Chief Executive Officer
With more than two decades of institutional investment experience, Steve Nelson joined ILPA in March 2018 as Chief Executive Officer. He is responsible for leading the growing organization in the realization of its mission to engage, empower and connect limited partners on a global basis.
Prior to his role at ILPA, Steve built his career at Cambridge Associates where he served most recently as Board Member, Partner and Chief Operating Officer based in C|A’s Arlington, Virginia office. In that role, Steve was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm, overseeing a staff of approximately 500 in Investment Operations, Portfolio Services, Information Technology, Human Capital and Administrative Services. He also served as a member of the C|A Risk Governance Committee and Compensation Committee.
Steve held a number of senior leadership positions with C|A including co-Head of Global Consulting from 2008-2013, where he was responsible for resource planning, training, staffing, communications, and oversight of C|A investment teams. This work spanned the core client-facing advisory activities of the firm, delivered by a team of over 300 investment professionals operating from 8 offices. Earlier in his career with C|A, Steve was the Head of Asia Pacific where he established firm’s first office in the region, with responsibility for cultivating a network throughout Asia Pacific consisting of institutional investors, investment managers, legal advisors, regulators, industry associations and the press.
From 2002 to 2004, Steve was a member of the Financial Services Committee with the Singapore chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for the Loudoun Country Day School located in Northern Virginia.
Steve is a graduate of the Carroll School of Management Honors Program at Boston College.
Managing Director, Industry Affairs
As Managing Director of Industry Affairs for the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), Jennifer Choi directs the association’s engagement with external industry stakeholders to inform and enhance ILPA’s education, research, membership and advocacy platforms. Ms. Choi also leads the implementation of ILPA’s responses to emerging issues impacting the asset class, including efforts to establish and promote industry best practices.
Prior to joining the ILPA, Ms. Choi served as Vice President of Industry and External Affairs for the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA), where she led the association’s member and industry engagement activities, including efforts to encourage policy frameworks that support the growth of the asset class. As EMPEA’s Research Director, she built the industry’s first global database of private equity activity in the emerging markets. A frequent speaker and commentator on the industry, Ms. Choi also oversaw the association's media communications and global institutional partnerships. Previously, Ms. Choi was a consultant with Boston-based Stax Inc., leading due diligence engagements and providing advisory services for the U.S. private equity and venture capital industry.
Jennifer holds a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a B.A. summa cum laude in Economics and Political Science from Augustana College.
Managing Director, Corporate Development
As Managing Director of Corporate Development for ILPA, Greg Durst is responsible for the interactions with the non-LP members of our community, including service providers and General Partners. He manages the relationships for ILPA’s sponsors, as well as guiding sponsors and other service providers in their interactions with ILPA around content development, event participation and other member engagement opportunities. With GPs, Mr. Durst is leading our outreach on key initiatives around industry standards like the ILPA Fee & Expense Reporting Template, as well as other industry issues for all players in the PE ecosystem.
Prior to joining the ILPA, Mr. Durst was the founding COO and Head of Business Development for a hedge fund manager in New York. Mr. Durst has broad experience in private equity as a GP, and as a service provider and financier to leading players in the industry. In addition to his work in private equity and other top tier professional services firms, Mr. Durst has lived and worked in North America, Europe and Southern Africa and has extensive experience working in South Asia.
Mr. Durst has an undergraduate degree in Finance from Georgetown University and a Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
Managing Director, Education
As Managing Director of Education for the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), Matt Kelly is responsible for the strategic direction and operation of the organization's diverse educational platform including the ILPA Institute, Workshops, Webcasts and Professional Development Series.
Matt brings more than 15 years of experience in global executive education, strategy consulting, law and business management, most recently as Director of Talent Solutions with CEB, Inc. (formerly Corporate Executive Board) where he helped clients drive the achievement of business objectives through world-class skill and leadership development programs. In addition to co-managing the CEB Talent Solutions business, Matt has been a veteran classroom instructor (delivering executive education programs on six continents) and successfully managed the delivery of quality experiences through a network of more than 85 contract and full-time faculty. Previously, Matt also served CEB clients as Director of Content Delivery, teaching the firm's best practices research to a global audience of more than 400 of Fortune 1000 companies.
