L.A. investors conference to highlight ESG, homelessness and Olympics

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Los Angeles' fifth regional investors conference March 9-10 is expected to highlight what the city is doing to foster environmental-social-governance projects, preparations for the 2028 Olympics and programs targeting homelessness.

More than 200 people have registered for the event at the Los Angeles Convention Center with a mixer the first night at the newly renovated Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Natalie Brill is debt manager of Los Angeles.

The conference gives investors the opportunity to see first-hand the projects the city has underway, said Natalie Brill, the city’s debt manager.

“As the second largest city in the United States, Los Angeles gets a lot of press,” Brill said. “We thought investors should see for themselves what we are doing here.”

Eight city agencies, with a combined $49 billion in debt, will each give presentations on their projects, debt portfolios and expected new issuance.

The city held the first conference in 2012 and has been holding one on even years ever since. It has drawn roughly the same number of participants each year.

Los Angeles follows Chicago, which began holding an investors conference in 2010.

Brill will speak on a panel moderated by Michael Samulon, the mayor’s senior policy analyst for sustainability, as will Donna Mills, treasurer for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Soheila Sajadian, the director of debt and treasury division for the Port of Los Angeles. Lauren Faber O’Connor, the mayor’s chief sustainability offer, will speak about the mayor’s climate change initiatives.

The lunch program includes a fireside chat with Dr. Michael Genhart, a licensed clinical psychologist on what to tell children about homelessness.

There will also be a panel moderated by Amy Anderson, the chief housing officer for the mayor’s office on the joint effort between city and county housing departments to tackle the city’s homelessness problems.

Deputy city administrative officer Ben Ceja will lead a panel on infrastructure projects underway to prepare the city for the Olympics.

Though the Olympics are nearly eight years away, investors have asked about what the city has been doing to prepare, Brill said.

The event has rotated around the city with locations including tech-heavy Playa Vista in 2016 and at Universal Studios in 2014.

“We have tried to choose locations that are central to other areas of the city,” Brill said.

As part of the event, investors can sign up for tours on a variety of bond-funded projects throughout the region.

Among those is a tour of a recently opened permanent supportive housing project in Koreatown funded with general obligation bonds issued through the city’s Proposition HHH. Los Angeles voters approved the measure in 2016, which was expected to produce 10,000 units in the city.

There are also tours of LA Metro’s regional connecter project in the Little Tokyo neighborhood in downtown, a tour of an advanced water purification system and an all-day tour with stops at Beacon Solar and the Pine Tree Wind Farm, both in the Mojave Desert.

California Treasurer Fiona Ma will deliver the keynote address.

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