A Diverse Approach: Guiding Investment Success (Video)

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

In investing today, as in many industries, it often pays to be different.  Verger recently hosted a panel of the some of the industry’s top investors who are using diversity to their advantage.  Watch the discussion, led by Verger’s Wesley Carroccio, below:




Kirsten Green, Forerunner Ventures, Founder & Managing Partner

Kirsten Green used a unique and unconventional blend of professional history and acquired investment experience to launch San Francisco-based Forerunner Ventures in 2010, where she currently serves as Founder & Managing Director.  Noticing that emerging purchasing processes were linear and ripe for improvement, Kirsten developed a pacesetter mentality and analytical eye to remain ahead of experience-driven retail trends and identify compelling brand platforms and visionary entrepreneurs.

As a founder, Kirsten has lead efforts to raise over $250M from leading investors and has invested in more than 40 early-stage companies.  Forerunner Ventures is the only VC firm to invest in both Dollar Shave Club and Jet.com, two of the biggest and highest-profile e-commerce exits in recent years, and counts Birchbox, Bonobos, Glossier, Hotel Tonight, Warby Parker and Zola among its portfolio companies.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of several Forerunner portfolio companies including Glossier, InTurn, Outdoor Voices, Ritual and Rockets of Awesome among others.

In an unpredictable consumer landscape, Kirsten’s 20+ years of evaluation and investment success stems from a combination of product savvy, retail acumen and a thesis-driven approach that has been the basis of all Forerunner investments — from pre-revenue startups to multi-billion-dollar enterprises- to date.  She’s been honored in Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World 2017, named VC of the Year at TechCrunch’s 2017 Crunchies Awards, and is part of Forbes 2017 Midas List in addition to being named in the magazine’s roundup of “Top Women Investors in VC.”

Prior to Forerunner, Kirsten was an equity research analyst and investor at Banc of America Securities, formerly Montgomery Securities, covering publicly-traded retail and consumer stocks. Kirsten graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Business Economics, and earned a CPA license and a CFA certification.


Kiley Stevenson, Singerman Real Estate, Principal, Acquisitions and Business Development

Kiley Stevenson is responsible for acquisition sourcing and diligence, including, among other responsibilities, leading the majority of SRE’s office and industrial investments.  In addition, Ms. Stevenson is heavily involved in the business development activities of the firm.  She utilizes her extensive network of national and local relationships to source, underwrite and structure investments.

Previously, Ms. Stevenson was at Pearlmark Real Estate Partners (formerly Transwestern Investment Company), where she sourced and underwrote value-add debt and equity investments.  Ms. Stevenson was the lead underwriter on over $2 billion of real estate assets and closed over $200 million of debt and equity investments, managing all aspects of the investment process from investment committee approval to due diligence and closing.  Additionally, she held a central role working directly with senior management in firm wide strategic initiatives, including capital raising, structuring of potential investment vehicles and restructuring efforts for distressed, legacy assets.

Ms. Stevenson graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics and a concentration in Real Estate.


Meredith Jones, MJ Alternative Investment Research, Founder

Meredith Jones is an internationally-recognized researcher, writer, speaker and expert in the alternative investment industry with over 19 years of experience.  Meredith is an alternative investment consultant and author of Women of The Street: Why Female Money Managers Generate Higher Returns (And How You Can Too), which won an Axiom Award Gold Medal in 2016.  She was also named as an Inc. magazine’s “17 Inspiring Women to Watch in 2017” and as a Distinguished Author by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for Rock the Street, Wall Street a non-profit that provides one-year financial and investment literacy courses for high school girls.  She began her alternative investment career at Van Hedge Fund Advisors International (VAN), where she was Director of Research.  At VAN, Meredith was responsible for manager selection, due diligence, index construction and aggregate industry research for the $500 million fund of funds.

Meredith was then recruited by hedge fund analytics provider PerTrac Financial Solutions.  There she focused on industry trends with an eye to providing actionable insights and information.  Her research on emerging managers, initiated in 2006, and women and minority-owned funds created new investment categories.  It has changed the way investors and money managers behave – both in the way investors allocate and how money managers market to and seek investors.  Meredith then went on to be Director at Barclays Capital Strategic Consulting Group.  There she consulted for clients and authored white papers, including her first white paper on women and minority-owned investing.  She has gone on to speak and present research internationally – including conferences in Tokyo, London, Paris, Hong Kong,  Cape Town, Johannesburg, Sydney, Geneva and more.

Until the acquisition of Rothstein Kass by KPMG, Meredith served as Director of the Rothstein Kass Institute, an Alternative Investment Think Tank at the professional services firm Rothstein Kass (RKCO).  There she created the first Women in Alternative Investments Hedge Fund Index to measure performance of female hedge fund and private equity managers.