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Pension Bridge Annual Speakers 2019

 

Keynote Speaker - Day 1


Michael G. Trotsky,
CFA, Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer, Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, (PRIM)

 

Michael G. Trotsky, CFA, is the Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management (“PRIM”) Board, the entity responsible for investing the $72 billion Massachusetts pension fund, which contains the assets of the Massachusetts Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement Systems as well as the assets of approximately 100 participating municipal and county retirement systems.

 

Mr. Trotsky’s work at PRIM was preceded by a 25-year career in the private sector, most recently as senior vice president and portfolio manager at PAR Capital Management, a Boston-based absolute return strategy fund. Previously, he was a senior analyst at Greenberg-Summit Partners in Boston and also served as a principal and senior vice president at Independence Investment Associates (a John Hancock subsidiary), also in Boston. Mr. Trotsky began his professional career in 1985 as an engineer at Intel Corporation in California.

 

Mr. Trotsky serves as Vice-Chair of the CFA Society Boston and is a member of the Boston Economics Club. Mr. Trotsky previously served as a member of the CFA Institute Board of Governors and as Chairman of the CFA Institute’s Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct Advisory Committee.

 

Mr. Trotsky received a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Clifford S. Asness, PhD, Founder, Managing Principal, Chief Investment Officer, AQR Capital Management

 

Cliff is a Founder, Managing Principal and Chief Investment Officer at AQR Capital Management. He is an active researcher and has authored articles on a variety of financial topics for many publications, including The Journal of Portfolio Management, Financial Analysts Journal and The Journal of Finance. He has received five Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Awards from The Journal of Portfolio Management, in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2014 and 2015. Financial Analysts Journal has twice awarded him the Graham and Dodd Award for the year’s best paper, as well as a Graham and Dodd Excellence Award, the award for the best perspectives piece, and the Graham and Dodd Readers’ Choice Award. In 2006, CFA Institute presented Cliff with the James R. Vertin Award, which is periodically given to individuals who have produced a body of research notable for its relevance and enduring value to investment professionals. Prior to co-founding AQR Capital Management, he was a Managing Director and Director of Quantitative Research for the Asset Management Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He is on the editorial board of The Journal of Portfolio Management, the governing board of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Finance at NYU, the board of directors of the Q-Group, the board of the International Rescue Committee and the board of trustees of The National WWII Museum. Cliff received a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School and a B.S. in engineering from the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude in both. He received an M.B.A. with high honors and a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Chicago, where he was Eugene Fama’s student and teaching assistant for two years (so he still feels guilty when trying to beat the market).

 

Keynote Speaker - Day 2


William J. Coaker Jr.,
CFA, MBA, Chief Investment Officer, San Francisco Employees' Retirement System, (SFERS)

 

Mr. Coaker is the Chief Investment Officer for the San Francisco Employees Retirement System, a $24 billion pension plan.  He also served at SFERS from 2005 to 2008 on the senior investment team.  From 2008 to 2014 Mr. Coaker served as Senior Managing Director for the University of California, with investments of $80 billion in pension, endowment, and campus assets.  From 1992 to 2005 Mr. Coaker served at the Diocese of Monterey as their Chief Investment Officer and Controller where he managed the organization’s pension, endowment, and corporate assets.      

 

Mr. Coaker is a regular speaker on science, technology, and disruptive innovations, artificial intelligence, the life sciences, and China.  His education includes an MBA in Finance from Golden Gate University, a Bachelor of Science from Loyola Marymount University, and continuing education on endowment investing from The Commonfund and the Yale University School of Management.  He is a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder and a Certified Financial Planner. 

 

Mr. Coaker supports numerous animal care organizations, he is a member of the Finance Committee for Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, and he is a member of the National Council Leadership Committee for Best Friends Animal Society, the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary.    

 

 

Keynote Speaker on Macroeconomic View/State of the Markets

 

Rick Rieder, Managing Director, Global Chief Investment Officer of Fixed Income, BlackRock

 

Rick Rieder, Managing Director, is BlackRock's Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income, and Co-head of BlackRock's Global Fixed Income platform, a member of BlackRock's Global Operating Committee and Chairman of the firm-wide BlackRock Investment Council.


Before joining BlackRock in 2009, Mr. Rieder was President and Chief Executive Officer of R3 Capital Partners. He served as Vice Chairman and member of the Borrowing Committee for the U.S. Treasury and is currently a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Investment Advisory Committee on Financial Markets.


Mr. Rieder currently serves on the Alphabet/Google Investment Advisory Committee and the UBS Research Advisory Board. He was awarded the Global Unconstrained Fixed Income Manager of the Year for 2015 by Institutional Investor, was nominated for Fixed Income Manager of the Year by Institutional Investor for 2014 and was inducted into the Fixed Income Analysts Society Fixed Income Hall of Fame in 2013.


From 1987 to 2008, Mr. Rieder was with Lehman Brothers, most recently as head of the firm's Global Principal Strategies team, a global proprietary investment platform. He was also global head of the firm's credit businesses, Chairman of the Corporate Bond and Loan Capital Commitment Committee, and a member of the Board of Trustees for the corporate pension fund. Before joining Lehman Brothers, Mr. Rieder was a credit analyst at SunTrust Banks in Atlanta.


Mr. Rieder earned a BBA degree in Finance from Emory University in 1983 and an MBA degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1987. He is a member of the board of Emory University, Emory's Business School, and the University's Finance Committee, and is the Vice Chairman of the Investment Committee. Mr. Rieder is founder and chairman of the business school's BBA investment fund and community financial literacy program.


Mr. Rieder serves as Chairman of the Board of North Star Academy's thirteen Charter Schools in Newark, New Jersey and is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Graduation Generation Public School Collaboration in Atlanta. He is a Trustee for the US Olympic Foundation, and is on the International Advisory Council and Board of Advisors for the Hospital for Special Surgery. He serves on the National Leadership Council of the Communities in Schools Educational Foundation and on the board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Newark and Essex County   Mr. Rieder was honored at the Choose Success Awards ceremony in Atlanta in 2015 for his dedication to public education in Atlanta through CIS and Graduation Generation.

 

 

Featured/Keynote Session on Multi-Asset Strategies

 

Ashwin Alankar, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Global Head of Asset Allocation & Risk Management, Janus Henderson Investors

 

Ashwin Alankar is Head of Global Asset Allocation at Janus Henderson Investors. In this role, he is responsible for defining short- and long-term approaches to asset allocation. He also co-manages the Adaptive Allocation and Diversified Alternatives strategies. Prior to joining Janus in 2014, Dr. Alankar served from 2010 to 2014 as co-chief investment officer of quantitative investment strategies at AllianceBernstein. From 2003 to 2010, he was a partner and capital allocation committee member for Platinum Grove Asset Management. Dr. Alankar’s experience also includes serving as a consultant in the financial litigation division of the Law and Economics Consulting Group from 2001 to 2002.

