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2016

Top 30 LPs Investing In Real Assets, Real Estate

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Real assets and real estate are playing a larger role in the investment strategies for institutional investors. Pressured by the persistent low interest rate environment, investors are turning to these asset classes to hedge inflation risk, diversify portfolios and boost long-term returns. This list highlights 30 real assets and real estate experts at the nation’s leading institutions. Gain insights into real estate and real assets at Trusted Insight Alpha Conference 2017.

Sharon K. Nikonchuk is a real estate manager at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, where she began as a real estate analyst in 1981. Nikonchuk is responsible for a real estate and timber portfolio valued at more than $2 billion. Previously, Nikonchuk held various finance positions at Banker's Life and Casualty Insurance Co. and McDonald's Corp. Nikonchuk holds a BBA in finance from Western Michigan University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University.

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William Proom

Deputy Managing Director of Alternative Assets

Maine Public Employees Retirement System

William Proom is the deputy managing director of alternative assets at the Maine Public Employees Retirement System. Previously, Proom was a portfolio manager at Global Forest Partners and an investment officer at Dartmouth College Investment Office. Proom holds a B.A. in English literature and an MBA, both from Dartmouth College.

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Neal Graziano is a director of investments at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, which manages $3.5 billion in assets. Prior to joining Kellogg in 2007, Graziano was an associate portfolio manager at Mastrapasqua Asset Management and investment analyst at William Blair & Co. Graziano holds a B.A. in finance from Michigan State University, an MBA from the University of Chicago. He holds a chartered financial analyst and chartered alternative investment analyst designations. 

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Julie Nickoley is a director for the The Boeing Company's defined benefit pension fund, where she leads the pension’s $5 billion real estate and real assets portfolios. Prior to joining Boeing in 2008, Nickoley was a senior manager of the treasury at Chrysler Corporation. Nickoley holds a BBA in finance and an MBA both from the University of Michigan-Flint.

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Gloria Gil is the managing director of real estate of the University of California Office of the President. Prior to this, she was a senior investment officer at LACERA and vice president of TCW Realty Advisors. She has a B.S. in commerce, accounting and real estate from DePaul University.

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Karen Inal joined the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2010 as a senior portfolio manager. Inal works with the chief investment officer to manage the natural resources, real estate, fixed income and diversified strategies portfolio allocations. Previously, Inal spent most of her career at JPMorgan, where she was a managing director in investment banking and advised corporate clients on mergers and acquisitions, financing, and derivatives. Inal holds a B.S. in industrial engineering from Stanford University. She serves as a trustee on the Trinity School board and is a member of the investment committee. 

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John Ritter

Director of Energy and Natural Resources

Teacher Retirement System of Texas

John Ritter is the director of energy and natural resources at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, where he joined as a portfolio manager in 2002. Previously, Ritter was an assistant district attorney at the El Paso County District Attorney's Office before opening his own real estate law practice, The Ritter Law Firm, in 1999. Ritter is an adjunct finance professor at the University of Texas at Austin and holds a BBA in finance, an MBA and a J.D. from the university. Ritter also holds a chartered financial analyst designation.

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Steven Marsh is the managing director of the $1.5 billion real estate allocation at the MIT Investment Management Company. Previously, Marsh was a vice president at Boston's Children's Hospital. Marsh holds a B.S. from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Babson College.

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Mark Canavan is a senior portfolio manager at the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board. Canavan joined in 2007 leading the creation, design and implementation of NMERB’s real assets portfolio consisting of real estate, infrastructure, timber, agriculture and mitigation banking asset classes. Since then, the allocation has grown to $1.7 billion and includes energy, minerals, mining and water. Previously, Canavan was chief investment officer, senior portfolio manager and investment bureau chief for the New Mexico State Treasurer's Office. Canavan studied physics and music at Bard College and studied physics at the the University of New Mexico.

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Jason Love is a managing director at the University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO), overseeing the endowment's real estate and resource investments. He also takes the lead on direct private investments across multiple sectors. Love serves as a member of UVIMCO’s Investment Committee and is involved in all aspects of the investment process. Prior to joining UVMICO in 2012, Love spent the majority of his career as a private equity investor and investment banker. He received a B.S. in commerce from the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce and an MBA from Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business.

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Eric Lang is a senior managing director at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). He directs the investment strategy and portfolio construction of the fund’s 16% allocation to real assets, 13% allocation to private equity and 3% to energy natural resources. Prior to his current position, Lang was a managing director with Kennedy Wilson Austin. He also was an asset manager with American General Corporation. He started his career at Landauer Real Estate Counselors. He received his BBA from the University of Texas in Austin and his MBA from the University of Houston.

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Harisha Koneru Haigh

Managing Director, Private Investments and Real Assets

Northwestern University Investment Office

Harisha Koneru Haigh is a manager director at Northwestern University Investment Office. She oversees the endowment's private investments and real assets portfolio. Before joining Northwestern University in 2005, she was principle at PPM America Capital Partners. Haigh received an MBA from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

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John Graves is an assistant senior investment officer at Washington State Investment Board, where he is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and negotiating private equity investments for WSIB's Tangible Assets program. He is also responsible for new commitments of $1.3 billion since 2012 to private partnerships, co-investments and strategic direct investments. Previously, Graves was a director of research and portfolio manager at J.P. Morgan. He graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor's degree in political science.

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Brad Briner

Director of Real Assets

Willett Advisors

Brad Briner is the director of real assets at Willett Advisors LLC, the family office that manages the philanthropic assets of Michael R. Bloomberg. Briner has been with the firm since 2012. Prior to that, he was a managing director at Morgan Creek Capital Management and an associate at UNC Management Company. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Megan Hammond is a managing director at Dartmouth College Investment Office. She has been in this role since 2007. Previously, she was a managing director at Cambridge Associates, LLC for nine years. Hammond received an MBA from Yale University and a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College. 

