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2018

Top 30 Institutional Investors In The Midwest

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The institutional investing universe is often looked upon as an industry defined by return metrics and scandals. This time around, we are highlighting 30 senior-level investment professionals tasked with incorporating long-term investment strategies at sophisticated university endowments, private foundations, health care systems, and public pensions. More specifically, we are sharing insights of talented and hardworking men and women in the Midwest, comprised of states including Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. Presenting Trusted Insight’s 2018 Top 30 Institutional Investors In The Midwest:
Brian Neale is the vice president of investments at the University of Nebraska Foundation. Brian has nearly 20 years of institutional investment experience and currently is responsible for more than $2.4 billion of investable assets on behalf of the University of Nebraska Foundation. In this role, his principal duties include establishing long-term asset allocation policies and short-term tactical tilts, manager research and selection, portfolio construction, compliance and oversight, and serving as principal investment liaison to the Foundations Investment Committee and Board of Directors. Executive management responsibilities include leading the investment office as well as serving as a member of the Foundations Executive Leadership Team. Neale holds an MBA from the College of William and Mary Mason School of Business and a B.A. from Virginia Military Institute. Show more
Chris Lett is a senior portfolio manager of private markets at the State of Michigan Retirement System. Chris is currently a portfolio manager within the VC Division, evaluating direct company co-investment opportunities as well as external managers Previously, he researched, analyzed and recommended the purchase and sale of private equity real estate investments and publicly traded equities across all market caps and sectors. Prior to that, he was a credit analyst at LaSalle Bank. Chris holds an MBA and a B.A. in finance from Michigan State University, The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management. Show more
James Clarke joined the KU Endowment in December 2015 where he leads investments on behalf of the oldest foundation for a public university in the United States. Previously, he was a partner with Fiduciary Research & Consulting, an $8.5 billion OCIO firm, and director of private investments for the Kauffman Foundation. He began his career with Nations Media Partners, an investment bank. James is a member of the boards of two private companies and several non-profits, including both of his alma maters’ foundations. He earned his undergraduate degree from Washburn University and an MBA from the University of Kansas. Show more
Sarah K. Anderson joined the University of Missouri System in 2006. She is involved in the management of the University’s $7.5 billion in assets across three portfolios, with primary responsibility over  public and private equity, hedge funds and real estate. Since joining the University, Anderson has built a young and relatively small private equity program into a mature allocation representing 10% of the Endowment and Retirement portfolios. In 2013, Anderson led the transformation of a concentrated Real Estate portfolio into the diversified portfolio it is today. Anderson represents the University on multiple Limited Partner Advisory Boards for private equity and real estate investments. She currently serves on the Education Committee for the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) and on the Limited Partner Council for the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA). ILPA and EMPEA are both global organizations. In 2017, Anderson was named one of Trusted Insights Top 30 Endowment Rising Stars. Anderson earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Finance from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Show more
Michael Dore is the director of investments at the Washington University Investment Management Company. He has been with the institution since 2012 and was a manager of public markets prior to his current role. Previously, he was the director of investments at the University of Illinois Foundation and an associate consultant at the Stratford Advisory Group. Dore holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and a BBA in finance and business administration from the University of Iowa. He also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Show more
David Barcus, Director of Investments, joined Denison University in 2011. He is currently responsible for manager selection and investment monitoring across all asset classes. Previously, he was Vice President at Amundi Alternative Investments, where he focused on hedge fund manager selection. He has nearly 20 years of institutional asset management experience having touched every facet of the investment process. David earned an MBA from DePaul University and a B.S. in accountancy from Miami University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, holds the Financial Risk Manager designation and completed the Certified Public Accountant program. Show more
 Craig Robbins is the director of investments at the Children's Hospitals Minnesota, where he has served in a senior investment role for seven years. Craig is responsible for managing the organization’s investment research and performance. This includes designing asset allocation, reviewing investment performance, interviewing investment managers, providing checks and balances on the current investment reporting structure. Prior to the Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Craig held various roles as an investment advisor and partner. Robbins holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor's degree from Carleton College. Show more
Neil Shah is the managing director of private investments and real assets at Northwestern University. Prior to joining Northwestern University, he worked at Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation as a senior investment associate. Earlier in his career, he was an investment analyst at Lehman Brothers. Neil holds an MBA from UC Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Northwestern University. Show more
Blair Webb is the director of investments at the Purdue Research Foundation. Previously, Blair was an investment officer of fixed income and credit at the Indiana Public Retirement System. Blair holds an MBA and a B.S. in finance with a minor in economics from the University of Indianapolis. Blair also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Show more
Arnaldo Ovalles is an investment analyst at Boys Town, an institution that assists at-risk children and families to succeed in life. He is responsible for evaluating existing and potential managers for all asset classes in the investment portfolio. From August 2013 to July 2016, Ovalles was an adjunct professor for the MBA program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He holds an M.S. in economics from the University of Nebraska and holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Show more
Stephen Reynard is an investment professional at State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS Ohio), one of the nation's largest retirement systems, serving nearly a half million active, inactive and retired Ohio public educators. He has served the organization since 2006. Previously, he served as a manager at Nationwide Insurance. Reynard holds a degree from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Show more
Edward Creedon is a director of private investments at the University of Illinois Foundation, Urbana. Previously, he was deputy chief investment officer and head of alternative investments at the $12 billion Maine Public Employees Retirement System. Prior to that, he was an associate at Constellation Energy, where he was part of the capital markets team of focused on private equity transaction in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Creedon holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor's degree in economics and German language from Harvard University. Show more
Scott Ryan is the director of investments at the Indiana University Foundation, where he has served for over three years. Previously, he was an associate portfolio manager and equity broker at Charles Schwab, as well as a consultant at IKON. Scott holds an MBA and undergrad degree from Indiana University. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations. Show more
Paul Chai is the director of investments at Kansas State University Foundation, where he is responsible for assisting portfolio management of investable assets, conducting due diligence on existing and prospective investment managers and analyzing pooled funds. Prior to that, he was the senior vice president at Grandway Asset Management where he managed portfolios of hedge funds, private equity and real estate investments. He had also worked in project management and engineering roles at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and at Pratt & Whitney earlier in his career. Paul holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Show more
Vanya Kovacheva is an investment officer of illiquid alpha strategies at the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System. She is responsible for assisting in the oversight and management of the illiquid portfolio investment plan. She specifically tracks performance valuation, risk management, evaluation and selection of external investment managers, and tactical allocation of investments. Previously she worked at Elevation Investment Consulting as an investment research and analysis associate where she oversaw risk and return characteristics of various asset classes. She holds an MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology, an M.S. in economics and finance and a B.S. in economics from Otto von Guericke University. Show more

