Elin Szymanowski is a private equity investment officer at the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA), which manages the $55 billion retirement fund for the County of Los Angeles and outside Districts. In this interview, she discusses how LACERA's dynamic work environment attracts and retains top investment talent; why she's keeping a close eye on the infrastructure and healthcare sectors; and how she contributes to the industry's efforts in improving diversity.
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. In this interview, he discusses his successful experiences working with some of the largest institutional buy-side firms, why the City of San Jose takes on an endowment-like approach with exposure to private asset classes and how he plans on leveraging the proximity to Silicon Valley to generate healthy returns.
Florida SBA's Governance Structure 'Is Really Motivating,' Says Wes Bradle, Senior Portfolio Manager | Q&A
Wes Bradle is a senior portfolio manager in private equity at the Florida State Board of Administration (FSBA), where he currently monitors 18 private equity firms and 36 funds that represent more than $4 billion in committed capital. In this interview, he discusses his greatest lessons learned at CalPERS and how he's leveraged that at Florida SBA; why healthy governance doesn't always mean more governance; and his hopes for a more balanced tone towards public pensions in the near future.
Teacher Retirement System of Texas On Being 'A Top-Performing Institutional Investor' | Will Carpenter, Senior Portfolio Manager | Q&A
Will Carpenter is a senior portfolio manager for private equity principal investments with the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, where he leads deal teams in investment due diligence, valuation and ongoing portfolio management for private equity co-investments. In this interview, he discusses his experience moving back to Texas to serve that constituency after spending years in New York City, the positive impact that veteran investor Britt Harris had on TRS and the organization's next steps in being a top-performing institutional investor.
The Family Office Bullish On Asia, Its 'Wave Of Investment Opportunities' | Sasha Bernier, SVP, Cheltenham Investments | Q&A
Sasha Bernier is the senior vice president and investment committee member of Cheltenham Investments, a single-family office seeking to invest opportunistically in real estate. In this interview, he discusses why he thinks blockchain will have a major impact on real estate investing; why he encourages investors to study Asia and its tidal wave of investment opportunities; and how his academic background in law informs his approach to the markets.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation Using Machine Learning To Generate Real Alpha | Joel Wittenberg, VP & CIO | Q&A
Joel Wittenberg is the vice president and chief investment officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where he has served since 2009. In this interview, he tells us about the Foundation's project that focuses on funding emerging minority-led firms; why they're implementing machine learning technology in their investment office; and how the investment team's 9-year history and diversity are key drivers to their success.
Sarah Samuels has been a managing director at Wellesley College since September 2017. In this interview, she discusses her role as a founder of the Boston chapter of the Private Equity Women Investment Network (PEWIN); how Wellesley's smaller pool of assets, relative to her previous role in a public pension, opens a universe of investment opportunities with niche strategies; and why Wellesley plans to continue evolving their venture capital program.
Market Valuation Is 'The Main Element Of Uncertainty' | Oklahoma State University Foundation, Brian Graeme | Q&A
Brian Graeme is a senior investment associate of private strategies at the Oklahoma State University Foundation. In this interview, Graeme discusses how his past experience investing billions in the technology sector helps him better understand a manager's perspective, why the amount of dry powder in private equity is concerning and what he believes are the key drivers to the Foundation's success.
The Pittsburgh Foundation's Strategy To Achieving 'Idiosyncratic Returns' | Jonathan Brelsford, SVP Of Finance And Investments | Q&A
Jonathan Brelsford is the senior vice president of finance and investments at The Pittsburgh Foundation, where he is responsible for the financial stewardship of donated assets, as well as the Foundation's accounting and investments. In this interview, he shares more about his role at one of the oldest community foundations in the country; his strategy to achieving more idiosyncratic returns; and the qualities and characteristics that he seeks in a manager.
The James Irvine Foundation's Size 'Provides A Set Of Competitive Advantages' | CIO, Treasurer Tim Recker | Q&A
Tim Recker is the chief investment officer and treasurer at The James Irvine Foundation, where he manages the foundation's $2.3 billion endowment. In this interview, he discusses the Foundation's set of competitive advantages that allow them to generate attractive returns over the long term; why the Foundation's allocation to venture capital is overweight relative to its peers; and his take on artificial intelligence and investing in businesses that properly harness AI.