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Wespath Institutional Investments manages the I Series of funds and provides institutional investment services through shared and tenured Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) investment team members.

The Wespath Investments team exhibits considerable breadth of expertise. Our leadership team brings strength of capability and service to our institutional clients.


Dave Zellner  

Dave Zellner

Chief Investment Officer

Dave has been with Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) since 1997. He is responsible for managing the entire Wespath investment operation comprised of Investment Management , Sustainable Investment Stewardship, and Institutional Investment Services. This includes serving as CIO of each of Wespath’s subsidiaries, with responsibility for executing their respective investment programs as directed by their Investment Policies. Former employers include Shell Oil Company where he managed equity portfolios for Shell’s retirement plans, and Investment Research Company (an investment management firm) where he was a portfolio manager and responsible for managing the firm’s investment operations. Dave received his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Louisiana State University and his MBA from the University of Houston.


Joe Haliwax  

Joe Halwax, CAIA, CIMA

Managing Director, Institutional Investment Services

Joe joined Wespath in March 2019. As the managing director of Institutional Investment Services for Wespath and its subsidiaries, he is responsible for the organization’s institutional sales, marketing and client servicing efforts. He leads a team of professionals who are responsible for expanding Wespath and its subsidiaries’ reach among United Methodist-related institutional investors. Prior to this role, Joe was senior vice president and regional manager of Institutional Investments at PNC, where he was responsible for the Midwest and West Coast markets as well as PNC’s Healthcare National Practice Group. He has extensive experience servicing nonprofit institutions with a focus on sustainable investments. Joe received a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois and his MBA from the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois. He holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designations.


Frank Holsteen  

Frank Holsteen

Managing Director, Investment Management

Frank joined Wespath in March 2012. As the managing director of Investment Management, Frank provides strategic investment support and risk management for Wespath and its subsidiaries’ investment programs, as well as administrative and operational oversight. He leads a team of investment professionals responsible for sourcing, monitoring and reporting on all fixed income, equity and alternative investments, as well as the internally managed Positive Social Purpose Lending Program. Prior to this role, Frank was the director of Public Equities and Fixed Income at Wespath, where he oversaw the strategic direction and staff of the equities and fixed income investment programs. His previous experience includes serving as managing director at Barrington Strategic Wealth Management Group and working as a fixed income portfolio manager and trader at Chicago Asset Management Company. Frank received a bachelor's degree in Economics from Lake Forest College.


Jake Barnett  

Jake Barnett, CIMA

Director, Sustainable Investment Stewardship

Jake joined Wespath in January 2020. As the director of Sustainable Investment Stewardship (SIS) for Wespath and its subsidiaries’ investment programs, Jake leads Wespath’s shareholder advocacy and engagement efforts. Specifically, the SIS team focuses on engagement efforts that align with the values of The United Methodist Church and support the transition to a sustainable global economy. Previously Jake was an institutional consultant at Morgan Stanley’s Graystone Consulting where he focused on engagement with faith-based and impact-oriented institutional investors. Jake co-chairs the Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative, serves on the Climate Crisis Leadership Group for the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and serves on the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Stewardship Advisory Committee. Jake received his bachelor’s degree in Economics, International Studies and Political Science from Ohio Wesleyan University. He also holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation.


Amy Bulger  

Amy Bulger

Director, Private Markets

Amy joined Wespath in March 2013. As Director, Private Markets in Investment Management, she is responsible for monitoring and expanding alternative investments and supporting the administration of the alternative investment programs for Wespath and its subsidiaries. Previously, she was an investment analyst at the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, where she covered private real estate and other sector portfolios. Prior to that, she worked as an analyst in the CMBS market at LaSalle National Bank and GMAC Commercial Mortgage. Amy received a bachelor's degree in Economics from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from DePaul University.


Rashad Khan  

Rashed Khan, CFA

Director, Portfolio Risk and Analytics

Rashed joined Wespath in November 2008. As the director of Portfolio Risk and Analytics, he is responsible for overseeing the cross-asset analytics for each of Wespath’s subsidiaries’ funds. He also manages a group of investment analysts. He previously worked as a loan officer for Cambridge Realty Capital, a Chicago-based senior housing and healthcare finance company, and served as a loan administration officer at a certified community development financial institution. Rashed received a bachelor's degree with a concentration in Finance from Berea College. He is also a CFA Charterholder.


