Focus on Funds

Big-Name Speakers on Agenda at 2017 General Membership Meeting

At ICI’s General Membership Meeting (GMM), internationally known business and geopolitical leaders will offer insights on risk, change, and leadership. In the March 31, 2017, edition of Focus on Funds, James McNamara, GMM chairman and Goldman Sachs Mutual Funds president and CEO, highlights the exciting agenda.


Stephanie Ortbals-Tibbs, ICI director, media relations: One of the things that makes ICI’s General Membership Meeting a can’t-miss event is hearing from some of the biggest names in business and policy, and this year is no exception, as I learned when I spoke with Jim McNamara, chair of this year’s GMM, in his offices at Goldman Sachs.

James McNamara, Goldman Sachs Mutual Funds president and CEO: I’m very excited about some of our “star speakers” for the conference. We’re going to bookend the conference with two individuals to give their perspectives on geopolitical risk and security risk. On the front end of the conference, we’re going to have General Stanley McChrystal, interviewed by Paul Schott Stevens, talking about global security risk. Stan McChrystal is a former four-star general in the US Army and the head of the McChrystal Group.

Ortbals-Tibbs: And Jim, General McChrystal is known as being a really dynamic speaker.

McNamara: I’ve known Stan for several years; I think they’re going to find his presentation quite interesting. He’s a world-class leader. As a matter of fact, former secretary of defense Robert Gates stated that he is perhaps one of the finest warriors and leaders of men in combat. He is a tremendous presenter, with lots and lots of worldly views.

On the back end, we’re going to have Ian Bremmer, who is the president and founder of the Eurasia Group. He’s a political scientist, and specializes in US and foreign policy, states in transition, and geopolitical risk. Look at what’s going on in the world. We just went through Brexit, we went through a very interesting election here—lots of questions about what’s going on in the geopolitical scene. All have implications on the markets and how we invest our money. So, he can pull it all together and have a very interactive discussion.

And then, in the middle, our keynote speaker on Thursday is Jeffrey Immelt, the chairman and CEO of GE. He’s held that role since 2001, through a lot of transition, a lot of change, and clearly a preeminent company and an individual that everybody in this audience knows, so I’m very excited to have all three of them on stage with us throughout conference.

Ortbals-Tibbs: Jim, what do you see as new and different on this agenda?

McNamara: So, whether it’s distribution, whether it’s portfolio construction, whether or not it’s the regulatory front, what’s going on in fintech, all of the different issues that we’re facing—and there’s a lot—we want to make sure we get them all on the table. So, we’re going to have shorter sessions, they’re going to be moving quicker, they’re going to be relevant, they’re going to be interesting, and they’re going to be dynamic. So, I’m really excited about the way we’ve structured the agenda this year, to make sure we can address all of the questions, concerns, and opportunities that people may have on their minds.

Ortbals-Tibbs: Registration is open online, so if you haven’t yet signed up, now is the time.

For more information, visit http://gmm.ici.org.

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