Intercontinental Times Square, New York City
June 13, 2012 12:00 pm
June 14, 2012 05:00 pm
E-Mail: Renae Griffin
Consortium 2012: A Forum for Institutional Investors, Minority & Women-Owned Firms
The Consortium | Showcasing What’s Ahead
With more than 250 in attendance—including minority and emerging managers, institutional investors, consultants and other industry influencers—the focus of our ninth annual gathering was on showcasing new talent and exploring the new, less traditional sources of institutional funding.
What’s Ahead? The Consortium audience included more than 180 women and minority managers, including:
20% Women-owned firms
29% African American-owned firms
10% Asian-owned firms
11% Latino/Latina-owned firms
1% Native-American-owned firms
We set the stage for the event and exchanges with Dr. Reverend Al Sharpton and his call to action and alignment of emerging manager engagement as a social issue.“Investment decisions are made by investors with our constituents’ money,” he noted. “Diversity of the money being invested means diversity of the people investing.”
Sharpton urged those LPs in attendance not to limit innovation and ideas within the world of investing. “The person who had to fight to be at the table, who had to overcome obstacles to take their place will inevitable be more creative—and more resilient. Based on merit, equal access, minority investment managers should be seen as normal.”
“It is not charity, but parity and clarity,”he proclaimed.
The breakfast was the perfect start to a candid exchange that has come to define the event for the past eight years.
Happenings on the Hill—And Beyond
Kelly Williams Managing Director, Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group was our guide as we explored Federal Legislation & Policy: The Impact on Emerging Managers. With 60% of her team women and minority professionals, Williams oversees the world’s largest fund of funds. The conversation focused on real actions being pursued at the federal and state level to stimulate job growth and economic recovery.
Panelist Earl Peek noted a host of different ways in which small businesses were accessing capital—with increasing success. From crowd funding and IPOs to Section 342 of Dodd Frank regarding the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, pursuing a variety of outlets has become the norm for many.
David Hinson noted that private equity firms can—and should—play a more active role in being advocates to secure assets for minority-owned businesses. Wanda Felton added U.S. competitiveness will benefit from the continued growth and success of minority business owners. “Government needs to operate at the speed of business,” noted Felton. Areas such as supply chain financing, purchase receivables and turn around at lower cost are all critical.
Kelly M. Williams, Managing Director and Global Head – Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group
Wanda Felton, Vice Chair and First Vice President – Export-Import Bank of the United States
David Hinson, National Director, Minority Business Development Agency – U.S. Department of Commerce
Christopher Earl Peek, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Financial Institutions, Domestic Finance – U.S. Department of the Treasury
Sean Greene, Associate Administrator for Investment and Special Advisor for Innovation – U.S. Small Business Administration
2012 Playbook: New Players, New Strategies, New Drivers
The sources of capital are changing—and with that comes the mandate for emerging managers (as well as LPs) to gain a clear perspective on the new landscape. Bryan Lewis, Francis Idehen and Rhonda Smith joined forces to provide a framework of the key issues, including how to approach, understand governance and policy issues and the portfolio needs of LPs.
A key take away: Managers need to gain greater intelligence on the overall investment process and where a fund’s asset allocation is moving—not just where it has been. Think about the systematic risk and idiosyncratic risks associated with your own style of investing—and how that directly factors in to an LPs overall strategy. There’s no blanket approach, noted the panel, analysis, research and deep thinking about each interaction has become the new mandate—for all.
Francis Idehen added that the pace and perspective of LPs differs widely—and needs to be a factor in all communications and interactions. “Public funds have mandates; endowments seek smaller funds and corporate funds have been slower to join, but are coming along.”
Lawrence Unrein, Managing Director –JP Morgan Asset Management
Francis Idehen, Director of Private Markets Investments – Exelon Corporation
Rhonda Smith, Chief Investment Officer – Houston Municipal Employees Municipal System
Bryan Lewis, Interim Chief Investment Officer – North Carolina Department of State Treasur
Minority & Women-Owned Businesses: Tap the Power
Luncheon remarks by Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate for the City of New York, provided all in the room with a timely report card on the city’s efforts in support of women- and minority-owned businesses.Large losses and changes in net worth have become a very real part of the American family—and directly impacts the way we do business in New York and beyond. Our goal has been to “create opportunity and step toward equality,”noted de Blasio. He added that the city’s work with minority and women business enterprises (MWBE) has fallen flat in last few years—and his role is to reinvigorate efforts in that area.