 

Dr. Alankar earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering and mathematics and a master of science degree in chemical engineering, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds a Ph.D. in finance from the University of California – Berkeley, Haas School of Business. Dr. Alankar has 17 years of financial industry experience.

 

 

Featured/Keynote Session on Liability Driven Investment (LDI)

 

Abdallah Nauphal, Chief Executive Officer, Insight Investment

 

As Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Abdallah leads the development of Insight’s strategic business plan. Abdallah was appointed Chief Investment Officer (CIO) in September 2003 with overall responsibility for the investment management team, and in June 2006 was appointed Deputy Chief Executive. In July 2007, Abdallah became Insight’s CEO, while retaining his position as CIO. Abdallah has over 25 years’ industry experience. He has overseen the transformation of Insight from a traditional investment manager to a specialist solutions provider across LDI, fixed income and absolute return. During this time, the scope and complexity of Insight’s business and governance structures has evolved significantly. As a result, in 2016, Abdallah relinquished his CIO responsibilities, to focus on the role of CEO. Abdallah’s previous roles include CIO (fixed income) at Rothschild Asset Management and Head of Fixed Income for Schroder Investment Management Limited in London. Abdallah holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from New England College, an MS in Information Systems and an MBA in Finance and Investments from George Washington University. Abdallah also holds his Series 3 license and is an Associated Person with the National Futures Association.

 

 

 

Pension Plan and Consultant Speakers

 

Keith M. Berlin, Director of Global Fixed Income and Credit, Fund Evaluation Group

 

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 13 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, uni-tranche, specialty lending, 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. Keith resides in Cincinnati with his wife and three children. He also coaches youth ice hockey, fast pitch softball, and baseball.

 

 

Scottie D. Bevill, Senior Investment Officer – Global Income Strategies, Teachers' Retirement System of Illinois

 

Scottie D. Bevill currently serves as Senior Investment Officer for the $52 billion Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois. Mr. Bevill is responsible for all global debt portfolios, both public and private, short-term portfolios and real asset portfolios, outside of real estate for the pension fund. Mr. Bevill has been in the industry for 26 years and has been overseeing the TRS debt portfolios since 2000.  Mr. Bevill has and currently performs a number of roles outside of the global income and real return asset classes; however, remains extremely passionate about the debt markets. Mr. Bevill serves on a number of Boards and client advisory boards for several large fixed income houses.  A native southerner, Mr. Bevill graduated from Illinois College with a B.S. in Economics/Business and received his M.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois.

 

 

Anthony Breault, Senior Investment Officer, Real Estate, Oregon State Treasury

 

Anthony Breault is the Senior Real Estate Investment Officer for Oregon State Treasury where he is responsible for the allocation, performance and strategy implementaion for the Oregon Public Employees’ Retirement Fund real estate portfolio totalling over $9 billion in NAV.  Prior to joining Oregon in October 2006, Anthony was an Investment Manager with Schnitzer West in Portland and before that was with LaSalle Partners / Jones Lang LaSalle working in Boston, Hartford, Miami, and Sydney, Australia.  Prior to joining LaSalle, Anthony spent eight years active duty as an officer in the U.S. Navy where he retired from the Naval Reserves as Commander after 22 years of service.

 

 

Elizabeth T. Burton, Chief Investment Officer, Employees' Retirement System of the State of Hawaii

 

Elizabeth Burton is the Chief Investment Officer of the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii (“HIERS”), where she oversees over $16 billion in pension fund assets. HIERS provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits for employees of the State of Hawai‘i (“State”) and its counties, including teachers, professors, police officers, firefighters, judiciary employees, judges and elected officials. The defined benefit plan has both contributory and noncontributory benefit structures.


Prior to joining HIERS, Ms. Burton served as Managing Director of the Quantitative Strategies Group at the Maryland State Retirement Agency. In this role, Ms. Burton is responsible for the $4.5B Absolute Return Portfolio and for risk management oversight of the $55B Plan. Ms. Burton joined the Agency in July 2016.


Previously, Ms. Burton owned William Street Advisory—a strategic advisory practice which she founded in 2013. Prior to that role, Ms. Burton was a Senior Economist and Expert Witness with Criterion Economics. Prior to that role, Ms. Burton was a Consultant at First Annapolis where she worked on M&A transactions and consulting the payments industry. Previous positions include: Co-Portfolio and Quantitative Risk Analyst with a South Africa-based fund of hedge funds, Trader (fixed income securities) for a risk management firm, and Portfolio Management Associate with a quant-focused fund of hedge funds.  


Ms. Burton received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French, cum laude, from Washington and Lee University, and her MBA in Finance, Econometrics & Statistics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is on the board of a private residential real estate investment trust and a Trustee of The Hill School, a private boarding school. She is also a CAIA charter holder. Ms. Burton was named one of Chief Investment Officer Magazine’s Top-40-Under-40 in June 2017.

 

 

Dr. John Claisse, CEO, Albourne America

 

John Claisse joined Albourne in July 1996, relocated from London to San Francisco in July 2003 and became Albourne Group CEO in August 2015. John is an equity partner and member of Albourne’s Executive Committee and also chairs the firm’s Corporate Planning Council, which comprises Albourne’s function and region heads. John helped develop the firm’s proprietary risk analytics and was formerly the Senior Analyst for quantitative equity strategies and multi-strategy hedge funds. John remains a Portfolio Analyst working with several public and corporate plans, large endowments and foundations. John holds a first class Mathematics Degree and a PhD from Sussex University.

 

Albourne is an independent advisory firm focused on hedge funds, private equity, real assets, real estate and dynamic beta. Founded in 1994, Albourne has over 260 clients with over $450bn invested directly in alternative investments.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Edwin Denson, PhD, Managing Director, Asset & Risk Allocation, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, (SWIB)

 

Edwin Denson joined SWIB in 2018 as managing director, asset and risk allocation. Edwin previously served as managing director, strategic tilting at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). He joined CPPIB in 2013 as a senior portfolio manager in global tactical asset allocation. Prior to joining CPPIB, Edwin spent 13 years in asset allocation, currency, and risk management as a portfolio manager at William Blair & Company, managing member at Singer Partners LLC, and managing director and head of asset allocation at UBS Global Asset Management. Earlier in his career, Edwin spent seven years working as an economist at Lehman Brothers, Primark Decision Economics, and Putnam Investments, and he also briefly managed a commodity trading adviser and a quantitative equity strategy. Edwin holds a B.A. in economics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University.

 

 

Kristen Doyle, CFA, Partner, Head of Public Pension Funds, Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting

 

Kristen is a Partner within Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting (AHIC), leads the firm’s public sector business as the Public Fund Client Practice Leader, and is a member of the firm’s client advisory group. Kristen is also on AHIC’s U.S. Investment Executive Committee, which is led by Steve Cummings, Global Investment Officer and Head of North America Investment Consulting. She is located in Chicago, Illinois. As the public sector business lead, Kristen is responsible for new business development and ensuring that AHIC has the right resources, research, and expertise available for the public sector.


