BCA’s Toronto Investment conference brings together some of the world's leading investment experts. For 2018, we've assembled economists, academics and politicians who will be share their ideas and investment strategies to give you fresh perspectives on what's next for the markets.


Chief Global Strategist, Horizon Investments, Inc.

The U.S. mid-term elections will be the most important in decades for the economy and markets. Will the Republicans maintain control of both houses, allowing them to pursue their agenda of deregulation and America first trade policies, or will the Democrats win the House, setting the scene for major confrontation with the Trump Administration? Greg Valliere’s experience in drawing market implications from Washington's political gyrations will make his insights invaluable.  

Gregory R. Valliere, known as Greg, is the Chief Global Strategist at Horizon Investments, Inc. He is responsible for analyzing policy and politics and their impact on the markets. Prior to this, he was a Chief Political Strategist at Potomac Research Group Holdings, LLC. He also served as a Chief Policy Strategist at Soleil Securities Corporation. Before that, he was employed at Stanford Group Company, Research Division. He co-founded The Washington Forum and subsequently held several positions, including Director of Research at the Charles Schwab Washington Research Group. A specialist in coverage of the Federal Reserve, economic policy, and politics, he is a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and radio, CNN, Fox Business News and CBS radio. Greg is frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Barrons and The New York Times. A member of the Conference of Business Economists, he holds a Series 7 license and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from George Washington University.


Professor, Department of Classics, Stanford University

Walter Scheidel has made a detailed historical analysis of inequality. He concludes that all major episodes of inequality end in violence and social disruption. And our own cycle of wealth inequality should be no different.  Professor Scheidel’s presentation is guaranteed to be both fascinating and relevant to understanding the forces that will shape the future economic and financial environment.

Professor Walter Scheidel specializes in ancient social and economic history. In January 2017 his book, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century was published and nominated for the Financial Times and Mckinsey business book of the year. In addition to publishing four academic monographs and over 200 papers and reviews, he has edited or co-edited thirteen other books. He co-edits a monograph series for Oxford University Press and co-founded the Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics, the world’s first online repository for working papers in that field. In May 2012, Scheidel and Elijah Meeks launched the interactive website ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World. He has been awarded a New Directions Fellowship of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. From 1984 to 1993, he studied Ancient History and Numismatics at the University of Vienna where he obtained his doctorate in 1993. He moved to the United States in 1999, where he initially held visiting positions at Stanford University and the University of Chicago. 


Canadian Prime Minister, 2006-2015

Negotiations over NAFTA are not going particularly well, and a complete breakdown of the deal cannot be ruled out. What will this mean for Canada-U.S. trade and thus economic activity? Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister from 2006 to 2015 and a trained economist is well placed to answer this important question. In his keynote address, Mr. Harper will discuss U.S. Canada relations, along with his perspectives on other key global political and economic issues.

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper served as Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister from 2006 to 2015, the longest-serving Conservative Leader to hold this office since Canada’s founding Prime Minister passed away in 1891. Prime Minister Harper created the modern Conservative Party of Canada and won three successive national elections, in 2006, 2008, and 2011. A strong advocate for free trade and open markets, Prime Minister Harper led a government that focused on pragmatic, growth-oriented economic policies and results-driven social policy. Under his leadership, Canada reduced federal taxes to their lowest level in 50 years, created 1.3 million new jobs, balanced the budget while making critical investments in health care and infrastructure, attracted new investment and fostered innovation. An ally of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other multilateral development institutions, Prime Minister Harper sought to amplify the scale and impact of Canada’s contributions to these institutions by involving the private sector in issue-specific campaigns whenever possible. Prime Minister Harper’s government worked collaboratively with successive US Presidents to ensure the world’s most valuable bilateral trading and security relationship remained productive and effective. He undertook extensive work to deepen North American supply chain integration, ease regulatory burdens on small and medium-sized business and increase competitiveness and innovation. He oversaw unprecedented investments in post-secondary research, STEM programming and skills training curricula.


Senior Economic Advisor, HSBC

How big a threat is inflation? What is the timing of the next recession? What are the odds of policy mistakes? Few people are better equipped to answer these questions than Stephen King, known for his penetrating insights into the key forces defining the macro environment. 

Stephen King is a senior economic advisor to HSBC, and was formerly the bank’s Global Chief Economist. A top-ranked global economist, Stephen is also a best-selling author. His latest book, Grave New World, The End of Globalization, the Return of History has received wide-ranging praise. His first book, Losing Control. was published in 2010 and was respected for its examination of the impact of emerging nations on western economic prosperity. But it was When the Money Runs Out, published in 2013 that was made book of the year by the Financial Times, The Economist and the Times. A member of the Financial Time Exchange which offers agenda setting commentary from leading policymakers, academics and writers around the world, he is the editor of Global Risk, an Economist Intelligence Unit publication.  He regularly contributes to leading newspapers and appears on television and radio.


US Managing Editor, FT

Investors have rarely been forced to grapple with so many “Known, Unknowns”. Is productivity growth being mismeasured in the digital age? What are the consequences of elevated debt levels around the world? How will populism influence economic and political outcomes in the coming decade? As the U.S. Managing Editor for the Financial Times, Gillian Tett brings unique and though-provoking perspectives on some of the most important questions facing investors today.

