Date: Jun 12, 2018Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Optimizing Investment Portfolios for Return, Risk, and Impact

Tue, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM AllianceBernstein LP
General PublicFinance


The field of sustainable and responsible investing has grown and evolved significantly over the last few years. No longer a niche industry, at $23T, it has nearly doubled in size since 2012.

This panel, made up experts in the field, will seek to provide clarity on how private investors, family offices, CIOs of endowments and foundations, and investment advisors can implement sustainable and responsible investing across asset classes. Panelists will discuss the opportunities and limitations of this investment strategy in equities, fixed income, and alternatives. They will also discuss ways to align investment outcomes with an investor’s preferences for return, risk, responsibility, and liquidity.

The panel will be particularly valuable for individual investors, family offices, CIOs of endowments and foundations, and individuals serving on investment committees of endowments and foundations.

Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Venue: Alliance Bernstein – 1345 Avenue of the Americas, 41st Floor, NYC

Cost: $20/Member; Member Guest
Free/Patron Member (please email

Please note that no refunds will be issued. Registration closes at noon on Friday, June 8th.

Organizers: Michele Browne MBA ’93, Valerie Grant MBA ’94



Aaron Bennett, CFA

Partner and Senior Analyst, Jarislowsky Fraser

Aaron Bennett is a Partner and Senior Research Analyst at Jarislowsky Fraser where he covers North American Energy and Forestry Products equities. Jarislowsky Fraser is a Canadian based investment firm specializing in Canadian, US, International, Global, and Emerging Markets strategies. Aaron is a senior member of the firm’s Sustainable Investment Committee -the committee plays a key role in establishing and growing the long-term commitment that JF has had to sustainable investing as a founding member of the Canadian Coalition of Good Governance (CCGG), active membership in the Sustainable Accountability Standards Board (SASB), and signatory of the UNPRI. Prior to joining the firm, Aaron worked for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in a variety of related roles for the Natural Resources sector, including most recently the co-management of a private energy and timberland portfolio. He also served on the boards of many private investee companies in the energy space and was a founding and active member of the organization’s Responsible Investing Committee. Aaron also previously worked for several mid-sized Canadian boutique investment banks as an equity research analyst covering Health Care and Biotechnology. Aaron received his Bachelor of Science Honours in Biology from Queen’s University, his Master’s in Business Administration from Western University’s Ivey School of Business, and is a CFA charter holder.


Valerie Grant, CFA

SVP and Senior Portfolio Manager, Responsible Investing, AllianceBernstein LP

Valerie Grant is a Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager in the Equities Department at AllianceBernstein LP where she co-manages Responsible US Equities, a Large Cap US equities portfolio designed to optimize return, risk, and responsibility. In addition, she engages with clients and prospects on AB’s capabilities in responsible investing as AB expands its presence in this area. She serves on AB’s Responsible Investment Committee and is a former advisor to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). Previously, Valerie was a senior research analyst covering the media, Internet, and consumer-discretionary sectors for the US and Global Large Cap Value portfolios. Prior to that role, she covered the healthcare and consumer discretionary sectors for the firm’s US Small/Mid-Cap Value team. Grant joined AB in 2006 as a short specialist for the Advanced Value and Global Opportunities Funds. Prior to that, she managed corporate acquisitions, divestitures, and licensing transactions in the Corporate Development Group at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Grant holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA, with high distinction, from Harvard Business School. She was also a Rotary Foundation Scholar in the Department of Economics at the University of Zimbabwe and is a CFA charter holder.


