Darrell Cobbins: Civic Leader, Real Estate Executive and former Memphis Board member!

Darrell Cobbins is a man of many varied interests and boundless talents.
Darrell is a recognized leader in his community. Appointed by the Mayor of Memphis, he served on the Steering Committee for the Regional Development Business Plan which works to develop long-range strategic business models for the Memphis Region. The Mayor of Memphis also appointed Darrell to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Memphis Light, Gas and Water, the nation’s largest municipally owned company. Darrell was eventually appointed the chairman of this board and in this capacity, Darrell also served as the chairman of the $1.3 billion public Light Gas and water pension fund.


Show notes


01:41 – How Darrell stared his career in public service

  • Entering the professional world made him decide to pursue excellence and to make name for himself professionally and civically
  • The organization Leadership Memphis made him realized at an incredibly early age that he can make a difference in the community to make it better

05:05 – How Darrell became friends with the former mayor of Memphis

  • Former mayor W.W. Herenton seen Darrell’s active involvement in the 90s.
  • On his 5th term, he appointed Darrell to serve on the Memphis Light, Gas and Water as a Board of Trustees.

08:23 – Picking up the “language” of inventing as a pension board

  • Being the chair of the utility board and pension board made him realized that he needs to understand the context of pension investments, connect with pension members around the country, to be effective.
  • One night, he found a couple of conferences that provided what he was trying to achieve. These conferences gave him a broader view so that he can be better and bring ideas to his role as the Chairman of the Board.

12:58 – The current economic environment in Memphis

  • Memphis is growing but only on single digits
  • Memphis has more 18 – 24-year-old than any other metropolitan area in the nation

17:00 – The importance of having the board invest in local businesses and real estate

  • They made their very first private equity investment with a local private equity firm
  • They also seeded another firm for $3 million and has now $100M under management

21:00 – Darrell’s involvement as a Board of Trustee for Brooks Museum of Art

  • Brooks Museum is one of the oldest and largest art museum in the region
  • The museum will be moving downtown to overlook the Memphis Riverfront to be near other museums in Memphis

23:45 – How COVID is affecting Memphis real estate market


Listen to all other episodes of Pension Trends Plus with Atara Twersky on AF&T’s website, Podbean, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

Atara Twersky is a TODAY Show Style Icon, and an attorney in Manhattan where she lives with her husband and three kids. She is also author of the popular Curlee Girlee book series, inspired by her youngest daughter. She is the host of two podcasts, Changing the Course and Pension Trends Plus.