Alternative Investing Summit 2016

Ritz Carlton, Dana Point, CA
December 4, 2016 - December 6, 2016

39 days left

The Alternative Investing Summit will bring together trustees and representatives of institutions as well as money managers and consultants to explore the roles of alternative opportunities and strategies. As a strategy, alternatives offer investors a method to obtain the returns they require and break the paradigm of the 60/40 rule, however not all alternatives are the same nor do they come without certain risks. Participants and delegates of this alternative investment conference will investigate a range of critical investment issues, including discussion of the risks and benefits of various asset classes and investment vehicles such as hedge funds and private equity, examining means of cutting costs associated with implementation of absolute returns strategies, reviewing the future of commodities and surveying the landscape of emerging international markets. With the current struggle of obtaining these returns, the question of fees has become of particular relevance, especially within the field of alternatives as investors measure their risks v. rewards. We will also look into impact investing as a way of obtaining returns that are socially responsible as well as many issues involved with fund management and the importance of education for trustees and other investment officers.

The label "alternative" describes a nebulous investment class to many investors, especially those in the institutional world who have strict ethical and fiduciary obligations to their organizations. However, pursuing alternative investments is essential to maximizing returns while maintaining proper asset allocation in plan portfolios of endowments, foundations, family offices, and public and corporate funds.

This conference will exclusively feature dialogue driven panel discussions led by consultants and family offices. In order to maintain the educational value of our events, we prohibit any use of PowerPoint presentations during panel discussions. *Only Standalone Speakers will be allowed to use PowerPoints during their presentation. All other PowerPoint Presentations can be added to our Mobile App by submitting a PDF/PPT document to an Opal Associate. Speakers must keep in mind the educational objective of this event. Speakers will NOT be allowed to market specific products or services during presentations.

Agenda current as of October 18, 2016


Exhibitor Set Up / Registration Opens


Opening Remarks

John Agenbroad, Chairman, Inter-Local Pension Fund

12:30pm - 1:30pm

The Next American Presidency: Planning For Geopolitical Risk In 2017 And Beyond

Keynote Speaker

John Sitilides, Principal, Trilogy Advisors LLC

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Investment Officer Idea Roundtable

  • Current strategies in reallocation of portfolio(s).
  • Current thoughts on Indexing vs. Active Management.
  • What is keeping CIOs and CFOs up all night?

Gary Amelio, CEO, San Bernardino County Employees' Retirement Association


Carolyn Weiss, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, The New York Community Trust


John Agenbroad, Chairman, Inter-Local Pension Fund


John Pomeroy, Chief Investment Officer/Chief Risk Officer, Pennsylvania State University Endowment


Josh Roach, Managing Director, Lloyd Capital Partners (SFO)

2:30pm - 2:50pm


2:50pm - 3:10pm

Capturing the Regulatory Premium: Finding alpha in the decline in bank lending

Brendan Ross, President and Portfolio Manager, Direct Lending Investments

3:10pm - 3:30pm

Networking Refreshment Break

3:30pm - 4:15pm

What Matters Now: What are the alternative styles and strategies you should avoid or seek?

  • How should investors think about diversification today?
  • How much diversification is too much?
  • What are the benefits and pitfalls of diversification?
  • Efficient portfolios are those said to provide the greatest expected return for a given level of risk, or conversely the lowest level of risk for a given expected return.
  • How do these ‘new’ alternative investments figure into the mix? How should investors evaluate them in the context of an efficient portfolio?
  • How should investors think about alternatives in terms of their overall asset allocation?
  • How should investors evaluate/select ‘new’ alternative investments? What should they focus upon?
  • How should investors evaluate the performance of any investments they make in these alternatives?
  • What are the defining characteristics or unique risks associated with these new alternative investments?
  • What are the ‘best practices’ that you feel investors would do well to consider or adopt when sourcing or selecting ‘new’ alternative investments?

Jerry Davis, Consulting Analyst and CIO, Piedmont Family Offices (SFO)


Matthew Burk, CEO, Fairway America

4:15pm - 5:00pm

A Critical Look at the Hedge Fund Industry and The Future of Asset Management

  • Why have hedge funds, in general, been struggling to perform?
  • How have due diligence methods changed over the past year?
  • What specific hedge fund strategy/sector is positioned to outperform in the next few quarters?  Which should be avoided?
  • Should families consider “alternative or smart” beta strategies?
  • Have fund terms (e.g., fees, gates, liquidity) been more flexible?  Should they be?  How can families negotiate the best deals?

