Empowering Midwest Ventures: Carrie Thome on her newest endeavor, NVNG Investment Advisors
About Carrie Thome
Carrie is a seasoned executive and Board Member with decades of experience in delivering top-quartile investment results. In her former role of Chief Investment Officer for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), Carrie oversaw management of a $3B investment portfolio, managing a team of seven financial professionals. In 2017 and 2016, she was named the 26th and 18th most powerful institutional investor in the world by Chief Investment Officer. Investors ranked asset owners by five factors: innovation, collaboration, talent development, fund size and tenure.While under Carrie’s direction and leadership, WARF was recognized in 2015 with an Industry Innovation Award by Chief Investment Officer Magazine, specifically recognizing its risk-balanced philosophy toward investment in the Foundation category. Carrie joined WARF in 2001 as the Associate Investment Director and became Chief Investment Officer in 2007. Prior to joining WARF, she was Assistant Portfolio Manager for a $3 billion private equity portfolio at the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.
Community: Carrie also provides her time serving as a volunteer on local boards including Agrace HospiceCare’s Finance Committee, the Investment Committee of the Madison Community Foundation and the NCAA Board of Governors Finance and Audit Committee Investment Subcommittee. She is an Independent Trustee on the Board of Trustees of the Madison Funds and Ultra Series Funds.
Education : Carrie earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance and real estate and a Master of Science in finance from University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
The She-VC Questions we discussed:
1. You have been an Investor for around 30 years, moving to private equity and eventually overseeing all asset classes including public equity markets, you have been in State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundations and now Managing Director at NVNG. How has your multi-asset class investing experience shaped your investment thesis in the private venture market?
2. Tell us about NVNG and your investment thesis.
3. Can you elaborate about the new market opportunities in the midwest startup scene? And how has that market changed in the last 5 years?
4. It is said that venture capital is all about identifying patterns in time. Yet some of the bigger ideas are unpredictable and sometimes those investment decisions can be non-consensus among Partners. To invest in such unpredictable big ideas one has to learn and see things differently, analyze markets that others don’t necessarily find exciting. Do you agree? How important are those patterns to NVNG?
5. How the use of venture capital has changed with corporations creating innovation teams, developing corporate venture funds and becoming broadly much more involved in venture capital on a strategic basis ?
6. For fund managers there is always the question on what is a good expected return? Achieving expected returns is not simply a function of high multiples. It depends on the risk profile, and time invested and stage of capital deployment and overall market? Now when you are a fund of funds, how do you navigate those questions?
7. Tell me about the diversity mandate in your fund, as you have two co-founders are women.
8. What advice would you give to the LPs who want to invest in the venture capital landscape.
9. Have you acquired any new learnings or habits? “ It isn’t just a work-life balance question, there is a general diversity question that is on the table right now, quite possibly arising from the inequities of covid, who is being economically harmed, who is taking on the housework burden, how do we move forward?” - Carrie
For more information you can go to : https://nvngia.com/