AIF is an independent economic think tank focusing on institutional investment policy

2020 Southwest Investors Forum

2020 AIF Southwest Investors' Forum

November 9–10 | Live Online

The 2020 AIF Southwest Investors’ Forum is geared toward institutional investment professionals that are deploying their capital globally. The custom, two-day agenda will kickoff with an academic session, exploring the current landscape of sustainable investing, followed by an investor discussion—focused on critical topics including the next chapter for sustainable investing in portfolios and how investors are navigating COVID-19.

Additionally, the forum will cover a cross section of cutting-edge, timely topics through different discussion formats, including investment sessions that are held in roundtable format among subject matter expert investors, consultants, and managers.

Agenda at a Glance

Day One: Monday, November 9 (10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. CST)

10:00–11:00 a.m. CST
Welcome and Introductions 

Opening Academic Session: What’s the Next Chapter for Sustainable Investing


  • Laura Starks, Ph.D., Charles E. and Sarah M. Seay Regents Chair of Finance, Chairman of the Department of Finance, and Director of the AIM Investment Center, McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin 

11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. CST
Investor Portfolio Construction Discussion

Session Leader: 

  • Sam Austin, Partner, NEPC

Investor Participants: 

  • TJ Carlson, CIO, Texas Municipal Retirement System
  • Tom Tull, CIO, Employees’ Retirement System of Texas
  • Dominic Garcia, CIO, New Mexico PERA
  • Mark Steed, CIO, Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System

12:30–1:30 p.m. CST

Direct Lending Session

Session Leader: 

  • Stephen Nesbitt, CEO, Cliffwater LLC

Session Participants:

  • Jonathan Bock, Chief Financial Officer, Barings BDC, Inc
  • Robin Doumar, Managing Partner, Park Square Capital
  • Kevin Magid, President, Audax Private Debt
  • James Kirby, President and Co-Founder, Deerpath Capital
  • Matthew Liepert, Managing Director, Antares Capital


1:45–2:45 p.m. CST

Alternative Private Credit

Session Leader: 

  • Catherine Beard, Senior Vice President, Callan

Session Participants:

  • Joaquin Lujan, Director, New Mexico PERA
  • Stephen Swentzel, Managing Director, 17 Capital
  • Ray Costa, Managing Director, Corporate Credit, Benefit Street Partners
  • Richard Robb, CEO, Christofferson Robb & Co.
  • Mark Rubenstein, Managing Director, HPS Investment Partners

3:00–4:00 p.m. CST
Diversifiers/Opportunistic Strategies

Session Leader: 

  • Spencer Edge, Partner, Albourne 

Session Participants:

  • Panayiotis Lambropoulos, Portfolio Manager – Hedge Funds, Employees Retirement System of Texas
  • Sapna Vir, Director, New Holland Capital
  • Ben Hunsaker, Portfolio Manager, Beach Point Capital Management· 
  • Bill Sanders, Partner, President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Risk Officer, 400 Capital Management
  • Jonathan Segal, Co-Chief Investment Officer, Highbridge Capital Management
  • Paul Triggiani, Head of Distressed Credit, Invesco


Day Two: Tuesday, November 10 (10:00 a.m.–4:15 p.m. CST)

10:00–11:30 a.m. CST
Panel: Managing Risk Overall During Unprecedented Times

  • Overall Governance Risk Management 
  • The New Norm of Managing your portfolio 
  • Success in Mapping out the future – Governance & Succession Planning 


  • Ken Wiles, Associate Director of Hick, Muse, Tate & First Center for Private Equity Finance and a Clinical Associate Professor of Finance, McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin


  • TJ Carlson, CIO, Texas Municipal Retirement System
  • Dominic Garcia, CIO, New Mexico PERA
  • Dan Parker, Deputy CIO, Texas Tech University System Office of Investments
  • Tom Tull, CIO, Employees’ Retirement System of Texas

11:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. CST
Private Equity

Session Leader: 

  • Michael Elio, Partner, StepStone

Session Participants: 

  • Adriana Ballard, Portfolio Manager, Employees’ Retirement System of Texas
  • Neil Randall, Managing Director, Private Equity, Teacher Retirement System of Texas
  • Matthew Nord, Senior Partner, Apollo Global Management
  • Susan Soh, Chief Strategy and Capital Development, Two Sigma Private Investments
  • Brian Sullivan, Partner, GCM Grosvenor


12:45–1:45 p.m. CST
Real Estate

Session Leaders: 

  • Rob Kochis, Partner, The Townsend Group, an Aon Company
  • Grant Walker, Senior Director of Real Assets, Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Session Participants:

