pension fund chairs, supporting their commitments to embed sustainability into their strategic and investment decisions; convening senior finance to address specific challenges faced by the financial sector; and leading on guidance to scale up adoption of sustainable action by pension scheme trustees and finance within financial services.

David Russell
Chair
Transition Pathway Initiative

David is the Chair of the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), which assesses companies’ preparedness for the transition to a low carbon future, supporting the efforts of investors in addressing climate change.   

Prior to this, David was the Head of Responsible Investment at the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the largest UK pension, where he worked from 2001 to 2023. He led USS’s RI team from 2006, which included all USS’s ESG integration and stewardship related activities across both public and private asset classes, including ESG and climate related reporting.  

David is a former Board member of the UN supported Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), is an advisor to the Board of the IIGCC, and until June 2023 was on the Board of the International Centre for Pensions Management.  More broadly, David is a member of the FTSE Russell Sustainable Investment Advisory Committee, and was also a member of the UK Investment Associations’ Sustainability and Responsible Investment Committee. 

Prior to joining USS, David worked as an Environmental Manager for a UK retail company, and was for five years a University lecturer in Environmental Management.  He has a Masters Degree in Environmental Impact Assessment. 

 

Georgia Stewart
Chief Executive Officer
Tumelo

Georgia is Co-Founder and CEO of Tumelo, a global scale-up building pass-through voting infrastructure that empowers investors and fund managers to offer greater optionality when it comes to stewardship strategies. Tumelo has raised over $25 million from notable investors such as Treasury VC, LGIM, and Fidelity.  

She has been featured in Forbes Magazine for her work in creating market-leading shareholder-voting solutions, both on the magazine's daily cover, as well as in the magazine's 2023 Forbes 30 under 30 Europe List. 

Before founding Tumelo, Georgia studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she campaigned for greater transparency of their university’s £6 billion endowment fund and its investments. She has experience across the sustainable investment sector, including equity investment analysis at Jupiter, cleantech venture capital at IP Group and conservation projects at Fauna and Flora International.  

She is also a member of Aviva's Independent Governance Committee, where she brings her passion for investor engagement and ESG issues to help the Committee monitor Aviva’s ambitious net zero carbon targets, both from a corporate and investment perspective. 

Lily Tomson
Department Fellow – Finance for Social & Environmental Systemic Change
Jesus College, Cambridge

Janice Turner
Co-Chair
Association of Member Nominated Trustees

Sarah Wilson
Chief Executive Officer
Minerva Analytics

Sarah Wilson is the founder and CEO of Minerva Analytics, the UK’s independent ESG research and proxy voting agency.

Over the past 30 years Sarah has been closely involved in the development of innovation in the independent research industry, including the creation of the first electronic proxy voting message standards and the development of Europe’s premier database of objective governance profiles of 95% of the worlds companies by value.

Minerva’s research and data is widely used by global regulators, asset owners, asset managers and academics to support their investigation into the impact of ESG developments.

Tumelo was founded in 2018 to empower asset owners to prioritise their own stewardship goals. Tumelo's powerful pass-through voting infrastructure enables institutional and retail investors in pooled funds to vote their shares. Through partnerships with the most significant investment and pension platforms worldwide, Tumelo is driving towards true shareholder democracy. 

RETHINKING FIDUCIARY DUTY & RISK MANAGEMENT

SPONSORED BY

Our first Masterclass proposed more realistic climate scenarios and assessments upon which pensions trustees can make meaningful decisions to meet their net zero targets. Our second Masterclass explored how Stewardship approaches need to evolve to achieve this goal.

In this third Masterclass, we turn our attention to Fiduciary Duty, which in the pensions context, involves the suite of actions taken by trustees in the best interests of members. Historically, trustees have tended to interpret this obligation highly conservatively in their governance policies, in asset allocation and stewardship, and in risk management.

There is currently impetus for the law to change, partly from the desire to enable greater investment in productive finance under the Mansion House reforms and, to our purpose, to give trustees greater powers to implement a more effective net zero transition.

A case in point is reimagining fiduciary duty to achieve not just portfolio decarbonisation, as currently the case, but also real-world decarbonisation and the management of physical not just financial risks – so-called double materiality. Speakers will explore initiatives t0 rethink fiduciary duty, who is driving them - among pension schemes, government and the legal profession - and the likely consequences of future best practice in this area for pension climate strategies.

In common with all SGPE Masterclasses, the event will be highly interactive, with free and frank exchanges of views, a focus on original and thought-provoking content, and with participants encouraged to engage and contribute proactively throughout.

