Investment Team

PSPRS Investment Team

In the interest of the stability of the PSPRS trust fund, in conjunction with the Board of Trustees and consultants, the PSPRS Investment Team plays an invaluable role in the prudent and strategic efforts designed to provide the system with needed financial health and stability.

Ryan Parham(JD-MBA), Chief Investment Officer More InfoClose

Telephone:  (602) 296-2526
Fax: (602) 255-5572
RyanP7@psprs.com

Since 2004, Ryan has been the Chief Investment Officer for the PSPRS portfolio and is a senior member of the internal Investment Committee. He has served as corporate council and director of international affairs in the oil and gas industry. He has also served as a consultant in business strategy. Ryan has more than 20 years of experience in global investments and business and has taught graduate students in strategy and business in China, Japan and India and at various U.S. military installations.

In 2015, Ryan was recognized by peer investors for his reorganization of the PSPRS investment portfolio and nominated for the Institutional Investor magazine’s Chief Investment Officer of the Year award. Under Ryan’s leadership, PSPRS was also one of six nominees for Institutional Investor’s Small Public Plan of the Year in 2016.

• Juris Doctorate (Brigham Young University)
• MBA (Brigham Young University)
• Undergraduate in English & Mathematics (University of Utah)
• Coursework in Strategy (Harvard, University of Chicago, Wharton, and MIT)
• Member of the American Bar Association
• Member of the Academy of Political Science
• Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court
• Fluent in Spanish

Mark Steed(MBA, MS), Deputy Chief Investment Officer & Chief of Staff More InfoClose

Telephone:  (602) 296-2531
Fax: (602) 255-5572
MSteed@psprs.com

Mark has senior responsibility for the public equity and credit opportunities portfolios and has more than 10 years of experience with private and public markets. Starting as an intern in 2007, Mark earned an investment team position that included overseeing private equity and venture capital investments. He recently concluded a four-year project as a forecaster for the distinguished Good Judgment Project, led by prominent behavioral economist Phil Tetlock. Prior to joining PSPRS, Mark worked in banking for JP Morgan Chase. Mark lives in Gilbert with his wife and three children, and is a member of the acclaimed musical group Cinematic Pop.

• MS in Predictive Analytics (Northwestern University)
• MBA (Thunderbird School of Global Management, Jost Henkel Scholar)
• Undergraduate in Latin American Studies (Brigham Young University, Honors from Sigma Iota Rho)
• Specific Research on Private Markets in Emerging Economies
• Named among 2013 “Rising Stars of Public Funds” by Money Market Intelligence
• Previously lived in Latin America
• Fluent in Spanish

Shan Chen(PhD – MBA), Lead Portfolio Manager More InfoClose

Telephone:  (602) 296-2561
Fax: (602) 255-5572
Shan.chen@psprs.com

Shan has responsibility for investments in private equity assets. He also analyzes portfolio risk and hedge funds. Prior to joining PSPRS in 2007, Shan had more than 15 years of experience in academic research, business, finance, and banking, including senior level consulting experience in information technology. Shan is a member of the internal Investment Committee.

• Ph.D. Chemistry (University of Louisville)
• M.S. Computer Science (DePaul University)
• MBA (University of Chicago)
• Undergraduate in Chemistry (Peking University)
• Fluent in Mandarin
• Experience in Asia

Rose CrutcherInvestments Paralegal More InfoClose

Telephone:  (602) 296-3733
Fax: (602) 255-5572
RCrutcher@psprs.com

Rose joined the PSPRS team in 2015 and is responsible for contract administration, document management and legal support. She has more than 25 years of experience as a paralegal in the areas of public administration, litigation and medical malpractice. Rose lives in Phoenix with her husband of 32 years, is the mother of three children and is a proud Blue Star Mom to a U.S. Army combat veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. She wears a red shirt each Friday to remember U.S. troops in harm’s way (Remember Everyone Deployed).

• Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) – Contracts Management/Contracts Administration (2016)
• Certified Legal Assistant (CP), National Association of Legal Assistants (2015)
• Tempe Elementary School Board (2000-2008)
• Master of Boardsmanship, Arizona School Board Association (2007)
• Paralegal Certificate, University of Phoenix (1995)

Jennifer Eichholz(JD) Investment Counsel More InfoClose

Telephone:  (602) 296-2524
Fax: (602) 255-5572
JEichholz@psprs.com

Jennifer is the in-house Investment Attorney for the PSPRS. Previously, she was a partner in the Corporate Law Group of Quarles & Brady LLP in Phoenix, Arizona. Jennifer was recently selected as a finalist for the 2016 Arizona Corporate Counsel award presented by the AZ Business® magazine and, in 2012, was included among Southwest Super Lawyers® magazine’s 2012 Southwest Rising Stars.

