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Robert Charles Pozen
August 8, 1946
|Alma mater||Harvard College|
Yale Law School
Robert Charles Pozen (born 1946) is an American financial executive with a strong interest in public policy. He is the former chairman of MFS Investment Management, the oldest mutual fund company in the United States. He is also a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Education and family
Pozen grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he attended public high school and won a scholarship to attend Harvard College. In 1968, he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard, which awarded him a Knox Traveling Fellowship.
In 1972, Pozen received a law degree from Yale Law School, where he served on the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal. He received a JSD from Yale in 1973 for his doctoral thesis on state enterprises in Africa. He is a member of the Massachusetts, New York and Washington, D.C. bars.
He has been married for more than 30 years to Elizabeth Kelner Pozen, a psychotherapist and figurative painter. They live in Boston, Massachusetts, and have two adult children, Joanna and David.
Investment industry career
Pozen was an executive at Fidelity Investments from 1987 to 2001, eventually rising to vice chairman of the company and president of FMR Co., the investment adviser to Fidelity’s mutual funds. In the latter role, he had oversight of Fidelity’s global portfolio management and research teams; during his tenure as president, Fidelity’s assets under management increased from $500 billion to $900 billion. He also was a director of Fidelity’s insurance company and credit card bank.
Pozen became chairman of MFS Investment Management in February 2004. In that position, he advised the firm on strategic initiatives and long-term planning. Speaking on corporate governance, he has been credited with enhancing the organization’s legal, audit, and risk functions. He retired as Chairman in July 2010 and is now Chairman Emeritus. He continues to serve as a member of the MFS mutual fund boards. In 2011, he was recognized for his work in the mutual fund industry with the Fund Action Lifetime Achievement Award.
- 1973-74: Visiting professor, Georgetown University Law Center
- 1974-76: Associate professor, New York University Law School
- 2002-03: John Olin Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School
- 2006-07: Senior lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management
- 2007–present: Senior lecturer, Harvard Business School
- 2013–present: MIT Sloan School of Management
In addition to his private sector and teaching posts, Pozen has dedicated time during his career to public service. He was Associate General Counsel for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 1977 to 1980.
In 2001 and 2002, he served as a member of President George W. Bush's Commission to Strengthen Social Security. His proposal for utilizing a "progressive indexing" methodology to address Social Security’s long-term solvency issue received national attention, including a mention during President Bush's 2006 State of the Union address.
At the state level, Pozen served as Secretary of Economic Affairs in 2003 under then-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Pozen was responsible for all economic-related areas, including banking, consumer affairs, insurance, and labor.
In 2007, Pozen served as chairman of the SEC's Committee to Improve Financial Reporting. Working with both private and public sector experts, the committee made several actionable recommendations to improve the U.S. financial reporting system, many of which have been implemented.
- Board member, Medtronic, Inc.
- Board member, The Nielsen Company
- Former board member, Bell Canada Enterprises
- Trustee, Commonwealth Fund (healthcare foundation)
- Board member, Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center
- Former board member, National Basketball Hall of Fame
- Former vice chairman, Boston Public Library Foundation
- Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
- Member, Council on Foreign Relations
- Member, Committee on Capital Markets Regulation
- The Fund Industry: How Your Money is Managed (with Theresa Hamacher, 2011, John Wiley)
- Too Big to Save? How to Fix the U.S. Financial System (2009, John Wiley)
- Financial Institutions: Investment Management (1997, West Publishing)
Selected financial articles
- Financial Times, "Short-selling bans are a mistake" (August 12, 2011)
- Science Translational Medicine, "Defining Success for Translational Research Organizations" (with Heather Kline, August 3, 2011)
- Huffington Post, "Social Security Reform Is the Key to the Debt Ceiling Debate" (July 19, 2011)
- Washington Post, "A debt plan Republicans can support" (July 19, 2011)
- Washington Post, "Wading into money-market funds?" (with Theresa Hamacher, July 6, 2011)
- Financial Times, "Don't hobble money market funds" (with Theresa Hamacher, June 19, 2011)
- Harvard Business Review, "Managing Yourself: Extreme Productivity" (May 2011)
- Financial Times, "European funds are outgunning US rivals" (with Theresa Hamacher, April 13, 2011)
- Washington Post, "A bond backfire after racing to buy long-term Treasuries and sell tax-exempt funds" (with Theresa Hamacher, April 5, 2011)
- Morningstar Advisor, "The Global Fund-Leadership Playoffs: Europe vs. the U.S." (with Theresa Hamacher, April/May 2011)
- Forbes, "Heretic Reality: Mortgage Interest Deduction Needs To Be Slashed" (March 25, 2011)
- Washington Post, "Why Liberals Should Back Social Security Reform" (March 22, 2011)
- Financial Times, "Japan can rebuild on new economic foundations" (March 21, 2011)
- Wall Street Journal, "A New Model for Corporate Boards" (December 30, 2010)
- Harvard Business Review, "The Case for Professional Boards" (December 2010)
- New York Times, "For Social Security, A Birthday Makeover" (August 22, 2010)
- Wall Street Journal, "Bashing Beijing Will Not Help Our Trade Deficit" (August 20, 2010)
- Wall Street Journal, "$100,000 is Plenty for Deposit Insurance" (June 23, 2010)
- Financial Times, "Chatter About a New Global Currency is Overblown," (July 29, 2009)
- Forbes, "Stop Pining for Glass-Steagall," (September/October 2009)
- Wall Street Journal, "Systemic Risk and the Fed," (July 9, 2009)
- Wall Street Journal, "How to Value Toxic Bank Assets," (February 3, 2009)
- Financial Times, "Foundations to be Laid Before Bridging Gap," (November 19, 2008)
- New York Times, "Think First, Bail Out Later," (June 15, 2008)
- New York Times, "Reporting for Duty," (March 3, 2007)
- Harvard Business Review, "If Private Equity Sized Up Your Business," (November 2007)
- Fortune, "China Goes from Red to Gray," (June 26, 2006)
- Harvard Business Review, "Before You Split that CEO Chair," (April 2006)
- Pensions & Investments, "Overstating Performance," (February 20, 2006)
- USA Today, "Why My Plan to Fix Social Security Will Work," (June 13, 2005)
- Foreign Affairs, "Mind the Gap," Vol. 84, No. 2, 8-12 (March/April 2005)
- The Economist, "The Route to Real Pension Reform," 69 (January 8, 2005)
- Harvard Business Review, "Arm Yourself for the Coming Battle Over Social Security," Vol. 80 at 52 (November 2002)
- Harvard Business Review, "Institutional Investors: The Reluctant Activists," Vol. 72 of 140 (January/February 1994)
- Jason Furman. March 21, 2005. "An Analysis of Using "Progressive Indexing" to Set Social Security Benefits." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 
- Bloomberg News. March 23, 2005. "Bush Hawks Financier Pozen's Plan as Social Security Compromise." 
- The New Republic. April 11, 2005. Ryan Lizza. "Face Plant."
- The Progress Report. May 19, 2005. "Pozen Blasts Bush Privatization Plans." 
- Reuters. May 19, 2005. Mark Felsenthal. "Drop private accounts - US Social Security advisor."
- Barron's. July 18, 2005. Jack Willoughby. "A Prudent Man to the Rescue."
- Appearances on C-SPAN