The Institute of Asset Management (IAM) Virtual Annual Conference 2020 brought together over 200 delegates in the asset management community. Over three days in early November, thought leaders working at all levels of asset management participated in online workshops, panel discussions, and presentations from leading professionals working globally across a diverse range of sectors.
As the headline sponsor of the event, Copperleaf was proud to participate in various sessions and workshops, tailored to the conference themes of ‘Professionalizing Asset Management’, ‘Climate Change’, and ‘Digitizing Asset Management’.
Planning for Resilience
Stefan Sadnicki, Managing Director of Copperleaf in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) led a panel discussion on resilience with participants from Network Rail, Ofwat, and DP World. The conversation highlighted different approaches to resilience across diverse sectors, and key drivers of change over the past decade.
Dena Barasi, Associate Director of Strategy and Policy at Ofwat, the Water Services Regulation Authority in England and Wales, discussed how its ‘resilience in the round’ concept links corporate, financial, and operational elements together with customers at the heart. She highlighted an increased focus on improving long-term asset resilience: “Water systems need to remain resilient to a range of existing and emerging threats. Ensuring resilient water networks is a key theme of our strategy.”
Panelists also discussed how their organizations justify investments to improve resilience. Tim Kersley, Head of Asset Management Strategy at Network Rail, highlighted the importance of scenario planning capabilities to model the impact of different business constraints and risks—to support contingency planning and mitigate potential threats resulting from climate change.
Each year at its annual conference, the IAM announces the winners of the IAM Global Awards, which “recognize the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals, teams, and organizations” across a number of award categories.
This year, Copperleaf’s Circuit Optimization project with National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) won the Asset Management Innovation Award!
“We are delighted to win the award and to be recognized by the IAM,” said Stewart Whyte, Delivery Optimization Manager at NGET. “The Copperleaf Circuit Optimizer solves a significant optimization problem for asset management decisions that reduces risk and improves network reliability, resilience and security.”
“This is the most complex optimization problem Copperleaf has ever solved,” said Stan Coleman, Copperleaf CTO. “This innovation will help National Grid and potentially other clients reduce outages and improve the reliability of their networks.”
The NGET project was also awarded the IAM Delegate’s Choice Award—voted for by all attendees.
Driving Innovation Through Diversity
On the final day of the conference, Copperleaf’s CEO, Judi Hess, participated in a roundtable discussion on diversity and inclusion in asset management. She explained why increasing diversity and inclusion in the workplace is essential for creating change and driving success, quoting Warren Buffet: “We’ve seen what can be accomplished when we use 50% of our human capacity. Just imagine what 100% can do.”
Judi shared her approach, called Talent 100, which includes actions for all of us:
- Step 1 – Reject the idea that there are “no qualified candidates. Ensure there is a diverse candidate pool for leadership positions.
- Step 2 – Eliminate the barriers for diverse candidates. This is a call to action for people, especially those in positions of power, to provide opportunities to diverse candidates and overcome unconscious biases through learning.
- Step 3 – Just say “YES!” Actively encourage diverse candidates to accept positions in leadership.
“We need to do something, to change something,” emphasized Judi. “We will never be as good as we could be if we do not make this a priority. It’s imperative!”
More to Come
The 2020 IAM North American Virtual Conference kicks off next week, from November 17 to19. Copperleaf is excited to be headline sponsor for this event and will be participating in several sessions. See the full agenda here.