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NAIC Perspectives

Perspectives is a video web series hosted by the National Association of Investment Companies that provides a look into the world of diverse investment managers and the industries in which they do business. Important industry news, the latest trends, and groundbreaking transactions are discussed by the industry professionals and influential deal-makers who make them happen.

Casting a Wider Net

Verdun S. Perry, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone, says several things can be done to increase diversity within the private equity industry. First, he notes that recruiters can look beyond the typical universities for talent. He also says established, successful diverse professionals in the industry can also help educate and expose young people to the industry.

The Path to Secondaries

Verdun S. Perry, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone, knew he wanted to go into private equity while at Harvard Business School, but didn’t expect to become a founding member of a fund. In this clip, he explains how he learned about and eventually became involved in secondaries and helped build a portfolio from $0 to $21B in AUM.

Effective Mentoring

Mentorship is an important part of career development, but according to Verdun S. Perry, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone, a proper mentor/mentee relationship must come about organically. He also discusses the significance of creating a legacy of helping others to succeed in his chosen field.

Pressure to Succeed

Verdun S. Perry, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone, puts pressure on himself to succeed, not because he is a senior executive of color at Blackstone, but because he has a need to be the best he can at what he does.

Constructing a Portfolio

Putting together an investment portfolio requires an immense amount of analytic work. Patricia Miller Zollar, Managing Director of Neuberger Berman, shares her firm’s strategy and their use of co-investments and secondaries to mitigate the J curve and add value to the portfolio.

Bullish on Vista

NAIC member Vista Equity Partners was recently rated the best private equity firm in the world. Patricia Miller Zollar, Managing Director of Neuberger Berman, sheds light on her history with the touted firm and the impact of having a diverse firm so widely praised.

It Begins with Intentionality

To see greater female representation within the private equity industry, according to Patricia Miller Zollar, Managing Director of Neuberger Berman, there must be a marshalling of resources directed towards greater representation. She also lays out some of the things firms need to do to help recruit and retain greater numbers of female professionals.

The Future for Diverse Managers

Looking ahead to the future of the industry, Patricia Miller Zollar, Managing Director of Neuberger Berman, hopes that every institution that invests in private equity would view emerging managers as a key part of their portfolio. She adds that the continued successes of many diverse firms in the emerging managers space would help prove there.

First Timers

Patricia Miller Zollar, Managing Director of Neuberger Berman, explains that the firm focuses on first time and graduated funds while the manager is emerging, positioning both firms to grow together. She clarifies, however, that the manager must first have demonstrated a track record of creating value on some platform.

Creating Value

Patricia Miller Zollar, Managing Director of Neuberger Berman, shares the firm’s business principles and how focusing on the market, research and selectivity and other strategies have contributed to a successful track record that spans more than 30 years.

How Diversity Adds Value

David J. Grain, Founder and Managing Partner of Grain Management LLC, shares his thoughts on the value diverse managers bring to their corporate partners and his approach to team-building. An active participant in national civic affairs, President Barack Obama appointed Mr. Grain to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) in July 2011.

Making Opportunities from What the Market Offers

David J. Grain, Founder and Managing Partner of Grain Management LLC, sheds light on his approach to deal-making and how experience has helped him learn how to structure transactions. Mr. Grain, whose firm focuses on the tech/media/telecom space, also shares why he likes the mobile broadband space.

The Future of Diverse Managers

In this clip, David Grain, Founder and Managing Partner of Grain Management LLC, shares his outlook for the diverse managers space. He expects the continued success of such diverse managers as Frank Baker, Robert Smith, Stefan Kaluzny and others to lead to increased confidence from potential capital sources and corporate partners.

It Takes a Village

Mentorship was an important component of David Grain’s success and something he passes along to those professionals he meets. Mr. Grain, Founder and Managing Partner of Grain Management LLC, also shares his appreciation for reading biographies of successful people and how he benefited from learning from their accomplishments.

Working with Diverse Managers

Ted Eliopoulos, Chief Investment Officer of CalPERS, discusses the agency's experience with its decades-long commitment to diverse managers, CalPERS’ usage of the diverse manager pool for acquiring top talent as well as its long-term investment strategy. With more than 1.8 million members and approximately $300 billion in assets CalPERS manages the largest public pension fund in the United States.

