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Meet the speakers

Keynote Speaker

  • David Gregory

    CNN Political Analyst

    David has spent the last three decades in journalism. During his career, his work has taken him across the country and around the world. He is now a political analyst on CNN as well as a visiting professor at Georgetown University. David also speaks around the country about politics, leadership, media and, perhaps surprisingly, on faith after writing a critically acclaimed memoir, How’s Your Faith? published in 2015.

    Best known for his nearly 20 years at NBC News, David served for six years as the moderator of Meet the Press and as Chief White House Correspondent during the entire presidency of George W. Bush.

    As a correspondent, David covered the trials of OJ Simpson and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh as well as other breaking news around the country.

    He contributed anchoring duties to all the network’s major programs, including Today and Nightly News, and served as a political analyst.

    David traveled with President Bush on 9/11 and during Mr. Bush’s first visit to Ground Zero after the attacks. From the White House, Gregory covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and earned a reputation as the toughest questioner in the press corps.

    At Meet the Press, David scored a string of exclusive interviews that generated headlines across the world, including the interview with Vice President Joe Biden that represented a major shift by the Obama administration on same-sex marriage. David also broadcast from Afghanistan after conducting the first interview with General David Petraeus when he began leading US forces there. During the 2012 presidential campaign, David moderated a debate among the Republican candidates as part of a special broadcast and conducted interviews with numerous foreign heads of state.

    David was a staple of the network’s special coverage at NBC, anchoring the breaking news of Osama Bin Laden’s capture and death, and was a key player in election night coverage spanning four presidential cycles.

    In addition to teaching at Georgetown, David has served as a scholar in residence at American University’s School of International Service and as a professor of the practice at Tufts University.

    David is also involved in nonprofit work, serving on the boards of Martha’s Table in Washington, Cardigan Mountain School in New Hampshire, and the Dreamland Theatre on Nantucket. He lives in Washington, DC, with his three children and his wife, litigator Beth Wilkinson.


  • David Axelson

    David Axelson

    Senior Investment Consultant

    David is a partner and senior investment consultant in Mercer’s Atlanta office. David consults primarily to corporate retirement plans, healthcare organizations and other institutional asset pools on projects relating to asset allocation, investment manager selection, performance evaluation, and fund operations and governance. David is a member of Mercer’s Strategic Research Committees for Fixed Income, Healthcare and Alternatives (hedge funds, private equity, infrastructure) and a member of the Real Estate Ratings Review Committee.

    Prior to joining Mercer in 2006, David spent more than 10 years at United Parcel Service (UPS). During that time, he managed the company’s multibillion-dollar defined benefit pension plans. At UPS, he performed rigorous quantitative analysis, handled operational issues, and led numerous manager searches and due diligence efforts. For three years, David also specialized in managing the alternative investment portfolio for the funds.

    David has a Bachelor of Science in business administration and political science from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, and an MBA from Georgia State University in Atlanta, with a concentration in finance. David is a CFA® charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and the Atlanta Society of Financial Analysts.

  • Rob Bailey

    Rob Bailey

    Director Marsh and McLennan Insights,
    Oliver Wyman Group

    Based at global management consultancy Oliver Wyman, Rob is responsible for climate change research and thought leadership across the Marsh & McLennan group of companies, which also includes the investment advisor and fund manager Mercer, the world’s largest insurance broker — Marsh, and the world’s largest reinsurance broker — Guy Carpenter.

    Previously, Rob was Director of the Energy, Environment and Resources Department at Chatham House. Before that, he was responsible for climate change and economic policy at Oxfam GB after starting his career at Oliver Wyman.

    Rob has published widely and held numerous advisory positions on climate, resilience and sustainable development issues, and he was a lead author of the sixth Global Environment Outlook from the United Nations.

  • Christine	Bradford

    Christine Bradford

    Senior Not-for-Profit Consultant

    Christine is a senior not-for-profit consultant at Pavilion, a Mercer Practice. Based in Mercer’s Norwalk, Connecticut, office, she brings more than 30 years of financial investment experience as an investment consultant, corporate plan sponsor and investment manager.

    Christine currently manages relationships with a diverse group of clients that includes endowments, foundations, faith-based pools and high-net-worth trusts. She specializes in working with clients, both advisory and OCIO, with mission-based and responsible investing mandates. Her focus is on asset allocation, manager selection and ESG integration.

