TTF USA Ambassadors

Paul M. Secunda,

Professor of Law and Director, Labor and Employment Law, Marquette University Law School

 

Paul M. Secunda is the author in whole or in part of six books, nearly six dozen law review articles, and other short writings on pensions, employee benefits, labor law, employment law, employment discrimination law, and special education law. 

 

Paul chaired the U.S. Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council to the Employee Benefit Security Administration, and was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Australia studying that country’s superannuation system. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute, the founder and faculty advisor to the Marquette Benefits and Social Welfare Law Review, and is recognized internationally as an academic thought leader in the field of international and comparative pension law.

 

Furthermore, as a passionate believer in the need to improve transparency in pension funds, Paul has been co-leading the charge to develop TTF's International Best Practice Team to address this issue around the world through the creation of a Global Pension Transparency Index.

Professor Paul M. Secunda appointed Ambassador to the Transparency Task Force
Professor Paul Secunda appointed Ambassa[...]
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Bernie Nelson,

President,

Style Analytics,

North America

 

Prior to joining Style Research, Bernie held positions as Head of Risk and Head of Quantitative Analysis at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, then the asset management arm of Lloyds TSB and one of Europe’s largest asset managers. He was responsible for developing portfolio risk management and integrating quantitative techniques into a fundamentally based investment process.

 

Bernie has also managed structured products and index funds, and has financial engineering experience as a derivative products analyst. Bernie speaks regularly at international investment conferences on factor investing, smart beta, environmental social and governance (ESG) investing, and style and risk analysis in asset management.

 

Bernie holds an Honors degree in Mathematics from Edinburgh University. He is an Affiliate of the UK Society of Investment Professionals, a member of the CFA Institute, and a member of the CFA Society Boston. 

Dr. Kara Tan Bhala,

President and Founder,

Seven Pillars Institute for Global Finance and Ethics

 

The Seven Pillars Institute is the world’s only independent think tank for research, education, and promotion of financial ethics. The Institute was shortlisted in the Prospect Think Tank Awards 2016.

 

Kara has over twenty-three years in global finance and is lead author of International Investment Management: Theory, Ethics and Practice, one of the first books to provide a comprehensive understanding of investment principles, synthesize three theories of finance, and apply ethics in financial practice focusing on Asian cases.

 

She was named by Ingram's as one of the "50 Kansans You Should Know". Kara has five degrees across three disciplines and has lived in London, Oxford, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Matthew  Murray, 

Co-founder,

The Center for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance

 

In January 2017, Matthew Murray completed his second assignment for the Obama Administration - as a Senior Advisor on Governance and Rule of Law at the Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance at the U.S. Agency for International Development.  As a Senior Advisor, Mr. Murray helped the Center develop strategies and design development assistance programs to counter systemic corruption in critical nations.    

 

From 2012-2015, Mr. Murray served the Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Mr. Murray led the Department’s efforts to apply commercial diplomacy, strengthen the rule of law and build mutual prosperity with 117 countries in the EMEA region as well as the European Union and African Union.  Mr. Murray developed innovative programs to build good governance and champion entrepreneurship in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Tunisia, Kenya, and Nigeria.  

 

Throughout his career, Mr. Murray has worked at the intersection of U.S. foreign policy, international law, commerce, and political economy.  Upon graduating from Tufts in 1979, he was selected in a national competition as a Research Assistant to Dr. Leslie Gelb at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He subsequently served as Legislative Assistant for National Security to Senator Edward Kennedy, focused on nuclear arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union and diplomacy towards the Middle East and Northern Ireland. 

 

In 1984, he was awarded a scholarship as an International Fellow at the Columbia University School of Public and International Affairs; he graduated in 1988 with an MIA and JD from the Law School.

 

From 1988-91, Mr. Murray was as an Associate Attorney at the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie, where he helped the firm launch a Russia law practice and establish one of the first western legal offices in Moscow. In 1991, Matthew Murray founded Sovereign Ventures, Inc., a management consulting firm that advised Fortune 100 companies, government agencies and multilateral organizations in Russia/Eurasia on how to counter corruption risk and engage in dispute resolution.  In 2000, Mr. Murray co-founded the Center for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance, a non-profit dedicated to building rule-based markets in the region. 

 

Between 2007 and 2009, Mr. Murray served as Corruption Risk Manager at TNK-BP Management Ltd., then the third largest producer of oil and gas in Russia, leading a corporate task force to establish a new system of compliance with anti-corruption laws and ethics performance throughout the 65,000 person workforce. 

 

Mr. Murray’s work in the field of political economy includes writing, teaching, speeches and testimony on the importance of voluntarily adopting best practices of ethics, corporate governance, and social responsibility.  In 2011, he was invited by the Brookings Institution to help launch the World Forum on Governance and to co-write a research paper, “Freedom from Official Corruption as a Human Right”, published in 2015.

George Kinder,

Founder,

The Kinder Institute

of Life Planning

 

George Kinder is a Harvard educated economist, philosopher, financial planner, Buddhist teacher, and the founder of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning, a network of over three thousand financial advisers on six continents trained to inspire consumers to recognize and achieve their lives of greatest meaning.

 

The recipient of many financial industry awards including the first ever Heart of Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award from the 29,000 member Financial Planning Association, he was recently named the first of fifteen most transformational financial advisers whose vision most changed the financial planning industry.

 

His latest book, A Golden Civilization, combines his decades of financial leadership with his lifetime of mindfulness practice to create new principles of economics and pose the question: What would it take to create a civilization that thrives with freedom for a thousand generations?

 

At the core of his solution is transparency, not just in financial services but in every structure of society.

 

George’s expertise has been widely featured in the press across six continents including The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Time Magazine, Fortune, NPR, and many others.

Press Release - George Kinder appointed Ambassador to the Transparency Task Force
George Kinder appointed Ambassador to th[...]
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Stephen Davis

Associate Director and Senior Fellow, Programs on Corporate Governance and Institutional Investors, Harvard Law School

 

Stephen Davis, Ph.D. is associate director of the Harvard Law School Programs on Corporate Governance and Institutional Investors, and a senior fellow at the Program on Corporate Governance.

 

He has also been a nonresident senior fellow in governance at the Brookings Institution. From 2007-2012 he was executive director of the Yale School of Management’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance and Lecturer on the SOM faculty.

 

Davis served on the US SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee. He is a trustee of ShareAction and was for nine years chair and a board member of Hermes EOS, the shareowner engagement arm of Hermes Pensions Management. Davis was also co-director of the Brookings’ World Forum on Governance.

 

Winner of the 2011 ICGN Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance, Davis is co-author of What They Do With Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us and How to Fix It (Yale University Press, 2016) and The New Capitalists: How Citizen Investors are Reshaping the Corporate Agenda (Harvard Business School Press, 2006).

