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featured speakers >> pension bridge annual speakers 2017
Pension Bridge Annual Speakers 2017
Jim Keohane, CFA, President & Chief Executive Officer, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, (HOOPP)
As President & CEO, Mr. Keohane is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the organization, as well as for developing, implementing and overseeing - in consultation with HOOPP’s Board of Trustees - performance measurement programs, long-term strategies and annual work plans to ensure the organization meets the needs of Plan beneficiaries.
After completing his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Ottawa, Mr. Keohane obtained his MBA at Queen's University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has completed the Directors Education Program (Rotman School of Business) at the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Mr. Keohane is Chair of the investment committee of Queen’s University, member of the Board of Queen’s University, and board member of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance. Mr. Keohane was selected as a member of the Ontario Technical Advisory Panel on Retirement Income Security. He is also a volunteer with United Way Toronto & York Region and a member of the 2015 and 2016 United Way Campaign Cabinet.
Speaker on Macroeconomic View/State of the Markets
William J. Coaker Jr, CFA, MBA, Chief Investment Officer, San Francisco Employees' Retirement System, (SFERS)
Mr. Coaker has served as the Chief Investment Officer for the San Francisco Employees Retirement System, a $20 billion public pension plan, since February 2014. Prior to SFERS, Mr. Coaker served as the Senior Managing Director of Public Equity for the University of California for six years. Prior to U.C.. Mr. Coaker worked as the Senior Investment Officer for SFERS from 2005 to 2008 and as the Chief Investment Officer and Financial Controller for the Diocese of Monterey for 13 ½ years managing the organization’s pension, endowment, and corporate investments.
Mr. Coaker earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University and a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Golden Gate University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder as well as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). He held the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation for over ten years before letting the designation expire. He also completed the Endowment Institute program on investing from the Commonfund and the Yale University School of Management.
Mr. Coaker has authored eight articles on investing that have been published in various investment journals. He supports numerous organizations around the country devoted to caring for homeless animals.
Featured/Keynote Session on Multi-Asset Strategies
Myron Scholes, Ph.D., Chief Investment Strategist, Janus Capital Group
Myron Scholes is Chief Investment Strategist at Janus Capital. In this role, he leads the firm’s evolving asset allocation product development efforts and partners with the investment team contributing macro insights and quantitative analysis specific to hedging, risk management and disciplined portfolio construction.
Among his many accomplishments, Professor Scholes is the Frank E. Buck Professor of Finance, Emeritus, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where each year he continues to teach a course on Managing Under Uncertainty and The Evolution of Finance. He is a member of the Econometric Society and served as President of the American Finance Association in 1990. He is widely known for his seminal work in options pricing, capital market equilibrium, tax policies and the financial services industry. Professor Scholes is a Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and co-originator of the Black-Scholes options pricing model for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1997. He is a director of Dimensional Fund Advisors mutual funds and several other private companies and has served as an advisor to the Guangdong Provincial Government.
Professor Scholes holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Paris, France; McMaster University, Canada; Louvain University, Belgium and Wilfred Laurier University, Canada. He has honorary Professorships from Nanjing University, Nanjing Audit University and Xiamen University. He was awarded the Innovator of the Year Award from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Derivatives Association. Professor Scholes has consulted widely with many financial institutions, corporations and exchanges and lectured for many academic groups and other organizations around the world. He has 47 years of experience in the field of finance.
Pension Plan and Consultant Speakers
Christopher J. Ailman, Chief Investment Officer, California State Teachers' Retirement System, (CalSTRS)
Mr. Ailman has been the Chief Investment Officer of the $195+ billion CalSTRS, for 16 years. Mr. Ailman leads an investment staff of 155. He has over 31 years of institutional investment experience. Annually, he is listed as one of the top CIO’s in the U.S.A and globally, and he is Chair of the SASB Investor Advisory Group, helping promote integration of the standards in security analysis and portfolio construction. In 2016, he was part of the first cohort to achieve a Fundamental of Sustainable Accounting (FSA) credential.
He has served on several boards and advisory boards in the U.S. and U.K. He is the North American Chair of the “300” CIO Club and the Milken Global Capital Markets Committee. He has received numerous awards and recognitions over his career, from CIO of the Year in 2000 to being named the number #3 CIO in the world and Investment Innovator of the Year in 2013.
Mr. Ailman is a regular guest on the TV and radio and is frequently quoted in in major financial publications. He has a BA from UCSB, is married with three daughters, is a committed Promise Keeper.
Travis Antoniono, Investment Officer, Corporate Governance, California State Teachers' Retirement System, (CalSTRS)
Travis Antoniono is an Investment Officer within the Corporate Governance Division of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the nation’s largest teacher retirement fund. Travis is responsible for working with a dedicated governance and sustainability team to further CalSTRS’ mission to secure the financial future and sustain the trust of California’s educators. Travis’s main areas of focus are ESG integration, corporate engagement, sustainability advancements, and assisting in the management of CalSTRS $4 billion activist and sustainability manager portfolio.
Prior to joining CalSTRS Investment’s Corporate Governance team, Travis worked as a Management Consultant for CalSTRS and served as an officer in the United States Air Force. Travis received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Risk Management from California State University, Sacramento and is currently pursuing an MBA at Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.
Tim Barron, CAIA, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, U.S., Segal Marco Advisors
Mr. Barron is the Chief Investment Officer of Segal Marco Advisors where he manages the firm’s Research Department and oversees all investment activities. He has over 35 years of experience in the investment industry. Mr. Barron also chairs Segal Marco Advisors’ Investment Committee and is on the Governing Committee of the Global Investment Research Alliance.
Prior to joining Segal Marco Advisors, Mr. Barron was President and CEO of Rogerscasey and its head of Research. He also worked as the Director of U.S. Institutional Client Development at Muzinich & Co., a high yield bond investment specialist firm. Prior to that, he was a Principal at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Investment Management. Before joining Morgan Stanley, Mr. Barron was a Managing Director and Senior Consultant at BARRA RogersCasey, where he led a team providing consulting services to a variety of clients. He was also a consultant with Wyatt Asset Services, the Chief Investment Officer for the Virginia Retirement System, and the Executive Director of the City of Richmond Retirement System.
Mr. Barron received a BA in Philosophy from Emory University and an MBA in Finance from Georgia State University. He holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation and is also a member of the CAIA Association. Mr. Barron formerly served as Chairman of the Finance and Investment Committees of the Girl Scouts of Southwestern Connecticut and was a team co-captain for the Ridgefield Relay for Life. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of Lowenhaupt Global Advisors.
