Edward “Connell” Hasten has helped double the total assets of EquiTrust Life Insurance Company since he joined the firm in 2014. “I was the second employee on the investment team, so I also had to build a team from scratch,” he notes.
Hasten and his team manage $1.5 billion in investments, including private equity, private debt, and real estate—a significant piece of EquiTrust’s total $15 billion in assets as of the third quarter 2015.
He says he believes in a generalist approach and “not letting the great minds on my team get warped by a given sector.” He also adds value to EquiTrust’s real estate assets by “active and simplified portfolio management,” he says.
Hasten honed his expertise at Guggenheim Partners, where he was a director working on commercial real estate investments. Before that, he resolved more than $500 million in distressed commercial real estate investments as vice president at Bank of America. He also originated and underwrote short-term construction real estate loans, including a $65 million loan to an iconic member club in Chicago and the $100 million financing of a major international soccer team.
In honor of his father, Hasten founded a nonprofit scholarship fund, the JEH Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer. He is on the board of ULI Chicago and on the advisory boards of four private equity funds.