Devil's Advocates Panel

Amanda Latham, Director – Sustainable Investment, IFM Investors
Joel Moreland, Principal Consultant, Social & Environmental Finance
Nick Spencer, Senior Consultant, Milliman

A panel of Devil's Advocates will be on duty for the course of the afternoon. They will pose challenging questions to any of the conference speakers when invited to do so by the Moderator in each session. They will provide an end of day summary of the main learning and action points from the conference



13.30 – 13
.50 Meet & Greet

13.50 – 14.10Welcome & Introduction

Chair: David Farrar, Senior Policy Manager, Peers for the Planet
Programme Director: Stephen Glover, Director, SG Pensions Enterprise

14.10 - 14.45 Keynote Presentation: Decision-Making for Climate Change (A Field Guide to the FMLC's Paper)

Bella Landymore, Policy & Strategy Director, Impact Invest Institute

Financial Markets Law Committee Working Group member Bella Landymore will give an overview of the FMLC's conclusions and how they reached them. Drawing out particularly the conclusions on the materiality of climate risk, the links between pension fund returns and the health on the wider economy, the need to go beyond statutory minimums and going beyond diversification in managing system-level risks, Bella will offer a personal view of what the report means for pension scheme practices and the framework in which they operate. 

14.45 - 15.30 Panel Discussion: Can the FMLC Report Move the Dial?

Moderator: David Farrar, Senior Policy Manager, Peers for the Planet
Catriona Glascott, Lawyer – Accountable Finance, ClientEarth
Claire Jones, Responsible Investment Consultant, LCP
Charlotte O'Leary, Chief Executive Officer, Pensions for Purpose

Our panel will consider the ways in which Government, regulators and the pensions industry might interpret and implement the FMLC's conclusions to drive stronger action by pension scheme trustees on climate and how this can be delivered - and communicated - to the benefit of pension scheme members. This will include consideration of the merits of guidance vs legislation for trustees, whether similar clarification is needed for consultants, fund managers and insurers, whether impact investment must remain subsidiary to risk and return and how, if at all, members are involved. What interventions will deliver the best response in the interests of all?

It will also consider whether there are risks in spelling out pension scheme duties - if best interests are clarified once, will there be a greater temptation for Government to tinker in the future, undermining members' best interests for wider public investment and policy goals?

15.30 - 15.50 – Coffee Break & Online Networking

15.50 - 16.35 – Panel Discussion: Enabling Better Climate Risk Management

Moderator: Mark Thompson, Chair of the Trustee Board, M&G Pensions Scheme
Alan Baker, Director, Law Debenture
Chris Dodwell, Global Head of Policy & Advocacy, Impax Asset Management
Paul Todd, Director – Investment Development & Delivery, NEST

To meet stated net zero targets more effectively, asset owners need to get beyond box ticking exercises and to confront real financial risks, transition risks, and double materiality considerations. Portfolio decarbonisation, real world decarbonisation and portfolio risk management are all legitimate approaches to action on climate change. However until now, interpretations of fiduciary duty have largely encouraged a narrow approach which targets short-term risk management, typically through portfolio decarbonisation, rather than the consideration of impacts and the management of system-level risks.

A panel of pensions trustees and leading experts will discuss how to deploy re-interpreted fiduciary duties to greater effect in managing transition and physical risks, and the practical changes and outcomes that may result. 

16.35 - 16.50 – Devil's Advocates Summary

16.50 - 17.00 – Final Thoughts & Closing Remarks

Alan Baker
Director
Law Debenture

Alan currently represents LawDeb on nine pension scheme appointments with scheme assets ranging from £50m to multi-billion. Of these nine appointments, Alan is Chair of Trustees for three schemes and works as a Co-Trustee for the remaining six.

Alan was previously a member of the Association of Professional Pension Trustees’ sub-committee that developed the code of practice for professional sole corporate trustees.

He has extensive experience of investment strategy, risk management and de-risking. As a professional trustee, has been involved in 7 bulk annuity transactions, including a £1bn+ buy-in and is working with one of his scheme about to go to market.

Alan is an Accredited Member of the Association of Professional Pension Trustees.

Alan joined LawDeb in May 2019 from Mercer where he was Head of DB Solutions Development and Chair of the DB Policy Group. He had been a Partner at Mercer since 2011 and was responsible for launching a number of new business lines including Mercer Dynamic De-risking Solution (in the fiduciary management space), Mercer Workplace Savings (for DC) and Mercer Smart DB (as a longevity hedging solution).

In addition to his professional experience, Alan was previously a trustee and director of Strawberry Hill House, a cultural heritage site internationally famous as Britain’s finest example of Georgian gothic revival architecture and still remains closely involved as a patron.

