Morningstar® Investment Conference

Madrid 2018

8 May, 2018 | Hotel VP Plaza España Design

Thank you for attending #MICSPAIN. See you next year!

Morningstar brings the latest market insights and investment views from the industry’s top minds. Discover new perspectives on the market and ideas to put into practice.


The conference brings together some of the financial industry's top minds.

Keynote Speakers

Lawrence Johnson

Paolo Sironi
IBM Watson Financial Services

Steven Smit

Timothy Strauts

Main Stage Speakers

Muna Abu-Habsa

Fernando Bernad
azValor Asset

Ashis Dash

Rob Drijkoningen
Neuberger Berman

Fiona Frick

Suzanne Hutchins
Newton Investment

Isabel Levy

Fernando Luque

Francisco García Parames
Cobas AM

Paul Read

Edwin Walczak
Vontobel Asset Management

Andreas Zoellinger

On the Agenda


Agenda is subject to change.


The attendance will be valid for 5 hours of certification training for EFA and EFP.

The attendance will be valid for 5 CE credits for CFA Charterholders and Certified Advisor-CAd.








FinTech Innovation and MiFID II: Value Generation for Investors

Paolo Sironi, IBM Industry Academy, and Author, IBM Watson Financial Services

FinTech innovation is the opportunity to master a global shift in financial services, as business models are due to transform from transactional revenues to the offering of added-value propositions under MiFID II. The capability to create client-centric digital platforms will divide winners from laggards in the digital era, all based on artificial intelligence to augment the added-value role of intermediaries and clients’ capability to make financial decisions. This shift is not easy and success requires to look beyond disruptive innovation toward sustaining innovation, centred on the the digitisation of knowledge, while digital payments are the new entrants’ gateway to the banking relationships centred on personal journeys and experiences. We will provide constructive criticism to the fintech ecosystem and learn which products or solutions will ultimately justify the fees.


Investing With Style

Andreas Zoellinger, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, Blackrock / Fiona Frick, Chief Executive, Unigestion / Francisco García-Paramé, Founder, Cobas AM / Muna Abu-Habsa, Director, Ratings, Manager Research EMEA & Asia, Morningstar

In the last years selecting the right investment style (growth or value; large or small) has been critical to the returns delivered. Three outstanding stock investors with different strategies and different styles come together to discuss their views on style investing and explain their underlying strategy. They will talk about where they see value in today’s market and how they are positioning their portfolios accordingly.


Coffee Break


Introducing Morningstar MQR and Efficacy

Timothy Strauts, Director of Quantitative Research, Morningstar


Best Investment Ideas in Equities

Edwin Walczak, Portfolio Manager/Senior Research Analyst and Managing Director, Vontobel Asset Management / Isabel Levy, Co-Founder, METROPOLE / Gestion Fernando Bernad, Partner and Portfolio Manager, azValor Asset Management / Fernando Luque, Senior Financial Editor, Morningstar

Renowned fund managers will share their views on where they see opportunities in Europe. They will discuss their strategies on how to select the best companies and what are the most attractive sectors. The panelists will also discuss why European markets have underperformed other markets in the recent past and if this may change in the near future.


Cocktail Lunch


ESG and Carbon: Delivering Better Investor Outcomes

Steven Smit, Head of Sustainability, Morningstar

With the tremendous growth of global sustainable assets and increased importance to incorporate ESG into the investment process, managing a portfolio’s ESG characteristics is becoming more important. Likewise, climate change presents one of the biggest economic and political challenges of the 21st century, according to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. 


Navigating the Fixed Income Space

Suzanne Hutchins, Portfolio Manager and Team Leader, Newton Investment / Paul Read, Fixed Interest Team Co-leader, Invesco / Rob Drijkoningen, Managing Director, Neuberger Berman / Ashis Dash, Associate Director, Fixed Income Strategies, Morningstar

Bond fund managers grapple with a challenging future given an uncertain central banks’ policy going forward. How to invest in today’s fixed income markets where rates have a high possibility to go up? Three fund managers will share their views on how to manage this investment risk and where they find value in the bond markets.


Making Sense of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

Lawrence Johnson, SVP & Head of Fintech Engagement, Morningstar

7 a.m.–7 p.m.

Registration Open

7 a.m.–8 a.m.

Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall

8 a.m.–9 a.m.

Future of Financial Planning in the Digital Age

General Session

Michael Kitces, Pinnacle Advisory Group

9:10 a.m.–10 a.m.

