Public Funds Summit 2024

The Scott Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, AZ
January 8, 2024 - January 9, 2024

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The Public Funds Summit provides a unique environment in which members of the public sector can exchange ideas and learn from other delegates, money managers, and consultants. Although attendance is not limited to those in the public sector, the conference takes aim at topics that are of particular relevance to public pension funds.

Funding concerns and declining returns have led many pension plans to seek a balance between risk and reward in order to meet pension obligations. Furthermore, the role of investment and its returns are essential to the concern of meeting obligations to pension members. How investment managers, across various strategies, can aid public pension plans in ensuring a safe future for its members will be key in the conversations at the event. The exchange of ideas both in and out of the session halls is key in educating and identifying viable alternatives that will address these concerns. Beyond the investment sphere, we also address legal issues facing pension plans, ethics regulations and the importance of on-going education for plan sponsors and their fiduciaries. We will also discuss the importance of politics and public perception of pension plans and the role that trustees and pension officers have in creating a positive image for their plans.

Current as of January 8, 2024

7:30 am

Exhibit Set Up

8:00 am

Registration/Information Desk Opens

8:00 am

Exhibit Hall / Session Rooms Open

8:00 am

Networking Breakfast

 

Thank you to our Sponsors

9:00 am

Welcoming Remarks

Presented by

Honorable Kimberly Yee, State Treasurer, Office of the Arizona State Treasurer

9:10 am

State of the US Retirement System and the Macro Outlook: What Challenges Are Pensions Facing and What Do They Need to Know Moving Forward?

Moderator

Steven Swanson, Executive Director, Park Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago

Panelists

Jonathan Ward, Founder - Author, Atlas Organization

Leonard Gilroy, Senior Managing Director, Pension Integrity Project, Reason Foundation

Oliver Fratzscher, Chief Executive Officer, EM Leaders LLC

Doug Ducey, Former Governor of Arizona, CEO, Citizens for Free Enterprise

10:10 am

Public Equity Markets: Which Equity Strategies Are Most Attractive?

Moderator

Joseph J. Matthews CFA CFP®, Senior Institutional Consultant, U.S. Government Entity Specialist, Alternative Investments Director, First Vice President - Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Panelists

Christopher S. Tessman, Senior Vice President, Wilshire Advisors, LLC

Robert Saffer, Vice Chairperson, Boca Raton GE Pension Plan

Frederick Bailey, Trustee & Chairman of Investment Committee, City of Savannah Employees Retirement Plan

10:50 am

Private Credit and Direct Lending: A Mature Asset Class for Pensions

Moderator

Kathleen Barchick, Senior Managing Director, Cliffwater LLC

Panelists

Robert Butler, Investment Risk & Compliance Officer, Arizona State Retirement System

Isabelle Freidheim, Founder and Managing Partner, Athena Capital

11:30 am

Networking Refreshment Break

 

Sponsored by: Zomedica

12:00 pm

Tails from the Furry side of Biotech: Pawsitive Alpha from the Animal Health Sector

Presented by

Peter Donato, Executive Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer, Zomedica

12:20 pm

Should Pension Funds Turn To Fixed Income and Longer Duration Investment Grade Bonds?

Moderator

Leandro Festino, Managing Principal, Meketa Investment Group

Panelists

Russ Kamp, Managing Director, Ryan ALM Inc

Scott Kimball, Chief Investment Officer, Loop Capital Asset Management

1:00 pm

Networking Luncheon

 

Thank you to our Sponsors

2:10 pm

Alternative Ideas for Alternative Thinkers: Emerging, Niche, & Non-Correlated Alternative Strategies for Institutional Investors

Moderator

Guy Pinkman, Trustee/Advisory Board Member, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Lincoln Fire Police Retirement System

Panelists

Kevin Leonard, Partner, NEPC, LLC

Isabelle Freidheim, Founder and Managing Partner, Athena Capital

2:50 pm

Best Practices for Securities Litigation & Portfolio Monitoring

Moderator

James Maloney, Board of Directors, Illinois Public Pension Fund Association (IPPFA)

Panelists

Henry Wilson MPA, Chairman, Wayne County Employees Retirement System

Dennis White, Partner, Kahn Swick & Foti LLC

Jeremy Lieberman, Senior Partner, Pomerantz LLP

3:40 pm

Keynote Presentation: The Investigation of the Wolf of Wall Street

Presented by

Gregory Coleman, Founder & CEO, Coleman Worldwide Advisors

4:10 pm

Investing In Private Equity and Venture Capital: Is Now The Time To Be Overweight or Underweight?

