- September 21, 2021
Bryan N. Corbett, President and Chief Executive Officer, Managed Funds Association
Bryan Corbett is MFA’s President and CEO. He is a veteran of Washington and Wall Street. For the past 12 years, he was a senior executive at The Carlyle Group, most recently as Managing Director in the Corporate Private Equity segment and Head of the firm’s OneCarlyle Global Investment Resources Group. In this role, Mr. Corbett and his team provided strategic and operational support to investment teams and portfolio companies across segments.
For the first half of his Carlyle tenure, Mr. Corbett managed U.S. government and regulatory issues affecting Carlyle, its investments and the industry. In this role, he developed legislative and regulatory strategies relating to all of Carlyle’s business segments, including private equity, credit and real estate. In addition to serving on the boards of several Carlyle portfolio companies, Mr. Corbett started the firm’s global corporate citizenship program focused on responsible investing, published Carlyle’s inaugural corporate citizenship report, and started the firm’s initiative to recruit and place diverse individuals on portfolio company boards in the U.S.
Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Corbett served in the George W. Bush Administration as a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and as the Senior Advisor to Deputy Secretary Robert Kimmitt at the Treasury Department. He also served as Majority Counsel on the Senate Banking Committee.
Mr. Corbett earned his JD from George Washington University Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the George Washington Law Review, and earned his BA from University of Notre Dame.
D. Brooke Harlow, Chief Commercial Officer, Managed Funds Association
D. Brooke Harlow is the Managed Funds Association’s Chief Commercial Officer. Brooke is responsible for strategy and execution of the Association’s education and business development initiatives as well as the Association’s relationships with the institutional investor and fund manager communities. Brooke works directly with MFA’s President & CEO on the Association’s public affairs and investor relations priorities and also leads the Association’s global Conferences and Events team. Previously she headed MFA’s Communications team and ran Membership Development for the Association. Brooke also serves as Executive Director of the Center For Alternative Investment Education, a private foundation dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and understanding of alternative investments and the alternative investment industry.
Brooke joined MFA from Highbridge Capital Management where she served as Managing Director of Communications and Public Affairs. In that capacity, Brooke was responsible for the corporate communications, marketing, branding, events and public affairs operations at the firm and served as its spokesperson.
Prior to joining Highbridge, Brooke was a Vice President of Investment Bank Marketing and Communications at J.P.Morgan where she managed media relations for the global credit, emerging markets and private equity businesses at the bank, served as head of marketing and communications for Latin America and as a member of the Latin American Investment Bank management committee; managed crisis communications for the investment bank; and worked closely with members of the bank’s Operating Committee.
Brooke also was a senior associate at Burson-Marsteller in Washington, D.C., and also worked at CNN serving as a field producer in the Washington, D.C. and Mexico City bureaus.
Brooke graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in American Studies and was selected as a Rotary Scholar and studied at El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico as part of their Masters in International Relations program.
Ms. Harlow is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Board Member of Surgeons OverSeas and the Women’s Board of the Boys Club of New York. She is also an advisor to the Center for Public Leadership the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
The Asset Managers’ Perspective on Accessing the Digital Assets Markets and Infrastructure
Raoul Pal, Co-Founder / Chief Executive Officer, Real Vision
Former hedge fund manager who retired at 36, Raoul Pal is a co-founder of Real Vision, a financial media company offering in-depth video interviews and research publications from the world’s best investors. He has run a successful global macro hedge fund, co-managed Goldman Sachs’ hedge fund sales business in Equities and Equity Derivatives in Europe, and helped design the BBC TV program Million Dollar Traders, training participants in investment and risk management strategy. Raoul retired from managing client money and now lives in the Cayman Islands, from where he manages Real Vision and writes for The Global Macro Investor, a highly regarded original research service for hedge funds, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, and other elite investors.