Karen Manczko  

Karen Manczko

Director, Institutional Relationships

Karen joined Wespath in April 2013. Karen is primarily responsible for developing and managing relationships with institutional clients for Wespath and its subsidiaries. Specifically, she helps guide clients with asset allocation analysis, investment policy statement development and in incorporating sustainable investing guidelines into an overall investment program. Karen also frequently presents on investment-related topics at United Methodist-affiliated conferences and events. She most recently served as an Associate Investment Program Manager for Northern Trust Global Advisors, where she was responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating custom investment programs for institutional and ultra-high net worth clients. Prior to that, she was a Senior Investment Performance Analyst within Northern Trust’s Investment Risk and Analytical Services department. She received a B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Sylvia Poniecki  

Sylvia Poniecki

Director, Positive Social Purpose Lending Program

Sylvia joined Wespath in September 2011. She provides managerial oversight for all aspects of the Positive Social Purpose Lending Program for Wespath and its subsidiaries. Previously, she worked at the Illinois Housing Development Authority in positions of increasing responsibility, most recently overseeing the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit and Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit programs. Also, she has managed a wide range of complex housing projects and programs including: TCAP, Section 1602, HOME Multifamily Rental Programs, Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund, taxable first mortgage financing and tax exempt bond financing. Sylvia received a bachelor's degree in Computing and Web Design from DePaul University.


Nízida Arriaga  

Nízida Arriaga, CFA

Manager, Fixed Income

Nízida joined Wespath in December 2019. As manager of Fixed Income for Wespath and its subsidiaries’ investment programs, she shares responsibility for the oversight of the fixed income investment program. Previously, Nízida was at Nuveen Investments, where she served in several leadership roles. This included managing director, head of investment due diligence, where she led the assessment of new strategies and managing director, head of fixed income, where she oversaw fixed income asset managers and strategies. Prior to Nuveen, Nízida held several portfolio manager positions in domestic equities and across public and private debt markets at Allstate Investments. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüéz in Business Administration and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Nízida is a CFA Charterholder.


Piotr Chwala  

Piotr Chwala

Manager, Private Markets

Piotr joined Wespath in April 2014. As manager of Private Markets in Investment Management, he is responsible for monitoring and expanding alternative investments and supporting the administration of the alternative investment programs for Wespath and its subsidiaries. Piotr has also served as the manager of the Positive Social Purpose Lending Program, where he was responsible for executing and administering the commercial real estate loan portfolios. Prior to Wespath, Piotr spent more than seven years at Prudential Mortgage Capital Company (now PGIM Real Estate), where he held positions within portfolio management, special servicing and underwriting. Piotr received a bachelor's degree in Finance and Real Estate from DePaul University.


Trent Sparrow  

Trent Sparrow

Manager, Impact Investments

Trent joined Wespath in October 2012. As the manager of Impact Investments, he is responsible for evaluating, monitoring and reporting on the impact investments for Wespath and its subsidiaries. Trent also works to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the investment process. From October 2012 to February 2019, Trent was a senior analyst on the Positive Social Purpose Lending program. Prior to Wespath, he was an analyst at Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS), where he managed investor relations and portfolio reporting. Before that, he worked as a commercial real estate portfolio manager for Zions Bank. Trent received a bachelor's degree in Finance from Idaho State University and an MBA from the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois.


Mark Warren  

Mark Warren, CFA, CIMA

Manager, Public Equities

Mark joined Wespath in August 2015. He is responsible for overseeing the public equity investment program for Wespath and its subsidiaries. Previously, Mark held senior level positions with The Boeing Company where he was responsible for public and private equity investments within the pension group. Prior to joining Boeing, Mark was vice president with HighMark Capital Management where he evaluated investment allocations with outside money managers. Prior to that, Mark worked at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) as an assistant fund manager and at Deloitte & Touche Investment Advisors as a senior consultant. Mark received a bachelor's degree from Purdue University. He is also a CFA Charterholder and a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA).


Evan Witkowski  

Evan Witkowski, CIPM

Manager, Institutional Investment Services

Evan joined Wespath in January 2020. As manager of Institutional Investment Services for Wespath and its subsidiaries’ investment programs, Evan is responsible for overseeing development and execution of products and services that enhance the institutional investor client experience. He also supports efforts that promote Wespath and its subsidiaries’ institutional investor relationships. Previously, Evan was with the State of Wisconsin Investment Board as the performance measurement operations manager where he worked to build client relationships and to implement data analytics systems used for performance reporting. Prior to that role, he worked at Northern Trust where he held several leadership positions within the Investment Risk and Analytical Services group. His previous experience also includes project management work at Aon Hewitt, where he managed and consulted on investment product enhancements in the area of defined contribution. Evan received his bachelor’s degree in History from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Roosevelt University. Evan holds a Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM).