Keith M. Berlin, Director of Global Fixed Income and Credit, Fund Evaluation Group, (FEG)
Keith joined Fund Evaluation Group, LLC (FEG) in 2000 and is Senior Vice President / Director of Global Fixed Income and Credit. In this capacity he is responsible for conducting primary research on fixed income managers and strategies across liquid, semi-liquid, and illiquid investment opportunities. As leader of the Global Fixed Income Sector Team, he is responsible for driving strategic and tactical fixed income asset allocation recommendations to the Investment Policy Committee at FEG. In 2008 he was recognized by Institutional Investor as one of the “20 Rising Stars of Fixed Income.” He also sits on the advisory board of six private debt funds. These funds invest across a variety of strategies including: capital solutions, collateralized loan obligations, distressed debt, emerging market debt restructuring, mezzanine debt, and other special situations. Keith holds a master of business administration degree from Thomas More College and a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Kentucky.
Alex Bernhardt, Principal, Head of Responsible Investment, U.S., Mercer
Alex Bernhardt, Principal and Head of Responsible Investment (RI) for Mercer in the U.S., is a noted expert in catastrophe, weather and financial risk management. In his role as U.S. RI leader Alex is driving innovation in environmental and social risk assessment for investors of all types and sizes with a focus on climate change. Alex was a core contributor to Mercer’s 2015 Investing in a Time of Climate Change report and (co)leads a variety of other large-scale strategic research projects. In addition he regularly works directly with institutional investors of all types and sizes on a range of issues from education on sustainable investment practices to portfolio risk assessment and construction exercises incorporating ESG considerations.
Prior to joining Mercer, Alex was a Senior Vice President at Guy Carpenter, where he founded and ran the firm’s GC Micro Risk Solutions® division focused on designing and developing index-based micro(re)insurance programs for development banks, microfinance institutions and insurers in emerging market countries. Additionally, he supported the firm's broader growth efforts advising public and private risk bearing entities on a variety of issues with a focus on disaster risk management, energy liability and credit risk. In this capacity Alex served as co-lead project manager for the Flood Insurance Risk Study, an in-depth year-long project for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) focused on researching the global capacity for catastrophic flood reinsurance, options for flood insurance privatization in the US and the NFIP's capital adequacy.
He received a BA from the University of Puget Sound, where he was a Coolidge Otis Chapman Honors Scholar and is a board member at Earth Economics, a global leader in science-based economics. He is also often quoted in financial industry press.
Scottie D. Bevill, Senior Investment Officer - Global Bonds and Real Return, Teachers' Retirement System of Illinois
Since 2001, Mr. Bevill has served as the Senior Investment Officer for Global Bonds and Real Return for the $46 billion Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois. Mr. Bevill is responsible for all public and private debt portfolios, short-term and real asset portfolios. During his nearly 25 years in the pension fund world, Mr. Bevill has served in a number of roles, and is active on several Boards, but remains extremely passionate about the debt markets. A native southerner, Mr. Bevill graduated from Illinois College with a B.S. in Business/Economics and received his M.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois.
Ben Bronson, CFA, CAIA, Investment Officer , Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado
Ben Bronson is an Investment Officer at the Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado (“FPPA”). He is a member of FPPA’s Liquid Strategies Team, which is responsible for the plan’s public equity, public fixed income, and hedge fund investments. Prior to joining FPPA in 2012, Bronson worked as an investment analyst for Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, where he conducted investment and operational manager due diligence. Bronson began his asset management career in 2004 at a Boulder, CO-based boutique wealth management firm where he was responsible for hedge fund due diligence. Bronson graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2001, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations.
Peter H. Collins, Vice Chair, Investment Advisory Council, State Board of Administration of Florida
Mr. Collins is Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Forge Capital Partners ("Forge"). Mr. Collins directs all private equity activities for Forge and is the CEO of Forge’s real estate private equity fund business. Forge’s real estate funds are private institutional real estate investment partnerships focused on acquiring and developing income-producing commercial real estate throughout the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. Over the last 15 years, Mr. Collins has overseen more than $1 billion of real estate and corporate transactions including over five million square feet of commercial and residential real estate acquisitions.
Prior to co-founding Forge, Mr. Collins spent 5 years a Managing Director at Rock Creek Capital, located in Jacksonville, Florida. At the time, Rock Creek was one of the Southeast's largest private equity firms and has backed several successful companies across the United States. Additionally, Rock Creek was involved in large land acquisitions and developments as well as the timber investment business having co-founded a TIMCO focused on the southeast United States.
Prior to joining Rock Creek, Mr. Collins served as a Manager with the Florida State Board of Administration (Florida's Public Pension Fund) in Tallahassee, Florida. During this time, Mr. Collins was directly engaged with major economic issues involving the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, The Florida Division of Bond Finance and The Department of Treasury. Mr. Collins was a member of the search and selection committee for external equity and private equity managers as well as the Asset Allocation Committee.
Prior to joining Rock Creek, Mr. Collins served four years as Chief of Staff to Florida State Senator Charles Williams. In this capacity, he was regularly involved with major economic and social issues impacting the State of Florida.
Mr. Collins earned his B.S. in Finance as well as a MBA from Florida State University.
Mr. Collins is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer on private equity and real estate across the country. Mr. Collins is a member of the Urban Land Institute. Mr. Collins is a Trustee of the Boys Scouts of America National Foundation and chairs its Investment Committee. Mr. Collins is a Trustee of the Florida State University Foundation and is a member of the Investment Committee for the University Endowment Fund. In January of 2013, Mr. Collins was appointed by the Trustees of the State Pension Fund and confirmed by the Florida Senate for a four year term to the Advisory Board of the State of Florida Pension Fund.
Stephen Cummings, CFA, Global Investments Officer, Head of North America Investment Consulting, Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting
Stephen Cummings is the Global Investment Officer and Head of North America Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting, one of the largest providers of investment consulting services to institutional investors. He leads approximately 300 investment consulting professionals with over 470 clients. Steve serves as the primary consultant for select retainer and project clients. Steve is ultimately responsible for the success of the North America investment consulting practice.
Steve’s client work has included the coordination and implementation of multiple defined benefit and defined contribution plans into a consolidated structure for a multi-billion dollar corporate client and the oversight of complex alternatives programs for several large public funds. He also served as the team leader for Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting’s work with the U.S. Treasury Department during its TARP initiative and served as advisor to the State Treasurer and interim CIO of a multi-billion dollar state retirement system during a transition period between CIOs.