Facilitator: Kristi W. Craig, CFA, Senior Vice President Business Development – Small Business Investor Alliance
Panelists: Randall Yanker, Senior Partner and Chief Investment Officer – Alternative Asset Managers, L.P.
Von Hughes, Managing Director – Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company, LLC
Meredith Jones, Director – Rothstein Kass
The Bootcamp: New Know-How, New Capital
The focus of the afternoon emerging manager Bootcamp was on new sources of capital, and the mix of market intelligence needed for approaching each. The conversations were focused on action-oriented strategies for managers to explore as they map out their fundraising strategies. Kristi Craig from the Small Business Investor Alliance was the perfect leader.
“Foundation and family offices and high net worth individuals are good for young funds,” said Meredith Jones. “Many are sustaining funds managed by women and minorities. While getting institutional and consultants seeding is critical to later growth, for many funds large public pensions are not the place to start.”
Von Hughes offered advice in positioning the fund’s team: “Institutional skill set is marketable.” Tactical aspects of fund management are an important element in every fund’s story—tell it.
“Fight above your weight class. Show coverage of issues. Be sure your TOTAL story is compelling. Create and communicate your business story, not just trading strategy,” offered Meredith Jones. “As a diversity firm, you can be a fish in a smaller pond, but you must also be aware of the larger pond.”
Take-Aways from The Real Big Pitch
Four managers wowed the crowd—and our panel. Here were some of the take-aways that benefitted all in attendance:
- Be yourself. Talk about who you are without relying on your pitch book.
- Put more emphasis on process and the team, not just the one person deciding on investments.
- After one meeting, you can be knocked out, but no decision will be made. Your goal is for meetings 2,3,4 as more due diligence will be conducted and drill down.
- Know your audience, do your research—go deep.
- Show you are aware of smaller cities’ pension funds.
- Have operations, including outsourced operations and contracts, in place until you reach a milestone in AUM.
Judy Chambers, Managing Director – Pension Consulting Alliance
Solange F. Brooks, Portfolio Manager, Investments Executive Unit – California State Teachers’ Retirement System
Kenyatta Matheny, Investment Officer, Emerging Managers – Illinois Teachers Retirement System
Tyson Pratcher, Assistant Comptroller – New York State Office of the Comptroller
Bryan Lewis, Interim Chief Investment Officer – North Carolina Department of State Treasurer
Fred Cummings, President – Elizabeth Park Capital Management
Tim Bubnack, Managing Partner – Huntington Capital
Ruben J. King-Shaw, Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer – Mansa Capital
Michael Corbett, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer – Perrit Capital Management
Online Access: Profiles & Photos
As a benefit to all Consortium 2012 participants, we have provided access to profiles of each attendee. You may access that information online using the link and password below. We ask that you do not circulate the password or the document.
With nearly 140 registered participants, the afternoon Value Information Partnership | VIP Connect (a long-standing part of the Consortium) sparked great dialogue and networking opportunities. Many of the institutional investors in attendance participated, providing emerging managers with a tremendous opportunity for one-on-one dialogue. The new format, in which all participants select their meeting rotation via a first-come, first-served reservation system proved effective.
A Big, Big Thank You to Our Advisory & Planning Committees
RG& Associates extends a special thank you to the members of the 2012 Advisory Committee and Planning Committee—their involvement, ideas and energy contributed greatly to the success and active engagement of all participants. The session moderators and panelists offered their insights, time and energy to make each discussion provocative and informative—a big thank you to each of you for your participation this year. Additionally, RG & Associates extends a heartfelt thank you to our 2012 sponsors , whose financial support and attendance made the 2012 event possible.
We also invite you to take a look at our online photo gallery to see colleagues at the Consortium.