 

His Shareholder Rights Abroad: A Handbook for the Global Investor (1989) was the first study comparing corporate governance practices in top markets. Davis is a co-founder of the International Corporate Governance Network and co-author of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. Davis earned his doctorate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and completed undergraduate studies at Tufts and the London School of Economics.

Jon Lukomnik,

Executive Director,

Investor Responsibility Research Institute

 

Forbes calls Jon Lukomnik one of the pioneers of modern corporate governance.  Jon serves as executive director of the IRRC Institute, whose research has been widely praised for objectively examining fundamental corporate governance and capital market issues.

 

He is also the managing partner of Sinclair Capital LLC, a strategic consultancy to asset owners and asset managers. He co-founded the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) and GovernanceMetrics International (now part of MSCI), and served as interim chair of the Council of Institutional Investors’ executive committee.

 

Jon served as investment advisor for New York City’s pension funds in the 1990s and has invested or overseen more than $100 billion in institutional assets during his career. He has been a director for various public companies, private companies, not-for-profit corporations and litigation trusts. He has consulted to major institutional investors with aggregate assets of more than half a trillion dollars including the New York State Common Retirement Fund, Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, Nikko Asset Management, International Finance Corporation, Legg Mason, and Savings Bank Life Insurance USA.

 

Jon currently serves as a trustee for the Van Eck mutual fund complex in the United States and related investment trusts in Ireland, as a member of the Standing Advisory Committee for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and on Deloitte’s Audit Quality Advisory Committee. He was a member of the official creditors committee which rehabilitated WorldCom following its fraud and bankruptcy.

 

Mr. Lukomnik has been honored by the International Corporate Governance Association, National Association of Corporate Directors, Ethisphere and Global Proxy Watch.

 

More than 200 of Jon’s articles have been published in academic and practitioner journals. His most recent book, What They Do With Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us and How To Fix It, has been praised by legendary investors including Yale CIO David Swensen and Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle.

Richard Field,

Director,

Institute for Financial Transparency

 

 

The Institute for Financial Transparency, an organization focused on bringing valuation transparency to all the opaque corners of the financial system and the sponsor of the Transparency Label InitiativeTM.

 

Since the mid-90s, he has been a leader in defining and implementing transparency in the structured finance industry.

Mr. Field designed, developed and patented a low cost information system to handle all of the complexity involved in making each structured finance security transparent. His solution uses a data warehouse to provide all market participants with easily accessible, standardized collateral level data on an observable event basis over the life of each deal.

 

In April 2008, Mr. Field wrote a Learning Curve column for Total Securitization that described the gold standard for transparency for structured finance securities. Subsequently, he  consulted with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on their July 2012 white paper on financing home ownership. In both of these widely read publications, he discussed the need for both timely disclosure of the underlying collateral performance information and the use of a data warehouse to capture, standardize and disseminate this data.

 

Apparently, while his call for timely disclosure was ignored, his call for the use of a data warehouse was heard. In Europe, the European Central Bank championed the creation of the EU Data Warehouse to provide transparency into structured finance securities.  In the U.S., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in the process of building this data warehouse for residential mortgage-backed securities. It is called the Common Securitization Solutions LLC.  About these two data warehouses, Mr. Field remarked, as the beaver said to the rabbit looking down on the Hoover Dam, “I didn’t build it all by myself, but it is based on an idea of mine.”

 

Earlier in his career, he worked as an Assistant Vice President for First Bank System and as a Research Assistant at the Federal Reserve Board. Mr. Field has an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Yale University.

 

Also, Mr. Field is the author of 'Transparency Games:  How Bankers Rig the World of Finance'; and a member of the Transparency Task Force's Team Americas.

Darby Hobbs,

CEO/Founder SOCIAL3;

Co-Founder & Chairperson Conscious Capitalism Boston Chapter;

Adjunct Professor, Boston University and Bridgewater State University (Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing)

 

Darby Hobbs is a visionary, social innovator, motivational presenter, educator, author, and strategic marketeer. Focused on Relationship to LIFE, Oneself and Mankind and building the bridge between what individuals value through understanding their LivingWellTM Model and their whole life plan including investments.

 

It’s about connecting the heart, to the mind, to the wallet.

 

Working with company business leaders, investment firms and financial advisory groups to develop a deeper understanding of how to apply ESG/SRI and Impact Investing criteria into business decisions and to understand the value drivers of individuals ready for being part of the new investment experience - fusing brand and sustainability principles for asset growth.

 

Darby has also developed programs geared towards academia; targeting social entrepreneurship and innovation as well as student-led impact investing funds. 

 

Through SOCIAL3 ‘Telling the Story’ – Conscious Business Show - becomes paramount as she produces this through various mediums to educate, build brand awareness and engagement with the marketplace.

 

Her passion in creating positive change, along with the belief that businesses exist for profit and purpose, and that the financial system and the value drivers connected to this today is both a key challenge and opportunity to unlock.

Chris Tobe,
Founder
Stable Value Investments
 
Chris Tobe is a global   leader in Transparency and fighting
Corruption in U.S. state & local government pension plans and
investments in general, including state regulated insurance products.
 
He is working on his 5th book on transparency entitled Wall Street Corruption in State & Local Governments targeted to a broad US Audience. This is a related book to Kentucky Fried Pensions 2018 targeted to Kentucky and Public Pensions Secret Investments targeted to Trustees, Staff, regulators.
 
His 1st book “Kentucky Fried Pensions” was cited by Pulitzer prize winner Gretchen Morgenson of the NY Times and Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone. He has been quoted and works regularly on public pension corruption stories with Neil Weinberg of Bloomberg, David Sirota of YoungTurks, Travis Waldren of
the Huffington Post, and currently Gary Rivlin formerly of NY Times now with the Intercept.
 
His other book “Consultants Guide to Stable Value” is on fixed income 401(k) insurance based investments in the U.S.
 
Chris does legal expert work in the areas of investment corruption and excess fees in both US Public & Corporate pension plans. He also serves as Chief Investment Officer for a  Pension consulting firm out of New Orleans the Hackett-Group where he has provided project consulting to a number of public pensions in MD, NC and TX.
 
From 2008-2012 he served as a Trustee and on the Investment and Audit Committees for the $14 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems.  From 2008-2009 he was a Sr. Consultant with New England Pension Consultants and worked with a number of public pension plans in Oklahoma, Missouri, Michigan and the District of Columbia. From 1997-1999 with the Kentucky State Auditor he published a 40 page report on the investments of both major Kentucky Pension plans.
 
National Public pension speaking engagements include the National Council on State Legislature National Association of State Treasurers, the Public Pension forum at the Ohio State Law School, DePauw University in Chicago, and at the National Press Club for Governing Magazine.  
 
