Portfolio Innovation and Resilience Forum

November 2 – 4
Contents delivered virtually
Networking Reception at Vantage Venues, Toronto

Featured Speakers

Topics to be discussed:

Investing in the new paradigm of rising inflation

Investing in Asia: Geopolitical risks, opportunities and complications

Applications of Data and technology innovations in investment decisions

Managing multifaceted risks in continued uncertainty

Unchartered path to achieving energy transition goals

Virtual Experience

Virtual Experience: The all-in-one virtual platform enables attendees to view presentations and connect with fellow attendees, at the convenience of home or office.

Live contents: 10+ hours of live sessions throughout 3 days, curated by industry practitioners

Virtual networking: Exchange messages and schedule meetings directly on event platform

Networking Reception

Reconnect with your colleagues at the reception to further build relationships

Ways to Participate


Propose a speaker for a topic aligned with the conference theme

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Complimentary passes available for qualified institutional investors

Apply for complimentary pass(es)


Limited sponsorship opportunities available for provider firms

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Gold Sponsors

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Ariel Fromer Babcock

Managing Director, Head of Research


As a Head of Research at FCLTGlobal (Focusing Capital on the Long Term), Ariel Fromer Babcock’s work has focused on how frictions stemming from the intersection of public companies with their shareholders may drive longer- or shorter-term behaviors on both sides of the aisle. Among other publications, she is the author of: The Long-term Habits of a Highly Effective Corporate Board, Driving the Conversation: Long-term Roadmaps for Long-term Success, and Moving Beyond Quarterly Guidance: A Relic of the Past. Her research on the investor-corporate dialogue and use of long-term shareholder communications as a tool to better align public companies and their long-term institutional shareholders earned her recognition among the inaugural class of the National Investor Relations Institute’s 40 Under 40 in 2019.
After starting her career as a trader and research analyst at a long-short financial sector focused hedge fund, she moved on to managing value- and equity-income focused mutual fund strategies at both American Independence Financial Services and Calamos Investments. Most recently Ariel worked with clean energy company Tecogen Inc. (NASDAQ: TGEN) as Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. While at Tecogen she was instrumental in establishing a unified corporate communications platform and in developing the company’s growth strategy alongside executive management.
Ariel holds a BA in Economics and Environmental Studies from Tufts University, holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, and is an active member of CFA Society Boston where she is a Financial Literacy Alliance Leader.

Marc Gauthier


University Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer

Concordia University

University Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer – Concordia University

Mr. Gauthier is responsible for the oversight of the University’s and its related entities’ financial position, which are segregated through five distinct portfolios; Benefits (Pension Plan, Group Insurance Plans, Supplementary Retirement Plans and Post Retirement/Employment Benefits), Investments (Pension Fund and Foundations), Corporate Risks (Insurance, self-insurance and ERM programs), Capital Budget (Capital investments and Fixed Assets) and Financing. He has been employed by Concordia University for 31 years; his responsibilities have also included such roles as Executive Director, Finance and Business Operations, Director of Finance and Restricted Funds and prior as a senior financial analyst and accountant. Mr. Gauthier obtained his CMA and graduated from Finance and Accounting at Concordia University as well as from Queen’s Executive Program in General Management.

Trésorier et Chef de Placement – Université Concordia

M. Gauthier a comme mandat la surveillance de la situation financière de l’Université et de ses entités affiliées, répartis en cinq portefeuilles distincts; avantages sociaux (régime de retraite, régimes d’assurances collectives, régimes de retraite supplémentaires et avantages post-retraite/emploi), placements (caisse de retraite et ces fondations), risques corporatifs (programme d’assurance, auto-assurance et GRE), budget des immobilisations (investissements en capitaux et immobilisations) et financement. M. Gauthier est employé à l’Université depuis 31 ans; il a occupé des rôles tels que Directeur exécutif, finances et gestion des affaires, Directeur des finances et fonds avec restrictions, analyste senior et comptable. Il a obtenu son CMA et est diplômé en Finance et Comptabilité de l’Université Concordia. 

