‘Disruption is not restricted to the COVID-19 pandemic’ say experts at CFA Society India 11th India Investment Conference
Mumbai: CFA Society India, in collaboration with CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, hosted its 11th virtual India Investment Conference between January 29 – January 31, 2021. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Confronting Disruption’.
The virtual conference provided an excellent opportunity for over 1000 registered delegates to learn and network with some of the best minds in the industry and fellow CFA® charterholders.
“The theme for our conference this year was ‘Confronting Disruption’. While our scientists, policymakers, risk managers and business leaders have been able to respond and successfully manage the downside COVID-19 inflicted on everyone, but the pre-COVID disruptive forces haven’t gone away. Understanding and deliberating on these forces is critical for success in the complex world we are living in”, said Navneet Munot, CFA, Chairman, CFA Society India. “Humanity’s resilience and resolve were not in lockdown during 2020. CFA Society India clocked a record number of high-quality webinars and virtual conferences”, he added.
The conference brought together many leading local and global investment management practitioners, experts, and economists to discuss the latest trends in the global investment management industry. The 11th edition of India Investment conference included sessions on confronting disruption, drivers of disruption, innovative finance and sustainable investments, disruptive decision making and so on.
In his brief session on ‘Confronting Disruption’ Lutfey Siddiqi, CFA, Managing Director, Regions and Society Relations, CFA Institute said that disruption is not restricted to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a once in a century phenomenon. He reminded all about New Year 2019 when IMF downgraded global growth forecasts in the context of a trade war between the two largest economies of the world, and the economic impact of extreme automation. He believes this is a period of radical uncertainty and we can no longer extrapolate the past to determine our future.
Value Investing is not about finding ‘cheap stocks’. It is about finding something which is available at much less than it’s worth said Michael J. Mauboussin, Head of Consilient Research, Counterpoint Global in his session “Drivers of Disruption”. He spoke about how in 2020, some businesses have benefited from not just lower discount rates but also high volatility as the value of their optionality has increased. Coordinated actions by central banks are resulting in unprecedented discount rates. He thinks that a major disruption is the disruption in valuation methodologies.
In his session, Chris Mayer, Portfolio Manager & Co-founder, Woodlock House Family Capital stated that there’s always value versus growth in certain stocks, where one stock has more value and the other will promise more growth and vice – versa. In finance, investors are particularly prone to being over-enthusiastic in trusting product labels more than they should. Also, it’s better not to generalize. The auto industry may not be doing well, but Ferrari is a terrific business! There are companies in every sector that beat the industry stereotype, so never get stuck with rigid labels.
During his session on ‘Something of Value’, Howard Marks, CFA, Co-Chairman, Oaktree Capital Management stated that it is worrisome that investors expect that all problems will be solved by central banks. It creates moral hazard and encourages investors to take more risk than they should. He also believes that It will be a mistake to think that tech stocks will not go through cycles. These stocks will go down in future sometime and there will be some bad experiences. However, some of them will be very successful in the long term. Hence, one would do well to identify the long-term winners and hold them rather than try to time and avoid drawdowns. He believes that all currencies lack intrinsic value, and only work because they are accepted by others. The same is true of Bitcoin as well.
David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group in his session ‘The View from Washington’ shared his insights on the global economy, stating that it depends, to some extent, on our recognition of climate change. If we don’t think that climate change is here, and we ignore it, we’re more likely to fall behind economically. He also discussed the impact of the pandemic on the US economy and the need for additional stimulus.
Hiro Mizuno, Japanese financial executive & former Executive Management Director and CIO of GPIF in his session ‘United Nations Special Envoy on Innovative Finance and Sustainable Investments’ noted that ESG is not just about managing portfolio risk. Our attitude to ESG will determine how our industry will be perceived by Society.
In her session ‘Disrupting Decision Making’, Dr Grace Lordan, Founding Director, The Inclusion Initiative & Director, MSc in Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics stated that there is no optimal decision-making strategy that we can learn in the classroom. Instead, what we do in real life should be seen as a coping strategy, and we should see it as a work in progress and not an absolute process.
Speaking on the success of the 11th India Investment Conference, Vidhu Shekar, CFA, CIPM, Country Head, India, CFA Institute said, “Technological innovation and changing demographics are among the many forces that have accelerated the pace of disruption, Besides, there is a growing awareness of the increasing importance of sustainability and responsible investing. The 11th India Investment Conference, jointly hosted by CFA Society India and CFA Institute offered a unique forum to network, learn and deliberate on these and many other challenges and opportunities we face. We are delighted with the response we have received from delegates from all over the world. This is the 11th successful year of the India Investment Conference and the first time the event was conducted virtually.
The three-day-long 11th virtual India Investment Conference had a stellar line-up of global speakers including Michael J. Mauboussin, Head of Consilient Research, Counterpoint Global; Chris Mayer, Portfolio Manager & Co-founder, Woodlock House Family Capital; Howard Marks, CFA, Co-Chairman, Oaktree Capital Management; David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group; Hiro Mizuno, Japanese financial executive & former Executive Management Director and CIO of GPIF; Dr Grace Lordan, Founding Director, The Inclusion Initiative & Director, MSc in Behavioural Science and so on.