Texas Alternatives Conference 2023
John Arnold is co-founder and co-chair of Arnold Ventures. Arnold Ventures seeks to tackle some of the most pressing problems in the United States by applying evidence-based solutions to improve outcomes in public systems, including health care, education, criminal justice, and public finance.
Mr. Arnold is also founder of Centaurus Capital LP, a family office investment fund focused on the energy industry, and co-founder of Grid United, a developer of long-distance electric transmission lines.
Previously, Mr. Arnold served as CEO of Centaurus Energy, a multi-billion-dollar energy commodity hedge fund that he founded after overseeing trading of natural gas derivatives at the Natural Gas Desk at Enron. He retired from Centaurus in 2012 to concentrate on his philanthropy. Mr. Arnold and his wife, Laura Arnold, were one of the original signatories of the Giving Pledge, a commitment to donate the majority of their income to philanthropic causes during their lifetimes.
Mr. Arnold serves on the boards of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investor-led venture capital firm dedicated to funding transformational technologies that will reduce global greenhouse gas emissions; Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy; and The City Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting new governance models in K-12 education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University and lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife, Laura and three children.
Jase Auby is Chief Investment Officer for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Appointed CIO in December 2019, Mr. Auby has oversight over one of the largest investment funds ($204 billion) in the world. The Trust’s asset allocation consists of Global Equity (54%), Stable Value (includes fixed income and hedge funds, 21%), Real Return (21%) and Risk Parity (8%). The allocation sums to 104% and therefore has leverage at the asset allocation level. Private asset classes within the allocation total 35% and include private equity, real estate as well as energy, natural resources and infrastructure. TRS is a pioneer among U.S. funds having opened a foreign office in London in 2015. TRS is headquartered in Austin, TX and provides retirement benefits to 1.8 million members and targets a long term return of 7.25%. TRS invests in more than 15,000 businesses in 54 different countries around the world.
Brian Bares founded Bares Capital Management (BCM) in 2000. He developed BCM’s investment philosophy and research process, and he currently serves as CEO and Portfolio Manager. Brian is the author of The Small-Cap Advantage, published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons. He is also an external advisor for the M.B.A. Investment Fund at the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a B.S. in Mathematics and has earned the CFA designation
Leah R. Bennett, CFA
Tai-Li Chang, M.D., M.B.A. – Chief Investment Officer. Dr. Chang is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Kalehua Capital. Prior to founding Kalehua in 2023, Dr. Chang was a Partner at Highside Capital Management, LP from 2016 until 2023, where he managed a portfolio of public and private equity investments. Prior to Highside Capital, Dr. Chang was a Managing Director at Hayman Capital Management, LP from 2015 to 2016. Prior to that, Dr. Chang was a Senior Associate and Vice President at Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners from 2012 until 2015. Dr. Chang was an orthopedic surgery resident at Hospital for Special Surgery from 2008 to 2010. Dr. Chang started his career at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst from 2002 to 2004.
Dr. Chang received his B.S. in 2002 from Stanford University, his M.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2008, and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 2012.
John Claisse joined Albourne in July 1996, relocated from London to San Francisco in July 2003 and became Albourne Group CEO in August 2015. John is an equity partner and member of Albourne’s Executive Committee and also chairs the firm’s Corporate Planning Council, which comprises Albourne’s function and region heads. John helped develop the firm’s proprietary risk analytics and was formerly the Senior Analyst for quantitative equity strategies and multi-strategy hedge funds. John remains a Portfolio Analyst working with several public and corporate plans, large endowments and foundations. John also serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Sussex Business School, on the Board of Trustees of Standards Board of Alternative Investments (SBAI), and on the Governing Board of The Robert Toigo Foundation.
John holds a first class Mathematics Degree and a PhD from Sussex University.
Albourne is an independent advisory firm focused on hedge funds, private equity, private credit, real assets, real estate and dynamic beta. Founded in 1994, Albourne has over 330 clients with over $700bn invested directly in alternative investments.
