Meet Institutional Investor’s 2022 Rising Stars

Ten allocators will be honored at the fifth-annual Allocators’ Choice Awards on September 13.

Illustration by II

Illustration by II

It isn’t easy to excel in this investment environment. The highest inflation in decades, rising interest rates, geopolitical concerns, and the threat of a recession have dominated the past year for allocators.

And yet, Institutional Investor’s 2022 Rising Stars rose to the challenge.

These ten allocators, who work across the United States in both public and private institutions, are expected to one day become talented leaders for pensions, endowments, foundations, health care funds, corporate plans, and family offices.

Institutional Investor’s editorial team chose the Rising Stars from a pool of talented allocators nominated by their peers, bosses, and industry experts from May through July. Each Rising Star will be honored during Institutional Investor’s fifth annual Allocators’ Choice Awards on September 13 at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in New York City.

While the Rising Stars are now set in stone, the winners of the Allocators’ Choice Awards are not. Asset owners can vote in categories including Team of the Year, Advocate of the Year, and CIO of the Year.


To submit a ballot, please use this link. Voting closes on August 12. Allocators can also request an invitation to the event here.

Here are the 2022 Rising Stars:

Jewel Chen, portfolio manager, private equity, Texas Permanent School Fund, for her work underwriting and recommending investments not only at Texas Permanent, but also at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, where she worked for four years. A nominator called her a “rock star” who is “poised to do well in the future.”

Benjamin Frede, senior portfolio manager, private equity and private credit, Public School & Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri, for developing, constructing, and implementing the pension fund’s $11 billion alternatives portfolio. With roots in retail banking, Frede pivoted during the Global Financial Crisis to become an allocator.

Michael Gould, director, Lehigh University, for sourcing, evaluating, and monitoring investment opportunities on behalf of the endowment. According to a nominator, Gould is “knowledgeable across public and private markets, creative in sourcing and diligence, and [an] astute investor.”

Thomas Kim, investment officer, San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association, for his “immediate impact” on SBCERA’s innovative team after joining in 2020. Kim, whose background is in hedge funds, has helped SBCERA build strategic partnerships and grow its geographic footprint into areas like the pan-Asia credit markets, according to a nominator. He is a “natural fit to be considered as one of the next generation CIOs.”

Albert Lee, director of investments, University of California Office of the Chief Investment Officer, for his role in building UC’s renewable portfolio. Called a “champion of sustainability and DEI” by a nominator, Lee is hard-working and a loyal colleague.

Bhakti Mirchandani, managing director, Trinity Church Wall Street, for developing and implementing a three-pronged strategy to improve sustainability and inclusion in the organization’s portfolio. A co-founder of Institutional Allocators for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Mirchandani’s work as an allocator has placed a strong focus on ESG.

Mallika Nair, senior investment strategist, Yale New Haven Health, for her work on private market investments at the health system. With a special focus on diversity and inclusion, Nair has helped to manage the health system’s multiple pools of capital.

Silpa Pericherla, managing director, investments, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, for her efforts covering global public and private equities. Called “really smart” by a nominator, Pericherla’s background includes direct investing work at Seneca Capital, R6 Capital, and the Carlyle Group, each of which she worked for prior to joining the foundation.

Shawn Pope, director of investments, Cox Enterprise, for his quantitative approach to portfolio and risk management. With a background in civil engineering, Pope made the pivot to investing after obtaining a master’s degree in quant and computational finance in 2013. He spent seven years as an analyst at Invesco before joining Cox in 2020.

Adam Solan, investment director, Institute for Advanced Study, for “stellar analysis” and written communication skills. Having held roles as both an investment manager and allocator, Solan has “great breadth” and is a “serious-minded investor,” according to a nominator.