About Us

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20-20 Investment Association is a group of the world's most prestigious and economically powerful institutional investors who together represent nearly US$8 trillion in investment capital.

Members include sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, family offices and money management organizations with headquarters in 9 countries. Over the past three decades, 20-20 members have invested billions of dollars in emerging and frontier markets.

Membership is by invitation only and provides opportunities to participate in two yearly events: an annual meeting and an annual exploratory trip to an emerging market country or region. More information on our events is here.

Members have the opportunity to collaborate with senior level decision-makers representing other organizations in a membership that is increasingly diversified internationally.

Networking includes: the exchange of ideas and information between owners and investors of capital; insight into best practices in the global investment industry; and meeting and building relationships with government, investment, and business leaders around the world.

The dialogue created during 20-20 Investment Association events helps shape the framework used by individual members to make their investment decisions.

Consistent with George Russell's founding vision, 20-20 Investment Association is a non-profit organization, not oriented toward a bottom line but rather toward educating its members about the world's emerging and frontier markets and fulfilling a commitment to corporate social responsibility in the countries we visit. As more investments are directed into emerging and frontier markets, the resulting improved standards of living will hopefully play a role in helping reduce poverty and ultimately global conflict.

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20-20, much like the emerging markets we focus on, has changed considerably since that trip to China. And yet, I learn just as much from each annual meeting and trip we organize. Perhaps just as critical - I learn from 20-20 members themselves.

Message from the Chairman

Since the 1980s when emerging markets extended beyond currency trading, institutional investors have looked to the asset class for diversification and growth. I remember conference calls and internal discussions in those early days spent analyzing where the next debt or peso crisis might arise. With a dearth of publicly available information, face-to-face meetings were invaluable tools to assess how a country’s leaders - corporate and political - were managing local, regional and global business conditions. But assembling a mix of CEOs, ministers and content experts for a country visit was not logistically easy.  

Then, in 1997, I went on my first 20-20 trip to Chongqing, Beijing and Hong Kong. I learned so much on that trip from meetings with local officials, to visiting a Briggs & Stratton plant in the outskirts of Chongqing and sharing thoughts with fellow 20-20 members around the dinner table about how to turn this knowledge into investment action. That trip gave me actionable insights that helped shape GE Asset Management’s investment strategy on China for years to come.  

20-20, much like the emerging markets we focus on, has changed considerably since that trip to China. And yet, I learn just as much from each annual meeting and trip we organize. Perhaps just as critical - I learn from 20-20 members themselves. The diversity of perceptions within the group - whether it be due to institution type, asset class focus, geographic location, or beyond - delivers a rich experience I’ve yet to find elsewhere. I strongly believe 20-20 is the perfect vehicle for institutional investors to explore, learn and help make sense of changing investment conditions around the globe. 

While 20-20 pivoted during the pandemic to provide its members valuable, on-the-ground insight via virtual sessions, everyone welcomed the return to in-person events. Our recent visit to Kenya and South Africa (October 2022) reconfirmed my belief that 20-20's focus on learning via face-to-face meetings with emerging market leaders and among the group is unparalleled.

We welcome all new thoughts and perspectives, so please contact us if you’re interested in learning and exploring as part of the 20-20 Investment Association family.  

Ralph Layman
Chairman, 20-20 Investment Association

Board of Directors

Ralph Layman

Ralph Layman


Ralph is currently Chairman of 20-20 Investment Association, a non-profit emerging markets global peer group that engages in investment-related dialogue with key stakeholders in developing markets. Ralph is also the Managing Partner of Blue Ocean Management Partners, LLC, invested in technology that facilitates an overnight trading platform for US listed equities.

During Ralph’s 40 year investment career, he was Vice Chairman of State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), serving on the Executive Management Group and Investment Committee. Prior to SSGA’s acquisition of GE Asset Management (GEAM) in 2016, Ralph spent 25 years at GE, as EVP & CIO and lead portfolio manager for GEAM’s International Equity strategy. He was a Trustee for the GE Pension Trust & member of GEAM’s Asset Allocation Committee, which he chaired in 2003 & 2004. Ralph also served on the boards of the Elfun Funds, GE’s Savings & Securities Trusts & GEAM’s London office. Before joining GE, Ralph started his career as an analyst and portfolio manager for Wausau Insurance Company’s Retirement Trust, and moved on to become a global portfolio manager for Templeton International. While there, he led the firm’s efforts in forming Templeton’s Emerging Markets Fund in 1987, the first listed emerging equity fund in the US. Ralph also represented Templeton on the advisory boards of two Unit Trusts – The India Fund & The Bangkok Fund – from 1985 to 1989.

