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9:00am - 9:10am 10 mins
Opening Remarks
  • Presenter John Swolfs - CEO, Inside ETFs
9:10am - 9:50am 40 mins
Factors vs. Cap-Weighted Strategies: The Debate
  • Moderator Dave Nadig - Managing Director,
  • Panelist Mark Armbruster - President, Armbruster Capital Management
  • Panelist Feifei Li - Partner, Head of Investment Strategy, Reseach Affiliates

Given the market cycle and the Q4 spike in volatility, how to best position portfolios is a challenging question. In this fast-moving session, we’ll review the best approaches to today’s market, what strategies investors can use to invest effectively, and finally put to rest the debate between cap-weighted and smart beta.

9:50am - 10:20am 30 mins
Active & Passive: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
  • Presenter Doug Sandler - Global Strategist, Riverfront Investment Group

The investment industry has stopped debating active vs. passive, and has come to accept that each area plays a different and vital role in an asset allocation. RiverFront’s Doug Sandler breaks down these two approaches, providing the framework to better understand how they work, when to use them, and how they can work together in today’s market environment.

10:20am - 11:10am 50 mins
Multifactor ETFs Explored
  • Moderator Tom Lydon - Co-CEO, &
  • Panelist Douglas Grim - Senior Investment Strategist, Vanguard Investment Strategy Group
  • Panelist Ben Johnson - Director of Global ETF Research, Morningstar
  • Panelist Sam Kirkland - Research Director, Global Manager Research, Wells Fargo Investment Institute
  • Panelist Lukas Smart - Senior Portfolio Manager & VP, Dimensional Fund Advisors

Last year proved that you’re better off diversifying your factors, but with pros and cons to a multifactor approach, we’ll help you understand the important nuances between top-down vs. bottom-up approaches, why they matter, and what you need to understand to avoid costly mistakes.

11:10am - 11:40am 30 mins
Networking Break
11:40am - 12:30pm 50 mins
Main Stage
Fixed Income Smart Beta: The Arrival of Factor-Focused Fixed Income
  • Moderator John Swolfs - CEO, Inside ETFs
  • Panelist Jason Bloom - Director of Global Macro ETF Strategy, Invesco
  • Panelist Kim Escue - Senior Portfolio Manager, Stringer Asset Management
  • Panelist Mark Landis - Founding Partner, Wavelength Capital Management
  • Panelist Andy Martin - President, 7Twelve Advisors

Smart beta strategies rose to popularity on the back of equity strategies, but could these same approaches finally solve the fixed income dilemma? We take a closer look at how these products are constructed, what they’re designed to do, and how to best use them in conjunction with a more traditional debt-weighted approach.

12:30pm - 12:50pm 20 mins
Main Stage
Conquering Risk with Active Management
  • Presenter Alex Piré - Head of Client Portfolio Management–Seeyond, Natixis Investment Managers

We’ve all heard that active ETFs are the next big thing, yet product launches have been slow to gather assets. In this punchy 10 questions in 20 minutes session, we put active ETFs under the microscope to help attendees better understand this nuanced product set.

12:50pm - 2:00pm 70 mins
Main Stage
Networking Lunch
2:00pm - 2:30pm 30 mins
Main Stage
Smart Beta ESG: The Next Big Thing in Asset Management?
  • Moderator Graham Sinclair - ESG Architect, SinCo
  • Panelist Ivka Kalus - Managing Director & CIO, Promethos Capital
  • Panelist Claire Veuthey - Director of ESG & Impact, OpenInvest

With global assets under management in smart beta strategies at $1 trillion, and investors piling assets into environmental, social and governance strategies, this might be the hottest trend in investment management. We look at how investment strategies provide simultaneous exposure to risk premia and ESG criteria. We also look at the next big thing: possible ESG integration in smart beta, and if investors should think about implementing ESG into their smart beta portfolios.

2:30pm - 3:00pm 30 mins
Main Stage
Constructing Multifactor Portfolios: Portfolio Blending vs. Signal Blending
  • Presenter Kal Ghayur - Managing Director, Head of Active Beta Strategies Business, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Some recent studies have argued that a signal blending (e.g., bottom-up) approach to constructing multifactor strategies is superior to portfolio blending (e.g., top-down). In a research study recently published in the Financial Analysts Journal, we argue that prior findings introduce potential methodological biases. This session will show that when exposure-matched portfolios are compared, the dominance of signal blending is challenged, especially at low to moderate levels of tracking error.

3:00pm - 3:30pm 30 mins
Main Stage
Networking Break
3:30pm - 4:10pm 40 mins
Main Stage
Practitioner Panel: How Institutions & Retail Investors Are Using Smart Beta
  • Moderator John Swolfs - CEO, Inside ETFs
  • Panelist John Davi - Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Astoria Portfolio Advisors
  • Panelist Lance Humphery - Portfolio Manager, Global Multi-Asset Solutions, USAA Asset Management Company
  • Panelist Brian Katz - Chief Investment Officer, The Colony Group

Institutional and retail have always been seen as two discrete investors. This session’s panelists will discuss how they’re using smart beta, current and possible smart beta allocations, differences in methodology and expected holding periods.

4:10pm - 5:00pm 50 mins
Main Stage
Market Outlook: Bull or Bear?
  • Moderator Annie Massa - Investing Reporter, Bloomberg News
  • Panelist Michelle Knight - Chief Economist & CIO, Ropes Wealth Advisors
  • Panelist Robert Lutts - President & CIO, Cabot Wealth Management
  • Panelist Shannon Saccocia - CIO, Boston Private Wealth
  • Panelist Jurrien Timmer - Director of Global Macro, Fidelity Investments

Big-money investors foresee the end of the bull market in 2019. With the biggest threats coming from geopolitical tensions and rising interest rates, we’ll look at how the return of volatility is changing investor behavior.

5:00pm - 6:30pm 90 mins
Main Stage
Welcome evening reception

Wind down the day and network with your peers and key industry players at our relaxed and informal networking reception.