In addition to his experience at CEB, Matt has practiced Corporate & Securities law in the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia offices of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and served as a Manager and Director of eBusiness with International Paper Co.
Matt holds a BA in History from the University of Virginia, a JD from Washington & Lee University and is a member of the Virginia State Bar.
Senior Policy Counsel
Christopher Hayes currently serves as the Senior Policy Counsel of the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) and leads day-to-day advocacy efforts for the organization in the United States & Europe. The ILPA is the primary association of institutional investors investing in private equity, including public and corporate pensions, insurance companies, endowments and family offices, while and representing over $2 trillion in assets globally. In addition to his advocacy role, Chris leads the ILPA limited partnership agreement simplification project.
Prior to ILPA, Chris served as the chief legal officer, leading legislative & regulatory advocacy efforts in the U.S. for the members of the Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA), a trade association representing private equity fund managers, as well as small business investment companies (SBICs) and business development companies (BDCs). Earlier, Chris worked as a securities regulatory counsel at a trade association representing broker-dealers and investment advisers, served as a capital markets regulator at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and worked in private practice at a civil litigation firm in Los Angeles. During law school, Chris worked in the Enforcement Division of the SEC and also on staff of the Banking Committee in the United States Senate during the writing of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation.
Chris received his law degree from the School of Law at the University of San Diego and his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is a member of the Exchequer Club and serves on the University of San Diego Law Alumni Board. Chris is admitted to practice law in California and the District of Columbia.
Senior Director, Membership and Community Strategy
Katie Barber is the Sr. Director, Membership and Community Strategy at the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), the only global association representing limited partners. In her role she is responsible for growing and diversifying the ILPA membership, for delivering on the value proposition for all ILPA members, and for partnering with non-LP stakeholders in order to improve LPs' license and ability to operate in private markets. Katie is responsible for understanding the needs of the LP community and working with internal stakeholders to deliver content and resources to help meet those needs. Katie is also responsible for managing ILPA's online community, a members' only forum for asking questions and connecting with other members.
Prior to ILPA, Ms. Barber worked in the Corporate Strategy group at Sobeys Inc. and was a strategy consultant with Monitor Deloitte where she worked with financial and energy sector organizations to help them transform their business operations. She worked with businesses and government institutions across North and South America to understand their goals and to design and implement business programs and supporting technology systems to help meet their objectives. Ms. Barber holds an MBA from Dalhousie University and a B.B.A from Bishop’s University.
Senior Director, Events
Pamela Jenkins is the Sr. Director of Events at the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA). She is responsible for the overall strategy and planning of ILPA’s event program; this includes oversight of major conferences, the ILPA Summit New York and Europe, Members’ Conference and Legal Conference, as well as the 40+ events held globally each year, live and virtually. Pamela partners across ILPA to ensure members, general partners and service providers are thoughtfully engaged in the event process, helping to drive ILPA’s mission to engage, empower and connect LPs globally.
Prior to the ILPA, Pamela worked in the hospitality industry in positions with Hilton, Holiday Inn and Princess Cruises. Pamela is an honours graduate of the Special Events Planning for Destination Tourism program at George Brown College.
Senior Director, Strategic Projects
Matt Schey, Director, Strategic Projects at the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), is responsible for partnering across each of ILPA’s priorities (Education, Events, Industry Affairs & Standards, Research & Content) to manage and advance key strategic and operational initiatives that better position ILPA to deliver value for its members.
Prior to ILPA, Matt was a Manager in CrossCountry Consulting’s Business Transformation practice. In this role, he specialized in providing organizational change management, process, and technology recommendations designed to streamline and enhance his clients’ operating capabilities. Matt begun his career at Cambridge Associates as an analyst with the firm’s Performance Reporting function. He ultimately served as a manager in Cambridge Associates’ Singapore office, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the firm’s Global (ex-US) Performance Reporting team.
