NAIC Insights Series

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The NAIC Insights Series is a monthly series of virtual conversations that provide timely and relevant insights into the strategies, investments, commitments and future plans of industry leaders and prominent investors across the country. These virtual conversations will be presented live online for the NAIC community to view and engage with participants.

NAIC will host virtual conversations with industry leaders and CIOs every month. Participants can expect to hear from some of the nation’s top CIOs, Trustees, and Executives about their perspectives on the current economy, investment plans in response to COVID-19, the impact of current social issues on the industry all against the backdrop of and uncertain and incredibly turbulent market.

Upcoming NAIC Insights Series Schedule

Industry Insights Live

Jagdeep Singh Bachher, Chief Investment Officer, UC Investments

Bachher, who oversees a $168 billion portfolio that grew AUM by 29% in the last year and 77% since his tenure began in 2014, is a champion for change in the industry. Under his leadership, the University of California substantially increased allocations with Black and Latinx-owned firms and began publishing its annual Diversified Returns report to document how the team engaged on DEI as an employer, investor and shareholder. Before joining the UC system, Bachher was an Executive Vice President of Venture and Innovation for the $66 billion Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo), one of Canada’s largest and most diversified investment fund managers.

Please join us for what will be a fascinating conversation with an industry innovator!

Past NAIC Insights Series Speakers

Industry Insights

Marcos Rodriguez, Chairman & CEO, Palladium Equity Partners

Rodriguez also relayed his career trajectory, which began in 1989 at buyout firm Joseph Littlejohn & Levy. Despite an initial lack of industry knowledge, Rodriguez worked his way up to Partner, gaining experience as a deal-maker and leader before launching Palladium. With Palladium now a well-established and respected firm, Rodriguez provided insight into what he hopes his legacy will be – helping democratize an industry so that asset management firms led by talented women and people of color manage more than the current 3% in total AUM.

An industry veteran who leads one of the oldest diverse-owned private equity firms in the U.S., Rodriguez shared his early experiences growing up in a family that fled Cuba to reside in a small one-bathroom apartment in the Washington Heights area of New York. From those beginnings, he earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, an MBA from the Wharton School and an M.A. in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Industry Insights

Stacie Olivares, Board Member, CalPERS

David Grain, Founder & CEO of Grain Management, shared his approach to deal-making, where he sees opportunities in the communications industry, as well as his leadership philosophy in a one-on-one virtual conversation.

With a focus on the global communications industry, Grain’s leadership and acumen have resulted in top quartile returns for the firm he founded in 2007. Among his long list of accomplishments was the transformation of Pinnacle Towers (later renamed Global Signal) from bankruptcy to a successful IPO and eventual sale to Crown Castle International for $5.7 billion. The transaction, which spanned 2002-2006, resulted in a return of capital exceeding 15x to private equity investors and 3.5x to IPO investors.

Industry Insights

David Grain, Founder & CEO, Grain Management

David Grain, Founder & CEO of Grain Management, shared his approach to deal-making, where he sees opportunities in the communications industry, as well as his leadership philosophy in a one-on-one virtual conversation.

With a focus on the global communications industry, Grain’s leadership and acumen have resulted in top quartile returns for the firm he founded in 2007. Among his long list of accomplishments was the transformation of Pinnacle Towers (later renamed Global Signal) from bankruptcy to a successful IPO and eventual sale to Crown Castle International for $5.7 billion. The transaction, which spanned 2002-2006, resulted in a return of capital exceeding 15x to private equity investors and 3.5x to IPO investors.

Industry Insights

Kim Y. Lew, President & CEO, Columbia Investment Management Company

In a candid conversation, Lew shared the lessons learned growing up in the Bronx and her determination to bet on herself at each stage of her career, including leaving Prudential Capital Group to join a charitable organization, the Ford Foundation. A decade later, she again took the road less traveled, moving to Carnegie Corporation. Though a smaller philanthropic fund, Lew gained invaluable exposure to all major asset classes and the necessary skills to later succeed as its CIO.

Industry Insights

Jon Winkelried, Chief Executive Officer, TPG

In a captivating conversation, Winkelried shared the leadership lessons learned in his early days at Goldman Sachs under his mentor, Henry Paulson, former Secretary of the Treasury. These lessons contributed to an impressive career that began as an intern in 1981 culminated as President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of the financial services juggernaut.

