november, 2019

13nov17:3019:45Event OverAchieving Investment Excellence: a goal to set and accomplish?ZurichEvent Type:ConferenceLocation:ZürichTopic:Leadership,Portfolio Management,Risk Management

Event Details

Achieving Investment Excellence: a goal to set and accomplish?

A Swiss Pensions Carveout event

In the search for yield and the challenge to counter the effects of negative interest, investors and board members are scrambling to find ways to improve their returns in a challenging environment. Short term measures might help, but what about the long game?

For the book project “Achieving Investment Excellence”, which combines research insights and board experience, a simple question was put on the table: what does it take to be a successful long term pension investor? The authors have developed an evidence-based, readily applicable framework, with steps that are within reach of any board which will deliver real performance benefits for participants over the long term.

In their presentations, based on the book and the case of Dutch pension fund PFZW therein, the speakers highlighted the theory and practice of developing and implementing a sound set of investment beliefs, their power, and what it takes to make the transformation to becoming a successful long term investor.

Some testimonials:

“It is a well-written journey through all key aspects of investment governance. Not only trustees would benefit from this well of knowledge, but also professionals working within the institutions and stakeholders on the outside.”

—Knut Nordheim Kjaer, Chairman and Partner, FSN Capital, Norway

“This book will be invaluable. I find each page to contain extremely helpful guidance to pension fund trustees.”

—Frank J. Fabozzi, Editor, Journal of Portfolio Management, United States

“This book is outstanding. It successfully provides trustees with actionable learnings and insights that will improve decision making in pursuit of best practice in governance and sustainable investment excellence. It should be required reading for all investment committee members.”

—Todd Ruppert, Board member and Endowment Chair, Furman University and INSEAD business school; Venture Partner, Greenspring Associates; Retired CEO and President, T. Rowe Price GIS

Summary of the IPE review of the book:

Trustees play an core role in the success of pension funds and other long-term investment organisations. The performance of such funds depends on the trustee’s level of knowledge and expertise. Whether you are a new or experienced trustee, Achieving Investment Excellence will help you safeguard fund performance while remaining faithful to the fund’s mission and long-term strategic goals.

You’ll learn how to effectively and confidently steer your fund’s portfolio with a thorough understanding of risk concepts, return expectations and key investment tools and benchmarks. With an ability to thoroughly assess the quality of your investment set-up, you will be ready to engage in strategic changes that can yield real, measurable gains for your fund.

Full IPE review of the book, July-August 2019 (link)

Video recording of the event:

CFA Switzerland nov 2019 (004)

Download slides here.


(Wednesday) 17:30 - 19:45


Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity

Kalandergasse 1, Sihlcity, 8045 Zurich

CE Credits

CFA Society Switzerland has determined that this program qualifies for one CE credit hour under the guidelines of the CFA Institute Continuing Education Program.


    • Day 1
    • 13.11.2019
    • 17:30 Registration17:30 - 17:45

    • 17:45 Intro of the book and its authors17:45 - 17:50

    • 17:50 Investment beliefs17:50 - 18:10 Speakers: Alfred Slager CFA

    • 18:10 Case study PFZW18:10 - 18:30Are the investment beliefs of the fund still valid in a changed market (low yield) and social (sustainability, responsibility) environment? From plan to implementation: How the Board / Investment Committee gets a grip on implementing the plan.Speakers: Jaap van Dam

    • 18:30 Q&A - introduced by Oliver Grimm CFA18:30 - 18:45 Speakers: Dr. Oliver Grimm CFA

    • 18:45 Apéro18:45 - 19:45


  • Alfred Slager CFA

    Alfred Slager CFA

    Alfred Slager is an economist, trustee, and advisor who has worked and published widely on issues to help pension fund boards with their strategy and investment management. He is professor at TIAS Business School, Tilburg University, and a trustee at the Dutch pension fund for general practitioners, SPH. He has performed many different roles, generally bridging academic finance and practical investing. Starting out as a portfolio manager in 1995, he spent 15 years as research analyst, investment strategist, and chief investment officer at different pension funds and investment management firms, earning his PhD cum laude in 2005. Over the years, Alfred has advised many institutional investors on investment strategy and investment governance. He has written several books, including Investment Beliefs together with Kees Koedijk, and Achieving Investment Excellence with Jaap van Dam, as well as on the internationalization strategies of banks and the effectiveness of investment committees, and has acted as editor of a book on the best practices in pension investments. Alfred serves on several investment committees and supervisory boards of pension funds, and is vice-president of the Dutch CFA Society VBA Netherlands, the largest Dutch society of investment professionals which he helped merge in 2017.


  • Dr. Oliver Grimm CFA

    Dr. Oliver Grimm CFA

    City of Zurich Pension Fund

    Oliver Grimm CFA is heading the mandates team at the City of Zurich Pension Fund (PKZH). Oliver started at PKZH in November 2010. Before he became head of mandates in 2018, his main responsibilities were the development and implementation of the investment strategy, running ALM simulations and covering the following investment categories: investment grade bonds, real estate, FX and insurance linked securities. Between 2007 and 2010, Oliver was PostDoc at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), where he researched macroeconomics and political economy. Oliver holds a PhD in economics from the University of Heidelberg and was lecturer at ZEW Mannheim, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Mannheim as well as Wirtschaftsakademie Pfalz. Oliver has received his CFA Charter in 2018.

    City of Zurich Pension Fund

  • Jaap van Dam

    Jaap van Dam

    Principal Director of Investment Strategy at PGGM / Owner of VanDam Investment Advisory

    Jaap is an experienced and innovative Director of Strategy. Jaap is the investment director responsible for further developing and benchmarking PGGM's Investment Practice in order to stay best practice. He is currently working on PFZW's Investment Strategy 2025. Jaap has broad knowledge and experience on strategy, investment policy formulation, asset allocation and value chain design. In 2013 he was voted CIO / “Investment Head of the Year” by aiCIO. Current other activities include being chairman of the VBDO, the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development, Chairman of European Chapter of the 300 Club and Member of the Research Committee International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM). Together with Kees Koedijk and Alfred Slager he authored “Achieving Investment Excellence: A Practical Guide for Trustees of Pension Funds, Endowments and Foundations.” Jaap holds a Masters Degree in Finance from the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    Principal Director of Investment Strategy at PGGM / Owner of VanDam Investment Advisory


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