The Global Boardroom Day Three Summary

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2:20 – 2:30 GMT

Opening Remarks Day Three

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2:30 – 2:55 GMT

Keynote Interview

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Republic of Indonesia

Moderator: Jamil Anderlini, Asia Editor, Financial Times

COVID had an impact on Indonesia’s economy in the first quarter of 2020, even though the WHO had not yet announced the pandemic

SMI: We were already affected by the stop of tourists from China. Growth declined in the first quarter. This year we predict a deficit of 6.4 per cent, next year we expect 5.7 per cent. In the third and fourth quarter it’s improving, but we will still be negative territory.

SMI: Health spending has increased dramatically, and social spending – because many people were suddenly unemployed, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Some are concerned about the political influence over the central bank of Indonesia. Some proposals seem to lean towards a heavier involvement of political parties with the bank

SMI: We are very mindful about the reputation of Indonesia. When we adopt extraordinary measures we communicate directly with our rating agency and bondholders – explaining exactly what we are agreeing, and why our method of financing is acceptable.

SMI: Since the reform in 2002-03, we adopted a central bank law and they are independent in designing monetary policy. In this extraordinary time the bank and ministry of finance sit together to guide policy to rescue the economy. The government respects the independence of the central bank.

A Biden presidency may make the US-China relationship more predictable

SMI: The US and China are our biggest trading partners, investment partners and we enjoy a good relationship. It’s good if we are going to have a more predictable mechanism of how trade disputes can be settled.

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3:00 – 3:45 GMT

Asia-Pacific Investor Briefing: Investment opportunities in a year of cyclical resets

Sue Brake, Acting Chief Investment Officer, Future Fund

Michael Kelly, Global Head of Multi-Asset, PineBridge Investments

Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive, Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Vivek Pathak, Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Moderator: Leo Lewis, Asia Business Editor, Financial Times

Investor confidence was boosted by government intervention, but there are challenges

HL: In March, the investment market was worried, but we saw extremely strong intervention from governments and central banks. It brings challenges to investors like us: with such high valuation, the uncertainty of direction of the pandemic, very low Treasury yields – how do we best diversify risks and get the best return in this environment?

VP: Tourism has taken a battering. Domestic tourism is going to pick up first – I’ve got friends in Jakarta who are going to Bali already. Some of the better-managed low-cost airlines, you’re going to see their stock price go up over time, as compared to some of the large, all-purpose airlines.

There are opportunities for investment

VP: Demand for infrastructure continues – the gap is close to over $300tn a year for emerging markets. Urbanisation will continue, so you will require housing, facilities, education, entertainment, office space. The subset of opportunity is townships further away from city centres. People have also realised the value of sustainability.

SB: It’s no longer a matter of taking risky assets and putting some defensive assets with them in a 60:40 portfolio. That ballast doesn’t exist any more in terms of bonds. So it’s a matter of thinking more holistically.

Fiscal activism could have broader implications

MK: This type of event is likely to bring about more than a one-time, heat of the moment fiscal activism. Fiscal activism, if deployed broadly, can put at risk the safety asset.

HL: The kind of fiscal activism and monetary coordination supporting the economy was necessary, but it also seems to usher in a sea change of view: that this is something you have to do. If you were not doing enough, you got penalised by the market – you are not forceful enough in rescuing the market.

SB: We are still working through some profound potential changes around moving away from an era of laissez faire governance to much more policy-related approach in different investment areas.

HL: We need to look beyond the investment world, in the sense that what we saw in the past few years since the financial crisis was rapid asset price inflation – it could lead to a different societal impact, and divides between the haves and have nots. That could creep into the political space.

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4:00 – 4:45 GMT

Japan Inc: Can COVID accelerate much anticipated reform in corporate Japan?

Izumi Kobayashi, Director, Mitsui & Co.

Kinya Seto, CEO, LIXIL Group Corporation

Heizo Takenaka, Professor Emeritus, Keio University

Moderator: Robin Harding, Tokyo Bureau Chief, Financial Times

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5:00 – 5:45 GMT

Reigniting Asia’s Infrastructure Plans: What are the priorities now?

Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

Erik Berglöf, Chief Economist, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Mark Delaney, Chief Investment Officer and Deputy CEO, AustralianSuper

Moderator: Stefania Palma, Singapore Correspondent, Financial Times

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6:00 – 6:45 GMT

Investing for Good: Has the pandemic shifted Asian ESG investing further towards social impact?