She also works directly with clients and currently works with six retainer consulting clients, where she is either the lead or co-lead. These clients range from $200 million to $400 billion in assets under management and are primarily public pension plans. She brings these clients expertise in the areas of asset allocation advice, risk budgeting, asset/liability reviews, investment policy development, benchmarking, manager selection and structure, and asset class structure.


Kristen previously led the trust services team in the U.S. focused on custody, securities lending, and transition management. With regard to transition management, Kristen was also previously the global head of transition management, responsible for managing the transition management research and implementation team in the U.S., UK, and Canada.


In 2014, Kristen was awarded The Rising Stars of the Profession 35 Under 35 Award by Consulting Magazine and in 2016, was named to the list of Knowledge Brokers: New Guard published by AiCIO Magazine, which recognizes five star consultants that will transform their firms and industry in the next five years. Kristen is also a member of the Board of Governors for Opportunity International, a leading micro-finance organization that provides loans and other financial services to the world’s most impoverished, and empowers them to work their way out of poverty. Prior to joining the firm in 2005, Kristen worked at Northern Trust in the custodial operations group for more than two years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Denison University. She is a CFA charterholder and member of CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Chicago

 

 

David Eager, Executive Director, Kentucky Retirement Systems, (KRS)

 

As Executive Director, Mr. Eager is responsible for the overall management of more than 245 employees and the numerous operations of the Systems, which currently has over 372,000 members and $17 billion in assets.  He represents the retirement systems on public policy matters, including issues before the Kentucky General Assembly, and serves as the KRS liaison to Executive Branch agencies and the general public. 

Mr. Eager was originally appointed to the KRS Board of Trustees in April, 2016 by Governor Bevin.  In August, 2016, he was named Interim Executive Director and served in that capacity until April, 2018 when the Board voted to make him the Executive Director.


Mr. Eager has a long history working in the investment industry.  He began his career at Gerber Products Company where he was responsible for the firm’s investor relations and retirement plan and insurance assets.  He also administered the in-house pension equity portfolio and the portfolio of their Gerber Life Insurance Company.  Mr. Eager then moved to Merrill Lynch’s Institutional Department where he was responsible for managing commodity hedging clients, and later joined Meidinger Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky where he ultimately headed their investment consulting practice and was a Division Manager overseeing their benefits offices in Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Louisville.  After Mercer’s acquisition of Meidinger, he managed Mercer Investment Consulting and was a Global Partner.


Mr. Eager then founded Eager & Associates, a firm that provided management consulting and marketing research to a wide variety of investment management firms in the United States and Europe.  Mercer later acquired Eager & Associates, after which Mr. Eager continued to manage Mercer’s Eager Manager Advisory, and was also retained by Driehaus Capital Management to serve as their Director for Product Development.

Along with two former Eager and Associates partners, Mr. Eager co-founded Eager, Davis and Holmes, which continued to provide the service Eager & Associates offered.  When Mr. Eager was first named Interim Executive Director of KRS he resigned from the KRS Board and became an inactive partner in Eager, Davis & Holmes.


Mr. Eager received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from The Ohio State University and a MBA with honors from Western Michigan University.

 

 

Peter E. Ehret, CFA, Director of Internal Credit, Employees Retirement System of Texas

 

As Director of Internal Credit, Peter Ehret, CFA, heads ERS’s internal high yield investing effort, which he established in 2013. He developed ERS’s high yield investing process and infrastructure and continues to develop the portfolio and team.


Prior to ERS, Mr. Ehret was head of high yield investments and lead portfolio manager at Invesco, Ltd., where he led the turn-around of a struggling team, implemented a new investment process and created a top quintile 10-year performance record. At Invesco, he managed more than $3 billion in assets in a variety of structures. Before it was sold to Invesco, Mr. Ehret worked at Van Kampen Investments, where he was director of high yield research, a portfolio manager who helped re-draw the investment process and lead portfolio manager for closed-end funds. While at Van Kampen, he also gained experience with investment grade and municipal securities. Prior to that, Mr. Ehret worked in commercial real estate finance at the Bank of Nova Scotia. Throughout his career, Mr. Ehret has contributed as an analyst contributing investment ideas.

 

Mr. Ehret earned a B.S. in Economics with honors from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and an M.S. in Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a CFA® charterholder.

 

 

Christy Fields, Managing Director – Real Estate, Pension Consulting Alliance, (PCA)

 

Ms. Fields is a Managing Director and practice leader of Real Estate Consulting Services at PCA. She is also an owner and member of the Board of Directors of the firm. Ms. Fields has extensive experience in structuring and analyzing real estate transactions, developing investment strategy, analyzing manager fees and performance, evaluating manager reporting practices, and supervising and negotiating workouts on behalf of her clients.


Earlier in her career, Ms. Fields was a Senior Consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Real Estate Consulting Services Group based out of Honolulu where she specialized in real estate investment analysis, lease negotiations, property and small business appraisal, property-level acquisition due diligence, and tourism and master planning studies. While at PwC, Ms. Fields was actively involved in several large RTC restructurings, including the 1,000+ asset Circle K portfolio.


Ms. Fields is an active member of numerous industry organizations and has participated as a speaker at PREA, PERE, NCREIF, ULI, and several emerging manager conferences.  Ms. Fields received her Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and her Masters in Business Administration from Yale University’s School of Management.

 

 

David E. Francl, Managing Director, Absolute Return, San Francisco Employees' Retirement System, (SFERS)

 

David Francl is Managing Director of Absolute Return for the City and County of San Francisco Employees' Retirement System (SFERS) where he oversees a $3 billion absolute return program.   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.  David’s two decades of experience span the capital markets and include corporate acquisitions, co-investments, secondary market transactions and extensive alternative investment manager research and selection.  His educational background includes a BBA from the University of Wisconsin and MBA from the Haas School of Business, UC – Berkeley.  Additionally, he is a Certified Public Accountant.  He is a member of the Berkeley-Haas Hedge Fund Strategies Advisory Panel and guest lecturer at the Haas School of Business, UC-Berkeley, as well as a frequent speaker at investment industry events.  David is a founding member of the San Francisco Absolute Return Institute and serves on the investment committee of a faith-based Bay Area non-profit.

 

 

Michael Frerichs, State Treasurer; Trustee, Illinois State Treasurer’s Office; Illinois State Board of Investment

 

Michael Frerichs (FRAYR'-iks) was elected Illinois State Treasurer in November 2014 and re-elected in November 2018. In Illinois, the Treasurer’s office predates the state’s incorporation in 1818. Voters in 1848 chose to make it an elected office. Frerichs is the 74th person to serve in this role.

 

In Illinois, the Treasurer is the state’s Chief Investment Officer and Frerichs is a Certified Public Finance Officer. The office invests money on behalf of the state and local units of government. Mike also believes in providing individuals with the tools so that they can invest in themselves.

 

He does this by encouraging savings plans for college and trade school, increasing financial education among all ages, removing barriers to a secure retirement, and protecting residents from predatory companies.

