Framing the covid challenge

Framing the COVID Challenge

  • Academic session, 27 January: Insights from scenario planning and from earlier pandemics
  • Investor session, 9 February: Investing in the ‘new normal’

This is the first theme of the Franklin Templeton and Green Templeton College program ‘Navigating the COVID challenge’. Please click here for further information about this program.

Governments have struggled with the complex nature of the pandemic. Investors have also realized the relevance of preparing portfolios for unexpected shocks.

Scenario planning and its connection with learnings from previous pandemics form the basis for the academic and investor discussions under “Framing the COVID Challenge”.


Professor Trudie Lang

Director, The Global Health Network (
Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Oxford

  • Trudie Lang’s career has focused on combating diseases of poverty through the generation of high-quality evidence. She has worked in Industry, academia and UN organisations. Within each role aiming drive better health outcomes in vulnerable communities by enabling local leadership and ground-up implementation of health research. Within the University of Oxford, she founded and leads The Global Health Network ( which is a major international collaborative enterprise that sets out to improve health by improving research. This is achieved by finding better processes, building local capacity, supporting careers and enabling research in situations and diseases where live-saving data is woefully lacking. Trudie has worked extensively in infectious diseases throughout her career having worked in malaria drug and vaccine development, and working on helminths,TB, HIV and many other neglected tropical diseases. This experience was taken up in her work within both the Ebola and Zika outbreaks, and more recently with COVID-19. In all these she worked to support and enable a locally-led research responses from regions and communities who do not having existing research experience. Within the COVID-19 pandemic Trudie and her team set up the Global COVID-19 Research Implementation Hub. Here many thousands of researchers across the globe are working together and sharing their know-how to plan and operate studies to better understand and mitigate the impact of the pandemic within their situation and communities.

Professor Rafael Ramírez

Director of the Oxford Scenarios Programme

  • Rafael Ramirez is the first ever Professor of Practice named by the University of Oxford, Director of the Oxford Scenarios Programme at the Saїd Business School and is a Governing Body Fellow at Green Templeton College, Oxford University. He is one of the world’s leading experts on scenario planning, having developed the Oxford Scenarios Planning Approach with colleagues Angela Wilkinson and Kees can der Heijden. He has also been one of the first scholars to investigate networked strategy and to develop theories on the aesthetics of business and organisation; theories which help to clarify how scenario planning and strategizing can be rendered more effective. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2019.

    Rafael was Visiting Professor of Scenarios and Corporate Strategy at Shell International from 2000 to 2003, and from 2008 to 2010 Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Strategic Foresight. He was a full tenured Professor of Management in HEC Paris from 1993 to 2009. As Director of the award-winning Oxford Scenarios Programme he leads one of the most highly respected programmes on the subject in the world.

    Rafael has written a large number of published papers and chapters. A proven innovator, Rafael co-authored the first major journal articles attacking the ‘value chain’ view of value production (with R. Normann), published in the Harvard Business Review in 1993. That pioneering research provided an early conceptualisation of value creation as designed in what has become since the ‘social economy / business ecosystem / web interaction / platform organisation’ era. This he further developed in a paper in the Strategic Management Review (1999) on value co-production, which is still at the core of his research and engagement work, as well as in his 2016 co-authored book (with U. Mannervik) ‘Strategy in a Networked World’.

    As a researcher, consultant and management educator, Rafael has worked in over 35 countries, with many corporations, governmental and inter-governmental organisations, trade union federations, NGO's and professional associations. These include; Air Liquide, Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, AT&T, AXA, BMW Group, The Canadian Labour Congress, Diabetes UK, the Financial Conduct Authority; the European Patent Office, the European Roundtable of Industrialists, Eurotunnel, HP, the IAEA, the IDB, the IMF, The NYC Department of Juvenile Justice, Nissan Europe, O2, Rolls-Royce, Scottish Water, Schneider-Electric, Standard Chartered Bank, Statoil, Suez International, Trenitalia, the United European Gastroenterologists; UNDP, UK Space, Wärtsilä, and the World Economic Forum.

    Rafael holds a PhD from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and Master’s degrees from the University of Oxford and from the Environmental Studies Faculty at York University in Toronto. He was Tenured Professor of Management in HEC-Paris until 2009. He also has held positions in the Wharton School, and the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations - CNRS in Paris. Rafael speaks English, Spanish and French fluently.

Michael Browne

Portfolio Manager
Martin Currie

  • Michael co-manages our European equity long/short strategy with Steve Frost. Their partnership dates back over 30 years and they have jointly managed a European long/short fund since 1998, when they were at Chase Asset Management. At Chase, Michael was Head of International Equities, where he had overall responsibility for all non-US equity portfolios. He moved to Sofaer Capital, along with Steve Frost, in 2000, before joining Martin Currie in 2010.

    He began his career in 1986 at BZW Investment Management, where he was responsible for a variety of European unit trusts and segregated funds.

David Zahn, CFA, FRM

Head of European Fixed Income
Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Franklin Templeton

  • David Zahn is the senior vice president and head of European fixed income for Franklin Templeton Fixed Income - Global Sovereign and Emerging Market Debt in London, United Kingdom. Mr. Zahn is responsible for leading the management of European fixed income strategies, and several global aggregate and global government fixed income portfolios.Mr. Zahn has over 26 years of experience in financial services. He is a member of the Fixed Income Research and Strategy Team (FIRST), which sets broad fixed income strategy at Franklin Templeton. Prior to his current role, Mr. Zahn was a senior portfolio manager for Citigroup Asset Management. Mr. Zahn joined Franklin Templeton in 2006 as a senior vice president and portfolio manager.Mr. Zahn holds a bachelor of science in business administration from University of Maine, a master of arts in war in the modern world from King's College London, and a MBA in finance from University of Connecticut. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder, a qualified Financial Risk Manager (FRM), and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) charterholder.

Watch Again


Framing the COVID Challenge

Watch again the first academic lecture under our program. Professor Rafael Ramírez and Professor Trudie Lang share their insights on ‘Framing the COVID challenge’

Watch Replay


Investing in the New Normal

Watch Again the first investor panel under program. Our panel of academics and investment professionals debate risks and opportunities from potential COVID-recovery scenarios

Watch Replay

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Other Sessions

Under the overall theme “The Way Forward: Navigating the COVID challenge”, the program will focus on different aspects, ranging from framing the coronavirus challenge to key lessons for recovery strategies to measuring the actual progress towards a better future these strategies deliver. Each of the three academic sessions, will be followed by an investor panel.

Key Lessons for Recovery Strategies

Academic session, 10 March: Key lessons from COVID for recovery strategies

Investor session, 23 March: Sustainable Investment strategies in a post-COVID landscape

find out more

Progress towards a Better World

Academic session, 10 June: Building back better – but on what foundations?

Investor session, 29 June: Positioning for the next normal

find out more