Heenam Choi, Chairman and CEO, Korea Investment Corporation

Suyi Kim, Senior Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific, CPP Investments

Ahmed Saeed, Vice-President, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development Bank

Moderator: Henny Sender, Chief International Finance Correspondent, Financial Times

Being green still remains a top priority for investors

KF: It’s fair to say when you’re confronting challenges around transitioning from high carbon and fossil fuels type of environment to low carbon, it means both a number of our members are disrupted by that change, but likewise a number of our members are involved in some of the solutions.

SK: We think ESG factor is really important, particularly as a long-term investor. We believe integrating ESG into our investment process is critical in assessing all the risk and opportunities that our investee companies change over our investment horizon. We also call ESG the 21st century business risk.

HC: Our investment process is 100 per cent ESG integrated, but KIC’s ESG framework took baby steps compared to other pension funds. KIC started focusing on responsible investment back in 2018 since then we have become the first investment institution in Korea to start a global ESG fund.

AS: I think one of the things that any stress test does, whether it’s a imaginary stress test or a real one like COVID, it does reveal the fault lines, and certainly in emerging markets one of the things we realised as COVID impacted societies is that really severe problems require all three of these actors to mobilise. What’s very, very clear is if you want to get rich, you have to get clean.

COVID-19 has heightened the need for a focus on social issues in the Asian investment landscape

KF: The issue around Rio Tinto, the way that they’ve engaged the indigenous community in our mining and the impact that some of the decisions they had made that impacted some of their sacred sights — and to be honest this is a broader issue — but it coincided with Black Lives Matter. We are representers of our members' money and clearly the community expectations were that this was highly problematic.

SK: This COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the need to properly integrate ESG into decision-making processes. For example, we see that the companies' ability to provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees and ensure supply chain integrity is crucial for success. We believe addressing climate change in our investment activities really better positions us to make more informed, long-term decisions.

HC: I have been thinking a lot about the connection between COVID-19 and the focus on S, basically the pandemic attacked us where we are most socially vulnerable; our hands, our healthcare system, our jobs and our supply chains.

AS: It is becoming clear that pursuing what is best for society is in your economic interest, it is also clear that your economic interest only captures one subset of what people want.

The current incentives are not strong enough to get governments and the private sector to think long-term

AS: The incentives today aren’t strong enough, and I think the issues begin one step before we get to incentives because it actually begins with the facts. Are we even assembling the data required for those who might have the appropriate incentive to make the right decisions? We need to look backwards to make sure information is available.

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7:00 – 7:45 GMT

TechAsia Live: The rise of Asia's digital ecosystem

Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes

Duane Kuang, Founding Managing Partner, Qiming Venture Partners

Khailee Ng, Managing Partner, 500 Startups

Yong Ying-I, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore

Moderator: James Kynge, Global China Editor, Financial Times

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8:00 – 8:25 GMT

Keynote Interview

Agustín Carstens, General Manager, Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Moderator: Martin Wolf, CBE, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

Central banks’ actions have been extraordinary, but there is still much left to be done

AC: Action managed to prevent an initial shock from transforming into a financial shock. But monetary policy cannot fix everything and forever.

AC: Many programmes were already on the shelf thanks, in part, to the financial crisis, which acted as a trial run. The severity didn’t have to be explained, the conviction to act was there.

AC: Many things are interdependent. In this case, everyone came into sync very quickly and with a hugely broad scope. Emerging markets weren’t abandoned.

Emerging markets were able to take action, which has averted the worst results of the crisis

AC: In previous cases, the policy response wouldn’t necessarily be in line with what emerging markets needed. This time, the actions of developed countries gave a lot of room for emerging markets to act.

AC: Emerging markets had enough room to reduce their rates, as they weren’t facing problems such as depreciation.

Central banks, including the Fed, are right to change the way they think about their inflation objectives

AC: The changes that have been put forward by the Fed are well designed and thought out. The challenge will be in the implementation, and how the markets will respond to the new reactions of the Fed.

AC: Today’s inflationary expectations are impacted by numerous factors, but at the same time it makes sense for the Fed to put these new objectives forward.

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8:30 – 8:55 GMT

Extra Time

Martin Wolf, CBE, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

Martin Sandbu, European Economics Commentator, Financial Times

The risks of large stimulus and their consequences are known

MS: It seems there’s a relaxed revolution going on.

