MAY 1 –MAY 3, 2013

Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project, Labor and Worklife Program
Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts


From May 1 to May 3, 2013, the Project held its eleventh annual conference, attended by pension trustees from across the United States as well as from Canada and the United Kingdom.  They were joined by scholars, researchers, and practitioners from the U.S., Canada, France, and Australia, and Colombia. The conference explored a range of issues concerned with possible fund investment in emerging market countries: the political, social, legal, economic, etc. landscape  of the countries in which those investments might be made; the factors and considerations which funds attend to when contemplating investments of this kind; the relationship between emerging market country development goals and investors’ goals; and the rationale for and means by which funds take into account the impact of their investments on the countries which are the object of that investment. The conference “drilled down” further gaining a perspective on investment in emerging market countries from a very important one of them – India; also on the import for investors – and for India – of investments in infrastructure there.  Another session focused on what trustees with different affiliations bring to and how they participate in the fund decision-making process. A different one addressed the merits of Modern Portfolio Theory and similar or related constructs upon which fund decision-makers may directly or indirectly rely, whether that reliance is justified, and the practical import for the choices trustees make. Lastly, a group of sessions canvassed the challenges for those in the private and public sector who currently participate in defined benefit occupational retirement plans as well as those who are not offered participation in any plan. The discussion included comparisons between the Canadian and U.S. experience and prospects going forward.

Conference Agenda:[Download PDF.]

Part I: “Doing Well By and For Those with a Stake in Pension Fund Investment in Emerging Markets”
Summary of Part I:[Download PDF]

Session #1: Investment in Emerging Market Countries: Always Possible, but Essential Now? ... and If So Why?
Speaker: Scott Morris, Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development

Session #2: Investment in Emerging Market Countries: Perspectives on the Economic, Political, Legal, Cultural, and Social Landscape
Chair: John Trumpbour, Research Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School 
Panelists: Ravi Ramamurti, CBA Distinguished Professor of International Business and Strategy and Director, Center for Emerging Markets, Northeastern University [Presentation PDF] 
Ambassador (ret.) John A. Simon, Founder and Managing Partner, Total Impact Advisors; Urban Larson, Consultant, Latin American Investments [Presentation PDF]

#3: Investment in Emerging Market Countries: What Do Pension Funds Know...and Want or Need to Know?
Chair: Herman Santos, Chair, Board of Investments, LACERA
Panelists: David Simpson, Investment Officer, Private Equity, LACERA [Presentation PDF]; 
Adam Downs, Fund Administrator, Laborers' National Pension and Retirement Funds [Presentation PDF]; 
Katherine Renfrew, Managing Director, Global Public Markets, TIAA-CREF [Presentation PDF];

Session #4 (Lunch & Speaker): Elements of a Shared Agenda for Development of and Investment in Emerging Market Countries
Speaker: Stephany Griffith-Jones, Financial Markets Program Director, Initiative for Policy Dialogue

Session #5: A Case in Point, Infrastructure in India: The Significance of and Opportunities for Improving It
Chair: Ravi Ramamurti, CBA Distinguished Professor of International Business and Strategy and Director, Center for Emerging Markets, Northeastern University [Presentation PDF]
Panelists: Ananta Barua, Executive Director, Securities and Exchange Board of India [Presentation PDF]; 
Govind Mohan, Minister (Economic), Embassy of India, Washington D.C [Presentation PDF]

Session #6: Doing Well...Good...and Right: Standards and Practices for Pension Fund Investment in Emerging Markets...and Other Countries
Chairs: John Wilson, Director of Corporate Governance, TIAACREF;
Aaron Bernstein, Senior Research Fellow, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
Panelists: Graham Sinclair, Principal, SinCo [Presentation PDF]; 
Eryn Schornick, Research & Engagement Specialist, Conflict Risk Network;
Margaret L. Kuhlow, Acting Vice President, Office of Investment Policy, Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Session #7: Pension Fund Investment in Emerging Market Countries: An Exchange of Views
Chair: Graham Sinclair, Principal, SinCo

Session #8: Investment in Emerging Market Countries: An Emerging Market Country Perspective
Speaker: Govind Mohan, Minister (Economic), Embassy of India, Washington D.C

Session #9: Modern Portfolio Theory Meets the Real World: The Needs of and Implications for Pension Fund Investors
Chair: Richard B. Freeman, Professor, Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics, Harvard University; Faculty Co-Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
Presenter: George Feiger, CEO, Contango Capital Advisors; [Presentation PDF]
Respondent: Dr. Mike Rafferty, ARC Future Fellow (2012-2016), Business School, The University of Sydney [Presentation PDF]

Session #10: The Pitfalls and Promise of Pension Board Decision-Making
Chair and panelist: Shelley Smith, President & General Counsel, GrayShell Consulting 
Panelists: Johanna Weststar, Assistant Professor, DAN Program in Management and Organizational Studies, Western University; 
[Presentation PDF]
Angela Pober, Researcher, Department of Management, King’s College London [Presentation PDF]

Session #11: Preserving Private Sector Pensions: Need for a New Narrative or New Provisions...or Both?
Chair and respondent: Steve Sleigh, Fund Director, IAM National Pension Fund 
Speaker: Joshua Gotbaum, Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation; 
Respondent: Josh Shapiro, Deputy Executive Director for Research and Education, National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans

Session #12: Preserving Public Sector Pensions: Need for a New Narrative or New Provisions ... or Both?
Chair: Larry Brown. Secretary-Treasurer, National Union of Public Employees and Hank Kim, Executive Director, National Conference on Public Employee Retirement System 
Panelists: Kevin Skerrett, Senior Research Officer, Canadian Union of Public Employees [Presentation PDF]
Ron Saathoff, Director, Pension Resource Department, International Association of Fire Fighters [Presentation PDF]

Session #13: Ensuring Financial Security for Those Now without Pensions: Proposals, Politics, and Prospects
Chair: Najat El Mekkaoui de Freitas, Assistant Professor of Economics, University Paris-Dauphine, France [Presentation PDF]
Panelists: Michael Kreps, Senior Counsel, U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee 
Chris Roberts, Senior Researcher, Social and Economic Policy, Economic Policy Department, Canadian Labour Congress [Presentation PDF]


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