Alison Schneider

Vice President, Responsible Investing


Alison Schneider is Vice President, Responsible Investing at AlMCo in Edmonton, Alberta. She is a recipient of both the Canada Clean 50 Award and it’s Top Project Award, chairs the GRESB Infrastructure advisory board and the shareholder responsibility committee of ICGN. She sits on committees for CSA Group, CCGG, the G7 ILN and PRI. Alison is a published author, (The New Frontiers of Sovereign Investment 2017), co-authored ICGN’s Guidance on Diversity (2016), ICGN’s Guidance on Fiduciary Duty (2018) and actively contributes to the development of national and global sustainable finance frameworks. Alison is a volunteer instructor for the Canadian Climate Law Initiative, Institute of Corporate Directors ILN’s Sustainable Infrastructure Fellowship program. She enjoys organizing local International Women’s Day events and is past-president and founder of Edmonton’s professional chapter of Net Impact (2011)

Peter Strikwerda

Global Head of Digital & Innovation

APG Asset Management

Digitalization and Innovation are key themes in APG Asset Management, to maintain and enhance the position as a leading global long term responsible investor. Peter Strikwerda is responsible for the definition and execution of the digitalization and innovation agenda’s, adding up to a business transformation including people, process, tech, data.

Peter joined APG Group in 2013 and APG Asset Management in 2017, after a career in (strategy) consulting within Financial Services and in between working at Rabobank and ING, a.o. heading the strategy and analytics department.

Peter holds a university degree in Business Administration.

Kevin Zhu


Senior Managing Director, Head of Portfolio Construction


Kevin Zhu is Senior Managing Director, Head of Portfolio Construction at OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension funds with net assets of almost C$25 billion.

Kevin has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, including both central banking and total portfolio investment
framework and strategy design for large Canadian defined benefit pension plans.

Kevin joined OPTrust in 2016 where he has been leading Total Fund portfolio management functions, including portfolio construction research and innovation, capital and risk allocation across asset classes and strategies, total portfolio management framework design, and dynamic total portfolio management.

Prior to joining OPTrust, Kevin held the position of Director, Strategy & Asset Mix at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Prior to this appointment, Kevin was Senior Economist at the Bank of Canada focusing on monetary policy research and model development. He holds a MA in Economics from Carleton University and is a CFA Charterholder. In 2017, Kevin was named to Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute’s Public Investor 100.

Aviva Investors is a global asset manager with over £218 bn* of AUM managed in real asset, fixed income, equity, multi-asset and alternative investments in 12 countries. Our clients can benefit not only from our significant local knowledge and experience, but also from the extensive global investment resources at our disposal. Responsibility is incorporated at all levels of our organization: understanding the factors, risks and opportunities in ESG helps us to be better investors and delivering the investment results our clients expect.

The value of an investment is subject to increases and decreases. Investors may not recover the amount originally invested. * Data as at 30 September 2023

At Wells Fargo Asset Management, we put the client at the center of everything we do. Our commitment: Help clients achieve what matters most to them on their path to financial well-being. We do this by channeling the collective wisdom of our specialized investment teams (backed by over 480 investment professionals) into solutions designed to help meet clients’ goals.

We place a relentless focus on pursuing consistent and positive risk-adjusted returns, with the support of our independent risk management teams. Together, we strive to help our clients build portfolios aimed at generating successful outcomes and defending them against uncertainty.
With more than $604 billion in assets under management* and offices around the world, Wells Fargo Asset Management has the resources and reach to help clients across the globe—be it institutions or intermediaries whose focus on the client is akin to our own.

*As of June 30, 2021
Wells Fargo Asset Management is the trade name for certain investment advisory/management firms owned by Wells Fargo & Company. These firms include but are not limited to Wells Capital Management Incorporated and Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC. Certain products managed by WFAM entities are distributed by Wells Fargo Funds Distributor, LLC (a broker-dealer and Member FINRA). Associated with WFAM is Galliard Capital Management, Inc. (an investment advisor that is not part of the WFAM trade name/GIPS firm).