Alan holds a BSc (Hons.) in Biochemistry from Imperial College, London and is an Associate of the Royal College of Science.

Chris Dodwell
Global Head of Policy & Advocacy
Impax Asset Management

Chris co-heads the Impax Sustainability Centre and is the Global Head of Policy & Advocacy at Impax Asset Management, a specialist investor focused on opportunities arising from the transition to a sustainable economy.

The Policy & Advocacy team is responsible for advising Impax’s investment teams on the impacts of public policy and leads the firm’s work to support the development of new policies to accelerate a net-zero, nature-positive transition.

Chris joined Impax in 2019.  Prior to joining Impax, Chris worked on climate policy for the UK Government for more than a decade, where he led the UK implementation of the European carbon trading system and the UK delegation to the international climate negotiations. Later, as Director of Climate Change at Ricardo Energy and Environment, Chris supported more than 15 countries in developing and implementing their national climate pledges under the Paris Agreement.

Chris is an active member of the policy committees and advisory councils of industry associations including UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and the Investment Association.  He is co-chair of the Transition Plan Taskforce’s asset manager working group and a Climate Change Commission for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

Chris has a BA Hons in Classics from the University of Cambridge and an LLM in Environmental Law from University College London.

David Farrar
Senior Policy Manager
Peers for the Planet

David works as a senior policy manager for Peers for the Planet, which supports members of the House of Lords with legislation, briefing and questions on the climate and nature crises.

In relation to financial services, he has supported peers on legislation relating to vote reporting and fiduciary duty clarification, as well as SDRs, taxonomy and transition plans. He also works as a research and policy manager with the EV thinktank New AutoMotive.

Prior to entering the portfolio phase of his career, David was employed by the Department for Work and Pensions for 18 years, working for 7 years on consumer-protection aspects of occupational pensions, including latterly as policy lead on sustainable investment, leading the team which delivered the ESG and TCFD regulations. 

Catriona Glascott
Lawyer – Accountable Finance
ClientEarth

Catriona is a lawyer at the environmental law charity ClientEarth, focusing on bonds. She was previously a Financial Services lawyer for eight years, including four years in private practice in London and four years as an Enforcement lawyer at the FCA.

She is also on the BBC Expert Women programme and has worked in the UK Houses of Parliament and US Congress.

Mark Hill
Climate & Sustainability Lead
The Pensions Regulator

Mark is the Climate & Sustainability Lead within The Pensions Regulator (TPR), responsible for developing the regulatory response to climate change and sustainability disclosure requirements and delivering TPR's Climate Change Strategy. He brings some 30 years of experience working predominantly in the public sector.

Mark is actively involved in work across government and the sector from the Climate Financial Risk Forum to the Transition Plan Taskforce in support of sustainable finance and better outcomes for savers.

Prior to joining TPR, Mark worked for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) within the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, where he led on climate change and sustainability. During his time with the MoD, Mark contributed to the Defence Climate Change & Sustainability Review, which ultimately led to the publication of the Climate Change & Sustainability Strategic Approach in 2021.

In tandem, he developed a Defence Energy & Emissions Strategy and was involved in work to facilitate the mobilisation of third-party capital to invest in renewables across the Defence estate, before attending COP26 as part of the Cabinet Office's COP 26 Unit.

Just before leaving the MoD to join TPR, he was busy supporting cross sector work to integrate climate risks into sustainable land management practices and specifically brownfield land development.

Bella Landymore
Policy & Strategy Director
Impact Investing Institute

Bella started working for the Impact Investing Institute as Policy Director at its launch in November 2019. She leads several of the Institute’s projects, particularly in the areas of policy, regulation, and pensions. 

Bella joined the Institute from the UK government’s Inclusive Economy Unit, where she was a Senior Policy Advisor on impact investing. In this role, her projects included the Law Commission’s review of pension funds and social investment, and the subsequent policy and regulatory changes, and the Implementation Taskforce on growing a culture of social impact investing in the UK. 

Bella started her career in the charity sector before joining UBS Investment Bank, where she worked in New York and London, latterly as an Associate Director for their equities trading businesses. 

Bella loves her east London neighbourhood and all its wonderful restaurants, pubs and green spaces. She also likes to escape the city – and country – for hikes.

Joel Moreland
Principal Consultant
Social & Environmental Finance

Joel works with asset owners, financial professionals and campaigners to help them understand how the financial system intersects with society and the environment.  The climate emergency is the most pressing issue for most organisations he deals with.  He is also an early stage environmental investor (including sitting on the Steering Committee of the Environmental Funders Network’s impact investors group) and assesses grants on behalf of a family trust.

