2014 Conference Agenda
Please click here to view the agenda as a PDF. Location acronyms are explained below. Click on each day below to show the day’s itinerary.Monday May 26
|2:00||Plenary: What Would Marx Think? Investors Respond to the Contradictions of Capitalism|
Bob Walker - VP, ESG Services and Ethical Funds, NEI Investments (Moderator)
Michelle de Cordova - Director, Corporate Engagement & Public Policy, NEI Investments
Adam Kanzer - Managing Director and General Counsel, Domini Social Investments
Kevin Ranney - Director, Advisory Services, Sustainalytics
Income inequality. Poverty and malnutrition. Business contributions to the common good. The purpose of the corporation under an emerging plutocracy. All hot button issues in the 1840s. And growing concerns in 2014. At our opening plenary session, Bob Walker will moderate a panel of experts discussing how investors are responding to the social challenges that present critical systemic risks to today's economy.
|3:30||Plenary: Carbon Constraints and Investment Strategy|
Cary Krosinsky - Adjunct/Coordinator, Earth Institute, Columbia University
Dermot Foley - Manager of ESG Analysis, Vancity
The potential for carbon constraints on global economies is a possible scientific imperative and a challenge to all investors. Is fossil fuel divestment the correct approach? If not, then what is? What can be achieved through engagement? How long will oil be a staple of the Canadian economy, and what are the implications for responsible investors and the future of the Canadian economy?
|4:30||Plenary: Impact Investment in Canada|
Sandra Odendahl - Director of Corporate Responsibility and Head of Social Finance, RBC (Moderator)
Paul Richardson - President, Renewal Funds
Derek Ballantyne - CEO, Community Forward Fund
Adam Spence - Founder, SVX and Associate Director, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing
Sandra Odendahl will moderate a panel of leading impact investment experts. They will discuss the trends, challenges and opportunities in impact investing including product segments, future product models and the suitability of impact products for institutional and retail clients. The panel will share examples of investments that integrate financial returns and social impact.
RBC welcomes RIA conference delegates!
Join our reception hosts for drinks and appetizers. Don’t miss this opportunity to network with friends, clients, colleagues and our amazing lineup of speakers.
|6:30||Impact Investment Fair|
Karim Harji - Co-Founder and Partner , Purpose Capital
Tuesday May 27
|8:30||Breakfast + RIA in Banff 2015|
Jeff Melanson - President, The Banff Centre
Jeff Melanson, international speaker on creativity, and President of the Banff Centre, the world’s largest incubator of arts and ideas, will introduce the 2015 Canadian Responsible Investment Conference set to take place at The Banff Centre, June 2015. He will also discuss the connections between social investment and a unique approach to sector-wide problem solving at The Banff Centre.
|9:00||Plenary: Investing in Global Equality|
Mariam Dao Gabala - West Africa Regional Representative, Oikocredit
Investing in Global Equality: Building a Just Relationship with Emerging Economies. The West has traditionally viewed Africa and other developing regions as pockets of poverty dependent on aid. But as developing economies grow, a more equal relationship is emerging. Mariam Dao Gabala provides her insight on this change and how investors in Canada can contribute to this new relationship.
|10:00||Concurrent Workshop: RI Basics|
Dustyn Lanz - Director, Research and Communications, RIA (Moderator)
Dean Whalen - Advisor, Lighthouse Money Management Inc.
Sucheta Rajagopal - Portfolio Manager, Jacob Securities Inc.
An overview of responsible investing suitable for new advisors or advisors new to responsible investing. This workshop will help you get started with RI; providing an overview of RI market trends, hot topics and key issues for responsible investors, and provide guidance on how to bring this into your interactions with clients.
|10:00||Concurrent Workshop: Climate Change Strategies|
Heather Lang - Director, Institutional Relations, Sustainalytics (Moderator)
Bob Walker - Vice President of ESG Services for NEI Investments
Dimitiri Lascaris - Partner, Siskinds LLP
Cary Krosinsky - Adjunct/Coordinator, Earth Institute, Columbia University
As Canadian investors come to terms with the severe risks associated with climate change, various strategies are being deployed to protect them from stranded carbon assets, while taking action against the looming carbon crisis. This workshop will address the wide range of approaches deployed, ranging from divestment to engagement, on the basis of fiduciary responsibility and potential impact. It will also uncover key metrics to differentiate climate change leaders from laggards.