Steve co-leads the firm’s Global Investment Executive Function, the group responsible for setting the strategic direction of the global investment consulting practice and coordinating consulting efforts around the world. Steve is responsible for thought leadership within the firm and serves in an advisory capacity on research efforts such as those related to derivatives, private equity, and emerging investment opportunities. He is a sought-after industry expert and frequently speaks before industry groups on a broad range of topics including soft dollars, public fund oversight, portfolio construction, and the evolution of the consulting industry.
Steve joined EnnisKnupp (the predecessor firm to Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting) in 1989 as a consultant and later rejoined in 2000 as the president and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to rejoining EnnisKnupp, Steve was the president of Marquette Associates from 1997–2000. He holds a B.S. degree from the University of Texas and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago. He is a CFA charterholder and is a member of the CFA Institute and Investment Analyst Society of Chicago (IASC). He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Kohl’s Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago.
Bruce H. Cundick, CFA, CPA, Chief Investment Officer, Utah Retirement Systems
Bruce H. Cundick is the Utah Retirement Systems Chief Investment Officer. He is responsible for directing the overall operations of the Investment Department. He manages all aspects of investment functions for all plans. The Utah Retirement Systems is a $28 billion state pension fund.
Mr. Cundick graduated Magna cum laude from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and Master of Business Administration Degree. Bruce is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
He has been with the Utah Retirement Systems for sixteen years. During the previous fourteen years, Bruce was the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer at Beneficial Life Insurance Company where he directed $2 billion portfolio of fixed income, mortgage-backed and equity securities. Prior to that, he held the position of President and Chief Executive Officer at Deseret Federal Savings and Loan.
He has also taught at the University of Utah for over 30 years. He was an adjunct professor and has taught part-time as an associate instructor of Business Finance and Investments in the University’s Masters of Science and Technology program.
He has held Board positions in trucking, mortgage banking, real estate development, savings & loan and property and casualty insurance companies. He currently sits on the Benefits Finance Committee of the Board of Directors for Intermountain Health Care and the Investment Advisory Committee for the University of Utah Endowment. Member of the Board of Trustees Hedge Funds Standards Board based in London.
Aoifinn Devitt, Chief Investment Officer, Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago
Aoifinn Devitt has worked with institutional clients for her entire investment career, which has spanned the US, Europe and Asia. In April 2016 she assumed the role of CIO of the Chicago Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund. From 2002 to 2006 she worked as a specialist consultant at Cambridge Associates Limited (London and Boston), where she specialized in the hedge fund area and worked with a range of institutional investors on their alternative allocations. In 2006 she established Clontarf Capital, a research and consulting firm with a particular focus on assisting public pension funds. She focused on providing education, research, due diligence, portfolio construction, monitoring and rehabilitation advice and worked extensively with staff, investment committees and third parties to enable them to achieve their investment goals. She also developed a particular specialty in Asia-focused alternatives, developing and leading a product focused on that area, as well as in the tactical asset allocation and opportunistic credit areas.
Previously Aoifinn worked in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs in London and as a corporate attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton (New York and Hong Kong).
Aoifinn graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a first class degree in law and received a BCL (Oxon) and an MBA (INSEAD, Dean’s list).
Avik Dey, Managing Director, Head of Natural Resources, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, (CPPIB)
Avik is Managing Director, Head of Natural Resources for Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. He serves as a member of the Private Investments Investment Committee and the Investment Department Decision Committee for Public Market Investments. Prior to joining CPPIB, Avik was President & CEO of Remvest Energy Partners in Houston, USA. Previously, he was a Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Remora Energy, a private energy company. He has been active in the global energy sector since 1999 with roles across industry, private equity and investment banking. He has previously worked with a number of organizations including First Reserve, Deutsche Bank and EnCana Corporation.
Avik currently serves on the boards of Teine Energy, where he is Chairman, plus the boards of Seven Generations Energy, Crestone Peak Resources and Enactus Canada. In addition, Avik is a co-founder of Coyotes Management LLC, the General Partner for the Arizona Coyotes Hockey Club. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of Calgary.
Leandro A. Festino, CFA, CAIA, Managing Principal, Meketa Investment Group, Inc.
Mr. Festino, Managing Principal, started his career in the investment consulting industry in 1999, and joined Meketa Investment Group in 2003. He primarily works advising public retirement systems, in both general and alternative investment mandates. His consulting work includes investment policy design and asset allocation modeling, in addition to analysis of manager and fund performance. He assists the Private Markets team assessing investment opportunities in Latin America, and is a member of the firm’s Emerging Manager Investment Committee.
A frequent speaker at industry events, Mr. Festino holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation. He is a member of the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems (TexPERS) and the State Association of County Retirement Systems (SACRS).
Mr. Festino was Captain of the University of Evansville’s tennis team and a world ranked tennis player on the ATP Tour. He received an MBA degree with honors from Boston College and a summa cum laude undergraduate degree in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Evansville.
Steven J. Foresti, Chief Investment Officer, Wilshire Consulting
Steve Foresti, Managing Director with Wilshire Associates, is the Chief Investment Officer of Wilshire Consulting. Mr. Foresti is based in Wilshire’s Santa Monica, Calif., office and heads Wilshire Consulting’s research efforts, including the development of asset class assumptions for use in Wilshire’s asset allocation process. Throughout his tenure at Wilshire, he has worked directly with large institutional investors of all types: public and corporate defined benefit plans, foundations, endowments and insurance companies. Mr. Foresti serves as chair of Wilshire Consulting's Investment Committee, and is a member of Wilshire’s Manager Research Oversight Committee and Wilshire’s Index Oversight Committee.
Mr. Foresti joined Wilshire in 1994 and brings more than 22 years of capital market experience. Prior to joining Wilshire Consulting, Mr. Foresti spent nine years with Wilshire Analytics where he developed and supported quantitative attribution and risk models within the Wilshire Quantum SeriesSM of investment analytics. Before joining Wilshire, Mr. Foresti worked in Morgan Stanley's Mutual Fund Division (formerly Dean Witter Inter-Capital) where he acted as a liaison between the firm’s portfolio management team and sales force. Mr. Foresti has also authored papers on a broad range of topics across both the traditional and alternative investment areas. He holds a BS in finance from Lehigh University and a MBA in finance and accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.
