C 13

Consortium 2013 – Highlights

InterContinental Times Square New York

Start Time: June 05, 2013 01:00 pm
End Time: June 06, 2013 04:30 pm

E-Mail: meetings@rgassociates.org
Phone: 510-628-0345
Fax: 415-462-5173


Plan Sponsor & Minority Manager Consortium 2013

The Consortium | Pioneering a New Path

With over 300 in attendance—including small and diverse managers, institutional investors, consultants and other industry influencers—the focus of our 10th annual gathering was on showcasing new talent and exploring the new, less traditional sources of institutional funding.

The Consortium audience profile included:

  • 42% African American-owned firms
  • 7% Asian-owned firms
  • 13% Latino/Latina-owned firms
  • 38% Non-Minority owned firms

We set the stage for the 10th annual event with a conversation and view from the White House with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. Jarrett provided insights on different initiatives that directly impact our audience members, including significant investments in infrastructure programs, small businesses and women and minority-owned businesses. With Michael Sacks, CEO of Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P. serving as our morning host/interviewer, the conversation provided a rare inside view of priorities and challenges in balancing competing interests, the value of diversity and global competitiveness.

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“Diversity is good for business—the CEOs who don’t get that and want to be globally competitive are not going to do well. If businesses truly want to understand the markets where they compete, they need diversity on their boards,” noted Jarrett. “Diversity is a sprint—and we’re seeing more and more leaders of companies recognizing that. For companies that say they can’t find the talent, they’re not looking in the right places. You have to build networks and tap into those networks—like the one here today. You have to make it a priority. Companies that are the innovators recognize this.” 

We were also pleased to feature five pioneers, each of whom provided personal insights and perspectives regarding challenges and opportunities they have faced as part of the investment arena. With Jamal Simmons, Political Analyst & Principal at The Raben Group as the moderator, we heard from:

  • Marx Cazenave, Co-Founder, Former CEO – Progress Investment Management Company on the changes within the minority manager arena over the past decade—and new directions that are possible.
  • Sue Toigo, Founder –the Robert Toigo Foundation; Chairman – Fitzgibbon Toigo Associates on recognizing a need and being willing to drive change, regardless of how daunting it may seem.
  • Reverend Dr. Al Sharpton, Founder & President – National Action Network, Host of MSNBC PoliticsNation on the continued importance of engaging diverse leaders in all sectors of business.

Consortium 2013


  • Sonia Gardner, President – Avenue Capital Group on the very real challenges of launching—and growing—an investment business as a Latina and how she continues to define her success as her ability to stay true to her values.
  • Robert F. Smith, Chairman & CEO – Vista Equity Partners on fostering and following your passion, on thinking “beyond the box”, honing your instincts and building an exceptional organization. Smith’s advice on building an exceptional team: Focus on liberating the human spirit—at work and in the community—always say the kind word when you can, initiate the supportive gesture, create the platform for others to succeed, encourage the insecure, enable the confident and most of all, be human.

The mix of perspectives and conversation that followed provided an ideal starting point for the day and set the stage for the type of candid exchange that has come to define the event for the past nine years. 

Treasurers & CIO Roundtable

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Kelly Williams, Managing Director, Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group was our guide as we explored the current landscape within the institutional investor arena, including perspectives from treasurers and CIOs.

The panel explored details from staffing and resources on the plan side for executing programs—and how this has a direct impact on everything from risk management to communications and interactions with managers.

How allocations are determined varied across firms—some by percentage and size per policies. Others are taking a different path than percentage allocations to allocating larger sums to fewer firms, which in turn provides selected funds the ability to succeed and grow.

“I want managers who reflect the constituency we represent. That means local firms, minority-owned, women of color. Size is not the issue, tinkering with small amounts is not the solution; merit and capacity are,” said Adam Cloud.

Institutional Investor “Mini” Workshops

This year’s program included a new addition of mini workshops. With 20+ facilitated conversations on topics ranging from “state of” investing at various public pension plans to counsel from consultants on fundraising, attendees were able to join in, listen and learn. The format and speaker line-up were a direct result of feedback received from Consortium 2012 for more opportunities to meet and exchange information in a smaller group setting. Based on attendee feedback from this year, the sessions proved to be a valuable source of information for all.

Power Lunch: Industry Honors

RG + Associates was pleased to mark a decade of bringing together institutional investors and small and diverse managers, by honoring some top achievers (nominated by their peers).

  • O.T.B. (aka Out of the Box) Award to New York State Common Retirement Fund – In recognition of the public or private plan that has demonstrated innovative thinking in its approach to creating and managing programs that attract and support the investment talent delivered by small and diverse managers.
  • AUMsome Award to New York State Common Retirement Fund – In recognition of the public or private plan that has allocated and invested the largest percentage of assets under management to small and diverse managers.
  • Impact Award to Stuart Bernstein, Teacher Retirement System of Texas – In recognition of the individual who has championed the value of investing with small and diverse managers and helped to forge stronger connections between institutional investors and investment managers.