  • Brad Creel, Director of Real Estate Investments, Lockheed Martin Investment Management Company
  • Michael Butz, Partner, Torchlight Investors
  • Boyd Fellows, Managing Partner, ACORE Capital
  • Cameron Kirby, Managing Director & Commercial Real Estate Investment Committee Member, Axonic Capital
  • Kim Hourihan, Portfolio Manager, CBRE Global Investors
  • Lee Manifee, Managing Director and Head of Americas Investment Research, PGIM Real Estate
  • David Roth, Partner, Head of US Real Estate Private Equity, Ares Management

2:00–3:00 p.m. CST


Session Leader: 

  • Sylvia Owens, Managing Director and Global Private Credit and Real Assets Strategist, Aksia

Session Participants:

  • Kirk Sims, Senior Investment Manager, Teacher Retirement System of Texas
  • Dan Kim, Director, IFM Investors
  • John Ma, Director, Infrastructure Investment, First Sentier Investors 
  • Tim ShortManaging Director, Capital Dynamics
  • Vittorio Lacagnina, Member of Management, Partners Group (USA) 
  • Tod Trabocco, Director of Strategy, ITE Management

3:15-4:15 p.m. CST

Beyond Checking the Boxes: How to Build Success in Board Inclusion

Please join us for a rich panel discussion on how organizations can become paragons of their industry or sector by successfully integrating diversity and inclusion. The panelists will enrich us with their work with and on boards to achieve that success and show us how their perspectives and lessons can be applied to any organization striving to obtain a more inclusive culture. 


  • Sharmila Kassam, Senior Fellow, Milken Institute; and Former Deputy CIO, Employees’ Retirement System of Texas

Session Presenters:

  • John D’Agostino, Managing Director, DMS Governance
  • Tissa Richards, CEO, Marketing Logix
  • Janet Handley, Board Member, UTIMCO; Former CIO and Current Advisor, Texas A&M Foundation
  • Terri Pandolfi Herbuin, Board Member, Brandywine Realty Trust and Managing Director, Greystar Real Estate Partners
  • Patti Melcher, Board Member, H2O Midstream and Managing Partner and Co-Founder, EIV Capital, LLC

2020 AIF Southwest Investors' Forum Confirmed Participants List


Rebecca Levy, Senior Portfolio Advisor

Sylvia Owens, Global Private Credit and Real Assets Strategist


Spencer Edge, Partner

American Beacon Advisors

Mark Michel, Senior Analyst

Angeles Investment Advisors

Michael Rosen, CIO

Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System

Mark Steed, CIO

Chinquapin Trust Company

Corey Biggs, CIO

Church Investment Group

JoAnn Hanson, President

Cliffwater LLC

Stephen Nesbitt, CEO


Laurie Sudwarts, MD

Employees’ Retirement System of Texas

Tom Tull, CIO

Craig Hester, Chair, Board of Trustees

Adriana Ballard, Portfolio Manager

Panayiotis LambropoulosPortfolio Manager – Hedge Funds

Nick Maffeo, Portfolio Manager

Robert Sessa, Head of Real Estate
Ilesa Daniels, Trustee

Jim Kee, Trustee

Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund

Christina Wu, Investment Officer


Ken Goldman, President

Houston Police Officers Pension System (HPOPS)
Neal Wallach, Investment Strategist


Susan Ridlen, CIO

Lockheed Martin Investment Management Co.

Brad Creel, CAIA, Director of Real Estate Investments


Beth Johnson, Partner


Sam Austin, Partner

New Holland Capital

Sapna Vir, Director of External Relationship

New Mexico PERA

Dominic Garcia, CIO

Joaquin Lujan, Director

Orange County Employees’ Retirement System

Emma Ji, Investment Analyst

Public School Employees’ Retirement System of Pennsylvania

Angela Chen, Analyst

Providence Health

Alec Stais, CIO

Sompo Asset Management

Shiro Kasai, Chief Representative

Texas Christian University (TCU)

James Hillie, CIO

Texas Permanent School Fund

Kathryn Gernert, Portfolio Manager

Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Neil Randall, Managing Director, Private Equity

Kirk Sims, Senior Investment Officer

Grant Walker, Senior Investment Officer

Jennifer Wenzel, Director

Texas Municipal Retirement System

TJ Carlson, CIO

Kristin Qualls, Investment Manager

Frank Atkins, Investment Analyst

Kevin Notaro, SR Analyst – ARS

Texas Tech University

Dan Parker, Deputy CIO

Townsend Group, an Aon Company

Rob Kochis, Partner


Janet Handley, Board Member

Verus Investments

Jason Moss, Managing Director

Wyoming Retirement System

Ben Bowman, Senior Investment Officer

Registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

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