Ryan Taylor, Group Head of Compliance and Co-Chief Operating Officer, Brevan Howard
Ryan is Co-COO & Group Head of Compliance for Brevan Howard. Prior to joining Brevan Howard in September 2011, Ryan was a Director at Barclays Capital (2002 – 2011) during this period he provided compliance oversight for a number of different product areas in a number of different jurisdictions. Prior to Barclays Capital, for the period 1997-2002, Ryan was an Associate at the Bank of England having joined the Bank on the graduate program; his role later moved to the FSA when banking supervision was transferred to that organisation.
Mark W. Yusko, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Morgan Creek; Managing Partner, Morgan Creek Digital Assets
Mark Yusko is the Founder, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Morgan Creek Capital Management. He is also the Managing Partner of Morgan Creek Digital Assets. Morgan Creek Capital Management was founded in 2004 and currently manages close to $2 billion in discretionary and non‐discretionary assets. Prior to founding Morgan Creek, Mr. Yusko was CIO and Founder of UNC Management Company (UNCMC), the Endowment investment office for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before that, he was Senior Investment Director for the University of Notre Dame Investment Office.
Mr. Yusko has been at the forefront of institutional investing throughout his career. An early investor in alternative asset classes at Notre Dame, he brought the Endowment Model of investing to UNC, which contributed to significant performance gains for the Endowment. The Endowment Model is the cornerstone philosophy of Morgan Creek, as is the mandate to Invest in Innovation. Mr. Yusko is again at the forefront of investing through Morgan Creek Digital Assets, which was formed in 2018. Morgan Creek Digital is an early stage investor in blockchain technology, digital currency and digital assets through the firm’s Venture Capital and Digital Asset Index Fund.
Mr. Yusko received a BA with Honors from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA in Accounting and Finance from the University of Chicago.
Mathew McDermott, Global Head of Digital Assets, Goldman Sachs
Mathew is global head of Digital Assets. He serves as a member of the Goldman Sachs International Asset and Liability Committee and the Goldman Sachs International Bank Management Committee. Previously, Mathew was global head of Cross Asset Financing. He joined the firm as a vice president in 2005 in the European Special Situations Group in London and was named managing director in 2010. Prior to joining the firm, Mathew worked at Morgan Stanley in the Securitized Products Group, focusing on structuring, financing and risk management. Mathew is a board member of the International Securities Lending Association. Mathew earned a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance at Nottingham. He has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants since 1999.
DeFi: The Great Decentralization and What It Means for the Future of Finance
Kristin Boggiano, Co-Founder & President, CrossTower
Kristin is a digital asset expert who brings over 20 years of experience in capital markets on the buy- side and sell-side. Prior to founding CrossTower Kristin was the Chief Legal Officer of a digital asset technology company, MD of an algorithmic trading platform at Guggenheim, and Special Counsel at Schulte Roth & Zabel, where she founded the Structured Products and Derivatives division. Kristin started her career at the SEC and CFTC. She also founded the Digital Asset Regulatory Legal Alliance (DARLA) and Woman in Derivatives (WIND). Kristin earned her JD and MBA from Northeastern University.
Olaf Carlson-Wee, Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Polychain Capital
Olaf Carlson-Wee is the founder and CIO of Polychain Capital, a premier cryptocurrency financial firm working with entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses to accelerate the global adoption of cryptocurrency. Olaf is the former Head of Risk at Coinbase, the largest digital asset exchange in the United States, where he was hired as the first employee. He received a civilian award from Homeland Security for technical analysis of the blockchain in a $10,000,000 cyber crime case, educated the economic advisor to President Obama on blockchain technology, and has given numerous public facing technical talks on private key security and fraud prevention at scale. He received a BA from Vassar College after completing his thesis on distributed networking and financial cryptography.
Robert Leshner, Founder, Compound Labs
Robert is the founder of Compound, a decentralized interest rate protocol that manages over $10b of assets, and an investor at Robot Ventures, which backs early-stage DeFi founders.
