Forum for Institutional Investors: Protecting Shareholder Rights; New Orleans, LA — April 10-13, 2019

 

2019 Forum

Agenda

Wednesday, April 10 Reception and Welcome
Day One
Thursday, April 11

National World War II Museum
945 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

8:00 - 8:45 am

Breakfast

8:45 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks 

8:50 - 9:20 am

Opening Address
The PSLRA at 24: What has happened and what can we expect in the future?

Since the passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act in 1995, the markets have been hit by distinct waves of fraud and misconduct, as well as periods of relative reform. The institutional investor community has become a visible and indispensable force in the fight against corporate wrongdoing, recovering over $130 billion in losses for injured investors and obtaining a variety of reforms to  corporate governance practices through federal securities class actions. Over this same period of time, jurisprudence has developed considerably, with courts strengthening certain investor rights and erecting new barriers to bringing meritorious securities cases. This opening session sets the stage for the conference with an outline of the accomplishments of the institutional investor community, how the investor community can stay vigilant to promote honesty and integrity in the marketplace, and to proffer specific ideas about the future of investor rights.

9:20 – 10:20 am 

Panel Discussion
The Changing Regulatory and Legislative Landscape

  • Are we experiencing an erosion of investor rights?
  • The push for mandatory arbitration.
  • What do new Supreme Court appointments portend?
  • Regulatory threats: decreased enforcement by the SEC, CFPB and other governmental agencies.
  • Institutional investor activism options: How can, and should, shareholders respond?
  • The potential impact on investors of changing the current quarterly disclosure regime?
10:20 –10:35 am

Break

10:35 – 11:30 am

Panel Discussion
Bulls vs. Bears: Investment Strategies for a Changing Market

A panel of experienced investment professionals from some of the world’s largest pension funds, investments firms and hedge funds discuss their views on the benefits and downsides of different investment strategies; the challenges of investing in today’s global economy; as well as how pension officers can fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities in a volatile economic environment. Specific topics to be discussed include:

  • Active vs. passive investing;
  • Investing in a market with rising interest rates, including balancing bond allocations;
  • Considerations for quantitative investing; 
  • Moving from a bull to a bear market; and
  • Macro assessment of the overall marketplace.
11:30 – 12:30 pm 

Panel Discussion
How do you decide what type of action is best for your fund?

What situations and circumstances drive the decision for a fund to be involved — or not to be involved — in a securities litigation? What factors are most important in your analysis? Does your fund use the same factors when considering corporate governance cases? What is your fund’s process for assessing a case and making a decision to proceed or not?

12:30 – 2:00 pm 

Lunch
Keynote Speaker
Adm. Mike Mullen – United States Navy (Ret.) and Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Considered one of the most influential chairmen in history, Admiral Mike Mullen served under Presidents Bush and Obama. Since retiring from the Navy, Mullen has joined the boards of General Motors, Sprint and the Bloomberg Family Foundation and teaches at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He looks at how today’s geopolitical issues and economic trends directly impact America’s national security.

2:00 – 3:00 pm 

Panel Discussion
Foreign Litigation Roundtable: Developments “Since Morrison

It has been almost a decade since the US Supreme Court ruled that investors in foreign securities no longer had much access to US courts to seek redress for fraud and misconduct. Investors damaged by corporate fraud in portfolio companies not based in the US have been forced to pursue legal action in other nations and jurisdictions — with wildly varying results. In this panel discussion we explore what we know now that we didn’t know 8 years ago, including:

  • Foreign securities litigation war stories;
  • What types of cases have been successful and not successful;
  • What venues are proving viable;
  • Whether the effort to pursue cases outside the US has been worth it; and
  • How much effort a pension fund should put toward foreign cases.
3:00 pm

Conference is adjourned for the day

Conference attendees will have open access to the entire National World War II Museum and movie passes to the Solomon Victory Theater on Thursday afternoon.

6:30 – 9:30 pm 

Evening Activities

Cocktails and Dinner in New Orleans’ Garden District
Featured speaker: Ronan Farrow, American journalist, lawyer and government advisor

Ronan Farrow is an influential voice in government and media, helping traditional institutions address the frustrations — and tap the promise — of a new generation. Twice named one of the “30 Under 30” most influential people in law and policy by Forbes, he was the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Journalism in 2018. Farrow is a Yale Law School educated attorney and a member of the New York Bar, and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Day Two
Friday, April 12

Arnaud’s Restaurant
813 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

8:00 – 8:45 am 

Breakfast

8:45 am 

Welcome and Recap

8:45 – 9:30 am 

Opening Address
The Evolution of Corporate Governance Litigation and Institutional Investor Activism

The last two decades have seen significant growth in the number and types of institutions bringing shareholder litigation to improve corporate governance practices and enforce the fiduciary obligations of boards and officers. From actions challenging board oversight failures, to claims for breach of fiduciary duty in the corporate M&A context, to executive compensation abuse, to proxy and voting rights violations, among other wrongdoing, the institutional investor community has taken some important steps to check bad corporate practices and improve governance at public companies. This  session will outline what has been achieved on this critical front.

9:30 – 10:30 am 

Panel Discussion
Panel of Distinguished Executive Directors, Trustees and Other Pension Leaders

This panel will discuss the challenges facing defined benefit pension plans in today’s policy and political world, including how they address the challenges to make certain pensions are adequately funded and protected.

