Issue 1: August 2016
- What is in PPI's strategic plan and are we meeting our benchmarks?
- How do we choose roundtable themes and speakers?
- How are prospective PPI members identified and invited to join?
- What communications technologies are we using and what can members expect to see in the coming months?
- How does PPI secure its financial future?
- How are the PPI Board of Directors and Standing Committees staffed?
PPI STRATEGIC PLAN & VISION 2015-2017
What is in PPI's strategic plan and are we meeting our benchmarks?
PPI has an ambitious strategic plan that the management team and board worked together to develop. Approved by the Board of Directors in July 2015, the PPI Strategic Plan and Vision 2015-2017 guides all aspects of our work, including the planning and execution of programs, staffing decisions, communication technology platforms, and more. As captured in the Executive Summary, the PPI Strategic Plan states:
To remain relevant as well as competitive, every aspect of the PPI organization and the PPI experience must move to a new level of distinction. There are five major elements or streams of work. These are interconnected and will require advancing the goals for each in concert.
- HIGH IMPACT PROGRAMS that fulfill the value proposition
- DYNAMIC GLOBAL COMMUNITY of engaged members and partners
- EXEMPLARY THOUGHT LEADERSHIP known inside and outside PPI
- STRONG REVENUES & RESOURCES for a secure future
- SUPERB BOARD & MANAGEMENT TEAM who lead and grow with PPI
Are we meeting these benchmarks? The strategic plan paints a picture of how PPI will look by 2017. Midway through execution of the plan, we are well on our way to fulfilling this vision:
- We are constantly improving the topical relevance and attendance at the three roundtables and the executive seminar. They remain the core of our value proposition;
- Our roundtables consistently meet and exceed member expectations;
- PPI’s membership feels connected to the organization and to each other throughout the year;
- We are meeting our membership development goals;
- Our relationships with constituent groups are strong;
- PPI’s global profile continues to grow;
- Our processes and internal capabilities are linked to our strategic goals;
- We are transitioning to a board of directors marked by strategic thinking and effective governance; and
- We pay rigorous attention to ongoing feedback from members and incorporate this data into every aspect of our operations.
PPI’s leadership is committed to providing the high-level of engagement and investment of resources necessary to meet the vision of the Strategic Plan. We hope that you are already noticing the improvements in our work, and we are grateful for your continued support of PPI and our shared mission.
How do we choose roundtable themes and speakers?
The PPI Strategic Plan and Vision for 2015-2017 includes several recommendations to improve the quality of PPI’s programs. The ultimate goal of this strategy is to provide consistent and relevant programs of the highest quality to PPI’s members; focus on tangible, “investible” subjects; and promote a diversity of opinions and perspectives in all programs. By accomplishing these goals, the PPI Board and management endeavor to enhance the value of PPI’s programs to its members.
Over the last year, the PPI program team has implemented a number of steps to meet these goals. These include:
- Systematic outreach to PPI members to gain a better understanding of the trends that they are seeing on the ground, and to obtain new ideas and perspectives. Management seeks direct feedback from members in many different ways, including through interaction with members at roundtables, one-on-one calls, and regular surveys of members.
- Carefully designing program topics, speakers and formats to address topics that are important to our members, encourage debate, and reflect the diversity of viewpoints that our global members bring. The conversational format of our programs helps in this regard.
- Strengthening internal capacity for implementing high-quality programmatic initiatives, including through the hiring this spring of a senior Program and Knowledge director.
The Program Committee is essential to the program development process. The committee reflects PPI’s membership, with board members and members at large from around the world who contribute their time to improving PPI’s programs and the member experience. Through regular meetings and ad-hoc projects, the committee works closely with PPI Management to provide professional advice and guidance.
What you can do: We encourage members to play an active role in letting us know of issues and ideas that might be worth addressing at our programs. PPI management always welcomes your suggestions by phone, email, or through our regular surveys.
- Piin-Fen Kok, senior Program & Knowledge director: email@example.com
- Nick Sramek, Program & Knowledge director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Furthermore, we look forward to your participation in our future programs. Here's the 2017-2018 lineup:
- Winter Roundtable • February 22-24, 2017 • Seattle, WA
- Summer Roundtable • July 26-28, 2017 • Toronto, Canada
- Executive Seminar • November 5-7, 2017 • New Delhi, India
- Asia Roundtable • November 8-10, 2017 • Mumbai, India
- Winter Roundtable • March 14-16, 2018
- Summer Roundtable • July 25-27, 2018
- Executive Seminar • October 14-16, 2018
- Asia Roundtable • October 17-19, 2018
How are prospective PPI members identified and invited to join?
PPI’s network of members is the foundation on which all other aspects of our organization are built. Our members provide the resources that have sustained PPI for more than two decades. In addition, they provide:
- Guidance in developing program content;
- Speakers or connections to non-member speakers;
- Ambassadors to introduce and support prospective members;
- Leadership on committees and the Board of Directors.
Since the approval of the PPI Strategic Plan and Vision 2015-2017, we have adopted a “smart growth” approach to membership recruitment which emphasizes the ability of an organization or individual to contribute to our programs and discussions. We have been fortunate to bring aboard 96 well-respected and influential organizations, and we anticipate that this number will grow to over 100 before the end of 2016. Since 2015, we have enjoyed roughly equal growth in our number of asset owners and asset managers.