 

The Treasurer’s Office actively manages approximately $30 billion. The investment approach is cautious to ensure the preservation of principal. The investment returns are significant: For every $1 spent to run the office, Mike nets $42 for the state’s residents.

 

Since taking office in 2015, Mike has made significant strides in the fight for consumers by making sure Illinois residents get what is owed to them through the Unclaimed Property Program. A record-breaking $180 million in forgotten cash and stock was returned to individuals, employers, and non-profits in Fiscal Year 2018. By making changes to the Bright Start and Bright Directions College Savings Programs, Mike has lowered fees and provided more investment options, making college more affordable for families saving for their child’s future.

 

Under Mike’s leadership, Illinois now leads a multi-state alliance that allows parents of children with blindness or a disability to save for their child without jeopardizing their federal disability benefits.  Achieving a Better Life Experience Program (ABLE) is the national standard, offering high-quality and low-cost investment options. 

 

Mike was born in the Downstate farming community of Gifford, Illinois. He graduated from Yale University and spent two years in Taiwan where he taught English to young students and learned to speak Chinese. He returned to Champaign County and launched his own technology business. He was elected to the Champaign County Board and elected Champaign County Auditor. He also served as a volunteer firefighter.

 

In 2006, Mike was elected Illinois State Senator representing East Central Illinois. As chairman of the Higher Education Committee, Mike championed efforts to make college more affordable. He also served as chairman of the Agriculture and Conservation Committee.

 

Frerichs currently serves as Vice Chairman of National Association of State Treasurer’s Legislative Committee as well as Trustee on the Illinois State Board of Investment.

 

Mike lives in Champaign with his young daughter, Ella.

 

 

Dominic Garcia, Chief Investment Officer, Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico, (PERA)

 

Dominic Garcia serves as Chief Investment Officer for the New Mexico PERA, a $16 billion pension system that serves over 90,000 members and provides over $1.1 billion in annual benefits. At New Mexico PERA, Dominic has led the effort to integrate a risk-based approach, separating Alpha and Beta in its investment philosophy, which has helped the system produce strong risk adjusted returns and exceed benchmarks. Dominic is a native of New Mexico and began his allocator career over 15 years ago at New Mexico PERA as a Deputy CIO and came back home to re-join the system in 2017 as CIO. In between, for nearly a decade, Dominic served on the Investment Committee and as a Senior Alpha Manager at the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB). Dominic has been a speaker at numerous industry events and he and his teams’ have received numerous industry-wide awards recognizing their innovative work. Dominic was also named 40 under 40 for three consecutive years by industry publications. Dominic is a member of the Santa Fe Community Foundation, Impact Investing Committee and a member of the Managed Funds Association (MFA) Institutional Investor Advisory Council. Dominic has degrees from the University of New Mexico and University of Chicago and lives in an old adobe home in Santa Fe, NM with his wife and three children.

 

 

Glen R. Grell, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System

 

Mr. Grell is the Executive Director of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS), a $54 billion public pension system headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and currently the 16th largest state-sponsored defined benefit public pension fund in the nation with a membership of nearly 256,000 active school employees and over 230,000 retirees.  Since coming to PSERS as Executive Director in May 2015, the Fund has grown from $51 billion to $54 billion and the Funds invested internally increased from $16 billion to $22 billion.

Previously Mr. Grell served as the elected State Representative for the 87th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 2004 to 2015.  He also served as the House Republican Caucus’ representative as a member of the PSERS Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2015. During his tenure in the House of Representatives, Mr. Grell was co-author and Floor leader for Act 120, the 2010 public pension reform legislation that created Classes T-E and T-F and introduced the concept of a “shared investment risk” calculation within a defined benefit pension plan. 


Mr. Grell was also an attorney in private practice in Central Pennsylvania prior to his election as State Representative.  From 2000 to 2005, he served as Solicitor of Hampden Township, the largest municipality in Cumberland County.  He also served as Deputy General Counsel to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge from 1995 to 2000.


Mr. Grell is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR) and currently serves as the NCTR Board Liaison on the Legislative Committee. Mr. Grell has been a member of the Shippensburg University Council of Trustees since 1995.  He also serves on the Board of the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation and is chairman of its Scholarship Committee. 


Mr. Grell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Johns Hopkins University in 1978, as well as his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law in 1981.

 

 

Richard W. Ingram, Executive Director, Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois

 

Dick Ingram has delivered more than 35 years of accomplished executive leadership in corporate, government, and non-profit organizations. He assumed his current duties with the Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois in January, 2011. As executive director, he heads a bellwether public pension fund, with more than $51 billion in assets and 400,000 members.


Prior to joining Illinois TRS, Ingram led the New Hampshire Retirement System as well as several non-profit and public service organizations in New England.  Ingram’s corporate work included senior executive roles in the investment management and financial services sector where he was responsible for delivering treasury, financial and marketing services to a nationwide clientele. His early career was in the Boston office of Arthur Andersen & Co., where his clients included investment firms, banks, and financial service companies.


Mr. Ingram has served on numerous boards overseeing a variety of organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life in the communities where he has lived, and has also served on several elected and appointed local government boards in New Hampshire and as an adjunct instructor at the University of New Hampshire’s Paul College of Business and Economics.


A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mr. Ingram holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Rhode Island, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

 

 

Andy T. Iseri, CFA, Senior Vice President, Global Manager Research, Callan

 

Andy T. Iseri, CFA, is a senior vice president and a non-U.S. investment consultant in Callan's Global Manager Research group. Andy began his career at Callan in 2006. He is responsible for research and analysis in the non-U.S. and global asset class including developed and emerging equity, issues surrounding currency management, as well as matters related to ESG investing. He oversees manager searches, conducts on-site visits, and attends finalist interviews. Andy is a member of Callan's ESG Committee and is a shareholder of the firm.

Prior to joining Callan, Andy spent six years selecting and evaluating domestic and international equity managers for the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS). Prior, Andy managed and traded domestic fixed income assets at CalSTRS. He also assisted in the plan's currency, securities lending, and credit enhancement programs. Before joining the investment division at CalSTRS, Andy was a senior accountant in the benefit accounting group.

Andy earned a BS in business administration and international business at California State University, Sacramento. He belongs to CFA Institute, CFA Society of Sacramento, and he is a holder of the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.