• Undergraduate from Marquette University with honors, summa cum laude (1994)
• Law degree from Columbia University School of Law (1997), Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
• Admitted to practice law in New York in 1999
• Admitted to practice law in Arizona in 2000

Vaida Maleckaite(PhD), Director of Investment Services More InfoClose

Telephone:  (602) 296-2546
Fax: (602) 255-5572
VMaleckaite@psprs.com

Vaida joined the PSPRS investment team in 2012 as an Investment Operations Analyst and is currently responsible for overseeing the financial and performance reporting, portfolio risk analytics, back-office document management and trading support functions for the trust. Her previous experience includes quantitative research and teaching activities in public finance and public administration, as well as various administrative and financial management roles in the non-profit sector.

• Ph.D. in Public Administration and Management/Public Finance (University of North Texas)
• Recipient of 2010 "Who is Who at the U.S. Universities Award"
• Master of Public Policy Administration (University of Missouri-St Louis)
• Undergraduate degree in Psychology (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania)
• Fluent in Lithuanian, Russian and French
• Experience with non-profit sector and community service

Bill ThatcherCFA (MBA), Portfolio Manager More InfoClose

Telephone:  (602) 296-2542
Fax: (602) 255-5572
WThatcher@psprs.com

Bill joined the team in 2016 and has 20 years of experience in investments and banking. Previous positions include working as an investment consultant to endowments and foundations at Mercer Investment Consulting and Commonfund. He has also worked as a portfolio consultant at Charles Schwab and as a credit analyst at ABN AMRO Bank.

• MBA (Yale School of Management)
• MHSA (University of Michigan)
• Undergraduate in French (Brigham Young University)
• Member of the Phoenix Chartered Financial Analyst Society
• CFA Charterholder since 2001
• CAIA – Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst since 2007
• Author of articles published in The Journal of Investing and The Journal of Index Investing.

Jefferson B. Weston IV Investment Analyst More InfoClose

Telephone:  (602) 296-3735
Fax: (602) 255-5572
JWeston@psprs.com

Jeff is an Investment Analyst covering all invested assets and primarily specializing in global affairs for PSPRS. Prior to joining the PSPRS in 2016, he taught English in Germany at the Hochschule für Leipzig.

• B.S. in Finance & Economics (Grand Canyon University)
• Certificate in Financial Modeling and Valuation (New York School of Finance)
• Working proficiency of German
• Experience in Europe

Owen Zhao(MS), Portfolio Analyst – Risk More InfoClose

Telephone:  (602) 296-3734
Fax: (602) 255-5572
WZHao@psprs.com

Owen joined the PSPRS investment team in 2015 and is responsible for risk analysis for the trust portfolio, a duty that includes assessing market environments, forecasting volatility and value at risk, identifying and evaluating drivers of asset class risk and performing stress tests. He also oversees the PSPRS investment and banking transactions, financial data and performance calculations, and is also heavily involved in the PSPRS investment selection procedures. Prior to this position, Owen has worked in banking, wealth management and corporate finance. He is married and counts fitness and fixing electronics among his hobbies.

• M.S. Global Finance (Thunderbird School of Global Management)
• Undergraduate in Finance and Management, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship certificate (Arizona State University)
• Recipient of Roy & Pam Herberger Jr. Scholarship
• Former member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars
• Fluent in Mandarin
• Experience in Asia

Kevin Chen(MS), Investment Accountant More InfoClose

Telephone:  (602) 296-2533
Fax: (602) 255-5572
kchen@psprs.com

Kevin joined the PSPRS investment team in 2017 and is responsible for accounting records management for the fund, which includes analyzing complex financial information to evaluate performance, creating reports, reconciling investment accounts, processing investment-related transactions, assisting with the monthly close activities, and maintaining the internal accounting records. He is interested in using numbers and statistics, primarily in a financial context, to explain a situation or a business. Using these skills, Kevin aspires to constantly improve himself and the PSPRS fund. Before Kevin joined PSPRS, his experience was in public accounting and consulting.

• Master of Accountancy (Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School)
• Undergraduate in Business (Johns Hopkins University)

Consultants

PSPRS hires and uses several external investment consultants to provide industry knowledge across asset classes, research and assistance in identifying and vetting investment opportunities, as well as portfolio allocation guidance. Consultants serve PSPRS in an advisory capacity only and are selected based on recognized expertise and reputation.

Hedge Funds
Albourne
Consultant:  Lincoln Smith
https://www-us.albourne.com/

Private Equity
Stepstone Global
Consultant:  Jay Rose
https://www.stepstoneglobal.com/

Albourne
Consultant:  Tom Cawkwell
https://www-us.albourne.com/

Real Estate
ORG Real Property
Consultant:  Ed Schwartz
http://www.orgrealproperty.com/index.html

Total Fund
New England Pension Consultants (NEPC)
Consultant:  Allan Martin
http://www.nepc.com/