Ralph is a holder of the CFA designation and has served as a member of the New York Stock Exchange International Capital Markets Advisory Committee. From 2003 to 2016, Ralph represented GE as a delegate, including serving as Chairman in 2007, to the International Pensions Conference, an annual CIO meeting of 40 large global pension and sovereign wealth funds. He also serves on an advisory board to BuildOn, a non-profit group that partners after school service programs in US inner cities with communities in developing countries to build schools internationally.

Ralph holds a BS in Economics, an MS in Finance and is a member of the class of 1979 Applied Security Analysis & Portfolio Management Program of the University of Wisconsin.

Vera Trojan

Vera Trojan


Vera is the Vice Chairman of 20-20 Investment Association, a non-profit emerging markets global peer group that engages in investment-related dialogue with key stakeholders in developing markets.

For 31 years, Vera worked at Wellington Management Company LLP, where she launched what became a robust suite of emerging markets strategies. She and her team introduced the firm’s first emerging markets equity portfolio, and followed with the launch of dedicated strategies focused on Latin America, China, and emerging markets local opportunities. For over two decades she led Wellington’s Emerging Markets Equity Team and managed global emerging markets equity portfolios. She monitored investment opportunities in more than 30 countries in Latin America, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Vera also served as a member of Wellington’s Executive Committee, which functions as the firm’s internal board of directors. 

Prior to joining Wellington in 1989 as an asset allocation analyst, Vera worked at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York (1987 – 1989), where she assessed international financial markets, policies, and economics. Before business school, she worked on the Eurobond team at C.S. First Boston (1983 – 1985) and taught English and  economics at the University of East Asia in Macau (1982 – 1983).

Vera earned her MBA from Harvard Business School (1987) and her AB in economics, magna cum laude, from Princeton University (1982). She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the Boston Committee on Foreign Relations and the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. 

Kun Deng

Kun Deng


Kun Deng is a Portfolio Manager/Analyst responsible for Global, International and Emerging Markets Discounted Asset strategies at Lazard Asset Management since 1997. He was previously a Senior Portfolio Manager/Analyst at Newgate Investment Management and also taught at Beijing University and Hofstra University. Kun is a graduate of Peking University in China and has an MIA from Columbia University. He serves on the Board of Directors of Peking University Education Foundation (USA) as well as the Board of Trustees of Groton School. He previously served as a trustee of Princeton Day School and Princeton Academy of the Sacred Hearts. Financial Times ranked Kun as one of the top global equity managers for the years 2000-2003, and again awarded him first place in the global equity category for years 2001-2004. The Lazard Emerging World Fund, for which he is responsible, was awarded the "Best Fund over 10 Years" in the emerging markets category by Lipper in 2010. 


Kathleen Jacobs

Kathleen Jacobs


Kathleen Jacobs was appointed Chief Investment Officer for RWJBarnabas Health in January 2024 where she is responsible for the System’s approximately $9 billion investment programs. Prior to joining RWJBarnabas, Ms. Jacobs spent eight years as Chief Investment Officer of New YorkvUniversity where she led the Investment Office and oversaw all aspects of the University’s $6 billion endowments. In addition, she served on the Investment Committee for the $12 billion retirement plans of NYU and NYU Langone Medical Center. During her tenure, she fully restructured and institutionalized the University endowments, built an award-winning team, and generated strong investment returns significantly exceeding benchmarks.

Before joining NYU, Ms. Jacobs was a Managing Director in the Office of Investments at New York-Presbyterian Hospital where she helped build the Hospital’s first investment office and maintained a leading role in asset allocation and the selection of fund managers across asset classes. Prior to joining New York-Presbyterian Hospital in 2008, Ms. Jacobs was Senior Investor for the Juilliard School’s endowment. Before moving to the non-profit sector, Ms. Jacobs was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs, and before that a Vice President at J.P. Morgan, where she researched investment funds and allocated capital for pensions and endowments. She also worked in both Global Fixed Income Research and Venture Capital at J.P. Morgan.

