How have you been a change agent at
your organization? What have you done
that you’re particularly proud of?
I’m particularly proud of the most recent
three years of my career, during which I’ve
gotten to help with the heavy lifting in the
buildout of Advocate’s in-house investment
program. I’ve had to pivot among numerous
asset classes, and think outside the box in
terms of ways to get the best risk/return and
diversified exposure, not conforming to strict
buckets or drawing lines between typical
asset class labels. I’ve worked hard to build a
roster of managers that share our values and
are good partners as well as good investors.
What is the asset class or investment
that keeps you up at night, and why?
If an investment kept me up at night, I’d suggest we immediately do something to resolve
it. I would be up at night if we were significantly invested in core open end real estate
or highly leveraged buyout funds.
What methodologies have you adopted
within your institution?
Over the past few years, I have built out several reporting tools that have helped increase
visibility into our portfolio, including forward private equity commitment modeling,
exposures monitoring, and a hedge fund sizing tool.
Where do you fall in the passive vs.
It depends on the asset class, as well as your
team size and limitations of the organiza-
tion. If you can’t structure your team to
monitor active manager behavior, or stom-
ach tracking error over a reasonable period
of time, then you probably will end up ter-
minating active managers at precisely the
wrong moment. For our traditional equities
portfolio, we are almost entirely with active
managers, but we recognize we are fortunate
to have the right team and governance in
place for this structure.
What are the changes you’d like to see
the institutional investing community
make in 10 years?
Diversity. Hire investment professionals that
encompass a more diverse set of gender, ethnic, and educational/work backgrounds. I
am 100% confident this will be a return-en-hancing endeavor.
Who is a manager you don’t currently
work with whose brain you’d like to
The best part of this job is getting to pick the
brains of countless extremely smart and successful investment managers every day. So,
I’d like to pick the brain of an entirely different type of manager—probably someone
like Mark Zuckerberg.
Ideally, where would that meeting take
One of Facebook’s super-hip offices, I imagine involving something like a beanbag
chair-based conference room and fresh-
Portfolio Manager, Alternative Investments,
Advocate Health Care (Downers Grove, IL)
Laura has been impactful on making significant changes
to the Advocate manager lineup since she joined Advocate
about 3 years ago. She is smart, inquisitive and not
afraid to ask managers the hard questions. She is
definitely a rising star among asset owners.
squeezed green juice machines (or is that
very 2014?). Anyway, I’d have to show up
wearing a puffy vest to fit in.
What is the software investment tool
that helps you most?
Excel. It’s like the swiss army knife of finance.
What would improve the relationship
between you and managers?
Fee transparency and more dialogue while
Why did you choose your current path?
This is one of the few careers that lives in
the intersection of investigative journalism,
finance, economics, and relationship building. I feel very fortunate that I get to do this,
all while supporting Advocate’s healthcare