Their timing was impeccable.
From Sept. 14-23, about 40 fund sponsors traveled to Jordan and Israel, coming just before the dramatic Sept. 28 signing of the pact between Israel and the Palestin Liberation Organization.
The American plan sponsors were attending a conference sponsored by Pensions 2000. Speakers covered a range of investment possibilities and economic conditions, and conferees evidently got the royal treatment.
In Jordan, speakers included Umayya Toukan, director general of the Amman Stock Exchange; Mohemmed Smadi, secretary general, Ministry of Industry and Trade; and Finance Minister Basil Jardaneh. A breakfast was hosted by Crown Prince Al-Hassan Bin Talal.
In Israel, the array of high-level speakers included Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Industry and Trade Minister Micha Harish. "Prime Minister Rabin .....said that, although peace is very difficult to achieve, one of the tangible rewards of it is acceptance of Israel in the economic integration of the region," said Philip Schaefer, president of Pensions 2000, San Francisco. In addition, "Israel's minister of trade and industry pointed out that this conference was one of the rewards of attaining a difficult peace," he said.
Those attending included Ash Williams Jr., executive director of the Florida State Board of Administration; Marshall Burman, chairman of the Illinois State Board of Investment; and Edward Alter, Utah state treasurer.