Casey Whalen is the CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Truvvo Partners and is a member of the Investment Committee and a founding member of the firm. Following over a decade-long career at some of the nation’s top endowment offices, she is proud of the strong, differentiated team she built at Truvvo. She believes deeply in alignment with clients and investments and in providing the benefits, resources, and skill sets from her institutional experience to Truvvo’s clients.
Prior to Truvvo, Casey was the Chief Investment Officer of The New York Public Library. She joined the Library as the first Chief Investment Officer with a mandate to create the Office of Investments. Her main responsibilities included asset allocation, manager selection, and overall portfolio and investment management of the endowment, which is invested across various traditional and alternative asset classes.
Before The New York Public Library, she was Director of Public Investments for The Rockefeller University, responsible for global equities, hedge funds, and fixed income. She was heavily involved in asset allocation, overall portfolio management, and the establishment of the University’s real estate allocation. She went on to work for one of Yale’s real estate investment managers, Brookdale Realty, based in Atlanta.
She holds a BA from Yale University and is a board member and Treasurer of the Yale Swimming and Diving Association and a former member of the Yale Varsity Women’s Swimming Team. Casey is a CFA® Charterholder and member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and serves on the Investment Committee of the Rockefeller Family Fund. She is a board member of the New York City chapter of GenNext,
Where do you source investment opportunities?
We seek out the best in breed talent and investment opportunities, globally across all asset classes, including equities, fixed income, hedge strategies, illiquid credit, private equity, and real asset investments. We have a particular expertise and emphasis on alternatives including private investments. Our efforts focus on backing talent via funds and platforms and additionally, we opportunistically invest in direct deals in the private markets. Our deep experience, collective networks and complementary skillsets across these areas enables us to identify, evaluate and gain access to differentiated investment opportunities, and create long term investment portfolios with multiple engines for wealth creation and protection.
When and at what stage do you like to invest?
For our private investments, we invest across the various stages including venture, growth equity and buyout investments. Within venture, we place most of our emphasis on early-stage and seed investing, where we believe there is better (and more consistent) value, and where our ability to partner with talented general partners leads to greater potential for alpha generation. Our investment activity spans most sub-sectors of technology, including hardware and software, consumer and enterprise.
What types of investments and sectors do you look at?
While we invest across all asset classes globally, we have recently found the most compelling investment opportunities in what we call illiquid credit and the private markets. We created a tactical allocation to this asset class, illiquid credit, as we were increasingly finding opportunities where the banks had left a void and were no longer lending. The talent we back has unique skillsets built over decades, typically operates in a niche universe where staying smaller is important, and has strong credit analysis skills. The strategies tend to not be scalable, keeping the big players out of the space, creating an inefficiency in the market. As our concerns increase over valuations in the public markets, we prefer these investments where we can earn equity-like returns with less downside risk. Additionally, across the private landscape – venture, growth equity and real assets, we continue to find skillful general partners to back who possess strong operating skills as well as financial savviness.
Lastly, we are inspired by our clients’ commitment to making the world a better place through their skillsets, networks and wealth. Over the last few years, we have observed that impact investing has been a way for multi-generations to come together around a common mission to effect change. We have observed a big shift in the space and continue to broaden our scope. We are seeing these worlds colliding in the best of ways – better business practices, greater diversity, and ultimately, better outcomes and greater success.
How are you changing the room?
We are keenly and explicitly focused on ‘changing the room” in an intellectually honest, thoughtful, and impactful way. We believe having more perspectives and diverse voices at the table leads to better discussions, better problem solving and better outcomes. We are proud of Truvvo’s gender balance across the firm with more than 50% of the senior management being female. One of our core values is collaboration, and we believe this collaboration is enhanced through our diversity. We extend this through our open, and direct conversations with our investment partners across asset classes to make sure it remains top of mind, and an area where we want to see change. While we believe we have already changed the room, an area where we still have work to do is in our diversity of people of color.
We are thrilled to share a recent partnership with a new minority-owned investment platform that is looking to disrupt the economic landscape through backing African American, Hispanic American, Women and other under-represented managers (both GP & LP stakes) and business owners in the private equity markets. They will seek to provide managers, their portfolio companies and operators with financial capital and access to a unique suite of acceleration resources to support global growth. We look forward to supporting them as they launch their operation and scale their efforts to maximize alpha and the impact of diversity.
Is there anything else we should know about you?
Outside of Truvvo, in addition to raising my two amazing children, I try and pay it back as much as possible.
During COVID I was given the opportunity to mentor underprivileged youth through an amazing organization called Ambition based in LA. It has been inspiring to support and develop relationships with these inspiring students. I believe deeply in mentorship and have been extremely privileged to have amazing mentors throughout my career that have helped support me professionally and personally.
I grew up competitively swimming which I believe has provided me with resiliency after having to deal with success and failure! I try to stay involved through my board membership on the Yale Swimming and Diving Association.
Finally, over the years I have created a powerful network of smart female investors. This network is comprised of CIOs and senior investment professionals in both the institutional and family office space. We share investment ideas, are a sounding board for one other and most importantly, have candid conversations and keep each other accountable regarding our efforts to change the room.