NAA Bears & Bulls Digest
2021 August | V
Greeting from the CEO
Hola, saludos desde la Costa Oeste!
We are almost at the end of August and this summer seems to have passed as fast as a summer rain! I hope you all had the chance to take it easy for a couple of days and recover your energy and your well-being. 

The Delta variant as well as Nature raging in unstoppable fires and natural disasters around the world seem to continue shaking up markets and the news, so let’s be prepared for another difficult year, full of ups and downs. 

On the bright side, new projects are developing at New America Alliance. We are very proud of the NAA Institute and its Chair Gabe Rodriguez for launching their new site that shows the programs, interns, folks, and firms who have been tirelessly supporting this effort. Please visit and state your Congratulations! 

We are also thrilled that we will be meeting with Gary Gensler, chair of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), to discuss topics dear to our NAA agenda. As you know, we have been working diligently on matters of D&I and Transparency, and I personally have offered remarks for consideration on these topics to the SEC Asset Management Advisory Committee, and testimony at the California Legislature in support of transparency legislation.  I cannot overemphasize how important it is for the country to hear the Hispanic voice – the NAA voice – on topics that affect all diverse communities and women.  Leon Brujis understands this, as he speaks about "The Advantages of Diversity in a Private Equity Firm." Please listen to his podcast (link below).

And I’m excited that I will be representing NAA at the AAAIM Conference in San Francisco on September 15 and 16. AAAIM is our sister organization. In a strategic partnership for this year’s conference, we support the organization taking a leap on being one of the first LIVE events in the industry. Please register below if you can attend. 

I invite you to peruse our newsletter, as always full of great bios and congratulatory news, and reach out to those who are giving their best every day. This is a tough industry, as Claudio Phillips shares in his below article about “Success in the Asset Management Industry,” and being part of our NAA family is one of the best ways to find the guidance and the connections you all need to continue with your success. 

Un abrazo, y disfruten del descanso! 

Solange F. Brooks
New America Alliance Institute
The NAA Institute launches its new website to showcase the work that the NAA membership and supporters do to promote the next generation of leaders: Latino leaders, woman leaders, and leaders in diverse communities.

Thank you so much to the Institute Board for their hard work in establishing these programs as well as the Inaugural Pathway Fellowship Sponsoring Firms and the many donors to date for taking a chance to change the trajectory of our fellows. We look forward to continuing the growth of fellowship opportunities and scholarships over time. 
For additional information, please visit: New America Alliance Institute
NAA Voices
Claudio Phillips, Managing Principal at MB Global Partners
Success in the Asset Management Industry
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, perseverance, and learning from failure.”
The Hon. Colin Powell, U.S Secretary of State and U.S. Army General, Ret.

Success in our industry is visible all around us. We look at those high-profile asset managers with AUM in the billions and see the end result of what once was just an idea. What we do not see is the vision, effort, and perseverance which went into building out these businesses. While we are often congratulated for our “luck” in our successes, we know that “luck” is a negligible component of the end results. 

What are the keys to success in the asset management industry? First and foremost is performance This is an absolute necessity. Without top return performance, it is virtually impossible to raise assets. That being said, it is still a challenge to raise assets even with great returns. [Continue reading...]
Best in Class
Amira Strasser, Partner & Founder, Applied Research LLC
Five years ago, Amira Strasser, along with her partner Mark Lin looked at the opportunity to disrupt the face of global equities. With a strong long-term track record, she realized that they collectively could help institutions realize long-term goals. Amira knew she had uncovered a hidden gem, but also realized that without a great team and best in breed infrastructure, this would not work.  

So she set about building a billion-dollar AUM infrastructure on a million-dollar budget with the view that the process would sustain success over the long run.  It was not easy, because, along the way, she had to also uncover great talent and partners, with alignment around future success, rather than near-term payouts. Amira is an NAA member: “NAA and community peers have a legacy of planting seeds of talent for plan sponsor disruptors to incubate and nurture their successes”.

To contact the firm, please visit:
Maria Jelescu, CEO & Founder, Ardinall Investment Management
Maria Jelescu is the CEO and Founder of Ardinall Investment Management, an investment firm focused on sustainability and climate change. After starting with a private markets’ strategy in 2017, Ardinall added a public market, long/short strategy in 2021.
Prior to Ardinall Investment Management, she spent 15 years at Goldman Sachs, where she most recently served as a Portfolio Manager and Managing Director in the Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
She currently serves on the boards of Macquarie Infrastructure Corp (NYSE: MIC), the Canadian pension plan CDPQ, and on the advisory board of Eni SpA’s corporate venture arm. She also serves as a director on several private companies’ boards in the energy transition space (battery technologies, digitization, and control technologies, etc.)
She sits on the advisory board of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and serves as Co-Chair of its Women in Energy program. Additionally, Ms. Dreyfus is a member of the MIT Corporation’s Development Committee and the MIT Economics Department’s Visiting Committee. Other non-profit board memberships include New America Alliance and Girls Inc. of NYC.
Ms. Dreyfus has held her CFA since 2004 and holds a dual degree in economics and management science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

To contact the firm, please visit:
New Member Spotlight
Javier DiFiori, Founder, Potrero Management
Potrero, a concentrated fund that invests in companies with sticky recurring revenues and a long runway of growth with global exposure, was founded by Javier Di Fiori in 2018. The fund has a track record of compounding capital at +25% rates.

Potrero" is used in Argentina to name the soccer fields spread across every town where people come together and play. The potrero is where real skill is shown, and where professional soccer clubs go to recruit the talent that will make it into their leagues. Great players like Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi were first spotted playing in a potrero

"The name was chosen because it is unique from Argentina, where I was born,” said founder DiFiori, "and it is a place where the real talent is first found. Large clubs cannot produce it by themselves."

And he continued, “The name reflects the culture of our fund, which seeks to differentiate itself through original thinking, concentration, alpha generation, and returns, rather than becoming an asset gatherer that looks like other institutionalized funds in the market. The fund will not seek to develop a large institution or gather large assets diluting returns."

The founder was born in a middle-class neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He had the goal of someday working and training in New York for leading financial institutions and the dream of starting a successful investment firm that would invest and create a differentiated initiative in Emerging Markets. 

NAA Strategic Partners
The Association of Asian American Investment Managers