Attending Forum is an investment in yourself and the mission of your organization.
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Virtual Event Commences
On-Demand Sessions, Networking, Private Meetings, Commonfund Info Booths and more.
1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Mark Anson, PhD, CFA, CAIA, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Commonfund
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Navigating the Global Economy
Equity markets continue to chug along despite the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession, powered by a small group of growth stocks. Government budgets around the world are strained to the breaking point as they attempt to support their economies and populations through the crisis with fiscal stimulus. Interest rates remain at record lows with investors now anticipating the Fed and other central bank’s policy moves in 2021. With this backdrop, our panel of experts will share their expectations for the coming year and beyond, helping fiduciaries understand where there are risks and opportunities for long-term investors.
Panelists: Kris Kwait, co-CIO, Commonfund Asset Management; Adam S. Posen, President, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Diane Swonk, Chief Economist, Grant Thornton
Moderator: Allison Schrager, PhD, Author, Economist and Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
A Fireside Chat with Darren Walker: From Generosity to Justice
Keynote speaker and Ford Foundation President, Darren Walker, will share his bold vision for the future of philanthropy. Since his arrival in 2013, Mr. Walker has transformed the venerable Foundation, refocusing its considerable resources and influence on moving philanthropy from generosity – helping someone in need, to justice – solving the problems that created the need. That task requires humility, moral courage, and an unwavering commitment to democratic values and institutions. Mr. Walker will challenge and embolden attendees to consider the ways in which their organization can be a tool for achieving economic, social, and political justice.
Speaker: Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation
Interviewed by: Dr. David A. Thomas, President, Morehouse College and Commonfund Trustee
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Platform Open to Attendees
On-Demand Sessions, Networking, Private Meetings, Commonfund Business Booths and more.
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Infinite Challenges, Endless Opportunities, Finite Resources: Revisiting the Role of Your Endowment
Board members, trustees and others that have oversight of endowed portfolios have well-documented fiduciary duties that govern how they carry out those responsibilities. In times of relative calm, discharging those duties is (hopefully) straightforward. Today, many nonprofits face the prospect of transformational change, both in their operations and more broadly in the fulfillment of their missions. In response, many have questioned the role of the endowment in responding to crises or other existential threats. This has led to comprehensive reviews of investment objectives, risk tolerances, levels of illiquidity, spending policies, ESG and impact investing and approaches to diversity, equity and inclusion. In this session, our panel of experts will share a framework for approaching these all-important issues and share their experiences engaging their organizations in revisiting the role of their endowment.
Panelists: Annette Parker, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Ursinus College; Cyndi Roberts, Chief Financial Officer, American Heart Association; Jerry Wise, Chief Financial Officer, Newfields
Moderator: Timothy T. Yates, Jr., President and CEO, Commonfund Asset Management
2:15 PM – 3:15 PM
Private Capital: Accessing Industries that are Transforming our World and Co-investing to Concentrate Capital with Sector Experts
Today, investors are asking two core questions: “how do I plan and build a thoughtful and resilient private capital portfolio over time” and “how do I source and evaluate leading managers that repeatably add value to portfolio companies?” Some investors have discovered that accessing a mix of private capital firms that take a hands-on approach with their companies and use sector-specific operational/industry experience can be compelling. Others include firms that have proven skill sets to transform companies experiencing financial, operational or cyclical dislocation. One companion strategy being more strategically employed by investors is co-investments. The potential benefit of co-investments is accessing specific companies to invest alongside capable managers with a concentration in high conviction companies. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how the mix of primary fund managers and co-investment strategies can change the dynamics of your entire private capital program. What makes for a successful strategy and what should you look for? What are current market dynamics in terms of alignment, motivations, opportunities and risks? Our featured guest is Todd Cozzens of Transformation Capital. Todd has more than 30 years of experience in the digital healthcare industry that includes founding, operating, building, investing – and exiting – innovative and leading-market companies. Previously, Todd co-led digital health investing at Sequoia Capital which he joined in 2012 before founding Transformation in 2016. Prior to this he was a founder and CEO of two digital health companies, Marquette Medical and Picis.
Special Guest: Todd Cozzens, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Transformation Capital
with Commonfund Capital team members Peter M. Burns, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Mark C. Hoeing, Head of Global Private Equity and Co-Investments
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Fareed Zakaria: 10 Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World
COVID-19 is speeding up history, but how? What is the shape of the world to come?
Lenin once said, "There are decades when nothing happens and weeks when decades happen." This is one of those times when history has sped up. CNN host and best-selling author Fareed Zakaria helps us to understand the nature of a post-pandemic world: the political, social, technological, and economic consequences that may take years to unfold. Based on his New York Times best-selling book, Fareed will present ten "lessons," covering topics from natural and biological risks to the rise of "digital life" to an emerging bipolar world order, helping attendees to begin thinking beyond the immediate effects of COVID-19. Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World speaks to past, present, and future, and, while urgent and timely, is sure to become an enduring reflection on life in the early twenty-first century.
