FIS Digital – May 2021

Investing in the innovation economy

This session examined the venture capital landscape and how it has changed due to the pandemic. What is the future outlook for venture investing in the US and globally?

Click here to view Magnus’ presentation slides


Todd Cohen is a Director of Investments at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Office of Investments. Todd joined NewYork-Presbyterian in 2016 and has primarily focused on the investment offices’ private investments, including venture capital and direct strategic investing. Prior to joining the Hospital, Todd was a Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Treasury (“Treasury”), working for the Financial Stability Oversight Council (“FSOC”) to advise the Treasury Secretary and other financial regulatory leaders on financial policy reform initiatives. At FSOC, Todd led the review of nonbank financial institutions as systemically important, including GE Capital. Prior to Treasury, Todd was a Vice President in the capital markets and derivatives groups at Bank of America in New York and Tokyo. Todd, a CFA Charterholder, graduated with a Bachelor of Science from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Mitchell Hammer joined Princo in August 2017 after interning the previous summer. He graduated cum laude from Princeton with a A.B. in English and a Certificate in Spanish Language and Culture. He received the Class of 1958 Prize in Honor of Ernest Hemingway for his thesis on the impact of modern media on Virginia Woolf’s fiction. While he has no taste for fine wines, he is a veritable coffee snob, and spends most of his leisure time reading good books at even better cafés.

Magnus Grimeland is the chief executive and founder of Antler, a global early-stage VC enabling and investing in the world’s most exceptional people. He leads a global team across five continents and 14 locations with the mission to fundamentally improve the world by supporting founders, who are building the defining companies of tomorrow. Antler has invested in and helped build over 250+ portfolio companies worldwide and established the world’s largest early-stage investment platform, with an unparalleled global network of entrepreneurial leaders and advisors.
As co-founder and regional managing director of Zalora, Grimeland was responsible for the ZALORA Group markets in Southeast Asia (SEA). He later became chief operating officer of Global Fashion Group (GFG) and was responsible for strategic market initiatives, improving the business and rolling out GFG’s marketplace across 26 countries in SEA, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania.
He is an alumni of Harvard University and McKinsey & Company in which he worked for six years. His last role was as a junior partner, working across North America, Europe and Asia in the global telco, media and high-tech industries. Prior to his studies, he served within the Royal Norwegian Navy Special Operations – Marinejegerkommandoen (Navy Seals). Very passionate about the start-up landscape, he is also an active angel/seed investor in Asia, Europe and the US.


R. Todd Ruppert is founder of Ruppert International, a firm with diversified interests in various fields globally. He is a board member of INSEAD Business School, Wilshire Associates, Shetland Space Centre, The Fine Art Group, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, among others. He is a venture partner at Greenspring Associates, a $12 billion venture capital firm. He is also an advisor to venture capital firms Antler, Fin VC, Sure Ventures, and Global Ventures. He is an advisor to private equity firms Access Holdings, Motive Partners and BroadLight Capital. He is also a serial early stage investor and advisor to numerous companies globally. Ruppert has over 40 years in the financial services industry. He retired from T. Rowe Price, the global asset management firm with over $1.5 trillion under management, where he was CEO and president of T. Rowe Price Global Investment Services, co-president, T. Rowe Price International, and a member of the operating steering committee of the T. Rowe Price Group.

Key takeaways

  • nvestors should tap venture capital since many companies are staying private for longer. Investors who have backed start-up innovation have played a significant role in helping find solutions in healthcare and technology through the pandemic.
  • The VC space show really high returns from the top decile funds but enduring volatility.
  • Regulatory changes mean more capital is flowing into the asset class.
  • Venture is now a meaningful part of the overall asset allocation at PRINCO.
  • Some investors are increasingly taking their allocation out of buyouts and putting more into venture. Venture will be the risk generation for portfolios going forward, leading out-performance.
  • Although San Francisco and China will continue to produce great companies for years to come, more cities across the US are developing hubs for fast growing companies like Boston, Miami and Seattle. Outside the US, panellists listed Stockholm, Berlin and Singapore as venture hubs alongside Vietnam, Japan and Korea.
  • The pandemic (and travel ban) has made geography less of an issue when backing founders.
  • Investors seeks to fund entrepreneurs and founders with drive to solve a problem and grit to press on when they hit barriers.
  • The SPAC trend holds positives and negatives for start-ups. On one hand, it provides these companies with a new source of capital. On the other it has resulted in some companies going public too soon.

Join the discussion