Tap into a dialogue about the latest developments in the ETF industry.
On the Agenda
Agenda is subject to change.
Morningstar Manager Research Highlights
Ben Johnson, Morningstar
Ben Johnson, Morningstar’s director of global ETF research, will share findings from a pair of new research reports. First, he’ll take an in-depth look at the methodology underlying Morningstar’s semiannual Active/Passive Barometer study and share the results of the mid-year 2017 installment. He’ll also share highlights from Morningstar’s fourth annual Global Guide to Strategic-Beta Exchange-Traded Products, which examines trends in asset flows, product development, and fees in this quickly growing corner of the market.
Morningstar’s Approach to ETF Due Diligence
Alex Bryan, Morningstar
Alex Bryan, Morningstar’s director of passive strategies research for North America, will provide a detailed overview of how Morningstar’s manager research team applies their due-diligence framework in assigning Morningstar Analyst Ratings to ETFs and index funds. He’ll go through a series of case studies covering everything from ETFs tracking broad, market-capitalization-weighted indexes to those tied to strategic-beta benchmarks.
Assessing the Stewardship Practices of Index Mutual Fund and ETF Providers
Adam McCullough, Morningstar
Manager research analyst Adam McCullough will cover the key findings of research examining the stewardship practices of sponsors of index mutual funds and ETFs. This work examines the alignment of these firms’ interests with those of their fund shareholders and singles out some of the best prospective partners for investors in these funds.
Ben Johnson, Morningstar
Joe Davis, Vanguard
Opening Reception in Exhibit Hall
7:30 a.m.–7 p.m.
Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall
General Session 1
Andrew Ang, BlackRock
General Session 2
Chris Brightman, Research Affiliates
Making Sense of the Multitude of Multifactor ETFs
Lukas Smart, Dimensional Fund Advisors / Kal Ghayur, Goldman Sachs / Rob Nestor, BlackRock
Multifactor ETFs have multiplied in recent years. Spreading one’s factor bets makes sense, but making sense of the current menu of these funds is a tall task. Our expert panel will unpack the key considerations investors should take when doing their due diligence on these funds.
How Might Defensive Strategies Fare in a Rising Rate Environment?
Darby Nielson, Fidelity Investments / Raman Aylur Sabramanian, MSCI / Jason Stoneberg, Invesco Powershares
Should interest rates continue to rise, investors in stodgy traditional strategies may be in for a surprise. Panelists will discuss how playing defense through buying dividend payers and less volatile stocks may leave their flank exposed in a rising rate environment.
11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Is There Potential For Strategic Beta in Fixed Income?
Sal Bruno, Index IQ / Martin Kremenstein, Nuveen Investments / Kevin Flanagan, WisdomTree
While strategic-beta ETFs have proliferated in the equity space, the fixed-income arena still looks relatively ripe for new approaches to building bond portfolios. This discussion will focus on the current crop of strategic-beta bond ETFs and what the future might hold for rules-based bets on bonds.
Shades of Value
Wes Gray, Alpha Architect / John Ameriks, Vanguard / John West, Research Affiliates
Value strategies come in many different approaches, each of which might yield very different investment outcomes. Our expert panel will discuss the varieties of value approaches and how investors might select the one that best suits their tastes.
Luncheon and Keynote Presentation
Richard Thaler, University of Chicago
Not All Small Cap Indexes Are Created Equal
Craig Lazarra, S&P Dow Jones Indices / Rolf Agather, FTSE/Russell Investments / Paul Kim, Principal
Small cap stocks are an essential ingredient in a well-diversified portfolio. For investors opting for a passive approach in the small-cap space, understanding index construction is paramount, as differences in the makeup of small cap benchmarks are material. This discussion will center on those differences and frame them in the context of asset allocation.
Tricks of the Trade
David Mann, Franklin Templeton Investments
Trading ETFs can be tricky business. This trading tutorial will cover best practices in ETF trading and how to navigate the ebbs and flows of ETF liquidity.
How Is The Rise of Passive Investing Influencing Corporate Governance?
Michelle Edkins, BlackRock / Glenn Booraem, Vanguard / Rakhi Kumar, State Street Global Advisors
The growth in assets under management in index funds and ETFs has consolidated ownership of many stocks among a small handful of asset managers. Our panel will discuss how these firms are using their sway to influence corporate agendas and whether passive investors can be agents of change.
The Case for International Equities
Fran Kinniry, Vanguard / Jeremy Schwartz, WisdomTree / Michael Arone, State Street Global Advisors
It’s been tough to make the case for international diversification in recent years, as U.S. stocks have trounced their counterparts overseas. Is the case for international diversification dead? Our panel will explore the rationale for building a portfolio of stocks that extends beyond U.S. borders.
General Session 3
Barry Ritholtz, Ritholtz Wealth Management
Reception in Exhibit Hall
7:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Breakfast in Exhibit Hall
General Session 4
Jamil Baz, PIMCO
Yasmin Dayha, JP Morgan / Nadia Papagiannis, Goldman Sachs
Investors have long sought a “magic” asset class, one offering an uncorrelated source of returns. Are liquid alternatives an oasis in the desert or just a mirage? And can these strategies be effectively delivered via an ETF?
Picking Your Spots in Emerging Markets
Simeon Hyman, ProShares / Ted Lucas, Hartford Funds / Dan Rohr, Morningstar
Emerging markets have gone from boom to bust. Some developing nations appear to be on the brink. Is there opportunity in crisis? What’s the best way to approach these markets?
11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Meet the Pundits
Closing General Sesssion
Matt Hougan, Inside ETFs / Ben Johnson, Morningstar / Tom Lydon, ETF Trends
Our panel of industry watchers will have a no-holds-barred discussion of the latest trends in the land of ETFs.
When You Get Here
Welcome to Chicago
It’s Morningstar’s home and a hub for business and culture. At the Hyatt Regency Chicago, you'll be just steps away from Lake Michigan, dining, shopping, and more.
Where You’ll Stay
Unwind at the Hyatt Regency Chicago after a full day at the conference. The hotel is located right on the Chicago River in the center of the city. Get a special hotel rate if you book by August 15.
Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL, 60601
Book Your Room
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See you at the conference.