David E. Francl, Managing Director, Absolute Return, San Francisco Employees' Retirement System, (SFERS)
David Francl is Managing Director of Absolute Return for the $20 billion City and County of San Francisco Employees' Retirement System (SFERS). Prior to joining SFERS in early 2016, David spent over 18 years in a variety of management roles at Intel Corporation where he most recently served as a Director of Treasury Retirement Investments, and was responsible for its $3 billion hedge fund portfolio, and asset allocation, attribution, cash management, reporting and risk for over $15 billion of retirement assets. David’s educational background includes a BBA from the University of Wisconsin and MBA from the Haas School of Business, UC – Berkeley. David is a frequent speaker at investment industry events and guest lecturer at the Haas School of Business, UC-Berkeley. Additionally, he is a Certified Public Accountant.
Robert L. Greene, Chairman, Virginia Retirement System
Robert L Greene is President & CEO of the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC). NAIC is the industry association representing diverse-owned private equity firms and hedge funds, many of which rank amongst the highest performing funds in the nation. Bob is responsible for leading the association’s capital and policy advocacy, performance research, member services, and strategic alliance development.
In addition to his leadership of the NAIC, Bob serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), a $65 billion public pension plan. The Virginia Retirement System administers a defined benefit plan, a group life insurance plan, a deferred compensation plan and a variety of other retirement benefits for over 600,000 state employees. Bob has served on and led a number of committees of the board including the Audit & Compliance Committee, Administration & Personnel Committee, and Investment Policy Committee.
Bob received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), in Richmond, Virginia. While at VCU, Bob was a recipient of the University's Distinguished Service Award and served as a Virginia Governor's Fellow in the Office of the Attorney General.
Brian Guthrie, Executive Director, Teacher Retirement System of Texas
Brian K. Guthrie serves as executive director of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), the sixth largest public pension fund in the United States.
With a staff of approximately 550 employees, TRS delivers retirement and health benefits as authorized by the Texas Legislature and manages an approximately $128 billion trust fund established to finance member benefits. More than 1.4 million public education and higher education employees and retirees participate in the system.
Under Brian’s leadership, TRS conducted a legislatively mandated study of TRS’ active member and retiree health care programs. The study resulted in legislative changes that secured the long-term sustainability of the pension trust fund and provided many annuitants with their first cost-of-living adjustment in over a decade. In addition, the agency launched the multi-year TRS Enterprise Application Modernization (TEAM) program, which is now under way. TEAM will replace aging legacy systems and improve internal processes to help ensure TRS continues to provide excellent service to its growing membership.
Brian has an extensive background in state government, legislative relations, budgeting, and finance. Before becoming executive director, he served for three years as deputy director of TRS. Prior to that, he worked in the Texas Governor’s Office of Budget, Planning and Policy for eight years; served as a budget advisor to two lieutenant governors; and began his career at the Legislative Budget Board. In addition to his familiarity with state budget policy, Brian has also worked on higher education, criminal justice, public retirement systems, and state health insurance issues.
Brian has a master’s degree in public affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT-Austin, and bachelor’s degrees in economics and history, magna cum laude, from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Brian recently celebrated his 24th year as a non-native Texan and lives in Austin with his wife and three children.
Craig Husting, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Public School & Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri, (PSRS, PEERS)
Craig Husting is the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for the Public School and Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri. As CIO, he directs the management of the Systems’ $39 billion investment portfolio. Specifically, Mr. Husting has been responsible for strategically diversifying the asset allocation for the Systems including the development of real estate, private equity and hedge fund portfolios. He joined the Retirement Systems as CIO in January 1999.
Prior to that, Mr. Husting was the Director of Investments and Deposit Programs for the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office where he managed all aspects of the State’s $3.5 billion investment portfolio. Mr. Husting has also worked in county government as the Deputy Treasurer for the Johnson County, KS government. Mr. Husting began his career in finance in 1989 with Ernst and Young’s national cash management consulting practice.
Mr. Husting earned an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. degree from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Russell K. Ivinjack, Senior Partner, Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting
Russ, partner, serves as the primary consultant to a number of the firm’s retainer and project clients. In conjunction his work with the firm’s corporate and public pension clients, Russ chairs the firm’s U.S. Investment Committee. Russ previously led the development of our alternatives investment capabilities and global equity manager research teams.
He has written research papers on defined contribution plan issues, including pieces on participant education requirements and what fiduciaries need to know when selecting asset allocation and fund selection models for participant-directed plans.
Prior to joining the firm in 1994, Russ spent nearly two years in SEI Corporation's performance evaluation area.
Russ holds a B.S. degree in finance from Northern Illinois University and an M.B.A. degree from DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.
Rodney June, Chief Investment Officer, Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System, (LACERS)
Rod began his career with the $14 billion Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS) in 1998 where he has served as its CIO since 2012. Prior to being named CIO at LACERS, he served for over four years as CIO for the $14 billion State of Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System, where he developed a long-term operational strategic plan and launched an in-state innovative technology investment program.
Prior to joining LACERS, he was a Banking Officer with First Interstate Bank of California, a small business consultant for The George S. May Company, and a Finance Development Officer with the City of Los Angeles Housing Department.
Rod was founder of the LEAD Association, a non-profit scholarship and service organization at California State University, Long Beach, and a past Board member of the Jonathan Tarr Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to underserved college-bound students from San Diego, Imperial, and Orange Counties in California.
He holds a B.S. in Business-Finance from California State University, Long Beach, where he was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society, and an M.B.A. from Auburn University.
Andrew Junkin, CFA, CAIA, President, Wilshire Consulting
Andrew Junkin is President of Wilshire Consulting and is a member of Wilshire’s Board of Directors and Wilshire Consulting's Investment Committee. Mr. Junkin leads over 90 consulting professionals who serve Wilshire’s consulting clients, and provides strategic leadership to Wilshire Consulting.
Mr. Junkin joined Wilshire in 2005. Throughout his tenure at Wilshire, he has worked directly with large institutional investors of all types: public and corporate defined benefit plans, foundations, endowments and insurance companies. He has 22 years of investment experience with the last 21 years in the consulting industry. Prior to joining Wilshire, he was director of research and senior consultant at Asset Services Company where he provided advice to institutional investors. Mr. Junkin began his career as a financial consultant with Merrill Lynch in Oklahoma City. He earned a B.S. from Oklahoma City University, attended business school at the Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma and earned his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Junkin holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations.
