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Preparing for the future can be more powerful than trying to predict it.
To help investors think beyond the horizon, Alpha Summit EMEA focused on the investment industry’s biggest challenges and most compelling trends across the EMEA region. Discussions and presentations were led by industry luminaries and thought leaders, sharing their insights on five main themes that covered topics such as Resiliency in the Post-Pandemic World; Sustainable Finance; AI and Big Data; Capital Allocation and Investment Opportunities to Address Climate Change; and a specific look at Private Markets in the Middle East & Africa.
Alpha Summit EMEA was two days of dynamic content that connected investment professionals from around the world with the knowledge and new ideas they need to achieve better outcomes.
All Agenda times are displayed in CET (GMT +1)
Welcome & Opening Remarks
Culture as a Source of Sustainable Alpha
Culture is critical to a firm’s success because company performance ultimately depends on the contributions of employees, yet the impact of culture is very difficult to measure. Investors need new analytical tools as well as a multi-stakeholder perspective to evaluate the impact of culture on valuation. A “Culture Appraisal” is one nontraditional framework for identifying companies with sustainable competitive advantages. What can be learned from a culture appraisal, and how can it be incorporated into the investment process to create alpha?
What’s Needed for Emerging and Frontier Markets to Thrive in the Post-Pandemic World—Focus on Africa and Pakistan
Emerging and frontier markets in Africa and other parts of EMEA have been hit hard by the pandemic, yet the prospects for a recovery have never been brighter. Policy makers need to focus on basic infrastructure needs—education, electricity and healthcare to pull populations out of poverty—which will require policy support, funding and greater government, and private investment. What investment opportunities will be created, and will these efforts increase the risk of a new debt crisis in the future?
Asset Owner Perspectives on Capital Allocation
Long-term focus has always been key for asset owners, but the recent economic and financial disruptions and extraordinary monetary policies are raising unique questions and challenges for long-term asset allocation and risk management. The low/no yield environment calls for a fundamental reevaluation of investment strategies, with some experts arguing that alternative assets will fill the role of fixed income in portfolio mixes. With so much of the investment landscape in flux, how should asset owners approach an unprecedented set of circumstances?
Supporting Sustainable Growth in Private Markets in the Middle East & Africa
Given the economic diversity of the MENA region, the evolution of private markets will depend on whether a country has the financial ecosystem, economic infrastructure, and regulatory framework to support startups and strategic partnerships. How can countries in the region develop strategies to foster growth and innovation? What considerations should guide investors in evaluating opportunities, and how can private markets contribute to investing for sustainability and impact?
Opportunities for Infrastructure Investment in Africa
For emerging markets, infrastructure investment is critical for economic and financial development, but in many of these markets, infrastructure is more vulnerable to factors influenced by climate change. Developing infrastructure with the resilience to withstand disruptive weather events and other climate-related changes will be key and should be a focus for impact investing. Given the uncertainty of such risks, what tools can investors use to improve decision making, and what are the best practices for identifying opportunities and strategies?
Day 1 - Closing Remarks
Welcome Remarks (Day 2)
Why People Make Bad Judgements and How to Make Better Ones
To understand error in judgment, we must understand both bias and noise. Bias has been discussed in thousands of scientific articles and dozens of popular books, but few mention the problem of noise. In fact, noise can be the more important problem, but most of the time, individuals and organizations alike are unaware of it or neglect it. What is noise and how do you measure it in judgment and decision making? With a few simple remedies, people can reduce both noise and bias, and make far better decisions.
Post-COP26 Climate Investment Opportunities—Strategies, Instruments and Risks
Following the COP26 climate change conference, there is a renewed focus on building momentum and finding better solutions, including the proactive engagement of the investment community. Among the challenges, investors need to define the priorities for deploying capital to support decarbonization and develop target asset allocation strategies. Can the full range of investment players—from VC to private investments to public securities—be coordinated to pull in a common direction, and how should members of the investment community respond?
Sustainability Analytics & Integration: Resolving the Problems with ESG & Impact Data
The field of sustainability analytics has benefited from better quality and availability of data in recent years, but investors still struggle with a lack of alignment among disclosure standards and reporting frameworks. In general, a mismatch still exists between disclosures in regulatory filings and voluntary disclosures provided by companies, and problems such as greenwashing and ratings divergence among ratings providers complicate matters for analysts. With market participants driving demand for progress and new EU sustainability disclosure requirements adding momentum for change, what will the future hold for investors who need better tools for sustainability analytics?
Game-Changing Political Risks in the Post-Pandemic World
Is your risk management strategy ready for the destabilizing effects of chronic inflation, US-China tensions, climate change transition and the collapse of established political parties in key European countries? These and other political risks are poised to intensify or emerge in the post-pandemic world. What steps should investors take, and will political shifts bring new opportunities as well?
After the Crisis-Resiliency of Capital Markets and Economies in a Post Pandemic World
Unprecedented government responses to the pandemic will have long-term consequences for the financial system and the global economy, including the stability of markets, which investors will have to navigate. But the fiscal challenge resulting from the pandemic could be overshadowed by the impact of demographic factors and declining productivity on economies and markets. With concerns about inflation, effectiveness of future policy actions and other structural shifts, can investors learn lessons from financial and economic history that will help them navigate the uncharted waters ahead?
Day 2 - Closing remarks