Meet Our Principals

Dan Smereck,
Managing Director & Principal

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

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Insurer Investment Forum XXIV: Agenda

All Times MST | Conference Attire: Business Casual

View:   Day 1 - Agenda  |  Day 2 - Agenda  |  View PDF  |  Registration Page  |  View Event Map

Wednesday - March 20, 2024
8:00 A.M. Breakfast

Location: Palomino Plaza

9:00 A.M. SAA’s Insurer Investment Workshop

Join your peers in a discussion of case studies based on SAA’s experience in working closely with insurance clients. SAA’s Principals will lead attendees in conducting, and then comparing, asset allocation decisions from both strategic and tactical perspectives.

Location: Palomino Ballroom 6

Noon Lunch

Location: Palomino Plaza

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.

From the Balkans to Boardrooms and Branding Irons:
Lessons Learned About Life, Leadership and Longhorns

Guest Presenter: Dubravka Romano, Principal, Romano Strategy Advisors

Dubravka Romano will draw on her life experience of moving from Communist Yugoslavia as a child to leading one of the oldest and largest risk pools in the country, and becoming an accidental rancher along the way to share the lessons she learned about the leadership traits required to navigate the complex economic and investment landscapes of running a risk pool. Dubravka will reflect on the current state of pooling and help SAA set the stage for its interactive case study.


Case Study: Capital Adequacy & The Investment Portfolio
Guest Presenter: Chris McKenna, Founder & CEO, Three Lions, LLC Company

In this interactive session, Chris will review best practices in assessing your pool's level of capital adequacy, focusing on the incorporation and importance of investment risk. Then, attendees will work in groups to address how a pool’s investment portfolio helps (or hinders) its overall financial health.

Location: Palomino Ballroom 6

4:30 P.M. Adjourn
6:00 P.M. Reception & Dinner

Location: Princess Pool Upper East Deck

Thursday - March 21, 2024
8:00 A.M. Breakfast

Location: Fairmont Gold Meeting Room

9:00 A.M. Welcome & Opening Remarks: Setting the Stage

Presenter: Alton Cogert, President & CEO, Strategic Asset Alliance

Today’s agenda will cover several key topics facing insurer investments today and in the future. This opening session will provide an overview of what issues will be addressed by the day’s various speakers and why these topics should be on top of every insurer’s mind.

Additionally, SAA will discuss, “A.I.: Who, What, Where, When, Why?” This quick-hitting segment will review SAA’s view of the state of AI for insurer investments, as well as what insurers/pools should be mindful of in the early stages (i.e. how it’s used by managers, the hype cycle, resources, etc.).

Location: Fairmont Gold Meeting Room

9:30 A.M. Making the Juice Worth the Squeeze

Jeffrey Berman, CFA
Head of North America Distribution
Insight Investment

In the prior search for yield, insurers were exploring risk asset classes they wouldn’t have previously considered. Insight Investments will discuss how the script has flipped in the fixed income space, as well as where in the risk asset space insurers are finding the most benefits.

10:15 A.M. Break
10:30 A.M. Finding Value in the Short- and Long-Term

Head of Enterprise Capital Strategy
New England Asset Management

As insurers continue to evaluate their fixed income allocation in today’s rate and yield environment, New England Asset Management will review where insurers are finding opportunities in the short-term, while keeping the long-term enterprise perspective in mind.

11:15 A.M. Break
11:30 A.M. Navigating Incoming Credit Risk

Peter Cramer, CFA
Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, Insurance Asset Management
SLC Management

Whether it’s from corporate bonds, the transition between public vs. private credit, or other market trends, SLC will spotlight opportunities in insurers’ investment portfolios that may help address these incoming changes.

12:15 PM Lunch

Location: Fairmont Gold Meeting Room

1:45 P.M. The Inaugural Insurer Investment Forum Lightning Round

SAA will invite several experts to the stage to share opinions, stories, and predictions in a fast-paced addition to the conference. In trios, invited participants will be tasked with answering as many questions as possible within the allotted time limit.

Moderator: Strategic Asset Alliance

AAM - Insurance Investment Management
Income Research + Management
Principal Asset Management
UMB Bank

Location: Fairmont Gold Meeting Room

2:35 P.M. Break
2:45 P.M. Ask the Experts

Insight Investment
New England Asset Management
SLC Management

Moderator: SAA

In this fast paced, free-for-all session, we place the morning's 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.

3:45 P.M. Closing Remarks: Where to From Here?

Presenter: Alton Cogert, SAA

To close the Forum, SAA will provide a review of key takeaways from the Forum, as well as where insurers may look next as they consider changes to their portfolio.

4:15 P.M. Adjourn & Farewell Reception

Location: Fairmont Gold Meeting Room