Charles E.F. Millard is the former Director of the United States Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). From 2011 until July 2016 he was Managing Director and Head of Pension Relations with Citigroup, where he oversaw Citi’s relationships with pension investors around the world. In his role at Citigroup, he led international pension conferences and has been a leading speaker at numerous pension-related events. He has appeared on CNBC and has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Financial Times and elsewhere on a variety of pension topics. He has advised Fortune 500 corporations on issues regarding de-risking their pension plans, and he developed relationships on behalf of Citigroup with some of the world’s largest pensions plans. In March 2016, Millard led the publication of the report “The Coming Pension Crisis.” The report was noteworthy for highlighting $78 trillion in unfunded retirement obligations in twenty countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The report on “The Coming Pensions Crisis” also advocated the development of more pooled defined contribution systems such as Collective Defined Contribution, Target Benefit, and Defined Ambition as methods to increase retirement security.
During his time with Citigroup, he has also taught at the Yale School of Management on pensions and public policy, and has served the World Economic Forum as a member of its Retirement Investment Systems Reform Project.
Mr. Millard was the Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation from 2007 to 2009. He was appointed by President George W. Bush and was the first Director of the PBGC to be confirmed by the United States Senate. As Director, Mr. Millard served as the chief executive officer of the PBGC and carried the rank of Under Secretary.
The PBGC insures the pensions of over 40 million Americans, has 2500 employees and manages over $50 billion in investable assets. It pays out approximately $4 billion annually. The PBGC is regularly at the forefront of all aspects of the investment and management of pensions and pension risks, and it plays a leading role in the restructuring of industries such as airlines, steel and autos.
Mr. Millard’s tenure at the PBGC was focused on reducing the Corporation’s long-term deficit through two initiatives – more aggressive stances in bankruptcy negotiations, and greater diversification in the Corporation’s investment policy.
Under his direction the agency took aggressive positions with General Motors and Delphi in the Delphi bankruptcy case. Those actions resulted in a substantial reduction in the PBGC’s deficit. Overall, during Mr. Millard’s tenure, the Corporation’s deficit was reduced from $18 billion to $11 billion.
With the support of PBGC’s Board – the Secretaries of Treasury, Commerce and Labor – Mr. Millard addressed PBGC’s longer term deficit through a change in the Corporation’s investment policy from one that was relatively undiversified to one that is diversified and consistent with best practices among large institutional investors.
This investment policy tripled the likelihood that the Corporation could eliminate its deficit in ten years, and did so with a higher Sharpe ratio. This investment policy increased the Corporation’s allocation to alternative assets as well as to a diversified pool of international debt and equity.
Mr. Millard also led the PBGC to the adoption of the PBGC Standard for asset transition management – creating an industry standard for transparency and other best practices in the asset transition industry. Similarly, he launched a study of securities lending in order to assist PBGC in adopting an industry standard for clients in this complex and opaque part of the financial services world. He also created the Longevity Project, which regularly brings together leading market actors to discus and generate market solutions to the longevity risks faced by pension plans
The PBGC is regularly at the forefront of bankruptcy-related litigation and negotiations. In those proceedings, the PBGC’s goal is to help plan sponsors emerge from bankruptcy with their pension plans intact or, in the instances where that is impossible, to gain the greatest recovery possible on behalf of beneficiaries and the pension insurance system. Millard’s efforts resulted in billions of dollars of loss mitigation and helped numerous large corporations, such as Dana, Dura, and Solutia emerge from bankruptcy with their pension plans intact. He also directed the activities of the PBGC as it negotiated on behalf of pension plans in cases such as Delphi and the proposed merger of Delta and Northwest Airlines.
Prior to his appointment to the PBGC, Mr. Millard had a varied career in both private and public life, including service as a Managing Director with both Lehman Brothers and Prudential Securities, and as a senior cabinet official in the administration of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Immediately before joining the PBGC, Mr. Millard was a Managing Director at Broadway Partners, a national real estate investment and management firm in New York. He also served as President of BP Direct Securities, a broker-dealer associated with Broadway Partners, where he directed the process of obtaining a license from the NASD and helped raise over one billion dollars for Broadway’s discretionary private equity real estate funds.
At Lehman Brothers, Mr. Millard put in place a new effort, launched by the executive committee of the firm. As the head of Wealth Management Services, his mandate was to deliver the entire resources of Lehman Brothers at the most senior level to the firm’s most significant individual and family clients.
Under Mayor Giuliani, Mr. Millard served as President of the New York City Economic Development Corp. and Chairman of the New York City Industrial Development Agency. In that role, he concluded numerous negotiations and transactions that led to the redevelopment of 42nd Street and Times Square. These included work on the Reuters and Conde Nast headquarters tower, the New Amsterdam theater and numerous other sites up and town 42nd Street and Times Square.
He was responsible for negotiations with some of the city’s largest employers, including Merrill Lynch and AIG, to keep thousands of jobs in New York City. As President of the EDC, he was also the landlord for Fulton Fish Market, South Street Seaport and 10 million square feet of occupied real estate. He reorganized the agency and created a system of performance reviews that resulted in numerous categories of improvement. He also privatized the then-city-owned United Nations Hotel.
Mr. Millard was elected twice to the New York City Council. He was the first Republican Councilman to be elected from Manhattan in twenty-five years. As a Councilman, he drafted the original legislation that created the framework for New York’s initiative to eliminate pornography stores from many New York neighborhoods. This legislation required the balancing of numerous First Amendment and other constitutional concerns and has been upheld in Federal Court, He developed a reputation as a “smart maverick” who stood his ground on many budgetary and common sense issues against large majorities.
He began his private sector career as an attorney with Davis Polk & Wardwell where his activities included precedent-setting constitutional litigation in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In 1979-80, he worked as VISTA volunteer in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and in 1982-83, he served as Legislative Assistant for Foreign Affairs for Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick. In 1985, Mr. Millard worked at the Vicariate of Solidarity, a human rights organization in Santiago, Chile.
From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Millard wrote a regular column in the New York Post. He has appeared numerous times on CNBC and other media outlets.
Mr. Millard holds a B.A. Honors Degree, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Holy Cross College, where he received the Presidential Service Award, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Mr. Millard has served on the Board of Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York and Saint Aloysius School in Harlem. He is currently on the Boards of the Boston College Center for Retirement Research and The Journal of Retirement.
He and his wife Gwen have nine children and live in Rye, New York.