|10:00||Concurrent Workshop: Best Practices for Anti-Corruption Compliance|
Julie Desjardins - President, Desjardins & Associates Consulting Inc. (Moderator)
Peter Dent - Partner and National Leader, Deloitte
François Meloche - Extra Financial Risk Manager, Bâtirente
Priti Shokeen - Senior Associate, MSCI ESG Research
Bribery and corruption are growing concerns for regulators in Canada and beyond. Join a distinguished panel of experts who will explore why investors should be concerned, what constitutes a bribe, and what investors look for in effective anti-corruption compliance and risk management programs.
View Slides (Peter Dent)
View Slides (François Meloche)
View Slides (Priti Shokeen)
|11:00||Break + Trade Show||TS|
|11:30||Concurrent Workshop: The Performance Myth|
Alan Harman - Director and Portfolio Manager, ScotiaMcLeod (Moderator)
Gary Hewitt - Managing Director and Head of Research, GMI Ratings
Jason Milne - Manager, ESG Policy & Research, Phillips, Hager & North
Daniel Solomon - SVP & Chief Investment Officer, NEI Investments
Responsible Investment is often criticized under the assumption that ESG considerations come at a cost to financial performance. This workshop will provide evidence to show that RI can be a powerful tool to mitigate risk, generate returns and catalyze positive societal change.
View Slides (Gary Hewitt)
View Slides (Jason Milne)
View Slides (Daniel Solomon)
|11:30||Concurrent Workshop: Can Extractive Companies be Sustainable?|
Patti Dolan - Advisor, Dolan Wealth Management of Raymond James Ltd. (Moderator)
Craig Stenhouse - Manager, Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), Cenovus Energy
Stacey Schorr Manager, Sustainability, Encana Corporation.
Yulia Reuter - Head of Energy Research, Sustainable Investments, MSCI
Eli Angen - Associate Regional Director for Ontario, Pembina Institute
Extractive sectors play a big role in the Canadian economy. They face extremely challenging ESG risks because the core of their business is unsustainable. They have been under constant pressure from environmental and First Nations activists. This panel looks at how companies are now reporting and responding to these material issues by addressing stakeholder concerns head-on. Hear first-hand about strategies that some extractive companies are using to become CSR leaders in this sector.
|11:30||Concurrent Workshop: Human Rights & Digital Technology|
Gary Hawton - President, OceanRock Investments (Moderator)
Matthew Barg - Associate Analyst, Sustainalytics
Colin Freeze - Reporter, Globe and Mail
Jonathan Obar - Visiting Assistant Professor, Michigan State University
Prominent scandals over the last year have highlighted and redefined our relationship with privacy. Internet service providers, telecoms, and, through them, governments have access to a remarkable amount of communications data posing risks to responsible investors and other stakeholders. This workshop will explore the intersection of data privacy and human
rights domestically and globally, while scrutinizing the exposure and performance of the major ICT companies.
View Slides (Matt Barg)
View Slides (Jonathan Obar)
|12:30||Assemble for Lunch|
Adèle Hurley - Director, Program on Water Issues, Munk School
Adèle will give a preview of an upcoming symposium at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs: Water and Hydraulic Fracturing in Canada: Information for Investors and Everyone Else. The symposium is a part of Canada’s inaugural RI Week.
|1:00||Plenary: Creating Sustainable, Fair and Safe Global Supply Chains’|
Fred Pinto - CEO, OceanRock Investments (Moderator)
Bob Chant - Senior VP, Corporate Affairs, Loblaw
Kevin Thomas - Senior Analyst, SHARE
Loblaw stood out among Canadian retailers when they joined the ground-breaking Bangladesh Accord last spring following the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh. More recently, Loblaw signed a global pledge to eliminate Uzbekistan cotton from their supply chain. Bob Chant will share their story. Fred Pinto will moderate an honest discussion with Bob Chant joined by Kevin Thomas of SHARE, to explore the similarities and differences in how retailers and investors identify, value and prioritize labour rights commitments and practices. To round out their discussion, they will also delve into what still needs to be done to create sustainable, fair and safe global supply chains.
