Sensible Approaches to Longstanding Problems and Other Key Takeaways from Bloomberg Invest Talks: Markets in Focus

At Bloomberg’s June 2 virtual event, Invest Talks: Markets in Focus, Bloomberg Television anchor David Westin interviewed Jay Clayton, Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Their conversation was followed by a discussion focused on “The Investors Angle” with David A. Hunt, President and CEO of PGIM; Jenny Johnson, President and CEO, Franklin Resources Inc.; and Kristi Mitchem, CEO of BMO Global Asset Management. Bloomberg TV anchor Scarlet Fu moderated the panel. 

Keep reading for key insights – and you can watch the full event here

Jay Clayton, Chairman of the SEC, signaled support for legislation that could lead to the delisting of Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges if American officials aren’t allowed to review their financial audits. One option, in a bill passed last month by the U.S. Senate, would bar trading in securities of companies that fail to allow U.S. officials to review their financial audits for three straight years. “This is a very sensible way to approach a problem that’s been around for a while,” Clayton said. “This is a problem that I believe needs to be addressed and I hope it can be.”

Jenny Johnson, President and CEO of Franklin Resources Inc., said Franklin Templeton’s zero-tolerance policy on racism lead to the swift firing of its former head of insurance investment, Amy Cooper. “The facts were undisputed in this case, and we were able to make a quick decision. The U.S. is in a lot of pain right now, and our African-American colleagues are in a lot of pain.”
Franklin Resources, the parent company of Franklin Templeton, is reviewing its diversity and inclusion efforts, Johnson said, in the wake of the viral video in which Amy Cooper was seen calling New York police after an African-American man, Christian Cooper, asked her to put her dog on a leash as required in Manhattan’s Central Park. “We can’t control everything, but we can control the environment in which we operate our companies,” she said. “And it starts with leaders ensuring that discrimination is not tolerated and that we create an environment that absolutely feels inclusive for all employees.”
PGIM CEO David Hunt said he is meeting with black employees this week to listen to their concerns and to express support during an “incredibly painful time” for the community. Prudential is based in Newark, New Jersey, and is a major employer in the city where more than 86% of the population is black or Latino, he said. He called on more business leaders to speak out. “We all need to publicly condemn racism and prejudice in every form,” Hunt said. “Silence cannot be an option.”

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