Long-Term Investors Club, left to right: Ulrich Schröder (CEO KfW Bankengruppe), Philippe Maystadt (President EIB), Augustin de Romanet (CEO Groupe Caisse des Dépôts and President of the LTIC), Franco Bassanini (CEO Cassa Depositi e Prestiti) ©Caisse des Dépôts/Olivier Londe

Investing in a durable recovery

CEO, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, and Chairman of the Long-Term Investors Club

The Caisse des Dépôts, a publicly-led longterm investment group, which has entered a partnership with the OECD focusing on the role of long-term investors, has founded, together with three other European public financial institutions–Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, KfW Bankengruppe and the European Investment Bank–the Long-Term Investors Club. What is it all about?

Promote the “investments of the future”. This idea may seem somewhat provocative at a time of crisis when deficits and government debt are soaring. But it is a fundamental challenge that must be met, for without such investments there can be no sustainable growth, no new jobs and no long-term economic prospects. And it is the motivation behind the Long-Term Investors Club, which brings together financial institutions from Europe, Asia, the Gulf and North America, with total assets of $3 trillion.

This is the dilemma: the crisis is forcing governments to think in the short term and companies to think in terms of cash flow and profitability, at a time when the global challenges we face require massive investments in projects that will only become profitable in 20 or 30 years. In total, it would take a global investment of nearly $2 trillion to cover the investment needs in the transport, energy, water and telecommunication sectors by 2020-2030. This sum does not include the investment needs in the innovation and research sectors, both of which are crucial for stable production levels.

The purpose of the club is to bridge the gap between the priority of tackling short– term problems and the need to address long-term challenges. There is obviously no magical solution, but the use of a new type of financial engineering that brings together public and private partners may prove to be productive.

From this standpoint, long-term investors– i.e., financial institutions that have low or no short and medium-term liability obligations, such as public financial institutions, sovereign funds and certain pension funds and insurance companies–have a key role to play. Their ability to plan over the long term enables them to finance projects that will only generate income later, and thereby act upon the factors that will determine potential growth, in particular by financing the innovation, research and major projects essential to the creation of new jobs.

These long-term investors will be able to contribute much more effectively to financing these needs if they can rely on a global financial regulatory framework that encourages a long-term perspective, rather than one geared to short-term value, which makes corporate assets vulnerable to the volatility of markets. This is the message that we are conveying to European and international regulators with regard to the revision of the prudential reserve ratios and IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) standards.

There must also be greater co-operation among long-term investors. This is the role that the club that I chair intends to play. The InfraMed Fund, a fund for investment in urban, energy and transport infrastructures in the southern and eastern regions of the Mediterranean, and the Marguerite Fund– 2020 Fund for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure in the European Union–that we have just launched jointly, are the initial successful examples of this new type of financial engineering. In the MENA region, for example, a volume of investments between €3-4 billion per year over the 2009 2014 period would make it possible to raise the public and private funds needed to carry out priority projects in the urban, transport and energy sectors, representing a total of €150 billion.

The aim, then, is to recognise the role of long-term investors, but also to define their area of responsibility and clarify their relations with shareholders and governments. The discussions that are under way, in particular in the OECD, on the governance of sovereign wealth funds, have lost none of their relevance. But we must go further. The exceptional nature of the crisis that we are going through calls for new thinking about the contribution of infrastructure investments to sustainable growth, and the means of mobilising longterm savings.


Gary Campkin (2009), “Encouraging Investment”, in OECD Observer No 275, Paris.

Angel Gurría (2009), “Why governance and investment matter for development”, in OECD Observer No 275, Paris.

©OECD Observer No. 279, May 2010

Economic data


Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly

Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Globalisation’s many benefits have been unequally shared, and public policy has struggled to keep up with a rapidly-shifting world. The OECD is working alongside governments and international organisations to help improve and harness the gains while tackling the root causes of inequality, and ensuring a level playing field globally. Please watch.
  • Read some of the insightful remarks made at OECD Forum 2017, held on 6-7 June. OECD Forum kick-started events with a focus on inclusive growth, digitalisation, and trust, under the overall theme of Bridging Divides.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa. blogs.worldbank.org
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017