View Slides (Bob Chant)
|2:00||Plenary: Mainstreaming ESG for 25 years: Evidence, Implications and Opportunities|
Mary Jane McQuillen - Head of ESG, ClearBridge
Manmeet Bhatia - Chief Investment Officer, OceanRock Investments
In a fireside discussion format, Manmeet Bhatia will interview MJ McQuillen as she provides an historical overview of ESG integration and responsible investing, with a focus on the U.S. marketplace. Together, they will address integration practices at a mainstream firm, the performance implications and the benefits of engagement and measuring impact.
|3:00||Break + Trade Show||TS|
|3:30||Sponsor Session: An Integrated Approach – Sustainable. Profitable. Responsible.|
Stephen MacInnes - Portfolio Manager, Vancity
Dermot Foley - Manager of ESG Analysis, Vancity
Join Stephen MacInnes and Dermot Foley for an informal paneled discussion. Learn about their unique integrated approach and gain a comprehensive perspective of their process; from analysis to engagement. Take away peace of mind by fully understanding the skill and conviction behind the management team.
|3:30||Sponsor Session: Rising Costs in the Supply Chain: What You Need to Know|
Olga Emelianova - VP, ESG Research, MSCI
Jackie Daitchman - Associate, ESG Research, MSCI
Consumer goods and retail companies reliant on suppliers in developing economies face the threat of rising labour, safety, and energy costs. We highlight MSCI ESG Research on palm oil, a product under intense scrutiny due to the environmental and social risks inherent in its production in Indonesia and Malaysia.
|3:30||Sponsor Session:For advisors new to SRI: Your 5 Minute Guide to the SRI Market|
Kim Buitenhuis, Senior VP Marketing and Product, NEI Investments
Be prepared for the next investor conversation on SRI with a short infographic to help get you ready.
|3:30||Sponsor Session: Making a difference with Community Development Investments|
Gary Hawton, President, OceanRock
Join Gary Hawton, President of OceanRock as he discusses why Meritas SRI Funds remains solidly committed to incorporating Community Development Investments (CDI) into each of its Funds and Portfolios. Meritas SRI Funds are the only national fund family which invests directly in CDI. Gary will be joined by some of the management team of these CDI to provide real life examples of how CDI can make a difference.
|4:15|| Split Plenary |
The Challenges of ESG Integration: Insights from Practitioners
Simon MacMahon - Global Director of Advisory Services, Sustainalytics (Moderator)
Barbara Pomfret - ESG Product Manager, Bloomberg
Brian Minns - Specialist, Sustainable Investment, Addenda Capital
Judy Cotte - V.P. & Head, Corporate Governance & Responsible Investment, RBC GAM
Jane Ambachtsheer - Partner, Mercer Investments
Many of the world's largest and sophisticated investors now use ESG as a proxy for good risk management. But, we still see a tremendous diversity of approaches to embedding ESG into the investment process and there remains many integration challenges for firms to overcome. Hear from an expert panel of speakers, who bring different international perspectives on ESG integration, fiduciary approaches, and best-practice methodologies.
| Split Plenary |
Investors & Responsible Investing: What Advisors Need To Know
Kim Buitenhuis - Senior VP, Marketing and Product, NEI Investments
Hot off the press, the results of April 2014 quantitative research among 1000 Canadian investors about Responsible Investing will be presented. Find out which investors are most likely to be interested in RI and how much they understand about the category. Learn how powerful RI can be as a differentiator for your practice, and what your clients expect of you when you talk to them about it.
