Investing through turbulent markets 

The recovery of global markets from the full impacts of COVID-19 has created new challenges for investors.

Unprecedented market stimulus from governments and central banks overshadowed the structural themes and secular trends that existed prior to the pandemic. As central banks reverse course and tighten policy, persistently high inflation, war, and geopolitical tensions continue to add to an already fragile market.

While markets remain turbulent, now more than ever it is important to incorporate our physical and social environment into investment decision-making, as markets must ultimately price in the cost of inaction.

This year, the JANA Annual Conference focussed on how investors can maximise investment outcomes while investing sustainably to make a difference.

Welcome & First plenary session 

Seizing the Opportunity: Playing the Bigger Game

Carol Geremia, President, MFS Investment Management

There is more risk in capital markets today than at any stage in history as investors seek to maintain the level of returns they have become accustomed to.  Within that context, has the investment industry focused too much on simply gaining exposure to financial assets, rather than taking responsibility for those assets as an engaged owner? Carol Geremia, President of MFS, provides an overview on the current state of the investment management industry, challenge our systems thinking and will share insights on what each of us can do better to serve the end investor.


  • BREAKOUT 1A - What world are you investing in? A deep dive into impact investing

    Matthew Tominc, Chief Investment Officer, Conscious Capital | Zarmeen Pavri, JANA Sustainability Advisory Council Member / Partner & Chief Impact Officer SDGx | Peter Yu, JANA Sustainability Advisory Council Member, Vice President First Nations The Australian National University

    Impact investing is receiving increasing attention globally from investors considering both financial returns and Impact. The session provides an excellent opportunity for those wanting to understand Impact investing better by hearing from Impact practitioners. Our panellists clarify what Impact investing is and isn’t and provide Impact investment decision-making and reporting frameworks. The session is designed to give investors and asset owners a deeper understanding of one of the fastest growing areas in sustainable portfolio management.

  • BREAKOUT 1B - Climate Change Transition Risk in Government Bonds

    Dr Laura Ryan, Head of Research, Ardea Investment Management

    A new study from the University of Technology Sydney, Ardea Investment Management and Fortlake Asset Management, challenges the argument that climate change is not being factored into sovereign bond yields. The joint research paper provides an analytical framework for fund managers, investors, and policy makers to assess a country’s transition risk and its impact on borrowing costs. Dr Laura Ryan, Head of Research at Ardea, talks about the findings from the study and how the evidence presented in this research paper has clear implications for policy makers, and looking into the future, governments which perform poorly in managing their climate change transition may encounter pricing or liquidity issues.

  • BREAKOUT 1C - Insulating Institutional Portfolios with Private Debt

    Bob Sahota, Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer, Revolution Asset Management

    Private Debt is becoming a more mainstream building block for institutional portfolios bringing in an additional layer of illiquidity to an asset class that has generally been thought of as liquid, though it is not without its risks. In this session, Bob Sahota, Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Revolution Asset Management, examines the different and unique characteristics of the local market, looking at the primary sectors and how certain approaches such as relative value are well suited. The session will also delve into how ESG investing can be integrated into portfolios.

  • BREAKOUT 2A - Engaging for Real-World Outcomes: Biodiversity and Sustainability

    Nathan Garvey, Associate Director, EMM Consulting | Ingrid Kukuljan, Head of Impact and Sustainability Investing Federated Hermes | Nicki Hutley, JANA Sustainability Advisory Council Member | Independent Economist and Councillor (economics) Climate Council

    Biodiversity loss has a great impact on the environment, this session will look at how biodiversity will impact portfolio returns through changes in the climate. Our panel discuss how improving biodiversity can offer critical mitigation of climate change and associated impacts while understanding what role investors and fiduciaries can play through capital allocation. The impacts on the environment of biodiversity loss will impact portfolio returns through changes in climate. The session covers how improving biodiversity can offer critical mitigation of climate change and the associated impacts and what role investors and fiduciaries can play through capital allocation.

  • BREAKOUT 2B - Retirement Outcomes: Navigating the next phase of the Retirement Income Covenant

    Amara Haqqani, Chief Client Strategy Officer, Bennelong Asset Management | Aaron Minney, Head of Retirement Income Research, Challenger | Brnic Van Wyk, Head of Asset Liability Management, Australian Retirement Trust

    Super fund trustees are required to have a retirement income strategy in place from 1 July 2022. As part of this strategy, trustees need to consider how they balance the three key objectives in retirement of maximising expected retirement income, managing expected risks (including longevity risk), and having flexible access to expected funds. In this session, our panel explore the current state of the market, share their thinking on balancing the three key retirement objectives, and identify key considerations for super funds as they turn their attention to the evolution of their retirement offering.

  • BREAKOUT 2C - Australian Equities: The Path Towards Net Zero

    Nathan Parkin, Investment Director & Co-Founder, Ethical Partners | Troy Angus, Portfolio Manager, Paradice Investment Management | Bruce Smith, Principal and Portfolio Manager, Alphinity Investment Management | Renee Grogan, JANA Sustainability Advisory Council Member / Co-Founder & Chief Sustainability Officer, Impossible Mining

    The goal of achieving Net Zero is likely to continue to create a range of opportunities and threats to many industries and companies. Our panel discuss the challenges presented to investors and asset owners of Australian equities in managing carbon intensity. The panellists delve into sectors that present an opportunity to transition to a lower carbon footprint that may deliver outsized alpha opportunities, whilst highlighting a range of sectors and companies that are either lagging or unlikely to make significant transition by 2030.

Third plenary session 

The Need for Active Asset Management in an Increasingly Uncertain Backdrop

Ben Way, Global Head of Asset Management, Macquarie Asset Management

In this session, Ben Way, Group Head, Macquarie Asset Management, shares his thoughts on a wide range of topics, from the need for investors to consider that each region is at different stages in their sustainability journey and what that means for returns in both public and private markets, to how to approach sustainability in different asset classes and what decisions need to be made to achieve investor goals. Ben also shares his insights on what are the issues that people are thinking about globally. This session is designed to give the audience a chance to delve into the key decisions they should consider when allocating capital across a diverse range of investments and to understand the need for active asset allocation in an effective response to climate change.

Fourth plenary session 

The Need to Rethink Allocations to Emerging Markets

John Green, Chief Commercial Officer, Ninety One

With 90% of carbon emission growth expected to come from Emerging Markets, a successful journey to Net Zero by 2050 will only be achieved in the real world if Emerging Markets are a central part of the transition programme. This will require a meaningful commitment from private sector capital and asset owners and a well designed and implemented partnership between private sector and public sector finance. John Green, Chief Commercial Officer, Ninety One, discusses the challenges and explores why private sector capital is not engaging with this important issue or the opportunity. Considering whether Net Zero commitments without a clear Emerging Market component are in fact aligned with real world decarbonisation and discuss whether a significant change in approach is required if the challenge of the Emerging Market Transition is to be successfully navigated.

Images from the day

JANA Sustainability Report 2022

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