Brian Barr, Hedge Fund Analyst, Wolfson Group (SFO)


Elizabeth Burton, Senior Investment Analyst, Maryland State Retirement and Pension System


Warren Hirschhorn, Vice Chairman, Duff & Phelps

5:00pm - 5:45pm

Investing in the Evolving Real Asset & Energy Market:

This panel will examine the real assets and energy markets including, timber, precious metals, land mitigation, and oil and gas exploration.

  • Is there a magic strategy which will provide steady stable returns that outperform traditional equities?
  • Which strategies should families consider within the energy/hard asset space?
  • How can we identify managers who will diversify returns from mainstream portfolios without adding additional risk to the portfolio?
  • The Changing Energy Landscape: What’s the New Normal?

Bill Rubin, First Deputy City Controller, Office of the Controller Philadelphia


TBA, Tortoise

5:45pm - 6:30pm

Managing Volatility – Navigating the New Investment Landscape


William A. Pusey, Jr., Senior Wealth Advisor, Keel Point (MFO)


Brian Smiga, Partner, Alpha Venture Partners / Pritzker Group Venture Capital

6:30pm - 7:30pm

Cocktail Reception

Sponsored by:

Direct Lending Investments


Continental Breakfast

8:00am - 8:30am

Keynote Presentation

Keynote Speaker

Bob Wiedemer, President, Aftershock Publishing, LLC, Author, Aftershock and Aftershock Investor

8:30am - 9:30am

Institutional Portfolio Construction


Anthony Lombardi, Associate Partner, Institutional Advisory Solutions, Aon Hewitt


Amit Thanki, Investment Officer, San Bernardino County Employees' Retirement Association


Rick Rodgers, Vice President, Director | MPPP Plan Administrator, Innovest Portfolio Solutions LLC


John Linder, CFA, CPA, Consultant, Principal, Pension Consulting Alliance, LLC


Michael Schrauben, CFA, Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager, Municipal Employees' Retirement System of Michigan

9:30am -10:30am

Investing in Private Equity / Venture Capital

  • Asset Management: How can PE funds extract better returns with better management?
  • With more firms and capital chasing large the same or fewer deals, is now a good time to invest in PE?  Does size matter? Will large outperform small? The opposite is true historically in public markets.
  • Where are the best opportunities in Private Equity and Venture now?
  • Tech Venture’s obsession with Unicorns: a viable strategy or attempt to justify fund sizes?
  • Who will be the natural buyers for the large illiquid asset portfolios of the mega PE firms, Blackstone, Apollo, Carlyle, etc. now that banks are out and sovereigns and pensions are investors in those funds?

Tim Rafalovich, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo, Alternative Equity Investor


Ravi M. Ugale, Director of Private Equity, GenSpring Family Offices


Ralph Money, Managing Director, Commonfund Capital, Inc.


Walter L. Schindler, PhD, Chairman and CEO, SAIL Capital LLC

10:30am -11:15am

Opportunities in Structured Finance and Alternative Credit Strategies – How to find alpha

  • Where are the opportunities during the upcoming 24 months
  • How have fixed income and credit markets performed?
  • Exploiting inefficiencies in the credit markets
  • The importance of manager flexibility
  • Benefits of a long-term strategic allocation to the high yield asset class

David A. Russell, CFA, Senior Investment Strategist, Senior Consultant, Investment
Performance Services, LLC


Steve Pachella, Vice President, Capital Markets, ReliaMax


Chad Burhance, Executive Managing Director, NewOak Credit Services LLC

11:15am -12:00pm

Investing in Non-Correlated Alternative Assets:

  • With increased globalization are there assets that are truly uncorrelated?
  • Do strategies really exist that are uncorrelated, can provide downside protection and generate real returns?
  • What alternative asset classes are well suited for the current market environment?
  • Is the hedge fund party over? If not, where are the opportunities?
  • What about Renewable energy? Precious metals? Infrastructure? Real estate? Real assets? Life settlements? Venture?
  • Can a niche within the same industry perform very differently?
  • When you consider alpha, does investing in private or direct alternatives offer a premium significant enough to warrant the perceived or real risks associated with these investments

Ted Kokas, CIO, EverWatch Financial Inc. (SFO)


Scott M. Smith, President, Aquarius Equipment Finance, Inc.