Building a Successful RI Advisory Practice
Gail Taylor - Advisor, Taylor Remy and VP, CIBC Wood Gundy
Building a successful RI advisory practice: a strategy for 6 weeks of vacation each year. Gail will cover the in-depth process that she utilized to build a strong advisory practice. She will discuss her foundation, starting with the Business Plan and covering the details that remain important for growth. She will focus on key areas such as: Marketing strategies, Client Retention and ESG product. Gail will share her story about how ESG helped her build a 120 million dollar book and how her clients went from traditional investing to responsible investing. Now, several years into the RI practice she will share what she did right, and wrong, bringing some insight into the ongoing business building for Advisors.
|5:45||Break + Trade Show||TS|
Please join Sustainalytics for an evening of drinks, appetizers and networking at the Spice Route Asian Bistro and Bar. Hosted by Sustainalytics, the event is open to all conference attendees and PRI signatories.
Please RSVP to Melissa Chase at Sustainalytics.
Wednesday May 28
|8:15||RIA Annual General Meeting|
Gary Hawton - President
Gail Taylor - Vice President
Jason Milne - Treasurer
Deb Abbey - CEO, RIA
In person registration for members opens at 7:45 AM. If you plan to attend the AGM, please RSVP by May 21st. Send your RSVP to Esma Mneina, RIA Junior Associate (Intern).
|9:15||Plenary: Investing Through a Green Lens|
Martin Grosskopf - Portfolio Manager, AGF Investments
Investing through a Green lens: Thematic environmental investing can offer both power and pitfalls. Using his 20-year experience and his background as an Environmental Scientist, Martin will provide insights on relevant issues such as: Fossil fuel divesting – what are the
portfolio implications?; Oil and gas transportation – are there reasonable solutions?; Alternative energy – is the return worth the risk?; Natural food movement – is the growth rate sustainable?
|10:15||Break + Trade Show||TS|
|10:45||Plenary: Driving RI Leadership in Canada|
Rosalie Vendette - SRI Senior Advisor, Desjardins Group
Inka-Melissa Poulin - Product Line Manager, Desjardins Group
Rosalie and Inka-Melissa will talk about Desjardins’ role in driving responsible investment in Quebec and Canada. They will discuss how Desjardins has taken a leadership role, and how they were able to reach $1 billion in RI assets. Rosalie and Inka-Melissa will walk us through Desjardins’ successful journey to become a leader in retail responsible investment
Levers for Behavioural Change in Retail RI
Brenda Plant - Partner, Ellio Sustainability Consultants
Brenda Plant will present some of the major insights into investor behavioral change as gleaned from a recent study on Quebecers and SRI that she co-produced with University of Quebec at Montreal’s Observatory on Responsible Consumption (UQAM - OCR). She will also briefly present what the OCR is doing with these findings to deepen the SRI market.
|11:55||Sponsor Session: 'Investing through an environmental lens' Portfolio Applications|
The session will be focused on the clean fund strategy and metrics.
|11:55||Sponsor Session: The Power of Bloomberg ESG |
Barbara Pomfret, ESG Product Manager, Bloomberg
Join Bloomberg ESG Product Manager, Barbara Pomfret, for an insight into how you can leverage the power of Bloomberg's data, news, proprietary research and analytical tools to support the integration of environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities into all aspects of your investment decision making process, from screening and scoring, to idea generation and portfolio construction.
|11:55||Sponsor Session: Cenovus Energy. New Ideas. New Approaches.|
Laura Eyford, Corporate Responsibility Advisor, Cenovus Energy
This session will examine global energy demand, Canada’s oil sands, the role of the end user, energy literacy, industry collaboration and technology and innovation.
|11:55||Sponsor Session: Making a Difference in International Development|
Microfinance and agricultural lending is the cornerstone of current thinking on international development. Oikocredit volunteer Victoria Pyle will talk about Oikocredit’s work with respect to a specific country – the Dominican Republic -- and how our partners are creating change in the social and economic landscape.
|12:45||Assemble for Lunch||KB|
|1:00||Plenary: The Future of Responsible Investment|
Rose Cammareri - Executive VP, Retail Distribution, AGF Investments Inc. (Moderator)
Gary Hawton - President, OceanRock Investments
John Kearns - CEO, NEI Investments
John Montalbano - CEO, RBC Global Asset Management
Join industry leaders in an engaging town-hall style discussion about the future of responsible investment.
KB – King Ballroom
K1 – King One
K2 – King Two
SA – Salon A
SB – Salon B
SC – Salon C
TS – Trade Show Area
OS – Off Site