As at March 29, 2024, CIBC Mellon had more than C$2.8 trillion of assets under administration on behalf of banks, pension funds, investment funds, corporations, governments, insurance companies, foreign insurance trusts, foundations and global financial institutions whose clients invest in Canada. CIBC Mellon is part of the BNY Mellon network, which as at March 29, 2024 had US$48.8 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration. CIBC Mellon is a licensed user of the CIBC trade-mark and certain BNY Mellon trade-marks, is the corporate brand of CIBC Mellon Global Securities Services Company and CIBC Mellon Trust Company, and may be used as a generic term to refer to either or both companies.

Amundi, ranking among the top 10 global players1, offers its clients a complete range of investment solutions in active and passive management, in traditional or real assets. With its six international investment hubs, research capabilities and long-standing commitment to responsible investment, Amundi is a key player in the asset management landscape. Created in 2010 and listed on the stock exchange in 2015, Amundi currently manages more than $2.84 trillion of assets. 2

1. Source: IPE “Top 500 Asset Managers” published in June 2022 and based on AUM as at December 2021
 2. Amundi figures as of March 31, 2023 in CAD

BNP Paribas Asset Management (‘BNPP AM’) is the investment arm of BNP Paribas, a leading banking with international reach. BNPP AM aims to generate long-term sustainable investment returns for its clients, based on a unique sustainability-driven philosophy. BNPP AM’s investment capabilities are focused around five key strategies: High Conviction Strategies, Private Debt & Real Assets, Multi-Asset, Quantitative & Solutions (MAQS), Emerging markets and Liquidity Solutions, with investment processes incorporating quantitative and fundamental analysis.

Sustainability is embedded within BNPP AM’s strategy and investment decision-making. Among the leaders in thematic investment in Europe, BNPP AM contributes to the energy transition, environmental sustainability and the promotion of equality and inclusive growth. BNPP AM has assets under management of USD 580 billion, with 500 investment professionals and over 400 client servicing specialists, serving individual, corporate and institutional clients in 69 countries.

Source: BNPP AM, as at 30 June 2021

CIBC Asset Management (CIBC AM) is the asset management subsidiary of CIBC. Dedicated to being the leader in client relationships, CIBC AM provides a range of high-quality investment management services and solutions to retail and institutional investors. Offerings include a comprehensive platform of mutual funds, strategic managed portfolio solutions, discretionary investment management services for high-net-worth individuals, and institutional portfolio management. CIBC AM is one of Canada’s largest asset management firms, with over $185 billion in assets under administration as of June 2022.
Bonnefield Financial Inc is one of Canada’s leading farmland investment managers, with four investment partnerships comprising 135k acres of farmland across Canada and over $1bn of Assets Under Management. Bonnefield’s investment model provides investors with exposure to the unique characteristics of Canadian farmland. Bonnefield Funds target low-correlated, low-volatility returns from stable lease income and capital appreciation which offer an inflation and climate change hedge within a responsible ESG framework.

Validus is a leading independent financial services firm, advising and providing solutions to institutional investors and fund managers with a specific focus on alternative, private and illiquid assets. For the past ten years our core expertise has been to deliver effective and efficient risk management solutions to these clients globally, mitigating market risks such as foreign currency, inflation, or interest rate exposures.

Our award-winning service also includes turnkey solutions to the operational challenge of implementing, managing, and monitoring hedging programmes, through dedicated resources and proprietary technology.

We also provide advisory services related to fund finance, global macro strategies, and dynamic as well as passive overlay strategies. We manage more than $300bn worth of hedges every year and process more than 2,000 transactions every month. Our clients include some of the largest institutional investors and fund managers in the world, controlling more than $2 trillion in combined assets under management.

To learn more, visit https://validusrm.com/

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