At the start of May, I was admiring spring flower-filled olive groves and the sparkling seas off the Messinian coast in Greece. As soon as I got back to London, I chaired two conference sessions at PDI’s Europe Summit 2023. It was fun to be moderating a panel I didn’t have to organise! I enjoyed chatting about how to embed sustainable investment in private debt investment. This month also saw the publication of my latest piece for Sustainable Investment magazine which discussed how pension providers should approach impact investing. I hosted my latest networking event where we discussed how to make asset managers more inclusive. I was delighted both with the attendance and quality of the questions at this event. The end of May saw the publication of my latest article for PLSA Viewpoint magazine which asks whether pension schemes should invest in UK growth. At the start of next month, I’ll be attending the PLSA Investment Conference so get in touch if you would like to catch up!

How to make debt investment more sustainable

At the start of May, I enjoyed moderating not one but two sessions at PDI’s Europe Summit 2023 where we discussed how to make debt investments more sustainable. In the first panel, we talked about how institutional investors are driving the requirement for debt investments to build a greener future but not all managers take this need seriously. The second panel explored why infrastructure investment is good match with pension scheme liabilities and how important it is to make sure these asset allocations stand the test of time.

How should pension providers approach impact investing?

My latest article for Sustainable Investment asks how seriously pension schemes should take impact investing. While valuing the creation of long-term positive change as highly as generating good returns aligns with the interest of scheme members, some warn not to be too purist. It can be more effective, for example, to take steps in the right direction rather than strive to be perfect. And it’s also important not to associate impact investing only with certain asset classes so pension schemes forget the important task of future-proofing the whole portfolio.

Making asset managers more inclusive

More than 30 people joined me and my panellists in the upstairs room of the Betsey Trotwood to discuss how to make asset managers more inclusive. I had really wanted to ensure we moved the conversation beyond the usual platitudes and my panellists did a great job at achieving this by being honest and passionate. We had great questions from the audience who were looking for practical tips. The next networking event is on Wednesday, 13th September so get in touch if you would like to attend!

Should pension schemes invest in UK growth?

This piece for PLSA Viewpoint was a lot of fun to write – there are plenty of strong opinions on this topic in the pension community! It feels like the unspoken contract between the UK government and the pensions industry is shifting with more expected for the tax breaks provided. At the same time, the government-induced LDI crisis has made it much harder for private sector DB schemes to invest and DC schemes lack the size and scale to play their part.

PLSA investment conference

I’ll be heading to Edinburgh in early June to attend one of my favourite events of the year – the PLSA’s investment conference. Yes, I know I’m odd but I love being in a windowless exhibition hall for two days networking my bamboo socks off! And what a delight it is to be in Edinburgh in June rather than March − the trees are green, it stays light ridiculously late and the wind is a bit less ferocious. Looking forward to sampling all those fab restaurants in Edinburgh! Please do get in touch if you would like to meet up.

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