Fostering Growth in Private Equity through Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access


Zeena Rao

Managing Director, ICV Partners

Zeena is a private equity investor with over 15 years of experience and a strong track record of helping lower middle market businesses grow. She has helped capitalize and grow companies in the food, specialty retail, logistics and transportation, and outsourced services industries.  Zeena has served on the boards of Leading Response, Marshall Retail Group, Cargo Airport Services, PFM, Entertainment Cruises, and Sterling Foods.  Ms. Rao holds a BS degree magna cum laude in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.


Beth Michelson (‘97)

Senior Managing Director, Cartesian Capital Group

Prior to the formation of Cartesian, Beth served with AIGCP since 1999. Prior to joining AIGCP, Beth was an Associate at Wasserstein Perella Emerging Markets focusing on private equity investments and structured products. Previously, Beth worked in financing for media and entertainment at Dresdner Bank AG, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and as a financial journalist in Prague. Beth is a member of the Global Advisory Board of Columbia Business School’s Chazen Institute for Global Business.  She holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA and MIA from Columbia Business School and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Beth is a CFA® charterholder.


Pat Miller Zollar

Managing Director, Neuberger Berman

Patricia Miller Zollar is a Managing Director of Neuberger Berman and a leader of the Firm’s Private Investment Portfolios practice. She is a member of the Co-Investment, Private Investment Portfolios, and NorthBound Investment Committees.

Before the management buyout of Neuberger, Ms. Zollar co-headed and co-founded the Lehman Brothers Partnership Solutions Group, a Wall Street business focused on developing strategic opportunities with women- and minority-owned financial services firms. The innovation of the Partnership Solutions Group was chronicled in a case study for the Harvard Business School.

She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BS, with highest distinction, from North Carolina A&T State University, where she formerly served as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and which conferred her an honorary Doctorate degree. Ms. Zollar is a member of the Executive Leadership Council and Economic Club of NY. She also serves on the executive board of the National Association of Investment Companies and The Apollo Theater.

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Ruth E. Horowitz

Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer, IFC Asset Management Company, LLC

Ruth is Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer of AMC. She joined AMC at the start of its operations in 2009, and she is responsible for the strategy and operations of the business. She sits on the investment committees for all funds.

Before joining AMC, Ruth spent more than 20 years at Lehman Brothers, including roles in private equity, investment banking, and debt and equity capital markets. Ruth was a Managing Director and the Chief Administrative Officer of Lehman Brothers’ private equity business and a member of Lehman Brothers’ Fund of Funds Investment Committee. Before joining Lehman’s private equity business, Ruth was a senior vice president in investment banking working on strategy and business planning, a senior vice president and chief administrative officer of its Equity Research department, and a vice president of its Equity Capital Markets and Debt Capital Markets departments.

Ruth holds a BA from Barnard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Moderator: Jennifer Prosek (‘99)

Founder & CEO, Prosek Partners

Jennifer Prosek is the founder and CEO of Prosek Partners, a leading international public relations and financial communications consultancy with offices in New York, London, Los Angeles and Connecticut. The firm ranks among the top 10 independent public relations firms in the U.S., and among the top financial communications consultancies in the U.S. and UK. Prosek Partners was named Corporate Agency of the Year by Holmes Report, has been listed as an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company for nine years running and is ranked among the Top 25 firms in New York Observer’s PR Power List 2018.  

Prosek is a published author and frequent speaker. "Army of Entrepreneurs," her first book, received praise from Columbia Business School, Wharton and INSEAD. Her second book "Raising Can-Do Kids," co-authored with Richard Rende, Ph.D., was published by Penguin Random House in 2015. She is on the board of directors of the Arthur Page Society and BritishAmerican Business.

Prosek received her MBA from Columbia University and a B.A. in English literature from Miami University.