Ms. Jacobs graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a board member of the 20-20 Investment Association, an Institutional Investor Advisory Council member for the Managed Funds Association, and an Advisory Investment Committee member for Eighteen48 Partners. She is the recipient of investment-related accolades including Top 30 Endowment Chief Investment Officers, 40 Under 40 Investment Professionals, and Top 30 Most Influential Women in University Endowments, and a member of the Chief Investment Officer Hall of Fame. She was a finalist for Institutional Investor’s CIO of the Year (2021) and Endowment of the Year (2022).

Louisa Mojela

Louisa Mojela


Louisa is a founder and Group CEO and Chairman of Women Investment Holdings Limited (WIPHOLD). Louisa has held positions at Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank as Manager in the Emerging Markets, Development Bank of Southern Africa (during which time she was seconded to the World Bank in Washington DC), as Business and Entrepreneurial Manager and the Lesotho National Development Corporation as Project Manager. 

Louisa graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the National University of Lesotho. She also completed the Executive Leadership Program at Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. In 2000, Louisa was selected as one of 40 women from different continents and countries for “The Leading Women Entrepreneur of the World”. In 2006, Louisa was the finalist of the Ernest and Young World Entrepreneur Award for South Africa Chapter. In 2008, Louisa was recognized as one of South Africa’s most influential women in business and government. In May 2009, Louisa was the winner of the Inaugural African Business Leadership Award in Dakar, Senegal by the African Development Bank (AfDB). In January 2010, Louisa received ’The Builders of the African Economy Award’’ in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. In February 2015, she was awarded a Women Leadership Award in Mumbai – India "for Outstanding Women Professionals”, and in March 2015, Innovation Award “ an award centered around individuals who have done exceptional work to uplift and develop underprivileged people in South Africa, especially youth” by Student Sponsorship Programme (SSP). Best Manager of the year awards by European Business Assembly at the Institute of Directors in London March 2016 and Honorary Doctorate Degree from NUL September 2016 . 

Louisa served on several boards including Distell Limited, Life Healthcare Group Holdings Limited (all listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange) and currently serves on Sasol Limited, Ixia Coal and AFGRI Group Holdings.


Geoffrey Rubin

Geoffrey Rubin


As Chief Investment Strategist, Geoffrey is responsible for designing and implementing CPP Investments’ long-term investment strategy, a One Fund approach that exploits the new and existing sources of competitive advantage of our unique global organization.

He joined CPP Investments in 2011, at the inception of the former Total Portfolio Management department, and has helped shape its growth and evolution, to define and execute CPP Investments’ Total Portfolio Approach.

Previously, Geoffrey held finance roles with Fannie Mae and Capital One Financial where he managed the global balance sheet. Geoffrey also ran a consulting practice and was Adjunct Professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business in Washington, DC.

He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia and a PhD in Economics from Princeton University.


Geoffrey serves on the Board of Directors of Antares Capital.

Gloria Serobe

Gloria Serobe


Gloria is a Founding Member and Executive Director of WIPHOLD and Chief Executive Officer of Wipcapital. Her professional experience includes positions at Exxon Corporation in the USA, Munich Reinsurance Company of SA, the Premier Group and Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank. She was the Executive Director – Finance, Transnet Limited and was a member of the Transnet Board and its major subsidiaries.

Gloria is chairman of the Solidarity Response Fund, incorporated in March 2020 in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for national unity at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.

She serves on several Boards including Hans Merensky Holdings, Adcorp Holdings and Denel. She is an honorary member of the Actuarial Society of South Africa and is a member of the SAICA Advisory Council.

Gloria obtained a B.Com degree from the University of Transkei and holds an MBA degree from Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA.

Her previous non-executive Directorships include Chairman of the Board of the Independent Ports Regulator, Chairman of the Life Office’s Association (LOA), Chairman of the Metropolitan Group, Old Mutual, Nedbank, Sasol Mining, Sasfin, Export Credit Insurance Corporation, Airports Company South Africa, Express Kenya Limited, M-Cell, MTN, the Financial Markets Advisory Board and the JSE.


Craig Thorburn

Craig Thorburn


Craig joined the Future Fund after 13 years working for both the Commonwealth Treasury and Australia’s sovereign debt manager, the Australian Office of Financial Management. Craig has been with the Future Fund since inception in 2006 and was a senior member of the in-house Strategy team from 2007 to 2012.  