Caroline Cooley, Managing Partner and CIO of Crestline Summit Strategies – Ms. Cooley joined Crestline in 1998 and is Managing Partner and CIO of Crestline Summit Strategies, a multi-strategy, multi-PM, market neutral hedge fund manager. She also serves on Crestline Inc.’s (parent company) Management Committee. A veteran in the alternative investment industry, Ms. Cooley has experience as a portfolio manager, risk manager and trader in equity, fixed income and derivative markets. Ms. Cooley previously was the CIO of Crestline’s Hedge Funds of Fund business, which grew to $4bn AUM at its peak, overseeing manager selection and portfolio management, since joining the firm. From 1986 through 1997, Ms. Cooley was a derivatives trader and risk manager with Taylor and Company, an investment firm associated with the Bass Family of Fort Worth, TX (one of the earliest multi-asset, multi-strategy alternative asset managers). Ms. Cooley began her career in the investment industry at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company (later merged into JP Morgan) where she specialized in futures markets in both New York and Chicago after receiving her BA in Economics from The College of William and Mary in 1983. Ms. Cooley serves on the Advisory Board of Texas Wall Street Women and on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of Fort Worth.
Bryan Corbett is MFA’s President and CEO. He is a veteran of Washington and Wall Street. For the past 12 years, he was a senior executive at The Carlyle Group, most recently as Managing Director in the Corporate Private Equity segment and Head of the firm’s OneCarlyle Global Investment Resources Group. In this role, Mr. Corbett and his team provided strategic and operational support to investment teams and portfolio companies across segments.
For the first half of his Carlyle tenure, Mr. Corbett managed U.S. government and regulatory issues affecting Carlyle, its investments and the industry. In this role, he developed legislative and regulatory strategies relating to all of Carlyle’s business segments, including private equity, credit and real estate. In addition to serving on the boards of several Carlyle portfolio companies, Mr. Corbett started the firm’s global corporate citizenship program focused on responsible investing, published Carlyle’s inaugural corporate citizenship report, and started the firm’s initiative to recruit and place diverse individuals on portfolio company boards in the U.S.
Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Corbett served in the George W. Bush Administration as a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and as the Senior Advisor to Deputy Secretary Robert Kimmitt at the Treasury Department. He also served as Majority Counsel on the Senate Banking Committee.
Mr. Corbett earned his JD from George Washington University Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the George Washington Law Review, and earned his BA from University of Notre Dame.
Britt Harris has over 30 years’ investment experience leading several of the largest, most successful, and most innovative investment organizations in America. He is a member of the President’s Working Group for Financial Markets and an advisor to the Dallas Federal Reserve. He is one of only a few people who have worked extensively in both the private and public sectors.
Mr. Harris is currently CEO and President at the University of Texas/Texas A&M University Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) which is the largest public endowment in America. Prior to UTIMCO, he was CIO for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), CEO for Bridgewater Associates, CIO and President for Verizon Investment Management Corporation and a managing director for Asea Brown Boveri in Europe. He got his start in his home state of Texas. He has three times been named one of America’s leading pension plan investment chiefs, been consistently named among the top five asset investors in the world and was honored with a lifetime achievement for distinguished service to the financial industry.
Mr. Harris is an executive professor for “Titans of Investing” at his alma mater Texas A&M University and The University of Texas and serves on a variety of public and private boards.
Peter Johnson joined Brevan Howard Digital in February 2022 as Co-Head of Private Investments. He co-leads venture investing with Colleen Sullivan. Prior to joining BH Digital, Peter was a Partner at Jump Capital where his focus was on crypto companies and projects spanning financial infrastructure and applications, DeFi, blockchain infrastructure, and Web 3.0. He joined Jump Capital in 2013 as its first employee, initiated Jump Capital’s crypto investing strategy, and is a Founding Partner of the DeFi Alliance. Prior to joining Jump Capital, Peter was an Investment Banker with Morgan Stanley where he managed M&A and corporate finance transactions for fintech companies. Before that he advised leading wealth management, banking, and fintech companies on technology, new product development, and commercialisation strategies as a consultant with Deloitte Consulting. Peter is a Kauffman Fellow, CFA Charterholder, and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Sia is the Founder of Skycatcher and Fund Manager for its Master Fund. Skycatcher is a full-stack Internet investor across spectrum of public, private, venture, and on-chain digital assets. They employ a highly concentrated mandate that is supported with deep fundamental research, acting as business owners alongside founders, and engaged product enthusiasts. Skycatcher has backed some of the leading video game companies globally (including largest video game IPO to date in South Korea’s Krafton), seeded rising unicorns from India and Bangladesh venture ecosystems, and recently launched a digital asset strategy to support the evolution of the on-chain economy. Sia graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration at The University of Texas at Austin.
