AllianzGI-Oxford Pensions Conference 2017: Coping with Disruptive Change

Disruptive forces are gathering strength. In technological terms, the fourth industrial revolution aspires to provide us with a set of radically new technologies redefining customer expectations and reshaping industry boundaries. Traditional financial institutions feel the attack from fintech pioneers. The political environment has become less stable and predictable as well. Brexit and the election of US President Trump are disrupting traditional political thinking.

How will technological and political disruptions impact the global economic and investment outlook for pension funds? With improved growth and inflation outlook, central banks have started – or are expected to start – to scale back their supportive stance. Are we facing the turning point in the secular interest-rate cycle? At the tenth anniversary of the AllianzGI-Oxford Pensions Conference we will critically examine investment strategies in times of disruptive change and uncertainty.

Pension provision has undergone significant changes. Disillusioned by the shortcomings of voluntary, market-driven pension saving plans, governments are increasingly taking a more intervening turn. The implementation of instruments like auto-enrolment, the universal adoption of Defined Contribution plans, and the advent of new digital platforms are fundamentally changing the traditional world of pension provision. We will critically discuss the implications of these changes.

We will then present best-practice examples of how companies manage the transition from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution in the current environment. Communication to plan members becomes ever more important in order to maintain trust. We will present new findings from behavioural finance theory and critically discuss the intrusion of technological disruptions. Is robo-advice the panacea to bridge the advice gap faced especially by the less well-off, mostly financially illiterate consumers, or does it not even stand the test of fiduciary duty?

The AllianzGI-Oxford Pensions Conference is co-sponsored by Allianz Global Investors and the University of Oxford, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, a member of the School of Geography and the Environment. The conference will be led by Professor Gordon L. Clark, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford.