Event Profile

CAIA SoCal presents: A Virtual Fireside Chat with Hawaii ERS CIO Elizabeth Burton

September 16, 2021
All times listed are in local time
Free Event
CAIA SoCal presents
Virtual Fireside Chat with Hawaii ERS CIO Elizabeth Burton:
The Evolving Role of Alternatives in Portfolio Diversification

The most pressing issue for public pension funds is that forward-looking return expectations have come way down. There a few choices in dealing with the low-return environment; investors can take on more risk, increase efficiency on the risk that is deployed, remove portfolio constraints (e.g. leverage), add new asset classes, or least desirably, lower return expectations.

What’s evident is that we may be entering a period of asset allocation renaissance. And the role that Alternatives will play in institutional portfolios will only continue to grow in size, complexity, and public scrutiny.

Join CAIA for a thought-provoking fireside chat with Elizabeth Burton, Chief Investment Officer at Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii, and Spencer Hunter, Senior Consultant at RVK. We’ll explore:

• The role of alternatives in a total portfolio
• The importance of manager selection vs. “asset class” expectations
• Downside protection vs. long-term diversification
• The evolution of Private Equity pacing plans
• Hedge Fund portfolio construction
• Expectations for negative real returns

Please note: *CAIA designation not required to attend*

Time & Date
Thursday, September 16, 2021

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

12:00 - 12:05 PM

Bill Kelly – CEO at CAIA Association

12:05 - 12:10 PM
Introduction: The Resiliency of Alternative Asset Classes
Mario Valverde – Vice President at Nuveen & Chapter Head at CAIA Southern California

12:10 - 12:50 PM
Fireside Chat with Elizabeth Burton: The Evolving Role of Alternatives in Portfolio Diversification
Speaker: Elizabeth Burton – CIO at Hawaii ERS & Board Member at CAIA Association
Moderator: Spencer Hunter – Senior Consultant at RVK

12:50 - 1:00 PM
Audience Q&A

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Elizabeth Burton
Organization: Hawaii State Employees Retirement System

Elizabeth Burton is the Chief Investment Officer of the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii (“HIERS”), where she oversees $19 billion in pension fund assets. Ms. Burton is also on the Board of Directors of the Chartered Alternative Investment Association (CAIA). Prior to joining HIERS, Ms. Burton served as Managing Director of the Quantitative Strategies Group at the Maryland State Retirement Agency. In this role, Ms. Burton was responsible for the $4.5B Absolute Return Portfolio and for risk management oversight of the $55B Plan. Ms. Burton joined the Agency in July 2016. Previously, Ms. Burton owned William Street Advisory—a strategic advisory practice which she founded in 2013. Prior to that role, Ms. Burton was a Senior Economist and Expert Witness with Criterion Economics. Prior to that role, Ms. Burton was a Consultant at First Annapolis where she worked on M&A transactions and consulting the payments industry. Previous positions include: Co-Portfolio and Quantitative Risk Analyst with a South Africa-based fund of hedge funds, Trader (fixed income securities) for a risk management firm, and Portfolio Management Associate with a quant-focused fund of hedge funds. Ms. Burton received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French, cum laude, from Washington and Lee University, and her MBA in Finance, Econometrics & Statistics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is on the board of a private residential real estate investment trust and a Trustee of The Hill School, a private boarding school. She is also a CAIA charter holder. Ms. Burton was named one of Chief Investment Officer Magazine’s Top-40-Under-40 in June 2017. In 2019 Ms. Burton received the Industry Innovation Award for <$20B plan by Chief Investment Officer Magazine and was listed in the Power 100 in 2019. In 2020 she was added to the list of top 1% of institutional investors by The Trusted Insight. She has made several appearances on CNBC in 2020 to address the state of the markets in COVID.

Spencer Hunter
Organization: RVK, Inc.

Spencer is a Director and Senior Consultant located in RVK’s Portland headquarters, focusing a majority of his time advising public pension and sovereign wealth fund clients regarding strategic asset allocation, portfolio construction and implementation, and policy development. He also serves as the chair of RVK’s internal Investment Committee, which is tasked with new investment idea generation, forward looking research agendas, and portfolio construction efforts. He is a Shareholder of the firm and has served on the Board of Directors since 2018.

Bill Kelly
Organization: CAIA Association

William (Bill) J. Kelly is the CEO of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (“CAIA”), the global leader in alternative investment education with approximately 10,000 chartered Members in 90 different countries. The CAIA Charter is an international credential focused exclusively on demonstrated professionalism through the mastery of topics across the alternative investment spectrum. Bill has been a frequent industry speaker, writer, and commentator on alternative investment topics around the world since taking the leadership role at the CAIA Association in January 2014. Previously, Bill was the CEO of Boston Partners and one of seven founding partners of the predecessor firm, Boston Partners Asset Management which, prior to a majority interest being sold to Robeco Group in Rotterdam in 2002, was an employee-owned firm. Bill’s career in the institutional asset management space spans over 30 years where he gained extensive managerial experience through successive CFO, COO and CEO roles. In addition to his current role, Bill is a tireless advocate for shareholder protection and investor education and is currently the Chairman and lead independent director for the Boston Partners Trust Company. He has previously served as an independent director and audit committee chair for ’40 Act Mutual Funds and other financial services firms. He is also currently an Advisory Board Member of the Certified Investment Fund Director Institute which strives to bring the highest levels of professionalism and governance to independent fund directors around the world. A member of the board of the CAIA Association, Bill also represents CAIA in similar capacities via their global partnerships with other associations and global regulators. Bill began his career as an accountant with PwC and is a designated Audit Committee Financial Expert in accordance with SEC rules. Follow Bill Kelly on Twitter @CAIA_BillKelly

Mario Valverde Rojo
Organization: Nuveen, LLC

Mario joined Nuveen in 2014 and is responsible for the firm’s Western sales effort within various institutional channels. He is also Chapter Head for CAIA Southern California. Prior, Mario served in an institutional marketing capacity at OppenheimerFunds (now Invesco), where he developed and executed the firm’s positioning and thought leadership strategy for focus products. He previously worked at HRC Fund Associates as a product manager for energy infrastructure portfolios and at sister company, PCS Research Services, as a sell-side analyst covering special situations. Mario received a B.S. in finance and international business from NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst. Mario holds the Series 7 and 24 registrations. He was born in Mexico City and is living the American Dream.