Daniel Oschin, Chief Operating Officer, Shopoff Realty Investments


Investing in The Cannabis Industry

  • Private vs. Public?
  • Ancillary non-regulated businesses vs. regulated “touching the plant” business investments?
  • Importance for cannabis to be part of your investment portfolio
  • What are additional diligence items and risks important for investing in this business category?
  • Should I invest in a fund or into specific companies as a direct investment?
  • What are the ranges of opportunities both domestically and internationally?

Skip Coomber, President, Coomber Family Estates (SFO) / Dragon Trust Family Office (SFO)

12:45pm - 2:00pm

Networking Lucheon

Sponsored by:

Cortland Fund Services

2:00pm - 2:30pm

Keynote Presentation

Keynote Speaker

Chris Martenson, Co-founder and CEO, Peak Prosperity

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Global Capital Markets: Deflation or Stabilization?

  • Global Risk: Challenges for the Next President
  • Marketplace Influencers
  • Economic Growth in the USA?
  • The future of Europe after BREXIT

Keith Danko, Founder and Managing Member, Witherspoon Partners


Joshua M. Emanuel, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Wilshire Funds Management, Wilshire Associates Incorporated


Richard Bird, President, Bird Capital Group


Glenn Ezard, Senior Consultant, Segal Rogerscasey


Howard Cooper, CEO, Cooper Family Office (SFO)

3:30pm - 4:30pm

Investing Technology and Innovation

4:30pm - 5:30pm

Sustaining the New Age of Impact Investing: How can Institutional Investors get involved?

  • How Activist Investing Is Reshaping the Boardroom: A New Dawn for Corporate Governance?
  • Bridging the Gap to Drive Impact
  • Where Are the Deals?

Leah Zveglich, Managing Partner, Aster Family Advisors (MFO)


Meaghan Kennedy Townsend, Member, Kennedy Family Office (SFO)

5:30pm - 6:00pm

Keynote Presentation:
Industry 4.0 – Our Next Stage of Opportunity

Keynote Speaker

Keith Kaplan, CEO and Co-Founder, Tesla Foundation

6:00pm - 7:00pm

Cocktail Reception


Continental Breakfast

8:00am - 9:00am

Investor Closed Door Breakfast

9:00am - 10:00am

Manager Sourcing: Choosing your investment managers & distinguishing between luck and skill

  • What should investors look for in managers?
  • What is the role of a consultant?
  • Evaluation: Investment process and operations. Red flags. New vs. established managers– what key things should be monitored?
  • Which strategies have been benefiting portfolios and where to look in the upcoming year?
  • What key factors separate managers from each other in the selection process?
  • Methods for reviewing and evaluating a manager’s portfolio returns, return related measures and performance attribution to determine if a manager is in-line with benchmarks and performance expectations

Atif Ali, Director of Alternative Investments, G Family Office (SFO)


Carl Ludwigson, Director of Manager Research, Bel Air Investment Advisors


Leandro A. Festino, Managing Principal, Meketa Investment Group, Inc.


Jonathan Miles, Vice President, Head of Hedge Fund Research, Wilshire Associates


Stuart Blair, Director of Research, Canterbury Consulting

10:00am - 11:00am

Regulation and Risk – key factors to consider when looking into Alternatives


Henry Wilson, Trustee, Wayne County Employees' Retirement System


Sean Rooney, Assistant Chief Counsel, Enforcement Division, California Department of Business Oversight


TBA, InvestCloud, Inc.


TBA, Intertrust


Robert J. Strang, Chief Executive Officer, Investigative Management Group

11:00am -12:00pm

Trustee Roundtable – What role should alternatives play in your investment


David Ourlicht, Commissioner, NYCERS/New York State Insurance Fund


Kurt Vroman, Board Trustee/Secretary, Deltona Firefighters Pension Board


Tarrell Gamble, Trustee, Alameda County Employees' Retirement Association


James Kottage, Chairman, New Haven Police and Fire Retirement


Will Buividas, Trustee, City of Phoenix Police Pension Board


Gerald Garrett, Trustee, Tulsa Firefighters Health and Welfare Trust


Guy Pinkman, Trustee, City of Lincoln Police and Fire Pension


Conference Concludes


Golf Tournament

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
1 Ritz Carlton Drive, Dana Point, CA, United States

Garden View - Single $305
Garden View - Double $305
*Prices exclude taxes. Rates are exclusive of 10.16% tax and $3 Dana Point TBID assessment charge per room/per night. Please contact for additional room categories.
  • Rooms are available only to those participants who are registered conference attendees.
  • The name on the form will be the name of the guest room.
  • Rooms are allocated on a first come first serve basis. Room types/rates are subject to availability.
  • Rooms will not be guaranteed without a credit card.