NAIC a 'Terrific' Partner

Ted Eliopoulos, Chief Investment Officer of CalPERS, extols the benefits of working with the National Association of Investment Companies on various initiatives over the years, which includes an advisory role on the agency’s Transition Emerging Manager Program.

Private Equity: CalPERS' Top-Performing Asset

CalPERS Chief Investment Officer, Ted Eliopoulos, calls private equity the agency’s top-performing asset class over the long-term and adds that PE has met the agency’s objective of a 300 basis point overperformance relative to its global equity portfolio. He also offers advice for peers looking to establish an effective diverse managers program.

Recruiting Women to Private Equity

Melody Rollins, Partner and Head of Client Service & Business Development of Brightwood Capital Advisors, explains why there are so few women in the private equity industry and what can be done to ensure a healthy pipeline of female talent to recruit and retain at firms of all sizes. Brightwood provides flexible capital solutions to U.S. based small to medium-sized enterprises

A Trillion Dollar Opportunity

What lies ahead for the diverse-led Brightwood Capital Advisors is the focus of a conversation with Melody Rollins, Partner and Head of Client Service & Business Development of the firm. The former Executive Vice President of PIMCO reveals how she sees the firm capturing market share in the $1 trillion middle-market lending arena.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Launching a financial services firm just prior to an economic crisis will have anyone questioning the decision. José Feliciano, Managing Partner & Founder of Clearlake Capital Group, shares the challenges that come with the rollercoaster ride of starting one’s own firm. He also describes the qualities one must have to endure the storm and the drive that leads to growth and innovation.

The Value of Mentorship

José Feliciano, Managing Partner & Founder of Clearlake Capital Group, admits that he knew nothing about investment banking early in his educational career. Here, he discusses his entry into the industry, why he is involved with mentoring organizations and his efforts to educate young diverse people on the financial services industry.

Special Situations

What are the advantages of being a special situations investor? José Feliciano, Managing Partner & Founder of Santa Monica, CA-based Clearlake Capital Group explains the benefits of the strategy that helped grow his firm into a $3.5 billion AUM high-performer in the technology and industrial sectors.

Managing Growth

It’s a certain kind of determination that inspires people to leave a global giant to take on the risk of establishing their own firm. José Feliciano, Managing Partner & Founder of Clearlake Capital Group shares his experiences as he transitioned from a worldwide brand to a startup. He also reveals his approach to managing the growth Clearlake has experienced over the last decade.

Misunderstood Opportunities

Longtime investment strategist and dealmaker Frank Baker, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Siris Capital Group, explains why 'misunderstood' mature companies in the technology sector could make for significant opportunities. Siris Capital Group is a leading private equity firm focused on making control investments in data, telecommunications, technology and technology-enabled business service companies in North America.

Measured Growth

Frank Baker, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Siris Capital Group sees further growth ahead for his firm – larger funds, staff and geographic footprint. He cites a reason for the need to grow is the plethora of “young and hungry” investment professionals Baker says are going to want more responsibilities and opportunities for leadership positions.

A Collage of Mentors

Frank Baker, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Siris Capital Group talks about the value of mentorship and the individuals who have positively influenced him on his professional journey. With an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, Baker started his career in the Mergers and Acquisitions group of Goldman Sachs.

Growing Pains

There is a right and a wrong way to scale a business, and incorrect decisions can lead to costly errors. Here, Frank Baker, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Siris Capital Group, explains the moves made and infrastructure put in place early on at his firm to alleviate those growing pains. Founded in 2011, Siris now has more than $2.4 billion of cumulative capital commitments.

Opportunities in Private Equity

Daniel L. Black is Managing Partner, the Wicks Group, a private equity firm that invests in lower-middle-market companies operating in segments of the information, education and media industries principally in the United States and Canada. In this Perspectives installment, he discusses opportunities and creativity in the private equity industry.

Tackling Diversity in Private Equity

Daniel L. Black, Managing Partner of the Wicks Group, tackles the issues of diversity within the private equity industry — the causes and potential solutions to ensure barriers are removed for women and people of color. The Wicks Group is a private equity firm that invests in lower-middle-market companies operating in segments of the information, education and media industries principally in the United States and Canada.

