Norton Reamer

Speech Topics

Investing—the commitment of resources to achieve a return—is one of the most fundamental of human activities and one that affects us all, as individuals, families, companies, and nations, and it has done so throughout history. But until the sixteenth-century, investing was a privilege exclusively of the elite classes. The story behind the democratization of investment is bound up with some of history’s most epic events. It is also a tale rich with lessons for professional and everyday investors who hope to make wiser choices in their own time.

In this entertaining and informative talk, Norton Reamer, author of Investment: A History (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2016), offer a sophisticated yet accessible account of the opportunities and challenges facing the modern investor, within an historical context. They look at the rise of funded retirement; the evolution of investment vehicles and techniques; investment misdeeds and regulatory reform; government economic policy gains; the development of investment theory; and the emergence of new investment structures. By helping us understand this history and its legacy of risk, Reamer and Downing hope to provide audiences with a deeper understanding of investment and make them more aware of its impact on ourselves and society as a whole.


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Norton Reamer is the former chief investment officer and CEO of Putnam Investments. He founded and ran United Asset Management for twenty years. In 2003, he founded and led Asset Management Finance. Each firm was a leader in its investment approach and organizational structure. He is the co-author of Investment: A History, with fellow BrightSight Group speaker, Jesse Downing. He now lives and works in Boston.

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