Public Funds Summit East 2024

Newport Marriott, Newport, RI
July 22, 2024 - July 24, 2024

5 days left

Opal Financial Group’s annual public funds conference addresses issues that are critical to the investment success of senior public pension fund officers and trustees in the new millennium. Concerns of funding liabilities for beneficiaries in a world of declining returns yet maintaining a balance between the risk/reward paradigms is center in the mind of many trustees and representatives of pension plans around the country. The exchange of ideas both in and out of the session halls are key in educating and identifying viable alternatives that will address these concerns. We will discuss how surplus returns should affect employee benefit plans; closely examine the processes for selection and evaluation of investment managers. Beyond the investment sphere we also address legal issues facing pension plans, ethic regulations and the importance of on-going education for plan sponsors and their fiduciaries. 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. By focusing on an atmosphere of education rather than sales or marketing, 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. Opal will kick off the event with a Morning Harbor Excursion, a refreshing and invigorating start to the event, providing an opportunity for networking, relaxation, and a memorable experience for all attendees.

This conference will exclusively feature dialogue driven panel discussions led by consultants and pension funds/plan sponsors. Power Point presentations are prohibited during the sessions but may be made available on our mobile app. Please send in PDF or PowerPoint format if you would like to have presentation included on App. Only Standalone Speakers will be allowed to use PowerPoints, but cannot pitch products or advertise anything with their firms.

Current as of July 15, 2024

8:00 am


10:30 am

Exhibit Set Up

11:30 am

Registration Desk & Exhibit Hall Opens

12:30 pm

Box Lunches Provided In Session Room

12:50 pm

Welcoming Remarks

Presented by

General Treasurer, James A. Diossa, State of Rhode Island

Mayor Xay Khamsyvoravong, City of Newport RI

1:05 pm

A Global Outlook: State of the Global Economy, US Retirement System and Future Forecast


Sarah Hammer, Managing Director, The Wharton School

John Chiang, Former State Treasurer of California, Board Member, Astrana Health

General James A. "Spider" Marks, Head of Geopolitical Strategy, Academy Securities

Oliver Fratzscher, Chief Executive Officer, EM Leaders LLC

Dennis White, Partner, Kahn Swick & Foti LLC

2:00 pm

Should Public Pensions Have A Renewed Focus on Fixed Income?


William Beck, Senior Vice President, Wilshire

Adam Phillips, Managing Director, Loop Capital Asset Management

Anthony Giordano, Executive Committee Member, NYC Board of Education Retirement

Jim Robertson, Executive Vice President – Private Debt, ATEL Growth Capital

2:50 pm

Networking Refreshment Break


Thank You to our Sponsors

3:25 pm

Alternative Ideas for Alternative Thinkers: Emerging, Niche, & Non-Correlated Alternative Strategies for Pension Plan


Sarah Hammer, Managing Director, The Wharton School


Jamie Gnall, Senior Vice President, Wilshire

Anurag Chandra, Trustee & Invest Committee Chairman, San Jose Federated Retirement Plan

LaRoy Brantley, Principal, Meketa Investment Group Mass PRIM

4:20 pm

Exploring Opportunities and Challenges in Today’s Equity Markets: Navigating Volatility and Black Swan Events


Frederick Bailey, Trustee & Chairman of Investment Committee, City of Savannah Employee's Retirement Plan


Al Cumplido, State Investment Commission Member, State of Rhode Island

Duncan Burrill, Managing Director & CEO, CBC Pension Fund

5:00 pm

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


Jason Samansky, Investment Consultant, RVK Inc


Treasurer James A. Diossa, General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island

Treasurer Michael Frerichs, State Treasurer, Treasurer’s Office State of Illinois

Treasurer Mike Pieciak, State Treasurer, State of Vermont

Treasurer Erick Russell, State Treasurer, State of Connecticut

Treasurer Daniel Elliott, State Treasurer, State of Indiana

6:00 pm

Networking Cocktail Hour


Thank You to our Sponsors

8:50 am

Registration/Information Desk Opens

8:50 am

Networking Breakfast

9:55 am

Welcoming Remarks

10:00 am

What’s new in the world of securities litigation? Why does it matter and how did we get here?


Henry Wilson, MPA, Chairman-Trustee, Wayne County Employees Retirement System


Serena Hallowell, Attorney at Law, Motley Rice LLC

Kevin Ruf, Partner, Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP

Scott Foglietta, Partner, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP

11:00 am

Real Estate, Infrastructure & Real Asset Investing for Institutional Investors


Dean Crombie, Trustee – Investment Committee, New Hampshire Municipal Retirement


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

Eric Newman CPA, CGMA, Treasury Manager, City of Stamford (Conn)

Sara Cassidy, Head of Portfolio Management, AEW Capital Management LP

Steve Hagenbuckle, Founder & Managing Partner, TerraCap Management, LLC

12:00 pm

Networking Luncheon


Thank You to our Sponsors

1:20 pm

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


Yi Zheng, Associate Manager, Investment & ODD, HRM Pension Plan


Lindsay Powers, Investment Analyst Private Credit, NEPC LLC

Justin Pinckney, Head of Private Debt, AEW Capital Management LP

Lan Chen, Senior Investment Manager, State of Michigan

2:10 pm

Private Equity and Venture Capital: How To Access The Private Markets?


