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Sponsored by: PGIM, Hang Seng Indexes, MSCI, S&P Global, Link REIT, Refinitive, and Hong Kong Management Association


Introduction

We cannot predict the future, but we can prepare for it and help shape it. To help investors see beyond the horizon, the CFA Institute 2022 Alpha Summit APAC provides two full days of dedicated content focusing on the investment industry’s biggest trends and challenges across Asia Pacific. Thanks to unique access to industry luminaries and thought leaders CFA Institute offers insights on five main themes:

  • Opportunities and responsibilities with sustainable investing,
  • Excelling in a post-pandemic world,
  • Harnessing the benefits of innovation and technology,
  • The future of capital markets, and
  • Advancements for the investment management professional.

The nine thematic sessions of the virtual conference, held on 10-11 February 2022, focused on giving the audience the investment tools and guidance on the best practices financial professionals need to succeed.


Welcome and Opening Remarks: Think Beyond the Horizon

In this opening session, Margaret Franklin, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute, and Paul Andrews, managing director of research, advocacy, and standards at CFA Institute, welcome the participants, outline the mission of the CFA Institute, and offer a preview of the conference themes. 


Fireside Chat: Progress in Greening the Financial System — Lessons Learned and Looking Forward

Government funding will not be enough to support the “greening” of financial markets and economies, but policy incentives and other tools can be used to stimulate the development of green finance. Investors also have a key role to play in developing the next generation of market-based instruments that can go beyond such conventional methods as green bonds and carbon markets. What are the next steps to mobilize green finance and investment? How can we anticipate potential transition risks and shocks? What are the best ways to hone our skills to produce better environmental risk analysis?


Panel Discussion: Climate Change Risk – Action for Industry Stakeholders

The rapid growth of the ESG integration and impact investing strategies highlights the importance of efficient capital allocation in the transition to a low-carbon global economy. But despite rising popularity, climate-related investments continue to face fundamental challenges, such as limited data, “greenwashing,” and ESG ratings divergence. What are the best practices for measuring, disclosing and integrating climate change considerations into decision making? How can asset owners, investment managers and other financial industry practitioners move the needle in pursuit of net zero through better corporate engagement and stewardship?


Panel Discussion: Global and Regional ESG Regulations and Standards – Implications for the Financial Services Industry

The number of ESG regulations and standards has grown worldwide in response to concerns of greenwashing as well as the potential systemic risks posed by climate risks. Initially many of the disclosure requirements were focused on the corporate sector. As corporate disclosures improve, we are seeing more emphasis on improving disclosures from the financial services industry, some through mandatory TCFD disclosures. This has brought about significant opportunities and challenges. How is the industry adapting to these changes? How can we address issues of regulatory fragmentation in a diverse region such as Asia Pacific? Are regulations necessary to ensure capital market integrity and efficiency?


Panel Discussion: The Pandemic’s Impact on Shareholder Activism

Over the past decade, shareholder activists and (more recently) ESG activists have made significant progress in the Asia-Pacific region. Their efforts put errant managements on notice, led to regulatory reforms, enhanced shareholder influence, improved governance and set encouraging examples for others to follow.  What are the key lessons to learn from recent cases of successful shareholder activism in Japan, Australia, and other markets in the region, and are there limits to activism? How should various investors engage with companies to drive positive changes in corporate governance as they emerge from the pandemic? 


Keynote and Fireside Chat: SDG Investing

As investment managers respond to increased expectations from clients to align with UN PRI Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), fundamental questions still need to be addressed. From establishing frameworks that achieve PRI Sustainable Development Goals to defining, measuring and integrating social factors in valuation analysis, best practices are still evolving. How can investors increase the positive outcomes and decrease the negative outcomes arising from their actions, and what considerations should guide the adaptation of investment processes? 


Panel Discussion: Managing Pension Funds for Sustainable Long-Term Return

The Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index 2021 highlights repercussions of the global pandemic and ongoing health crisis on retirement systems globally. While many funds strive for sustainable long-term return, they must also deal with the current realities of extreme valuations and low expected returns, historically low interest rates, and other economic pressures.  What strategies are funds employing in their capital allocation, ESG integration and portfolio optimization process to achieve their long-term financial objectives and better outcomes for retirees? 


Panel Discussion: Trends in Capital Markets and Capital Formation in Asia Pacific

The rise of private markets and the growth of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) as IPO alternatives in the US, has sparked demand to accelerate the evolution of the region’s capital markets. In the meantime, passive investments, including ESG indexes, continue on a high growth trajectory and may overtake active investing in the next few years. With the changing demographics and investor demand, as well as disruptions from the pandemic, higher inflation and liquidity issues in Asia property debt markets, what trends and changes will shape the short-term and long-term outlook for the region’s capital markets? How should these directions inform investment strategies?


Fireside Chat: Future of the FinTech Eco-System

Technology’s disruption of financial services has only just begun, and financial platforms from payments to insurance and everything in between will undergo some kind of tech-driven transformation. How does a successful Fintech eco-system look like, and how can investors and consumers benefit? While the future is looking bright, what are the potential ethical and cybersecurity considerations that need to be resolved? How will the ecosystem evolve and affect investors and firms, and will the changes have a positive or negative impact on the current low levels of investor trust in the investment industry?


Panel Discussion: Investment Management Professional of the Future

The expanding role of artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning has already begun to change the investment industry, but it’s also transforming the very nature of investment work itself. Increasingly, investment professionals will have to deal with investment processes that are shaped and driven by new technologies. How can firms build more effective teams that integrate human intelligence with artificial intelligence? And how will individual professionals need to adapt in order to succeed?


PGIM Sponsored Session: 2022 Best Ideas - The Road to Renewal

Two years into the pandemic, uncertainty persists. Inflation, supply-chain constraints and stretched valuations are all concerns, yet there is also reason for optimism. Hear experts from PGIM as they discuss  whether inflation is transitory or enduring and other issues investors face in 2022.


Hang Seng Indexes Company Sponsored Session: Our ESG Journey

Hang Seng Indexes Company presents: an introduction to Hang Seng Indexes, the ESG journey of Hang Seng Indexes, the HSI ESG Enhanced Index, and the 2021 Annual Review.


MSCI Sponsored Session: The Evolution of ESG Investing - A conversation with MSCI CEO Henry Fernandez

Speaking with Georgetown University professor Reena Aggarwal, MSCI CEO Henry Fernandez explains how the firm can help develop innovative climate solutions for global investors.


S&P Global Sponsored Session: How Index-Based Approach Empowers ESG Integration

Tianyin Cheng, senior director of ESG indices at S&P Dow Jones Indices talks about the expanding range of index-based ESG solutions; how they can be used as fundamental building blocks in broader asset allocation strategies; and shares real life examples of how large pension funds integrate ESG and carbon targets with their strategies.


Publisher

CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. CFA Institute works with academic institutions with the University Affiliation Program. Academic institutions that embed a significant portion of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK)—including the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct—into their curriculum may be eligible to participate in the University Affiliation Program.
An Affiliated University signals to their students and to employers that their curriculum is closely tied to the practice of investment management and is helpful to students preparing for the CFA® Program exams.

ARX Editorial Team

Senior Director: Scott Lee
Project Specialist: Natalie Yiu
Coordinator: Christy Leung