Joel’s background is in investment having worked at various firms in the City, including with the Henderson RI investment team at the turn of the millennium.  He previously held a corporate finance role at Triodos, responsible for raising capital for social and environmental organisations. Most notably, he ran the first share issue for Cafedirect and the first bond issue for Mencap’s housing arm.

Charlotte O'Leary
Chief Executive Officer
Pensions for Purpose

Charlotte is the CEO and an executive director of Pensions for Purpose. In her role, Charlotte oversees the running of the business, develops the growth and innovation strategy and looks for opportunities to build partnerships to achieve Pensions for Purpose's mission.

Charlotte is also a member of the Impact Investing Institute's Pensions Expert Panel, an ambassador for the Transparency Taskforce and a founder of 10 Billion World, an end-to-end sustainability project management business aimed at businesses and organisations setting net zero and carbon reduction targets.

Charlotte has over 15 years of professional experience in asset management, starting in fund analysis and progressing through to institutional business development. Charlotte has worked for some very well-known institutions, including Jupiter, Pictet and Cambridge Associates.

Through her roles, Charlotte has built a knowledge and passion for responsible and sustainable investing. She has demonstrated this in co-authoring a paper with the Society for Pension Professionals on Social Impact Investing and speaking on topics such as fee and service transparency at PLSA and Transparency Taskforce events. Charlotte played a key role in developing the Impact Investing Institute's Impact Investing Principles for Pensions and led the launch of the Impact Investing Adopters Forum.

Outside of work, Charlotte is a mother to two children, a fitness and running enthusiast, a volunteer with Redstart (a charity working to educate children on savings and investments) and always looking for ways to improve her own social and environmental impact.

Mark Thompson
Chair of the Trustee Board
M&G Pension Scheme

In addition to his role at M&G, Mark is a Member of the Independent Governance Committee at Zurich Insurance; Executive Chairman of the UBS (UK) Pension & Life Assurance Scheme Investment Committee; and a Member of the Investment & Funding, and DC Committees at Lloyds Banking Group Pensions. 

Mark was previously the Chief Investment Officer of HSBC Bank Pensions Trust (UK) Limited, who he joined in 2011. 

Prior to this, Mark held a number of senior investment roles at Prudential / M&G. These included UK Equity Fund Manager, Head of Equity Research, Director of Collective Investments, and Investment & Strategy Director for Prudential Europe. 

Paul Todd
Director of Investment Development & Delivery
NEST

Paul is part of the leadership team within Nest’s Investment Directorate working with the CIO to set strategic direction and delivery. He has lead responsibility for developing Nest Retirement Funds architecture, policy and delivery; Nest’s ESG integration and active ownership approach; the integration of member analysis into investment strategy and fiduciary development; and responsibility for investment communications.

Prior to joining Nest in 2008, he was seconded from the UK Government to DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equality at the European Commission as a national expert on pensions and social security.

Impax is a specialist asset manager investing in the opportunities arising from the transition to a more sustainable global economy. Impax believes that capital markets will be shaped profoundly by global sustainability challenges, including climate change, pollution and essential investments in human capital, infrastructure and resource efficiency. 

These trends will drive growth for well-positioned companies and create risks for those unable or unwilling to adapt. The company seeks to invest in higher quality companies with strong business models that demonstrate sound management of risk. Impax offers a well-rounded suite of investment solutions spanning multiple asset classes seeking strong risk-adjusted returns over the medium to long term.

For more information, view Impax's website.

CONTACTS:
Michelle Campbell
Associate Director – Consultant Relations
[email protected]
📞 020 3912 3065

Scott Thompson
Managing Director – Consultant Relations
[email protected]
📞 020 3912 3137

Masterclass 4: Rethinking Climate Driven Investing – Tuesday 19th March 2024

The multiple challenges and disciplines involved in formulating an effective climate policy can become a recipe for inaction.

The session will explore the great need for integrated thinking, bringing together all the elements of the Masterclass series in pursuit of a practically effective climate policy for pensions schemes. 

Steering Group

This Climate Change Mini-Series is being developed in close consultation with a Steering Group of thought leaders at the synapse of climate and pensions, which will ensure the topical relevance and practical value of all the conference sessions.

