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 Robert C. Pozen Image

Robert C. Pozen

Distinguished Authority on Finance and Economic Policy; Chairman, MFS Investment Management

Travels From:
Fee Range:
$10,000 - $15,000


Robert Pozen is widely regarded as one of the nation's most thoughtful and responsible financial leaders. He is Chairman of MFS Investment Management, which manages over $180 billion in assets for over five million investors worldwide. A globally recognized authority on corporate governance, he has been credited with enhancing the organization's legal, audit, and risk functions as well as growing the firm's assets by 50% during his tenure.

Pozen has also dedicated a significant portion of his career to public service. He served as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)'s Committee to Improve Financial Reporting as well as on President George W. Bush's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, where he developed innovative models for eliminating the system's long-term deficit. In 2003, Pozen was Secretary of Economic Affairs for Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and was instrumental in closing the state's large budget gap and reorganizing its functions in business, technology, consumer affairs, labor and workforce training.

Speech Topics

The current financial crisis has evoked broad criticisms of the United States economy, for both its emphasis on consumption over savings and its free-wheeling brand of capitalism. Pozen addresses these critiques and the international challenges most relevant to the United States: correcting imbalances in global capital flows and forging international agreements to strengthen financial regulation. In addition, Pozen will explain how the relative power of various countries and currencies are likely to change over the next decade.

Audiences will learn:

  1. The financial crisis was enabled by the tremendous imbalance between Chinese surpluses and US deficits

  2. For China to become a country of spenders will require fundamental reforms of its retirement and healthcare sytems

  3. US consumers are increasing their savings, but the rising budget deficits are larger than this savings increase

  4. The US will continue to be very dependent on foreign investors to finance its deficits

  5. The Fed will have to protect the US dollar by being willing to raise interest rates when needed

  6. To do so, the Fed will need to guard its institutional independence and stop acting as a shill for the Treasury

  7. The US will have to increase the votes of the BRIC countries in the IMF and other international organizations

  8. The US and China should together lead an effort to stop protectionism by legally binding existing tariff levels

Executive compensation was a hot topic in the United States well before the current financial crisis because of the recent and rapid rise in executive pay throughout this century. The crisis then amplified the spotlight on the significant payments to CEOs at financial institutions, many of which subsequently failed and needed money from the federal government to survive. As a result of the rising chorus of public criticism, most CEOs of large financial institutions in the United States agreed not to receive any bonus in 2008. Additionally, the federal government adopted three new sets of restrictions on executive compensation since the fall of 2008.

In this enlightening discussion, Pozen examines how corporate boards have fared in the financial crisis, analyzes the new government restrictions and predicts what is likely to happen in the area of executive compensation in the future.

Audiences will learn:

  1. The financial crisis showed that the procedural approach of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) was not effective for many institutions

  2. The boards were independent and followed the SOX procedures, but had little idea of the risks involved

  3. What is needed is a new model for corporate boards, loosely modeled after the boards in private equity companies

  4. The directors would be industry experts who would spend much more time in monitoring management performance.

  5. The board would also take a different approach to setting executive compensation:

  • The period for judging performance would be extended from one to three years

  • A substantial portion of cash bonuses would be deferred for several years.

  • Grants of restricted shares would not vest unless performance targets were met.

  • the exercise price of stock options would be adjusted in accordance with an index

Helping audiences understand what major changes in the financial system will result from the recent financial crisis, Pozen not only identifies the multiple factors causing the collapse, but also evaluates the governmental responses thus far and suggests what actions should be taken to prevent future crises.

Audiences will learn:

A. How loan securitization will be revived

B. What role credit rating agencies will play

C. How we should define what institutions are too big to fail

D. How the federal government should structure its future bailouts

E. Whether the frequency and severity of financial bubbles will increase

F. What types of capital requirements are needed in this new era

The financial crisis resulted partly from deficiencies in the formulation and execution of U.S. regulatory policies. So what measures should the United States adopt to monitor and regulate systemic risks? And how should these measures be integrated within the overall organizational framework for regulating financial institutions?

In this timely presentation, Pozen examines and evaluates the various proposals currently under consideration in Congress and forecasts what the likely structure of US financial regulation will be one year from now.

Audiences will learn:

A. How system risks will be addressed

B. Hedge fund and financial derivatives regulation

C. The new rules for financial advisers and short sellers

D. Whether there will be any consolidations or mergers of regulatory agencies

E. The scope of the new consumer financial products commission

F. The new rules for capital at banking institutions

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