Networking on a Global Scale

Boston Globe
The Boston Globe

For Kylie Wright-Ford, the trip to Davos, Switzerland, last week was an invaluable experience, a way to mix and mingle with prominent executives from around the globe.

Of course, it’s good for business, too. As CEO of the Reputation Institute in ­Boston, Wright-Ford is ­looking for clients who want a ­better way to manage and track the public’s perception of their companies. She says she found a few at the World ­Economic Forum in Davos.

“It’s a chance to step back and think big,’’ Wright-Ford says of the conference. “You’re at the hub of global politics, economics, and environmental conversations. . . . I was really impressed by the melting pot of different backgrounds.’’

She wasn’t the only member of Boston’s corporate community who made the trip. Bain Capital cochairman Steve Pagliuca attended, as did Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan and Anne Finucane. Hedge fund manager Seth Klarman didn’t go, but his annual letter to Baupost Group investors was the talk of the conference. (Klarman wrote about the risks of the United States’ rising debt and receding leadership on the global stage.)

MassMutual CEO Roger Crandall found himself interrogated at Davos by Andy Serwer, editor in chief of Yahoo Finance. Serwer mentioned the $3 billion in tax breaks used to entice Amazon to open a new corporate campus in New York, and compared it to the $46 million in state tax credits that MassMutual is getting to expand its Springfield headquarters and open a new office in Boston’s Seaport. The Boston office could play a crucial role in attracting talent from around the world.

“It’s a heck of a good investment,’’ Crandall told Serwer. “Kudos to the Amazon guys, but we’re very thrilled to bring 2,000 jobs to Massachusetts, and most importantly 1,500 jobs to Springfield.’’ ­ — JON CHESTO

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