    She is a member of Pavilion’s Endowment and Foundation Strategic Research Team, which is responsible for thought leadership on portfolio management focus, intellectual capital development, process improvement and business development. Christine is also a member of Mercer’s North America ESG Strategic Research Team.

    Christine began her investment career as a research and quantitative analyst at investment advisor Lionel D. Edie & Co. Her research experience extended to Manufacturers Hanover Trust, where she was Assistant Treasurer. She was a senior pension officer for the Continental Group and Continental Can Company’s $1 billion retirement plans and scholarship foundation. As a vice president at Mellon Bank, Christine worked for an emerging, tactical asset allocation advisor. She also served as a plan sponsor for PerkinElmer’s $600 million pension and 401(k) plans.

    Christine holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is on the Norwalk Steering Committee for the Women@Mercer Business Resource Group and volunteers with MercerCares.

  • Deb	Clarke

    Deb Clarke

    Global Head of Investment Research

    Deb is a senior partner in Mercer’s Wealth business. In her role as Global Head of Investment Research, Deb is responsible for manager research and strategic research, and she manages a group of more than 100 asset-class specialists across alternatives, fixed income, equities and real estate. She also oversees the teams responsible for strategic asset allocation, dynamic asset allocation, strategic research and responsible investing. These teams work together to support Mercer’s full range of client solutions, from advisory to fiduciary management. Deb is based in London, England.

    Deb was previously the Global Leader of Mercer’s Equity Boutique, specializing in researching global equity and global emerging market equity managers. Deb chairs Mercer’s Global Policy Committee and is a member of the Mainstream Assets Global Investment Committee.

    Deb joined Mercer in November 2005 from Watson Wyatt, where she was a senior investment consultant advising a range of clients and researching Asian and emerging market equity managers. Previously, Deb was a fund manager for 20 years, most recently working for Friends Ivory & Sime as Head of Equities.

    Deb holds a bachelor’s degree (with honors) in business studies from Plymouth University in Plymouth, England, and is an associate of the Society of Investment Professionals, UK. Deb received the 2016 Distinguished Woman Investment Professional of the Year award.

  • Nicole Delahanty

    Nicole Delahanty

    Senior Investment Consultant

    Nicole focuses primarily on strategic investment consulting to retirement plan sponsors across governance, investment strategy, risk management and implementation. She has been with Mercer for eight years, including time at predecessor firms Jeffrey Slocum & Associates and Pavilion Advisory Group Inc., where she was the national Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Practice Leader.

    Prior to joining Mercer, Nicole also spent four years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she first served as Director of Institutional Investments and later as a lead partner for the Chicago-based Global Institutional Consulting practice. During her tenure, Nicole was instrumental in building the firm’s outsourced CIO/fiduciary practice and the defined contribution advisory practice.

    She also spent 12 years in the Minneapolis office of Towers Watson, rising to leadership positions in the retirement arena, where she was responsible for the strategic delivery of retirement plan design, financial and risk management, administration and compliance.

    Nicole initially trained as an actuary, earning the designations Enrolled Actuary under ERISA in 1999 and Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) in 2002. Nicole received a Bachelor of Commerce (with honors) in actuarial science from the University of Manitoba in Manitoba, Canada, and an MBA from Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and she holds the Certified Investment Manager Analyst (CIMA®) designation through the Investment Management Consultants Association. She is also certified with the Yoga Alliance® and is an active yoga practitioner and teacher.

  • Rich Dell

    Rich Dell

    Global Leader, Equity Boutique

    Rich is a partner in Mercer’s Wealth business. In his role as Global Leader of the Equity Boutique, Rich is responsible for equity manager research globally, focused on researching managers across a range of equity universes and geographies. He is based in London.

    Rich joined Mercer in March 2008 with seven years of experience, including at Fidelity International, where he provided quantitative fund analysis on internal and external equity funds. He also spent four years at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (now BlackRock), where he was Assistant Vice President of the Information Research Team, working on a range of quantitative-based research projects across a number of asset classes.

    Rich holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Southampton in Southampton, England. He is a CFA® charterholder and holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) designation from the Investment Management Consultants Association.

  • Monika Freyman

    Monika Freyman

    Senior Responsible Investment Consultant

    Monika is the Head of Responsible Investment for Mercer Canada. Her focus is to drive the creation of solutions and implementable responsible investment consulting advice to address market needs expressed by companies, pension plans and participants across the country.

