A dozen chief investment officers and other investment-related professionals from around the world, including three from U.S. pension funds, are working — in essence — to change the world.
The group, called The 300 Club, seeks to change the markets and investment management practices to avoid the kind of collapse that occurred in 2008.
The group was founded in 2011 by Saker Nusseibeh, CEO and head of investments of Hermes Fund Managers, London; its name comes from the legendary 300 Spartans. While the intent is to be outspoken and critical, Mr. Nusseibeh said, it's still early days. A few papers have been posted on its website, www.the300club.org, and it is still adding members.
Mr. Nusseibeh said the mission of the group is to “think about the big picture” and address issues such as:
- “How the market should behave for the benefit of all users.”
- ““How do you achieve long-term alignment between the provider of an asset management service and the pension scheme ... and underlying beneficiaries?”
- ““Is the very structure of benchmarks in themselves bias?”
- ““Is regulation tilting the ground toward short-termism? Does it influence behavior one way or the other?”
- ““Increasing data that show markets are neither efficient nor necessarily reverting to the mean — at least not over a meaningful period of time. How do we apply financial theory and do we need to rethink how we apply financial theory?”
David Villa, CIO of the Madison-based State of Wisconsin Investment Board, which oversees $97 billion, and Christopher J. Ailman, CIO of the $170 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento, Calif., became members in July.
Robert Maynard, CIO of the $13 billion Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho, Boise, joined last year.