The Bootcamp: Building Key Skills, Expanding Your Network

The focus of the afternoon emerging manager Bootcamp sessions was on delivering practical advice to managers with newly launched (or about to be launched) funds. The opening session delved into the topic that remains top of mind for many managers—fundraising. With Kristi Craig of the SBIA moderating, the conversation focused on building an understanding about when, where and how to work with key players. From advice regarding use of placement agents and how to foster (and leverage) consultant relationships to better position your firm, the tips were plentiful.

Take-Aways from The Real Big Pitch

The following three managers were selected to present to the panel – with 100+ listening in.

Kathleen Kelley, Chief Investment Officer – Queen Anne’s Gate Capital Management
Kacy Rozelle, Managing Partner – St. Cloud and Ben Hom, Managing Partner – St. Cloud
William Heard, CEO & CIO – Heard Capital, LLC and Anthony Bookman, Director – Heard Capital, LLC

St. Cloud was selected as the 2013 stand-out.

Here were some of the take-aways that benefitted all in attendance:

  • Look Up—and Relax. Talk about who you are without relying on your pitch book.
  • Team Matters. Emphasize your process and team cohesion, not just the one person deciding on investments.
  • Step by Step. The goal of meeting #1 is to generate interest / engagement to secure a meeting #2. No decisions are made from just one encounter. Find ways to tell your story that builds interest and trust.
  • Do Your Research. Investor “pitches” are two-way interactions. Know your audience, do your research and identify how you fit within the funds thinking and investment thesis.
  • Expand Your Reach. Think beyond the ten largest public pension plans. Family offices, foundations, smaller metro pension plans and corporate plans represent real opportunities for newly launched funds.
  • Quality Counts. Invest in and communicate top quality fund operating principles. This includes outsourced operations and contracts with key business partners that you’ve put in place.

Online Access:

As a benefit to all Consortium participants, we have provided access to profiles of each attendee. You may access that information online using the links below. The passcode provided in the email is required to access the Company Profiles. We ask that you do not circulate the password or the document.

Click here for 2013 Participant List

Click here for 2013 Company Profiles

Check out recent press coverage on the event.

Talk Back—We Want to Hear from You

We’d like to hear about your experiences at Consortium 2013, The Intensive and/or The Bootcamp. If you have not already, please take a few minutes to complete our online survey: LPs Survey and GPs and all others. Every comment and suggestion is reviewed by the RG + Associates team and will help play a part in our 2014 planning process which will be underway in August.

VIP Connect

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.

Consortium 2013

VIP Connect Speed Networking

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Sponsors, Industry Alliances & Media Partners

Supporting and getting the word out about Consortium 2013 is a team effort. Our event sponsors, media partners and industry alliances play a vital role in the process. Thank you to each for sharing the information among your constituents—and for your continued support.

Thank You to Our Advisory & Planning Committees

RG + Associates extends a special thank you to the members of the 2013 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 2013 sponsors, whose financial support and attendance made the 2013 event possible.


  • Kelly M. Williams, Managing Director and Global Head – Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group
  • Robert Azeke, Managing Partner – Farol Asset Management
  • Jeffrey Gandel, Managing Director – Long Wharf Real Estate Partners LLC
  • Laureen Costa, Portfolio Manager – JP Morgan Private Equity Group
  • Judy Chambers, Managing Director – Pension Consulting Alliance, Inc
  • Brian Mathis, Managing Partner – Pine Street Alternative Asset Management
  • Kneeland Youngblood, Co-Founder and Managing Partner – Pharos Capital Group, LLC
  • Kristi Craig, Senior Vice President of Business Development – Small Business Investor Alliance
  • Laura B. Sachar, Founder & General Partner – StarVest Partners, L.P.
  • Michelle Davidson, Managing Director – TorreyCove Capital Partners


  • Laurie Weir, Senior Portfolio Manager – California Public Employees’ Retirement System
  • Solange F. Brooks, Portfolio Manager, Investments Executive Unit – California State Teachers’ Retirement System
  • Nickol Hackett, Chief Investment Officer – Cook County Pension Fund
  • Rhonda Smith, Executive Director – Houston Municipal Employees Pension System
  • Jimmy Yan, Trustee – New York City Employees’ Retirement System
  • Anyori (AJ) Hernandez, Senior Investment Officer – New York State Common Retirement Fund
  • David E. Ourlicht, Commissioner – New York State Insurance Fund; Managing Director & Special Advisor – GAMCO; Trustee – New York City Employees’ Retirement System
  • Bryan Lewis, Investment Director – North Carolina Department of State Treasurer
  • Stuart Bernstein, Senior Investment Manager – Teacher Retirement System of Texas
  • Kenyatta Matheny, Investment Officer, Emerging Managers – Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois
  • Lauren Honza, Emerging Manager Director – Employees Retirement System of Texas
  • Robert L. Greene, Vice Chair – Virginia Retirement System; Principal – Syncom Venture Partners
  • Reginald G. Sanders, CFA, CAIA, Director of Investments – W.K. Kellogg Foundation