10:30 – 10:45 am 

Break

10:45 am – 11:45 pm

Panel Discussion
US Securities Class Actions through Foreign Eyes 

Our panel of experts bring their unique experiences to bear in this comparative analysis of how different jurisdictions cope with corporate fraud and remedy failing corporate governance practices.

  • How do other countries view the US approach to holding wrongdoers accountable?
  • What are the differences between the US approach to activism v. engagement in other countries and venues?
  • What are the pros and cons of various systems?
11:45 – 12:30 pm 

Panel Discussion
Best Practices for Pension Fund and Institutional Executives, Trustees and Counsel: “Do’s and Don’ts” 

Our panel of experts will discuss the importance of securities fraud monitoring and the lessons they have learned in their time acting as key fiduciary representatives for their funds’ beneficiaries.

  • Assuming you have a well-defined securities fraud monitoring program, what are the obstacles to managing it and what
    benefits does it provide?
  • How do you manage your counsel selection process? 
  • What has a bull market meant for your perceptions of shareholder litigation?
  • Do’s and Don’ts: Lessons from our esteemed panel.
12:30 – 1:45 pm 

Lunch

Interview
Preet Bharara – Former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York

Preet Bharara served as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2017, where he earned a reputation as one of “the nation’s most aggressive and outspoken prosecutors” (The New York Times). As US Attorney, Bharara supervised an office of more than 200 Assistant US Attorneys, who handled cases involving terrorism, financial and healthcare fraud, cybercrime, public corruption, gang violence, organized crime, and civil rights violations.

1:45 – 2:30 pm 

Panel Discussion
Securities Litigation Trends

Researchers and industry observers report that the rate of filings of traditional securities litigations are on par with recent years.

  • What types of misconduct are driving current filings?
  • What does the current pipeline of actions tell us?
  • Is there an identifiable trend in the size of the recent recoveries?
  • Are there fewer cases or fewer egregious frauds than in other eras?
  • Have public companies gotten the message that the institutional investor community is committed to policing misconduct in its portfolio companies?
  • Has index investing shielded companies from accountability?
  • What makes a strong and healthy market?
2:30 – 3:30 pm 

Panel Discussion
Outside Fiduciary Counsel as Pension Fund Gatekeepers

With an increasingly complex legal and investment environment, outside advisors to public pension funds and other institutions must embrace an increasingly more complicated role. Our expert panel will share their war stories, priorities and experiences in aiding fiduciaries as to how best to protect the fund’s interest.

3:30 pm  

Conference is adjourned for the day

Afternoon and Evening Activities

French Quarter Festival (April 11-14, 2019)
The Festival is the largest free music event in the United States and features 1,700 musicians playing 400 hours of music from a variety of musical genres on 23 stages throughout the French Quarter. It also includes the ‘Culinary Lineup’ — festival food booths operated by some of New Orleans finest restaurants, open throughout the festival weekend. All details are available at the official festival website: https://fqfi.org/

Day Three
Saturday, April 13
(optional day)

The Pontchartrain Hotel
2031 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

9:00 – 11:00 am 

Roundtable Discussions

Breakfast/Brunch Roundtables:

  • Discovery Workshop: Challenges & Solutions;
  • Monitoring your Portfolio: Ins and Outs of our PortfolioWatch System;
  • Being a Leading Woman in Securities Litigation: The Experience from the Frontline; and
  • “Macro Thoughts:” The Consolidation and Privatization of Corporate America.
11:00 am – 2:00 pm 

Litigation Review and Updates

Your BLB&G team will be available to discuss ongoing litigation. 

Ongoing Litigation Review: BLB&G attorneys lead an interactive discussion highlighting the nature and status of major ongoing securities litigations. (Public session)

Client Case Specific Updates: Institutional investor clients meet confidentially with BLB&G attorneys for review of pending litigation. (Private break-out sessions)

 

Afternoon and Evening Activities

Conference attendees who were unable to visit the WWII Museum on Thursday will have additional open access to the museum and movie passes to the Solomon Victory Theater on Saturday afternoon.

From 6:30 to 9:30 pm, attendees will “Dine Around” New Orleans.


For more information, please contact Amanda Rekemeier, Director of Client Relations, 

at amanda@blbglaw.com or at (212) 554-1451 with any questions.

  

 

 

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PAYMENT INFORMATION

The registration fee for this seminar is $625 per person.

The registration fee is intended to cover meals and entertainment in conformity with many jurisdictions' gift/gratuity limitations or restrictions, and represents our best estimate at the pre-event stage.  If you are not governed by these restrictions, you may choose the "Registration fee waiver" option provided on the online registration form.

For qualified institutional investors from the United Kingdom and Europe, the registration is automatically waived unless required by your jurisdiction.

 

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ACCOMMODATIONS:

BLB&G has reserved blocks of rooms at two nearby hotels:
Hotel Indigo (877-394-5763) 
Block code: BLB 

April 10-11: $149 per night 

April 12: $159 per night

Click here to reserve a room online.

King or queen rooms available.

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Hampton Inn – Garden District (504-899-9990)
Block code: BLB 

Rates:
April 10-11: $159 night 

April 12: $179 per night

King or double rooms available.