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Recapping the 2018 RIA Conference

NEI was proud to be this year's Title Sponsor at the 2018 Responsible Investment Association (RIA) Conference in Toronto. This year's conference was bigger than ever before with a total of 440 attendees from across Canada.

The two-day conference featured a fantastic lineup of diverse speakers. Below are some highlights from NEI and Aviso Wealth sessions:

Introducing new voices to the RI conversation

NEI started off the conference by sponsoring the opening plenary session moderated by Chris Nickerson, SVP, Sales & Distribution, NEI Investments, titled Talking About Tomorrow: Conversations with Today's Youth Leaders.

NEI brought together four youth leaders from across Canada who each shared their perspectives on topics ranging from water advocacy to environmentalism and activism. The panellists included: 14-year-old water advocate Autumn Peltier; environmental activists, Rupert (13) and Franny (10) Yakelashek; and environmental "Edu-tainer" Levi Hildebrand (25).

"We're all one voice when youth are standing up and speaking up. When it's coming from more than one person, it's more powerful," said Autumn Peltier.

The opening plenary was covered by CBC News and you can read that story here.

Disruptive technologies and ESG

Next, Manmeet Bhatia, SVP, Online Brokerage & Digital Wealth Product, and Chief Wealth Correspondent, Aviso Wealth moderated a plenary with Michael Kagan, Senior Portfolio Manager, ClearBridge, on his investment views of disruptive technologies and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) implications. The discussion covered a range of topics from privacy and security to automation.

Re-thinking Alberta as a climate change leader

On day two, Jamie Bonham, Manager of Extractives and Research at NEI Investments, led a lively discussion with Eric Denhoff, Alberta's Deputy Minister of Climate Change.

"We advocate a portfolio approach to investing, not looking at individual companies but looking at Alberta as a place to invest that is, in our view, the most successfully regulated environment for companies to operate in North America," said Mr Denhoff.

A new framework for talking about RI with investors

Closing out the conference, NEI sponsored an advisor-focused workshop on Changing the Responsible Investing (RI) Narrative, led by David Rutherford, VP, Marketing at NEI Investments. David spoke about how to have a meaningful, engaging and productive conversation with clients about RI, where he offered advisors a conversation framework based on both traditional and emerging investor needs.

"It's always important to take time to understand what the investor truly cares about before starting a conversation — then lead with that emotion," David said.

David's session was covered by Investment Executive and you can read that story here.

NEI live tweeted throughout the conference from its @NEIinvestments Twitter handle and users could follow updates using the hashtags #RIACon18 and #NEIatRIA. As a result, we were able to bring the message of Responsible Investing to 2.1 million users on social media.

As another successful conference comes to a close, NEI looks forward to bringing more awareness to Responsible Investing during RI Week 2018 in October and at next year's RIA conference in Montreal.