    Monika has worked in the financial services industry in both fixed income and equity analysis. She currently advises the CFA Institute on how to embed more ESG content into their financial analyst seminars and is a standing author for the CFA’s Enterprising Investor Series.

    For the past decade, Monika has been a leader in responsible investing, including projects with Harvard’s Kennedy School and Trillium Asset Management. More recently, she was a director with Ceres, a sustainability research and advocacy enterprise. There, she created and led the Ceres’ Investor Water Hub, a working group of more than 120 global pension funds and managers (with $20 trillion in assets under management), working to evolve environmental, social and governance practices and water integration approaches. She also worked with Ceres’ investor network, including the Global Climate Action 100+ initiative. She was lead author of the Ceres Investor Water Toolkit, a how-to guide on water integration practices in portfolio management, in collaboration with 40 institutional investors.

    With a background in both finance and science, Monika enjoys bridging knowledge and ideas between these two fields. 

  • Louis Gagnon

    Louis Gagnon

    President, U.S. and Canada

    Louis is President, US & Canada, leading more than 5,000 colleagues who serve approximately 10,000 domestic and multinational clients across Mercer. He has served in this role since 2018 and is based in New York.

    In his more than 30 years at Mercer, Louis has held numerous leadership roles across the business and has a proven track record of driving innovation, building client relationships, inspiring teams, and enhancing Mercer’s diverse workforce and inclusive culture. Leading with his heart, Louis is known for his steadfast internal and external advocacy of Mercer’s mission to make a difference in people’s lives, particularly taking the lead in driving social impact in local community service and philanthropy.

    Louis joined Mercer in 1988 as a retirement consultant in Canada. In 1996, he moved to Mercer’s US business, where he held leadership, sales and innovation roles before becoming Canada’s CEO in 2015.

    Louis graduated from Concordia University in Montreal with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, statistics and actuarial science. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

  • Chris Grimm

    Chris Grimm

    Senior Investment Consultant

  • Gregory Halagan

    Gregory Halagan

    Senior Investment Consultant

    Greg is a principal and co-leader of the US Insurance segment. He joined Mercer with the acquisition of Pavilion in 2018. Prior to his current role as a consultant, he was a senior member of the Global Fixed Income Research Team. In this role since 2008, he was responsible for capital markets research and manager due diligence for public and private debt strategies. During this period, Greg was also a member of the Responsible Investment Strategy Group, working to source investment strategies with a social impact and develop research. In this capacity, he served as a member of the Fixed Income Advisory Committee for the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. He currently serves on the boards of both the Jefferson Center and the Citizens League as well as the advisory committee of the Minnesota Committee on Foreign Relations.

    He received his Bachelor of Arts in finance and accounting from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and his MBS (with honors) from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Greg is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designee and a CFA® charterholder as well as a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Minnesota. 

  • Taxas Hemmaplardh

    Taxas Hemmaplardh

    Co-Lead, Endowments

    Texas is a partner and co-leads the Not-for-Profit Endowment segment at Mercer. He is located in the New York City office. Texas has expertise in capital markets research and portfolio construction across multiple asset classes, particularly the integration of alternative investments into diversified risk-controlled portfolios. He frequently makes presentations to institutional investors on asset allocation and alternative investments.

    Prior to the acquisition of Pavilion Advisory Group by Mercer in 2018, Texas was a managing director with Pavilion, where he focused on working with endowment and foundation clients. In 2016, Pavilion Advisory Group combined with Jeffrey Slocum & Associates, where Texas had been since 1997. He began as an analyst and held the positions of Director of Global Fixed Income Research, Director of Alternative Investments and Director of Hedge Fund Strategies before returning to client service as a managing director.

    Texas holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Yale University and an MBA (with honors) from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and was in the Advanced Studies Program at Oxford University. He is a CFA® charterholder and is a member of the CFA Institute as well as the CFA Society New York. Texas serves on the board of the Goodwill Easter Seals Foundation.

  • Raelan Lambert

    Raelan Lambert

    Global Alternatives Leader

    Based in Sacramento, California, Raelan is Global Alternatives Leader of Mercer Alternatives, which has $172 billion in assets under advisement globally and more than $21 billion under management.