Gaurav Kapadia is the Founder and CEO of XN, an investment firm that invests capital flexibly across public and private markets. XN supports exceptional management teams and founders as they build category-defining companies, providing patient capital, strategic insights, and access to an extensive network of executives and entrepreneurs.
Prior to founding XN, he was the Co-Founder & Co-Managing Partner of Soroban Capital Partners. Prior to founding Soroban, Gaurav served as a Partner at TPG-Axon Capital and began his career as a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a BSc in Economics.
Gaurav is involved in numerous philanthropic and civic causes and serves on the Boards of Trustees of The Whitney Museum of American Art, Uncommon Schools, The Trust for Governors Island, and the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center.
Jim Kim is a founding member and General Partner at Builders VC, where he focuses on Series A companies bringing technology and operational excellence to antiquated industries. Prior to Builders, Jim founded Formation 8 and remains a Managing Partner. Jim has had the great fortune of collaborating with many visionary entrepreneurs including the founders of Bolt Threads, Fieldwire, Checkerspot, Keep Truckin’ and Wish.
Jim formerly served as a General Partner at Khosla Ventures and a Senior Partner at CMEA Capital. He began his career by founding GE’s Venture Capital effort and leading investments in China High Speed Transmission, and ComScore. Jim received undergraduate degrees in Computer Science & Electrical Engineering and Political Science from MIT, and holds a Masters Degree in Quantitative Data Analysis from Columbia University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Jimmy Price is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Lynwood Price Capital Management. Prior to founding Lynwood Price Capital Management, Jimmy was the Co-Founder and Senior Portfolio Manager of Karlin Direct Investments (“KDI”), the long-only public investment vehicle of Karlin Asset Management. Before KDI, Jimmy was a Partner at ValueAct SmallCap, where he led several of the Fund’s successful investments in industrials. Prior to these roles, Jimmy spent six years in private equity. He was a Vice President at Oaktree Capital Management, where he was a member of the investment team for Oaktree’s private equity and distressed-for-control group. Prior thereto, Jimmy was an Associate at Bain Capital. He began his career in the mergers and acquisitions department of Goldman, Sachs & Co. Jimmy has a B.A. degree magna cum laude in Economics from Harvard College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and a Siebel Scholar.
Greg Silverman is an American film executive, producer, tech investor, and the CEO and founder of Stampede Ventures. Prior to founding Stampede, Greg served as President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production at Warner Bros. Pictures. While at Warner Bros., he was responsible for such box office hits as THE HANGOVER, THE DARK KNIGHT, GRAVITY, BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, SUICIDE SQUAD, THE LEGO MOVIE, SULLY, THE ACCOUNTANT, WONDER WOMAN, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, A STAR IS BORN, Christopher Nolan’s DUNKIRK, and Steven Spielberg’s READY PLAYER ONE. His career spans more than 125 movies and over 37 billion dollars in worldwide box office.
Silverman has also been an early stage investor in some of Silicon Valley’s biggest success stories including Slack, Robinhood, Allbirds, Cue, and Vidmob. He serves on the board of Oakwood School, the advisory board of the school of Communications for Northwestern, and the board of The Monterey Bay Aquarium. In addition, he aided in founding the non-profit organization, We Got You 6, which provides support to members of the Armed Services.
David Sultan is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Fir Tree Partners, a value-oriented investment adviser founded in 1994. The Firm capitalizes on mispriced opportunities across capital structures and asset classes, using a long-term and team-oriented approach. Fir Tree manages assets on behalf of pension funds, endowments, foundations, families and other institutional investors. Mr. Sultan joined Fir Tree in 1999 and assumed the CIO role in 2015. Over his 22 year tenure at the Firm, Mr. Sultan has developed the Firm’s investment processes, culture and team. Mr. Sultan has led the Firm’s corporate and sovereign credit, capital structure arbitrage, distressed, special situation equity and SPAC investments globally and through multiple market cycles.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Sultan was an investment banker at Wolfensohn and Co. and an analyst at fundamental value investment firm Siegler, Collery & Co.