As a public pension trustee he completed the Program for
Advanced Trustee Studies at Harvard Law School and Fiduciary College held at the Stanford University.   He holds a BA in Economics from Tulane University, and an MBA in Finance & Accounting from Indiana University – Bloomington. He is the past president of the CFA Society of Louisville. He has the taught the MBA investment course at the University of Louisville and finance and accounting classes at Bellarmine and Webster.
Lorelei Graye,
Founder,
Leodoran Financial.
 
Lorelei is Founder of Leodoran Financial and independent consultant to private capital market organizations in venture, emerging markets, LBO, and real estate.  
 
As a subject matter expert, industry leader, and advisor, Ms. Graye serves market participants through strategic management consulting, communications expertise and market intelligence; but she is probably best known for leading industry efforts such as the ADS Initiative to improve private fund fee transparency, reporting efficiencies, and to advocate LP operational needs.


Formerly, a reporting officer for the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission (RSIC), Lorelei spearheaded the development and implementation of the pension’s annual investment cost collection, validation, and reporting process which was featured in a prominent 2015 CEM Benchmarking study“The Time Has Come for Standardized Total Cost Disclosure for Private Equity". 

Ms. Graye has travelled extensively to promote best practices and educate market participants building an extensive global network of institutional investors, trustees, general partners, service providers, academic leaders, regulators, and policymakers. 

Presentations and media coverage include organizations such as the WSJ, PEI, FundFire, Governing, Pensions & Investments, The Hedge Fund Law Report, Staying Ahead of the Curve (Cammack), NCTR, ILPA, APPFA, IMDDA, SURS of IL, TRS IL, TRS of TX, GAIM Ops Cayman, the Regulatory Fundamentals Group, The Spaulding Group, and the Lowell Milken Institute at UCLA School of Law.

A key participant and supporter of the ILPA Transparency Initiativeand organizer of the latest cross-collaboration, the Adopting Data Standards (ADS) Initiative, Lorelei has over 20 years of business experience with strong entrepreneurial roots and holds dual business degrees: a BS in finance and a BA in accounting, summa cum laude. 

1 Dang, Andrea CFA; Dupont, David CFA; Mike Heale. “The Time Has Come for Standardized Total Cost Disclosure for Private Equity" 

 

2 See www.ILPA.org 

Adam Choppin,
Investment Officer,
FIS Group
 
Adam Choppin is an Investment Officer and Assistant Portfolio Manager of Emerging Markets Strategies at FIS Group, a $5.5bn Philadelphia-based manager-of-managers and global tactical allocation specialist. Mr. Choppin joined FIS in May 2013. Mr. Choppin is also on the leadership team of the Association of Professional Fund Investors as its Lead Representative for North America.

 

From 2008-2013, Mr. Choppin founded and ran a boutique investment advisory firm which advised on private investments in South America, Africa, and the Middle East.  Previously, Mr. Choppin worked for several U.S. Government agencies including as a trade and economic affairs liaison in Iraq, Afghanistan, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Mozambique. Most notably, in 2008 he organized the first official U.S. Government trade mission to Iraq in over 25 years.

 

Mr. Choppin earned his B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California (USC); his M.A. in International Economics and Business from Yale University; and a post-graduate Diploma in Finance from the London School of Economics. 

 

While a student at USC, Mr. Choppin also read in Latin American economics and politics at the Universidade de São Paulo. He speaks Portuguese and Spanish.

Greg Rogers,
Co-Founder,
Eratosthenes
 

Greg Rogers, J.D., CPA, is author of a comprehensive 384-page desk book on financial reporting of environmental liabilities and risks published by John Wiley & Sons and a internationally recognized expert on environmental and climate-related financial disclosure.

 

He is an advisor to the Master of Accounting Program and honorary Fellow at the Cambridge Judge Business School, visiting lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, past Chairman of the American Bar Association's Committee on Environmental Disclosure.

 

Greg is also an original member of the Sustainably Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards council.

 

Charlie Atkins,
Co-Founder,
Envonet
 

Charlie Atkins is an economist by training with a specialization in International Monetary Economics, Finance and Operations Research.

 

He was a Morehead Scholar at UNC Chapel Hill where he was a Summa Cum Laude graduate and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

 

Mr. Atkins was a partner at Cherokee Investment Partners, the largest private equity investor in brownfield properties and is experienced in the rigorous quantification of environmental liabilities and risks.

John Spoto,
President and Founder,
Sentry Financial Planning

 

John Spoto is the President and founder of Sentry Financial Planning, LLC, a FEE-ONLY financial planning firm. He does not work for any financial institution, sell financial or insurance products of any kind, accept or pay referral fees or receive commissions.

 

He specializes in advising people on financial planning matters including retirement and investments.

 

Because of his commitment to financial literacy, John is known throughout several MA counties for his educational seminars focusing on retirement and investment issues at libraries, organizations and industry conferences.

 

He is also a financial planning columnist/contributor for several hard-copy and online publications routinely covering all aspects of retirement and investment planning.

 

John is a State Registered Investment Advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. He is a member of The Garrett Planning Network and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), both of which are nationally recognized financial planning organizations dedicated to providing competent, objective and professional Fee-Only financial planning services. John has an MBA from Boston College and a BA from Boston University.

Helene Spoto,
Co-Owner,
Sentry Financial Planning

 

As Client Relations Manager and co-owner of Sentry Financial Planning, the most important part of Helene’s job is helping guide clients through the financial planning process.

 

The paperwork can be overwhelming and time-consuming and she is there to assist during each step of the process to help keep things simple and organized.

 

Whether she is scheduling appointments, answering questions, or collecting information, clients can rely on her to keep their affairs in order.

David Rowe,
President,
David M. Rowe Risk Advisory

 

David M. Rowe is founder and president of David M. Rowe Risk Advisory, a risk management consulting firm. The firm is focused on risk management support for boards and senior executives of financial institutions, primarily banks and investment banks, with particular emphasis on capital market activities. It also advises on risk management technology strategy and vendor relationships. Dr. Rowe wrote the Risk Analysis column in Risk magazine for 16 years. He also is the author of An Insider’s Guide to Risk Management – Relearning the Lessons of the Global Financial Crisis.

 

From August 2013 to August 2015, Dr. Rowe served as Senior Strategist for Risk and Regulation at Misys Financial Software. Prior to that, Dr. Rowe was Executive Vice President for Risk Management at SunGard. In both positions, he provided strategic input to solutions for risk management and served as an external spokesman on risk management issues.

Prior to joining SunGard, Dr. Rowe spent more than 25 years in the banking and economic forecasting industries, most recently as senior vice president of the Risk Management Information group at Bank of America in San Francisco. In that role, Dr. Rowe had executive oversight and responsibility for the design, deployment, maintenance and operation of market and credit risk systems for the bank’s global FX, derivative and securities trading activities.