Gillian Tett serves as US managing editor, leading the FT’s editorial operations in the region across all platforms. She writes weekly columns for the Financial Times, covering a range of economic, financial, political and social issues throughout the globe. Tett previously served as assistant editor, US managing editor from 2010-2012, and prior to this as assistant editor responsible for the FT’s markets coverage. Her other roles at the FT have included capital markets editor, deputy editor of the Lex column, Tokyo bureau chief, Tokyo correspondent, London-based economics reporter and a reporter in Russia and Brussels. Tett’s latest book The Silo Effect, published by Simon & Schuster in September 2015, looks at the global economy and financial system through the lens of cultural anthropology. Most recently in 2016, Tett received honorary degrees from the University of Exeter in July and the University of Miami in May; and in 2015, an honorary doctorate from Lancaster University in the UK, one of the top ten British universities. In 2014, Tett was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards, with judges describing her column as “provocative, revealing, often counter-intuitive” and commending her for covering “a gloriously eclectic range of themes”. She also received the 2014 Royal Anthropological Institute Marsh Award, which recognises an individual who works outside academia and has used anthropology or anthropological ideas to contribute to a better understanding of the world’s problems. In 2012, she received a Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) Award for best feature article, “Madoff spins his story.” Her other awards include a President’s Medal by the British Academy (2011), being recognized as Journalist of the Year (2009) and Business Journalist of the Year (2008) by the British Press Awards, and as Senior Financial Journalist of the Year (2007) by the Wincott Awards. She is the author of New York Times bestseller Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe (Little Brown, UK and Simon and Schuster, US) published in May 2009, and Saving the Sun: A Wall Street Gamble to Rescue Japan from its Trillion Dollar Meltdown (Harper Collins, 2003). Fool’s Gold won Financial Book of the Year at the Spear’s Book Awards in 2009. Before joining the Financial Times in 1993, Tett was awarded a PhD in social anthropology from Cambridge University based on field work in the former Soviet Union. While pursuing the PhD, she freelanced for the FT and the BBC. She is a graduate of Cambridge University.

Dr. Didier Sornette

Professor on the Chair of Entrepreneurial Risks at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) 

It was inevitable that years of hyper-easy money would lead to financial excesses. The bubble in bitcoin, compressed credit spreads and high equity valuations are all symptoms of an extended period of low interest rates. Professor Didier Sornette has made a career of studying periods of financial excess and developing ways to predict the next financial crash. There cannot be a better time to hear his latest thinking given increased market volatility and monetary tightening around the world. His conference presentation is sure to be a highlight of the two-day event.

In March 2006, Dr. Didier Sornette was appointed Professor on the Chair of Entrepreneurial Risks at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. He is also a professor of the Swiss Finance Institute, and a professor associated with both the Department of Physics and the Department of Earth Sciences at ETH Zurich. A Pioneer in econophysics, in 1994, he co-founded Science et Finance with Jean-Philippe Bouchard. The firm later merged with Capital Fund Management (CFM) in 2000. He was also jointly Professor of Geophysics at the University of California at Los Angeles from 1996–2006 and Research Professor at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, working on the theory and prediction of complex systems. Professor on the Chair of Entrepreneurial Risks at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).

Erin Browne

Managing Director and Head of Asset Allocation, UBS Asset Management​ 

Through most of the current business cycle, U.S. equities have stood out as the star outperformer. Yet the last innings of any business cycle make sound asset allocation decisions critical to protecting portfolios from significant drawdowns. Getting out too late or too early can make or break an investor’s year. As the Head of Asset Allocation for UBS Asset Management, Erin Browne is well positioned to help investors understand which sectors and regions will outperform or underperform during the coming years.

Erin Browne is a Managing Director and Head of Asset Allocation for UBS Asset Management. In this role, whe plays a key role helping to drive the firm's macro research, capital market assumptions, Tactical Asset Allocation and Strategic Asset Allocation views across asset classes.  She manages the Asset Allocation mandates and advises on the UBS Wealth Management Multi-Asset Group in implementing her macro views across the SMA portfolios. Erin was most recently Head of Macro Investments in UBS O'Connor, the firm's multi-strategy hedge fund manager, and she remains a member of their Capital Allocation Committee, which determines risk and capital deployment strategies each month.  At O'Connor, she managed investment portfolio across multiple asset classes and geographies with a specific focus on currencies and equities.  She deployed a top-down framework to analyze global economic patterns and imbalances in order to extrapolate investable themes. Erin joined UBS from Point72 Asset Management (2012-2016) where she worked as a global macro portfolio manager for the firm's Global Macroeconomic Group. Prior to Point72, she worked at Citigroup (2010-2012), where she ran the global macro proprietary trading group. Ms. Browne previously worked as the equity strategist for the Global Macro Fund of Moore Capital Management in New York (2006-2010) and before this was as an equity research analyst at Neuberger Berman.  She began her career at Lehman Brothers (2002-2006) in the investment banking division. Erin is a weekly guest on CNBC's Halftime Report, and regularly contributes to publications including Barron's, Financial Times, NY Times, Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.  Ms. Browne holds a BA in Economics from Georgetown University.

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