    Raelan joined Pavilion Alternatives Group in 2005, which was acquired by Mercer in 2018. She has been in the financial services industry since 1998, focusing on private equity and private markets since 2005.

    Raelan leads and oversees Mercer’s specialty Alternatives business, encompassing strategic research, trusted advice and implemented advisory solutions for institutional investors globally.

    Previously, Raelan was based in New York City, where she worked at Google predecessor, DoubleClick, and focused on financial institutions. Prior to that, she was a consultant in American Express’s Strategic Technology Relationships Advisory Group, which worked directly with the firm’s C-suite and all divisions of the firm and its top technology partners.

    Raelan began her career at Goldman Sachs in the Finance and Wealth Management divisions, including assignments in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

    CIO Magazine recognized Raelan as one of Knowledge Brokers New Guard in 2019. She received a Bachelor of Arts (with honors) in French language and literature from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and remains fluent in French.

  • Leslie K. Lenzo, CFA

    Chief Investment Officer, Advocate Aurora Health

    Leslie is Chief Investment Officer at Advocate Aurora Health in Illinois and Wisconsin. In her role at Advocate Aurora, Leslie oversees the investment of $12 billion in corporate and pension assets. She also oversees the investment options available in the organization’s $7 billion defined contribution plans.


    Prior to Advocate Aurora, Leslie was a senior member of the investment team at Northwestern Memorial Healthcare in Chicago. She began her career with the investment program at Partners HealthCare in Boston and then moved to the sell side to do equity research covering healthcare services at SG Cowen.


    Leslie holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and government from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and an MBA in finance from Boston University in Massachusetts. She is also a CFA® charterholder. Leslie resides in Illinois with her husband, four young sons and their Boston Terrier.

  • Amy Lesch

    Partner, Client and Partner Group, KKR

    Amy joined KKR in 2009 and is a member of the Client and Partner Group, based in New York. She leads the North American relationship management team and is Global Head of Consultant Relations. As such, Amy is closely involved with fundraising, investor relations and consultant relations across the firm.


    Prior to joining KKR, she was a managing director and Global Head of Consultant Relations for Citi Capital Advisors (formerly Citi Alternative Investments). Amy has more than 27 years of experience working directly with investors and the consultant community. Her prior experience also includes Deutsche Asset Management and State Street Global Advisors.


    She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Rochester in New York and a JD from New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. Amy sits on several advisory boards, including the boards of the Sloan Hospital for Women, University of Rochester National Council and Girls Who Invest. She also sits on the board of Women in Need (WIN), the largest provider of shelter for homeless families in New York City.

  • Jay Love

    Jay Love

    U.S. Investment Consulting Leader

    Jay is Mercer’s US Investment Consulting Leader, based in Atlanta. He has previously served as Mercer’s US Director of Strategic Research and National Segment Leader for Defined Benefit Consulting. His responsibilities also include serving as a senior consultant for large public and private pension plans. Jay has worked with a wide range of clients in his 20+ years with Mercer, ranging from hospital operating assets to sovereign wealth funds.

    Jay serves and has previously served on a number of Mercer research and policy groups. These include the US Investment Policy Committee, responsible for developing Mercer’s firm-wide views on current investment issues and guiding the direction of Mercer’s client consulting; the Global Strategic Research Committee; the US and International Equity Manager Ratings Review Committees, which determine Mercer’s view of specific investment manager strategies; and Mercer’s Equity, Alternatives and LDI Strategic Research Teams.

    Jay led Mercer’s US Capital Market Assumptions development process from 2011 to 2013, when he was  responsible for producing the asset class return and risk assumptions used throughout Mercer in the US, and he continues to serve on the US Capital Markets Committee. Jay is also involved in the development of the economic simulation models and software used in Mercer’s capital market studies.

    Jay holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a CFA® charterholder and a member of both the Atlanta Society of Financial Analysts and the CFA Institute. Jay was named to CIO Magazine’s 2017 and 2018 lists of the World’s Most Influential Investment Consultants.

  • Jim Treanor

    Jim Treanor

    Alternatives Leader, U.S. and Canada

    Jim is the Alternatives Leader — US and Canada in the Mercer Pavilion Minneapolis office. Within Pavilion, his title was Managing Director of Pavilion Alternatives Group. He joined Jeffrey Slocum & Associates as Director of Capital Markets Research for Hedge Fund Strategies in 2011 and was promoted to Director of Research across all asset classes in 2013. Slocum’s alternatives business was combined with Pavilion Alternatives Group, LLC, in 2016.


