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



Summer Roundtable: We are preparing subtle, yet important changes to the program design of the Summer Roundtable in Cambridge. These will provide more time for peer-to-peer discussions and small group sessions to foster idea sharing and relationship-building. The roundtable will feature speakers and topics that represent up-to-date thinking on the contemporary challenges facing institutional investors. These include, among others: 

  • Risk – its various dimensions
  • The likelihood of asset bubbles forming
  • The outlook for China given recent market volatility
  • What the results of the June Brexit referendum mean for the future of the EU
  • Energy, Security, and the remaking of the modern world

Also, John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco, is confirmed to speak on the last day. Dr. Williams will join us directly from the July Federal Open Market Committee meeting, and will provide up-to-date commentary on US and international monetary policy.

Hong Kong: To ensure the success of PPI’s Executive Seminar and Asia Roundtable in Hong Kong, as well as to garner stakeholder input, we have been holding calls with PPI members there regarding program development and speaker suggestions. This group, in coordination with the Program Committee, will advise us on content as well as logistical support. PPI’s in-country host, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, is a leading voice in this planning.

Research Projects: We are continuing work on two substantial content projects in the coming months related to the 2016 and 2017 Asia Roundtables. This year, PPI, through research provided by the Global Aging Institute, will consider the state of retirement security in Hong Kong, given economic, societal, and demographic considerations. In 2017, through research led by the RAND Corporation, PPI will consider much-needed reforms in India’s National Pension Scheme (NPS).


New Members: We have recently received membership commitments from three invited organizations. These are: 

  • Development Bank of Japan Asset Management - Asset Owner
  • International Finance Corporation Asset Management - Asset Manager
  • Apollo Global Management - Asset Manager  (Thank you, Paul Speltz!)

Retention Efforts: In April we lost the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, an Asset Owner Member since 2010. Upon learning of their intention to not renew, Kris Greenville spoke with Kevin Uebelein, the new CEO and enlisted the help of Gordon Fyfe, Wayne Kozun, and Russ Hiscock for peer-to-peer outreach.  Gordon was able to connect with Kevin by email and learned through their exchange that Kevin has an interest in attending the Summer Roundtable.  Wayne and Kevin are attempting to speak by phone when their travel schedules allow.  We greatly appreciate their help in trying to salvage this important Canadian PPI member.

A big thank you to Theresa Whitmarsh and Else Bos for joining me in Amsterdam last month for follow-on discussions on membership, and to meet with prospect APG Asset Management.

A meeting of the Membership Committee is scheduled for May 17.

Endowment/Foundation Outreach: With support from Collette Chilton and Sue Carter, we initiated contact with several endowments and foundations to invite them to the Summer Roundtable. The team is currently following up with calls with organizations that have shown interest so far, including:

  • Jay Willoughby, CIO, Investment Fund for Foundations
  • Joe Dowling, CIO, Brown University
  • Eric Dobbstadt, CIO, Ford Foundation
  • Mary Cahill, CIO, Emory University

Systematic Member Management: We completed a thorough review of our current membership roster using the ‘net flow scoring system’ that was implemented at the beginning of the year to support membership recruitment, improve our current member retention, and to measure the overall health of our membership and prospective member pipeline. That review yielded a set of strategies for new members and less active members that will guide our interactions with those groups in the weeks preceding and immediately following the Summer and Asia Roundtables.

Member Participation in the Summer Roundtable: We currently have 55% of our Asset Owner Members and 73% of our Asset Manager Members registered for the Summer Roundtable. Registration closed on April 30. To achieve the balance between the two membership types, the team is individually inviting Asset Owner members who have not yet registered. Prospective Asset Owner members are also being contacted individually.

ADB: Kris has initiated planning with the ADB for a second program focused on the pension systems of the Pacific Islands, tentatively planned for November 2016. As part of the development of that program, Kris has engaged Jaoji Koroi, CIO, Fiji National Pension Fund. Jaoji, as some of you will remember, attended the 2015 Asia Roundtable where he left a very favorable impression with many PPI members. 

Communications and Technology

PPI App: Toward our strategic plan goal of building a dynamic global community, we are developing affinity groups, clusters of PPI members connected by common needs and interests. To support this effort, the Summer Roundtable and PPI Member apps will feature “Channels,” group conversations around a particular topic. 

Community Web Portal: The management team is developing a community web portal using the iCohere platform. Initially, the portal will serve as an organizing and collaboration tool for the PPI Board, its committees and the management team, as well as other short-term working groups. Granular access controls will ensure that content is only visible to the intended audiences. The iCohere platform will also be used in the lead-up to the Asia Roundtable this fall for virtual programs, and eventually for a full-featured member portal.

Financing for Future Growth

PPI’s revenue and expenses were on track at the end of the first quarter, and we’re poised to meet our second quarter targets as well. This month I will begin solicitations for 2016 Asia Roundtable sponsorships.

Lionel C. Johnson