Alan Biller, Ph.D.

Principal, Chairman

In 1982, Mr. Biller founded the firm to provide strategy and investment consulting services to institutional clients. Today, he serves as Chairman of the firm.


Mr. Biller has advised major pension plans since 1975 when he led the Wells Fargo team which developed the first (and only) pension plan stochastic optimization model. Since 1986 he has been fiduciary adviser (and since 2013 OCIO) to the largest multi-employer pension plan in the world. He periodically serves as an expert witness in Federal Court on fiduciary responsibility, investment policy and portfolio management, and was a court-appointed trustee of a corporate ESOP.


Mr. Biller earned an accelerated B.A. as Scholar of the House with distinction, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa at Yale, a M. Phil. in the History and Philosophy of Religion at the University of London, a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Columbia University, and an M.B.A. in Finance at Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He was awarded a Younger Humanist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He started his career as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Pomona College.


The French Government awarded Mr. Biller a medal for helping to found and serve as president of the International School of the Peninsula. He formerly was a board member and treasurer of Child Family Health International, a non-profit NGO which sends medical students to work in clinics in underdeveloped countries. He is a member of the Band of Angels and the Alliance of Angels.

John D. Skjervem, CFA

Principal, Chief Executive Officer & Director of Consulting 

Mr. Skjervem joined the firm in 2020 with 30 years of experience in institutional investment management. He is involved in all aspects of the firm’s activities, including investment strategy, client service and daily operations management. 

Before joining the firm, he served as Investment Division Director and Chief Investment Officer for the Oregon State Treasury. In that role, he led a team responsible for managing a globally-diversified, financial and real asset investment program, including the State’s $80+ billion public employees’ retirement fund. Prior to his tenure in Oregon, he was an Executive Vice President at Northern Trust where he held a variety of portfolio management and leadership positions including Chief Investment Officer for that firm’s wealth management division.

Mr. Skjervem is an advisor to the Retirement Board of the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI), a member of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation’s Investment Advisory Group, and a member of the IEEE Foundation’s investment committee. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and is a member of the Pacific Pension Institute’s Board of Directors. He received his B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his M.B.A. with concentrations in Finance and Statistics from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Jennifer Newell, CFA, CAIA

Principal, President

Ms. Newell joined the firm in 2010 with more than 20 years of experience managing institutional investment portfolios. She is a member of the team that advises the firm’s largest client, as well as the lead consultant to its other multi-billion dollar funds. Her work includes asset allocation design and investment education.


Prior to joining the firm, she was a managing director and senior portfolio manager at Wells Capital Management, where she was responsible for the Advantage Dividend Income Fund. Previously she was president and portfolio manager of Newell Associates, where she managed over $2 billion for pension, endowment and foundation clients, and co-managed the Vanguard Equity Income Fund. She has also held marketing positions at Putnam Investments and Massachusetts Financial Services.


She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations, is a member of the CFA Institute, Security Analysts Society of San Francisco, and Financial Women’s Association.


Ms. Newell earned a B.A. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in Economics from Wheaton College, attended the London School of Economics, and holds an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a frequent speaker at industry events.
 

Simon Lim, JD, CFA, CAIA

Principal, Chief Compliance Officer & Managing Senior Consultant

 

Mr. Lim joined the firm in 2010 with over 12 years of experience in finance. He is a member of the team that advises the firm’s largest client, as well as the lead consultant for other defined benefit, defined contribution and health and welfare plans. He serves as Chief Compliance Officer.


Previously, he was a lead analyst at CalPERS where he oversaw $3 billion in fixed income securities, made investment recommendations and created credit models. He also held positions in corporate finance at Hewlett-Packard and Cisco, where he assisted with strategic planning and business forecasting.


He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of San Francisco.
Mr. Lim earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and holds a J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of California, Davis and a Masters in Finance from the London Business School.

Asad Ali, MBA

Principal, Executive Vice President

Mr. Ali joined the firm in 2014 with 16 years of experience in institutional investment consulting and asset management. He is a lead consultant for defined benefit, defined contribution, and health and welfare plans. He assists clients with all types of projects, including asset allocation and liability studies, all-in-fee assessments, plan investment structure reviews, manager searches, and investment policy statements. He is a member of the firm’s management committee.


Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Ali served as a Principal and Senior Consultant with Mercer Investments for six years. Prior to entering the consulting field, he worked with Miller & Jacobs Capital leading the development of their credit business in New York. Before obtaining his MBA, he worked as an Assistant Vice President at Mizuho Corporate Bank in their Alternative Investments Group.


Mr. Ali earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of Connecticut. He received his M.B.A from the Isenberg School of Business at the University of Massachusetts. He is a decorated veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force.

 

James P. Rankin, CPA

Principal, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Rankin joined the firm in 2019 with more than 20 years of experience in operations management, risk mitigation and business process improvement. He is the firm’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, heads our OCIO Solutions team, and oversees the operational due diligence of underlying investment managers. He is a member of the firm’s management committee.

Prior to joining, he was CFO and COO for Risk Premium Investments in New York where he directed all financial, operational and compliance functions. Prior to this, he served as Director of Fund Accounting and Operations for PAAMCO, an institutional fund of hedge funds, where he was responsible for all fund accounting, client reporting and investment operations. Mr. Rankin was responsible for hiring staff as the firm grew from 30 to 150 employees.

He earned a B.S. in Managerial Economics from U.C. Davis, an M.B.A. from Harvard, and holds an active California CPA license.