Straight Talk About Strategic Beta

Track: Passive/Strategic Beta

Moderated by Ben Johnson / Patrick O'Shaughnessy, O'Shaughnessy Asset Management / Wes Gray, Alpha Architect

Strategic beta, or so-called "smart" beta, ETFs have been all the rage in recent years. New funds have proliferated and new inflows have been strong and steady. Our expert panel will demystify this newly popular category of investments and provide insights on how to cut through the hype.


Liquid Alts: The Square Peg for Your Round Portfolio

Track: Outcome-Oriented Investing

Moderated by Jason Kephart / Bob Boyda, John Hancock / Catherine LeGraw, GMO / Joel Dickson, Vanguard

When used responsibly, liquid alternatives give investors the potential to improve their portfolios’ risk-adjusted returns over the long term. This panel will address the best practices for including liquid alts in a portfolio and offer our panelists’ best ideas on which alternatives strategies are built for tomorrow’s markets


The Best Investments—Anywhere

Track: Active Management

Moderated by Kevin McDevitt / Noriko Chen, Capital Group / Charles Pohl, Dodge & Cox / Amit Wadhwaney, Moerus Capital Management

This panel of talented asset allocators will discuss their approaches to investing and detail how they look across asset classes, regions, sectors, and securities for the best opportunities. 


Pillars of a Modern Advisor: How to Achieve Scale and Prosper

Track: Practice Management

Sheryl Rowling, Rowling & Associates

Discover the easy way to achieve greater scale and profitability while serving clients’ best interests. Advisors can have a hard time managing growth and bringing on new clients. The quality of client services can decline as work overpowers their personal time. This session will demonstrate with  a few simple steps—with or without technology— how to better serve current clients and take on new ones. All while still having a personal life.

10 a.m.-11 a.m.

Break in Exhibit Hall

11 a.m.–11:50 a.m.

Fixed Income: The Achilles Heel of Indexing

Track: Passive/Strategic Beta

Moderated by Ben Johnson / Natalie Zahradnik, PIMCO / Karen Schenone, BlackRock / Gemma Wright-Casparius, Vanguard

Fixed income markets are believe by many to be the last bastion of active management. Do bond index funds stand a chance versus their actively managed peers? What does the future hold for bond indexes?


Income-Focused Strategies for Retirees

Track: Outcome-Oriented Investing

Moderated by Leo Acheson / Brett Sumsion, Fidelity Investments / Andrew Suzman, Capital Group / Ed Perks, Franklin Templeton Investments

With an estimated 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, the number of Americans age 65 and older is expected to reach more than 70 million by 2030. Does it make sense to roll their assets into an income-oriented portfolio? What options exist in this space, and how are the managers navigating the volatile interest-rate landscape?


The Active Equity Challenge

Track: Active Management

Moderated by Katie Reichart / Clare Hart, JP Morgan / Matt Fruhan, Fidelity Investments / Mark Finn, T. Rowe Price

Most active equity fund managers have failed to beat their benchmarks after fees in recent years, but the portfolio managers on this panel have been winners over the long term. We’ll dig into their funds to discuss why they’ve been successful and why indexing provides stiff competition.


The Augmented Advisor: How Technology Amplifies the Significance of Financial Advice

Track: Practice Management

Bill Winterberg,

Startups have raised hundreds of millions of dollars under the premise of deploying algorithms and artificial intelligence to disintermediate human financial advisors. But instead, startups have pivoted to cater to the unique needs of human advisors and their clients. In this provocative session, you will learn ways to use your current technology to enhance the advice you provide and be exposed to innovations on the horizon that have the potential to amplify your relationships with clients and prospects. 


Incorporating Sustainable Investing Into Your Practice


Paul Ellis, Paul Ellis Consulting / Jeffrey Gitterman, Gitterman Wealth Management / Moderated by Jon Hale, Morningstar

As trillions of assets transfer to younger investors and women over the coming years, their interest in making an impact with their investments and investing in sustainable companies will drive many of their choices. Research shows that more than 80% of millennials and 70% of women are interested in sustainability. In this session, we will discuss the benefits of incorporating sustainability into your practice with two successful financial advisors. We will also outline practical steps for portfolio construction, as well as integration of client service and marketing strategies for sustainable investment. 