 

Dr. Rowe’s earlier positions include chief financial officer of Security Pacific Securities, Inc. (the broker-dealer subsidiary of the former Security Pacific Corp.); executive vice president and director of research for Townsend-Greenspan & Co. (Alan Greenspan’s economic consulting firm prior to becoming Chairman of the Federal Reserve) and president of Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates in Philadelphia.

His industry positions have included:

  • Board member of the International Association of Financial Engineers (IAFE)
  • Board Member and member of the Finance Committee of the Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA)
  • Member of the editorial board of The Journal of Operational Risk
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the GARP Risk Review

Dr. Rowe holds a Ph.D. in econometrics and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA in finance with a concentration in money and banking from the Wharton Graduate School of Finance and Commerce, and a BA in economics with distinction from Carleton College.

Michael Erlanger,
Founder and Managing Principal,
Marketcore.com

 

Michael Erlanger, Founder and Managing Principal, of Marketcore.com, Inc (www.marketcore.com).  

 

Michael spent the first 35+ years of his career on Wall Street as a top-ranked corporate bond broker, trader, institutional salesman and department head. Subsequently, he co-founded two profitable Wall Street broker dealers.

 

Michael is also Chief Visionary, Co-Founder and Director of GoKnown, LLC, a technology start up (www.goknown.com).

Joseph Hosler CFA

Managing Principal,

Auour Investments

 

Joseph Hosler, CFA, brings 23 years of investment experience serving the needs of large institutional clients.

 

His background includes portfolio management and investment analysis, predominantly focused on domestic and international public companies. Prior to the founding of Auour Investments, Joe led investment activities within various sectors at Pioneer, Babson Capital, Putnam Investments, and Independence Investment Associates (IIA). While at IIA, Joe drove the effort to design, develop, and launch one of the first quantitatively driven tax efficient investment approaches focused on individuals and taxable organizations.

 

Joe holds an MBA from The Darden School of the University of Virginia, as well as, a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University. He is an active volunteer within his community and currently sits on the Boston Security Analysts Society’s Strategists/Economists Subcommittee.

 

Joe resides in Wenham, MA with his wife of 25 years, two children and three dogs (soon to be four).

 

Joe is also a member of the Transparency Task Force's Americas Special Interest Group and a Transparency Task Force Ambassador.

Erik Conley,

CEO,

Conley Investment Group, Inc.

 

Erik was a trader and portfolio manager from 1977 - 2001. Former head of equity trading at Northern Trust Co. in Chicago.

 

He is now a private investor, founder of a nonprofit investor advocacy firm, and private investing coach.

 

"It gives me great satisfaction to teach everyday investors (investors who don’t have millions of dollars at their disposal) the same skills and strategies that I used with my high net worth clients as a private wealth manager. It may be a cliché, but giving something back to the community is more rewarding to me than helping very rich people get even richer"

Aivars Lode,

Chairman,

IT Capital

 

Aivars is a global entrepreneur and Founder of IT Capital. Aivars is best known for his skills in identifying new business opportunities and re-engineering existing businesses to make them profitable. His ability to identify patterns in business cycles as they occur across the globe led him to start blogging in 2006 about global economics and he accurately predicted the 2008 financial crisis.  He is the author of three books on the future of global economics (available at aivarslode.blogspot.com). Aivars continues to identify best practices, people, processes and technology deployed elsewhere in the world and bring them to the USA.

 

In the early 2000s Aivars founded Avantce, a private equity firm, in order to invest in software companies. Aivars was instrumental in a number of investments including Robocom Systems International, Select, Radcliffe, ADT, Aviva Solutions and ROI. In addition to his own investments Aivars has been retained by private equity firms CVC Capital Partners, Golden Gate Capital, Bain Capital and Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe to advise on their acquisition strategies in Software.

 

Aivars successfully participated in creating the strategies for companies like IBM’s EDI business, Inovis, Infor and Mincom. Further, Aivars created a consortium to acquire the major airline cargo space for optimization, this resulted in private equity firms Welsh Carson and General Atlantic investing in 3rd party logistics providers.   

 

Prior to founding Avantcé, Aivars was Group President of Descartes Systems Group, a publicly traded supply chain solutions company, based in Canada.  As Group President, Aivars led the company's global expansion efforts, achieving profitable growth as well as completing the successful acquisition and consolidation of two EDI businesses, TDNI and TranSettlements.

 

Prior to joining Descartes, Aivars was with Oracle heading up Applications Software for Australasia. He led the organization’s change from a direct aggressive customer relationship model to that of a consultative business partner.

Aivars first entered the technology industry in 1991, when he joined Dun & Bradstreet Software.  Prior to that he held various management positions, including COO, CFO and CIO roles in both public and private corporations.

 

Throughout his career Aivars has lived in Australia, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and has conducted business in most of the industrialized countries in the world.  Aivars holds a Bachelors of Business, Accounting from Swinburne University in Melbourne Australia.  Aivars is a past member of the Board of Directors at First Bank and Trust of Illinois.

Aaron Bernstein,

Editor,

Global Proxywatch &

Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Law School Pensions Project

 

Aaron Bernstein is the editor of Global Proxy Watch, a corporate governance newsletter for institutional investors.

 

He is also a non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project at Harvard Law School. Bernstein left BusinessWeek magazine in 2006 after a 23-year career as an editor and senior writer covering workplace and social issues.

 

Aaron received a BA in Politics and Economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and did graduate work in Political and Legal Theory for two years at Oxford University. He is the author of a book entitled “Grounded: Frank Lorenzo and the Destruction of Eastern Airlines,” and the co-author of “In the Company of Owners: The Truth About Stock Options.” 

Thom Young,

President,

FARcapital

 

Thom Young, MBA, President, FARcapital, LLC – Mr. Young primarily responsible for strategic direction of FARcapital. Mr. Young’s emphasis is on sales and marketing to the largest US hedge fund management companies and their global institutional asset owner investor base. 

 

Prior to joining the Company, he co-founded and managed Cambium Capital Management, a conservative Jones model US equity long/short hedge fund working for large institutional investors.  Before Cambium, Mr. Young worked as a Managing Director of Deutsche Bank in New York serving in several roles to include as a Global Relationship Manager and as Co- Head of Global Institutional equity sales.  In 1997 Mr. Young opened and managed Deutsche Bank’s institutional office in Atlanta, Georgia.  From 1983-1996 Mr. Young worked at The First Boston Corporation in New York and Atlanta. While in Atlanta, he covered the Southeast’s largest public pension plans, major endowments, and foundations. 

