European Pensions & Investments Summit 2019

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  • Tactical Insights for Pension Fund Investors at the EPI Summit

      Brittany Ryan, Executive Producer of the marcus evans European Pensions & Investments Summit 2012, shares a snapshot of the leading industry views offered at this year’s event.


    The marcus evans European Pensions & Investments Summit, the region’s leading gathering of industry practitioners, took place from May 14th to 16th in Nordwijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands. The programme addressed both the tactical issues facing pension fund investors and the larger context of the unstable system they must operate within.

    Financial historian Niall Ferguson opened the event with an assessment of the West’s public finance crisis and the rise of emerging markets, particularly China. The debate on China’s true potential as an investment market continued throughout the event and both the enthusiasts and sceptics provided impressive data on the dragon.

    Roubini Global Economics’ director of equity and asset allocation, Gina Sanchez offered a timely assessment of global deleveraging, reminding the delegation that liquidity does not solve solvency or structural issues. Sanchez also provided a comprehensive comparison of economic challenges across the globe and shed light on the Chinese slowdown and its potential ripple effect throughout Asia.

    Even with a clear emphasis on China, the Eurozone debate – particularly the Greek in-or-out question - dominated the discussion. The recent election of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was surely a relief for many of the summit delegates who feared that political schisms in Greece, highlighted by the sudden rise of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party, could mean an exit from the Eurozone and a severe contagion effect throughout the region.

    Niall Ferguson expressed his hope that the German government would recognise more needs to be done than just austerity. To Ferguson, the big question is whether Europe can become a real federal system, though he conceded this would be a difficult feat for many reasons, not least the cultural challenges that would need to be resolved. Regardless of emerging political elements, the general consensus among all speakers was that we will not see economic growth anytime soon.

    Amidst talk of another LTRO from the ECB, the programme stepped back in time for an evening discussion with Henry M. Paulson, Jr., former Secretary of the US Treasury Department and orchestrator of the TARP. Live via satellite from Chicago, Paulson spoke candidly about implementing the US economic bailout of 2008 and shared his experiences in dialoguing with the Chinese. He agreed with Niall Ferguson and several other speakers that the lack of an efficient legal system will be a fundamental challenge for the nation. Paulson took several questions directly from the audience and left them with one key message: financial crises are a clash of markets and politics, but markets always win.

    Despite the gloomy economic outlook, the discussion forums on pensions sustainability and asset allocation provided tactical insight for investors to take back to the office with them. Speakers from ABP, AHV, Hymans Robertson and the EFRP debated the classic DC versus DB question and concluded that there is still a place for DB schemes in Europe. Although adjustments must be made to this model for it to survive the current demographic and financial landscape, collective pensions offer cheaper and better provision.

    Further insight on pension design was offered by industry authority Keith Ambachtsheer. The director of the Rotman International Center for Pension Management made a compelling case for a complete redesign of pension guarantees. Ambachtsheer stressed that pension funds have two essential goals: affordability for workers and payment certainty for pensioners. According to Ambachtsheer, these can only be achieved with completely new tools and ultimately Chief Investment Officers must separate long horizon investing from short-term payment certainty investing.

    As financial systems change shape, the European Pensions and Investments Summit will continue to deliver market-moving insights to leading pension investors. Join us in 2013 for an ample agenda complete with unparalleled networking opportunities and productive business meetings.

    Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

    Tel: + 357 22 849 313

    About the European Pensions & Investments Summit 2012

    This unique forum took place at the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin, Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 - 16 May 2012. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting brought together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit included visionary presentations and interactive forums on looking beyond volatility to pinpoint innovative investment approaches, modernising risk models and delivering returns in the new era of pension investing.

    For more information please send an email to or visit the event website at

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    Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

    About marcus evans Summits

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