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09 July 2014

CISI and SL Investment Management support the 2014 Liverpool International Festival for Business


For a 7 week period in June and July the City of Liverpool is hosting the International Festival for Business (IFB) - the largest global concentration of business events for the year.  Organisers estimate that around 250,000 people from businesses across the globe will visit the city for the event, providing a welcome boost to the UK government's long term initiative to double UK exports by 2020.

In support of the IFB event, the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) held their Securities conference on 3 July at the iconic Port of Liverpool Building at Pier Head. Rathbone Brothers Plc, one of the UK's leading providers of investment management services to private clients, provided the conference facilities and hospitality.

Port of Liverpool Building

Dirk Strontschak Chartered MCSI, CFA, chaired the conference with delgates from over 60 investment professionals from the Liverpool, Chester and North Wales region. Dirk, who is a Fund Manager at Chester based SL Investment Management, was appointed as regional CISI president at the end of May 2014.

Dirk said, "This is my first event after becoming regional president for the Liverpool and North Wales branch of CISI. With my colleagues in the committee and the members of the region we are focusing on getting more local schools and universities involved in the CISI programme with the aim of encouraging new talent to enter the industry and restoring confidence for private and institutional investors."

The conference opened with a presentation entitled 'Integrity at Work', spotlighting perhaps the most fundamental corner stone of the CISI organisation. Chief Executive of CISI, Simon Culhane, reinforced the importance of demonstrating integrity within the financial profession, working to restore public confidence in the industry following on from the global financial crisis that unfolded in 2008. The session was conducted in an open and interactive manner, with attendees encouraged to debate and vote on an array of challenging real life situations.

Adam Walker and Paul Leandro from the Liverpool office of Barnett Waddingham provided a valuable insight into the impact of the changes to pension regulation announced in April's budget. This was followed by an in depth discussion on the options future pensioners will face as they become unleashed from investments in fixed annuities. New potential pension models were discussed, highlighting possible changes to the existing structures of defined benefit and defined contribution schemes.

After a short break, Tony Greenham from the independent think-and-do tank New Economics Foundation provided insight into the latest developments within the crowd funding sector. The presentation reflected on the current trend for private investors to utilise internet platforms as a way of lending to other individuals and businesses, perhaps circumnavigating the more traditional banking route.

Wei Lei, an Investment Strategist of I-Shares EMEA Investment Strategy team, provided a recap of how key assets classes had performed during the first half of 2014 and rounded up her presentation with an outlook for the remainder of the year.

After more than 3 hours of interactive discussions, Dirk closed the conference reflecting on the fundamental themes of knowledge and professionalism in the ever changing world of financial services.

Dirk commented, "This has been a great event for local professionals to interact with each other, enabling them to exchange views and ideas on current hot topics."

For more insight on the topics discussed, or to find out how you can get involved in future CISI events, contact Dirk on