Mike
Clark

Founder Director
Ario Advisory

Marian
D'Auria

Head of Risk & Sustainability
GFG Alliance

David
Farrar

Senior Policy Manager
Peers for the Planet

Rob
Gardner

Co–CEO & Co–Founder
Rebalance Earth

Kerry
King

Director – Asset Owners Network
A4S

Amanda
Latham

Director – Sustainable Investment
IFM Investors

Charlotte
O'Leary

Chief Executive Officer
Pensions for Purpose

Ben
Piggott

Multi Asset Solutions & Strategies
BlackRock

Julius
Pursaill

Strategic Adviser
Cushon

Nick
Spencer

Sustainable Investment Strategist
Gordian Advice

Mark
Thompson

Chair of the Trustee Board
M&G Pension Scheme

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Mike Clark

Founder Director
Ario Advisory

Mike runs a responsible investment advisory firm, Ario Advisory. With a background in investment management, governance, pensions and insurance, much of his work is concerned with the financial risks of climate change. He works across the investment sector with asset owners, investment managers, policymakers, regulators, investment consultants and NGOs.

Among his roles, he represents IFoA (actuaries) on the Sustainable Finance Advisory Council at the Oxford Smith School and sits on the WHEB Asset Management independent Advisory Committee. He has recently left the Brunel (LGPS) board, where he was a NED (chairing Audit&Risk, more recently Remco), and he was Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee for their 2018 Green Finance inquiry.

Marian D'Auria

Global Head of Risk & Sustainability
GFG Alliance

Marian is the Global Head of Risk & Sustainability at GFG Alliance. 

Prior to joining GFG, she was a Managing Director at Redington and before that led Deloitte’s Trustee Advisory team in London. Her experience covers pension risk management, sustainability, trusteeship, scheme actuarial work, corporate advisory and investment consulting.

Rob Gardner

Co-CEO & Co-Founder
Rebalance Earth

Rob is an entrepreneur, investor and innovator with a proven track record of success in protecting and growing assets in the pensions and wealth management industry.

Previously Director of Investments at FTSE100 company SJP, he managed over £150 billion in client investments.

Rob is also a successful B-Corp founder, having built companies such as Redington and mallowstreet and a financial education charity called RedSTART. Rob’s dream is a world worth living in – economically, environmentally, and socially. He is currently the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Rebalance Earth. They create high-integrity nature credits that protect and grow biodiversity and generate prosperity for the communities that preserve nature and capture carbon.

Over the next decade, Rebalance Earth aims to protect and restore nature, capturing over one gigatonne of CO2 and generating daily income for millions worldwide to create a world worth living in

Julius Pursaill

Independent Expert
Pensions Adviser

Julius spent his executive career working with DC pensions in both the insurance and asset management industries. In his subsequent non-executive career, Julius has held a number of independent pension and investment governance roles. He was one of the founding trustee directors of NEST Corporation and chaired both its investment and risk committees.

Nick Spencer

Sustainable Investment Strategist
Gordian Advice

Nick is a Sustainable Investment Strategist with over 30 years’ experience in investment advisory, asset management and asset owner roles. In 2018, he founded Gordian Advice, to help UK pension funds and insurance companies integrate responsible investment into their investment strategies and portfolios. 

Nick is an Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) member, and a past chair of its Sustainability board, where he championed IFoA efforts on biodiversity. He co-authored a prize-winning paper on Climate Scenario analysis as well as the DCIF Good Citizen’s Guide to ESG, and was an expert witness to the UK Parliament’s Environment Audit Committee. 

Nick is an advocate for aligning the asset management industry with a broader societal purpose, and is an Ambassador for the Diversity Project. 

Mark Thompson

Chair of the Trustee Board
M&G Pension Scheme

In addition to his role at M&G, Mark is a Member of the Independence Governance Committee at Zurich Insurance; Executive Chairman of the UBS (UK) Pension & Life Assurance Scheme Investment Committee; and a Member of the Investment & Funding and DC Committees at Lloyds Banking Group Pensions. He was previously the Chief Investment Officer of HSBC Bank Pension Trust (UK) Limited, who he joined in 2011.

Prior to this, he held a number of senior investment roles at Prudential/M&G. These included UK Equity Fund Manager, Head of Equity Research, Director of Collective Investments, and Investment & Strategy Director for Prudential Europe. 

Morningstar Sustainalytics provides high-quality, analytical environmental, social and governance (ESG) research, ratings and data to institutional investors and companies.

For more than 30 years, our firm has focused on delivering innovative solutions that have enabled the world’s leading institutional investors to identify, understand, and manage ESG-driven risks and opportunities.

With Sustainalytics now a part of Morningstar, we’re accelerating our efforts to bring meaningful ESG insights to investors of all types across different asset classes at the company and fund level.

CONTACT

Natalia Fuentes
Client Relations Manager 

Caldon Pike
Client Relations Manager

For more details, visit Morningstar’s website here.