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Inside Track

A look at what’s behind today's Minnesota business headlines.

Pohlads made investment manager Beth Lilly an offer she couldn't refuse

Investment manager Beth Lilly this week took over as chief investment officer of Marquette Companies, the money-management arm of the Pohlad Companies.
Lilly replaced Jann Ozzello Wilcox, who retired in May.
Lilly, 55, will lead the investment group for the family and reports to Marquette CEO Bert Colianni, a long-time Pohlad executive, as well as Jim Pohlad, one of three sons who run the family-owned business-and-investment complex started by their father, the late Carl Pohlad.
“We’ve had a relationship for a long time,” said Lilly, once a portfolio manager in the same downtown office tower that houses Pohlad Companies. “I rode the elevator every day with the Pohlads.”
Lilly left her own firm Crocus Hill Partners, which she started a year ago after working as an analyst and investment manager for Wall Street and Minneapolis-based firms, specializing in small-capitalization and regional firms. 
“I was happy building Crocus Hill,” said Lilly, who is returning nearly $100 million to investors who have made money since 2017.
“But this is too good of an opportunity,” she said. “I will be overseeing a team of 10 people who invest in private equity, public companies and choose outside investment managers. And I get to work with the Pohlad family, for whom I have tremendous respect.”
Lilly declined to say how much in investable assets she will oversee for the family.
The Pohlad family wealth, through diverse business interests, has been estimated at nearly $4 billion by Forbes Magazine, making them one of Minnesota’s and the country’s richest families.
 Carl Pohlad founded the company in the 1950s, through what became Marquette Bank and a soft-drink bottler. Now managed by his  sons Jim, Bob and Bill, together with third‐generation family members, the organization spans diverse industries, from the Minnesota Twins baseball club, to financial services, automobile retailers, industrial, commercial real estate through United Properties and investment interests.

Ad spotlight: Real'Za Pizza is "Unbelievably Natural"

Is this for real? Minneapolis marketing firm Solve has come out with a humorous campaign for Real’Za Pizza, a brand of Edina-based frozen pizza company Bernatello’s Foods.

The campaign, which includes television, radio, digital and social ads, is the first full advertising campaign done for Real’Za.

The videos for the “Unbelievably Natural” campaign feature a hobby horsing husband and a sword swallowing child among other unreal displays while also showcasing the brand’s advertised natural ingredients. The spots were shot by Los Angeles-based director Raúl B. Fernández.

Solve became the company’s agency of record earlier this year.