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

Timothy Schantz, Chairman of the Investment Committee, Historical Society of

Dennis Knueven, Investment Manager, CalPERS

3:00 pm

Networking Refreshment Break


Sponsored by: AEW Capital Management LP

3:30 pm

Non-Investment Challenges: 5+ Questions Facing Pension Plans and How to Handle Them


Kolby Beckham, Chair, Longview Firefighters Relief & Retirement Fund


Kurt Vroman, Chairman, Deltona Firefighters Pension Plan

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

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

4:10 pm

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


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


Adam Barsky, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, New York Power Authority

Mayor Xay Khamsyvoravong, City of Newport RI

Rebecca E Lilly, Vice President, Financial Advisor, The Centre Harbour Group – Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

5:00 pm

Day 2 Panels Conclude

5:30 pm

Shuttle Bus Service to Summer Social Bash

6:00 pm

Summer Social Networking Bash


Shuttle Bus Service Provided to Newport Harbor Resort

Thank You to our Sponsors

8:20 am

Registration Desk Opens & Networking Breakfast

9:20 am

Breakfast with Consultants: Gatekeepers vs. Outsourced Due-Diligence


Robert Saffer, Vice Chairperson, Boca Raton GE Pension Plan


Julian Regan, Senior Vice President & Public Sector Market Leader, Segal Marco Advisors

Christopher Rowlins, Partner, Senior Consultant, Fiducient Advisors

William Beck, Senior Vice President, Wilshire

10:00 am

Portfolio and Investment Risk Management: What Are You Ignoring?


Joe Matthews CFA CFP®, Senior Institutional Consultant, First Vice President, Financial
Advisor, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management


Robert Patzelt, Deputy Chair, WCBNS

Russ Kamp, Managing Director, Ryan ALM Inc

10:40 am

Learning from Actuaries: Active Engagement with Your Actuary and Pension


Kurt Vroman, Chairman, Deltona Firefighters Pension Plan


Michelle Boyles, Consulting Actuary, Bolton

Piotr Krekora, Senior Consultant and Actuary, Gabriel Roeder Smith & Company

11:20 am

Practical Tools to Improve Governance, Fiduciary Responsibility & Avoid Conflicts


Jillean Battle, Chief Privacy Officer, Health and Hospital Corporation

Michael Grodi, Board Chair, Monroe County Employees Retirement System

12:00 pm

Conference Concludes

Newport Marriott, Newport, RI
25 America's Cup Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island 02840, USA

Exclusive of applicable state and local taxes, (currently 13% & $1.00 nightly Newport Tourism Assessment fee) at the time of the event.

The room block is currently sold out.

Please contact Maria Rojas to be put on the waitlist ( A list of recommended hotels* may be found below:


*Opal does not have a group rate or contracted block of rooms at these hotels.  Please contact the properties direct for reservations.


41 North Cottages & Suites – Tel:  401-846-8018

Admiral Fitzroy Inn – Tel:  401-848-8000

Almody Inn – Tel:  401-848-7202

Anne’s Sanford-Covell Villa Marina – Tel:  401-847-0206

Architects Inn – Tel:  401-847-7081

Bayberry Inn of Newport – Tel:  401-846-4693

Black Duck Inn – Tel:  401-841-5548

The Brenton Hotel – Tel: 401-849-3100

Bristol Harbor Inn – Tel: (401) 254-1444

Castle Hill – Tel: 401.849.3800

The Chanler at Cliff Walk – Tel: 401-847-1300

Chart House Inn – Tel:  401-846-5676

Cliffside Inn – Tel:  401-847-1811

Francis Malbone House – Tel:  401-846-0392

Gardiner House – Tel: 401-436-0400

Hampton Inn & Suites – Tel: 401-841-0049

Holiday Inn Express – Tel: 401-848-7128

Hydrangea House Inn – Tel:  401-846-4435

Inn on Bellevue – Tel:  401-848-6242

Inns of Newport – Tel:  401-848-5300

Jailhouse Inn – Tel:  401-847-4638

La Farge Perry House – Tel:  401-847-2223

Legendary Inns of Newport – Tel:  401-847-1811

Marshall Slocum Inn – Tel:  401-841-5120

Mill Street Inn – Tel: 401-849-9500

Newport Blues Inn – Tel:  401-847-4400

Newport Beach Inn & Suites – Tel: 401-846-0310

Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina – Tel: 401-847-9000

Reed Rose Cottage Suites & Pool – Tel:  401-846-8790

Residence Inn – Tel: 401-845-2005

Samuel Durfee House – Tel:  401-847-1652

Sarah Kendall House – Tel:  401-846-7976

Stella Maris Inn – Tel:  401-849-2862

Victorian Ladies Inn – Tel:  401-849-9960

Vanderbilt Grace – Tel: 401 846 6200

The Newport Beach Hotel and Suites – Tel: 401-846-0310

The Atwater – Tel: 800-392-3717

Registration Pricing

Standard Rate
Managers/Service Providers $2,895
Plan Sponsors, Pension Trustee & Staff, Non-Discretionary Consultants, Endowments, and Foundations can be verified for complimentary access* (must be allocators to 3rd party fund managers) Complimentary*

*Subject to Opal Group’s verification and approval. Only individuals who are solely investing on their own behalf can be verified for a complimentary pass. Solution Providers or Fund Providers to third parties will not be able to receive complimentary access. As investment portfolios/strategies are constantly changing, we reserve the right to re- verify past delegates for future complimentary passes.

Sponsorship, Exhibition & Speaking Opportunities 212.532.9898
  • Pension Outlook: The State of the U.S.Retirement System
  • New Styles and Strategies for Investing
  • Asset Allocation best Practices
  • Ongoing Education for Plan Fiduciaries and Participants
  • Challenges facing Public Pension Plans
  • Risk Management
  • Manager Selection
  • Equity Investing
  • Securities Lending
  • Hedge Funds
  • Private Equity/Venture Capital
  • Real Estate
  • Real Assets – precious metals, timber, infrastructure, agriculture, managed futures, etc.
  • Emerging and Frontier Markets
  • Choosing the right advisor/consultant
  • and many more!
  • 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

Manager vs. Investor Breakdown

    Investor Breakdown