Pete Keliuotis, CFA, Senior Managing Director, Cliffwater LLC
Pete is a Senior Managing Director of Cliffwater LLC in our New York office and a member of our portfolio advisory team. Prior to joining Cliffwater in 2014, Pete was a Managing Director and CEO of Strategic Investment Solutions where he led the general and private markets consulting teams and consulted to several large institutional investors. Previous experience includes working as a principal and senior consultant at Mercer Investment Consulting and working at Hotchkis and Wiley and Northern Trust Company.
He earned a BS in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his MBA in Analytic Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.
Mike Krems, CFA, Managing Director, TorreyCove Capital Partners
Mr. Krems leads the identification, analysis, and selection of private market investments, in addition to working directly with several of the Firm’s clients. He has 10 years of private equity experience and is also a member of the Firm’s Investment Committee. Prior to forming TorreyCove, he was a Senior Vice President at PCG Asset Management, LLC. Mr. Krems previously worked at Smith Breeden Associates, a fixed income money manager with approximately $13 billion under management during his time with the firm. While there, Mr. Krems worked on the corporate bond trading desk, focusing on the energy and utilities industries. Prior to Smith Breeden, Mr. Krems worked in the investment banking division of Prudential Securities. Mr. Krems received his Bachelor’s degree from Duke University, his Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a CFA charterholder. Mr. Krems also was the recipient of the Ford Foundation grant for international research, through which he studied macroeconomic issues in South Africa.
Todd Lapenna, Partner, Infrastructure & Real Assets, StepStone
Mr. Lapenna focusses on supporting global investors to implement their infrastructure and real asset investment strategies.
Prior to joining StepStone, Mr. Lapenna was a Portfolio Manager at CalPERS where he led new investments, strategy and portfolio construction for the Infrastructure Program. Prior to joining CalPERS, Mr. Lapenna held various investment and capital markets roles at the Royal Bank of Scotland, CIT, Export Development Canada and Westcoast Energy. Mr. Lapenna has led strategic plan development, portfolio design, and policy development in addition to sourcing, negotiating, structuring and executing numerous debt and equity investments in private market power, renewables, energy, utilities, transportation, water and industrials.
Mr. Lapenna holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance) from Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Canada), as well as the Chartered Financial Analyst, Financial Risk Manager, Energy Risk Professional and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations.
John Linder, CFA, CPA, Consultant, Principal, Pension Consulting Alliance, LLC
Since 2009, Mr. Linder has been a senior consultant with Pension Consulting Alliance, LLC, providing ongoing and project-based advice to investment committees, boards, and executive staff of plan sponsors. In addition to his client facing responsibilities, he conducts ongoing research on capital markets, portfolio construction, risk management and investment strategies.
A native of Minnesota, he received his BA from Middlebury College, and his Masters from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC Chapel Hill. He and his family reside in the Yamhill County pinot noir region of Oregon.
Zeke L. Loretto, Director Head of EBay Global Investments, eBay
Zeke L. Loretto, is Director Head of EBay Global Investments. At EBay, Mr. Loretto is responsible for the portfolio management, trading, and business management of EBay's $10.1Bn in-house fixed income liquidity portfolios. Prior to EBay, Mr. Loretto worked at SilverLake Credit Fund, a $400mm High Yield Leveraged Loan Portfolio, as Director Senior Credit Analyst. Prior to SilverLake, Mr. Loretto was Vice-President Senior Credit Analyst at Wells Capital Management/Sutter Credit Strategies, a $3.5Bn High Yield Credit Portfolio. Prior to Wells Capital, Mr. Loretto was Vice-President/Co-Head of Wells Fargo’s Proprietary Investment Group, a $2.5Bn High Yield Credit Portfolio. Mr. Loretto received a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Bachelors of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley.
Timothy F. McCusker, FSA, CFA, CAIA, Chief Investment Officer, Partner, NEPC, LLC
Tim joined NEPC in 2006 and began his career in the investment industry in 2002. Tim is responsible for overseeing Investment Research at NEPC, a group of 49 professionals including dedicated teams focusing on Alternative Investments, Traditional Strategies, and Asset Allocation. As CIO, Tim leads investment strategy development for NEPC including market assessment and outlook, communication of key themes and best ideas, as well as evaluation of investment strategies. Tim also works closely with a wide variety of clients to construct investment portfolios to meet their long-term objectives. Tim chairs the Partners’ Research Committee, and is a member of the Traditional and Alternative Research Due Diligence Committees and the Asset Allocation Committee. Additionally, Tim is a member of the firm's Management Group. Tim was named in CIO magazine’s “The Knowledge Brokers 2016” edition as one of the world’s most influential investment consultants. In 2015, Tim topped CIO magazine’s 2015 annual ranking of the world’s most influential investment consultants in the Generalist consultant category. In 2014, Tim was recognized by CIO magazine in their edition titled “The Knowledge Broker” as one of the top 25 of the world’s most influential investment consultants. Tim ranked 6th out of the 25 consultants recognized.
Prior to becoming Chief Investment Officer, Tim served as NEPC’s Director of Traditional Research, overseeing long-only manager research and Asset Allocation. Previously, Tim worked in Asset Allocation and Manager Research functions, where his responsibilities included maintaining and developing asset allocation models and frameworks used broadly by NEPC clients as well as Global Asset Allocation and Risk Parity manager research. Before joining NEPC, Tim was an associate at Towers Perrin, where he provided actuarial consulting advice and addressed plan asset-liability issues for clients.
Tim earned his B.A. in Mathematics from Colgate University. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA), and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investments Analyst (CAIA) designations.
Brian McDonnell, Managing Director and Head of Global Pension Practice, Cambridge Associates
Focus and Experience
Brian is the Global Head of Cambridge’s Pension Practice and a Managing Director. He is responsible for the firm’s work with over 120 plan sponsors globally, and works directly with retirement plans and institutional investors who hire Cambridge Associates for fiduciary management and staff extension services. Brian’s clients range in size from $100 million to over $10 billion.
Brian has over 13 years of investment experience. Prior to joining Cambridge Associates in 2008, Brian was a Senior Associate at Parthenon Capital, a middle-market private equity firm in Boston with approximately $2 billion in assets under management. Prior to this, he covered the transportation industry as an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York City.
- MBA, Harvard Business School
- BA in Economics and Political Science, Williams College
John Nicolini, CFA, Managing Director, Verus
John Nicolini brings over 13 years of experience in capital markets and research as well as consulting services to Verus’ institutional clients. John leads Verus’ real assets consulting practice and provides general consulting services to a select group of institutional clients.
