Meet Our Principals

Dan Smereck,
Managing Director & Principal

Mr. Smereck leads the highly-regarded case study sessions at our annual conference.

Mr. Smereck is also the primary consultant for SAA's Gov't Risk Pooling Clients.

*SAA reserves the right to make changes to this schedule. This event is closed to the media.

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Insurer Investment Forum XXII: Agenda

All Times Pacific Time | Conference Attire: Business Casual

View: Click Here to Register  |  Day 1 - Agenda  |  Day 2 - Agenda  |  PDF

Wednesday - March 23, 2022
8:00 A.M. Breakfast
9:00 A.M. SAA Investment Workshop

Join your peers in discussions of case studies based upon real experience of SAA working closely with clients. Review different investment approaches from both the Board and senior management perspectives.

Noon Lunch
1:30 P.M. Investment Seminar for Government Risk Pools

Only at this special Investment Seminar are the most important investment issues facing pools discussed and dissected in detail. Using a case study format, everyone can ask questions and contribute their experience to the mutual knowledge of all pools at this seminar. As the investing and economic landscapes grow more complex, it is more important than ever to find out how your pool can improve its investment process.

4:30 P.M. Adjourn
6:00 P.M. Reception & Dinner
Thursday - March 24, 2022
8:00 A.M. Breakfast
9:00 A.M. Welcome & Opening Remarks

It's a Sci-Fi World
Alton Cogert, President & CEO, Strategic Asset Alliance

About a decade ago, the Insurer Investment Forum’s theme was “The Times They Are A-Changing.” Little did we know that was an understatement. The world is going through accelerated changes in many areas of our life. And many of those changes are represented in our investment portfolios. In an industry known for its conservative nature, how can your insurer or government risk pool be aware and ready for change in its investment portfolio?

9:45 A.M. Digital Assets – Evolution or Revolution? - An Insurance CIO’s Perspective

Nico Santini, Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Officer, ProSight Specialty Insurance

Who hasn’t heard about the blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and the digitalization of assets and wondered about them? Is this an evolution or revolution? Is distributed ledger technology (or blockchain) the wave of the future? Can crypto assets be used as a currency, be a store of value, or even a possible investment asset class? And, what about decentralized finance, often called DeFi? Will this ultimately change how we do business and invest capital? Hear from a highly regarded insurer CIO on how he is viewing the digital asset ecosystem and how these areas should be approached.

10:45 A.M. Break
11:00 A.M. Most Important Insurer Investment Problems and Potential Solutions

Daniel Smereck, Managing Director, Strategic Asset Alliance
Nathan Simon, Director, Strategic Asset Alliance

With any luck, we are approaching the land of post-COVID. But, with what kind of challenges has that land left us? Repressively low interest rates and spreads. Inflation. Historically high equity valuations. Uncertainties surrounding work from home versus office. With regulators trying to catch up. What are the most important investment problems coming from this for insurers? How are SAA’s clients addressing these problems? What does SAA see coming ‘over the horizon’ that insurers should be ready for today?

Noon Lunch
1:30 P.M. It’s a Sci-Fi World

Let’s apply what we’ve discussed about today’s Sci-Fi World to what this means for specific asset allocation and investment decisions. In the following sessions, three highly regarded investment managers will step back and take a big picture look at the investment arena. Some of their ideas and recommendations will have a short-term time frame (after all, the sci-fi world is happening now) and some will have a medium- or longer-term time frame. In either event, we would be well served to listen carefully and question what they tell us.

Managing Investments and Risk through Technological Change
Vin Delucia, CIO, New England Asset Management

Technology will continue to evolve rapidly as human ingenuity utilizes new technologies to create the “next big thing”. The basic laws of investing, however, will always apply. Today, we’ll briefly touch on some technological, environmental and regulatory changes on the horizon. We’ll provide our views on topics from 5G to ESG and what the implications are for investors, both today and in the future.

2:15 P.M. It's a Sci-Fi World (Continued)

Blending Public & Private Credit for Enhanced Yield
Michael R Smith, Managing Director, Muzinich & Co.

Private credit has increased dramatically in popularity amongst insurers and other institutional investors as yields within the public markets have declined. Equally, the narrative around why private credit is here to stay remains compelling: Banks have retreated from lending and private credit has filled the much needed void. But what about liquidity? Is there a way to blend public and private credit to allow insurers the benefit from Public Credit liquidity and the yield enhancement of Private Credit? How would that look and what could yield expectations be?

3:00 P.M. Break
3:15 P.M. It's a Sci-Fi World (Continued)

Uncovering Private Credit Opportunities for Insurers
Loren Sageser, Managing Director - Private Credit Product Specialist, Nuveen

2021 was a banner year for private credit, with combined syndicated and direct loans setting a record of $228 billion. While this was partly driven by the unleashing of pent-up demand from issuers and investors, it can also be attributed to the virtues of the asset class highlighted through COVID-19: higher yields, better diversification and lower defaults (versus comparable public market asset classes). Will these benefits hold for 2022? What questions should insurers be asking as they consider allocations?

4:00 P.M. Ask the Experts

Loren Sageser, Managing Director - Private Credit Product Specialist, Nuveen
Vin Delucia, CIO, New England Asset Management
Michael R. Smith, Managing Director, Muzinich & Co.

Alton Cogert, SAA

In this fast paced, free-for-all session, we place all three investment manager presenters, as well as SAA, on the ‘hot seat’ about any question that may have arisen at the conference. We suspect, given the variety of opinions, that this will be one of the livelier sessions.

4:45 P.M. Adjourn & Farewell Reception