President's Dashboard


Traffic Light Key:

 Red Light: Needs Board Assistance

Red Light:
Needs Board Assistance

 Yellow Light: Needs Refinement

Yellow Light:
Needs Refinement

 Green Light: On Target

Green Light:
On Target


Strategic Planning for the Future

Successful implementation of PPI's Strategic Plan and Vision 2015-2017 requires a set of accompanying metrics to ensure proper execution and tracking of the various components. Our metrics and evaluation strategy is derived from the five "Key Elements" and accompanying "Objectives" outlined in the Strategic Plan and Vision document.  The Metrics and Evaluation Framework that we're developing will align each Objective with Activities, which are the vehicles through which each Objective will be achieved.  Each Activity is accompanied by a Key Metric to clearly define and measure success, a Strategy for Tracking and Frequency of tracking to guide how and when each metric will be collected, and Feasibility and Priority ranking to help us weigh the urgency and importance.

Branding Project

I greatly appreciated the Board's discussion, insights and input to the PPI Brand Project report.  Your strong support as well as the consensus reached on the general thrust of the brand refresh, including the new logo, mission and vision statements and tagline, were enormously helpful. The following Monday, staff consulted extensively with the branding team, giving serious consideration to all the directors' comments. As a result, we added PPI's geographic focus back into the mission statement to reinforce our commitment to the origins of the organization. We also carefully considered adjustments to the logo sphere, but felt that the current track should be maintained given the extensive market research, copyright and other considerations that have supported the branding effort over the last six months.   

Announcement: Following the changes that were prompted by the feedback from the Board, we announced PPI's new look and language to our members and friends via email and an announcement bar at the top of our website. We made the PPI Branding Report available online for anyone who may be interested.

Implementation: We are continuing to work with the Kreativz branding team to roll out the brand elements online (website and other digital applications) and off-line (business systems documents: stationery, business cards, signage, etc.) to be completed by the time of the Asia Roundtable in Tokyo.

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Legal: We have begun the process of making the recommended amendment to the organization's name to Pacific Pension & Investment Institute. Upon the recommendation of Ron Bornstein and Bob Burlingame of the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, we have begun using the new name on our website. They urged us to immediately commence using the name and logo publicly to establish use. Registration of the logo sphere, tagline and name should take about four months to one year.

Legacy Video Project

Debut: Attendees of the Summer Roundtable in San Francisco were treated to an advance screening of the video, which was well received. The film was presented prior to the ceremony conferring the H. Lawrence Hull Jr. Leadership Award and Lifetime membership to three founding members Margaret Carpenter, Ron Bornstein and Shelley Smith.

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Distribution: Following the Roundtable the video was shared with PPI members and friends via a link in an email.

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Website: The video now appears on the homepage of the PPI website and includes a copyright notice prohibiting unauthorized use.


By most accounts, the Summer Roundtable was one of our most successful, although we received considerable feedback from Board and PPI members regarding refinements that could enhance the experience from both programmatic and logistical standpoints.  We acknowledge that the summer roundtable attendance was particularly robust for a PPI event; given the slightly larger size of the audience and the range of topics, a premium was placed on smaller group sessions.  Heading into the Asia Roundtable in Tokyo, we will return to the audience size to which you have become accustomed.

I found the Plan Sponsor Breakfast during the Summer Roundtable to be particularly enlightening, and we will reinstitute it as a permanent element of future roundtables. Audience feedback via real-time polling was also effective in assessing programmatic impact. The Program Committee met immediately following the Summer Roundtable proceedings; the focus of this discussion was primarily on the Asia Roundtable and broader ideas for 2016.

PPI –ADB Pension Program: The long process of getting contract approval seems to be nearing completion.  All necessary paperwork and subsequent edits have been submitted to the Bank for final approval.  

Meanwhile development of the September 3-4 program has been proceeding in good faith.  We have received confirmation from Vietnam Social Security, the Government Pension Fund of Thailand, and the pension systems in Laos and Cambodia that they will be sending multiple participants.  Only Myanmar remains uncommitted.  The program will take place in Thailand at the offices of ADB’s resident mission.

Malaysia Pension Program: Conrad Yan has suggested that PPI provide a recap of the 2015 Summer Roundtable for a small group of pension fund senior officials from Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand.  The preparations for that program are moving along smoothly, and we hope that this program offer the tangible benefits of PPI membership.   Nick Sramek will travel KL to support Conrad’s presentation.  Conrad will be covering his own expenses.

We have received firm commitments to attend from Malaysia’s KWAP and Employee Provident Fund.  We have also received expressions of interest from Brunei Investment Agency and Brunei’s Ministry of Finance Investment Department.  We are grateful to Shireen Muhiudeen, Corston Smith, for her support by providing a venue for the program.   We also anticipate participation from Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Malaysia’s sovereign fund.  

The success of this program could serve as a model for a (limited number) of future efforts targeted to influential regional funds that have difficulty traveling to PPI North America Roundtables.

Vietnam Social Security (VSS) Study Tour: We continue to make arrangements for a delegation of eight representatives of  VSS to come to North America for a study tour of pension systems along the West Coast.  We have received verbal commitments from San Francisco Federal Reserve, CalSTRS, BCIMC, and WSIB to host the delegation.  These meetings will serve as the anchor points as other meetings are arranged.  We await the approval of an agreement that covers the scope and cost of the study tour.  VSS is covering all costs including PPI staff expenses.


I wish to thank Richelle and the entire Membership Committee (MC) for their excellent work this summer to build a robust pipeline of prospective PPI plan sponsor and corporate members.

Prior to last month’s Summer Roundtable, the MC and the Board approved memberships for two new plan sponsor members – New York City Retirement Systems and Cargill Philanthropies - and four new corporate members –Bridgewater, BlackRock, Actis and Nikko Asset Management.  These organizations attended the Summer Roundtable.  We have received an acceptance from Nikko Asset Management and the strong intent to join from Actis.  Follow up is underway for those firms that have not yet committed.

Financing for Future Growth

Fourth quarter membership invoices will be issued today, accompanied by strong staff outreach to relevant members to ensure member experience satisfaction - and hence, prompt payment.  Kris and I will be doing this outreach.

At the Board's request we have issued an RFP for a compensation study covering all PPI staff.  Results will be presented in conjunction with the October Board meeting in Tokyo.

Advisory Council

At the July meeting, the Board approved a new Advisory Council charter.  The Council will serve at the Chair’s discretion to inform the long term program planning and strategic issues that the Board seeks to address.  Doug Pearce’s leadership as Council chair has given direction to their effort and reinvigorated this invaluable group of long-time PPI members.

Lionel C. Johnson