June 26 & 27

Table showing the 2023 Catalyst Forum agenda for June 26 & 27
Time & Date Topic
Monday, June 26, 2023
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Please join CalPERS, CalSTRS and industry colleagues as we celebrate the inaugural Catalyst Forum.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast Buffet
8:30 – 8:40 a.m.

Welcoming Remarks


  • Theresa Taylor, Board President, CalPERS
  • Sharon Hendricks, Board Member, CalSTRS
8:40 – 9:00 a.m.

Purpose and Vision of Catalyst

Speaker: Nicole Musicco, Chief Investment Officer, CalPERS

CalPERS' Chief Investment Officer Nicole Musicco will share her vision of building a culture of resiliency and innovation and why diversity, equity, and inclusion will play a key role in California's largest pension funds' success.

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Opening Keynote Session: Journey to the Top

Moderator: Jon Winkelried, Chief Executive Officer, TPG

Speaker: José E. Feliciano, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Clearlake Capital Group

Bloomberg news has called José Feliciano “an investor playing hard ball in the big leagues.” Feliciano is known for his work on human rights and social impact investments. He will share his thoughts and insights on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the investment management landscape and how he has seen this impact culture and leadership within his firm. Importantly, he will share insights and perspectives into his own journey from an emerging manager to building one of the most successful alternative investment firms today.

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. Networking Break
10:15 – 11:00 a.m.

Private Market Track A | Paying It Forward…Best Practices from Successful Emerging Managers

Moderator: Kevin Nickelberry, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor


  • Michelle Dipp, Managing Partner and Founder, BioSpring Partners
  • Sherrese Clarke Soares, HarbourView Equity Partners
  • In Seon Hwang, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Ascend Capital Partners

This panel of accomplished investor entrepreneurs will share wisdom and advice on how they have successfully navigated the complexities of this current environment. They will discuss where they have found success and challenges in building their team and what it takes to be institutional ready. For those attendees who are seeking to launch a first-time fund, this session will give you insights into how to prioritize your efforts and best practices across the many dimensions of launching a fund.

Public Market Track B | What’s next for the Emerging Manager Programs?

Moderator: Anyori Hernandez, President and CEO, New America Alliance


  • Rosa Perez, Investment Officer- Diversity Programs & Total Portfolio, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund
  • Alison Cruz, Director of Investments, Atlantic Health System
  • Lauren Mathias, Senior Vice President, Callan
  • Sarah Maynard, Global Senior Head, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at CFA Institute

In this session, both institutional investors and consultants will dive into their own experiences on how they invest and approach the emerging manager universe. This panel of industry experts will dive into their own lessons learned, how they are evolving their programs, and what opportunities they are seeing with the new entrants into the space.

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Private Market Track A | Countering the Narrative – Seeking Alpha Through Diverse Manager Allocations

Moderator: Pamela Pavkov, Firm Partner and Head of TPG NEXT, TPG


  • Taffi Ayodele, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Emerging Manager Strategy, New York City Systems
  • Bryan A. Fujita, Chief Operating Officer, Investment Division, Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System
  • Peter Cashion, Managing Investment Director, Sustainable Investments, CalPERS

A headwind the industry continues to face is the premise that investing with small, emerging, and diverse managers results in sacrificing returns. This session will unpack the challenges this brings to institutional investors in a time when terms such as “ESG” and “DEI” have a negative tone. These industry experts will discuss how they are discussing these challenging topics with their current partners, up-and-coming managers, their boards, and staff.

Public Market Track B |Building a Successful Emerging Manager Business – A Historical Perspective and Looking Beyond

Moderator: Cesar J. Gonzales, Jr., Director, Manager Development and Client Portfolio Manager, Xponance, Inc.


  • Mary Pugh, CEO and Chief Investment Officer, Pugh Capital Management, Inc.
  • Ellen Safir, Founder and Chief Investment Officer, New Century Advisors
  • Kirsten Syverson, Co-Founder, Integrated Quantitative Investments
  • A. Rama Krishna, Founder and Chief Investment Officer, ARGA Investment Management, LP
  • Nitin Kumbhani, Co-Founder & CEO, Accent Capital Management
  • Randell A. Cain, Jr., CFA, Founder/CEO/CIO, Kerusso Capital Management, LLC

In this session, we’ll showcase the different investment and business strategies utilized by emerging managers to remain current and competitive – from a historical perspective and beyond.

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Lunch & Fireside Chat: The Value of Kindness at Work

Introduction: Eraina Ortega, Director, CalHR, CalPERS Board Member

Moderator: Tina Byles Williams, CEO, CIO, and Founder, Xponance

Speaker: James C. Rhee, Leader, Educator, Investor and Goodwill Strategist

James Rhee is an acclaimed impact leader, entrepreneur, educator, investor, and goodwill strategist. He transforms people, brands, and organizations by identifying and unleashing purpose through the systemic union of mathematical and creative systems, thereby making tangible the otherwise intangible. James will discuss the power of a diverse ecosystem and the value of kindness at work.

