The business case for advancing DEI

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The business case for advancing DEI

The business case for advancing DEI

About the speakers
  • Grace Reyes
    Grace Reyes
    CEO at The Investment Diversity Exchange (TIDE)
    As featured on Forbes, Entreprenuer, Thrive Global, Grace Reyes is one of the most prominent voices in finance when it comes to promoting diversity & gender balance in the investment management industry. Ms. Reyes is the CEO of The Investment Diversity Exchange (TIDE) which connects and engages movers and shakers to promote diversity & inclusion within the investment industry. With a background in fundraising, Grace has built relationships with the largest investors in the US and has formed close rapport with an array of industry leaders & prominent investors globally - relationships that have helped her bring awareness to the causes and firms that Grace represents. She is also an Independent Board Director and part of the Audit Committee of Professional Diversity Network (NASDAQ: IPDN).
  • Kirk Sims
    Kirk Sims
    Senior Director of Emerging Managers Program at Teachers' Retirement System of Texas
    Kirk Sims heads TRS’ Emerging Manager Program. Since being established in 2005, TRS has committed $5.9 billion to one of the largest programs of its kind. An additional $4.6 billion has been invested directly with EM Program graduates. Each graduate was selected as a result of consistent outperformance among a group of more than 218 EM managers. Sims joined the Teacher Retirement System of Texas on March 1, 2019. Before joining Texas Teachers, he was a Senior Investment Officer for the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois. Sims had oversight and management responsibility of TRS’s Emerging Manager Program, a $750 million evergreen pool of capital designed to identify and invest in emerging investment managers across all asset classes. Prior, Sims worked at Prudential Retirement where he was responsible for a manager of manager’s retirement platform as well as an open architecture investment platform. He also has a background in asset management and has held various positions with both large and small asset managers. Sims is a CFA charter holder and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University in Washington, DC.
  • Sara Zulkosky
    Sara Zulkosky
    Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Recast Capital
    Sara is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Recast Capital, a 100% women-owned platform investing in and supporting emerging managers in venture, with a focus on diverse partnerships. Sara previously served as a Venture Partner at Greenspring Associates (now StepStone Group), where she was responsible for sourcing and due diligence efforts across the platform, managing and supporting evaluation committees and existing investments, and leading the firm's impact investing initiative. Prior to joining Greenspring, Sara served as a Principal with CNF Investments, a private investment firm affiliated with Clark Enterprises, Inc., focusing on fund and direct venture capital and private equity opportunities in technology, life sciences and energy. Prior to that, Sara participated in Foundation Capital's Young Entrepreneurs Program, where she helped identify promising investment opportunities in the Washington, DC area. Sara was also the Director of Product Management for SkyBuilt Power, Inc., a venture-backed clean-tech company that provided rapidly-deployable renewable energy solutions to the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Intelligence Community, and telecommunications industry. She was with the business from its inception, also supporting it as a Project Engineer, Project Manager, and its Director of Engineering. Sara received a M.B.A from Georgetown University, and a M.S. in Engineering Management and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The George Washington University. Sara is also a Kauffman Fellow
  • Marlene Timberlake D'Adamo
    Marlene Timberlake D'Adamo
    Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at CalPERS
    Marlene Timberlake D'Adamo was named CalPERS first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer in June 2021. She works across the organization and the Investment Office to foster a culture of equality, respect and inclusiveness. She partners with the environmental, social, and governance investment team to help identify and analyze emerging DEI issues and opportunities supported by sound investment methodology and academic research that may impact the CalPERS portfolio. Marlene also guides CalPERS DEI framework, the employee Diversity Advisory Council, and works with the CalPERS Health Program and contracting health plans to survey and measure outcomes and customer satisfaction using race, ethnicity, and gender identity data. She joined the CalPERS executive team in April 2016 as chief compliance officer, responsible for all aspects of the Enterprise Compliance Division. She has more than 25 years of finance and investment experience and has also provided executive leadership as CalPERS' interim chief financial officer. Prior to joining CalPERS, Marlene served in other leadership capacities in the finance and compliance field, including managing director, senior vice president, Portfolio & Risk Management at PNC Bank in Philadelphia; chief compliance officer of Glenmede Investment Management; and vice president of the Glenmede Trust Company. She is a former board member to the Committee of 70 and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, both located in Philadelphia. Marlene holds a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Seton Hall University, and Juris Doctor degree from the Beasley School of Law, Temple University.
  • Raudline Etienne
    Raudline Etienne
    Founder and CEO at Daraja Capital
    Raudline Etienne is the Founder and CEO of Daraja Capital, an investment and advisory firm providing seed capital to new, diversely owned, private fund managers and independent sponsors. Ms. Etienne has over 25 years of experience in institutional investing and consulting. She previously served as CIO for the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the third largest public fund in the U.S., where she managed a global multi-asset portfolio supporting the fund’s pension beneficiaries. During her tenure, she established multiple thematic investment strategies focused on climate, emerging managers, and innovation. Prior to her role as CIO, Ms. Etienne spent more than a decade advising institutional investors at RogersCasey where she developed wide expertise in multiple asset classes, investment strategies, as well as institutional investment managers. In addition to these roles, Ms. Etienne also served as a Senior Advisor/ Senior Director at global strategy firm Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG) where she focused on expanding opportunities in the investment sector both for ASG and its clients. Currently, Ms. Etienne is a trustee of the Janus Henderson Funds Board and a member of the Board of Advisors of Brightwood Capital, a capital provider to U.S.- based middle market enterprises. She serves on the Investment Committee of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art’s Endowment. Past board roles include Van Alen Institute, Connecticut Hedge Fund Association, and the Toigo Foundation. Ms. Etienne earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA in finance from the University of California at Berkeley where she was awarded the Toigo Foundation Fellowship.

Key takeaways