The Membership Committee, the Board of Directors, and the PPI management team have determined that the imperative for the next 18 months is to achieve a greater balance between asset owners and asset managers within PPI’s membership. In 2017, we have budgeted for the net growth of only one member in the asset manager category, compared to a net growth of 10 in the asset owner category. Based on our current projections, we anticipate achieving parity between the two membership classes by 2018. It is our intention to limit membership in PPI to 120 institutions.
The process for recruiting new members typically begins with a recommendation from a current member or director. As an initial step, many membership prospects are suggested as speakers for a particular program. All prospects are contacted by PPI management to discuss their interests and expertise, which is then considered in the context of PPI’s mission. Invitations to participate in our programs are based on these discussions.
The most important factor that the Membership Committee considers when evaluating a prospective member is the organization’s ability and willingness to actively participate at a senior leadership level in our programs, to share their insights, and to offer diverse perspectives on relevant investment topics. We are committed to broadening our global reach, and to seek diversity in geography, organizational size & type, as well as gender and generational representation.
The Membership Committee is comprised of nine members from both the asset owner and asset manager communities. The committee generally meets following each roundtable to discuss and to vote on those prospects that attended the roundtable. Prospects that are approved by the Membership Committee are then recommended to the Board of Directors for approval.
COMMUNICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY
What communications technologies are we using and what can members expect to see in the coming months?
PPI’s Communications and Technology initiatives are present in every aspect of the organization—our programs, global membership, leadership and the daily work of the management team in San Francisco—and help to fulfill various goals of the strategic plan. In 2015, two important communications and technology foundations were laid: refreshed branding for the organization and upgraded communications platforms.
With a refreshed PPI brand, we now use modern, forward-leaning language to describe PPI as well as cutting-edge visual elements. As part of the rebranding exercise, we undertook a comprehensive study analyzing our membership and the competitive environment in which we operate. PPI already has started to project a stronger identity. Over the coming months and years, our members, prospective members, and the public will see a clearer expression of our powerful perspective through our members-only programming and within our private app, as well as through the publication of thought-leadership pieces that stimulate conversations throughout the industry and an active presence on social media.
The upgrades to our communications platforms include a new public website content management system, registration and member management systems, the PPI app, and most recently, a secure online community site. When choosing these upgrades, we balanced the flexibility to adjust the platforms to the needs of a growing PPI community and the ease of managing and accessing the systems from around the world.
In early 2017, you can look forward to the launch of the PPI Community Site. We have been testing the capabilities of the platform for the Board of Directors and its Standing Committees in recent months. When the community site goes live, you will be able to access PPI Connected and other useful resources, as well as discover new ways to interact with other PPI members.
How does PPI secure its financial future?
PPI’s revenue targets are based on ‘smart’ membership growth, sponsorships, registration fees, and partnership opportunities. We manage PPI’s financial resources with a long-term perspective; one that is geared toward keeping the organization on a stable financial footing, while continuing to build operating reserves for the future.
- Membership: Our 2016 revenue for membership is $2,026,325, representing the current membership across the asset owner, asset manager, and Friend of PPI categories.
- Sponsorships: Our goal in 2016 is to attract $200,000 in sponsorships for PPI’s Asia Roundtable.
- Registration Fees: Our registration revenue for both the 2016 Winter and Summer Roundtables exceeded our budget by approximately $50,000; we expect to hit our registration fee revenue target of $80,000 for the Asia Roundtable.
- Partnership Opportunities: We are in agreement with the Asian Development Bank on the second phase of a project of peer-led education programming for Pacific Island pension funds this November. This will result in additional program revenue of approximately $40,000.
The imperative of operating reserves.
PPI’s operating reserves are currently only 46 percent of the annual budget; our goal is to build operating reserves of at least 150 percent of PPI’s annual budget (or eighteen months of operating funds). At the end of each budget year, the president recommends to the board allocation of net surplus funds toward PPI’s operating reserves.
How are the PPI Board of Directors and Standing Committees staffed?
Over the past two years, the Nominating & Governance Committee has instituted a more consistent and straight-forward path to serve on the board of directors and each of the standing committees:
- To serve on the board of directors, one needs to have actively served as an at-large member on one of the three standing committees that permit at-large membership: Budget & Financial Planning Committee, Membership Committee, or Program Committee.
- To serve as an at-large member of one of these standing committees, one needs to have a record of active participation in roundtables and contributing to program development, speaking or moderating roundtable panels, assisting with member recruitment, or demonstrated support for the PPI mission in some other fashion.
- Suggestions for committee membership can come from anyone from who is a PPI member or on the management team.
- The suggested individuals become part of a pool of candidates that is discussed by the Nominating & Governance Committee. The Nominating & Governance Committee considers each candidate's history of membership, participation, and past contributions to PPI. They also consider the current composition and staffing needs, striving to balance asset owners and managers, complementary skills and expertise, geographic representation, gender, board size, and succession considerations. The Nominating & Governance Committee then nominates candidates, which the board of directors is asked to approve.
- The board of directors discusses and approves the nominations during any of the board meetings throughout the year.
In general, active participation as a member is required for committee service, which in turn can lead to membership on the board of directors. However, there are nuances and unique circumstances which the Nominating & Governance Committee can take into consideration. As a general path to committee and board service, we believe this practice is fair and will continue to serve us well.
Interested in learning about who serves on the various PPI committees? Click here for the list