Panayiotis Lambropoulos: Portfolio Manager at the Employee Retirement System of Texas 

Panayiotis Lambropoulos, Portfolio Manager at the Employees Retirement System of Texas— a $35B public fund located in Austin, Texas, works in the hedge funds department on a team of managers. Panayiotis brings his diverse background, being born and raised in Greece until he was 13 years old, as well as his prior experience working for a Japanese Hedge fund, to the work he does on behalf of Texas ERS. As one of the large public funds in the U.S., Panayiotis has a vast amount of knowledge and expertise that Public Retirement Systems everywhere can learn from.

Show Notes For Panayiotis Lambropoulos

  • 1:35 – Panayiotis shares his backstory

    • Panayiotis was born in Athens, Greece until 13 years old
    • He finished undergraduate studies at Boston College
    • Panayiotis had the opportunity to move to Chicago and work in the alternatives industry at Grosvenor Capital Management
    • He got introduced to alternative investing in hedge funds and it became a passion
  • 4:12 – The notable things Panayiotis found when transitioning from private to public sector

    • The private sector is mostly for profit while the public is not 
    • Both sectors have different business models with its own objectives and constraints, but the spirit and intent of the job is the same
  • 7:19 – Working on a hedge fund team with Texas ERS and how it started

    • Their primary objective is to work on “absolute return portfolio” put together in August 2012
    • It is a result of overall pension plan migrating from traditional 60/40 models to something more diversified to include other “asset classes”
    • The objective of the portfolio is to serve as a risk mitigator to the overall trust
    • Texas ERS includes a 90-day T-bill plus 350
  • 9:00 – ERS Launchpad

    • Launched in June 2018 
    • Focus on emerging managers 
    • A new program to build a farm system to establish relationships early on
  • 9:52 – How the program identifies emerging managers

    • Texas ERS partnered with PAAMCO Prisma
    • What they want to do is to find a partner that would expand bandwidth of reach and know-how by working closely with colleagues
    • Partner that can help in the operational and investment diligence setup of emerging managers and continual oversight after investment
  • 12:20 – Working with a five-unit team with $35B worth of trust assets

    • This requires efficiency on time, energy, and effort – creating outside partnerships and working with consultants
    • To further increase due diligence and maintain current relationships
    • They get context and insight on portfolios, markets, and opportunities
    • They provide communication by updating the board what’s going on with underlying investments
  • 15:50 – Are their investments socially conscious?

    • They take the time to understand if there is value add to invest through the lens of any type of environmental social governance prism, and how to balance any proof of that type of investment with fiduciary duty
  • 21:04 – What it’s like working with clients based in Tokyo, Japan

    • Joining the firm gave him exposure to wide spectrum of investment strategies and migrated from being a specialist to generalist
    • There is a big cultural difference when dealing with non-American clients
    • His big lesson to adjust to difference of client’s background and adapt middle ground
  • 26:27 – “The coffee test” and building trust with clients

    • Meeting diverse kinds of people as an enjoyable part of the business
    • If you ask yourself, “Do you want to go and have coffee with somebody and just talk?” If yes, it means you’re building trust level which is a qualitative aspect with quantitative risks
  • 28:28 – How does the underfunding issue inform what you do in your team and your emerging market hedge fund?

    • It added a lot of importance to each additional capital.
    • Knowing the liabilities as well as bills to pay every month
    • Keeping in mind legal or constitutional aspects
  • 33:13 – Challenges in the public pension world

    • Salaries
    • Attract and maintain talent
    • Returns
    • Central bank policies
    • Communication with internal and external stakeholders
    • Adapting to new frontiers of investing

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About The Author

As a securities class action attorney, my goal is to assist you in maximizing claim recoveries related to your investment portfolio, including direct claims, class action claims, class action settlement claims, derivative claims, tax recovery claims, and where appropriate to pursue whistleblower claims and more that help to protect the integrity of the securities markets.  My podcast provides the legal and investment community to which my private investor, public fund, and union fund clients belong, with up-to date- information relevant to their investment portfolios. I want to assure my clients that while we may not have seen one another in person these past months, I have been working diligently on your behalf to continue to provide our practice leading services while maintaining my high level of personal attention that I believe is essential to an authentic and long lasting relationship with my clients.

For more information on ways to join cases and to increase your investment portfolio recoveries read my blogs and listen to my Pensions and Investments podcast.  Providing information and creative ways to ensure my clients recover all monies due to them in the simplest ways is my overarching goal.

Atara Twersky, is of counsel at AF&T.  Atara is also the bestselling author of the children’s book series, Curlee Girlee, inspired by her own young curly haired daughter and written for all curly girls in an effort to ensure they love themselves and their hair exactly as it is, understanding that their hair is part of a greater legacy they share with those who came before them.  You can find out more about Atara here. Listen to other podcast episodes Pensions and Investments podcast with Atara Twersky here  or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts!