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

AIF Institute Centers of Excellence

AIF in-person and virtual forums collage

The AIF Institute provides institutional investors with customized educational programs and promotes their collaboration through its Centers of Excellence.

The Centers are led by AIF President and former North Carolina Deputy State Treasurer Melissa Waller and AIF Executive Director and former Oklahoma Deputy State Treasurer and former Chairperson of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System Andrew Messer

The AIF Institute and Centers of Excellence create customized educational programs and presentations, in collaboration with AIF Institute Faculty Members comprised of industry leaders—global investors and leading investment firms—and complemented by the AIF Academic Board.  The AIF Institute’s ability to customize the programming to the ever-changing needs of the investor community provides a unique interaction among investors, AIF Institute faculty, and all AIF stakeholders. 

The AIF Institute identified the need for the Centers of Excellence as a resource for institutional investors’ investment programs and portfolios facing unique and evolving challenges in the markets and macro environment. 

The AIF Institute has launched the following four key Centers of Excellence:

  • Center for Private Capital Investing
  • Center for Insurance Investing
  • Center for Sustainable Investing
  • Center for Financial Innovation
A description of each Center of Excellence is included below.

Center for Private Capital Investing

The PCI Center is the perfect complement to AIF’s traditional, roundtable asset class discussions. It enables AIF to follow the themes discussed at the roundtables to their natural conclusions. It also informs the agendas of AIF’s roundtable discussions. It serves as a continuous, free resource to institutional asset owners who wish to share ideas with their peers or otherwise seek to access the subject matter expertise of the AIF community.

The PCI Center will be holding its inaugural Symposium on November 9, 2023, with Academic Advisors, asset owners and Faculty Member Firms discussing important themes in the areas of Private Equity, Real Assets and Private Credit.

Center for Insurance Investing

The CII works with the major stakeholders in the insurance investor community to review best practices domestically and globally, particularly in the areas of insurance regulation, asset allocation, risk management, and the use of alternative asset classes to enhance diversification and risk adjusted returns. It collaborates with the major life, property and casualty, healthcare, and other insurance companies throughout the world.

The CII has an Insurance Investment Regulatory Working Group that serves as a medium through which the range of stakeholders in the insurance investment regulatory process — particularly insurance companies, asset managers and regulators — can exchange best ideas and information about insurance investment regulation.

The CII’s goal is to help regulators adopt policies that will enable insurance companies to remain competitive while protecting policyholders.

Center for Sustainable Investing

Aligned with the AIF Institute’s mission, the Center for Sustainable Investing cultivates leading academic research, along with thought leadership, in the investment industry across both the public and private sectors. Specifically, the Centers place a primary focus on practical application and outcomes to support institutional investors globally in navigating, shaping, and integrating ESG and sustainability policies.

One key deliverable is the launch of the AIF Institute Library with a searchable database of Sustainable Investing research and publications.

Center for Financial Innovation

The CFI is devoted to the study of new and evolving investment tools, ideas and structures. It has three core areas of study:

(i) decentralized finance, including digital assets, tokenization and the use of other blockchain-based technologies;

(ii) data analytics and the use of big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve investment performance and processes; and

(iii) other financially innovative ideas and structures arising out of finance academia, institutional investing, asset management, or any other source.

Among the World’s Most-Respected Thought Leaders in Finance Academia

AIF is proud to be affiliated with the world’s leading finance academics.  AIF’s Academic Board is chaired by Harvard Business School Professor of Investment Banking Josh Lerner

The AIF Institute will provide a forum for these academics to foster the work of each Center by showcasing both their research and research from leading investment firms and investors.