 

Mr. Young has served on the Boards of the Mint Museums of Charlotte. Mr. Young is past treasurer of the Echo Foundation and past President of the Ne Ultra Society of Davidson College. Mr. Young earned his MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School ’83 and his undergraduate degree from Davidson College’ 78.

 

FARcapital provides design, implementation and administration of Fund Alignment Rights (FARs), an innovative incentive fee structure struck between global institutional Asset Owners and the US hedge fund Managers they employ. 

 

Fund Alignment Rights (FARs) allow Asset Owners to secure multi year incentive fees, assuring the inherent outperformance over an annual incentive fee fund, without having to provide tax distributions to the US manager each year. 

 

The US hedge fund Managers that offer a FAR share class will leave their annual incentive fee invested in the fund on a pre tax basis, rather than redeemed at year end and taxed as it is today. That invested fee is aligned with their investors’ capital, and compounds tax deferred until an agreed upon period, or longer if the Manager chooses. FARs accumulate greater wealth for the Manager than had the Manager paid taxes each year. 

 

FARs are a transformative idea, the rare fee solution that provides a Win Win for both Asset Owner and US Manager. 

Rohanna Wise,

Founder & CEO,

Wise Trading Technologies

 

Rohanna Wise is the founder and CEO of Wise Trading Technologies, and the creator of WiseRisk, a software platform that automates the implementation of currency hedging strategies. She has worked in buy-side trading and/or trading technology since 1996, starting with energy commodities before moving to fixed income (including currency), and focusing exclusively on currency from 2012.

 

In 2015, Rohanna launched Wise Trading Technologies to offer a low-cost solution for asset managers to systematically eliminate unwanted currency risk.

 

She is the author of Hedging Wisely: A Non-expert’s Guide to Expertly Hedging Currency Risk.

 

Rohanna holds a BA from the University of Rochester and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Sander Eijkenduijn,

COO,

SCORPEO US LLC

 

Sander is co-founder and COO of SCORPEO and currently runs their Boston office. SCORPEO is a data analytics and technology solutions company focused on missed value in voluntary corporate actions. SCORPEO provides solutions to asset managers, pension funds and custodians allowing them to capture this missed value and return it to their investors. Sander has done extensive work on the fiduciary responsibility of asset managers and pension funds to maximize their returns on corporate actions. Sander currently works with numerous US State pension funds identifying the value lost by their asset managers.

 

Before founding SCORPEO, Sander was responsible for Delta One Structuring at Nomura in London, having joined from Barclays Capital where he was Vice President. Sander began his career at PWC in Amsterdam. After seven years he moved to PWC in London as a senior manager in their financial services group. As an international tax and legal structuring expert, Sander’s clients mainly consisted of cross-border hedge funds and private equity funds. He also headed the Financing Sustainability initiative for FS Tax advising on investments in clean energy assets.

 

Sander holds a master’s degree in Dutch Tax Law from the University of Amsterdam, and a post-doctoral in European Tax Law from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He has published various articles in Dutch law reviews and has been quoted by numerous Dutch tax courts. From 2004 to 2007 Sander was a part-time university lecturer on international tax law and tax treaty interpretation, first at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and later at Leiden University. Sander is an FCA Approved Person in the UK.

Press Release - Sander and Jonny becoming Ambassadors
Sander Eijkenduijn and Jonny Ruck appoin[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [107.4 KB]

Jonny Ruck

CEO,

SCORPEO US LLC

Jonny Ruck is co-founder and board member of the SCORPEO Group and CEO of SCORPEO US LLC.

 

Jonny has 15 years’ experience in all facets of corporate actions trading before founding SCORPEO.

 

He was the head of corporate event arbitrage for Nomura and his previous roles include corporate event trading at Paloma Partners and Lehman Brothers.

 

Jonny holds an LLB and LPC in Law from the University of East Anglia. Jonny is an FCA Approved Person.

Press Release - Sander and Jonny becoming Ambassadors
Sander Eijkenduijn and Jonny Ruck appoin[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [107.4 KB]

Stefan Pagacik

Co-Founder,

AI4Impact

 

Stefan Pagacik’s career has spanned several industries and roles, most recently as co-founder of AI4Impact, an artificial intelligence platform focused on building next generation impact financial products. Previously, he built two impact themed cloud and mobile platforms (8 of 9 LLC and my4) for retail and institutional investors interested in aligning their values and criteria with their portfolios. His prior entrepreneurial experience involved starting a marine science accelerator in Southeastern Massachusetts (the Regional Technology Development Center of Cape Cod) that commercialized scientific developments in partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the Marine Biological Laboratory.

 

Transitioning from managing the investment committee of an angel fund (Bay Angels), he focused on building a model for an energy transition solution from fossil fuels to biofuels for the government of Chile. He also designed a social enterprise plan for the city of Detroit aligning entrepreneurs and city agencies to stimulate business opportunities for blighted areas of the city.

 

His technology background includes retail sales consulting for Apple Computers in the Northeast and building a channel strategy for an emerging leading-edge motion graphics software company (The Company of Science and Art) that was later acquired by Adobe. He opened the Boston office of IT consulting firm Eclipse Information Systems that was later acquired by Century Services of Washington, D.C.

 

Stefan has a B.A. in English from Harvard College and an MBA from Suffolk University. 

William Jannace

Senior Counsel,

Ross PLLC

 

William Jannace has worked nearly 30 years in the securities industry at the American and New York Stock Exchanges and FINRA. As a senior counsel at Ross PLLC, he advises clients across a range of applications and compliance needs. Currently he is also focused on blockchain industry related broker-dealer and ATS advice, FinHub referrals, and related matters.

 

He is also an adjunct professor/lecturer at Fordham School of Law, Wharton Business School, Georgetown Global Education Institute, the Global Financial Markets Institute, Baruch University, The TABB Group, and the Financial Markets World, where he teaches courses covering: 

 

  • Capital Markets/IPOs/Exempt Offerings/ADRs
  • Securities/SRO/Mutual Fund/Investment Adviser/Broker-Dealer Regulation
  • Broker-Dealer Operations/Net Capital/Customer Protection/Prime Brokerage/Short Selling/Clearance and Settlement.
  • Corporate Governance/Proxy/Activism/Corporate Social Responsibility/Environmental, Social, Governance/Impact Investing/Climate Change/, State Capitalism/Family Firms/ Sovereign Wealth Funds/Geopolitics/Geoeconomics.

 

He has also taught courses at The U.S. Army War College, New York Law School, Wharton Business School, Drexel University, New York University, Pace University, Securities Training Corporation, New York Institute of Finance, New York Society of Security Analysts, and the Securities Industry Institute/Wharton Business School on the above topics.

