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The 2015 Pension 40: Caitlin Long

< The 2015 Pension 40: The Long Climb25Caitlin LongHead of Corporate Strategies and Pension Solutions / Morgan StanleyLast year: 19

Last year Caitlin Long, head of corporate strategies and pension solutions at Morgan Stanley, said the ball was rolling when it came to pension risk-transfer deals. A year later she says the ball has picked up great velocity. “Most CFOs have now been convinced that pension risk-transfer deals make financial sense,” says Long, 46, who has a JD and a master’s in public policy from Harvard University. “Transactions are economically attractive to plan sponsors.” She points to J.C. Penney Co.’s cashless deal to shift its pension risk by buying a group annuity from Prudential Financial. Penney’s stock rose 7.1 percent on the day of the announcement, 5.6 percent better than the S&P 500 that day. The cashless transaction shows that annuity contracts could be customized for different companies with different pension scenarios, says Long, who has been working on pensions at Morgan Stanley since 2007. Long, who has also advised Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., General Motors Co., Motorola Solutions and Verizon Communications, among others, on risk-transfer deals, points out that the Penney deal was unique. The company had already largely de-risked its pension, which was overfunded, with stable fixed-income instruments. Still, the market loved that the retailer was permanently shifting pension obligations to a third party. “The hibernation strategy is still not one that is looked on by the market as favorably as settlements,” Long says. “Investors want these liabilities paid off; not just neutralized.” She adds that “companies are able to see real data points now that the equity market does reward these moves.” Last year also saw smaller transactions, such as Timken Co.’s purchase of a group annuity (also from Prudential) for about 5,000 retirees.

 

 The 2015 Pension 40 Click below to view profiles
1. Bruce RaunerIllinois2. John & Laura ArnoldLaura and John Arnold Foundation3. Chris ChristieNew Jersey4. Randi WeingartenAmericanFederation of Teachers5. Phyllis BorziU.S. Department
of Labor
6. Kevin de LeónCalifornia7. Alejandro García PadillaCommonwealth ofPuerto Rico8. Laurence FinkBlackRock9. Rahm EmanuelChicago10. Sean McGarveyNorth AmericanBuilding Trades Unions
11. John KlineMinnesota12. J. Mark IwryU.S. Treasury
Department
13. Damon SilversAFL-CIO14. Jeffrey ImmeltGeneral
Electric Co.
15. Joshua GotbaumBrookings Institution
16. Robin DiamonteUnited Technologies Corp.17. Mark MulletWashington18. Terry O'SullivanLaborers' International Union of North America19. Raymond DalioBridgewater Associates20. Ted WheelerOregon
21. Thomas NyhanCentral States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund22. Karen Ferguson & Karen FriedmanPensions Rights Center23. Randy DeFrehnNational Coordinating Committee forMultiemployer Plans24. Robert O'KeefMotorola Solutions25. Caitlin LongMorgan Stanley
26. Kenneth FeinbergThe Law Offices
of Kenneth R. Feinberg
27. Orrin HatchUtah28. Kathleen Kennedy TownsendCenter for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University29. Ian LanoffGroom Law Group30. Joshua RauhStanford Graduate School of Business
31. Ted EliopoulosCalifornia Public Employees' Retirement System32. Edward (Ted) SiedleBenchmark Financial Services33. Teresa GhilarducciNew School for Social Research34. Denise NappierConnecticut35. W. Thomas Reeder Jr.Pension BenefitGuaranty Corp.
36. Hank KimNational Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems37. Paul SingerElliott Management Corp.38. Bailey ChildersNational PublicPension Coalition39. Amy KesslerPrudential Financial40. Judy MaresU.S. Labor Department