12 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

Michael Lewis, author of The Undoing Project

Lunch Keynote Presentation

From Liar's Poker to The Big Short to his latest, The Undoing Project, Michael Lewis has proven himself one of America's greatest living true storytellers. In this wide-ranging discussion, he'll provide his take on the financial markets, sports, and more.

1:40 p.m.–2:40 p.m.

Value (Index) Investors Club

Track: Passive/Strategic Beta

Moderated by Alex Bryan / Ronen Israel, AQR / John West, Research Affiliates / Jared Watts, Morningstar

Value investors have been through trying times. Has value gone missing? Are there any signs that it might soon return? What is the best way for investors to harness that value factor?


Preparing for Inflation and Protecting Purchasing Power

Track: Outcome-Oriented Investing

Moderated by Jeff Holt / Jessica Bush, Principal Financial Group / Michael Aked, Research Affiliates / Ken Baumgartner, Wellington Management

In the wake of the financial crisis, inflation has remained well below historic norms, but this threat to investors’ purchasing power looms following years of accommodative monetary policy to stimulate growth. Come hear a panel of three multi-asset portfolio managers discuss current inflationary pressures and different methods of preparing a portfolio for inflation.


A Flexible Approach to Fixed Income

Track: Active Management

Moderated by Miriam Sjoblom / Bryan Whalen, TCW/Metwest / Brian Kennedy, Loomis Sayles & Co.

Years of low yields across the developed bond markets have meant challenging times for investors. Join us as we talk with three managers who venture beyond the confines of traditional bond benchmarks in their search for value. How will these approaches change if rates continue to rise?


Goals-Based Risk: A Better Way to Understand Clients’ Risk Preferences in the Context of Investing Well

Track: Practice Management

Ryan Murphy, Morningstar

We present a framework that emphasizes coherence between investors’ current financial situation, their long-term fiscal goals, and sensible investment strategies. Risk preferences inform part of this approach, but they are only one piece of a more complicated puzzle. The goals-based risk approach highlights the inherent trade-offs an investor faces when developing an investment strategy and helps clarify the role an advisor has in helping clients make good decisions consistent with their aspirations both in the short and long term.

2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Break in Exhibit Hall

3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

Best Business Partners for the Next Decade

General Session

Laura Lutton, Morningstar / Gregg Warren, Morningstar

Amid performance, fee, and regulatory pressure, the competitive landscape for fund firms has been shifting rapidly. Join some of Morningstar's equity and fund researchers as they review which asset managers are likely to deliver the best results going forward and which have lost their edge. We'll also discuss the impact on advisors' client portfolios. 

4:40 p.m.–5:30 p.m.

"I took the road less travelled by..." Comments by John C. Bogle

General Session

John C. Bogle, Vanguard

Vanguard founder John C. Bogle will talk about the creation of the first index mutual fund and the long journey to index-fund dominance. He'll also comment on the tension between business strategy options for active fund managers and their fiduciary duty to their fund shareholders, the differences between TIFs and ETFs, and some personal reflections on his 65 years in the mutual fund industry. This session will be broadcast via a live video stream. 

5:30 p.m.–7 p.m.

Reception in Exhibit Hall

When You Get Here

Welcome to Madrid

¡De Madrid al cielo! It's one of the most famous sayings about the city, as its sky has an intense blue color that makes it characteristic. It’s the Spanish capital since 1561, a cosmopolitan city that combines the most modern infrastructures with its status of economic, financial, and administrative centre.

Hotel VP Plaza España Design

Plaza de España, 5, 28008 


The new VP Plaza España Design hotel is located in a privileged site of the capital, in the Plaza de España of Madrid,
just a few steps away from the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral, and the Temple of Debod.

Aa Hotel Serrano

C/ Marqués de Villamejor. 8 28006 Madrid

Email with the subject "Morningstar
Investment Conference" by April 13 to receive a special offer.

Book Your Room

Hotel NH Collection Madrid Abascal

c/José Abascal 47 28003 Madrid

Email to book your room. Please include
the following reference code: MB0001187236-MORNINGSTAR.


Book Your Room

Hotel NH Collection Madrid Zurbano

Calle Zurbano, 79-81 28003 Madrid

Email to book your room. Please include
the following reference code: MB0001187236-MORNINGSTAR.

Book Your Room

For further information, contact

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Be a visible part of the MIC experience by becoming a sponsor. It’s about more than attendees seeing your company’s logo—it’s an effective way to reach decision makers. View the sponsorship kit.

Principal Sponsor

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Media Partners

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See you at the conference.