 

He was an account executive at Georgeson and D.F. King serving as liaison for corporations/institutional shareholders regarding corporate governance issues; assisted on proxy fights/tender offers for corporate raiders/listed companies; liaison with trading floor and arbitrageurs to provide market color to listed companies; monitored trading versus 13F filings to determine changes in shareholder ownership. He was also Series 7/63 licensed at Drexel Burnham/Paine Webber and was also a consultant for The World Bank.

 

International Experience

 

Mr. Jannace also conducted overseas training programs for the: Russian Securities Commission/Stock Exchange; The Capital Markets Authorities in : Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Kenya; Saudi Arabian Capital Markets Authority; Securities and Exchange Board of India; Ukrainian Securities Commission/Stock Market; Romanian Securities Commission; Jordanian Securities Commission; Capital Markets Authority of Turkey; Albanian Financial Supervisory Authority; New York Institute of Finance- Beijing/China, the Taiwan Stock Exchange and for IOSCO in Spain.

 

Primary Practice Areas

 

In managing FINRA’s Sales Practice Policy department William Jannace and his staff responded to interpretive, policy and disposition requests, covering capital markets, research, books and records, supervision, outsourcing, bank sweeps, outside business activities/private securities transactions and conflicts of interest. Mr. Jannace also worked in the Enforcement Department where he investigated violations of federal securities laws/SRO rules, conducted OTRs, drafted reports of investigation/statement of charges/settlements and conducted contested/settlement proceeding.

 

As a regulator, Mr. Jannace interfaced with the SEC, NASD, state regulators/trade associations (SIFMA) in shepherding proposals for approval; and helped draft reports on research analyst conflicts; secondary trading of private companies; transparency enhancements to the securities lending marketplace; and on mutual regulatory recognition. He participated in the Compliance Advisory Group, OSRC, and IOSCO initiatives. He also worked with OFAC and the SEC to help firms identify potential money laundering issues and to restrict terrorist financing post 9/11.  He led a FINRA initiative to rewrite its membership rules. Rule proposals/guidance included:

 

  • SRO Rule Harmonization/Business Continuity/Contingency Planning
  • CEO Certification/Internal Controls/Supervision/
  • Review/Supervision of Electronic Communications
  • AML/Patriot Act/OFAC/SDNs
  • IPO Allocations/Research Analyst Conflicts/Qualification Examination
  • Portfolio Margin/Capital

 

He also worked at TD Securities and Smith Barney Shearson, providing legal advice on/reviewed or responsible for:

 

  • Regulation D/S offerings/144A/144 resales/10b-18 share buybacks
  • Offering Memorandums/Underwriting and Prime Brokerage Agreements
  • Research reports and trading approvals for new issues/secondary offerings
  • Ensured trade reporting/Control Room/employee/firm trading compliance

 

Dispute Resolution Experience and Training

 

William Jannace is a CIArb Fellow, a FINRA Non-Public arbitrator, a member of the New York International Arbitration Center, a judge for the FINRA Annual Securities Dispute Resolution Triathlon, and arbitrator for the Willem C. Vis Moot Court at Fordham Law School. He also attended Mediation Training at the NYCBA and received a Certificate in International Commercial Arbitration from Columbia Law School/Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  He is also a research affiliate with the Fletcher Network for Sovereign Wealth and Global Capital. Mr. Jannace received his JD from New York Law School in 1992, his LL.M. in Corporate, Banking, and Finance Law from Fordham Law School in 1996, is a member of the State Bars of New York and Connecticut; received a Certificate in Global Affairs at New York University and Environmental, Social and Governance investment training from the International Corporate Governance Network.

 

International Experience

 

Mr. Jannace also conducted overseas training programs for the: Russian Securities Commission/Stock Exchange; The Capital Markets Authorities in: Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Kenya; Saudi Arabian Capital Markets Authority; Securities and Exchange Board of India; Ukrainian Securities Commission/Stock Market; Romanian Securities Commission; Jordanian Securities Commission; Capital Markets Authority of Turkey; Albanian Financial Supervisory Authority; New York Institute of Finance- Beijing/China, the Taiwan Stock Exchange and for IOSCO in Spain.

 

Publications, Speaking Engagements and/or Professional and Civic Associations

 

He has also volunteered for the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, UNICEF and served as a judge for the SIFMA Foundation InvestWrite Competition. Mr. Jannace is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee and the NGO Committee To Stop Trafficking in Persons. He is also active in raising funds and awareness for humanitarian assistance and an active supporter of education through the establishment of the Anthony E. Jannace scholarship at New York Law School and the Susan M. Jannace scholarship at Fordham University. 

 

He has contributed to the following publications:

 

“Bretton Woods 4.0 Finding New Relevance in a New World Order,” By Dr. Paul Tiffany and William Jannace, Bretton Woods@75 Blog and Compendium, February 2019.

 

“Cautionary Notes for Supply Chain Managers and Others Involved in Global Sourcing & Partnerships (Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery Conditions Raise Reputational Risks),” Governance & Accountability Institute, January 2018).

         

“Sustainability Disclosures in the EU,” Insights, The Corporate and Securities Law Advisor, Volume 31, Number 8, August 2017.

 

“Sustainability Disclosures in the EU: Implementation of the 2014 EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive,” ABA, Spring 2017.

 

“Accounting for Trade: President Trump and the Geopolitical Balance Sheet,” NYU-Global Affairs   Perspectives on Global Issues, Spring 2017.

 

“NASD/NYSE Rule Harmonization: What Do the Changes Mean in Practice, “The Journal of Securities Compliance, Volume One, October 2007.

 

His speaking engagements include: Securities Regulation/Corporate Governance/Capital Markets, Impact Investing/ESG, and Broker-Dealer Operations/Market Structure/Clearance and Settlement for:

 

  • Skytop ESG Investing Conference
  • Skytop Impact Investing Conference
  • Skytop Strategies-Compliance Conference
  • UNICEF-Human Trafficking Podcast
  • Skytop Strategies-Impact Investment Conference
  • Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission
  • China Construction Bank
  • Iraq Stock Exchange
  • Securities and Exchange Bureau of India
  • Tokyo Stock Exchange
  • Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance
  • Kenyan Capital Markets Authority
  • El Salvador Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Ghana Stock Exchange
  • Mexican Banking and Securities Commission
  • Sarajevo Stock Exchange/Securities Commission
  • Saudi Arabian Capital Markets Authority
  • Central Bank of Kosovo
  • Malaysian Securities Commission
  • SEC Annual Institute for Securities Market
  • US State Department Foreign Delegation
  • Hong Kong Securities Commission
  • Philippine Dealing System Holdings
  • Treasury Department of Argentina
  • Ontario Securities Commission
  • Securities Operations Forum
  • ALI-ABA Compliance and Enforcement Conference
  • SIFMA lAD and Fixed-Income Conferences
  • FINRA Spring Conference
  • NYSE Regulatory Conferences
  • SIFMA Equity Capital Markets and Research Management Conferences
  • BD Week Annual Compliance Conference
  • SIFMA Annual Legal and Compliance Conferences
  • NASD Institute for Professional Development
  • ABA Conference.

