Michigan Institutional Forum Lansing | October 8, 2020 Request Agenda

The 2nd Annual Michigan Institutional Forum is an educational initiative designed through close coordination with the region’s leading institutional investors to build peer communities that merge global best practices with local expertise. The forum is designed to bring together fund leadership teams, investment officers, board members, trustees, and their consultants representing the Michigan institutional investment community.

The forum's agenda was developed through extensive local travel and feedback from the institutional investor community representing institutional asset owners across public and corporate pension plans, endowments, foundations, insurance portfolios, healthcare plans, and investment consultants.





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Key Discussion Topics

Managed Futures: The End of Trend?
Interest in Managed Futures grew steadily during the years following the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. However, managed futures strategies that leverage a trend-following approach have struggled over the past few years to deliver returns. Is there still alpha to be found in Managed Futures? 

Investing in Renewable Energy
The topic of infrastructure, in particular green infrastructure, has steadily been gaining traction on the regulatory front as well as within the institutional investment community. Fundamental drivers underpinned by global political agreements shed light on a significant global investment opportunity. 

Opportunities in Alternative and Structured Credit
As investors search for new and differentiated alternative strategies that align with their portfolio objectives, many have explored specialized segments of the credit markets to capture yield. Often, these strategies look to take advantage of less trafficked, more complex, and sometimes less liquid opportunities. 

Identifying and Addressing Risks Within Your Portfolio
Investors maintain a sharp focus on the risks within their portfolios - whether it be at the asset class, multi-asset or total plan level, or around things like liquidity and/or unallocated capital. This session will focus on asset allocation challenges in the current market environment, enhancing portfolio liquidity, and evaluating unallocated cash causing performance drag. 

Diversify the Diversifier: Building an All-Season Real Assets Portfolio
In the face of volatile equity markets and inadequate bond yields, the investment management industry is seeing investor interest in real assets spike.

Gold as a Strategic Tool to Address the Challenges Investors Face
Investment demand for gold has grown 18% per year, on average, since 2001. Today, in an environment of increasing market volatility and geopolitical risks, gold is more relevant than ever for institutional investors seeking returns, low correlations, liquidity, and diversification opportunities.

Evolution of Emerging Market Debt
Before the novel coronavirus could spread to the developing world, the historic March 15 3,000-point loss on the Dow Jones Industrial Average had started a domino effect in Argentina, Brazil, India and South Africa, initiating a financial crisis in each nation to compound the impending humanitarian disaster.  

Fixed Income - Opportunity in Multi-Sector Credit Strategies
For a global asset class totaling more than $100 trillion, fixed income is a capital market instrument often neglected.  The historic stock surge of 2010-2019 overshadowed solid but unspectacular bond performance.  The onset of COVID-19 and subsequent panic stricken selloff challenged the perception of the bond market as a safe haven, but offered exceptional opportunistic merchandise in corporate credit, government debt, even exchange traded fixed income.

Understanding the Chinese Markets
The opening of the China A-shares market to foreign investors is expected to transform global markets and how investors look at Emerging Markets allocations. While the market is large -it is roughly equivalent in size to the European equity market- and offers access to high growth “new economy” sectors, risks still remain, especially for those not familiar with investing in China.

Structured Alpha
Loss and liquidation are the new hedge fund normal in 2020, with even Bridgewater and Renaissance falling victim to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Though the lore of alpha—not to mention the axiom of generating net-of-fee positive return no matter the market—was debunked prior to the stock market crash, the rationale for favoring factor-tilt over manager skill is undergoing a moment of reckoning. 

A Conversation with the Region’s Leading Chief Investment Officers
Being the chief investment officer of a pension has never been a cake-walk.  But the stress and complex risk profile of the CIO role have both turned monumental in the wake of COVID-19.  In addition to asset allocation and portfolio management, stakeholder demand, member anxiety and staff wellbeing all take on renewed significance.  


INVESTORS: Complimentary Registration for all qualified investors. Email [email protected] for more information on obtaining a complimentary ticket.

MANAGERS & SERVICE PROVIDERS: Rates below reflect the current price for all asset managers and service providers.


Sponsorship is only available upon invitation and Markets Group reserves the right to refuse sponsorship from any organization or individual deemed by Markets Group to be incompatible with the event. Markets Group forum sessions are closed to all media/press and video/audio recording is explicitly prohibited within the venue.


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