Industry Insights

Jarvis Hollingsworth, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)

In an engaging dialogue, Hollingsworth shared the life lessons he learned growing up in 1960s Alabama and the leadership skills forged during his time at West Point Military Academy and as an officer in the U.S. Army. Hollingsworth also shared anecdotes from his initial days as a Partner at a prominent Houston law firm, to being a TRS Trustee back in the early 2000s, including the origins of its robust Emerging Manager Program and Emerging Manager Conference.

Industry Insights

Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Vista Equity Partners

Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, joined us on April 14, 2021, for Industry Insights Live. In an uplifting and deeply personal discussion, the renowned investor shared his thoughts on systemic racism, his experiences growing up in an all-Black segregated neighborhood, the impact Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination had on Smith as a child, and America’s incredible capacity to change for the better.

Industry Insights

Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President, Ariel Investment

Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO & President of Ariel Investments gave a behind-the-scenes look at the events that led to the launch of Ariel Alternatives, a private asset management firm created to scale Black and Latinx-owned businesses as essential Tier 1 suppliers to Fortune 500s. She also told her powerful story as a child of a single mother on Chicago’s South Side who became one of the most prominent and respected professionals in financial services.

In an inspiring conversation with NAIC’s Chief Operating Officer, Carmen Ortiz-McGhee, Hobson discussed her remarkable career, offered fascinating anecdotes of her experiences as an African American woman at a Black-owned asset management firm in a white male-dominated industry. She also weighed in on the Biden Administration and the main item on her bucket list – changing the world. 

 

CIO Insights

Alex Doñé, Chief Investment Officer, NYC Retirement Systems

How has recent turmoil in the financial markets and social unrest impacted capital allocations, portfolio expectations and the manager selection process in New York City?  This conversation covered a host of topics, including the impact of COVID-19 on the Plan, TRSNYC’s Diversity & Inclusion practices, and Doñé’s professional journey. 

Industry Insights

Shawn T. Wooden, Treasurer, State of Connecticut

What is the outlook for diverse managers in the Constitution State, what pivots have been made in the face of the global pandemic, and how can diverse managers address the state’s portfolio objectives? This and much more was covered in a recent Industry Insights Live featuring Shawn T. Wooden, Connecticut State Treasurer.

Industry Insights

James H. Lowry, Senior Advisor, Boston Consulting Group

NAIC recently welcomed true business legend and lifelong champion of diversity, James H. Lowry, Senior Advisor, Boston Consulting Group for the 18th edition of Industry Insights Live.

Lowry, a pioneer for supplier diversity, was the first African American consultant for global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. in 1968, where he convinced corporate clients of the value of investing in diverse communities and sought to increase the firm’s number of African American consultants. In 1975, he founded James H. Lowry & Associates where his strategic partnership with Ford led to the automotive giant sourcing more than $3 billon of goods and services to more than 300 minority suppliers.

Trustee Insights

Henry Jones, President, CalPERS Board of Administration

Hosted by NAIC President & CEO, Robert L. Greene, this Trustee Insights Live Stream covered such critical issues as the impact of COVID 19 on CalPERS, their renewed commitment to engaging with diverse asset managers, the outlook for emerging managers, the potential impact of California voters deciding in November whether the state and its public colleges can consider race in their hiring, contracting and admissions decisions (Proposition 209), and more.

Industry Insights

Hank Kim, Executive Director and Counsel, NCPERS

How are pension plans faring in 2020, in what ways has COVID-19 impacted investments and allocations, and how do diverse managers fit into it all? This and more was dovered during NAIC Industry Leader Insights with Hank Kim, Executive Director and Counsel, NCPERS.

CIO Insights

Michael Miller, CIO, Colonial Consulting
What are some of the top-of-mind issues CIOs are facing in today’s uncertain markets, and what portfolio adjustments do they anticipate as a result? Michael Miller, Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer of Colonial Consulting, shared his thoughts on current market conditions and how Colonial’s institutional clients are adjusting to the ‘new normal.’

Industry Insights Live

JoAnn H. Price, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Fairview Capital Partners

How have diverse managers evolved over the years, what does the future look like for women in alternatives and what impact has COVID-19 have on the way a leading diverse-owned fund of funds approaches investing? Don’t miss this opportunity to gain valuable insight from longtime industry leader JoAnn H. Price, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Fairview Capital Partners, joins us for Industry Insights Live!

CIO Insights Live

Johara Farhadieh, Executive Director/Chief Investment Officer, Illinois State Board of Investment

What are some of the top-of-mind issues faced by today’s leading CIOs and how have recent market and socio-political trends affected their outlooks and allocations? This and more was covered as Johara Farhadieh, Executive Director/Chief Investment Officer, Illinois State Board of Investment, joined us for CIO Insights Live! 

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