Bar Admissions: Member of the New York and Connecticut Bars

Jim Hofheimer

Partner and Head of Wealth Practice,

Toroso Investments 

 

Jim is the director of the wealth advisory practice for Toroso Advisors, a division of Toroso Investments, LLC. Toroso is an ETF research and investment management company, developing and launching ETFs in addition to managing client wealth, both corporate retirement plans and families. 

 

He is focused on advising corporations and people on all financial planning matters and has spoken to industry groups on the need for transparency in Retirement Plans.

 

Before joining Toroso, he was with Rothschild as Vice President, Senior Institutional Consultant and Corporate Retirement Consultant. Previously, he was at Salomon Brothers and Morgan Stanley covering large institutional portfolios.

 

Jim has an MBA degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, is a graduate of the Certified Investment Management Analyst program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) program at the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Certified Retirement Planning Specialist.

 

Jim is also a past member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Board of Trade, Home Federal Bank, Highland Park Hospital, Blythedale Children’s Hospital, the Executive Board of The Forward Association, and a current chairperson of FINRA Dispute Resolution.

Gary Kleiman

Senior Partner,

Kleiman International Consultants, Inc. 

 

Gary N. Kleiman is a pioneer and recognized expert in the field of global emerging economies and financial markets. He founded the first consulting firm dedicated to providing independent analysis and advice to public and private sector clients in 1987, and research coverage and firsthand experience reached seventy-five countries in all developing regions. For three decades the company provided written reports and verbal briefings to banks, fund managers, institutional investors, and corporations to guide portfolio allocation and risk management. The firm also offered technical assistance and training to government and international lending agencies on financial sector and capital markets strategy and development. Mr. Kleiman was simultaneously responsible for content delivery, business outreach, and thought leadership, and his multifaceted entrepreneurial and substantive skills can apply to complex board assignments.

 

He was chosen as the overall financial sector strategist for the IMF-World Bank’s original First Initiative strengthening program, and was involved in private sector industry group formation such as the Emerging Markets Traders Association.  In Washington he advised government bodies on global economic and financial vulnerability issues for twenty years, and has been an expert witness in international sovereign debt cases. He has spoken at dozens of professional conferences and events worldwide, and is often cited and featured in the media. He has been a regular writer and commentator throughout his career, launched a website blog in 2008, and contributes to international outlets including Asia Times, BNE Intellinews and Financial Times.

 

Mr. Kleiman was an adjunct professor and developed an emerging market finance course for the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, where he graduated magna cum laude, and has been a longtime student mentor. He also completed advanced studies at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris) and the London School of Economics, and worked in Asia and the Middle East prior to starting his firm in New York before relocation to Washington. He is a senior member of non-profit advocacy groups like the Bretton Woods Committee, where he led specific poor country and refugee support efforts, and served on project task forces for the Council on Foreign Relations and World Economic Forum.  Mr. Kleiman is conversant in several languages, and has been an active political campaign volunteer and policy adviser, and competitive runner with age group placement.  He is listed in “Who’s Who in America” and has been married to Elizabeth Morrissey, who co-founded Kleiman International Consultants, for twenty-five years and has a teenage son Dylan.

 

Website: www.kleimaninternational.com

Prof. David Webber,

Professor of Law,

Boston University School of Law

 

David H. Webber is the author of The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder: Labor’s Last Best Weapon, published by Harvard University Press in April 2018. Webber has toured extensively for the book, and has published op-eds about it in theNew York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles TimesIn These Times, and elsewhere. The book has been reviewed or otherwise covered in the New York Review of Bookstwice by the Financial TimesPublisher’s WeeklyBloomberg RadioCSPAN’s BookTVForbesNightly Business ReportNPR’s Marketplacethe Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, the Harvard OnLabor blogCornell University’s ILR ReviewRorotokode VolkskrantCalcalistthe Majority Report with Sam Seder,the David Pakman ShowKnowledge@Wharton Business RadioSplinter NewsDissent, Agence France-Presse, Reuters, and others.

 

Webber co-edited a second book, Research Handbook on Representative Shareholder Litigation (Elgar), published in November 2018. He has published scholarly articles including “The Use and Abuse of Labor’s Capital” in the New York University Law Reviewand “The Plight of the Individual Investor in Securities Class Actions” in the Northwestern University Law Review, with additional work forthcoming in the Vanderbilt Law Review and elsewhere. Webber has presented his research at the Harvard Stanford Yale Junior Faculty Forum, the Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, and the American Law and Economics Association conference, among others.

 

Webber is the winner of Boston University School of Law’s 2017 Michael Melton Award for Teaching Excellence. He also co-teaches the Pensions and Capital Stewardship course for the Harvard Trade Union program at Harvard Law School. He is a graduate of Columbia and NYU Law School, where he was an editor for the law review.

Dr Ashby Monk,

Executive and Research Director, Standard Global Projects,

Senior Research Associate, University of Oxford,

Senior Advisor to the CIO,

University of California,  Co-Founder, Long Game

 

Dr. Ashby Monk is the Executive and Research Director of the Stanford Global Projects Center. He is also a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford and a Senior Advisor to the Chief Investment Officer of the University of California.

 

Dr. Monk has a strong track record of academic and industry publications. He was named by aiCIO magazine as one of the most influential academics in the institutional investing world. His research and writing has been featured in The Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Institutional Investor, Reuters, Forbes, and on National Public Radio among a variety of other media.

 

His current research focus is on the design and governance of institutional investors, with particular specialization on pension and sovereign wealth funds.

 

He received his Doctorate in Economic Geography at Oxford University and holds a Master's in International Economics from the Universite de Paris I - Pantheon Sorbonne and a Bachelor's in Economics from Princeton University.

Daniel Solin,

President and Founder,

Solin Strategic

 

Dan Solin is the New York Times bestselling author of the Smartest series of investing books.  Dan’s books have been enthusiastically endorsed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Vanguard founder John Bogle. Kiplinger’s listed The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read on its top ten list of the financial books every investor should read. He also writes a popular newsletter for investors, another newsletter for investment advisors and has a YouTube channel for investors.  Dan blogs weekly for Advisor Perspectives.

 

A former securities attorney, Dan graduated from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Dan is the President and founder of Solin Strategic, LLC, which coaches investment advisors all over the world. 

 

He is also the President and founder of Evidence Based Advisor Marketing, which provides marketing and web design services to advisors.

