NAA National Tour Highlights Austin,TX May 2017

We kicked off our National Tour 2017 in Austin, TX on May 17-18.  View Full Schedule HERE.  View Photo Gallery HERE.

We opened the Austin Tour with a Leadership Accelerator/NAA Latina Caucus Roundtable to discuss the progress our team has made toward putting in place a process to support the placement of women (with a special focus on Latinas) in Director- or higher-level roles across sectors. Organizations like SEO and TOIGO do their job beautifully, by placing diverse professionals in great careers out of college and graduate school. And there are organizations like LCDA, whose mission is to increase board diversity. However, who is managing the talent pipeline for diverse professionals ready for Director-level roles, Department Head roles, perhaps one or two levels removed from the C-Suite and the Boardroom? This is where NAA can help.

Since our founding in 1999, we have focused on Capital Access, on cracking the glass ceiling from the bottom up. Now we are tackling it from the top, helping to get more Latinas in roles that have the authority to influence both decisions and capital, so that the decisions and investments made are made by more diverse groups of people, are better informed, and are sustainable for the long term. We are doing this by partnering with firms and institutions who are like-minded, and who want to increase diversity at leadership levels inside their organizations, by helping them to source candidates for senior-level vacancies. Ultimately, we want to create a Diversity Ecosystem for our partners, not only helping them source diverse candidates, but helping them put in place the best diversity programs, source the right HR consultants, work with the right staffing agencies, and the list goes on. Right now, Latinas make up 1% of Fortune 500 company boards. Help us change that by working with us to build a stronger, more diverse leadership talent pipeline.

Latina Caucus Roundtable from Left to Right: Rosie von Lila, Founder / Director, Investor Relations & Marketing, LUMERA; Erin Patten, Chief Marketing Officer, Potencity; and Diana Maldonado, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
NAA Latina Caucus Reception from Left to Right: Leticia Ha, Mary Kay Inc.; Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Ph.D., Place 6 Board Member, Austin Community College District; Danielle Beyer, Interim CEO, New America Alliance; LeAnn Gola, Senior Associate, Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS); and Tom Soto, NAA Co-Chair; Managing Partner, Frontier Impact Capital

On day two of our Austin visit we held a series of events for institutional investors, Trustees, and NAA members at the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) offices to discuss Emerging Managers. Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) and Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) joined us for roundtable discussions regarding their respective Emerging Manager programs.

We also hosted a thought leadership and open discussion luncheon, focused on the findings of the recent Knight Foundation-commissioned study, "Diversifying Investments", which brings to light the lack of diversity in the investment management industry. Executives and Trustees from ERS, TRS, UTIMCO, City of Austin Employees Retirement System, and Northern Trust joined in on the dialogue. To review the highlights of the Knight Foundation study, see HERE.

Since its beginnings, the NAA has developed a platform to ensure that Emerging Managers have access to institutional pools of capital. Our members have raised over $60 Billion in assets, and we continue to welcome new firms into our membership, and to foster their growth and development. We are now more actively inviting private-sector institutions, such as endowments, foundations, and large asset managers, into our work. Women and minority-owned firms manage 1.1% of the $71.4 Trillion in industry assets. NAA will continue to work to change this.

Institutional Investor Luncheon from Left to Right: Tom Tull, Chief Investment Officer, Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS); Sharmila Chatterjee Kassam, Esq., CPA, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS); Christopher Hanson, Executive Director, City of Austin Employees' Retirement System (COAERS); Sylvia Bell, Director, Emerging Managers Program, Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS); T. Karen Charleston, Trustee, Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS); and LeAnn Gola, Senior Associate, Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)
Teacher Retirement System Roundtable from Left to Right: Melford Carter, Principal, GCM Grosvenor Private Markets; Andrew Padilla, Associate, GCM; Stephen Cammock, Vice President, GCM Grosvenor; Sylvia Bell, Director, Emerging Managers Program, Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS); T. Karen Charleston, Trustee, Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS); and LeAnn Gola, Senior Associate, Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) 

We closed our visit with a Forum and Reception sponsored by Progress Investment Management Company. Keynote speaker R. David Kelly, Chairman, Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), recapped his leadership journey at the helm of one of our country's most successful emerging manager investors, and shared tips with the emerging investment firms in the room. Jose Balagot, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Progress Investment Management Company, provided an informative research update on Emerging Managers performance.

We look forward to taking this dialogue on the road through our National Tour visits to New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago later this year. Will you join us on our next Tour stop?

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     R. David Kelly, Chairman,
     Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)
     Jose Balagot, Deputy Chief Investment Officer,
     Progress Investment Management Company