Our 2013 Spring Investment Forum in Chicago is now less than a week away. This year’s co-chairs, Elliot Stultz (Allstate Insurance Company) and Lisa Conmy (Foley & Lardner LLP), with the assistance of ACIC Vice President Hugh McCrory (MetLife) and the Education Committee, have developed a timely and compelling program which promises to be professionally enriching for all who attend. A description of the panels assembled by Lisa and Elliot, and their respective topics, can be found elsewhere in this Newsletter. Collectively, the panels will provide guidance regarding the overarching thematic question, appropriate to the year: Is Thirteen a Lucky Number?
As I look forward to the Spring Forum and the always appealing prospect of getting together with colleagues once again in Chicago, I am struck more than ever before by how brief the interval is between the College’s two annual conferences. Notwithstanding what the calendar clearly tells me, it simply doesn’t seem that nearly six months could have elapsed since we adjourned the very successful 2012 Annual Meeting here in New York. At least for me, the seeming suspension of time since then may be attributable, at least in part, to the circumstance that I still find myself grappling with many of the issues and developments so ably addressed at the October conference. The agenda could not have been more timely; the panels could not have been better prepared. The Annual Meeting co-chairs, Renee Dailey (Bracewell & Giuliani) and Abim Kolawole (Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company), along with immediate past-president Vicki Bailey, are deserving of—and surely have—the gratitude of the entire College membership for arranging what was a truly outstanding program. Renee, Abim and Vicki, as well as their moderators and panelists, enjoyed the support and guidance of the Education Committee, including then co-chairs Leslie Mazza, Jane Dickson and Andrea Fox. As has been the case with prior ACIC conferences, the Committee’s contribution to the process was invaluable. They too are entitled to our deep thanks.
In the months since our October meeting we have witnessed some events of truly historic dimensions, including a presidential election here in the US and a papal election in Rome. We have also seen what might be viewed as a continuation of the dramatic socio-economic and geopolitical changes that have characterized the last decade. And even a cursory review of the headlines from recent weeks makes clear that there have been a host of developments suggesting issues of profound importance and a degree of uncertainty for institutional investors. To cite just a few: the DOW achieved, albeit briefly and without regard to inflation, a new record high (and this time, we’re told, by the man who coined the phrase, not merely because asset values have been unduly escalated by “irrational exuberance”);the IMF has called for urgent action to address risks to the European Union’s financial stability; Washington remains embroiled in an ever-escalating battle of dueling budgets; and, perhaps closer to home for many of us, the mountain of Dodd-Frank mandated rules, with thousands more pages still to come, has already reached Everest-like daunting proportions. Could there possibly be an organization better suited to consider the implications of these issues for investment lawyers than The American College of Investment Counsel? Merely asking the question brings me back to our upcoming Spring Forum on April 25-26 at The Four Seasons. Once again this year the Board of Trustees has authorized a group discount for institutions and law firms sending more than two attendees. If you have not already done so, I urge you to register for the conference as soon as you possibly can. It promises to be a critically important program that none of us should miss.
Six new members have been admitted to the ACIC since the 2012 Annual Meeting, including Christine Li, RyanHeinemann, Eric Henricks, Michelle Rose Manha, Carl Wilkerson and Taiesha McBroom. I am delighted to welcome each of them to our ranks.
Chicago beckons, my friends! I sincerely hope to see you there on April 25.
W. Michael Kelly
Greenberg Traurig LLP