Pension Funds – Taking the Long View: The Dangers of Short-Termism

Moderator
Scott Minerd, Managing Partner, Chairman of Investments and Global Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Partners

Speakers
Christopher Ailman, Chief Investment Officer, California State Teachers? Retirement System; Co-Chair, Global Capital Markets Advisory Council, Milken Institute
Scott Evans, Deputy Comptroller, Asset Management, and Chief Investment Officer, New York City Retirement Systems
Vicki Fuller, Chief Investment Officer, New York State Common Retirement Fund
Hiromichi Mizuno, Executive Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, Government Pension Investment Fund, Japan

Intensifying global competition, flagging corporate earnings and emboldened activist investors have stoked fresh debate over “short-termism” in investing. Even as Warren Buffett’s buy-and-hold-forever strategy continues to be celebrated, many big-name companies have been targeted for overhaul by activists in an effort to quickly boost shareholder value. That’s resurrecting 1980s-style questions about whether short-term measures to drive returns could be ruinous for companies–and the economy–in the long run. Corporate managements themselves have been accused of short-termism in recent years for borrowing heavily to fund stock buybacks in the name of returning capital to investors. This panel of major asset owners will provide perspective on long-term investing and their roles as capital allocators. When does economic responsibility trump fiduciary responsibility?

Quarterly Capitalism