Alternative Investment Series 2023

Tuesdays, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm (PT)
Location: Online Workshop Series (Zoom Meeting)
Schedule: See Below
Time: 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm (PST) (10 Tuesdays)
Add to Calendar 06/13/2023 5:00 PM 06/13/2023 6:30 PM America/Los_Angeles Alternative Investment Series 2023 Online Workshop Series (Zoom Meeting) CFALA false MM/DD/YYYY
This educational series is designed for those seeking to gain a broader understanding of alternative investment strategies. A sound understanding of alternative investments (AI) is fundamental for all serious finance and investment professionals. This course examines the characteristics, benefits, and risks of the various AI strategies including private equity, hedge funds, and derivatives.

Professionals from prominent local investment firms will lead this series so attendees will obtain unique perspectives on the current market. Instructors will also share their insights on asset allocation and risk management.

As a course participant, you will have access to the corresponding course recording. If you sign up as a series registrant, you will have access to all 10 course recordings. Access to course recordings expire after 60 days. 

Tuesday, April 11 Introduction to Alternative Investments
Speaker: Drew Chan, CAIA - Co-Chief Investment Officer, First Foundation Advisors
The class will provide an introduction to the various asset classes which makeup the alternative investments universe. This class will cover asset classes such as private equity, private credit, hedge funds, real estate, and more. Topics will also include high level portfolio construction discussions, risk management, and additional due diligence needed to review these unique asset classes.
Tuesday, April 18 Real Estate and REITs
Speaker: Christopher Hartung - Co-Founder, Terra Firma Asset Management
The class will provide an overview of the importance of the real estate asset class within an investment portfolio and the key drivers of commercial real estate performance. It will also provide an introduction to listed real estate alternatives, assess return performance and offer an assessment of the current health of the real estate markets.
Tuesday, April 25 Hedge Funds

Speakers: Shan Hasnat, CAIA - Senior Vice President, Research and Due Diligence, iCapital Network, Inc;

Patrick Callahan, CFA - Vice President, Fund Management & Research, iCapital Network, Inc.

The class will go over the history of hedge funds, including their changing popularity and definition. The class will cover the regulatory structures, fee structures, underlying investments and various strategies used by hedge funds. The class will also cover due diligence considerations, such as manager selection, leverage, risk-adjusted returns, benchmarking, liquidity, suitability, and transparency.
Tuesday, May 2 Venture Capital
Speaker: Victor Gutwein - Founder & Managing Partner, M25
The class will provide an overview of venture capital, which is a subset of private equity, and how it has evolved over time. The class will cover the venture capital process, from funding to exit or listing; the different stages of investing, from startup to late-stage; the various parties involved; and different types of funds that invest in the space.
Tuesday, May 9 Bitcoin And Digital Assets
Speaker: Nik Bhatia, CFA, CMT - Adjunct Professor, University of Southern California Marshall School of Business
This class will provide an overview of the relatively new asset class of digital assets. The class will cover a brief history of bitcoin and an explanation of how its blockchain functions. The material on blockchain will in part cover bitcoin mining and its relationship with energy economics. It will also cover the introduction of alternative cryptocurrencies. Additionally, the class will provide explanations for associated technologies, such as distributed ledger technology (DLT), stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
Tuesday, May 16 Private Credit
Speaker: Joe Elsabee - Managing Director, CION Investments
The class will go over the history of private credit (also called private debt), the various types of private credit, how the category has performed over business cycles, the use of non-investment grade debt, how private credit differs from publicly traded or widely syndicated debt, and the current environment for the asset class. The class will also cover due diligence concepts, such as credit risk, interest rate risk, default and recovery rates, covenants, and liquidation preference.
Tuesday, May 23 Private Equity

Speakers: Scott Burger, CPA - Partner, KPMG;

Vincent Calcagno, CPA - Executive Managing Director, E78 Partners

This course will discuss the background, overview, and detailed characteristics of the private equity and debt industry. Participants will obtain a unique perspective on the benefits, types of structures utilized, risks with respect to the current environment, and thoughts on the future of the private investment markets. Highlights include discussions involving asset allocations and trends in capital raising & investing.
Tuesday, May 30 Risk Management
Speaker: Ramesh Pandey, PhD, FRM - Head of Credit Risk, Pacific Life
The risk management class provides an understanding or risk and return for alternative investments. Risk can be “Soft” or “Quantitative.” The class will cover some hard mathematical aspects in the softest possible way and hope to lead participants to a state where these hard concepts will not be intimidating. The class intent is to leave participants with a deep understanding of hedge fund risk permia and an ability to understand risk and risk reports.
Tuesday, June 6 Commodity, Managed Futures, and Forward Contracts
Speaker: Andrew Nelson, CFA - Assistant Portfolio Manager, Gresham Investment Management LLC
This class will discuss the diversified liquid commodity futures asset class and how investors have traditionally allocated to provide uncorrelated returns while protecting from inflation, as well as discussing how liquid commodity exposure is implemented by managers. The second half of the class will explain the landscape of CTAs—also known as trend following strategies—how they are constructed, from liquid CTAs to alternative market CTAs, and what role they play in providing absolute return to investors.
Tuesday, June 13 Asset Allocation, Portfolio Management
Speaker: Karyn Williams, PhD - Founder and Managing Principal, Hightree Advisors & Regional Investment Manager (North America), Zürich
Every investment dollar serves a purpose. Its purpose could be to support grantmaking, an annual operating budget, insurance claims, pension payouts, retirement, or any number of future commitments. This course briefly describes the institutional investor marketplace and how investors translate the purpose of their assets ultimately the allocation to and the selection of specific alternative investments. Topics include the investment lifecycle, governing frameworks, the manager lifecycle, and a macroeconomic risk factor approach to asset and manager allocation and risk management.

*Instructors and dates are subject to change. All changes will be marked in red.

Eligible for 15 CE Credits for CFA Charterholders; Course offered as a 10-class series: (10 consecutive Tuesdays).

Class Handouts and Zoom Meeting Links will be provided via email every week on Tuesday by noon. There are no exams!

Registration Fees
$250 (Member) | $300 (Non-Member)

Registration Fees (Individual Classes - All Classes Available for Individual Registration)
$30 (Member) | $35 (Non-Member)

Payment Information
We accept the following:

If you prefer to pay by check please email and request to pay by check. Your registration will be completed manually and you will receive an email confirmation.

Mail Check To:

CFA Society of Los Angeles
13400 Riverside Drive, Ste. 215
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

*Credit card payments will only be accepted through the secure online registration, and not by phone or email.

Series Enrollee Cancellations must be made in writing and received at least 5 business days before the first day of class. All cancellations will incur a $30.00 processing fee. If enrollment is canceled after the 5-day deadline, a 50% cancellation fee will be charged. Series Enrollees will not be refunded for any individual classes they miss. Please fax to the CFALA office at (213) 613-1233 or email

Individual Course Cancellations must be received in writing by 9:00 am the day prior to the course to receive a refund. No phone cancellations are accepted. Please fax to the CFALA office at (213) 613-1233 or email
Rama Malladi, PhD, CFA, CAIA, FRM, PMP
As a participant in the CFA Institute Approved-Provider Program, the CFA Society of Los Angeles has determined that this program qualifies for 15 credit hours (or 1.5 hours per course). If you are a CFA Institute member, CE credit for your participation in this program will be automatically recorded in your CE Diary.
YouTube Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn