Thursday, October 1, 2020

Develop Your Pension Fund Management Skills

Topics to Include Emerging Markets, the Credit Market, Actuarial Matters, and Governance

A TEXPERS Staff Report

Public pension fund trustees and administrators may register for a free half-day online conference hosted by the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems to earn credit satisfying state-mandated training requirements.


The state Pension Review Board has developed training requirements for trustees and administrators as mandated by the Texas Legislature. These rules require training over content areas (core and non-core), which are crucial for pension system trustees and administrators to perform their roles effectively.


TEXPERS is an accredited sponsor of the Pension Review Board of Texas, meaning the association can provide credit hours to public pension fund trustees and administrators through the training sessions, conferences, and educational forums the association hosts each year. The novel coronavirus pandemic sidelined the association's ability to conduct in-person training and educational gatherings this year. But that does not mean trustees and administrators of public pension funds cannot satisfy their professional development commitments.


Free to Register


TEXPERS is hosting a series of webinars during the half-day online conference to be held from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, Oct. 27. New and Continuing trustees and administrators of public pension funds may earn up to 4 credits to satisfy state training requirements. There is no charge to attend any of the sessions.

>REGISTER NOW: Half-Day Online Conference


Those interested in signing up for the event only need to sign up once to attend the entire conference. Registrants may attend all four webinars or only attend the topic sessions they need to earn credit hours.


Art Alfaro, the association's executive director, will start the online conference at 9 a.m. with a welcome. Four consecutive webinars will follow covering core topics of the Pension Review Board's Minimum Educational Training Program. Each webinar lasts about 60 minutes and includes question and answer sessions.


The half-day online conference will cover Emerging Markets, the Credit Market, Actuarial Matters, and Governance.

 State Training Requirements


New trustees and administrators must receive a minimum of seven hours of training within the first year of their service, according to the PRB's training requirements. Continuing trustees and administrators must receive a minimum of four hours of training every two years after their first year of service.


TEXPERS' online learning opportunity is for new and continuing trustees and administrators; however, any of the association's members may register. The conference is also open to trustees and administrators of public employee pension systems in Texas that are not members of the association but need to satisfy training obligations.


Attendees must sit through an entire presentation, participate in polling questions during the session, and answer a survey after the webinar to earn a credit hour. After each webinar, a code will appear on the screen, and attendees will need to provide it in the survey as proof that they sat through the session to the end. After filling out the survey, those requesting credit hours should email to let staff know which sessions they are requesting credit for attending.

>BE PREPARED: Note-taking Tips to Help You Grasp What Your Learn

Schedule & Speakers

Welcome | 9 - 9:10 A.m. CDT

Art Alfaro, Executive Director of TEXPERS, opens the online conference with brief opening remarks before moving on the to first session. Before joining TEXPERS, Alfaro served the City of Austin for 31 years

Emerging Markets | 9:15 - 10:15 A.m. CDT

Guilherme Ribeiro do Valle, Founder and Managing Partner at ABS Investment Management, presents Emerging Markets Investing: A Local Manager Approach. Join Guilherme as he discusses dynamic and inefficient emerging markets, which he says, are ripe for active management. Deep knowledge of underlying markets is essential for generating alpha and ABS believes local specialists have an edge over global firms.

Municipal & Corporate Credit | 10:30 - 11:30 A.m. CDT

The USAA® Investments, A Victory Capital Investment Franchise, team is based in San Antonio and has been conducting bottom-up, fundamental analysis of municipal and corporate credits for decades. With all the market and economic turmoil that the COVID-19 pandemic has created, there are both opportunities to employ and areas to avoid in the fixed income world. Jim Jackson, CFA, Head of Fixed Income Portfolio Management and Regina Conklin, CFA, CPA, Senior Portfolio Manager, Municipal Portfolios will explore both in this session. They have over 50 years of combined investment experience. 

The discussion will cover:

  • Opportunities to explore domestically in the municipal and corporate credit markets
  • Areas to avoid domestically in the municipal and corporate credit markets
  • Texas – insights into municipalities and industries

USAA is a trademark of United Services Automobile Association and is being used by Victory Capital and its affiliates under license. Victory Capital and its affiliates are not affiliated with USAA or its affiliates.

30-Minute Break | 11:30 a.m. - Noon CDT
Grab a bite to eat or simply take a breather as TEXPERS' Half-Day Online Conference breaks for lunch.

Actuarial matters | Noon - 1 p.m. CDT 
If you've ever wondered which comes first, asset allocation or assumed rate of return, then this session is for you. Join thought leader Brad Heinrichs, president and CEO Foster & Foster, for a session that will provide a different spin on pension funding.

Governance | 1:15 - 2:15 p.m. CDT
Robert G. smith, AIF, CIMC, President and Chief Investment Officer, and Andrew S. Poreda, Research Analyst, at Sage Advisory Services, end the virtual conference with this session on governance. Additional details are coming soon.

Online Learning

The half-day online conference is the latest virtual training opportunity TEXPERS is hosting. Two webinars were held in September, recordings of which are available for viewing via the association's online learning channel. You can access TEXPERS On-demand anytime by clicking here.


Anyone who wants to watch the past webinars may do so for free; however, the site requires viewers to register. Unfortunately, training credits can only be earned through the live presentations. Credit cannot be earned by viewing the recordings of webinars.


TEXPERS staff are planning additional webinars. Nuveen will present Real Estate Investing: Is Your Portfolio Positioned for Tomorrow's World? At 10 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Click here to register.


PineBridge will host a webinar focusing on global macroeconomics at 10 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Additional information will be posted to TEXPERS' Online Education page here as details become available.

Membership Matters


TEXPERS has spent three decades providing high-quality training for its members, expanding awareness of public pension issues, and advocating for public employees' promised benefits. TEXPERS' staff and board members are proud to offer trustees and administrators new ways to build their pension knowledge, making its members more valuable to their funds and stakeholders.


Not a member of TEXPERS? Any Texas public employee retirement system and employee group or association are eligible for a TEXPERS membership immediately. Consultants, actuaries, and vendors are welcome to join at any time; however, those applications will require approvals. For TEXPERS' Associate Memberships, there are a limited number of openings available. Once an application is approved and an opening has become available, a TEXPERS staff member will follow up with the applicant.


> JOIN TEXPERS: Membership Information


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