    Previously, Jim spent 11 years with the Florida State Board of Administration (FSBA), where he led a team that established FSBA’s multibillion-dollar private equity portfolio. An outgrowth of this effort was an assignment to create and manage an opportunistic strategic investment portfolio, comprising hedge funds, opportunistic debt, infrastructure and other alternative investments. He also contributed to the strategic direction of the entire program’s investments and its annual investment plan.


    Prior to joining FSBA, Jim was Regional Director of Airport Affairs and Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis for Northwest Airlines.


    Institutional Investor magazine selected Jim as a 2010 Rising Star of Hedge Funds. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (with honors) in computer science from Boston College in Massachusetts and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

  • Chris Tschida

    Chris Tschida

    Senior Investment Consultant

    Chris is a partner and Co-Head of the US Insurance practice. He has more than 27 years of industry experience. Prior to Mercer’s acquisition of Pavilion in 2018, in addition to leading the firm’s Insurance practice, Chris served as the co-lead of the Not-for-Profit Healthcare practice. Earlier in his career, he was involved in the firm’s capital markets research, leading the Alternative Investments and Global Equity Research Groups.


    Chris sits on the Investment Committee for a local nonprofit organization. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in accounting from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a CFA® charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute as well as the CFA Society of Minnesota.

  • Sid Vittal

    Sid Vittal

    Asset Class Specialist, Alternatives

    Sid is a principal with Mercer Alternatives, Mercer’s specialist boutique dedicated to alternative investments. Sid’s responsibilities include both portfolio construction and allocation across Mercer’s discretionary and advisory capital as well as due diligence on fund investments, co-investments and secondaries in the infrastructure sector.

    Sid has worked in various capacities in the infrastructure and energy sector with some of the world’s leading advisors and investors in the sector, such as Infrastructure Ontario and SunEdison.


    Sid holds a BBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University, in Toronto, Canada, and a master’s degree (with merit) in finance from the London School of Economics in England.

  • Rachel Volynsky

    Rachel Volynsky

    Chief Investment Officer Delegated Solutions

  • Nick White

    Nick White

    Global Strategic Research Director

    Nick is a partner in Mercer’s Institutional Wealth practice and is Global Strategic Research Director and a member of the Global Policy Committee. He is responsible for house views relating to multi-asset-class research and portfolio construction as well as the development of the strategic research agenda. He is based in Sydney, Australia.

    Nick’s role covers strategic policy decisions for the suite of Mercer funds in the Pacific market. This aspect of his role formally links Mercer’s strategic best ideas and forward-thinking research to building discretionary portfolios, ensuring Mercer’s best ideas are mapped to all clients’ advice and funds. 

    Prior to joining Mercer in 2006, Nick gained 13 years of experience with Aon Consulting, where he filled a number of roles, most recently as Head of Manager Research and previously as Head of Client Consulting, both in Sydney. Before moving to Australia from the UK with Aon in 2004, he was a senior consultant with primary responsibility for asset-liability-modeling projects.

    Nick holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from the University of Oxford. He is also a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, London.

  • Allison Yager

    Allison Yager

    Global Alternatives Leader, Real Estate

    Allison is a partner in Mercer’s Atlanta office. She is the Global Leader of Mercer’s Real Estate Boutique, part of Mercer’s Wealth business. Allison provides real estate consulting and strategic advice to Mercer’s clients and consultants located across the globe. She also manages a team of consultants and researchers based in the various Mercer regional offices. Her team is responsible for constructing real estate portfolios for clients, conducting research on all real estate and related strategies, monitoring existing client real estate investments and performance reporting for Mercer clients’ real estate strategies.

    Allison has more than 30 years of financial and real estate investment experience. Before joining Mercer in 2003, she spent 14 years with a real estate investment management firm. Previously, she spent three years working for a public accounting firm.

    Allison earned a BBA in accounting from the University of Georgia in Athens. She is a CFA® charterholder and a member of NCREIF, and she serves on several advisory boards, including the board of the Pension Real Estate Association.

Did you know?

Did you know?

Members of some professional bodies may be able to claim continuing professional development credits for attending Mercer's Global Investment Forums.