May 7-9, 2014
Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project, Labor and Worklife Program
in collaboration with
PSL-Université Paris-Dauphine, Chair Dauphine-Ensae-Groupama
Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
“Pension Fund Investment in the Long View: Where, With What Goals, and Why?”
From May 7 to May 9, 2014, the Project held its twelfth annual conference, this year, in collaboration with PSL-Université Paris-Dauphine, Chair Dauphine- Ensae-Groupama. Trustees from the United States and Canada were joined by senior pension fund staff, scholars, researchers, and others from across the United States as well as from Brazil, Canada, France, Morocco, and the United Kingdom. The conference explored a range of issues with a particular eye to the meaning, import, and practice of long-term investing in general and how it relates to investment in emerging market countries in particular.
Keynote remarks set the stage for much of the discussion, focusing on the global economy with a long view historically and going forward of the relationships between and among developed and developing countries – and what it means for pension funds. Participants were then offered perspectives on the practical meaning of long-term investment in general and with respect to infrastructure in particular. Within this framework subsequent sessions explored in detail the potential for pension fund investment in Brazil, Indonesia, and Morocco. A related session explored the increasing relevance of labor and human rights standards to investment decision-making.
The last group of sessions addressed diverse challenges at the pension fund level. Two were related to investment decision-making: one addressed how much better prepared pension funds were (and might be) to navigate challenging financial markets after the Great Financial Crisis and conversely in what ways pension funds may contribute to making those markets challenging; the other inquired into the critical roles that investment consultants do and should play in relation to trustees and staff, how useful their services are in fact, and concerns about compensation and conflicts of interest. Another two canvassed the effectiveness (and fate) of retirement plans in theory and practice: one sought lessons to be learned for others from the Detroit bankruptcy, its connection to and impact on Detroit pension funds, set within broader context of state and municipal finance and the local, state, and regional economy; the other considered the claimed strengths and asserted weaknesses of the small scale occupational defined contribution plan in France, PERCO, in comparison with the large scale 401(k) plans in the U.S. in relation to the overall retirement systems in each of the two countries.
Conference Agenda: [Download PDF]
Reading and Resources Book: [Download Table of Contents]
Session #1: Taking the Long View of the Global Economy and the Relationships Among Developed and Developing Countries: What Might or Should They Mean for Pension Funds?
Speaker: José Antonio Ocampo, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Session #2: “Investing for the Long Term”: What Does It Mean for Pension Funds … and Others?
Chair: Graham Sinclair, Principal, SinCo
Speaker: Sony Kapoor, Managing Director, Re-Define
Session #3 Infrastructure: What “Is” It and in What Ways Does or Should It Matter for Pension Funds … and Others?
Chair: Shelley Ilene Smith, President & General Counsel, GrayShell Consulting
Speaker: Larry W. Beeferman, Director, Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School [Presentation PDF]
Session #4: International Labor Standards: What Are They and Their Relevance to Pension Fund Investment
Chair: Elaine Bernard, Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
Speaker: Bruce Levine, Director, Office of International Labor Affairs, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State [Presentation PDF]
Session #5: Long-term Investment in Developing Countries: An Oxymoron? A Necessity? Case Study #1: Indonesia
Chair: David Simpson, Investment Officer, Private Equity, LACERA
Panelists: Jay K. Rosengard, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Director, Financial Sector Program, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School; [Presentation PDF]
Alexander Muromcew , Managing Director, International Portfolio Management, TIAA-CREF [Presentation PDF]Kamran Khan , Vice President, Department of Compact Operations, Millennium Challenge Corporation
Session #6: Long-term Investment in Developing Countries: An Oxymoron? A Necessity? Case Study #2: Brazil
Chair and commentator: Giselle Datz, Associate Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech
Panelists: Filipe R. Campante , Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School [Presentation PDF];
Dan Slack, Chief Executive Officer, Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado [Presentation PDF];
Urban Larson , Product Manager, Emerging Markets Debt, Standish [Presentation PDF]
Session #7: Long-term Investment in Developing Countries: An Oxymoron? A Necessity? Case Study #3: Morocco
Chair: Najat El Mekkaoui de Freitas , Associate Professor, PSL Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa-DIAL [Presentation PDF]
Panelists: Abdesselam Aboudrar, Président , L'Instance Centrale de Prévention de la Corruption ( Central Authority for Corruption Prevention - Morocco); [Presentation PDF] Néjib Ayachi, President, The Maghreb Center;
Dhvani Shah , Chief Investment Officer, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund [Presentation PDF]
Session #8:Investing for the Long-Term: Final Thoughts and Views
Chair: Graham Sinclair, Principal, SinCo [Presentation PDF]
Session # 9:From the Treaty of Detroit…to the Bankruptcy of Detroit: State and Municipal Economies and Finance and the Fate and Future of Pensions
Chair and Commentator: Ross Eisenbrey, Vice President, Economic Policy Institute [Presentation PDF]
Panelists: Shelby Chodos , Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; [Presentation PDF]
Rick McGahey, Professor of Professional Practice, Public Policy and Economics, New School for Public Engagement
Session #10: Swan Song for Pension Funds? Are Pension Funds Prepared for the Next Black, Gray…or Other Swan?
Chair: Richard B. Freeman, Professor, Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics, Harvard University; Faculty Co-Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
Panelists: Sony Kapoor, Managing Director, Re-Define;
Robert Johnson, President, Institute for New Economic Thinking ;
Professor Guntram Werther, Fox School of Business, Temple University
Session #11: Workplace-Based Plans for Savings for Retirement in France and the United States
Chair: Najat El Mekkaoui de Freitas, Associate Professor, PSL Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa-DIAL [Presentation PDF]
Panelists: Pierre Genest , Head, Workplace Saving, Amundi Asset Management [Presentation PDF] ;
Laure Delahousse , Director of Asset Management Development & Marketing at The French management association (Association Française de la Gestion financière); [Presentation PFD]
Teresa Ghilarducci, Professor of Economics and Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Analysis, The New School for Social Research [Presentation PDF]
Session #12: What is the Appropriate Role for Investment Consultants … and on What Terms?
Chair: Steven Sleigh, Fund Director, IAM National Pension Fund
Panelists: Professor Tim Jenkinson , University of Oxford - Said Business School [Presentation PDF];
William A. Sokol , Weinberg, Roger and Rosenfeld [Presentation PDF]
Commentators: Shelley Ilene Smith, President & General Counsel, GrayShell Consulting;
Teresa Ghilarducci , Professor of Economics and Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Analysis, The New School for Social Research