 

 

Trevor Jackson, Senior Consultant, AndCo Consulting

 

Mr. Jackson is a Senior Consultant with AndCo Consulting. He serves as lead consultant to several of AndCo’s institutional pension clients assisting in the development of asset allocation strategies as well as investment manager implementation and oversight. Trevor draws from his 20 plus years of broad investment experience working in consulting, asset management, and market research. Prior to joining AndCo, Trevor served as Senior Consultant at Summit Strategies Group where he counseled pension, foundation and health care clients on asset allocation, manager selection, and risk management. His previous roles include senior client manager at Wilshire Associates working with institutional and intermediary clients, Manager of Investments at Harris myCFO Inc. working with family office and foundation clients, and Senior Investment Analyst at former investment consulting firm Capital Resource Advisors (originally SEI Asset Consulting) working with a number of public pension, corporate, and Taft-Hartley plan sponsors. Trevor is a graduate of UC Berkeley and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP) as well as has been a volunteer/coach and program judge for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

 

 

Dana S. Johns, MSF, Senior Portfolio Manager, Maryland State Retirement and Pension System

 

Ms. Johns joined the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System in June 2011 and is a Senior Portfolio Manager in the Private Equity Group.  Ms. Johns has 15 years of experience investing and managing a global portfolio of institutional alternative investment assets. Ms. Johns has specific expertise and highly developed personal networks in top performing private equity funds. Maryland has a longstanding commitment to developing the next generation of private equity fund managers and has been actively committing capital to first time funds.

Ms. Johns is an active member of the Private Equity Women Investor Network (PEWIN) Steering Committee and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Events Committee. PEWIN awarded Maryland with the 2018 Limited Partner award for Ms. Johns’ work in transforming the private equity industry by supporting increased diversity. Continuously invited to key note at conferences including the Women’s Private Equity Summit, Women’s Alternative Investment Summit, Markets Group Private Equity US Forum, Kayo Private Equity Conference and inaugural Venture Forum, Consortium East, Emerging Manager Connect, Hispanic Heritage Foundation Investor Group, Grosvenor SEM and NVCA. Most recent panel topics included developing managers, diverse managers, diversity and inclusion, and venture capital.

Ms. Johns received an MSF from Loyola University, Maryland; a BA in Comparative Literature from Indiana University, Bloomington and a BS in Computer Science from Stevenson University. She completed the ILPA Institute’s Private Equity Executive Education program.

 

 

Meredith A. Jones, Partner & Head of Emerging Manager Research, Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting

 

Meredith A. Jones is a partner at Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting, focused on emerging and diverse manager research and responsible investing strategies. She is also an internationally recognized researcher, writer, blogger speaker and expert in the alternative investment industry. She is the author of Women of The Street: Why Female Money Managers Generate Higher Returns (And How You Can Too), which won an Axiom Award gold medal in 2016. She was also named as an Inc. magazine’s “17 Inspiring Women To Watch” and serves on the Board of Directors for Rock the Street, Wall Street, a non-profit that provides financial and investment literacy programs to high school girls.

Over the past 20 years, Meredith has presented her original research and insights to industry participants around the world. She is a frequent speaker on the international conference circuit and has had her findings published in books and major media outlets, including the Economist, the New York Times, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Journal of Investing, and others.

She began her alternative investment career at Van Hedge Fund Advisors International where she was Director of Research. She continued her research at PerTrac Financial Solutions and Barclays Capital, Inc., producing groundbreaking reports on emerging managers and diversity investing, before she became Director of the Rothstein Kass Institute, an alternative investment think tank, and then a partner at Aon.

 

 

Kristina P. Koutrakos, CAIA, Director of Portfolio Strategy, Virginia Retirement System

 

Kristina Koutrakos is the Director of Portfolio Strategies for the Virginia Retirement System. The VRS invests over $80 billion for public sector employees in the Commonwealth. Kristina is responsible for identifying and implementing cross-asset class investment ideas within the Plan’s portfolio. She is a member of the Management Committee and chairs the Strategy Working Group which facilitates cross-asset decision making. Through her work, she interacts with asset managers, research firms, and investment companies around the world.

Kristina has been an investor in the asset management industry for almost twenty years. Most recently, she founded Kyria Capital Management to develop research and deploy capital to women-run alternative investment firms. Previously, she was a Managing Director and Investment Strategist for a multi-family office. Kristina began her career in fixed income portfolio management. She was a portfolio manager at Western Asset and a Director at BlackRock, helping to build their synthetic credit platform. Kristina is a CAIA charter holder and holds a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

 

 

Raelan Lambert, Managing Director & Head of Global Private Debt, Mercer Alternatives

 

Ms. Lambert has been in the financial services industry since 1998, focusing on private equity and private markets since January 2005. Ms. Lambert joined LP Capital Advisors in January 2005, which was acquired by Pavilion Financial Corporation in 2014 and merged with Altius Associates in 2016 to become Pavilion Alternatives Group. On November 30, 2018, Mercer acquired the alternatives consulting, investment consulting and wealth management businesses of Pavilion Financial Corporation.

 

Ms. Lambert serves as the lead consultant for several clients in North America and advises others globally. Ms. Lambert has developed and delivered specialized trainings on private debt for clients, contributed to portfolio construction, and remains involved in strategic advisory work and due diligence on private debt and other opportunities.

 

Previously, Ms. Lambert was located in New York where she worked at DoubleClick, a division of Google, and focused on developing new relationships with financial institutions. Prior to that, Ms. Lambert was a consultant in American Express’ strategic technology relationships advisory group, which worked directly with the firm’s C-level executives and all divisions of the firm and its top technology partners. Ms. Lambert started her career at Goldman Sachs in the finance and wealth management divisions, including assignments in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Ms. Lambert received a BA in French Language and Literature from the University of Virginia. Ms. Lambert is fluent in French.

 

 

Todd Lapenna, CFA, CAIA, Partner, Infrastructure & Real Assets, StepStone Group

 

Mr. Lapenna is a Partner with StepStone focused on Infrastructure & Real Assets Investment & Asset Management for global institutional investors.  Prior to joining StepStone, Mr. Lapenna was a Portfolio Manager at CalPERS where he co-founded the Infrastructure Program, led the Infrastructure new investments team, and was a member of the Infrastructure, Real Assets and Private Equity Investment Committees.  Prior to joining CalPERS, Mr. Lapenna held various investment and capital markets roles at the Royal Bank of Scotland, CIT, Export Development Canada, Westcoast Energy, GE Capital and Domtar.  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 infrastructure, power, renewables, energy, utilities, transportation, water and industrials. 

 

Mr. Lapenna holds an Honors 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. 

 

 

Zeke Loretto, Senior Investment Director, Nvidia

 

Zeke L. Loretto, is the Senior Director Investments at Nvidia. He is responsible for the portfolio management, trading, and business management of Nvidia’s $7.6B in-house cash/fixed income portfolios. He manages all aspects of investment functions for Nvidia. Prior to Nvidia, Zeke was Director Head of Global Investments at EBay. During his five years at EBay, Zeke was responsible for the portfolio management of liquidity and short-duration fixed income portfolios. Before 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 $3.5B High- Yield Credit Portfolio. Before Wells Capital, Mr. Loretto was a Vice-President in Wells Fargo’s Principal Investment Group, where he co-managed a $2.5B High-Yield Credit Portfolio. Mr. Loretto earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan and a BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

 

 

Falah Madadha, Senior Investment Officer, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

 

Falah is a member of the Investments team which oversees over $10 billion of charitable assets. Falah is responsible for management of the Individually Managed Fund program, including qualification and monitoring of fund assets managed by external investment advisors. Falah also supports the investment needs of SVCF clients, including individual and corporate donors, nonprofits, professional advisors and family offices.