Mark Franke

Managing Director of Private Equities

MacArthur Foundation

Mark Franke is the managing director of private equities at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, a portfolio with current commitments of approximately $1 billion. Franke started his career with the Foundation in January 1989 as an analyst in real estate, initially working on the undeveloped land portfolio for two years and then on developed properties for two years as a real estate representative. Franke also oversaw the domestic equity portfolio and assisted in the development of the alternative marketable strategies portfolio. Franke received a B.S. in finance from the University of Illinois. Franke holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the Investment Analysts Society of Chicago. Show more

Beth Puleo

Senior Investment Officer, Private Equity

State of Wisconsin Investment Board

Beth Puleo is a senior investment officer of private equity at the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB). Prior to the SWIB, she was an associate at Fidelity investments and an analyst at CoStar Group. Puleo holds an MBA from Edgewood College and a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Show more
Benjamin Frede is a portfolio manager of private equity and private credit at Missouri Teachers Retirement System, where he is involved in all aspects in the development, portfolio construction and implementation of the Systems' $3.75 billion private equity and private credit portfolio. Previously, he was a senior investment officer of illiquid alpha strategies at the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System. Prior to that, he was a branch support specialist at Commerce Bancshares, Inc. Frede holds an MBA and a B.S. in finance and banking from the University of Missouri, Trulaske College of Business. Frede holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations. Show more

