Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer
As the University’s treasurer and chief investment officer, Rakesh Dahiya is responsible for oversight of the total SMU endowment, including the endowment pool assets, mineral interests and planned giving assets. He works with the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees, setting agendas, developing policies, formulating investment strategies, as well as recommending specific investment managers and vehicles for carrying out the investment program.
As a senior officer at SMU, Rakesh serves on the President’s Executive Council and works with leadership on matters related to endowment spending and the communication of endowment strategy and performance. He oversees investment research and analysis, implementation, risk management, accounting, performance measurement and reporting associated with the investment process, and with the management of real estate and mineral interests. Rakesh joined SMU in September 2016 after five years as Director of Marketable Strategies from the University of Florida Investment Corporation (UFICO). Prior to UFICO, he spent nine years at Washington University in St. Louis, and six years at Ralston Purina. Rakesh graduated from Iowa State University (B.B.A., Finance, 1994) and the University of Illinois (M.B.A., 1996).
Philip Griffin, CFA
Director of Investments
As director of investments, Philip Griffin currently oversees public market investments across all asset classes, including: Global equity, fixed income and credit, and diversifying strategies. He previously served as a generalist recommending investments across all asset classes. Philip joined the investment office in 2006 after receiving a B.B.A. in Finance from Southern Methodist University, where he was a President’s Scholar and three-time swimming and diving NCAA All-American. Philip became a CFA® charterholder in 2011.
Director of Private Markets
As director of private markets, Brad Demicco is responsible for developing investment strategy, monitoring existing portfolio investments and recommending new investments for SMU’s private investments program. He joined SMU in July 2017 after three years as Director of Private Markets at Emory University. Prior to Emory, he spent five years at Employees Retirement System of Texas and three years at Patriarch Partners, LLC. Brad earned his B.B.A.in Finance from the University of Georgia, his MBA in Finance and Real Estate from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his JM in Transaction Law from Emory University School of Law.
Ashley Palasota, CPA
As an investment analyst, Ashley Palasota analyzes the endowment pool’s existing investments with outside managers across asset classes. Additionally, she identifies and performs due diligence on new managers and strategies. Ashley joined SMU in April 2016 after more than five years at Oak Hill Advisors, most recently as Senior Manager. She graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University earning her B.B.A. in Accounting, with a minor in Economics, and her MS, in Accounting. Ashley is a Certified Public Accountant and began her career at KPMG.