MW: I always get worried when there is a consensus among central bankers or any other officials.

MW: The central banks know what to do, so it’s unambiguously clear that this has to be done. As a result we’re helping everybody.

Central banks will run into conflict with governments if a rise in interest rates becomes necessary

MW: If there is a clash with governments, should an interest rate rise suddenly become necessary, then it’s very hard for central banks to win those fights.

MW: Central banks are aiming to maintain their independence by maintaining their credibility with the public at large.

MS: Central banks have to do a good job with that independence. In the financial crisis there was a lot of anger as the results of stimulus packages were not deemed good enough.

Inflation will come back at some point, but central banks are more relaxed about it than the political class

MW: We have now learnt that the connections between expansions for central banks’ balance sheets, the credit system, the economy and inflation are definitely not mechanical. Every step in the mechanical view turns out not to be a joint at all, or to be so loose as to be negligible.

MW: It doesn’t mean inflation won’t come back, it’s a question of how many things have to happen before inflation picks up. Credibility feeds on itself and allows governments and central banks a lot of freedom for maneuver. If they blow their credibility then we could be in Brazil 30 years ago.

MS: Central banks have a lot more power than they have been willing to use in both directions.

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10:00 – 10:45 GMT

Supply Chains: Is COVID-19 hastening the shift to a greater regional reliance?

Benoit Bazin, Chief Operating Officer, Saint-Gobain

Michael Feindt, Founder and Strategic Advisor, Blue Yonder

Shobana Kamineni, Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals

Christoph Schmitz, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company

Moderator: Judith Evans, Consumer Industries Correspondent, Financial Times

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12:00 – 12:25 GMT

Keynote Interview

John C. Williams, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Moderator: Gillian Tett, Chair, Editorial Board, and Editor-at-large, US, Financial Times

Should people be worried about inflation?

JW: The economy is on a positive trajectory. That said, the large rise in COVID cases recently puts a question mark on the economy’s ability to weather this period. I would expect the growth in the fourth quarter and early next year to slow somewhat.

JW: I feel relatively positive about how the economy is evolving. Things are looking better but the economy took an enormous hit. The real issue we are going to be dealing with is inflation a little bit lower than we want over the next few years.

JW: The goal is to have low and stable inflation at around 2 per cent. The basic principle is that if you on average over long periods of time have inflation around 2 per cent then that’s what people will expect in future, so we have to take actions consistent with that.

Chairman Powell has announced that the Fed will join the network for greening the financial system

JW: To me this is a natural progression in thinking about standard financial regulation and understanding the broader risks to the financial system.

JW: We don’t yet have good data and metrics around climate risk, so that needs to be an early component of progress on this work.

Cash is unlikely disappear

JW: The vast majority of payments are already digital. Digital currencies are getting a lot of attention. There are reasons people like to hold paper currency – so we will probably be in a world with multiple types of payment.

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12:30 – 12:55 GMT

Extra Time

Gillian Tett, Chair, Editorial Board, and Editor-at-large, US, Financial Times

Laura Noonan, US Banking Editor, Financial Times

The Fed is facing more uncertainty in the next year or two than it has faced in a very long time

GT: Pledging to be time dependent [with rates], rather than data dependent, leaves you at the hostage of fortune. If we do get a strong recovery, I think it’s kind of nuts to give everyone free money or even negative rates for a period of time. I suspect we will see more and more wiggle room in the coming months if we get a stronger recovery.

Climate risk is likely to become a bigger priority

GT: I would guess that the moment we get President-Elect Biden installed in the White House and rejoining the Paris agreement, we will see pretty rapid action.

GT: Big banks are for the most part already trying to embed climate change issues into their stress testing and scenario planning, but they need to catch up with their European rivals.

Regulators need to build bridges across the whole financial ecosystem

GT: When financial regulation is discussed, it’s all to do with backward-looking questions, mortgages, big banks. With fintech you have the geeks who understand neural networks – a very complex area – but who don’t for the most part look at issues like credit policy. That’s true inside banks; it is doubly true inside regulators.

A financial system addicted to negative real rates is a danger to the economy

GT: I would question whether ultra loose monetary policy, and indicating that you will keep negative rates for the next two years is giving a green light to financial markets and financiers to create all kinds of deeply funky structures.

