Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Alexa Lam to Speak at the Strook Sovereign Wealth Forum (24 Aug 2016)

Alexa Lam will be speaking on a panel of "international experts and sovereign wealth fund managers from around the world" at the Stroock Public Forum on Sovereign Wealth on 24 August 2016, to be held at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts in Jackson, Wyoming.  The forum will precede the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium.
      The University of Wyoming's website reports the following on the event: 
Sovereign wealth funds are government-owned funds invested in assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate and precious metals, or in alternative investments such as private equity funds or hedge funds. The Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund is an example of such a fund. 
Wyoming State Treasurer Mark Gordon says nations’ and states’ sovereign wealth funds are derived from a variety of sources and created for a variety of purposes. Those funded by revenues from fossil fuel production, such as Wyoming’s, have come under pressure in the past year as a result of declining prices and regulation. 
“We are excited to have a conversation among peers about how people are contending with these new circumstances, and the strategies they’re using to preserve purchasing power for future generations,” Gordon says. 
Other topics to be addressed include how large a sovereign wealth fund should be relative to the size of the population; the fundamentals of the economy and the role of the fund; and how the evolving global economy affects the rationale and expectations for sovereign wealth funds. 
     Professor Lam will speak on the experiences of Hong Kong and China.  In particular, she will present the following three main points from this experience:
1. While a good number of SWFs have clear mandates stating that they are to provide revenue during economic downturns and preserve and grow wealth for future generations, China's SWF (the China Investment Corporation) has a wider objective, ie, to complement the country's "Go Global" economic and geopolitical strategy.

2. China Investment Corporation holds Chinese banks and SOEs, and takes a nationally-integrated approach in outbound investments. Contrary to the regulatory philosophy of the Santiago Principles, political and economic considerations behind China's sovereign investments are intertwined. A new regulatory framework is probably needed to cope with this China model as it gains currency.

3. Hong Kong drew on its exchange fund when its US dollar-peg came under attack during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998. Her experience shows that clear Fund objectives are crucial to the public's confidence in the government, especially at times when tough and unpopular decisions have to be made.
     Professor Lam will also be speaking on "Technology, Regulation and the Democratzation of Financial Services" at HKU on 7 September 2016, 12:30pm.

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