Beyond Traditional: The Alts Revolution

AGF Insights

Beyond Traditional: The Alts Revolution

OverviewDates & LocationsAgendaSpeakers


Volatility is inevitable and its effects can be broadly felt by investors. Monetary or fiscal policy changes, economic uncertainty and geopolitical issues can create a lack of confidence in markets that impact investor behaviour and psychology, leading to sentiment-driven reactions.

Join AGF as we explore the implications of this recent geopolitical uncertainty, as well as what the future of investing could look like – from the rapid expansion of data to the use of alternative strategies to help manage volatility.

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Register Here - Dates & Locations

Click below to register for your event.

Vancouver - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - The Westin Bayshore (Registration Closed)

Calgary - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - Calgary Marriott Downtown (Registration Closed)

Montreal - Thursday, September 19, 2019 - Le Mount Stephen (Registration Closed)

Toronto - Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - Hilton Toronto (Registration Closed)

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10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.
Welcome and Introduction
11:10 a.m. - 11:55 p.m.
Politics, Policy and Markets to the End of 2019; What’s to Come in 2020?, with Kevin McCreadie, Greg Valliere, and Meaghan Kelly (Moderator)

Join Kevin McCreadie, CEO and CIO, and Greg Valliere, Chief U.S. Policy Strategist for a riveting discussion on U.S. politics, policy and markets to the end of 2019, and what’s to come in 2020. They will discuss the state of the current environment – a precarious balance, susceptible to both political and policy missteps that could derail the global economy and change the trajectory of both equity and bond markets.

In light of the current political environment and the influence of politics on today’s global markets, Kevin and Greg’s perspectives on the impact of policy and politics on trade, currencies, interest rates, GDP, capital markets, industries, and the overall business climate are particularly important. They will also discuss how investors can position themselves against this backdrop, including looking beyond traditional into alternative investments.
11:55 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.
12:25 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Navigating the Alternatives Revolution, with Bill DeRoche, Steve Bonnyman, Ryan Dunfield, and Adrian Basaraba (Moderator)

In the current market environment, as equity markets continue to soar, investors of all types are seeking tools for diversification and non-correlated returns to cushion against anticipated market volatility.

Longer term, alternatives are increasingly being seen as fundamental building blocks for well-constructed portfolios – contributing to lower volatility and opportunities for better long-term risk-adjusted returns. This panel will explore the alternatives spectrum from publicly-listed real assets, including infrastructure and commodities, to liquid alternatives strategies such as market neutral and long-short, as well as private investments in infrastructure and debt opportunities. We'll also explore the increasing demand for alternatives – whether that be alternative asset classes or alternative strategies, as well as trends and unique investment opportunities on both the liquid and illiquid sides.
1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
What’s the Big Deal with Big Data?, with Stephen Duench and Stewart Boxall

For many in the financial community, big data has become synonymous with quantitative investing. But as the influence of big data on “quants” has continued to grow, so too has its pull on fundamental managers seeking new ways of assessing opportunities and mitigating risk. As a result, the silos that once separated and created friction between these two styles of investment management are now being torn down to create a shared intelligence, utilizing the proliferation of data more efficiently in all of its various forms. In the end, there is no getting around the importance that data now plays in the everyday decisions made by investors of all types.

So, how do we harness all of this data for our investment decisions? How do we differentiate between ‘good’ data and ‘bad’ data? How do we organize data and prioritize it? Creating a framework for working with data more effectively can allow money managers to incorporate new ways of discerning vast swaths of information and process data quickly enough to adapt to changing market conditions, so that opportunities can be seized earlier and more often as they arise.

This session seeks to put some context around the raw numbers and explore how utilizing custom tools and AGFiQ’s factor analysis can help identify opportunities and risks by sifting through the data to uncover what’s important.

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Kevin McCreadie, MBA, CFA®
CEO and Chief Investment Officer

In the role of CEO, Kevin McCreadie is responsible for the overall success of AGF, overseeing the firm’s mission, vision and strategic direction. He also leads AGF’s Executive Management Team and serves as its liaison with AGF’s Board of Directors. As CIO, Kevin provides direction and leadership to AGF’s investment management teams and leads the firm’s global institutional business. In carrying out these responsibilities, he leverages The Office of the CIO, a structure put in place in August 2018 that encourages collaboration and active accountability across AGF’s investment management teams and broader organization, capitalizing on the firm’s depth of talent while driving forward the teamwork that is necessary for the long-term success of its investment management.

Greg Valliere, MBA, CFA®
Chief U.S. Policy Strategist

Greg Valliere joined AGF Investments (AGF) in February 2019 as Chief U.S. Policy Strategist. In this role, he is responsible for providing insight into how U.S. politics are shaping global markets. He brings a unique perspective to AGF with over three decades of experience analyzing policy and politics providing regular commentary and insight into Washington for financial services and investment management clients globally, including specialized coverage of the Federal Reserve, economic policy and politics.

Greg began partnering with AGF in 2017 advising investment management teams on policy and the impact on global markets, providing daily market commentary for financial advisors and participating in numerous client events and roadshows. Most recently, Greg was the Chief Global Strategist at North Carolina based Horizon Investments, LLC and has nearly 40 years of experience following Washington issues for institutional and retail investors. He is widely quoted in U.S. media and specializes in coverage of the Federal Reserve, tax and spending issues, and politics. Greg is based in Washington, D.C.

Meaghan Kelly
Vice-President, Strategic Communications

Meaghan Kelly is Vice-President, Strategic Communications leading AGF’s Investment Communications and Corporate Communications teams as well as the firm’s value add programs. Meaghan was previously Director, Product at AGF, responsible for AGF’s product offerings across retail and key account business lines, including product management, product development and strategic market research. In this role, Meaghan spearheaded the launch of several successful and innovative products, including both mutual funds and ETFs.