Before relocating to California, Falah worked for Credit Suisse Private Banking in Switzerland, as a relationship manager for high net worth individuals. Prior to that, he worked for Cambridge Associates in the Washington DC area.

Falah holds an MBA from HEC Paris and has lived across Asia, Europe, and the U.S. He is a passionate Formula 1 and soccer fan.

 

 

Farouki Majeed, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, School Employees Retirement System of Ohio

 

Farouki Majeed joined School Employees Retirement System of Ohio as Chief Investment Officer in July, 2012. Mr. Majeed comes to SERS of Ohio from CalPERS, where he served as Senior Investment Officer – Asset Allocation and Risk management from 2007 to 2012. Previously, Mr. Majeed was the inaugural CIO of the Abu Dhabi retirement Pensions and Benefits Fund of the United Arab Emirates.  He was Deputy Director, Investments, for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System from 2002 – 2004. Mr. Majeed was Chief Investment Officer for the Orange County Employees Retirement System from 1997 – 2002 and Investment Officer of the Minneapolis employees retirement Fund from 1991 – 1997. Mr. Majeed began his finance career in 1980 with the National Development Bank of Sri Lanka, his homeland, and worked in the Asia Division of Bank of America prior to arriving in the US in 1987 to pursue graduate studies. Mr. Majeed has thirty years of experience in various investment and finance education positions in the United States and abroad.

 

Mr. Majeed holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration – Finance from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from the University of Sri Lanka. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Mr. Majeed also serves on a voluntary basis as a member of the Investment Advisory Committee of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Provident fund based in Amman, Jordan.

 

 

Rich Matheson, Portfolio Manager, Agriculture and Real Estate, Utah Retirement Systems

 

Rich is a Portfolio Manager for Utah Retirement Systems (URS) where he oversees strategy development, acquisitions, and asset management for the agriculture portfolio and portions of the commercial real estate portfolio. Rich “converted” to the agriculture asset class from a primarily commercial real estate investment and appraisal background and has loved agriculture ever since! Rich is currently the chair of the NCREIF Farmland Committee. He has a Bachelor of Science in Finance, a Graduate Degree in Real Estate Development and Graduate Certificate in Urban Planning, all from the University of Utah.

 

 

Michael McCauley, Senior Officer, Investment Programs & Governance, Florida State Board of Administration, (SBA)

 

Mr. McCauley’s primary responsibilities include active strategies within corporate governance as well as investment program management for the Florida PRIME™ investment pool and other non-pension investment mandates totaling over $14 billion. He also is a member of the SBA’s Senior Investment Group, responsible for investment and operational oversight across all SBA portfolios. He serves as Corporate Secretary for both the Florida Water Pollution Financing Corporation and the Inland Protection Financing Corporation. Prior to these duties, Mr. McCauley oversaw investment communications, managed the administration of defined contribution component of the Florida Retirement System (FRS), and was responsible for investment research across all asset classes within the Chief Investment Officer’s unit.

 

Mr. McCauley is a member of the CFA Institute, the Jacksonville Society of Financial Analysts, the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, and the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN). He also sits on the advisory board of the Harvard Law School Institutional Investor Forum (HIIF).

 

In 2011, members of the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) elected Mr. McCauley to the Board of Directors, serving as Chair from 2015 through 2016. Members of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) elected Mr. McCauley to the Board of Governors in 2015, and to the Chairman role in 2017. He also serves on the ICGN’s Governance Committee. He is a founding member of the Investor Stewardship Group (ISG), helping to develop the Framework for U.S. Stewardship and Governance in 2017. He served as a member of the Working Group that developed the Shareholder-Director Exchange (SDX) Protocol in 2014. From 2009 until 2011, he served as Co-Chair of CII’s International Corporate Governance Issues Committee. Mr. McCauley served as a subcommittee member of the CFA Institute’s Global Corporate Governance Task Force from 2003 to 2005 as well as a member of the 2006 NACD/Council of Institutional Investors Joint Task Force Reviewing the Performance of Boards and Shareowners in the Post-Enron Environment.  In 2008, Mr. McCauley was named a ‘Rising Star of Corporate Governance’ by the Center for Corporate Governance & Performance at the Yale School of Management.

 

Mr. McCauley earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida (UF) and a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from Florida State University (FSU). He is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) and a Certified Treasury Professional® (CTP).

 

 

Timothy F. McCusker, FSA, CFA, CAIA, Chief Investment Officer, Partner, NEPC

 

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.

 

Eileen Neill, CFA, Managing Director, Senior Consultant, Verus

 

For more than twenty years, Ms. Neill has provided a broad range of consulting services to a variety of institutional plan sponsors with respect to the successful development and implementation of their investment programs, including risk management, strategic asset allocation, manager structure analysis, investment policy development, manager selection, and the ongoing education of their fiduciaries. ?
Ms. Neill joined Verus in 2017 from Wilshire Associates, where she served as a senior investment consultant. At Wilshire, Ms. Neill consulted to plan sponsors of varying sizes and complexity whose assets ranged from $100 million to $150 billion, a collection that included public institutions, corporate defined contribution and defined benefit plans, endowments and foundations, healthcare organizations, and insurance companies. ?

Ms. Neill has served as a guest speaker at industry conferences on a wide range of investment topics, such as ESG investing, emerging manager programs, credit strategies, currency management, investment strategy implementation, performance-based fees, portable alpha, and many others. ?


She earned a bachelor of science degree (BS) in business administration from the University of Arizona, and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with an emphasis in finance in from Chapman University. She is a CFA charterholder (Chartered Financial Analyst) and is a member of the CFA Society of Los Angeles.

Ms. Neill currently serves as an advisory council member for the Women in Institutional Investments Network, as well as an investment committee member for the Chadwick School Endowment Fund, and is on the West Coast Steering Committee for WAVE (Women’s Association of Venture and Equity). Ms. Neill is also a member of the CFALA ESG Member Community and is mentor for the CFALA Career Mentorship Program. Before entering the investment consulting industry, she was a corporate financial analyst at a Fortune 100 company. She also sits on Verus’ alternative investments committee.?

 

 

James Nield, CFA, FRM, Chief Risk Officer, Teacher Retirement System of Texas

 

James Nield is the Chief Risk Officer and has been with TRS since 2009. The Risk Group is primarily responsible for budgeting and managing the risk of the overall investment Fund with the objective to enable the efficient use of risk. In addition, the Risk Group helps to formulate strategic asset allocation (along with the asset allocation group), identify potential areas of concern, certify new managers, and also manage a number of standalone investment strategies. Mr. Nield has also helped to build out the Trust’s allocation to Risk Parity, reinsurance and currency strategies.

 

Prior to joining TRS, Mr. Nield worked for Ford Motor Company for over 10 years. At Ford, he worked in the pension group, as a derivatives trader, and as a manufacturing cost accounting supervisor.
Mr. Nield earned his MBA from New York University and graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in finance and international business.  Mr. Nield is a CFA charter holder and holds the FRM designation.

