90 episodes

COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live. In response to the public health emergency, Milken Institute Chairman Michael Milken is engaging a range of industry leaders and medical experts to help us better understand and confront a crisis that has not only altered our current day-to-day but will change the course of how we work, socialize, and fight disease for years to come.

Conversations with Mike Milken Milken Institute

    • Non-Profit

COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live. In response to the public health emergency, Milken Institute Chairman Michael Milken is engaging a range of industry leaders and medical experts to help us better understand and confront a crisis that has not only altered our current day-to-day but will change the course of how we work, socialize, and fight disease for years to come.

    Ep. 90: Well-Being, with the Motsepe Foundation’s Precious Moloi-Motsepe

    Ep. 90: Well-Being, with the Motsepe Foundation’s Precious Moloi-Motsepe

    “Your well-being, your wealth, is very intertwined and dependent on other people's well-being. … That is the philosophy that also drives us because we know that our children's well-being cannot be isolated from the well-being of the other children in South Africa, or other kids on the continent, for that matter.”

    When Precious Moloi began her career as a doctor in South Africa, she would eventually open the first women’s clinic in Johannesburg. After marrying Patrice Motsepe, they would become the wealthiest Black couple in South Africa, and the first on the continent to join the Giving Pledge. As a fashion entrepreneur, Dr. Motsepe has lifted young South African designers to international renown. And through the Motsepe Foundation, this Renaissance woman from Soweto has pledged millions to alleviate the continent’s COVID crisis.

    “It's been quite challenging,” she tells Mike. “And it's really called for solidarity from all sectors of society – from business, from ordinary people, from government – we’ve just been working together. I guess this is one positive thing that we've never seen – collaborations at such high levels, and with so much compassion and determination.”

    • 27 min
    Ep. 89: Impact, with GPIF’s Hiro Mizuno

    Ep. 89: Impact, with GPIF’s Hiro Mizuno

    “For us to have a sustainable portfolio, we have to have a sustainable capital market. And for us to have a sustainable capital market, we need to have a sustainable society. And for us to have a sustainable society, we need to have a sustainable environment? It's all connected.”

    When he was managing Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), Hiro Mizuno recognized that his role went beyond fiduciary. After all, with $1.6 trillion in assets, the fund wasn’t merely a traditional asset manager – it was a major owner in the global capital markets, and its investment decisions had significant impact. The fund would need to play a greater stewardship role, he believed, and so GPIF increasingly considered environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in its investment decisions. And while he met resistance along the way, today his bold idea has gone more mainstream.

    “Now people believe that ESG needs to be a professional practice to grow into their daily portfolio management operation,” he tells Mike. “So, I'm really glad to see the progress.”

    • 23 min
    Ep. 88: Ownership, with Liberty Media’s Greg Maffei

    Ep. 88: Ownership, with Liberty Media’s Greg Maffei

    “We developed a green team and a red team. The red team's job was to play defense, and first think mostly about liquidity and our downside. And the green team was supposed to think about where could we take advantage of this?”

    With COVID striking at the heart of Liberty Media’s sports portfolio (Formula 1 and the Atlanta Braves), it’s understandable that President and CEO Greg Maffei injected competitive stakes into how his managers look at their respective businesses. Some of Liberty’s other holdings such as Sirius XM are more pandemic proof, while their digital commerce subsidiaries QVC, HSN, and Zulily have adapted more readily to the times.

    “We moved much of the inventory and on-air time that was spent on things like apparel and beauty over to gardening, home supply,” he tells Mike. “In the case of Zulily we sold something like one million face masks. So, we were really able to shift what our focus was to take advantage of the trends, and business has been very strong.”

    • 30 min
    Ep. 87: Time to Reflect, with Larry Gagosian

    Ep. 87: Time to Reflect, with Larry Gagosian

    “Many great artists have dealt with the tragedies and the turmoil of the time they lived in. I think the artist needs some time to reflect; you take it in, you process it, and maybe not consciously even, try to depict some horrible event that is filtered through your other experiences and your craft as an artist.”

    As a champion of modern and contemporary artists, Larry Gagosian has literally created the space in which their art can thrive as never before. Starting with one gallery in Los Angeles four decades ago, his eighteen exhibition spaces are now found throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. In the process, he has launched dozens of artist’s careers. Recently, Forbes magazine named him one of the “100 Greatest Living Business Minds.”

    “Things may have shut down,” he tells Mike, “But my job as a dealer representing these incredible artists – they need income. They have expenses, they have kids in school. I take it as a very serious responsibility to keep the ball rolling, not just for the benefit of my business, but also for the artists that depend on me for their livelihood.”

    • 14 min
    Ep. 86: Compassion, with Cesar Purisima

    Ep. 86: Compassion, with Cesar Purisima

    “More people will move to poverty as a result of the pandemic. And the estimate is at least half a billion to a billion people. … I think that might push back a little bit the shift to a greener economy. And this is where I hope that the private sector can step up because this is not just a government responsibility. It is the biggest public private partnership there is, that we need to get together.”

    As the former Secretary of Finance for the Republic of the Philippines under two Presidents, Cesar Purisima is widely credited with turning the Philippine economy around and restoring investor confidence. His stewardship vastly increased government revenues, and set new records for investments in education, healthcare, and infrastructure. As a Founding Partner of IKHLAS Capital, he extends now extends his compassion to the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    “A lot of people are really suffering,” he tells Mike. “Unlike the global financial crisis that hit the financial markets first, this really hit the countries from the ground up. And therefore, the ones who really suffered are those in the bottom of the pyramid. And the challenge for finance ministers, central banks is to come up with interventions that will not only hit the top, but really hit the bottom to find a more compassionate way to able to deal with this crisis.”

    • 21 min
    Ep. 85: Sustainable, with Unilever’s Alan Jope

    Ep. 85: Sustainable, with Unilever’s Alan Jope

    “The biggest tailwind is going to be the voice of young people demanding that the grownups do not ignore warnings about pandemics, about climate change, about gross inequality. One of the headwinds I'm very concerned about is a retreat to nationalism. We know that trade – global trade – has been tremendously helpful, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.”

    When William Lever packaged Sunshine – his first bar of soap – in the 19th Century, he couldn’t dream that his company would someday grow to include more than 400 brands, including Dove, Lipton, and Ben & Jerry’s. Today, Unilever CEO Alan Jope dreams of continuing that growth, as long as it is both responsible and sustainable.

    “The business case for sustainability is, in our view, completely proven,” he tells Mike. “Our brands that score higher on social and environmental responsibility are growing much faster, almost twice as fast as the rest of the portfolio. … It has been an absolute spur for innovation.”

    • 31 min

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