SEM Conference 2022: Expanding Alternatives

(all times central)

10:30am – 12:00pm 

Women’s Networking Lunch  

GCM Grosvenor welcomes women from across the industry to connect with one another at the SEM Conference’s 7th Annual Women’s Networking event. Hear from Karen Herold, Founder and Principal of Studio K Creative. Karen is a designer, creator, and entrepreneur who founded Studio K to provide end-to-end design services for a broad range of high-profile projects. 


  • Lilly Farahnakian, Chief Compliance Officer, GCM Grosvenor 

Featured Speaker

  • Karen Herold, Founder and Principal, Studio K   
12:00pm – 1:15pm  

Welcome Remarks and Networking Lunch 


Introductory Remarks

  • Jon Levin, President, GCM Grosvenor
1:30pm – 2:15pm


Asset Class Breakouts

Absolute Return Strategies: One-on-one on the Richter Scale  

David Richter, GCM Grosvenor’s Absolute Return Strategies Investment Committee Chair, hosts his annual one-on-one discussion with a prominent hedge fund manager, who will share views on the current market and discuss their experience navigating from a fledgling industry entrant to a world-class asset manager. 


  • David Richter, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor  


  • Dmitry Balyasny, Chief Investment Officer, Balyasny Asset Management

Diversity Equity & Inclusion: The Foundation – How to Drive and Measure Accountability at the Portfolio Level 


  • Sandee Hurse, Chief Human Resources Officer, GCM Grosvenor 


  • Cecilia Nelson-Hurt, Chief Diversity Officer, Heidrick & Struggles
  • Bessie Watts, Director of the External Board Member Program, Vista Equity Partners 

State of Affairs: The Real Estate Emerging Manager Market

For the tenth straight year, we kick things off with a data-filled, in-depth presentation on trends and activity in the real estate emerging manager market. The session will highlight the strategies, manager types and asset classes that have come to market, the level of institutional appetite, trends in performance data and the latest in fund terms. This session seeks to prepare GPs to launch and grow their platforms and better position themselves in an increasingly challenging and evolving marketplace 

Hosted by

  • Peter Braffman, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor


  • Ermias Nessibu, Principal, GCM Grosvenor
  • Bryce Robertson, Principal, GCM Grosvenor
2:30pm – 3:15pm

Asset Class Breakouts 

Private Equity Co-Investments: A Powerful Tool for Institutional Investors to Access Small and Emerging Managers 

The fundraising market has become increasingly competitive, emphasizing the need to invest with small and emerging managers. This panel will discuss the creative co-investment structures that LPs are using to provide capital to small and emerging mangers while building long-lasting relationships. Also highlighting that GPs can utilize co-investment capital to facilitate the execution of early deals in their fundraising journey. 


  • Lee Brashear, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor


  • Sam Loughlin, Chief Executive Officer, Paceline Equity Partners
  • Deepa Patil Madhani, Head of Investor Relations, One Rock Capital Partners
  • David Perez, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Avance Investment Management 

Digital Infrastructure and the Rise of the Specialist Fund

Ten years ago, digital assets were scarcely considered infrastructure. In the last 3-5 years, we have witnessed more than a dozen specialist funds raise infrastructure capital for a broad range of digital assets. During this panel, some of the most successful market participants will discuss the evolution of this growing space. 


  • Akhil Unni, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor 


  • Jeff Ginsberg, Managing Director, Chief Administrative Officer, DigitalBridge
  • John Kelly, Managing Director, Berkshire Partners 
  • Rick Shrotri, Founder and Managing Partner, Digital Alpha 

Table Stakes and Best Practices for SEMs: Risk Management & Investment Process

Institutional investors have high expectations when it comes to risk management. This session explores topics that are front of mind for emerging managers when it comes to risk management and their investment processes. To do so, a panel of institutional investors address some key questions that emerging managers ask:  

What are under-appreciated attributes of an investment process that institutional investors want to see but often don’t? 
Is it possible to achieve institutional-quality risk management without enough resources for dedicated and/or fully independent risk personnel? 
What are the most common ways new managers fail to get the attention of or fail to close with their first institutional investors?
Is it possible to raise institutional capital without a perfect track record?


