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ICI President and CEO Paul Schott Stevens began the second day of GMM by engaging in a lively and active regulatory session with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton, who tackled the weighty topics of competition in asset management, standards of conduct, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. This was followed by analysis, perspective, and advice from industry leaders, market analysts, and other experts. Headlining the day was author and Harvard professor Steven Pinker, who discussed the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress. Capping the day was the 2018 GMM dinner event, which took place at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton responded with candor to questions from ICI President and CEO Paul Schott Stevens during a lively regulatory session. Clayton, who made his first appearance at GMM as SEC chairman, discussed how marketplace uncertainty affected his decision to enter the standards of conduct debate early in his tenure. Stevens and Clayton also discussed competition in asset management and ESG investing.
What are the challenges of running an asset management business, and how can the fund industry embrace change? Fund leaders shared their views on this question and others while examining client expectations in the fund industry. Topics included the power of transformation, leadership strategies, and global talent challenges. Sarah Ketterer, cofounder and CEO of Causeway Capital Management, moderated the panel, which featured participants Martin Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco, and Joseph A. Sullivan, chairman and CEO of Legg Mason.
The best interest protocol is one of the biggest drivers of the distribution landscape today, according to a group of fund distribution experts. T. Neil Bathon, managing partner of FUSE Research Network LLC, moderated the panel, which explored varying paths for success of investment firms. Also on the panel were Sandy Bolton, managing director and head of managed investments at Merrill; Kenneth Worthington, equity analyst—brokers, asset managers, exchanges at JP Morgan; and Scott Burns, head of data, research and index products at Morningstar, Inc.
The news today might be telling you that the human race is doomed, that democracy is declining, and that authoritarianism is rising. But Steven Pinker, Harvard university professor and author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, argued the other side in his compelling and hopeful keynote address.
From investment portfolios and trade wars to Hollywood movies and university admissions, no aspect of life is immune from Asianization. In this session, Parag Khanna, FutureMap founder and managing partner, and author of The Future Is Asian and Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization, discussed the intertwining of humanity and connectivity, and how this need has propelled Asia’s growth over the past 75 years. Khanna also engaged in a Q&A session with Douglas Eu, CEO of Allianz Global Investors US Holdings LLC.
ICI President and CEO Paul Schott Stevens engaged Peter De Proft and David Wright in a discussion on what could happen on the global regulatory horizon. De Proft, honorary director general of European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), and Wright, partner at Flint and retired secretary general at International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), discussed the importance of enhancing capital markets and developing a 401(k)-style retirement option in Europe.
Ellen Stofan, director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and former chief scientist at NASA, discussed the remarkable technologies and innovations that made the moon landings possible. She also emphasized the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce that can help inspire the next generation of people pursuing a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). She later spoke with GMM Planning Committee Chair Yie-Hsin Hung, CEO of New York Life Investment Management, about what the future may hold for space exploration.