John is also a shareholder of the Firm.
Prior to joining Verus in 2016, John led the real assets consulting practice at SIS in addition to serving as a general consultant to several public plans and foundations. Before SIS, John worked in the manager research group at Highland Associates in Birmingham, Alabama. At Highland Associates, John was responsible for the firm’s traditional asset class and real asset manager research functions. In addition, he worked closely with institutional investors in developing asset allocations and capital market projections. Prior to Highland Associates, John worked with WAKM Asset Management in manager research and client service.
John is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder and is a member of the CFA Institute. John has a BS in Finance from Auburn University.
Eugene L. Podkaminer, CFA, Senior Vice President, Capital Markets Research, Callan Associates, Inc.
Eugene L. Podkaminer, CFA, is a Senior Vice President and a consultant in the Capital Markets Research group. Eugene is responsible for assisting clients with their strategic investment planning, conducting asset allocation studies, developing optimal investment manager structures, and providing custom research on a variety of investment topics. Eugene is a shareholder of the firm.
Prior to joining Callan in 2010 Eugene spent nearly a decade with Barclays Global Investors. As a Senior Strategist in the Client Advisory Group he advised some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated pension plans, non-profits, and sovereign wealth funds in the areas of strategic asset allocation, liability driven investing, manager structure optimization, and risk budgeting. As Chief Strategist of Barclays’ CIO-outsourcing platform Eugene executed CIO-level functions for corporate pension plans and endowments. Eugene was also a Senior Investment Consultant with Alan Biller and Associates.
Eugene received a BA in Economics from the University of San Francisco and an MBA from Yale University. He earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Society of San Francisco and CFA Institute, where he consults on curriculum development. He is a frequent speaker on investment related topics and has been featured in numerous publications; in 2014 he was named CIO Magazine’s “Consultant of the Year”. His paper on risk premia investing, “Risk Factors as Building Blocks for Portfolio Diversification: The Chemistry of Asset Allocation,” was published by the CFA Institute and his article on smart beta, “The Education of Beta: Can Alternative Indices Make Your Portfolio Smarter,” was featured in the Journal of Investing.
Ruth Ryerson, Executive Director, Wyoming Retirement System
Ruth Ryerson serves as executive director of the Wyoming Retirement System. As executive director, she is responsible for running the $7.7 billion system, which serves roughly 42,000 public employees in Wyoming and 23,000 retirees. Ryerson manages the staff and day-to-day operations, and also serves as WRS board secretary. She joined WRS in August 2013.
Ryerson brings to the position 30 years of experience in the retirement industry. Prior to joining WRS, she served as executive director and chief investment officer of the Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund, a position she held from 2006 through July 2013.
Ryerson also spent 19 years at the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado in Denver serving as accounting manager in 1987, deputy executive director in 1991 and chief executive officer from 1993 to 2006. Before working for the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado, she worked as an audit supervisor for the city auditor’s office in Colorado Springs.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Finance from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA in International Business from Regis University, Denver. Her professional certifications in accounting and finance include CPA, CIA, CMA and CGFM, and her pension and benefits certifications include CEBS, CPP, CPE, and AIFA. In April 2015 she was presented with the Executive Director of the Year Award by Institutional Investor.
Leighton A. Shantz, CFA, Director of Fixed Income , Employees Retirement System of Texas
A veteran to institutional investing with over two decades of experience, Leighton currently serves as the Director of Fixed Income and Risk Committee member for the $25 billion Employee Retirement System of Texas. He has lead the transformation from a traditional core-plus style mandate into separate and distinct Rates and Credit portfolios utilizing both internal and external managers. Prior to ERS Leighton was a Managing Director and Investment Committee member for the Lockheed Martin Investment Management Company, where in early 2006 he initiated the transformation of its $6 billion defined benefit plan’s core-plus style fixed income portfolio to an internal long duration U.S. Treasury mandate. He eventually oversaw the investment of the company’s entire $23 billion savings plan. Prior to being recruited to Lockheed, Leighton was the senior fixed income portfolio manager at the $40+ billion Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, served on Sandia National Laboratories investment committee, and is a former president of the Nashville Society of Financial Analyst, the local affiliate of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute. He has been a Chartered Financial Analyst since 1996, did his Ph.D. work in Finance at the University of Tennessee, and graduated with honors in Economics from Rhodes College, where he won the Wall Street Journal student achievement award in Finance. Awarded the 2014 Institutional Investor – Investor Intelligence Network Investor Intelligence Award for Fixed Income & Credit, and played a key role in his employer winning 2015 ETF.com Best Institutional ETF User Award.
- His shirts never wrinkle.
- He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels.
- He is left-handed and right-handed.
- On every continent in the world, there is a sandwich named after him.
- Mosquitos refuse to bite him purely out of respect.
- In museums, he is allowed to touch the art.
- He has won the lifetime achievement award, twice.
- If he were to punch you in the face, you would have to fight off the urge to thank him.
- He bowls overhand.
- When he drives a new car off the lot, it increases in value.
- Once while sailing around the world, he discovered a short cut.
- His hands feel like rich brown suede.
- His business card simply says “I’ll call you.”
John Shearman, Partner, Portfolio Analyst, Albourne America
John Shearman is a Partner at Albourne Partners where he advises institutional investors on alternative investments. John recently returned to Albourne after a 4-year break, during which time he was CEO of IV Lions LLC, a registered investment adviser specializing in the use of liquid alternative investments. In addition, Mr. Shearman also spent time as a managing director at TeamCo Advisers, a fund of hedge funds. Before originally joining Albourne in 2003, John was a senior analyst and developer at Goldman Sachs in London. In June 2012, he was named Hedge Fund Consultant of the Year by Institutional Investor at the 10th Annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards in New York. This was Mr. Shearman’s second nomination for the award. He holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation and has authored 2 books; “Foundations of Investing” and “Liquid Alts - A guide for financial advisors and advanced investors”.
Bryan P. Shipley, CFA, CAIA, Co-Chief Investment Officer, Arnerich Massena, Inc.
