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The Future Of Asset Management: Indexing, Smart Beta And The Role Of Indices In Institutional Strategies

It’s not just passive fund investors who need to know about indexing. With indices now encompassing a variety of investment strategies, every asset owner needs to reassess what portion of their portfolio could and should be replicated.
How far can “smart beta” indices go in replacing active managers? In this session, expert panellists look at asset management’s future.

  • Indexing and active management
  • Benchmark evolution and choice
  • Custom benchmarks, smart indices and the future of asset management

Critical Decisions: Adding Value To Index Returns

Index fund management allows for a variety of ways to add value to the benchmark return, whether through securities lending, the use of index derivatives or positioning portfolios for index rebalancings. In this session, panellists assess whether “index-plus” returns justify the risks undertaken to achieve them. We also review indexing and transition management, a crucial subject for institutional asset owners.

  • “Index-plus” returns via lending and swaps—value added or risky financial engineering?
  • Managing index and portfolio rebalancing
  • Minimising transition costs

Indexing has moved far beyond its roots in the equity markets, with bond index trackers seeing huge inflows in the last few years. However, there’s still a vibrant debate on how best to index in a market where trading typically takes place offexchange and can dry up in tough times. In this panel, we explore the latest trends in fixed-income indexing.

  • From exchange to OTC—ensuring tradable prices
  • Cap-weighting in bond indices–the pros and cons
  • Benchmarking rate, credit and liquidity risks
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Accessing Emerging Markets: Does Indexing Work?

Emerging markets present index providers and index-tracking fund managers with particular challenges. Does it make sense to follow an index strategy in EM, or do active managers retain a convincing edge? How reliable are the underlying benchmarks and what are the potential pitfalls to be aware of? Panellists review how best to access developing equity and fixed-income markets.

  • Emerging markets—the last bastion of active managers?
  • §For and against country indexing
  • How reliable are indices in emerging markets?

Luncheon For Delegates & Speakers Keynote Luncheon Address
Exposed: Blowing The Whistle On Olympus The Yield Gap: Indexing For Income

Near-zero interest rates are putting huge pressure on long-term savings plans. In this session, index industry experts review the ways in which benchmarks are being developed to generate income from a range of asset classes. Choosing the right index and measuring post-cost yields is crucial—we explore why.

  • Indexing equities for income
  • Generating income from other asset classes
  • What is an index tracker’s yield after transaction costs and taxes?

Challenges For The Buy-Side: A Roundtable Discussion

Pension funds, charities and sovereign wealth funds are devoting increased interest to index-based portfolios. In the old world, fund trustees delegated responsibility for investing to active fund managers. What happens now and who carries the can if things go wrong? In this session, leading institutional investors and other experts share their views on the best way to manage a long-term index-based strategy.

  • Implementation Challenges For Pension and Endowment Funds
  • Managing asset allocations
  • Who answers if things go wrong?
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Afternoon Networking Break The Index Effect: Fact Or Fantasy?

Critics allege that rising levels of index fund use are creating perverse effects on investor and market behaviour, from driving internal stock market correlations higher to creating valuation discrepancies between members and non-members of the most widely-followed benchmarks. Does indexing produce less effective corporate governance? In this session panellists review:

  • The effect of indexing on investor and market behaviour
  • Are passive funds driving correlations higher?
  • Indexing and corporate governance

Managing Volatility: Tail Risk Indices

Volatility indices have become big business as investors worry about protecting their portfolios from unforeseen market declines. But do they really hedge downside risk and what are the costs of using them? Are there alternative ways of managing tail exposures? Expert panellists explore one of the most topical indexing questions.

  • Volatility index pros and cons
  • Managing costs of carry
  • Cross–asset tail risk hedging using indices

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