 

 

Petya Nikolova, Head of Infrastructure Investments, New York City Retirement Systems (NYCRS)

 

Petya Nikolova is the Head of Infrastructure Investments for New York City Comptroller’s Office. Ms. Nikolova developed the infrastructure program and is building the infrastructure portfolio of the New York City pension funds. Ms. Nikolova joined the Comptroller’s office from WestLB, where she was a Director in the Infrastructure Americas team originating, structuring and executing transactions across a variety of assets in transportation, social infrastructure and utilities in the Americas. Prior to this, Ms. Nikolova spent nine years with Bank of Ireland and MBIA in infrastructure origination and execution covering energy and infrastructure globally. 

 

Ms. Nikolova holds an MPA from Syracuse University and an MA/BA in Economics from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria.

 

 

Susan E. Oh, CFA, Director, Risk Parity and Currency Hedging, Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System

 

Ms. Oh is the Director of Risk Parity and Currency Hedging for the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS), a $55 billion defined benefit pension plan.  She focuses on asset allocation and strategy development to improve total fund diversification and risk-adjusted return.  She is responsible for managing a $4 billion Risk Parity mandate, with $2 billion of the mandate being managed internally.  She is also responsible for $4 billion plan-wide currency hedging strategy and $7 billion diversifying strategic derivatives-based exposures.  


Ms. Oh has been an innovator at PSERS initiating their swap overlay program in 2006, advocating for a greater risk-balanced asset allocation after the Global Financial Crisis, leading the Risk Parity initiative in 2012, and the currency hedging initiative in 2013.  These innovations have grown to become large contributors to diversification and alpha generation of the plan, and led to a greater proportion of assets managed internally.


In Ms. Oh’s 24 years at PSERS, she previously served as the Chair of the Asset Allocation Committee and senior portfolio manager of internal international public equities, which grew to $8 billion at its height. 
Ms. Oh started her career with KPMG, where she performed audit and consulting services for corporate and government clients.  She is a CFA charter holder and a licensed CPA.   She holds a B.S. degree, summa cum laude, in Accounting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. 


She serves on the Advisory Board and Women Investors’ Forum Steering Committee of the Alternative Investor Forum.  In 2018 she was named as one of the 25 NextGen luminaries by the publication Chief Investment Officer. 

 

 

Prabhu Palani, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, San Jose Police & Fire Department Retirement Plan; San Jose Federated City Employees' Retirement System

 

Prabhu Palani is the CIO of the City of San Jose's Retirement System, one of the 10 largest cities in the U.S., where he manages a $6 billion multi-asset class portfolio for two distinct plans, the City of San José Police and Fire Department Retirement Plan as well as the Federated City Employees’ Retirement System.

 

Prior to joining the public sector, Prabhu had a successful career on the buy-side as an investment strategist and portfolio manager with over 20 years of investment management experience with global leaders including Barclays Global Investors, Franklin Templeton Investments, and Mellon Capital. He has been a trusted partner in managing clients’ assets for several leading public and corporate pension plans, endowments and foundations. Prabhu holds graduate degrees from Stanford University and the University of Delaware and has both the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Accountant designations.

 

 

Mansco Perry III, CFA, CAIA, Executive Director, Chief Investment Officer, Minnesota State Board of Investment

 

Mansco Perry was named Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of the Minnesota State Board of Investment (MSBI), effective October 21, 2013. The MSBI is responsible for the management of pension and other state assets, totaling $95+ billion.

 

Prior to his appointment at the MSBI, Mansco served as the Chief Investment Officer of Macalester College, Chief Investment Officer of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, Assistant Executive Director and Deputy Chief Investment Officer of the Minnesota State Board of Investment. He has held various financial management positions at Cargill, Inc., Dayton Hudson Corporation, Target Stores, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Mansco received the Chief Investment Officer Industry Innovation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

 

Mansco has a BA from Carleton College, an MBA from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from the William Mitchell School of Law. He was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst, the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, and the Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement designations. Mansco was admitted to practice law in the State and Federal District courts of Minnesota.

 

He serves on the Board of Directors of Minnesota Workers Compensation Reinsurance Association. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of the Saint Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations, the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the Board of Trustees of William Mitchell College of Law. He has also served as a member of the Investment Advisory Council of the New York State Teachers Retirement System and on the Investment Committees of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Carondelet and the University of Baltimore Foundation.

 

Mansco was born in Newark, New Jersey. He is married to Nancy, and is the proud father of his two young daughters, Katherine Mei Xiaobing and Anna Hua. Mansco is an avid baseball fan and collector of baseball memorabilia. His other hobbies and interests include golf and numismatics.

 

 

Ronald D. Peyton, Executive Chairman, Callan

 

Ron Peyton is Executive Chairman of Callan, where he provides firm-wide oversight to improve communications, process, and service quality. He regularly meets with clients and senior industry professionals, and engages in industry and community events through speaking and service opportunities. He is also Chairman of the Callan Board of Directors and the Diverse and Emerging Manager Committee, and is a shareholder of the firm.

 

Outside of Callan, Ron serves on the Governing Board of Filoli, a National Historic Trust Preservation site, as well as on its development committee. He is also “Counselor” for the Indiana University Kelley School of Business Dean’s Council and an advocate for the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which Callan has supported for more than 20 years.

 

From 2008-2018, Ron served on the board of the United Way Bay Area and currently has a leadership position in their Tocqueville Society. He also served on the CFA Institute’s Performance Presentation Standards Implementation Committee (now GIPS) and was Chairman of the Asset Manager Code of Conduct Advisory Committee. He is also a past member of the advisory board of the University of California, Berkeley Extension, and the Castilleja School Investment Committee.

 

Prior to joining Callan in 1974, Ron worked with Marathon Oil Company’s pension investments while serving as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. Ron earned an MBA in finance and a BS in accounting at Indiana University, where he was President of the Indiana Delta Upsilon chapter his junior and senior years.

 

 

Mike Rosborough, Senior Portfolio Manager, Investment Director, Global Fixed Income, California Public Employees' Retirement System, (CalPERS)

 

Mike Rosborough joined the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) in September 2010 and is a Senior Portfolio Manager in charge of the fund’s international, emerging markets and inflation linked fixed income investments, the commodities program and the fund’s foreign exchange activities.  He is a member of the Portfolio Allocation Committee which advises the CIO on asset allocation issues.

 

With an investment career spanning over 25 years Mr. Rosborough began as a trader at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto, Canada and later headed its Asian fixed income sales and trading group in Tokyo, Japan.  He joined PIMCO in Newport Beach, California in 1994 as a portfolio manager where he founded that firm’s emerging markets fixed income practice after co-heading its international department.   In 2000 Mike joined Moore Capital, a New York based hedge fund, as a portfolio manager in the fixed income fund.  Prior to starting at CalPERS he worked in London, UK for Citigroup and CIBC World Markets as an investment strategist and proprietary trader.

