Peter Tesei, First Selectman for Town of Greenwich on capital markets, alternative and impact investing with David Nelson at Greenwich Economic Forum (Greenwich, CT)
- $18 trillion in assets attending GEF
- Greenwich median household income is $94.3k
- Peter Tesei is the longest serving mayor in Greenwich history
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Peter Tesei, First Selectman for Town of Greenwich with David Nelson
David Nelson – Host, Traders Network Show: 00:00
Welcome back. This is the Traders Network with continuing coverage of the Greenwich Economic Forum. I’m David Nelson, your host, and joining me right now is the Mayor of Greenwich making this possible, Peter Tesei. Peter, thanks so much for being with us. I just walked in and the buzz is just palpable. You walk in, the energy in this room is incredible. Some of the brightest minds on the street, some of the brightest minds in the financial community are here. What did it take to make this happen?
Peter Tesei – First Selectman, Town of Greenwich: 00:29
Well, it took some ingenuity on the part of volunteers of our community and a business council that I put together and it took the endorsement of Ray Dalio who is a resident of Greenwich and who we pitched the idea to and gave us this support and I think it blossomed from there.
David Nelson – Host, Traders Network Show: 00:45
I saw Ray here yesterday and he was certainly a focal point. You know, I can’t even imagine the amount of money. I don’t know if anybody’s done the calculation about the amount of money that is managed by the people that have been speaking at this event. It has to be in the trillions.
Peter Tesei – First Selectman, Town of Greenwich: 01:00
I believe it’s $4 trillion.
David Nelson – Host, Traders Network Show: 01:02
$4 trillion, so pretty sizable, pretty sizable number. Where do you see Greenwich playing a role in this? In the future? This was at one time the hedge fund capital of the world. You know, we all know this inner transition finance can probably move anywhere at this point. So spread up amongst the four corners of the planet is the financial community is still a focal point for granted.
Peter Tesei – First Selectman, Town of Greenwich: 01:23
It is. And that was one of the objectives of putting on a conference like this. It was to reinforce the fact that while there’s been changes in the market and people’s domiciles, that there’s still a significant presence here and that that presence is represented in the professionals that we see and the work that they do. So we wanted to highlight that back and also highlight the intellectual capital. And I think this forum shows that it’s quite vibrant.
David Nelson – Host, Traders Network Show: 01:43
Do you think this is going to be an ongoing process that will develop over time and maybe a yearly event or a semiannual event?
Peter Tesei – First Selectman, Town of Greenwich: 01:58
It is intended to be a yearly event. This is year two and I think each year you have an opportunity to look at how you’ve done make changes and improve clearly this year’s programs run very smoothly. Not a lot of kinks in it. One of the areas that we’re looking to really expand upon is culture, art. Bring that into it as well. There’s a lot of talent in this area that we can showcase and tie into the whole financial sector. So I expect we are going to see a further broaden forum next year.
David Nelson – Host, Traders Network Show: 02:33
It seems like a marriage of capital in need and certainly need out there and they’re trying to tackle some of the toughest problems we have on the planet income and equality changing dynamic around the world and a political dynamic that is, that is divided if best. What is the, maybe the major, some of the major solutions that have been brought out at this conference? I’ve heard a lot of talk about public private partnerships as a possible to get government and the private sector together to solve some of these problems.
Peter Tesei – First Selectman, Town of Greenwich: 02:50
Yes it is in Greenwich. Greenwich is a community has benefited from these public private partnerships but more globally I think the, the thoughts that were provided by Paul Tudor Jones and looking at you know, corporate profits from the 1960s and where they are today and how if companies were to shift some of that back into the public sector to support solutions in areas of education inequality healthcare access, things that matter to everyday people’s lives that we can continue to have a very vibrant capital system right now. There’s that division between those who are attacking capitalism in those certainly who want to see it continue to thrive. And I think having that readjustment will help ensure that that
David Nelson – Host, Traders Network Show: 03:44
Was the feeling that coming out of this conference that it was more about trying to fix what’s wrong with capitalism or turning it upside down and reinventing?
Peter Tesei – First Selectman, Town of Greenwich: 03:57
I think it’s just trying to fix some of the issues that have accrued with accesses. Anytime you have accesses in any situation, it creates an imbalance. Balance is the key to everything in life. And I do think you know, this is the freest country with the most opportunity and that’s based on capitalism. It just needs to be harnessed and put to a positive use.
David Nelson – Host, Traders Network Show: 04:20
It’s interesting that during the course of the week been, you know, a lot of fairly vibrant news of bank of America raising the minimum wage to $20 probably a year earlier. And it begged the question, was they doing it to advance that sustainable growth? Or is it because the economy was vibrant enough that workers have jobs, they don’t have to pay these people what they deserve to get them in to get them in house. It seems to be an increasing conversation that I’m hearing on the street.
Peter Tesei – First Selectman, Town of Greenwich: 04:37
Well, that point was made yesterday that it’s far more cost effective to have people employed and paying them a fair wage rather than on government assistance, which we have to fund through further taxation. And so I think getting back to that, you know, private equity being put into a public good and directing it is far better than the government trying to do it.
David Nelson – Host, Traders Network Show: 05:17
One of the things I heard at the conference, there’s a lot of talk about financial engineering and ways of making stock prices go higher that maybe are not maybe benefit the long-term health of a company are companies, do you sense that they’re starting to reinvest in themselves again and starting to put capital back into the companies rather than some of the new accounting gimmicks of the oil?
Peter Tesei – First Selectman, Town of Greenwich: 05:39
That seems to be the trend and I think it’s being driven by a realization of what’s taking place in society. And what I enjoyed hearing yesterday from both Ray Dalio and Paul Tudor Jones is that we need to bring people together. And I think unity of purpose is important. The divisiveness can only last for so long where people wake up and say, you know, enough, life is finite and we need to make the most of it and let’s harness our talents to achieve a greater good.
David Nelson – Host, Traders Network Show: 06:10
We have a lot more in common than what divides us. So what’s next for Greenwich? You know, we have this event here for Del Mar, one of my favorite hotels. I’ve been a resident of grant Greenwich for the last 19 years. And I’ve worked in this town for the last 10 years. What do you see next on the agenda?
Peter Tesei – First Selectman, Town of Greenwich: 06:32
Well, Greenwich is a premier residential community. Clearly our attractiveness is our geographic location in New York, a bucolic long Island sound. But in terms of lifestyle, I think having access to quality education, healthcare, recreational opportunities, certainly the business presence all create the value proposition and why we’re promoting ourselves. We have a low tax rate and I think going forward we have to maintain our reputation through investments in our public amenities, harnessing public private partnerships to do further improvements and really using the intellectual capital here to achieve outcomes, which is this, which this is about.
David Nelson – Host, Traders Network Show: 07:16
This event is a testament to all of that. I’m sure we’ll continue. Peter. Thank you. Special thank you to our syndicate network affiliates, Fox news, ABC, NBC. And CBS on David Nelson will be right back.