John-Austin Saviano is the founder of High Country Advisors, where he serves as a strategic advisor to both investment firms and the institutional pools of capital that back them. Before starting High Country in 2017, John-Austin served as an allocator for nearly two decades at the Moore Foundation, Cambridge Associates, and as the first CIO of UC Berkeley's Endowment.
Our conversation covers John-Austin's career path from direct investing to allocation and insights gleaned across his roles. We then turn to his work at High Country, including lessons he shares with emerging managers to help tell their story and navigate a difficult fund-raising environment and those he shares with allocators about governance and investment committees.
5:59 Direct investing in credit and venture
7:00 Moving to the Moore Foundation
13:56 A unique opportunity at Berkeley
15:32 Implementing best practices
24:16 Emerging managers
28:35 Finding alignment and success
31:53 Approaching a difficult environment
34:22 Common misunderstanding between GPs and LPs
35:28 Insights from the CIO seat
38:02 Governance challenges
41:14 Importance of investment committee chairs
44:48 Changing approach for the future
47:11 Exciting possibilities at High Country
47:44 Closing questions