Joe Marenda, Partner, Cambridge Associates
Joe joined Cambridge Associates in 2006 and brings 24 years of investment and alternatives investment experience to his clients.
Joe is a Partner, specializing in building alternative asset and crypto-blockchain allocations. He began working with clients in crypto-blockchain in 2017.
Joe leads the firm’s manager research in crypto-blockchain and contributes to firm research on alternative assets more broadly.
He also serves as the Head of the firm’s San Francisco and Menlo Park offices.
MBA, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
MA, Yale University
BA, University of Southern California
Michael Novogratz, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Galaxy Digital
Mike Novogratz is the Founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital. Galaxy Digital is a diversified financial services and investment management innovator in the crypto sector. With 5 synergistic business lines: Asset Management, Trading, Principal Investments, Investment Banking, and Mining. Galaxy is currently public in Canada with plans to list in the U.S. EOY. Galaxy Digital is building the preeminent global one-stop-shop for institutions seeking access to the emergent crypto economy.
Mike Novogratz was formerly a Partner and President of Fortress Investment Group LLC. Prior to Fortress, Mr. Novogratz spent 11 years at Goldman Sachs, where he was elected Partner in 1998. Mr. Novogratz served on the New York Federal Reserve’s Investment Advisory Committee on Financial Markets from 2012 – 2015. Mr. Novogratz serves as the Chairman of The Bail Project and has made criminal justice reform a focus of his family’s foundation. He also serves as the Chairman of Hudson River Park Friends, and sits on the boards of NYU Langone Medical Center, the Princeton Varsity Club, Jazz Foundation of America, and Artists for Peace and Justice. Mr. Novogratz received an AB in Economics from Princeton University and served as a helicopter pilot in the US Army.
Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. is one of the few cryptocurrency companies required to publish financial results.
Gary DeWaal, Special Counsel and Chair, Financial Markets and Regulation, Katten
Gary DeWaal brings substantial experience from both industry and government to his practice counseling clients on exchange-traded derivatives and cryptoassets. He advises a worldwide client base on transactional and regulatory matters relating to those and other complex financial products. Gary’s clients benefit from his deep well of contacts and practical knowledge from his prior work with the world’s largest exchange-traded derivatives broker and, before that, as a senior trial attorney at the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Gary understands the urgency that drives the financial industry. His business background also gives him a unique understanding of his clients’ products. This allows him to provide fast and practical responses to clients, often consulting directly with business executives as opposed to legal staff.
Before joining Katten, Gary interacted with regulators worldwide as the group general counsel of Fimat (later known as Newedge), the exchange-traded derivatives and securities broker. He also served in both business and legal roles for Brody, White & Co., and, before that, as a senior trial attorney with the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement.
On multiple occasions, Gary’s detailed knowledge of his clients’ business has helped him prevail with regulators to close investigations before taking enforcement action. When a financial exchange was investigating one of his clients, a multinational investment bank, Gary went beyond avoiding disciplinary activity; he worked with the exchange to amend a rule predicated on an outdated trading environment to accommodate his client’s current business. In another probe, Gary’s knowledge of algorithmic trading and futures markets in China and the United States helped him persuade a principal US derivatives exchange not to bring any charges against a China-based proprietary trading firm and solely issue a cautionary letter instead.
Keynote: The Regulatory Landscape for Digital Assets
Commissioner Dan M. Berkovitz, Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Dan M. Berkovitz was nominated by President Trump to serve as a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on April 24, 2018. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on August 28, 2018 and sworn into office on September 7, 2018 for a five-year term expiring in April 2023.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Berkovitz was a partner and co-chair of the futures and derivatives practice at the law firm of WilmerHale. He also was an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law School, and vice-chair of the American Bar Association Committee on Futures and Derivatives.
Mr. Berkovitz served as General Counsel of the CFTC from 2009-2013. While serving in this role, he was the agency’s Deputy Representative to the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). Before the CFTC, Mr. Berkovitz was a senior staff lawyer for the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management.