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Verna Kuo

Director, Real Estate and Natural Resources Investments

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Verna Kuo is a director at William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where she is responsible for the foundation's real estate and natural resources investments. She has been in this role since 2006. Prior to this she was the director of real estate and natural resources investments at Stanford Management Company. Kuo received an MBA and a B.A. in public policy, both from Stanford University.

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Rina Bhagwati is a managing director at C.M. Capital Corporation, where she is responsible for the firm's real estate portfolio in excess of $500 million. She has been in this role since 2005. Prior to this, she was a consulting associate at Jones Lang LaSalle. Bhagwati received a master's degree in real estate development from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in architecture from the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology in India.

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Thomas Coleman is a real assets portfolio manager at Virginia Retirement System. He manages the state pension's real estate portfolio in both pubic and private markets. Previously he was a relation manager at Wells Fargo. Coleman graduated from James Madison University with a B.S. in quantitative finance.

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Barbara Jesuele

Managing Director, Real Assets

J. Paul Getty Trust

Barbara Jesuele is the managing director of real assets at the J. Paul Getty Trust. She joined the J. Paul Getty Trust in 2002 as a senior investment analyst focusing on private equity. Prior to this, she was a risk manager at HypoVereinsbank, the fifth-largest financial institutions in Germany. Jesuele studied at Ateneo de Manila University, University of Hamburg and UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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Julia Crosby is the managing director at Williams College Investment Office. Prior to this, she was a research consultant in private markets at NEPC, a senior manager of private equity at Acatel-Lucent Investment Management, vice president at Silicon Valley Bank, and a senior associate at BancBoston Capital. Crosby received a B.S. in business administration from Babson College.

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Kathleen Browne is the managing director at Wellesley College since 2009. She is a member of the investment committee at Boston Arts Academy. Previously, she was the director of alternative investment at Alcatel-Lucent Investment Management Corp. for eight years. Browne received an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School of Management, a J.D. from Boston College Law School and a B.S. in electrical engineering from Union College.

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Colin Butterfield

Managing Director, Natural Resources Investments

Harvard Management Company

Colin Butterfield is the managing director of natural resources investments at Harvard Management Company, where he oversees the $3.6 billion natural resources group. Prior to this, he was CEO of Radar SA, a $2.2 billion Brazilian farmland investment management joint venture between TIAA and Cosan SA. He has also served as chief investment officer at Bracor Investimentos Imobiliarios and a director at Cargill. He is a board member of the Latin American board at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Butterfield has an MBA in general management from Dartmouth College and bachelor's degrees from Universidade de Sao Paulo and Boston University.

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Christine Ortiz is managing director of real assets at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation in January 2009, Ortiz worked for the University of Chicago Office of Investments as a manager of real assets. She has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from Indiana University in Bloomington.

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Thomas Lurquin

Managing Director, Natural Resources Investments

Stanford Management Company

Thomas Lurquin is the managing director of natural resources investments at Stanford Management Company, where he is responsible for the natural resources investment portfolio, including co-investments. Prior to this, he was a director of private equity and real assets at the University of California - The Treasurer's Office, where he managed the university's $3.5 billion private equity and venture capital portfolio. He received a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University, master's degrees in international politics and econometrics, and a bachelor’s degree in economics, all from the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

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Caixia Ziegler

Associate Director, Head of Real Estate

Ford Foundation

Caixia Ziegler is an associate director and the head of real estate at Ford Foundation. Prior to this, she was the director of global real assets at the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust, where she oversaw public and private real estate, timberland, upstream energy and other real asset investments. She has an MBA in finance from Wake Forest University and a bachelor's degree in international business from Xiamen University.

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Alex Hetherington is a director of natural resources at Yale University Investments Office. He joined Yale Investments Office in 2006. Currently he oversees the endowment's natural resources and absolute return portfolios. Hetherington holds a B.A. in computer science and economics from Yale College. He is also a chartered financial analyst.

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Alisa Mall is the director of real estate and natural resources investments at Carnegie Corporation of New York. Prior to this, she worked in equity capital markets at Tishman Speyer and as an attorney at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, where she specialized in real estate. Mall has a J.D. from Stanford University Law School and a B.A. in political science from Yale University.

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Ryan McGrath is the vice president of real estate at Andell Holdings, the family office of Canadian business tycoon the Bronfman family, that manages the family’s holding of The Seagram Co., the largest distiller of alcoholic beverages in the world. Prior to this, McGrath was an investment associate at Broadreach Capital Partners. He started his career in transaction real estate at Ernst & Young. He has a degree from Cornell University.

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Tom Masthay is the director of real assets at Texas Municipal Retirement System since 2015. Prior to this, he was a principal investment analyst at NextEra Energy Inc., and a director of real assets at Kentucky Retirement Systems. He has an MMBA in Finance and a BBA in finance and economics from the University of Kentucky. He joint-published an article titled Considerations Around Placements Agents in the Journal of Private Equity (December 2012).
 



 
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Taekyoon Theo Kim is a managing director at Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO). He focuses primarily on the endowment's real assets portfolio, including real estate and natural resources. Prior to joining PRINCO in 2006, he worked as a software engineer at Oracle for two years. Kim earned a B.S. in computer science summa cum laude from Cornell University and a Masters in Finance degree from Princeton’s Bendheim Center. Kim earned the CFA charter in 2009.

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