Prior to joining AGF, Meaghan worked for Natixis Global Associates and John Hancock Financial in Boston, Massachusetts.

Meaghan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Stephen Duench, CFA®
Vice-President and Portfolio Manager

Stephen has been an integral member of the Canadian equity portfolio management team at Highstreet Asset Management Inc. (Highstreet) since 2007. Stephen contributes to both quantitative and fundamental research initiatives.

He is also central in the creation and support of Highstreet’s proprietary portfolio management tools, analysis, and applications across both Canadian and Global mandates. Stephen has a keen interest in research surrounding Factor characteristics and their subsequent performance.

Stephen has an Honours degree in Financial Mathematics, and is a CFA charterholder.

Stewart Boxall
Manager, Technology Development and Analyst

Stewart brings over two decades of technology and software development experience to the firm. He is a database architect at Highstreet Asset Management Inc. (Highstreet), leading the development and support of custom investment management software and is responsible for the oversight of all Highstreet proprietary applications. Working closely with the investment team, he provides data management, business analytics and process support for the portfolio managers.

Prior to joining Highstreet in 2010, Stewart had a successful partnership in a company that built ASP.NET web and database applications for numerous businesses across Canada. While working for the City of London he built geographic information systems (GIS) and databases.

Stewart has a C.E.T. (Civil Engineering Technologist) degree from Fanshawe College.
Bill DeRoche, MBA, CFA®
Chief Investment Officer and Head of AGFiQ Alternative Strategies

Bill DeRoche is Chief Investment Officer, AGF Investments LLC (formerly FFCM LLC)1, and Head of AGFiQ Alternative Strategies. Bill is co-founder of AGF Investments LLC, a Boston-based investor advisory firm founded in 2009 and subsidiary of AGF Management Limited. He is a leader of AGF’s quantitative investment platform, known as AGFiQ. AGFiQ’s team approach is grounded in the belief that investment outcomes can be improved by assessing and targeting the factors that drive market returns. Bill has long-tenured expertise employing quantitative factor-based strategies and alternative approaches to achieve a spectrum of investment objectives.

Previously, Bill was a Vice-President at State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), serving as head of the firm’s U.S. Enhanced Equities team. His focus was on managing long-only and 130/30 U.S. strategies, as well as providing research on SSgA’s stock-ranking models and portfolio construction techniques. Prior to joining SSgA in 2003, Bill was a Quantitative Analyst and Portfolio Manager at Putnam Investments. Bill has been working in the investment management field since 1995. Prior to 1995, Bill was a Naval Aviator flying the Grumman A-6 Intruder as a member of Attack Squadron Eighty-Five aboard the USS America (CV-66).

Bill holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. He is a CFA® charterholder and holds FINRA licenses 7, 63 and 24.

1An investment professional with AGF Investments LLC (formerly FFCM LLC), a U.S.-registered investment advisor firm and affiliate of AGF Investments Inc.

Steve Bonnyman, MBA, CFA®
Co-Head of North American Research and Portfolio Manager

Stephen Bonnyman is Co-Head, North American Equity Research and Portfolio Manager of AGF’s Canadian and global resources portfolios. Working closely with the AGF research teams, Steve focuses on identifying resource companies with solid balance sheets, advantaged cost structures, attractive valuations or unrecognized growth. Steve is a member of the AGF Asset Allocation Committee (AAC), which is comprised of senior portfolio managers who are responsible for various regions and asset classes. The AAC meets regularly to discuss, analyze and assess the macro-economic environment and capital markets in order to determine optimal asset allocation recommendations. He joined AGF in 2013 with more than 20 years of buy- and sell-side experience covering the global materials industry, including five years of institutional money management.

Prior to joining AGF, Steve was Managing Director and Mining Analyst at a major financial institution, responsible for global company research coverage and equity market analysis. Prior to that, he was an analyst and portfolio manager at two leading asset management firms. Steve has a B.Sc. in Geology from McMaster University and an MBA from Dalhousie University. He is a CFA charterholder.

Ryan Dunfield
Principal, CEO, SAF Group

Mr. Dunfield is the Chief Executive Officer and Principal of the SAF Group. He is responsible for the overall strategic mission of the business as well as capital raising and deal management. Prior to founding the SAF Group, Mr. Dunfield worked an event driven hedge fund, covering the Fund’s Canadian investments. Prior to that, Mr. Dunfield was a Principal of Vancouver, British Columbia based private equity firm Second City Capital Partners and its affiliate, Gibralt Capital Corp. At Second City Capital Partners he worked on energy and energy services investments focused on junior credit products and structured equity investments. Mr. Dunfield served on the board of several public and private entities.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Dunfield was a Director, Loan Syndications & Trading with a Canadian financial institution where he structured and distributed first & second lien bank loans. Mr. Dunfield was also responsible for developing strategies for trading syndicated credits of issuers.

Mr. Dunfield, who is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of Calgary and a minor in Commerce.
Adrian Basaraba, CPA, CA, CFA®
Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer

Adrian was appointed Chief Financial Officer of AGF Management Limited in July 2016. He is a member of the Executive Management Team and oversees AGF’s financial management, corporate development, reporting, treasury, taxation and investor relations functions. Before taking on this role, Adrian held various positions within the firm and served most recently as Senior Vice-President of Finance.

Adrian joined AGF in 2004 and has been an integral part of AGF’s Senior Leadership Team for the past decade. Prior to joining AGF, Adrian held progressive roles with increased responsibility at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Canada Life.

Adrian is a Member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee for the Toronto Financial Services Alliance. He graduated from The University of Western Ontario with a degree in Finance and Economics. Adrian received his chartered accountant designation in 1998 and is also a CFA charterholder.

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