Public Funds Summit East 2024

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

29 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 June 19, 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

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

2:40 pm


3:00 pm

Networking Refreshment Break


Sponsored by:

3:30 pm

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


Justin Rodriguez, Chairman, San Antonio Fire And Police Pension Fund


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, Secretary & Treasurer, 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

8:30 am

Registration/Information Desk Opens

8:30 am

Networking Breakfast

9:30 am

Welcoming Remarks

9:35 am

Keynote Fireside Chat:

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

Dennis White, Partner, Kahn Swick & Foti LLC

TBA, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP

10:50 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

11:40 am


12:00 pm

Networking Luncheon

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

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

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

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

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

SPONSORED BY: 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

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

12:00 pm

Conference Concludes

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

Room $479 per night
Exclusive of applicable state and local taxes, (currently 13% & $1.00 nightly Newport Tourism Assessment fee) at the time of the event.

**Friday / Saturday night, is subject to availability at a higher rate. Please contact Maria Rojas | for additional information **


Please refer to the Opal website for the cancellation policy (

Upon the conclusion of the conference, all reservations will be reviewed, and any additional nights and/or misc. charges to prepaid reservations will be charged to your credit card as well.

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