A dinner discussion with Paul Schott Stevens
Held on Tuesday, January 17, 2017
With support from Dentons LLP
Paul Schott Stevens (CEO, Investment Company Institute)
The Investment Company Institute was set up in 1940, following passage in the US of the Investment Company Act. It acts as the national association (i.e. the trade body) for US mutual funds, ETFs, closed-end funds and investment trusts. In that sense, I guess, it is to the US as the Investment Association is to the UK – though it has recently taken on a larger international role through ICI Global headquartered in London (run by our old friend from the FSA, Dan Waters).
These days, the Institute lobbies on behalf of its members with legislators and financial regulators around the world from offices in Washington, London and Hong Kong – with the Washington headquarters fostering particularly close engagement with politicians on Capitol Hill and with the various US regulatory agencies.
What sets ICI apart from the K St. lobbying industry is that it bases its representations on extensive, widely respected research which includes comprehensive data and analysis on fund investment trends, on pensions, on money market funds, on trading strategies, on taxation etc.
In other words, the ICI is a major player both on Wall St. and on Capitol Hill that has an understanding of “Main Street” American investors. It will also have a considerable role to play as the US Congress and the Trump Administration take up thorny issues of regulatory reform.
The President and CEO of the ICI is Paul Schott Stevens, who has served in his current role since 2004. (He was previously at ICI as its general counsel from 1993 to 1997.) He is a former Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and was Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Defence.
Although he still retains an interest in government and national security issues, Paul’s focus these days is on capital markets, the role of regulation, and the use of funds as a savings tool, especially for retirement.
Paul doesn’t come to London that often, so we are delighted that he has agreed to let us put a small(ish) dinner together, at which he can talk freely (under the Chatham House rule) about global financial markets, the US regulatory landscape under a new Presidential regime, and the challenges facing asset management – from FinTech to demographics to emerging markets.