Mr. Berkovitz obtained an A.B. in Physics from Princeton University and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He is married to Michelle and they have two children, Zoe and Eli.
Ethan L. Silver, Partner & Chair, Broker-Dealer Practice, Lowenstein Sandler LLP
Ethan is a recognized leader in the representation of broker-dealers in regulatory, enforcement, and compliance matters related to federal and state securities laws and regulations, and the rules of self-regulatory organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He also spearheads an emerging practice representing regulated financial technology companies, including mobile-first brokerage platforms, robo-advisers and cryptocurrency focused businesses.
The regulatory portion of Ethan’s work focuses on advising broker-dealers on formation issues, including guiding them through obtaining FINRA membership and the state registration process. He also advises clients on how to obtain FINRA approval of continuing membership applications for changes of ownership and for material changes to their businesses.
Ethan counsels broker-dealers on compliance with Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations and related FINRA rules, including:
- Net capital and customer protection rules
- Trading and reporting rules
- Foreign broker-dealer/cross-border requirements
- Books and records requirements
- ATS formation and operation
- Rules relating to advertising and sales materials
- Margin rules
- Finder issues and related fee payment/splitting issues
Ethan also guides clients through SEC and FINRA examinations, and helps them develop and update written supervisory procedures and compliance manuals. Financial institutions benefit from his advice on compliance with anti-money laundering regulations and related issues.
Ethan regularly counsels clients on whether they require broker-dealer registration, and assists them in obtaining interpretive guidance and no-action relief from the SEC, FINRA, and the states. He co-authored the “M&A Broker No-Action Letter” granted by the SEC, which permits M&A brokers to receive transaction-based compensation without registering as broker-dealers.
On the enforcement side of his practice, Ethan advises clients on a range of proceedings with the SEC, FINRA, and state regulatory authorities, and he regularly prepares and defends witnesses in:
- FINRA on-the-record interviews
- SEC testimony connected with investigations relating to allegations of fraud, failures to supervise, and sales practice violations
- Form U4 disclosure issues and potential MC-400 applications
- Trading and reporting issues
Development in Blockchain, Infrastructure and Custody Clearing Update
Matt Walsh, General Partner, Castle Island Ventures
Matt Walsh is a co-founder and General Partner of Castle Island Ventures, an early stage venture fund focused on companies in the blockchain / cryptoasset sector. Prior to founding Castle Island Ventures, Matt was a Vice President at Fidelity Investments, where he led a number of the firm’s blockchain R&D initiatives. While at Fidelity, he led the creation, operationalization and the investment strategy of a private fund focused on cryptoasset investments.
Prior to Fidelity, Matt was a management consultant in the Private Equity practice at Arthur D. Little and worked in a corporate strategy role at iHeartMedia. Matt holds a BS in Business Administration from Babson College and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Nathaniel Conrad, Global Head of Asset Management and Mining Solutions, NYDIG
Nathaniel Conrad is the Global Head of Asset Management and Mining Solutions at NYDIG. His involvement in NYDIG grew out of his role at Stone Ridge, which he joined in 2016, as the head of Markets and a member of the management committee. Prior to joining Stone Ridge, Mr. Conrad worked at Goldman Sachs as a senior trader in Interest Rates Electronic Trading. Mr. Conrad received his BSE in Computer Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania’s Engineering School.
Talia Klein, Digital Asset Custody, Commercial Product Lead, BNY Mellon
Talia Klein is a Director on BNY Mellon’s Custody Commercial Product team. She leads the firm’s efforts around the commercialization of the Digital Asset Custody offering. She joined BNY Mellon from Digital Asset Holdings, where she was a Product Manager supporting the fintech’s efforts in bringing blockchain and smart contract technology to some of the largest financial institutions in the world. She was responsible for leading the relationship with Broadridge to bring their Distributed Ledger Repo product to production.