Chirag Acharya  

Chirag Acharya

Analyst, Sustainable Investment Stewardship

Chirag joined Wespath in January of 2021. As a sustainable investment analyst, Chirag’s primary responsibility is to support the investment stewardship and engagement activities of Wespath and its subsidiaries’ investment programs. In this role, he pursues opportunities to adopt public and corporate policies that align with sustainable business practices and long-term shareholder value creation. Previously, Chirag was in various analyst roles, including with Strategic Capital Investment Advisors, where he collaborated with consultants, clients, and custodians by conducting research and analyzing financial information to support investment decision-making. Chirag received his bachelor’s in Health Science from Benedictine University and a master’s in Business Analytics with a focus in finance, from the same university.


Krystal Holmes  

Krystal Holmes

Plan Sponsor Relations Manager

Krystal joined Wespath in April 2002 and over the nearly 20 years has held a number of different roles. She is currently the plan sponsor relations manager and is responsible for delivering operational support to institutional clients, and improving internal processes and systems designed to support clients’ needs. Previously, Krystal was an institutional investments associate, responsible for delivering operational support to institutional clients. Prior to this role, Krystal served as a plan sponsor manager within Wespath’s Customer Service division, where she was responsible for providing operational support to a variety of clients, including United Methodist annual conferences and general agencies. She received a bachelor's degree in Leadership Studies from DePaul University and has successfully completed the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Academy’s Responsible Investment Essentials course.


Hsiu-Feng Huang  

Hsiu-Feng Huang, CFA

Investment Analytics Associate, Investment Management

Hsiu-Feng joined Wespath in January 2016. Her primary role is to analyze, monitor and evaluate investment portfolios and manager performance for Wespath and its subsidiaries. She most recently served as investment analyst for Plan Sponsor Advisors, where she was responsible for creating investment reports and monitoring portfolios for institutional clients. Prior to that, she was operations manager at IBT Securities Company. Hsiu-Feng earned a bachelor's degree with a concentration in Insurance and Finance from Takming College in Taipei, Taiwan and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a CFA charterholder.


Fred Huang  

Fred Huang

Senior Investment Analyst

Fred joined Wespath in January 2019. As senior investment analyst, Fred’s primary role is to analyze, monitor and evaluate investment portfolios and manager performance for Wespath and its subsidiaries. Previously, he was an investment operations analyst at Advocate Aurora Health, where he performed extensive analysis and performance reporting for the company’s investment program. Fred received his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Northern Illinois University. He is a FSA Credential Holder.


Jon Strieter  

Jon Strieter

Associate Investment Analyst

Jon joined Wespath in May 2019. As an associate investment analyst, Jon’s primary role is to analyze, monitor and evaluate investment portfolios and investment manager performance for Wespath and its subsidiaries. Previously, he was a fleet services administrator at RAS Data Services, Inc., where he was responsible for client account administration and reporting. Jon received his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Illinois State University.


Alicia Marriott  

Alicia Marriott

Institutional Services Specialist

Alicia joined the Wespath Investments team in June 2018. As an institutional services specialist, she is responsible for supporting the communications and operational efforts of our Institutional Investment Services team for Wespath and its subsidiaries. She most recently worked with Wespath’s Meeting and Events team, planning and coordinating educational event opportunities for participants and institutional investors. Previously, Alicia worked as the global accounts director at SBC Communications (Cingular Wireless), where she was responsible for building new client relationships and servicing existing accounts. Alicia received a bachelor's degree in Business Communications from the University of Kansas.

 

Kate Tallo  

Kate Tallo

Investments Coordinator

Kate joined Wespath in May 2021. As investments coordinator, Kate is responsible for a wide range of administrative duties including coordinating investment communications across teams, managing presentation materials and supporting data analysis needs. Previously, she was a senior sales executive at Ajilon, where she handled a variety of account management, sales, business development and administrative tasks. Prior to that, Kate held multiple roles at Chicago Virtual Charter School. Kate received a bachelor's degree in French Language and Literature from Michigan State University.