Fareed Zakaria, Host of Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN Worldwide
Closing Remarks from Mark Anson, PhD, CFA, CAIA, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Commonfund
Tools for Creating Effective Strategic Policy
Commonfund has worked with nonprofit investors for 50 years. Over that time, we have developed a set of proprietary tools and data to assist boards and investment committees in their quest to create strategic policies that are based in rigorous analysis and intentionally designed with their unique needs in mind. In this interactive session, we will share real-life examples of some of the tools, discuss their design and intended outcomes.
Presenters: Anthony Peretore, CFA, CAIA, Managing Director, Commonfund Asset Management; Steve Gasparini, Associate, Commonfund Asset Management
Insights on Open Private Capital Programs
As institutional investors seek long-term growth in an uncertain global equity market, the importance of allocations to private capital strategies is heightened. This in-depth session by the investment team of Commonfund Capital will provide insights on what’s compelling, what’s not and what’s new across the spectrum of private investments. The team will also share the details on the new private capital programs currently being raised (available for existing and new investors) and the distinct point of view that will guide each of these programs.
Presenters: Peter M. Burns, President and Chief Executive Officer, Commonfund Capital; Mark C. Hoeing, Managing Director, Commonfund Capital; Ethan J. Levine, Managing Director, Commonfund Capital; Cari B. Lodge, Managing Director, Commonfund Capital; Aaron M. Miller, Managing Director, Commonfund Capital; Ralph P. Money, Managing Director, Commonfund Capital; Miriam E. Schmitter, PhD, Managing Director, London Office, Commonfund Capital
Investing in ESG and Sustainability
ESG and environmentally sustainable investments are increasingly capturing the attention of the institutional investment community. Historically, we saw more conversation and less broad investment action. However, we believe this is changing and in this session three of our senior investors will share how we are working with investors to help them to, 1) gain clarity around ESG implementation and responsible investing to ensure alignment with the mission and goals of their organization, and 2) explore specific strategies where we see compelling opportunities today across both the public and private markets. Our objective is to share actionable ideas that fiduciaries can bring back to their boards and investment committees to advance their adoption of responsible investing.
Speakers: Ethan J. Levine, Managing Director, Commonfund Capital; Deborah Spalding, CFA, co-Chief Investment Officer, Commonfund Asset Management
Moderator: Daniel Connell, Director, Commonfund Capital
Emerging Markets Private Capital and interview with Qiming Venture Partner’s Nisa Leung
Looking for growth, institutional investors have long included emerging market exposures as part of their portfolios. Recently, investors are not only looking for growth but are looking for the best ways to capture risk-adjusted returns net of fees. In this session we will focus on what some investors increasingly believe to be the ultimate in hands-on active management, what skilled private capital managers can bring to portfolio companies in select emerging markets and in specific sectors around the world. The discussion will focus on China, the largest market, as we interview one of the leading private investors in the world, Nisa Leung, a Managing Partner of Qiming Venture Partners and the co-head of the firm’s healthcare investment practice.
Special Guest: Nisa Leung, Managing Partner, Qiming Venture Partners and co-head of the healthcare practice
Speakers: Aaron M. Miller, Managing Director, Commonfund Capital; Miriam E. Schmitter, PhD, Managing Director, London Office, Commonfund Capital; Xiaonan Tian, Associate Director, Beijing Office, Commonfund Capital
Promoting Gender Equity in Leadership Roles
Dr. McElhaney is on faculty as a Distinguished Teaching Fellow and the Founding Director of the Center for Equity, Gender and Inclusion (EGAL) at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
The Center for Gender, Equity and Leadership, launched in November 2017, educates equity fluent leaders to ignite and accelerate change. She helped develop this leadership concept and teaches it across the country and globe. Equity fluent leaders understand the value of different lived experiences and courageously use their power to address barriers, increase access, and drive change for positive impact. In this session, Dr. McElhaney will share her research in the area of equal pay, conscious inclusion, equity fluent leadership, and value-creating strategies of diversity and inclusion.
Featured Speaker: Dr. Kellie A. McElhaney, Founding Director, Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership | Distinguished Teaching Fellow, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
Moderator: Caroline Greer, CIM®, Managing Director, Commonfund Asset Management, and member of Commonfund Diversity and Inclusion Office
Loonshots: How to Nurture Crazy Ideas that Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries
In his instant Wall Street Journal best-selling book Loonshots, Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about innovation and group dynamics, challenging everything we thought we knew about radical breakthroughs. In this talk based on his book—which Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman calls “Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world”—Bahcall shows how we can stoke innovation, create better leaders, and support Loonshots: the imperfect but ingenious ideas that have the potential to change the world.
Author: Safi Bahcall, PhD, Award-Winning Biotech Entrepreneur, Author of Loonshots
Interviewed by: Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor-at-Large, Fortune and Best-selling Author