Matt holds a BA in International Business & Management from Dickinson College and an MBA from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Director, Strategic Communications
Kari Grant, Director, Strategic Communications at the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), is responsible for developing and executing communications strategies that elevate the perspectives of LPs globally and strengthen ILPA’s value proposition for members by ensuring that they receive valuable and compelling content.
Prior to joining ILPA, Ms. Grant worked in strategic and policy communications for the financial services industry in the US, at the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) and in the UK, at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). While serving members at these leading trade associations, Kari delivered strategies and content that enhanced the reputation of the sector and added value to members in their professional roles. As a consultant Ms. Grant has led campaigns that effectively positioned client’s priorities before US, EU and UK government officials, media and external stakeholders.
Ms. Grant holds a MA in International Economic Relations from American University’s School for International Service (SIS) and a BA in Economics from the University of Georgia.
Nancy Hizaka-Vilardo joined the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) in August 2007 as the Director of Education and subsequently built out the organization’s education platform including the ILPA Institute, Workshops, Webcasts and Professional Development Seminars. In August 2018, Nancy joined the membership team where she is responsible for establishing and enriching connections with current and prospective members, and coordinating across ILPA's services to maximize their impact on member priorities.
Prior to joining the ILPA, Nancy was the Account Director at Thomson Reuters, managing a client base of private equity firms and mid-size investment banks across Canada and the USA providing products and services relating to the activity of private equity and venture capital markets in North America, Europe and Asia. This followed several years as Manager, Marketing & Product Development at Macdonald & Associates, a boutique research firm that tracked the activities of the Private Equity and Venture Capital markets in Canada, taking the lead in the design and execution of marketing strategies for their Canadian private equity online data platform.
Nancy received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, where she specialized in Environmental Science and Psychology.
Director, Finance and Operations
Eva Kovarik, CPA, CGA, MBA joined ILPA in February 2013. As the Director, Finance and Operations, Ms Kovarik provides leadership and oversight for all accounting, finance, investment, information technology, and facility activities of the Association. She is responsible for assessing organizational performance against both the annual budget and long-term strategy.
Ms Kovarik has over 20 years’ experience in accounting, finance and operational management in various industries with 10 years in non-profit organizations and 6 years as an accountant and auditor. Prior to joining ILPA, Ms Kovarik has risen from Manager to Sr. Manager, Accounting at Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) during her five-year tenure where she oversaw accounting department of the National Office and was responsible for an external audit, consolidations and regulatory reporting in Canada and the U.S. for ten divisions. Prior to that, she held various accounting positions in large and small private and public companies.
Ms Kovarik is a Chartered Professional Accountant since 2011, holds Master in Business Administration and H.B.Com from Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. She also earned a diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Technical College of Edvard Benes, Breclav, Czech Republic.
Director, Product Architect
Ron Lippock, Director, Product Architect at the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), is responsible for the conception, development and delivery of a range of education, events, publications and programs across the organization's broad base of members.
Prior to ILPA, Ron worked at the American Nurses Association, the Association for Training and Development, and Congressional Quarterly, where he was responsible for the development and management of content and education – including books, website content, online courses, virtual conferences, webinars, in-person workshops and data-driven products and services. He also has managed sales strategies and sponsorship programs in his various roles in the association and related pace.
Mr. Lippock holds an MA in Publishing from New York University.
Director, Standards & Best Practices
Neal Prunier, Director, Standards and Best Practices at the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) within the Industry Affairs group, is responsible for the continuing evolution and expansion of the ILPA standards to help ILPA provide impactful service for its members.
Prior to ILPA, Neal spent his career at Cambridge Associates where he most recently served as Senior Director in CA’s Arlington, Virginia office. In this role, he oversaw staff across Singapore, London, and Arlington as head of a global investment operations department responsible for enterprise data management for Private Investment, Hedge Fund, and Long Only investment manager/client specific data. This work focused on serving the data needs of Research, Consulting, and Performance Reporting functions, as well as clients and the broader industry. This work also included the creation of the ILPA Private Markets Benchmark reports.
Neal holds a BS in Finance from Elon University and an MBA from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business.