 

Mike holds a BA (Honours) in Economics from the University of British Columbia.  Awarded a Mackenzie King scholarship he completed an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School.

 

 

Neil Rue, CFA, Managing Director, Pension Consulting Alliance, (PCA)

 

Mr. Rue, based in Portland, joined PCA in 1991 and has 34 years’ experience as an investment consultant for various institutions. Currently, Mr. Rue is the lead consultant to several large state and municipal funds and assists in consulting to several of the largest state pension funds in the United States. Prior to joining PCA, Mr. Rue spent seven years at Russell Investments in several product development and research-oriented capacities.

Mr. Rue has been a speaker at several industry conferences and panels, including Pensions & Investments, the CFA Institute, NASRA, NCTR, NAST, and Pension Bridge. The Money Management Letter recognized Mr. Rue as Consultant of the Year for Public Funds in both 2005 and 2011. Mr. Rue was also nominated as Consultant of the Year by CIO Magazine in 2017.

Mr. Rue, a Chartered Financial Analyst, received his Bachelor of Business Administration and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Washington.

 

 

Faraz Shooshani, Managing Director, Senior Private Markets Consultant, Verus

 

Mr. Shooshani has more than 20 years of investment and consulting experience, with over 10 years focused on private equity. He joined Verus in 2016 from Strategic Investment Solutions. Mr. Shooshani is a shareholder, and he oversees private markets research and consulting at Verus. Additionally, he is the lead consultant on a number client relationships, helping the firm’s endowment & foundations, healthcare, and public clients build and manage their private markets and alternatives investments. Mr. Shooshani is a frequent speaker at investment industry conferences globally.?


Prior to becoming an investment consultant, Mr. Shooshani was part of the investment management team at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he helped restructure and diversify the university’s endowment, charitable income trust, operating cash, and technology transfer stock portfolios. Previously he founded Catapult Ventures, a venture catalyst practice that launched seed- and early-stage startups as venture backed concerns in Silicon Valley.?


Mr. Shooshani started his professional career with Booz Allen, a global management consulting firm focused on business strategy, operations efficiency, and information systems across sectors. Additionally, he held finance and sales and marketing roles at a number of operating companies in real estate, textiles, and semiconductor industries.?


Mr. Shooshani is an active member and a volunteer at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco. He earned his master’s in business administration (MBA) from the Yale School of Management, and a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

 

Mark Steed, Chief Investment Officer, Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System Trust, (PSPRS)

 

Mark Steed was named the Chief Investment Officer for Arizona PSPRS in September of 2018. Prior to that, he was the Deputy CIO at Arizona PSPRS where he’s worked for ten years. At Arizona PSPRS, Mr. Steed has managed Private Equity, Venture Capital, Absolute Return, Opportunistic Credit, Public Equity, Global Trading Strategies and Real Estate portfolios. His creative approach and notable performance across disparate asset classes won him recognition as a “Rising Star” by Money Management Magazine and, later, “Asset Allocator of the Year” by Institutional Investor. Mr. Steed recently concluded a four-year stint as a forecaster for the distinguished Good Judgment Project, led by Dr. Phil Tetlock at UPenn, and recently published the first guest-post on the popular decision science blog Farnam Street. Prior to Arizona PSPRS, Mr. Steed worked in Banking at JPMorgan Chase.

 

Mr. Steed graduated with a Masters of Science degree in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. He also has an MBA from Thunderbird’s School of Global Management (Jost Henkel Scholar) and received his BA (with honors from Sigma Iota Rho) in Latin American Studies and Business Management from Brigham Young University.

 

 

Tom Tull, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Employees Retirement System of Texas

 

Tom Tull, CFA, is the Chief Investment Of cer 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 Bene t 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 diversi cation 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.

 

He also served a three-year term as member of the National Adjudicatory Council of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA is the largest independent regulator of securities rms doing business in the United States.

 

Mr. Tull received a B.S. in Finance from Ohio State University and an M.B.A. from Xavier University, and is a CFA® Charterholder. He also is an Advisory Board Member of a variety of organizations such as Institutional Investor and Sponsor for Education Opportunity (SEO). Mr. Tull is a U.S. Army veteran with service time in both Korea and Vietnam.

 

 

Michael W. Walden-Newman, State Investment Officer, Nebraska Investment Council

 

Michael Walden-Newman is the State Investment Officer for the Nebraska Investment Council in Lincoln. The Council manages $27 billion across 34 investment programs spread among over 70 investment firms and over 150 investments. The assets include state and local government pensions, state operating funds, and other endowments and trusts. Michael was appointed SIO in December 2014. He came to the Council after 10 years as chief investment officer for the State of Wyoming in Cheyenne, where he managed $19 billion in state non-pension permanent funds.

 

 

Thom Williams, Executive Director, Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii

 

Mr. Williams presently serves as Executive Director of the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii. He resides with his wife and daughter on Oahu. Mr. Williams is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University where he earned a BA degree in economics. His post graduate education includes a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law. Mr. Williams has previously served as a senior executive with TIAA-CREF, the world’s largest private pension fund as well as Executive Director of the Wyoming Retirement System. Private business interests include his serving as President and majority owner of Mile High Properties and President and majority owner of BMW Realty Group. Actively engaged in the communities in which he has lived, his board service has included the First Data/Western Union Foundation, the United Way, Children’s Hospital Denver, The Denver Urban Renewal Authority (Chair), Denver Botanic Gardens, the Colorado Forum and the Boettcher Foundation. Key amongst his numerous civic and professional engagements is his having served as board member and as Chair of the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

 

 

 

Laura B. Wirick, CFA, CAIA, Principal, Consultant, Meketa Investment Group

 

Ms. Wirick joined Meketa Investment Group in 2008, and has 14 years’ experience in the financial services industry. She serves as the lead consultant for public, endowment, and foundation clients, with a focus on investment and asset allocation policy, investment manager selection, and oversight of client portfolios, in addition to asset liability modeling studies. Ms. Wirick is a member of Meketa Investment Group’s Marketable Securities Investment Committee, the Strategic Asset Allocation/Risk Management Committee, the Non-Profit Advisory Group, and the public markets research team.


Prior to joining the firm, she was a Senior Investment Analyst for the Dartmouth College Endowment. While at Dartmouth, she participated in setting asset allocation policy, and selecting and monitoring both traditional and alternative investment managers for the Endowment. Prior to that, she worked with endowments and foundations as a Senior Consulting Associate at Cambridge Associates, where her responsibilities included both qualitative and quantitative analysis of client portfolios and research on fund governance issues.


Ms. Wirick received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and International Marketing from American University. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Ms. Wirick also holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation and is a member of the CAIA Association®.


Ms. Wirick is a member of the CFA Society of San Diego and the Women in Institutional Investments Network. She is an active participant at investment industry conferences, including Pension Bridge and Institutional Investor Forum events. She has been interviewed recently by several investment industry publications, including on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues by FundFire, a Financial Times publication.

 

 

 

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