Nathan Stacy

Senior Investment Officer

Mayo Clinic

Nathan Stacy is a senior investment officer Mayo Clinic Treasury Services for the past 17 plus years. He is mainly focused on venture capital, private equity and direct health care investments. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, he served as a business analyst at Corixa Corporation, project manager at Community Health Plan of Washington, an associate at the Lewin Group, an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office. Nathan holds a master's degree in health administration from the University of Washington and a bachelor's degree in economics and public policy from Duke University. Show more
Lewis Tracy is a portfolio manager at the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. Lewis has been with the firm since 2000 and was previously a senior investment analyst and senior equity analyst. He was also an assistant professor at Texas Tech University. Lewis holds an MBA and a PhD in Russian and literature from the Ohio State University. Show more
Jonathan Stacy is the investment officer of private markets at the Minnesota State Board of Investments. He is responsible for conducting due diligence on new commitments and developing the overall portfolio strategy regarding private equity, private credit, natural resources, and real estate. Previously, he worked as an associate at Slocum where he assisted hospital systems with asset allocation. He also was an analyst at BlackRock supporting the portfolio manager in managing client assets. He holds a B.A. in finance and business administration from Gordon College. Show more
Shannon Kuehler is a senior investment analyst of private markets at Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. She's been working at this organization for over 14 years. Earlier in her career at this organization, she was a portfolio analyst of public markets. Previously, she held various positions at state street bank and national financial data systems. Kuehler holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Kansas. Show more

Adam Smith

Director of Absolute Return, Real Assets

Cleveland Clinic

Adam Smith is the director of absolute return and real assets at Cleveland Clinic. He is responsible for supporting asset allocation, due diligence, risk analysis, performance analysis, and overall portfolio strategy. Prior to that, he was the director of investments at Mercy Health (previously known as Catholic Health Partners) where he led a five-person investment team that managed $5 billion of assets across operating, pension, and health insurance pools. He also worked as an investment strategist at Lancaster Pollard. Smith holds a B.A. in organizational and behavior management from Brown University. Show more

Shane Merriweather

Investment Officer, Fixed Income and Private Credit

Indiana Public Retirement System

Shane Merriweather is an investment officer of fixed income and private credit at the Indiana Public Retirement System. Previously, he was a fixed income portfolio analyst at Wellington Management for over five years. Prior to that, he was portfolio management associate of fixed income and an analyst at Bank of America. Merriweather holds a B.S. in business economics and public policy analysis from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business. Show more

Paige Carlson

Director of Investment Operations

Grinnell College Endowment

Paige Carlson is the director of investment operations at Grinnell College. She is responsible for maintaining robust investment infrastructure and integrating investment activities within College’s broader finance function. She oversees investment performance and provides analytical support both for the pre and post due diligence process and has been working in the invest office since 2005. Paige holds a B.A. in economics from Grinnell College. Show more

Eric Nihart

Associate Director of Investment Operations

Iowa State University Foundation

Eric Nihart is the associate director of investment operations at the Iowa State University Foundation (ISU), where he oversees the investment operations of the ISU Foundation. He is directly responsible for recording activity, reporting, and distribution of earnings, compliance, and investment allocation. He directs the flow of funds to and from managed investment accounts to maintain the proper allocation of investments as determined by the Foundation board. Previously, Eric was an associate at Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. Eric holds a B.S. in finance from Iowa State University. Show more
Jarrod Edelen is a portfolio manager at South Dakota Investment Council, where he oversees small/midcap stocks in the S&P 1000 index with a $100 million portfolio. Previously, Jarrod managed the $450 million large-cap energy, technology, and media company portfolio. Jarrod holds an MBA in finance and a B.A. in mathematics, computer science and economics from the University of South Dakota. Show more
Jeremiah Garber is a portfolio manager at Nebraska Investment Council, where he is responsible for monitoring trends and supporting the development of the investment strategy. Previously, he was an investment analyst for First Nebraska Trust developing and executing fixed income client portfolio strategy. He also worked as a credit analyst at Union Bank & Trust. Garber holds an MBA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a B.A. in business administration and Hastings College. Show more

Jill Hoge

Portfolio Manager, Marketable Investments

Advocate Health Care

Jill Hoge is portfolio manager of marketable investments at Advocate Health Care. She has held various position at the hospital system since 2009. Prior to that, she was an investment banking analyst at BMO Capital Markets. Jill holds an MBA and a B.S. in finance and science from the University of Notre Dame. Show more
Levi Erdmann is an investment analyst at the State of North Dakota, where he is responsible for monitoring the fixed income, real estate and absolute return portfolios of a $5 billion investment portfolio. He performs due diligence on prospective investment managers, master custodians and other agents that are contracted by the board. Previously, he worked at North Dakota Department of Trust Lands as an analyst where he developed programming solutions. He served as a board member and Trustee of the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System for 5 years. Erdmann holds an MBA from the University of North Dakota, a B.S. in computer science and a B.A. in international relations from North Dakota State University. Show more

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