Summary of the 2015 Summit & Crystal Globe Awards

The 2015 CORPaTH Summit and Crystal Globe Awards drew pension defenders from North America and Europe to map strategies and to honor three international champions of retirement security for working people.

“We’ve gathered many of the best minds of the pension community to understand and solve a crisis threatening the economic wellbeing of millions around the globe,” said Ron Auer, CORPaTH’s director.

“The defined-benefit pension plan has been under attack for nearly four decades and it’s time for all of us to rise to its defense,” Auer said.

Participants in the annual December event included pension fund managers, investment consultants, trustees, attorneys, analysts and labor leaders. Presentations and panel discussions addressed such topics as best practices in plan design, responsible investments and the connection between retirement security and health care.

High points of the 2015 CORPaTH Summit and Crystal Globe Awards included:

  • A conversation between Nelson Peltz, CEO of Trian Fund Management, LP and architect of the current merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont, and Gregg Hymowitz, founder and managing partner of EnTrust Capital.
  • Commentary and presentation of CORPaTH’s coveted Crystal Globe Awards to Sir Paul Kenny, General Secretary emeritus of GMB, Britain’s General Union; Anne Simpson, senior portfolio manager of investments and director of global governance for the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS); and Russell M. Niemie, chief investment officer of the New York State Nurses Association. Comedian Will Durst presided as master of ceremonies. (A fourth recipient, Fiona Reynolds, managing director of the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment, was unable to fly in from the United Kingdom under her physician’s orders and will schedule permitting, be a Crystal Globe recipient at CORPaTH’s 2016 Summit, Dec. 13 and 14.)
  • An address on health care by former Safeway Inc. CEO Steve Burd, currently CEO of Burd Health.
  • Carol Jeppesen, senior United States manager at United Nations Supported Principles of Responsible Investment (UN PRI), discussing the successes of responsible investment policies.
  • Announcement of an important new film from CORPaTH, Check’s in the Mail, now in production, documenting the worldwide pension crisis and the efforts of those who are working tirelessly to solve it.
  • Unveiling of CORPaTH’s new magazine, Set for Life, which explores a broad variety of topics of importance to working people concerned about income security in retirement.

In addition, topics, presenters and panelists at the 2015 CORPaTH Summit included:

  • “Defined-Benefit Plans and Wealth/Income Inequality”: Michael Kahn Ph.D., Institute on Public Pension Solutions
  • “Traditional Pensions Still Provide the Best Retirement Security”: Bailey Childers, National Public Pension Coalition
  • “The Design of the #1 Performing U.S. Pension Plan (2002-2009): John C. Lane, The Ohio State University
  • Pension Consultants Panel: Moderated by Steve Stemerman, Esq., of Davis, Cowell & Bowe and featuring Ron Peyton of Callan Associates, Sue Crotty of The Marco Consulting Group, Ian Toner of Versus Investments, Seth Almaliah of Segal RogersCasey and John Elliot of NEPC
  • Thomas Croft, managing director of Heartland Capital Strategies, announcing the forthcoming publication of a new Responsible Investor Guidebook

The Summit opened with a performance by playwright and actor Ian Ruskin of To Begin the World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine. The one-man play, due to be broadcast this summer over PBS stations, is an intimate look at the American Founder who first proposed the concept of guaranteed lifetime incomes for retired and disabled people.

“People who work hard all their lives deserve a reliable, guaranteed income throughout their sunset years,” Auer said as the 2015 CORPaTH Summit and Crystal Globe Awards concluded. “Unfortunately, millions of people are being forced to fend for themselves, if they can, with defined-contribution plans that may be under funded, poorly invested, and inadequate for their retirement income needs.

“CORPaTH is bringing together many of the best minds of the pension world to focus on reversing this trend for the sake of retirees and the world’s economy, which relies on trillions of investment dollars coming from pension funds,” Auer said.

CORPaTH is an international alliance bringing pension fund decision-makers together for sound investments, good governance, social responsibility and a rational policy for economic growth. CORPaTH is a network affiliate of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN-PRI).