Blog Posts — April 18, 2018

STOXX Annual Conference to Discuss Future of Investing

By Roberto Lazzarotto, Global Head of Sales, STOXX Ltd.

We have entered an era of machines with imagination and perception. Those of us in financial services are witnessing first-hand how artificial intelligence, new technologies and digital solutions are transforming our industry.

In indexing, the growth of data sources is enabling new, advanced portfolio construction techniques. Additionally, breakthrough technology permits algorithms to perform stock-picking for each index and strategy.

As technology advances, asset owners and intermediaries need to ask themselves questions: How is my investment environment changing? What processes and results will change due to innovation? And, importantly, am I investing in the future?

Conference to tackle theme of future

Such questions will be addressed in our Innovate2Invest annual flagship conference this year, under the title of “The Future of Investing and Investing in the Future,” on Apr. 25 in London. The conference has grown every year, becoming a date not to be missed for investment leaders and professionals. Once again, a strong line-up of expert guests will lead an enlightening debate.

This year we are honored to have Professor Myron Scholes, Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences, as keynote speaker. Prof. Scholes will present on the importance of risk management in an evolving asset-management landscape. His research on pricing exchange-listed options was instrumental in facilitating the multi-billion market of derivatives, and I am extremely pleased to have him enrich the day’s discussion.

Panels with leading experts and thinkers

A number of panels throughout the day will cover the present and future technological changes revamping asset management.

Oliver Jaegerman at AMX, Tony Guida from RPMI Railpen and Howie Li at Legal & General Investment Management will kick-start the panel round by discussing how digital disruption is changing investing and creating opportunities.

We’ll then take a deep dive into the role of big data and financial technology in the adoption of sustainable investing. We will be guided by David Lunsford, co-founder of Carbon Delta, an award-winning climate-risk researcher, and Philipp Aeby, CEO of RepRisk, a leading provider of analytical tools to the UK’s pension market.

Factor investing is garnering more and more assets, and we’ll hear next from Michael Kinney at Mercer, Laurent Trottier at Amundi, Lukas Plachel from Finreon and Jan-Carl Plagge from STOXX on how multi-factor investing in particular is evolving.

The conference’s last panel will cover thematic investing. Rob Powell, strategist at BlackRock, will discuss how the advancement of data is helping investors implement megatrends in equity portfolios via passive vehicles.

We are also very pleased to have Rick Redding, CEO of the Index Industry Association. We’ll hear from him about the trends pushing forward a staggering 3.29 million indices worldwide.

A look to the world of today and tomorrow

The financial expertise will be complemented throughout the day by leading thinkers studying the advancing digital world. I expect bold predictions about tomorrow’s world that will push us to think beyond today’s boundaries.

We’ll hear first from Matthew Griffin, founder of the 311 Institute and a leading advisor to the world’s major technology manufacturers. Matthew has written extensively on topics such as machines’ empathy, robocops and immortality. If this sounds like science-fiction world, it’s actually very real.

Famed futurologist Mark Stevenson will give us his unique vision of how an uncertain world will change investment forever. Mark’s “An Optimist’s Tour of the Future” book has been translated into 12 languages, and his observations on technology innovation and modern societal trends are as captivating as can be chilling.

Whitney Johnson, author of the best-selling book “Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work,” will take the stage for a closing session to share her leading research in, and personal experience with, disruptive innovation – from business management to stock-picking.

For UK pension trustees and consultants, a breakout session over lunch will be dedicated to liability-driven investing, and particularly how indices can help address governance and portfolio construction challenges.