Institute News

Published October 29, 2018

Changing of the Guard

In September, Michael Piwowar was named executive director of the Milken Institute’s Center for Financial Markets. A respected economist and long-time commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Piwowar has been at the forefront of policymaking and regulatory oversight aimed at protecting investors and ensuring financial stability.

“Mike Piwowar is admired for his keen understanding of economics, strategic and balanced approach to policymaking, powerful advocacy for investors and effective leadership,” said Richard Ditizio, president and chief operating officer of the Milken Institute. “He brings the deep market expertise and extensive bipartisan network that will enable our Center for Financial Markets to continue to expand financial market understanding, financial inclusion and access to capital.”

Before his SEC appointment, Piwowar was chief economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, playing a key role in development of post-crisis reforms, including the Dodd-Frank Act (2010) and the Jobs Act (2012). And earlier in his career, Piwowar was a senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in both the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations, where he counseled the White House on the global financial crisis and served as the CEA’s representative to the financial regulatory reform working group of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

“As a nonpartisan think tank, the Milken Institute works to broaden economic opportunity and financial inclusion,” said Piwowar. “I am pleased to bring my experience from the SEC, the White House, Congress and academia to lead the Institute’s efforts in these areas.”

Bustling Cities

China’s economy continues to expand at a brisk pace, as seen in the fourth annual report of the Institute’s Best-Performing Cities China, which was released September 10 in Beijing. Shenzhen, China’s booming metropolis in Guangdong province, is the country’s best-performing city for 2018.

Shenzhen’s transition from a low-cost manufacturing base to an innovation-led, high-value hub led many to dub it China’s Silicon Valley. This success can be attributed to a business-friendly environment that is especially welcoming to startups, explains Perry Wong, Institute managing director of research and co-author of the report. Rounding out the top-three cities: Chongqing and Tianjin.

Top of Our Game

Also in September (it was a busy month), the Institute held its fifth and biggest ever Asia Summit in Singapore, with a thousand leaders from the worlds of business and finance, education and philanthropy in attendance. Panel discussions ran the gamut from “Hacking Health: the Future of Humankind” to “How China Is Transforming Southeast Asia.” Singapore’s success in attracting capital to the city-state was given a fun focus with a festive panel that brought cast members and the producer of the blockbuster film Crazy Rich Asians to the conference.