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13:00 – 13:45 GMT

Racial Diversity in the Workplace: Closing the gap between rhetoric and reality

Ursula Burns, Former Chairman and CEO, Xerox; Senior Advisor, Teneo

Ed Bastian, CEO, Delta Air Lines

Moderator: Aimee Keane, Acting Head of Audio, Financial Times

Without leadership from the US Government after George Floyd’s death in May, business stepped up

EB: With systemic racism, as leaders we started to ask ourselves, what does that really mean? We are not in a time where we can look to our government for all the answers.

UB: In May, businesses had to communicate what they thought they could do in a positive way. What the George Floyd case did was emphasise what we already knew for decades.

Improving racial diversity requires leadership from the top

UB: We started an alliance to call for companies to have one black or brown person on every board. To try to take advantage of this awakening to change the way we have been managing the world.

EB: Everyone needs to be given the same opportunity, but when you look at the facts you see that it’s not happening. Public accountability is bigger than making this a financial target. You don’t want to feel like this is a quota.

EB: If I’m not making my own people a bit uncomfortable on this topic, I’m not doing my job. I am learning just how personal this is. And because it’s changing me, it’s changing our company.

Attracting and retaining diverse talent requires affirmative action

UB: Identification of talent is an activity. You have to literally go looking, to get out there. Particularly middle managers – it’s a responsibility of leadership across the company. Then you have to have programmes to nurture talent, to have an infrastructure that allows growth.

EB: We make sure all our hiring slates are diverse – that managers are required to consider diversity.

UB: This old sense of supremacy will fail us if we don’t change.

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14:00 – 14:45 GMT

Will COVID Redefine the Future of Global Banking?

TS Anil, CEO, Monzo

Onur Genç, CEO, BBVA Group

Elke König, Chair, Single Resolution Board (SRB)

Jeremy Palmer, CEO, QuantumBlack, a McKinsey Company

Moderator: Laura Noonan, US Banking Editor, Financial Times

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15:00 – 15:45 GMT

Tech’s Big Moment: Have new forms of infrastructure become critical to business recovery?

Marina Bellini, Management Board Member and Director of Digital & Information, BAT

Jennifer Rigby, Chief Operating Officer, Lloyd's

Paul Scanlan, Chief Technology Officer, Huawei

Sarah Wilkinson, CEO, NHS Digital

Moderator: Malcolm Moore, Technology News Editor, Financial Times

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16:00 – 16:45 GMT

Geopolitics: What impact will the US election have on a world already battered by the pandemic?

Philip Gordon, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Philip Hammond, Former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary

Constanze Stelzenmüller, Senior Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings Institution

Moderator: Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator, Financial Times

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17:00 – 17:45 GMT

Scoreboard Live: How is COVID transforming the business of sports?

Paolo Dal Pino, Chairman, Serie A

Timothy Leiweke, CEO, Oak View Group

Susan Whelan, Chief Executive Officer, Leicester City FC

Patrick Hogan, Chief Commercial Officer, Honeywell Building Technologies

Moderator: Murad Ahmed, Sports Editor, Financial Times

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18:00 – 18:45 GMT

Retail: How will COVID-19 accelerate transformation?

Lori Coulter, Co-Founder and CEO, Summersalt

Thierry Garnier, CEO, Kingfisher

Sajal Kohli, Senior Partner, McKinsey

Rachel Shechtman, Founder, STORY

Moderator: Jonathan Eley, Retail Correspondent, Financial Times

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19:00 – 19:45 GMT

It Takes a Crisis: Accelerating US healthcare reform and innovation

Steven Corwin, President and CEO, New York Presbyterian Hospital

Elisabeth Rosenthal, Editor-in-chief, Kaiser Health News

Roy Schoenberg, President and CEO, Amwell

Moderator: Hannah Kuchler, US Pharma and Biotech Correspondent, Financial Times

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20:00 – 20:45 GMT

The Future of Education after COVID: How will online and e-learning continue to evolve?

Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO

Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO, Coursera

Stephanie Marken, Executive Director of Education Research, Gallup

Heather E. McGowan, Future-of-work Strategist

Moderator: Andrew Jack, Global Education Editor, Financial Times

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20:45 – 21:00 GMT

Closing Remarks Final Day

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Sessions will soon be available on-demand should you wish to revisit any of our speakers’ fascinating insights.