The Art of Deal-Making

What goes into a successful private equity deal? David Perez, President & Chief Operating Officer of Palladium Equity Partners, sheds light on his firm's investment philosophy and what goes into the transactions that lead to fund performance. Palladium Equity Partners is focused on making investments in lower-middle market companies with a special focus on partnering with founders and family-owned businesses.

The Challenges of Raising Capital

Despite delivering superb performance many diverse firms continue to struggle with raising capital. David Perez, President & Chief Operating Officer of Palladium Equity Partners, talks about the role emerging manager programs can play in helping these firms grow assets so that assets reflect performance. Palladium Equity Partners is focused on making investments in lower-middle market companies with a special focus on partnering with founders and family-owned businesses.

Overseas Opportunities

Where are overseas opportunities for diverse managers? President & Chief Operating Officer of Palladium Equity Partners, David Perez, reveals global trends and how diverse managers can benefit from them. Palladium Equity Partners is focused on making investments in lower-middle market companies with a special focus on partnering with founders and family-owned businesses.

Building a Brand in Financial Services

David Perez, President & Chief Operating Officer of Palladium Equity Partners, discusses how his team created a world-class brand with Palladium. The firm, which is focused on making investments in lower-middle market companies with a special focus on partnering with founders and family-owned businesses, is one of the few in its industry to have so successfully branded themselves.

The Value of Diverse Managers

R. David Kelly, Chairman of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), reveals how his team helped increase the size of the retirement plan and the role diverse managers played in growing assets by achieving superior returns. TRS manages a $132 billion fund and provides retirement and related benefits for those employed by public schools, colleges, and universities.

How Diversity Adds Value

David J. Grain, Founder and Managing Partner of Grain Management LLC, shares his thoughts on the value diverse managers bring to their corporate partners and his approach to team-building. An active participant in national civic affairs, President Barack Obama appointed Mr. Grain to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) in July 2011.

Champions Needed

Robert L. Greene, President & CEO of the NAIC, explains the need for champions within the private equity and hedge fund industries. Champions are those individuals within a capital allocator who is not afraid to go in and fight the status quo to help increase the awareness of the opportunities that lie within the diverse managers’ community.

Making the NAIC a Household Name in the Financial World

Robert L. Greene, President & CEO of the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC), discusses his vision for the organization, how its member firms have grown over the years and the plan to build a bigger community of influencers around diverse managers so their value is respected and appreciated.

The Significance of Diversity

As America continues to become more diverse, it becomes increasingly important to avoid a concentration of investible capital within in a small group of people who could potentially suffer from groupthink or pattern recognition that don’t include diverse people. Here, Robert L. Greene, President & CEO of the NAIC, explains the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative (DAMI) and its campaign to increase the amount of capital flowing to diverse managers.

Champions Needed

Robert L. Greene, President & CEO of the NAIC, explains the need for champions within the private equity and hedge fund industries. Champions are those individuals within a capital allocator who is not afraid to go in and fight the status quo to help increase the awareness of the opportunities that lie within the diverse managers’ community.

Why Diversify?

Robert Raben, President & Founder of The Raben Group, reveals the significance of and need for the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative (DAMI), which aims to increase deal flow towards diverse managers. The Raben Group, which will be spearheading advocacy efforts along with the NAIC, works to identify opportunities and solve problems for clients in the corporate, nonprofit, foundation and government sectors.

Defining Success for the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative

Robert Raben, President & Founder of The Raben Group, says the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative will succeed when inclusion and participation by people of color is so complete that a distinct effort is no longer needed. Until then, the initiative will employ advocacy, education and assertive tactics to make the case that diversity means performance.

DAMI’s Three-Pronged Approach

With regards to diversity and inclusion, asset allocators tend to fall into three groups. Here, Robert Raben, President & Founder of The Raben Group, describes those groups and shares the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative’s strategy for addressing allocators in each of them. The Raben Group, which will be spearheading advocacy efforts along with the NAIC, works to identify opportunities and solve problems for clients in the corporate, nonprofit, foundation and government sectors.

A Unique Campaign

Robert Raben, President & Founder of The Raben Group, discusses some of the similarities and differences between the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative and other campaigns on which his firm has worked. The Raben Group, which will be spearheading advocacy efforts along with the NAIC, works to identify opportunities and solve problems for clients in the corporate, nonprofit, foundation and government sectors.