Global Head, Citi Private Bank
September 25, 2020Posted InCiti
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“He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything” – Thomas Carlyle, Scottish philosopher.
Few things in this world are more precious than health. On a personal level, health has an enormous bearing on our quality of life. Likewise, healthier populations are generally more productive, more prosperous and, above all, happier. Nevertheless, most of us have probably taken our physical and mental wellbeing for granted at some point. The worst pandemic in more than a century is a poignant reminder of why we should never do so again.
Likewise, COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of good healthcare. The bravery of medical professionals and the ingenuity of researchers have been among the brightest features of recent months. That said, the fight against COVID-19 has simultaneously exposed the vulnerability of many healthcare systems worldwide. Once the virus is defeated, regenerating healthcare is surely an urgent priority if we wish to spread both health and hope.
What might such regeneration actually involve, though? Next week’s session of our Autumn Dialogues ’20 program will help shed some much-needed light on this vital question. As it happens, we believe that COVID-19 may already have sparked some of the necessary changes. A more efficient regulatory process, greater innovation and more responsive policymaking are just a few of the potential legacies of the present pandemic.
Guiding our conversation will be three respected healthcare authorities. Sergio Dompé, President of biopharmaceutical group Dompé, Dr Jennifer Nuzzo, Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, and Andrew Baum, Citi’s Global Head of Healthcare Research will discuss how we might transform healthcare in the post-COVID world. I do hope you will be able to attend our virtual session on 30 September to hear their cutting-edge insights.
Even without further crises on the scale of COVID-19, the challenges we face are daunting. As populations age rapidly around the world, rising healthcare costs could put a major strain on shrinking workforces. Ultimately, this could have political and even geopolitical ramifications, given the growing electoral influence of older voters. Rob Jasminski, Head of Citi Investment Management, explains how and why in “The World Goes Gray,” our latest podcast with GZERO Media. We highlight the investment implications of this “Unstoppable Trend” of increased longevity in our latest report.
On the subject of politics, I just wanted to thank all of you who joined our livestream event with former UK Foreign Secretary Lord Hague this week. Always a highly engaging speaker, Lord Hague shared some fascinating insights into the outlook for politics and international relations beyond COVID-19. His analysis of future EU-UK relations and the US elections are especially worth hearing. In case you couldn’t attend, a replay of our conversation is available, including the option of subtitles in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German and Chinese.
As research trials continue apace, we can be hopeful of finding a COVID-19 vaccine before the end of 2020. However, mass immunization against the virus may prove easier than repairing the psychological scars from lockdowns and losses. As ever, the best remedies for the mind are of a preventative nature. In this spirit, I highly recommend the techniques that the renowned psychologist Dr Martyn Newman has demonstrated for us over recent weeks. His final installment addressed how business and family leaders can develop a peaceful mindset for the “new normal” after the pandemic.