As co-Chief Investment Officer, Bryan Shipley provides guidance and leadership to the firm’s Investment Committee, helping to drive the firm’s investment philosophy and process. As head of traditional and real asset investments, Bryan Shipley oversees traditional investment manager research, including sourcing and conducting primary and ongoing due diligence within the traditional investment universe. He also heads the research effort in real assets including public and private real estate, commodities, timber, natural resources, infrastructure, and sustainable investing. In addition, Mr. Shipley provides guidance on client projects such as portfolio reviews, asset allocation modeling, and manager structure studies. He is a member of Arnerich Massena’s Investment Committee, Product Committee, and Portfolio Management Committee.
Mr. Shipley has more than 18 years of experience in the financial industry. Prior to joining Arnerich Massena in 2003, Mr. Shipley served as an associate for Wurts & Associates, where he conducted traditional and alternative investment manager research and due diligence and oversaw a planned giving investment program. His responsibilities also included asset allocation modeling, performance evaluation and attribution reporting, and quarterly market analysis.
Mr. Shipley holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in finance from Western Washington University. He has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Portland. He also holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation.
Bryan Shipley has been an I AM Learning Partner for more than eight years. I AM Learning Partners volunteer as mentors, working directly with children in Arnerich Massena’s I AM Learning Partnership math, literacy, enrichment, and summer camp programs at a local elementary school.
John D. Skjervem, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Oregon State Treasury
Mr. Skjervem leads an investment team at the Oregon State Treasury (OST) that manages a financial and real asset portfolio valued at $92.7 billion as of December 31, 2016. That portfolio includes the $70.5 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund and various other educational, insurance and state agency accounts.
Prior to his appointment at OST, John held a variety of portfolio management and leadership positions at Northern Trust including Chief Investment Officer for the firm’s then $170 billion (AUM) Personal Financial Services division. John started his career as an associate economist for consultants Natelson Levander Whitney, and also worked as a public finance specialist for investment bankers Ehrlich Bober & Co.
John earned an M.B.A. with concentrations in finance and statistics from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, and received a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and serves on the Pacific Pension Institute’s board of directors. John is also a former director of the CFA Society of Chicago and an honorary member of the St. Francis Foundation in Santa Barbara, CA.
Jennifer Young Stevens, Principal, The Townsend Group
Jennifer Stevens joined The Townsend Group in 2004 and is currently a Principal based in the San Francisco office. Ms. Stevens is also the lead Principal and primary relationship manager for a number of the firm’s Advisory clients, which include U.S. public pension plans, Australian superannuation plans and family offices. Ms. Stevens provides clients with information related to Strategic Planning, Investment Planning, Manager/Fund Due Diligence, Benchmarking, and Portfolio Analysis. Programs include investments in a wide range of structures including separate accounts, commingled funds and co-investments. On behalf of The Townsend Group, Ms. Stevens is an Advisory Board member for the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and serves as Townsend’s signatory representative for the United Nations Principals of Responsible Investment (UN PRI). Ms. Stevens also represents Townsend’s investor interests on multiple Advisory Committees and is a frequent speaker/panelist at industry events.
Ms. Stevens is a member of the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) Membership Committee, the California State Association of County Employees’ Retirement Systems (SACRS) and Urban Land Institute (ULI). Ms. Stevens was awarded the Institutional Investor/Money Management Intelligence designation for Rising Stars of Public Funds in 2013 and the inaugural GRESB Investor Leadership Award in 2016.
Ms. Stevens received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Ohio University. Ms. Stevens was appointed to the Board of Directors of Ohio University’s College of Business Society of Alumni & Friends in 2014 and currently serves as its elected President.
Ian Toner, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Verus
Mr. Toner is responsible for ensuring that the research resources at the firm are focused on solving the real problems faced by the firm's clients, and on maintaining an appropriate balance between academic rigor and practical real-world client solutions. He has responsibility over all research, including manager research, capital markets research, topics of interest, and is a key contributor to the investment committee. He is particularly engaged in finding ways to ensure that new insights created at the firm are used across the whole range of clients of the firm, whether those clients are large or small, and whether the services those clients consume are discretionary or non-discretionary.
He joined Verus in late 2013 from Russell Investments in Seattle, where he was most recently director, capital markets research in the investment division. He was at Russell for 7 years, and was particularly focused on two key areas: understanding the effect of currency risk on client portfolios, and understanding and managing the complex range of risks that clients and investors experience when interacting with Wall Street. Before Russell Investments he was an executive director at UBS Investment Bank in London, and a vice president at both Schroder Salomon Smith Barney and InterSec Research Corp. Earlier in his career he worked on the sell-side of the institutional markets in London, focused on European equity markets.
Mr. Toner has a degree in Law from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and is a CFA charter holder (Chartered Financial Analyst). He is a regular author and speaker on a range of investment topics. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Seattle. Mr. Toner is a trustee of Charles Wright Academy, an independent co-educational school based in University Place, WA. He is also a board member at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, where he co-chairs the finance & audit committee. Additionally, he is a member of the advisory board of the Washington Council on International Trade.
Tom Tull, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Employees Retirement System of Texas
Tom Tull, CFA, is the Chief Investment Officer at the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS). Previously, he was a founding partner of Gulfstream Global Investors, Ltd., an SEC-registered investment adviser specializing in international equity management that was sold to West LB of Germany in January 2001.
Mr. Tull is the former Director - Employee Benefit Fund Investments for The LTV Corporation and also served as President of Western Reserve Capital Management, Inc., the pension asset management subsidiary of The LTV Corporation. In this capacity, he was responsible for the investment of a $1.2 billion retirement trust. This responsibility included the management of a $90 million international equity portfolio and the management of the outside investment manager relationships.
Prior to joining LTV in February 1983, Mr. Tull served for seven years as Director - Pension Investments of The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. He managed an in-house pension fund, introduced international
investing and other diversification policies, and performed a variety of corporate duties. His investment career began in 1971.
While in the private sector, Mr. Tull provided his expertise to ERS as a member of the Investment Advisory Committee to its Board of Trustees. He served in this role for 11 years before joining ERS as the Director of Strategic Research, focused on developing ERS’ hedge fund program and further expanding its investment program.
Mr. Tull received a B.S. in Finance from Ohio State University and an M.B.A. from Xavier University, and is a CFA® charter holder. He also is a member of a variety of financial organizations. Mr. Tull is a U.S. Army veteran.
Jim Vos, Chief Executive Officer, Aksia LLC
Jim has over 30 years of research, derivatives, and fund of hedge funds experience in New York, London and Tokyo. As the firm’s CEO, he is responsible for the overall management of Aksia and leads the firm’s top down sector and strategy analysis. He is also a member of the Portfolio Strategies Group (PSG) that formulates Aksia’s strategy views.
