Traffic Light Key:
Listening Tour Continues
During the past month, I continued outreach meetings with key PPI members. I appreciated the opportunity to call on John Skjervem of the Oregon State Treasury, Jeb Burns of MERS, Ted Eliopoulis of CalPERS, and Rick Hayes of Jasper Ridge Partners. This week I will host a dinner in Tokyo, together with Tak Ishikawa, for our new members, The Norinchukin Bank, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Development Bank of Japan. Later this month I will travel to Victoria, B.C. to call on Gordon Fyfe and Bryan Thomson at BCIMC, and Laura Nashman at BCPC.
Summer Roundtable: At the end of May, the Program team had finalized much of the Summer Roundtable agenda. With Risk in an Age of Uncertainty as its theme, the roundtable will feature commentary and discussions on risk given the current macroeconomic outlook, as well as discussion on specific risks that are of high priority to PPI’s institutional investor members. We are pleased to confirm keynote remarks from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHS, Inc.; Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns, former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; John C. Williams, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Cybersecurity and Communications, Brigadier General Gregory J. Touhill, USAF, Ret.
Hong Kong & Shenzhen: Nick Sramek and I are in Hong Kong and Shenzhen this week in preparation for the October Executive Seminar and Asia Roundtable. We had a good meeting yesterday with the Hong Kong Planning Group, an ad hoc group of PPI members with a presence in Hong Kong. We are also meeting with the leadership of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the CEO of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and others team to best position the Executive Seminar and Asia Roundtable. Before departing San Francisco, we also held one-on-one phone calls with many other PPI members, in coordination with the Program Committee, to develop themes for our events. The first set of invitations to the Hong Kong events have been issued.
New Senior Program & Knowledge Director: Piin-Fen Kok will assume her new duties on June 13. She will spend her first two weeks at headquarters in San Francisco, and will then work remotely as she transitions from life in New York City in mid-summer. You will meet Piin at the Summer Roundtable in Cambridge. She will be a great asset to PPI, and I hope that you will join me welcoming her.
Program Partnership: We hosted our very first webinar on Thursday, June 2, featuring Mr. U.K. Sinha, Chairman, Securities Exchange Board of India. Mr. Sinha came to PPI’s office to provide his perspectives on India’s current efforts to attract foreign investment to a group of 19 PPI members, half of whom participated remotely via our new webinar technology. During the robust question and answer session, the participants were able to get direct answers to the issues that some have experienced with investing in India. During the lively 1.5 hour discussion, the chairman was forthright and expressed his willingness to follow up with specific issues. Ted Eliopoulos, CIO, CalPERS was among others who expressed their thanks to PPI for hosting the event.
This program provides early context for our 2017 Asia Roundtable in New Delhi and Mumbai. Our thanks to Ajit Dayal who was instrumental in facilitating the chairman’s participation.
New Members: We are pleased to announce that the following organizations made commitments to membership:
- Development Bank of Japan – Asset Owner
- Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation – Asset Owner
- IFC Asset Management – Asset Manager, a conversion from an Honorary Member
Retention Efforts: We reported in April that we had lost the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), an Asset Owner Member since 2010. Thanks to the efforts of Gordon Fyfe and Wayne Kozun, we were able to persuade Kevin Uebelein, the new CEO of AIMCo, to commit to another year for the purposes of experiencing the value of membership through a full cycle of programs.
The Membership Committee met on May 17 to review the current status of our membership budget and to discuss the prospects that are registered for the Summer Roundtable. As follow up, Kris Greenville will be coordinating with members of the Board and the Membership Committee to serve as ‘hosts’ to prospective members, new members, and current members-at-risk. The hosts’ responsibility will be to engage with their chosen/assigned guest to gauge their perceptions of PPI and ensure they have a rewarding experience.
Endowment/Foundation Outreach: As a result of concerted outreach to the endowment and foundation community, we have been able to confirm the attendance at the Summer Roundtable of the following:
- Jeanmarie Grisi, CIO, Alcatel Lucent/Nokia
- Paula Volent, Sr. Vice President, Investments, Bowdoin College Endowment
- Jay Willoughby, CIO, The Investment Fund for Foundations
In total, management has spoken with nine of the top foundations/endowments in the region. Others include the Ford Foundation, Emory University, Boston University, Tufts University, and Brown University. Sue Carter, Melissa Ma, and Collette Chilton generously contributed their contacts and their support for this effort.
ADB: Kris has proposed an early draft agenda to the Asian Development Bank for a second program focused on the pension systems of the Pacific Islands. The program is planned for November 3-4. As part of the development of that program, Kris has engaged Jaoji Koroi, CIO, Fiji National Pension Fund, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific program, and the IFC/World Bank group. The agenda outlines 1.5 days of discussions focused on demographics, pension design, and governance. The agenda also provides for a robust peer-to-peer exchange on the best practices of each of the 12 island nations that will be invited to participate.
Communications & Technology
PPI App: In the next few days, we will invite Summer Roundtable registrants to access the app earlier than usual. Our intent is to provide additional time and guidance for exploring the app’s sections and interactive features, especially the new Channels area for group conversations around a particular topic. The focus of the first two channels will be:
- PPI Newbies: Questions by and advice for new members and first-time attendees
- All About the App: A dedicated area with helpful tips for using the app and collecting ideas for features and uses.
We plan to add additional channels that will be focused on content/themes as we approach the Summer Roundtable.
PPI Community Site: Last month, the Membership and Program Committees were the first groups to enter the developing PPI Community site, a private and secure area for interaction among members online. Members of the PPI Board and its committees will be the pioneers of the site through the rest of 2016, primarily using it as a board portal. The Resources Center will house board books, meeting materials and other board-related documents. WebEx, a video conferencing and webinar tool, provides us with more options for meetings, adding more features for interaction beyond the typical conference call experience. Meeting participants can collaborate on documents, share their desktops, communicate via chat, participate in polls, view other participants on camera, and much more. Over the course of the coming months we hope to master the features of the community site and add engaging content so that the general membership will appreciate the online community as a member benefit when the site is finally opened to all PPI members.