Nell Minow,

Vice Chair,

ValueEgde Advisors

 

Nell Minow has worked in the field of corporate governance and shareholder advocacy for more than 30 years, currently as Vice Chair of ValueEdge Advisors, and previously as co-founder and board member of GMI Ratings (formerly The Corporate Library), which was sold to MSCI in 2014. 

 

Before GMI, she was a principal in the governance investment firm LENS (where Business Week online called her “the queen of good corporate governance” and Fortune called her “a CEO killer”) and general counsel and president of Institutional Shareholder Services. 

 

She is co-author with Robert A.G. Monks of three books, including five editions of the leading textbook on corporate governance, and she taught MBA students at George Mason University for five years.  In 2008, she received the highest award in the field from the International Corporate Governance Network and in 2013 she received a lifetime achievement award from Corporate Secretary Magazine.

 

Her past service on non-profit boards includes the advisory council and board of WETA, Washington DC’s public television and radio stations, and as a board member of Reading Is Fundamental, a national literacy organization and the Center on Media and Public Affairs/STATS, the leading organization monitoring the media’s political coverage and assisting journalism organizations with statistical reporting. 

 

She was a columnist for the Huffington Post and wrote the Risky Business column for BNet (owned by CBS) and continues to write for a number of outlets on business and culture. 

 

Ms. Minow is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Chicago Law School. 

Herbert Blank,

Senior Consultant,

Global Finesse LLC

 

Herb Blank is a Senior Consultant for Global Finesse LLC, heading the product strategy practice.  He provides ESG, ETF, enhanced indexing and alternative data expertise. 

 

During the past 35 years Herb has been involved in quantitative risk management, ESG modeling, ETF product development, portfolio management, product strategy, and business development. He served as Portfolio Manager for the Deutsche Bank CountryBaskets, the first ETFs launched on the NYSE, and assisted in planning the launches of iShares, GLD, and CountryBaskets. 

 

Herb is a frequently published author and a well-recognized name from his 22 years helping to guide QWAFAFEW, a global society of investment quants.  He holds an MBA from NYU Stern and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Ivka Kalus,

Chief Investment Officer & Managing Partner,

Promethos Capital

 

Ivka is an accomplished investor with over 20 years experience managing global and international equity portfolios for retail and institutional clients. She has experience launching new investment strategies, both active and indexed, and has significant expertise in sustainable investing (ESG and SRI) and gender-lens investing.

 

Before co-founding Promethos, Ivka was lead portfolio manager of International Strategies at Boston Advisors. Prior to joining Boston Advisors in 2015, Ivka was a senior portfolio manager at Pax World Management, where she managed the Pax World International Fund and the Pax World Global Women's Equality Fund. Before Pax World, she managed international and global portfolios at State Street Global Advisors and Baring Asset Management, and was a global equity analyst at Independence Investments and at Putnam Investments.

 

Early in her career, Ivka worked as a management consultant to large corporations in the U.S., Europe and Latin America, including three years in Prague working on projects to privatize state-owned Czech companies.

 

Ivka's global investment expertise is enhanced by her experience living and working around the world and her ability to communicate effectively in English, French, German, Spanish and Czech. She earned a B.A. degree in biology from Harvard University, a Master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and an M.B.A from INSEAD. Ivka currently serves on the boards of the Boston Economics Club, United Planet, and American Boronite Corporation.

The Great Divide

You can read the speech by  Andrew G. Haldane, FAcSS (the Bank of England's Chief Economist and Executive Director of Monetary Analysis and Statistics) that he gave on 18th May 2016 at the New City Agenda Annual dinner.

 

The speech is entitled The Great Divide and it is a first class explanation of why the trust deficit really matters and why it makes sense to try to do something about it.

 

Please click on the green button to access it; if you're not convinced of its relevance to our initiative, here's part of it:

 

..."The most important and compelling message the Bank received at the Open Forum came in the first session. The Bank had conducted some polling of perceptions of the financial sector – for example, by asking people what one word best described the future of financial markets. Among the Bank’s usual contacts, including those in the financial sector, the most used word was “regulated”. Many of us will have heard that message from financial insiders concerned about the perils of over-zealous regulators.

 

For me, the more revealing responses came from the general public, from the customers, rather than the producers, of financial services. The word most used by them when describing financial markets was a rather different one: it was “corrupt”. Not far behind were words like “manipulated”, “self-serving”, “destructive” and “greedy”. I am sure many of you have heard those messages too. They are certainly ones I have encountered frequently on my visits around the country."...

 

Please click the green button  below to access the full speech. If you need to read another piece first, here it is:

 

..."At least until recently many economists like me, when faced with this evidence, might have shrugged our shoulders. Social capital had no real role in our models of economic growth, unlike physical capital and human capital. Trust did not butter our parsnips and nor did it enter our production functions.

 

Recently, however, that orthodoxy has changed and the importance of trust has become clearer.

 

Evidence has emerged, both micro and macro, to suggest trust may play a crucial role in value creation. At the micro level, there is now ample evidence the degree of trust or social capital within a company contributes positively to its value creation capacity. 

 

At the macro level, there is now a strong body of evidence, looking across a large range of countries and over long periods of time, that high levels of trust and co-operation are associated with higher economic growth.

 

Put differently, a lack of trust jeopardises one of finance’s key societal functions – higher growth.

 

Those social capital effects appear to be particularly potent when it comes to financial decisions. Evidence suggests that a lack of trust leads people to retreat from the stock market and banks and to move towards cash holdings and informal sources of credit, such as payday lenders and loan sharks. That jeopardises the second key benefit of finance to society – improved risk-sharing by households and companies.

 

So a lack of trust in finance potentially hobbles both economic growth and financial stability.

 

That lack of trust is the mirror-image of the perception gap between the financial sector and wider society, the Great Divide.

 

The Great Divide matters because it signals a pronounced and protracted erosion of social capital. It puts finance on notice for losing its social licence. And, unaddressed, that jeopardises future wealth and well-being."...

 

Please click on the green button to access the full speech. If you're not yet convinced you should, here's a final snippet:

 

..." As a survey in 2013 of financial professionals found, rather remarkably, that over half believed their competitors engaged in illegal or unethical behaviour.  A smaller, but still high, fraction of 24% believed their own company engaged in such practices. Similar percentages believed their industry did not fulfil its fiduciary function of putting clients’ interests first.

The significance of these findings is not the precise percentages, as striking as these are.

 

More fundamentally, it is because of what they reveal about finance’s perception of itself, the mirror it holds to the social identity of finance."...

 

Click onto the button below to access the full speech; you'll be glad you did, it's profoundly thought-provoking for anybody interested in the future of the financial services industry:

If you are not already on the right page and want to read about our major international project to help rebuild trustworthiness and confidence in financial services, click on the orange button below:

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