1:15 – 1:30 p.m. Networking Break
1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

The Elevator Pitch

Moderator: Jon Levin, President, GCM Grosvenor

  1. 1:30 – 1:55 p.m. Private Equity – Buyout
    • Speaker: Thecla Sweeney, Partner, Alphi Capital
    • Panel:
      • Rob Ross, Private Equity Portfolio Manager, CalSTRS
      • Caroline Green, Private Equity Investment Manager, CalPERS
  2. 1:55 – 2:20 p.m. Private Equity – Venture Capital
    • Speakers: Jason Lin, Steve Chen, and Kevin Lin from Lifelike Capital
    • Panel:
      • Katherine Rodota, Private Equity Associate Portfolio Manager, CalSTRS
      • Ben Lee, Private Equity Associate Investment Manager, CalPERS
  3. 2:20 – 2:45 p.m. Public Markets
    • Speakers: Eswar Menon, Founder and CIO, Harper Capital
    • Panel:
      • Geraldine Jimenez, Senior Investment Director, CalSTRS
      • Ray Venner, Portfolio Manager, Public Equity, CalSTRS
      • Thomas Quinn, Managing Director, Xponance
2:45 – 2:50 p.m.

Catalyst Connection Remarks

Speaker: Marcie Frost, Chief Executive Officer, CalPERS

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Catalyst Connection: One-On-One Meetings

  • 3:00 – 3:20 p.m. Session 1
  • 3:30 – 3:50 p.m. Session 2
  • 4:00 – 4:20 p.m. Session 3
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Networking Reception

6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Catalyst Dinner Reception, hosted by TPG

Location: Stella, 1448 Burlingame Ave, Burlingame, CA 94010

June 28

Table showing the 2023 Pathways for Women agenda for June 28
Time & Date Topic
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
7:00 – 8:00 a.m. Breakfast Buffet
8:00 - 8:10 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Speaker: Scott Chan, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, CalSTRS

8:10 – 8:25 a.m.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion in Action


  • Marlene Timberlake D'Adamo, Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer, CalPERS
  • LaShae Badelita, Investment Diversity Officer, CalSTRS

Hear from CalPERS and CalSTRS leaders on how they are implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion principles across their organizations and financial communities.

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Catalyst Connection: One-on-One Meetings

  • 8:30 – 8:50 a.m. Session 4
  • 9:00 – 9:20 a.m. Session 5
  • 9:30 – 9:50 a.m. Session 6
10:00 – 10:15 a.m. Networking Break
10:15 – 11:00 a.m.

The Founder’s Journey: Turning an Idea Into a Bright Reality

Moderator: Laura Weidman Powers, Co-Founder and CEO, Code2040


  • Samuel Adeyemo, Co-Founder, Aurora Solar
  • Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, CEO, Wellthy
  • Wardah Inam, CEO, Overjet

The entrepreneurial dream fuels the economic engine of America. Identifying founders that have the vision, passion, and skill to take a company from concept to launch to market success is a key skill for the next generation of investor entrepreneurs. In this session, hear from experienced founders who have walked the walk themselves, while also advising many other diverse founders to develop a scalable game-plan, attract investors, and make the leap from good idea to great company.

11:15 – 11:45 a.m.

Building a Successful Venture Capital Franchise in a Post-SVB World

Moderator: Amanda Outerbridge, Managing Director, Harbourvest


  • Anthony Lee, Managing Director, Altos Ventures
  • Kristin Green, Founder and Partner, Forerunner
  • Gus Alberelli, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Sunstone Partners

As one of the fastest growing areas for small, emerging, and diverse managers, hear from a group of VCs who have discovered their “right to win” in the competitive ecosystem of the global innovation economy.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Lunch & Keynote Spotlight

Introduction: Malia M. Cohen, California State Controller, CalPERS & CalSTRS Board Member

Moderator: Yup Kim, Investment Director, CalPERS

Speaker: Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman & Managing Director, General Catalyst

Mr. Chenault is the celebrated former chairman and CEO of American Express who is now chairman and managing director of the venture capital firm, General Catalyst. He focuses on investing in fast-growing companies to have the potential to become large, fundamental institutions. He also provides invaluable guidance to portfolio companies, particularly to those with an eye towards global markets and responsible innovation, as they scale their teams and products. He will share his own journey of leadership and the reinventive potential of technology while advancing society.

1:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Closing Remarks & Thank You

Speaker: Cassandra Lichnock, Chief Executive Officer, CalSTRS