In July 2012 Craig took up the new role of Director – Emerging Markets; leading the Future Fund’s efforts in better understanding the complexities of investing in Emerging Markets across all asset classes.  

In 2019 Craig joined the in-house Private Equity team with investment responsibilities cutting across venture, growth and buy-out sectors and with a focus on China and other emerging economies.

From September 2020 Craig is working directly to the Chief Investment Officer, with a focus on strategic portfolio and investment initiatives.

Craig has often represented the Future Fund at high level governmental interactions and continues to represent the organisation and investment forums worldwide.

Craig graduated from the Australian National University with both a Bachelor of Commerce degree and post graduate qualifications in Economics.

Christopher Bush

Christopher Bush

Executive Director

Christopher is the Executive Director of 20-20 Investment Association and is responsible for developing the agenda, liaising with foreign officials and overseeing logistical support of 20-20’s two yearly events. 

Prior to joining 20-20, Christopher worked as a Senior Research Analyst with Russell EMPulse. Russell EMPulse reports presented the perceptions of senior decision-makers in leading international investment firms about the investment climate in emerging markets and were presented to leading government and private sector representatives primarily through 20-20 visits. From 2000 to 2007, Christopher co-wrote 24 EMPulse reports, tracked economic and political trends across the emerging market universe and supported 20-20 by providing additional research and analysis related to 20-20 events. Before that, Christopher worked at the US Department of State as a Presidential Management Fellow from 1996 to 1999.  

Christopher received a Master of International Affairs from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Idaho.


Karen Sole

Karen Sole

Program Associate

Karen is an experienced business specialist with a customer focused approach who is at her best when working with clients to deliver results and solutions. Most recently she worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center as part of the team that supports the Fred Hutch/University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium, a 650-member strong research collaboration focused on cancer research. Prior to that, Karen had a 15-year career at Starbucks where she held various roles on the human resources, travel and meetings and global safety and security teams.

Karen lived in Japan for several years and speaks Japanese fluently. Outside of work, she enjoys exercise, yoga and spending time in her kitchen creating and trying out new recipes. Karen is looking forward to the opportunity to bring her varied career experiences and skills to the 20-20 team.



20-20 revives international travel with a Spring annual meeting in London and a Fall trip to Kenya and South Africa. 


Trips were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2020, the EastWest Institute ceases operations, effectively ending the association with 20-20. 


20-20 Chair Ralph Layman leads his first delegation on a visit to the Philippines and Thailand.  


20-20 visits Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Morocco. The trip marks the group's first visit to West Africa and the third visit to the African continent. 


20-20 hosts an annual meeting in Mexico City - only the second international meeting site (the first was Toronto in 2009). 


20-20 celebrates its 25th anniversary with an annual meeting in Seattle (home of 20-20 founder George Russell) and kicks off its annual trip in Prague - one of the first two cities on the inaugural trip in 1992. 


20-20 delegation meets with recently inaugurated President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in Jakarta - marking the President's first meeting with an international group. 


20-20 Chair Tania Zouikin leads her first delegation on a visit to Beijing, Western China and Mongolia. 


Russell and 20-20 end a 22-year relationship. The group changes its name to 20-20 Investment Association and enters into an association with the EastWest Institute. 


Russell 20-20 visits Ukraine and Turkey - the Ukraine visit marks the first official inclusion of a "frontier market" (the first frontier market index was established the following year).


Russell 20-20 Chair Michael Phillips leads his first delegation on a visit to Russia and Poland.


The tragic terrorist attacks of 9/11 postpone a planned trip to Russia and Poland.


George Russell leads the group to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam - it would be his last trip as Chair.


Russell 20-20's first emerging markets trip: Chile, Brazil and Argentina.


George Russell and 20-20 members expand the group's scope beyond command and transition economies to all emerging markets.


Russell 20-20 incorporates as an independent, non-profit organization.


Russell 20-20 takes its inaugural trip to Czechoslovakia and Poland. Later that year, Russell 20-20 holds its first annual meeting in New York City.


George Russell attends an Aspen Group talk and is inspired by EastWest Institute President John Mroz's speech about the pending dissolution of the Soviet Union. George comes up with the idea of assembling a group of experienced investors - 20 corporate pensions and 20 asset managers - to travel to former command economies as they transition to more open economic systems and learn about investment opportunities by "kicking the tires."