In this episode, Brown Advisory’s Meredith Shuey Etherington, a San Francisco-based portfolio manager, speaks with Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, and Craig Young, Managing Principal of Tidewater Capital, to examine whether the Bay Area and San Francisco can retain and even enhance their identity as the home of the innovation economy.

San Francisco has been a paradox for decades—at once a stunningly beautiful city at the epicenter of high-tech innovation, and a fragile community grappling with various social crises, the highest cost of living in the U.S. and a vast wealth gap. The pandemic intensified many of the city’s problems, and recent headlines have revealed a string of companies moving their headquarters from the Bay Area to Austin, Miami and elsewhere. Our conversation looks at the challenges and opportunities that will shape San Francisco’s future. Later in the podcast, Brown Advisory’s JJ Baylin and Amy Hauter join Meredith to discuss how we are investing in the future of cities for our clients.


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Episode Introduction

Meredith Shuey Etherington: There is no shortage of stories about companies fleeing San Francisco for places like Austin and Miami – sometimes called a “techsodus” – but as you’ll hear in a minute, my guests today are unapologetic advocates for the long-term vitality of San Francisco and the Bay Area, as well as for cities in general. I’ll talk with them about solutions to some of the Bay Area’s oft-mentioned challenges. And we’ll also discuss the creativity, collaboration, culture – and ultimately, the human connection – that cities inspire.

I’m Meredith Shuey Etherington. I’m a partner at Brown Advisory, and I’m a portfolio manager based in San Francisco. I wanted to examine the question: As we come out of the pandemic, can the Bay Area keep, and even grow, its identity as ground zero for the innovation economy? I am thrilled to have a chance to explore this question about future of the Bay Area – this place I love –with two particularly thoughtful experts: Fred Blackwell, the CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, and Craig Young, the managing principal of Tidewater Capital.

Stay tuned after my conversation with Fred and Craig. I’ll talk with my colleagues, Amy Hauter and JJ Baylin, about the implications for investors and some of the ways that they are investing in the future of cities for our clients.

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Fred Blackwell

Fred Blackwell

CEO, San Francisco Foundation

Fred Blackwell is the CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, one of the largest community foundations in the country. The San Francisco Foundation works hand-in-hand with donors, community leaders, and both public and private partners to create thriving communities throughout the Bay Area. Since joining the foundation in 2014, Blackwell has led it in a renewed commitment to social justice through an equity agenda focused on racial and economic inclusion. Blackwell, an Oakland native, is a nationally recognized community leader with a longstanding career in the Bay Area. Prior to joining the foundation, he served as interim city administrator for the city of Oakland, where he previously served as the assistant city administrator. He was the executive director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Development in San Francisco; he served as the director of the Making Connections Initiative for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in the Lower San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland; he was a Multicultural Fellow in Neighborhood and Community Development at The San Francisco Foundation; and he subsequently managed a multiyear comprehensive community initiative for the San Francisco Foundation in West Oakland. Blackwell serves on the board of the Independent Sector, Northern California Grantmakers, the Bridgespan Group, the dean’s advisory council for UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, and the community advisory council of the San Francisco Federal Reserve. He previously served on the boards of the California Redevelopment Association, Urban Habitat Program, LeaderSpring and Leadership Excellence. He is a visiting professor in the department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley and the Co-Chair of CASA — The Committee to House the Bay Area. He holds a master’s degree in city planning from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Morehouse College.
Craig Young

Craig Young

Managing Principal, Tidewater Capital

Craig Young is the Managing Principal of Tidewater Capital. Mr. Young is responsible for long range planning and spearheading growth initiatives for the business. On a day-to-day basis, Mr. Young oversees the firm’s investment, development, asset management, and organizational functions. Since the company’s inception in 2013, Mr. Young has grown the firm’s portfolio by investing in and/or developing more than twenty projects throughout the Bay Area. These projects include vertical developmentand repositioning existing assets across a range of product typesincluding market rate, affordable, and rent-controlled housing, as well as office, retail, hotel, industrial and self-storage assets.Mr. Young also leadsthe firm’s investor relations effortsand has organized a series of discretionaryinvestment vehiclesalongside endowment, foundation, and family office partners.Before establishing Tidewater, Mr. Young was a leader within the investments group at The JBG Companies (now JBG Smith) in Washington, D.C. His previous work experience includes roles at CIM Group and Deutsche Bank. Equipped with a strong entrepreneurial zeal, Mr. Young has gained significant experience across a broad range of business building endeavors throughout his career.Mr. Young is activelyinvolvedin various philanthropic efforts aimed at promoting economic opportunityand the artsthroughout theBay Area. In 2014, Mr. Young received the Golden Brick Award;a recognition presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding impact in their community. In 2015, Mr. Young was recognized as one of the San Francisco Business Times’40 Under 40honorees. Mr. Young has spoken on at Harvard and the Milken Institute as well as at industry events including ULI and NAIOP. A native of Central Florida with deep family roots in Northern California, Mr. Young received hisBachelor of Arts from Brown University and his MBA from Harvard Business School. Mr. Young enjoys spending his free time outdoors.



Meredith Shuey Etherington

Meredith Shuey Etherington

Portfolio Manager, Brown Advisory

Meredith is a partner and portfolio manager at Brown Advisory in San Francisco. Meredith provides individuals, families and institutions with strategic investment solutions and advice, and has more than 20 years of investment experience. Prior to rejoining the firm in 2019, she served as a senior investment advisor at Litman Gregory Asset Management, a boutique wealth management firm based in San Francisco, where she provided investment advice to families and nonprofits and co-chaired the firm’s investment committee. Meredith served as a portfolio manager at Brown Advisory in Baltimore before relocating to San Francisco in 2013. Earlier in her career, Meredith worked in the Private Wealth Management division at Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst.



Investment Commentary

JJ Baylin

JJ Baylin

Private Equity Analyst, Brown Advisory

JJ is a partner who leads Brown Advisory’s real estate efforts, including sourcing, underwriting and performing due diligence on private funds and direct investment opportunities. He is primarily responsible for management of the firm’s Real Estate Partners program, a series of discretionary vehicles offering clients diversified access to value-add, private real estate funds and direct investments. Additionally, JJ oversees the Brown Advisory’s existing real estate portfolio.
Amy Hauter, CFA

Amy Hauter, CFA

Portfolio Manager; Head of Sustainable Fixed Income, Brown Advisory

Amy is a partner and portfolio manager and head of sustainable fixed income at Brown Advisory. She is a portfolio manager on Brown Advisory’s sustainable fixed income strategies which include our Sustainable Core, Tax-Exempt Sustainable and Sustainable Short Duration composites. In 2018, Amy received recognition as a Rising Star from Fund Action and Fund Directions for her work in building out Brown Advisory’s sustainable fixed income platform. She has held numerous speaking engagements, including the United Nations Sustainable Investing Summit in 2019. Amy joined the firm in 2012 and previously worked in fixed income client service at Morgan Stanley.



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