The second installment of our CIO Investment Leadership Series will feature a diverse panel of Chief Investment Officer’s from leading family offices to discuss how some of the wealthiest families invest to “do good while also doing well” in an age of disruption and opportunity. These expert investors will discuss a range of topics including:
- The current opportunities and challenges in the market.
- Balancing income, growth, and diversification while protecting capital.
- The strategies used to create wealth for their clients while promoting societal advancement.
- The importance of diversity and social responsibility as it relates to generating performance and meeting the needs of asset owners.
- How to identify and onboard the best existing and emerging fund managers.
Zack Ellison | Zack Ellison is the founder, CEO, and CIO at A.R.I. Venture Capital, based in Los Angeles, California. A.R.I. is an investment firm that provides debt capital solutions to high growth start-ups backed by venture capital and led by world-class entrepreneurs. Mr. Ellison is responsible for the firm’s management and investment activities, including sourcing, due diligence, structuring and execution, and portfolio management.
Previously, Mr. Ellison was Director, U.S. Fixed Income at Sun Life Investment Management. At Sun Life, he was responsible for corporate credit trading and contributed to the firm’s credit strategy, investment processes, portfolio construction, and risk management practices.
Prior to joining Sun Life, Mr. Ellison worked in Deutsche Bank’s Global Credit Trading division, where he analyzed and traded crossover-rated corporate bonds, credit default swaps (“CDS”), hybrid securities, and preferred stock.
Preceding Deutsche Bank, and during the global financial crisis, he was an investment banker and leveraged loan analyst focused on the media and telecom sectors at Scotia Capital.
Currently, Mr. Ellison is a Board Member of both the CFA Society of Los Angeles as well as the Los Angeles Chapter of the CAIA Association. Additionally, he is the Head of the University Relations Committee, Chair of the CIO Advisory Council, and a member of the Alternative Investments Advisory Council of CFA Society Los Angeles. He sits on numerous leadership committees of Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investing group in the United States.
Mr. Ellison earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College while majoring in Economics. He holds an MBA with concentrations in Analytic Finance and Economics from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business along with an MS in Risk Management from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Additionally, he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations.
Jeff Assaf | Jeff Assaf is Senior Managing Director, Chief Investment Officer and Investment Committee Chairman of ICG Advisors. In addition to setting the firm’s strategic direction and managing client relationships, Mr. Assaf supervises all portfolio construction and modeling.
Prior to founding ICG in 2009, Mr. Assaf was a Senior Managing Director of Bear Stearns and Head of its Investment Consulting Group from 1996 to 2008. From 1988 to 1996, Mr. Assaf was a Senior Vice President at Oppenheimer & Co. where he founded the Oppenheimer Consulting Group.
He is a graduate of University of California, Irvine (B.A., Psychology) and University of Southern California (M.B.A., Emphasis in Finance). Mr. Assaf is a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA), a designation awarded by the Investment Management Consultants Association, in conjunction with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Assaf serves on the Boards of Directors for several non-profit organizations including St. John’s Hospital, Cancer Support Community, Shatterproof, Shaquille O’Neal Foundation, Uplift Family Services and Concern Worldwide US.
Heather Cooke, BComm, CFA | Heather Cooke, BComm, CFA is the Chief Investment Officer of The Audra Group Family Office, an affiliate of The Woodbridge Company Limited.
Prior to joining The Audra Group in 2019, Heather was Fiera Capital’s Deputy Chief Investment Officer & Senior Vice President of Private Alternatives, Chaired their Global ESG Committee and expanded their Multi-Asset Class Solutions business as Senior Vice President, Investment Solutions.
Over her 25+ year investment management career, she has worked in senior leadership roles at leading global investment management and consulting firms such as Unigestion Asset Management, Mercer Global Investments, Rogerscasey and Northern Trust Global Investments primarily in OCIO Solutions.
Heather earned her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Smith School of Business at Queen's University and holds the CFA Charterholder designation. She also volunteers as a Senior Advisor to the CFA Society Toronto's Institutional Asset Management Committee and is a member of The Ticker Club.
Carey Kim | Carey Kim is a Managing Director in the Alternative Investment group of the Cherng Family Trust (CFT), the single family office of Andrew and Peggy Cherng. She is based in Los Angeles, California and is focused on making direct and indirect private equity, private debt and real estate investments.
Prior to joining CFT, Ms. Kim spent 15 years at Wells Fargo & Co. and was a Managing Director responsible for sourcing and executing debt facilities in support of leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and growth financings. Ms. Kim graduated magna cum laude in Business Administration with a minor in Chinese from the University of California, Riverside. She is currently on the board of Lou Malnati’s, Breakaway Capital, FCL Partners and the California Science Center (Trustee). She is also a board observer of Gum Gum and Sweetwater.
Carol Pepper | Carol Pepper acts as the External CIO to wealthy families and Single Family Offices. She oversees all asset classes and puts in place a comprehensive consolidated reporting system. She is an expert in Impact Investing.
Carol acts as a consultant to families that would like to create their own family offices and has built family offices around the globe. She helps families create a meaningful governance structure. She also helps restructure existing Single Family Offices to bring them to top global standards and to prepare them to work with the next generation. She works with top international families.
Carol has over 30 years of experience in the wealth management industry. Prior to forming Pepper International in 2001, Carol had extensive experience as a private banker at JP Morgan Private Bank, Citibank Private Bank and Credit Suisse Private Bank. She managed over $1 billion of private client assets as a Senior Relationship Manager and Portfolio Manager at Rockefeller & Co., the multi-family office formed by the Rockefeller family. As a principal at Morgan Stanley, she was instrumental in creating a web-based virtual family office prototype.
Among numerous awards, Barron’s named Pepper International as one of the top family offices in the United States, and Carol was named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Private Wealth by Private Asset Management.
Carol graduated cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with a BA in philosophy and a minor in Russian language. She obtained an MBA in entrepreneurial studies from Columbia University Business School.