Mr. Sultan holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University.
Allison K. Thacker joined Rice University in 2011 as President of the Rice Management Company. Ms. Thacker is responsible for managing the $8.1 billion endowment fund and the University’s $1.1 billion of debt. The Rice University endowment ranks in the top 20 endowments of private research universities in the US and funds over 40% of the university budget. Over the 3, 5 and 10 years ending June 30, 2021, annualized endowment returns were 13.2%, 13.2% and 10.5%. Rice Management Company partners with third party investment managers and also internally manages a portfolio of direct real estate, oil and gas royalties, timberland and operating businesses. Prior to joining Rice University, Ms. Thacker spent 11 years with RS Investments, a San Francisco-based investment firm specializing in public equities. At RS Investments, Ms. Thacker held roles including Portfolio Manager, Managing Director and Research Analyst. In the earlier portion of her career, Ms. Thacker served as a Summer Analyst at Putnam Investments and as a Financial Analyst in the energy investment banking group at Merrill Lynch & Co. She is a member of the KIPP Texas Board of Directors, an open-enrollment, public school network with 59 schools serving 34,000 students across Texas, a member of the Executive Committee, and past Chairman of the Board, for the Houston Ballet Board of Trustees, a board member for Black Stone Minerals, Houston Endowment Investment Committee member and a member of YPO. Ms. Thacker is a graduate of Harvard Business School where she received an M.B.A. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with honors from Rice University.
Gabe Tsuboyama re-joined HBK in January 2023 and serves as Portfolio Manager and Head of Special Situations Equities. Between 2020 and 2022, he was a Managing Director and Head of Event Driven at Third Point LLC. Prior to that, Mr. Tsuboyama served as a Portfolio Manager at HBK, with responsibility for U.S. Merger Arbitrage. From 2009 to 2015, Mr. Tsuboyama was a Director at Allen & Company, where he led the equities effort for the firm’s event driven hedge fund. Mr. Tsuboyama also held Analyst positions at JD Capital Management and John A. Levin & Company. He began his career in equity research at Lehman Brothers and later as a Vice President at Deutsche Bank Securities. Mr. Tsuboyama received a B.S. degree cum laude in Mechanical Engineering and Economics from Duke University in 2000.
David Veal is Chief Investment Officer of the Employees Retirement System of Texas, a state pension system that administers more than $40 billion of investments. Prior to ERS, he served for five years as Chief Investment Officer of the City of Austin Employees’ Retirement System. He has also held senior positions at Teacher Retirement System of Texas, worked for Morgan Stanley as an equity research analyst, and served with distinction as a US Navy officer. He holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and an undergraduate degree in engineering from Auburn University.
Dale West is the Senior Managing Director of Public Markets at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas in Austin, Texas. Mr. West’s team oversees the Trust’s portfolio of publicly traded securities including both internal and externally managed strategies. TRS’ portfolio includes $18 billion in hedge fund investments. Mr. West joined TRS in 2008 and serves on the Internal Investment Committee and Executive team. He is a trustee of the Standards Board for Alternative Investments.
Prior to joining TRS, Mr. West was based in London with the emerging markets equity team of T. Rowe Price International, where he covered telecoms and emerging markets. He also served in the U.S. Foreign Service, including a three-year posting to the American embassy in Bucharest, Romania.
Mr. West received an MBA from Stanford University and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.
Steven Wilson is Director in the Public Markets group at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, a $200 billion pension system serving 1.8 million active and retired educators and their families. Mr. Wilson is responsible for the $10B Stable Value Hedge Fund Portfolio, which includes allocations to Equity Market Neutral, Macro, Managed Futures, Platform, Volatility, and Reinsurance Hedge Funds. He is also responsible for the $7B World Equity Portfolio, which includes Beta Sensitive strategies benchmarked to global equity indices.
Prior to joining TRS, Mr. Wilson was an Investment Director at Ameriprise Private Wealth Advisors, where he oversaw fund selection for $250 million of client assets.
Mr. Wilson received an MBA from the Rice University Jones School of Business in 2012, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, and holds the CAIA designation.