Moderator

Jack Frost, Trustee, West Palm Beach FL Police Pension Fund

Panelists

Carolyn Weiss, Chief Financial Officer, The Pension Boards United Church of Christ Inc

Svetlana Loshakov, Senior Managing Director Head of Investment Office, Clearstead

Anton Orlich, Managing Investment Director, Private Equity, CalPERS

4:50 pm

LP Roundtable: A Conversation with CEOs, CIOs, Executive Directors & State Treasurers

Moderator

Frederick Bailey, Trustee & Chairman of Investment Committee, City of Savannah Employees Retirement Plan

Panelists

Joe Aguilar, Chief Investment Officer, Treasurer's Office State of Illinois

Gregory Samorajski, CEO, Iowa Public Employees Retirement System

Michael Frerichs, State Treasurer, Illinois State Treasurer

5:40 pm

Networking Cocktail Reception

 

Thank you to our Sponsors

8:00 am

Networking Breakfast & Registration Desk Opens

8:55 am

Welcoming Remarks

Presented by

Dan Meador, Head of Production, Opal Group

9:00 am

What Real Estate Investment Strategies Are Best For The Next 5 Years?

Moderator

Kurt Vroman, Chairman, Deltona Firefighters Pension Plan

Panelists

Irv Lowenberg, City Treasurer, City of Southfield Fire & Police Retirement System

William R Veliz, Trustee, El Paso Firemen and Policemen's Pension Fund

Nicholas Vician, Director of Business Development and Strategic Initiatives, TerraCap Management LLC

Ian Selig, Vice President, Investor Relations, Safehold Inc. (NYSE: SAFE)

9:50 am

Portfolio & Investment Risk Management: What Are You Ignoring?

Moderator

Russ Kamp, Managing Director, Ryan ALM Inc

Panelists

Robert Butler, Investment Risk & Compliance Officer, Arizona State Retirement System

Alex Cabe, Investment Consultant, USI Consulting Group

10:20 am

Learning from Actuaries: Active Engagement with Your Actuary and Pension Plan

Moderator

Gregory Samorajski, CEO, Iowa Public Employees Retirement System

Panelists

Leonard Gilroy, Senior Managing Director, Pension Integrity Project, Reason Foundation

Amy Timmons, Senior Vice President, Administration & Technology Consulting, Segal

Kurt Vroman, Chairman, Deltona Firefighters Pension Plan

Bryan Hoge, FSA, EA, FCA, MAAA, Consulting Actuary, Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting, LLC

11:10 am

ESG-related challenges currently facing institutional investors, and how are they beginning to grapple with them?

Moderator

Greg Knoll, Beneficiary Trustee & Board Treasurer, The Firefighters Pension Investment Fund, Executive Director, IPFA

Panelists

Sarah Hillegass, Director of Public Markets, Illinois State Treasurers Office

Doug Watler, Trustee, Broward Firefighters Health Trust

11:50 am

Practical Tools to Improve Governance, Fiduciary Responsibility & Avoid Conflicts

Co-Facilitators

Guy Pinkman, Trustee/Advisory Board Member, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Lincoln Fire Police Retirement System

Harry Griffin, Trustee, San Antonio TX Fire & Police Pension Fund

12:30 pm

Conference Concludes – Social Activity: Golf Outing at McCormick Ranch Golf Club

12:50 pm

Golf Outing

 

Location: McCormick Ranch Golf Club, The Palm Course

 

*Limited Availability & Separate Preregistration Required*

4star
The Scott Resort & Spa
4925 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251, USA


Rate
Room $359
Rates are exclusive of a daily $20 Resort fee per room / per night & 14.02%.

Cancelation policy may be found at:

https://opalgroup.net/policies/
  • Global Macroeconomic Outlook
  • Comparing Fixed Income and Equity Market Allocation Strategies
  • Indexing & ETFs for Institutional Investors
  • Portfolio Risk Management
  • LP Roundtable
  • Multi-Strategy Asset Allocation
  • Emerging, Niche, & Non-Correlated Alternative Strategies
  • Real Estate Investing
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital: Deal Structures + Opportunities
  • Opportunities in Credit Lending: Private Debt and Direct Lending
  • Financial Performance of Real Assets
  • Responsible and Sustainable ESG/Impact Strategies
  • Actuarial Science and your Pension Plan
  • Non-Investment Challenges
  • Governance, Fiduciary Responsibility & Avoid Conflicts
  • UNIQUE CONFERENCE FORMAT
    This conference will exclusively feature dialogue driven panel discussions led by consultants and public pension plans. 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.*

  • PLAN SPONSOR EDUCATION HOURS
    Investment training = 14 hours
    Actuarial science = 1 hour
    Legal education regarding the laws, rules, and regulations = 2 hours
    Fiduciary duty and ethics = 1 hour

  • Pension Rep – Trustee, Administrators, Commissioners, Staff
  • Consultants
  • Attorneys
  • Taft Hartley Reps – Trustee, Administrators, Commissioners, Staff
  • Accountants
  • Hedge Funds
  • Fund of Funds
  • Real Estate Managers
  • Equity Managers
  • Venture Capitalists
  • Private Equity
  • Insurance Companies
  • Benefit Companies
  • Public Service Administrative Providers