  • Amy Wierenga, Chief Risk Officer, GCM Grosvenor  


  • John Culbertson, Interim President, The Accord Family Office 
  • Jim Dunn, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer, Verger Capital Management 
4:00pm – 5:30pm

LP Only Session: The State of the Emerging Manager Universe 

This popular, informative, and engaging session provides an in-depth analysis of the emerging manager landscape across four alternative investment strategies: private equity, hedge funds, real estate, and infrastructure & real assets.

Introductory Remarks
  • Fred Pollock, Chief Investment Officer, GCM Grosvenor


  • Peter Braffman, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor 


    • Jase Auby, Chief Investment Officer, Teacher Retirement System of Texas 
    • Nickol Hackett, Chief Investment Officer and Treasurer, The Joyce Foundation 
3:30pm – 5:00pm 

GP Only Session: The Nuts and Bolts of an Institutionalized Emerging Manager

These interactive small-group discussions aim to provide small and emerging managers with actionable takeaways on foundational back-office elements. Roundtable topics will include operational due diligence, technology solutions, what to include (or not to include) in marketing materials, and how to manage a team in a remote environment. 

What to Expect when Negotiating LPA Terms and Side Letters with Institutional Client

  • Stefanie Platnick, Principal, GCM Grosvenor
  • Kari Harris, Member, Mintz 

Guide to SEC Investment Advisor Registration

  • Kent Wegrzyn Partner, ACA Group
  • Tim Wyne, Executive Director, GCM Grosvenor  

ODD Q&A – Building a flexible non-investment infrastructure for growth 

  • Andrew Lettinga, Executive Director, GCM Grosvenor  

SEC Examination Priorities and Areas of Focus 

  • Jimmy Minogue, Principal, GCM Grosvenor
  • Nicholas Batinich, Partner, ACA Group  

Background Investigations: Empowering GPs to Make Responsible and Informed Investment and Hiring Decisions? 

  • Andrew Perito, Principal, GCM Grosvenor
  • Bennett Kaplan, Chief Executive Officer, Axium 

Common ODD missteps for Emerging Managers (GPs) seeking institutional LPs 

  • Erica Davis, Founder, Athea Ridge Advisors  

Small and emerging manages are taking longer to raise capital. How to get ready for a successful institutional fundraising campaign? 
Getting started with DDQs. Who should be involved? How to build your ESG or cyber DDQ? 
What are key diligence areas from references to service providers?  
What technologies to use to support fundraise?  
Getting the facts and messaging right. What should your fundraising checklist include? 

  • Monel Amin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, DiligenceVault

Cybersecurity policies – how to meet regulatory and client expectations 

  • Jeff Block, Cloud Cyber Security Leader, Deloitte 

Cyber: I’m too small to have a dedicated cybersecurity team. What do I do? Is a vCISO what I need? 

  • Alex Dickson, Chief Information Security Officer, GCM Grosvenor  

SEM technology landscape: How the tech landscape is evolving especially as it pertains to small and emerging managers 

  • Amanda Halfeld, Associate Director, Lionpoint 

Data: Everybody talks about data. Let’s break this down. What data do I have, what data do I need, and how do I use it? 

  • Ian Rubenstein, Chief Executive Officer, ExchangeLodge 

How to manage investors and deals using technology as a small and emerging manager, on a budget 

  • Eric Levin, Chief Technology Officer, GCM Grosvenor 

Technology Partnerships: How do I know I have found the right partner? Where do I look? How do I start? What should it cost? 

Marketing to Drive Sales 

  • Liz Goodier, Principal, Vervanto 

How to Avoid Common Pitfalls with Your Marketing Materials 
Acquire important content and design tips for getting your fund marketing materials to institutional quality. Discover why and how to write a messaging playbook. Learn why you’ll need more than a logo for design. Understand how the roles and goals of your pitch deck, 2-pager, and website impact your messaging and design.  