Nicole Martin

Senior Director, Green Evaluations - Americas, S&P Global Ratings

Nicole Martin was named Senior Director, Green Evaluations, Americas at S&P Global in December 2016. Prior to her current role, she was Senior Director, Canadian Corporate Ratings at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, based in Toronto. As a senior analyst and energy sector expert, she was responsible for issuer outreach and chaired complex credit committees, and was actively involved in the firm’s environmental initiatives. Nicole’s 15 years of experience at S&P Global Ratings includes many years as primary analyst for Canadian utilities, pipelines, and power. Prior to joining S&P Global Ratings, Nicole acquired a thorough understanding of the Canadian utility sector, electricity market restructuring and environmental planning through a variety of roles at a major Canadian integrated utility and large energy transmission company. Nicole also provided consultative services to utilities in Hungary, Thailand, and Korea on environmental dispatch of electricity generation. Nicole received her Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of Toronto and her Masters of Engineering degree from McMaster University. She has been a registered professional engineer in the Province of Ontario since 1983.


Megan Starr

Vice President, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Megan Starr is a Vice President within Goldman Sachs Asset Management focused on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Impact Investing initiatives. Previously, she was the Chief of Staff of The JPB Foundation, a $3.8B private family foundation based in New York City. Megan earned an AB from Harvard College in Environmental Science and Public Policy and an MBA and Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was an Arbuckle Leadership Fellow. Megan serves on the board of directors of The Carbon Endowment.


Kate Starr, CFA

Chief Investment Officer, Flat World Partners

Kate Starr is the Chief Investment Officer of Flat World Partners, where she drives the investment philosophy, product development, and portfolio management for the firm. Previously, she led the capital deployment team at the Heron Foundation that invested Heron’s approximately $300 million portfolio for impact. Kate started her career as an economics and equities analyst at First Asset Management and moved into research on microfinance in Tanzania. She is a CFA charter holder and active member of the Sustainability Committee of the New York Society of Securities Analysts and advisor to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. Kate also advises OpenInvest, an emerging technology platform that helps individual investors customize their portfolios to focus on socially responsible investing, and Humanity United’s Worker Innovation Fund. Kate graduated from Indiana University with an honors degree in English and Italian, and earned a master’s degree in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.


Date Time

Date: Jun 12, 2018Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM


AllianceBernstein LP1345 Avenue of the Americas
41st Floor, New York NY
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  • Free / Patron Member
  • 20 / Member/Member Guest (limit one)
  • 50 / Non-Member


John Almandoz, Nikhil Asrani, Chris Avery, Jane Sung E Bai, Aaron Bennett, Wendy Brodkin, Michele Brown, Michele Browne, Ed Buller, Sue Caplan, Hui Wen Chan, Daniel Chorney, Blake Daniel, Paul DeNoon, Ali Dibadj, Loren Douglass, Lino Dumani, Daniel Elkaim, William Ettelson, Elizabeth Fairfax Brown, Mark Fattedad, Sharon Fay, Sharon Fay, Kimberly Foster , Alan Frederickson, Irwin Friedman, Fei Ge, Bahar Gidwani, Diana Glassman, Diana Glassman, Susan Gordon, Valerie Grant, Mary Hainsworth, Mary Hainsworth, Mie Iwasa, Alexandra Jarislowsky, Donna Joseph, David Kaplan, Harish Karhade, Inna Khidekel, Najin Kim, Jackie Klaber, Saskia Kort-Chick, Vana Cristina Koutsomitis, Michael Lear, John Leonard, Alvin Littwitz, Diane Lob, Russ Lomuscio, Francisco Lorenzo, Timon Lorenzo, Nicole Martin, John McLaughlin, Max Menard, Barrie Moskowitz, Gregory Ozzimo, Gerry Paul, Christine Phillpotts, Anna Raginskaya, Michele Sawyer, Michele Sawyer, Ishwardeep Singh, Nikita Singhal, Ava Song, Maria Sosa Zubillaga, Luis Guillermo Sosa, Aaron Stark, Kate Starr, Megan Starr, Kevin Stewart, Anthony Tassi, James Tieng, James Tieng, Charlotte Triefus, Joe Versace, Frederick Weiss, Yifan Yang, Mark Zashin, Lloyd Zuckerberg, Ava Zydor, manny small


Valerie Grant, MBA '94

AllianceBernstein LP

1345 Avenue of the Americas, 41st Floor, New York, NY, 10105