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Top Institutional Investors At Insurance Companies

The modern insurance business is hundreds of years old and developed into an integral part of the global financial system. Insurance companies are traditionally considered among the most conservative institutional investors because their investments support long-term liabilities: policies for life insurers are literally measured in lifetimes. This, however, hasn’t stopped insurance companies from evolving to meet the demands of the contemporary market. As financial markets develop new mechanisms for capital efficiency, insurance companies have continued to innovate and grow, retaining their stature as some of the largest and most influential players in institutional investment. Trusted Insight highlights 15 leaders making an impact on insurance investment.

Juan Prieto

Head of Alternative Investments

Mutual of Omaha

Juan Prieto is the Head of Alternative Investments at Mutual of Omaha, where he is responsible for leading and managing the portfolio construction, outsourcing, and monitoring of alternative investment mandates. Previously, he was the vice president of equity and alternative investments at Axis Capital, where he served for over 7 years. Prior to that, he was the associate director of investment research at RogersCasey. Juan holds a master's degree in finance from Fairfield University and a B.S. degree in finance and international business from the University of Bridgeport. He also holds a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation. Show more
Gretchen Tai is the vice president of investments at CSAA Insurance Group. Previously, she was a portfolio manager at SECOR Asset Management for nearly 3 years. Prior to that, she was chief investment officer and director of investments at HP. Tai holds an MBA in finance from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in mathematics from Wellesley College. Show more

Maurice Gordon

Senior Managing Director & Head of Private Equity

Guardian Life Insurance

Maurice Gordon is a Senior Managing Director and Head of Private Equity at Guardian Life Insurance, where he has served since 2010. His role includes investing in a broad range of private equity asset classes for an institutional investor with over $60 billion of global investable assets and a $3.0 billion private equity portfolio. Previously, he was a senior manager at Stockwell Capital for over 7 years. Prior to that, he was head of private equity at Hartford Investment Management Co. and at Cigna Insurance Services. Gordon holds a master's and bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Illinois. Show more

Linda Calnan

Assistant Vice President, Alternative Investments

Sentry Insurance

Linda Calnan is Assistant Vice President of Alternative Investments at Sentry, where she has served since 2017. Previously, she was a senior investment officer at Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund for over 14 years. Prior to that, she was director of investments at Starling International Management Limited. Calnan holds an MBA from the University of Miami and a BBA in economics from Sam Houston State University. Show more

Phillip Titolo

Head of Direct Private Investments


Phillip Titolo is the head of direct private investments at MassMutual. Prior to joining MassMutual, he was assistant vice president for hedge fund investments at Hartford Investment Management. Titolo holds a JD from the University of Connecticut, an MBA from the University of Connecticut School of Business, and a BS in Finance from Boston College. He is president of the Greater Hartford chapter of the Boston College Alumni Association, as well as a Chartered Financial Analyst. Show more
Ksenija Jovanovic is an investor at Aflac Global Investments, where she is responsible for growth assets, including private equity, public equity, and real estate. Prior to joining Aflac, she spent nearly four years as director of private equity at Zurich North America. She holds a BS and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business. Show more

Erik Ross

Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Venture Capital

Nationwide Insurance

Erik Ross is head of mergers & acquisitions, venture capital at Nationwide Insurance, where he has served since 2014. Previously, he was a chief digital officer at the State of North Carolina. Prior to that, he was a senior vice president for research and development at Bank of America. Ross holds an MBA at Penn State University and a BSBA from the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Show more

Agata Praczuk

Director, Alternative Investments


Agata Praczuk is Director of Alternative Investments MetLife. She has served there since 2011 and held roles including director of private equity and venture capital, and head of hedge fund strategies. Prior to MetLife, she worked ar Alternative Investment Management, LLC and Ackman-Ziff. Praczuk holds an MBA in finance from NYU Stern School of Business and a B.S. in finance and international business from Northwestern University. Show more

Jeff McNelley

Managing Principal, Private Equity

Allstate Investments

Jeff McNelley is a managing principal of private equity at Allstate Investments, where he is responsible for direct co-investments and fund investments for an $8 billion portfolio. He has served the organization since 2010. Previously, he was an associate of private investments at the CPP Investment Board. McNelley holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.S. in finance from Santa Clara University. Show more
Demetrios Fifis is the Head of Private Equity at Liberty Mutual Insurance. He is part of a senior investment team responsible for over $5 billion in private equity, making between $400 and $600 million in annual commitments in funds and co-investments. He has been with the organization since 1997 and also held the role of a senior business analyst. Fifis holds an MBA and BSBA in finance from Boston University. Show more

Jeffrey Capaul

Managing Director, Private Markets

American Family Insurance

Jeffrey Capaul is managing director of private markets at American Family Insurance of Madison, WI. He has held several analyst and investment positions since joining AFI in 2005. Capaul holds a Master’s in Real Estate & Urban Land Economics from the Wisconsin School of Business, and a B.A. in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is a Certified Commercial Investment Member. His specialties include real estate analysis, financing, valuation, contract negotiations, and transaction structuring. Show more
Jill Frankle is vice president of strategic ventures at Hartford Investment Management Co. Before joining HIMCO, Frankle was AVP of strategic ventures at The Hartford. Earlier in her career, she was a managing principal at Knightsbridge Advisers and a principal at TD Capital Ventures. Frankle holds a BBA from the University of Michigan. Show more

James Burritt

Managing Director & Head of Alternative Investments

Pacific Life Insurance Company

James Burritt is the managing director and head of alternative investments at Pacific Life, where he has served since 2012. Previously, he was a managing director at Thomas H Lee Capital, where he built a multi-billion dollar hedge fund business out of the family office of Thomas H. Lee. Burritt holds an MBA in finance from Cornell University and a B.S. in civial engineering from Bucknell University. He also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Show more
Paul Chute is a senior managing director at Phoenix Life Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut. At Phoenix, he manages the alternative investment portfolio, which includes private equity funds, mezzanine funds, private equity securities, and mezzanine securities. He holds a JD from Georgetown and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. Show more

Jeff Behring

Director, Private Debt & Equity

Northwestern Mutual Capital

Jeff Behring is director of private debt and equity at Northwestern Mutual Capital, which he joined in 2003. Prior to joining NMC, Behring was an M&A manager for Varco International and an associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Behring holds a BBA in Finance and International Business from Loyola University New Orleans and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Show more

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