  • Susan Kirchner, Founder, Words + Numbers 

FX and Rate Hedging Considerations for Small and Emerging Managers 

  • Ramon Bauza, Senior Managing Director, Global Private Equity Derivatives Sales and Structuring Group, Macquarie 

Fund Financing Solutions: Considerations when raising your first fund 

  • Dan Berglund, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
  • John Davis, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor
5:30pm – 7:30pm

LP Reception (invite only)  

Hosted at RPM Seafood 

7:00pm – 9:00pm

General Reception  

Hosted at RPM Events  

8:00am – 9:00am



9:30am – 10:50am



The Elevator Pitch: Real Investors, Real Feedback, Real Time  

GPs will make their pitch to real investors, but with a twist. In this session, GPs practice their 10-minute pitch up to six times with six different allocators and walk away with real, actionable feedback. In such a difficult fundraising environment, this is a chance for managers to practice their elevator pitches to perfection.  

Session registration closes September 26, 5:00pm CT 

11:05am – 11:50am 


Asset Class Breakouts 

Private Equity: GP-led Continuation Funds  



  • Brian Sullivan, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor  


  • Kenneth Brotman, Founder and Managing Partner, ACON Investments 
  • Tyler Zittergruen, Senior Managing Director, Evercore 

Infrastructure Co-Investments: Why is it Necessary, Why is it Hard to Execute?

Infrastructure deals have historically been large. For small and emerging managers and emerged managers beginning new strategies that are seeking “friendly capital,” we believe opportunities may exist in co-investing. In this way, LPs can access unique deal flow by providing creative solutions to GPs through co-investments. 


  • Scott Litman, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor 


  • Benjamin Desmarais, Partner, Novacap
  • Nazar Massouh, Chief Executive Officer, Orion Infrastructure Capital
  • Giovanni Patuzzo, Principal, Global Infrastructure Partners  

Evolution of ESG and Impact in Private Equity

The ESG landscape is rapidly evolving and is of growing interest to investors. In this session, private equity managers at varying stages of their ESG journey will discusses how they are keeping pace. They will highlight how and why they are incorporating ESG into their investment processes, the risks and opportunities associated with marketing ESG and impact, and the growing opportunity to measure and engage with portfolio companies on sustainability initiatives. 


  • Jonathan Hirschtritt, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor  


  • Andy Caine, Chief Operating Officer & Partner, Frazier Healthcare Partners
  • Mara Hunt, Partner, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Compliance Officer, Skyknight Capital
  • Troy Thacker, Managing Partner, Ara Partners  

12:05pm – 12:50pm


Asset Class Breakouts


Fireside Chat with Matt Halstead: How Plan Sponsors Invest and the Role of the Emerging Manager 

A unique opportunity to explore, in depth, the ways in which Plan Sponsors partner with real estate private equity firms, from the perspective of Matt Halstead, Director of Real Estate and Digital Asset Investments at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. The conversation will cover TRS’ premier list system, what they look for in an investment partner and how TRS manages its fund and direct investments. In particular, they will delve into the multi-billion-dollar emerging manager program and the role TRS EM Select plays in helping emerging managers scale their firms, trust-level investments and the importance of building long-term partnerships. 


  • Peter Braffman, Managing Director, GCM Grosvenor


  • Matt Halstead, Director, Real Estate Investments & Digital Assets, Teacher Retirement System of Texas  

Absolute Return Strategies: Unique Investment Ideas in an Uncertain Market

The current economic environment has produced some of the most interesting investment opportunities in years. In this session, a panel of managers and allocators consider where we are in the cycle, present their high conviction investment themes, and discuss how emerging managers can think about sourcing and accessing unique investments. 


  • Judy Godinho, Executive Director, GCM Grosvenor 


  • Ryan Garino, Founder, Readystate Asset Management
  • John Segrich, Chief Investment Officer, Clear Sky Advisers
  • Tarigh Yusufi, Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Forest Avenue Capital 


1:00pm – 2:30pm

Lunch and Keynote

Introductory Remarks

  • Stacie Selinger, Head of Investor Relations, GCM Grosvenor


  • Michael J. Sacks, Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, GCM Grosvenor


    • Soledad O’Brien, Award-winning Documentarian, Journalist, Speaker, Author and Philanthropist, Soledad O’Brien Productions

Closing Remarks

    • Sandee Hurse, Chief Human Resources Officer, GCM Grosvenor