Opal Group is happy to provide our attendees with a special rate for car service to/from the airport.  Best Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation has 24 hour service available. Opal Group’s special group rates include complimentary luggage assistance to and from the hotel. Please fill out this form and send back to the email address on the form. Flight information must be provided when reserving your transportation.

Don’t forget to mention Opal Group to receive the preferred group rate.


Best Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation



Telephone: 714.375.9128


SNA- John Wayne/Orange County Airport

Travel Time = 21 miles / 30 minutes


LGB-Long BeachAirport

Travel time = 41 miles / 1 hour


LAX- Los Angeles National Airport

Travel Time = 65 miles / 1 hour, 15 minutes

Registration Pricing

Standard Rate
Asset Managers and Service Providers $3,295
***Family Offices (Single/Multi), Endowment, and Foundation Complimentary*
Pension/Union Trustee, Administrator, Director or Officer / Non-Discretionary Consultant Complimentary*

*** These include: organizations that are solely investing on their own behalf in alternatives and do not sell any alternative investment products or services to clients including; sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, endowments, foundations, family offices, private clients and treasury.

*Subject to Opal Financial Group's approval. Eligibility will be verified.

Sponsorship, Exhibition & Speaking Opportunities 212.532.9898

Presented by

Keith Kaplan, CEO and Co-Founder, Tesla Foundation

Presented by

Chris Martenson, Co-founder and CEO, Peak Prosperity

Presented by

John Sitilides, Principal, Trilogy Advisors LLC

Presented by

Bob Wiedemer, President, Aftershock Publishing, LLC, Author, Aftershock and Aftershock Investor

  • Investors perspective on alternatives
  • Volatility
  • Risk
  • Asset Allocation
  • Hedge Fund
  • Real Asset Investing
  • Real Estate opportunities
  • Direct and Co-Investing Opportunities
  • 1031 Exchanges
  • Liquid Alternatives
  • Alternative Styles and Strategies for Investing

  • Asset Allocation Best Practices

  • Compliance and Fiduciary Responsibility

  • Investor outlook on the Alternatives space

  • Risk Management

  • Manager Selection

  • Equity Investing

  • Hedge Funds

  • Private Equity/Venture Capital

  • Real Estate

  • Real Assets – precious metals, timber, infrastructure, agriculture, managed futures, etc.

  • Emerging and Frontier Markets

  • Portfolio Construction

  • Investing in Credit & Securitization Markets

  • Choosing the right advisor/consultant

Help For Children

Help for Children is a global foundation that provides grants to the most effective and efficient child abuse prevention and treatment interventions in six countries, making the world a safer place for children. The foundation is supported by the generosity of Hedge Funds Care and the broader alternative investment community. Help For Children has a two-fold approach: The foundation supports proven methods that are effective in preventing and treating child abuse while also acting as venture philanthropists by supporting promising practices that have shown a strong track record and providing seed money to launch larger public investments.

  • Pension Reps – Trustee, Administrators, Commissioners, Staff
  • Taft Hartley Reps – Trustee, Administrators, Commissioners, Staff
  • Endowments
  • Foundations
  • Family Offices
  • Consultants
  • Attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Hedge Funds
  • Fund of Funds
  • Real Estate Managers
  • Equity Managers
  • Venture Capitalists
  • Private Equity
  • Mutual Funds and ETF Funds
  • Security Lenders
  • Infrastructure Based Fund Managers
  • Investment Banks
  • Insurance Companies

Investors vs. Money Managers and Service Providers

    Institutional Investors

      Great speakers, great topics, great networking - unbelievably great venue. James Strouse

      Chairman, Burlington (VT) Employees' Retirement System

      Superbly organized conference in a fabulous location. Mustafa Saiyid

      Director, The International Monetary fund (IMF)

      Opal is innovative and a leader in the space of organizing quality programs specific to the investment industry. No matter the theme, I am always meeting quality participants and learning new information. Dale Neibert

      H-E-B Brand Savings & Retirement Plan, H.E. Butt Grocery

      You always pick great venues to go along with the excellent programs. Rene Nunez

      Chairman/Trustee, Hispanic & Business Alliance