Prior to Aksia, Jim headed Credit Suisse’s Hedge Fund Investment Group from its inception through December 2005. The group combined the fund of hedge funds investment management of the firm’s investment bank and asset management divisions, which grew to over $8 billion AUM.
Jim started his career in 1985 when he joined Credit Suisse’s Portfolio Strategies group, working on portfolio dedications, immunizations, and total return analysis. In 1987, Jim joined the research department in Tokyo where he ran a fixed income research desk. In 1991, he relocated to New York and joined Credit Suisse Financial Products, a derivatives trading boutique. From 1991 to 1997, Jim was responsible for structuring and marketing for the asset management, hedge fund and insurance areas. In 1998, Jim launched the Sapic-98 Fund of Hedge Funds, Credit Suisse’s first institutional multi-strategy fund of hedge funds. In 2000, Jim transferred to London where he managed the investment bank’s fund of hedge funds group as well as the Fund Linked Products business. In 2003, Jim took over responsibility for investment management for the firm’s Hedge Funds Investment Group.
Jim graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985 with a B.A. in Economics. In 2009 and 2010, Jim was recognized as Hedge Fund Consultant of the Year by Institutional Investor Magazine.
David B. Wescoe, Chief Executive Officer, San Diego County Employees Retirement Association, (SDCERA)
David B. Wescoe became SDCERA’s Chief Executive Officer in September 2015, after being appointed Interim CEO in April 2015. Prior to joining SDCERA, Wescoe held many senior positions with public and private organizations and has an extensive background in law, finance and investment management.
Wescoe began his career as a corporate finance lawyer with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City and then served as Counsel to Commissioners Bevis Longstreth and James C. Treadway, Jr. of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington. After a stint as a partner in private law practice specializing in corporate and securities law, he served as Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel for NYSE-listed companies and as President and CEO of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, the broker-dealer subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual and one of the largest independent broker-dealers in the United States.
After moving to San Diego, Wescoe served as CEO of the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System (SDCERS). While in this role, Wescoe received the ‘‘Most Admired Government Agency CEO Award’’ from the San Diego Business Journal and the San Diego City Council declared March 9, 2010 ‘‘David B. Wescoe Day’’ in San Diego ‘‘in appreciation of [Mr. Wescoe’s] willingness and tremendous efforts to restore the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System’s operational integrity and credibility.’’
Following his service at SDCERS, Wescoe became the chief executive of the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans in Studio City, California. In this position, Wescoe was responsible for more than $6 billion in investment assets, 260 employees and over 120,000 participants in the motion picture industry.
Prior to his current role at SDCERA, Wescoe was President of Efficient Market Advisors, LLC, a San Diego-based independent investment advisory firm.
Wescoe is a frequent speaker on financial and pension topics, and he has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio and Governing magazine. He also testified before California’s Commission on Public Employee Post-Employment Benefits.
Devoting much of his personal time to philanthropic causes and numerous non-profit educational and arts organizations, Wescoe has served as the Board Chair of the University of Kansas Alumni Association, a Trustee of Trinity School in New York City and the Milwaukee Art Museum, and a Director of La Jolla Music Society.
A native Kansas, Wescoe holds a B.A. from University of Kansas and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Freeman Wood, Partner and North American Head, Mercer
Freeman Wood is a Partner and Director of the Americas team in the Mercer Sentinel® Group within Mercer Investments.
Freeman joined Mercer in 2009 and has a broad background and significant expertise in risk management. He leads Sentinel’s Americas team that specializes in operational, transaction, and service provider risk management consulting. This includes custodian evaluation, investment manager operational risk assessment, transitions management, and risk management governance.
Prior to joining Mercer, Freeman led quantitative market and credit risk management teams within large banks, corporate treasury functions, and regulators, and has experience in derivatives trading and alternative investment portfolios. Immediately prior to joining Mercer, he was head of investments and risk management for a hedge fund of funds. Prior to that, Freeman was with Ford Motor Company for eight years in a variety of roles including head of Enterprise Risk Management and head of International Treasury. Freeman's other experiences include four years with BNP Paribas as head of market risk for proprietary trading in New York, six years with the Federal Reserve in banking supervision, and three years equity options trading on the floor of the CBOE.
Freeman holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Allegheny College and an MBA from Northwestern's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Steve Yoakum, Executive Director, Public School and Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri, (PSRS/PEERS)
M. Steve Yoakum has served as Executive Director of the Public School Retirement System of Missouri (PSRS) and Public Education Employee Retirement System of Missouri (PEERS) since June 1, 2001. Prior to his current service, he worked in the private sector as a managing partner of Rockwood Capital Advisors of St. Louis where he was responsible for overseeing the daily operation and general business activities of the firm. He previously served as PSRS/PEERS Executive Director from 1994-97, Executive Director of the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System (MOSERS) from 1987-94, Director of the Joint Committee on Public Employee Retirement of the Missouri General Assembly (JCPER) from 1985-87 and Assistant Director of the Missouri Local Government Employees' Retirement System (LAGERS) from 1978-85.
Mr. Yoakum is a graduate of the University of Missouri school of business with a degree emphasis in public administration. In addition to his public sector service, he has served as president of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators and the Southern Conference on Teacher Retirement. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the National Institute on Retirement Security, a trustee and member of the investment committee of the Columbia, MO Police Retirement Board, and a member of the Board of Directors of TALX Corporation in St. Louis for nearly 20 years. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Coalition to Preserve Retirement Security and was Chair of Columbia, MO Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Pension Review Task Force
Kevin Zhu, Managing Director, Head of Portfolio Construction, OPTrust, OPSEU Pension Trust
Kevin Zhu is Managing Director, Portfolio Construction at OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest pension funds with assets of $18.4 billion and investment professionals in Toronto, London and Sydney.
Before joining OPTrust in 2016, Mr. Zhu was Director of Strategy & Asset Mix Group at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Teachers’), where he was part of the senior management team leading total fund asset allocation activities and driving strategic investment decisions for the pension fund.
Mr. Zhu has extensive experience in macroeconomic analysis and strategic asset allocation, and has spent several years developing the appropriate portfolio construction philosophy and framework for defined benefit pension plans. He has also spoken widely on these issues throughout his career. Prior to joining the pension industry, Mr. Zhu was a Senior Economist at the Bank of Canada.
He holds an MA in Economics from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and a BA in Business and Administration from Donghua University, Shanghai, China.