Nicky Cavanagh serves as the Manager of Membership at the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA). She is responsible for delivering on the value proposition for all ILPA members, with a particular focus on understanding the needs of the LP community and working with internal stakeholders to deliver content and resources to help meet those needs. Nicky first joined ILPA as Executive Assistant to the CEO in 2015.
Prior to ILPA, Nicky worked as an Executive Assistant to a former NBA Coach. Nicky’s original field of experience was in organizational psychology and market research. She completed a Bachelor of Behavioural Science and Graduate Diploma of Psychology at Griffith University.
Mandy Ilk joined the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) in March 2014, working in both the Accounts and Education Department. As the Manager of Education, she is responsible for the operations of the ILPA Institute courses, Webcasts, Workshops and the Professional Development Seminar series.
Mandy came to ILPA from a background in the Art Industry, spending 11 years at a notable Toronto Auction Firm. She holds her Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree from The University of Toronto, where she specialized in Literature with a minor in Cinema Studies.
Prabhjit Kaur (Pravi)
Jennifer Lis is the Event Manager at the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA). She is responsible for planning and executing of ILPA’s major conferences: ILPA Summit, Annual Members Conference and European Forum.
Prior to ILPA, Jennifer worked as an Event Specialist at the Toronto Region Board of Trade where she helped to organize a variety of events as well as managed the Young Professionals Program. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University as well as a Post-Secondary Certificate in Events Management from Humber College.
Holly is a Manager at the Institutional Limited Partners Association. She is responsible for planning and executing ILPA's Global Events and the ILPA Private Equity Legal Conference.
Holly holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours from Queen’s University where she specialized in health and economics.
As the Events Coordinator for ILPA, Daniele Guarnaschelli is responsible for relationships with Service Providers along with supporting ILPA’s robust event program, including the flagship ILPA Summit, Annual Members’ Conference and ILPA Summit Europe.
Prior to ILPA, Daniele worked as a Special Events Coordinator for WE Day (WE Charity) where he organized and planned Honoured Guest events across the US and Canada. Daniele has a Bachelor in Sports and Exercise Science from the Università degli Studi di Roma “Foro Italico” as well as a Post-Graduation Certificate in Event Marketing from Seneca College.
Member Relations Coordinator
Kirsten Lombardo serves as the Member Relations Coordinator at the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA). She is the primary contact for ILPA’s members and responsible for stewarding relationships with current and potential members. Kirsten holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University where she majored in entrepreneurship.
Accounting & Admin Clerk
Shay is the Accounting and Admin Clerk at Institutional Limited Partners Association. She is responsible for assisting ILPA’s Finance and Operations department.
Shay holds a Bachelor of Commerce from George Brown College where she specialized in Accounting.
Brian Hoehn is a Senior Industry Affairs Associate at the Institutional Limited Partners Association. Brian assists the Industry Affairs team in engagement with external industry stakeholders, advocacy efforts, as well as efforts to establish and promote industry best practices.
Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and a minor in Business Administration from the George Washington University.
As Senior Associate for ILPA, Samantha supports the ILPA team by creating and reviewing LP-focused proprietary content, including the ILPA Private Markets Benchmark and the annual LP compensation survey. She also manages content for the Document and Research Library and Industry News.
Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a minor in French from Boston University, as well as a Certificate in Social Sciences and Humanities from l’Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris.
Wei Dai is a Research Associate of ILPA since September 2012. Prior to joining ILPA, Wei was a Research Associate of the Private Equity Team of Thomson Reuters.
Mr. Dai earned his undergraduate degree in Engineering of Tsinghua University in China and his MSc from University of York in England.
In his role as a Research Associate for ILPA, Connor works alongside members of the ILPA team to develop proprietary content for LPs. Connor also assists in promoting best practices across the industry and in advancing advocacy efforts for LPs.
Connor holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Writing from the University of Michigan.
Office Manager & Executive Assistant
Vanessa Fountain-Allen serves as ILPA's Washington DC Office Manager as well as Executive Assistant to the Washington DC team. Prior to ILPA, Vanessa spent five years with the Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA) where she provided a range of support to the organization. Before SBIA, Vanessa worked with an industry association serving small telecom companies (OPASTCO) for 18 years.
Vanessa graduated from Howard University with Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.