Defined Contribution Investment Forum

Sept. 23, 2022 | Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Toronto

All times listed below are in ET.
September 23, 2022

7:30 – 9:00 AM:

Breakfast (Ritz-Carlton Ballroom, Salon 3)

9:00 AM:

Opening remarks (Ritz-Carlton Ballroom, Salons 1 & 2)

9:00 – 10:00 AM:

Why we’re hard-wired to make bad decisions about money

In this keynote session, Preet Banerjee will inspire attendees to become financially empowered through his world-class expertise and unique ability to take the complexity out of money matters. Drawing on his background as a consultant to the wealth management industry with a focus on behavioural finance research, he will speak about why we’re hard-wired to make bad decisions about money from time to time and, more importantly, what we can do about it.

Speaker: Preet Banerjee, personal finance expert

10:00 – 10:30 AM:

Sequence of returns risk: Are your employees’ retirement nest eggs prepared?

Year to date global market performance highlights the importance of understanding the impact of sequence risk and how to manage it. In this session, Derek Beane and Sarah Donahue will discuss the concept of sequence risk, why it’s most pronounced in the later stages of the retirement journey, why the degree and nature of risk aren’t the same for all target-date fund lineups and how to manage it.


Derek Beane, director, investment product specialist, global product group, MFS Investment Management

Sarah E. Donahue, director of consultant relations, MFS Institutional Advisors Inc.

10:30 – 11:00 AM:

Networking break

11:00 – 11:30 AM:

Target-date funds and responsible investing: Discernment required

With the demand for responsible investing solutions increasing exponentially over the past few years, investment managers are launching new funds, redefining their funds’ objectives and strategies or rebranding existing strategies. But building or shaping portfolios with an RI focus isn’t as straightforward as it may seem and it also has multiple implications. With so many products making RI claims and no standard naming conventions, it can be a challenge to really understand each RI approach. And it’s even more challenging with target-date funds, as these are built with multiple asset classes and underlying strategies. Since building or shaping RI portfolios is a journey, it’s important for DC plan sponsors to understand the evolving RI approaches and determine which ones are best aligned with their fiduciary responsibilities and investment beliefs. In this session, Jennifer Rush and Satwik Misra will walk through the spectrum of responsible investing approaches and shares tips on how to discern between the different RI propositions that can be used within a TDF.


Satwik Misra, director, institutional business development and client relationships, Sun Life Global Investments

Jenifer Rush, head of responsible investing and manager research, Sun Life Global Investments

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM:

Sustainable investing and target-date funds: Key concepts and best practices

As defined contribution pension plan members seek more focus on environmental, social and governance and sustainable investing, this presentation will examine best practices for efficiently delivering sustainable target-date solutions. Key concepts include: the trade-off between relative risk, return and ESG factors in TDF solutions, plus balancing exclusions versus engagement; portfolio construction in multi-asset ESG TDF: core and explore concept, managing beta with active alpha opportunities complimented by more passive or rules-based tools; and the role of dynamic asset allocation in managing some of the biases that sustainable investing can introduce and as both a risk management and value-add tool in environments of heightened volatility.

Speaker: Michael Greenberg, senior vice-president, portfolio manager, Franklin Templeton Investment Solutions

12:00 – 1:00 PM:

Lunch (Ritz-Carlton Ballroom, Salon 3)

1:00 – 1:30 PM:

Utilizing real estate to meet investment objectives

Used to enhance income, improve diversification and hedge against inflation, the world’s largest and most sophisticated investors are allocating a large and growing amount of their capital to real estate. This session will provide an overview of commercial real estate, including the ways DC plan investors can benefit from the unique features it offers and the different ways they can approach this asset class given time horizons and risk profiles.

Speaker:  Joseph Shaw, managing partner and head of institutional sales, Hazelview Investments

1:30 – 2:00 PM:

Alternative approaches to fixed income

The role of fixed income in defined contribution plans has traditionally been to conserve capital, produce income and provide liquidity. Recent market turbulence has triggered many to question if the role of traditional fixed has been compromised. In this session, Kevin Minas will explore alternative yet complimentary approaches to traditional fixed income management. Fixed income allocations can indeed generate superior expected risk-adjusted results without compromising the traditional strengths of this asset class.

Speaker: Kevin Minas, vice-president, client portfolio manager, global fixed income, CIBC Asset Management

2:00 – 2:30 PM:

Networking break

2:30 – 3:00 PM:

The Public Employees Pension Plan — Taking a DB approach to a DC investment structure

In 2020, The Public Employees Pension Plan introduced private equity and infrastructure investments into its investment structure. This innovation didn’t happen overnight and is the product of a number of other decisions, experience and innovation in the preceding 10-15 years. In this session, Gary Hutch will share how the Public Employees Benefits Agency’s experience investing in private markets outside of the PEPP and the PEPP’s investment structure have made it possible to introduce private equity and infrastructure investments to Canada’s largest DC plan.

Speaker: Gary Hutch, executive director of investment services, Saskatchewan’s Public Employees Pension Plan

3:00 – 3:45 PM:

How and why ESG should be integrated into DC plan investments

This session will look at environmental, social and governance factors, the reasons that ESG should be considered in a DC plan’s investment platform, the legal and regulatory requirements and the governance, measurement and stakeholder issues relevant to integrating ESG into DC plan investments.

Speaker: Kathy Bush, partner, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

3:45 – 5:30 PM:

Networking and cocktail reception (Grand Foyer)

This agenda is subject to change.

Please email Megan Lepage