Thursday, October 1, 2020

CE Credits Earned in Online Conference

Topics Included Emerging Markets, the Credit Market, Actuarial Matters, and Governance

A TEXPERS Staff Report

Public pension fund trustees and administrators attended a free half-day online conference on Oct. 27. The Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems hosted the professional development program to help trustees and administrators 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.


Earn Credits


TEXPERS hosted a series of webinars during the half-day online conference, 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 could earn up to 4 credits to satisfy state training requirements. There was no charge to attend any of the sessions.

>ON-DEMAND: View a recording of the conference.


Registrants were able to attend all four webinars or only sit in on the topic sessions they need to earn credit hours.


Art Alfaro, the association's executive director, started the online conference at 9 a.m. with a welcome. Four consecutive webinars followed covering core topics of the Pension Review Board's Minimum Educational Training Program. Each webinar lasted roughly 60 minutes and included interactive polling of the online audiences.


The half-day online conference covered Emerging Markets, the Credit Market, Actuarial Matters, and Governance. ABS Investment Management, Victory Capital, Foster & Foster, and Sage, sponsored the conference.

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.

Schedule & Speakers

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

Art Alfaro, Executive Director of TEXPERS, opened the online conference with brief opening remarks before moving on the to first session. 

Guilherme Ribeiro do Valle, Founder and Managing Partner at ABS Investment Management, presented Emerging Markets Investing: A Local Manager Approach. Guilherme discussed the dynamic and inefficient emerging markets, which he says, are ripe for active management. 

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 explored both in this session. 

The discussion covered:

  • 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.

Actuarial matters | Noon - 1 p.m. CDT 

For those who have ever wondered which comes first, asset allocation or assumed rate of return, then this session was for them. Thought leader Brad Heinrichs, president and CEO Foster & Foster, provided 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, ended the virtual conference with a session on governance.

Online Learning

The half-day online conference is the most recent virtual training opportunity TEXPERS hast hosted. You can access TEXPERS On-demand Online Learning channel 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 Global Macroeconomic Outlook: The Pandemic, Politics, & Policy Spur a Macro Reset, at 10 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Click here to register.


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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