Prior to joining Digital Asset Holdings, Talia spent six years at JPMorgan Chase in a variety of roles, most recently designing and developing the firm’s cross-line of business collateral eligibility service, the first cloud-based client-facing application within the Investment Bank’s Margin and Collateral Services.
Talia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Barnard College at Columbia University and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is proud to be named as an inventor on two pending patent applications
ESG and Digital Assets: Seeing the Forest for the Trees
Emmanuel Aidoo, Global Head of Digital Assets Markets, Credit Suisse
Emmanuel Aidoo is Head of Digital Asset Markets at Credit Suisse. He is responsible for delivering the firms digital asset markets strategy coupling Investment Bank platform and expertise in Electronic Execution with Credit Suisse’s industry leadership in Distributed Ledger Technology and Blockchain.
Emmanuel joined Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette in 1997 from Caspian Securities as the EMEA IT Head for Emerging Markets. He remained with Credit Suisse after Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette was acquired in August 2000, and has held a variety of senior roles including Global Head of Debt Capital Markets Technology, Global Head of Leverage Finance Technology, and Global Head of Solutions Delivery before leading Credit Suisse’s distributed ledger technology efforts since 2014.
He is Chair of SIFMA’s Blockchain Round Table and a Board Member of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance. Emmanuel studied Computer Science at Brunel University in West London. In 2020 and 2019 Emmanuel was listed in Forbes Blockchain 50 and in 2019, he was voted by Business Insider as one of the Top 10 people transforming finance.
Marcel Kasumovich, Head of Research, One River Asset Management
Marcel Kasumovich has more than twenty-five years of experience in financial markets. He started his career with the Bank of Canada in 1994 working on special studies, including the credit transmission mechanism and high frequency foreign exchange intervention. Marcel joined Goldman Sachs where he served as a strategist for proprietary traders on global macro trading. With a focus on international fixed income, foreign exchange strategy became a crucial component on the strategic implementation of macro risks. Marcel became head of G10 FX Strategy at Merrill Lynch where he built an innovative framework for currency markets. The team contributed to new structured foreign exchange products for private wealth and was the top forecasting unit in 2003. In 2004, Marcel joined Soros Fund Management. As the strategist, he built an infrastructure to support the evaluation of global macro financial issues for thematic research and portfolio implementation. He was a key contributor to the firm’s preparedness into the financial crisis. In 2008, Marcel joined former Soros colleagues as an associate founding partner to launch a macro hedge fund, Woodbine Capital. The firm grew assets from less than $100 million to more than $3 billion at its peak. Marcel acted as a Visiting Scholar at the International Monetary Fund in 2012, contributing to diverse work on financial stability. Returning to financial markets, Marcel was a day-one member of a macro hedge fund Tse Capital in 2013 that grew assets from $200 million to $1 billion at its peak. Throughout his career, Marcel built strong connections to finance professionals, policymakers, and entrepreneurs. Those connections are maintained through various ways. Marcel is a partner with Semanteon Capital, a hedge fund focused on machine-learning portfolio management. In the past two years, Marcel supported Semanteon with the creation of an alternative intelligence portfolio manager across fixed income, currency, commodity, and equity assets. He also serves as an advisor to Predata, a company that builds enterprise software for predictive analytics that are used in technology, defense, and finance industries. He is also a member of the Economics Club of New York, a group that brings together leaders in business and politics. Marcel created Pure Macro Capital Advisors to house various start-up investment and advisory interests in 2012. He has been engaged in crypto currencies through Pure Macro since 2012, most actively since 2018. Marcel has published research ranging from academic journals to op-eds. His contribution to Palgrave’s Financial Crisis Manual in 2015 warned on the liquidity challenges that fractured markets in 2020.
Denis Rusinovich, Founder, CMG - Cryptocurrency Mining Group
Member of Mining Working Group within Global DCA (Global Digital Asset and Cryptocurrency Association)
Last 4 years fully dedicated to bitcoin mining sector and bitcoin ecosystem. Previously worked over 12 years European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (European focused IFI) and over 5 years in private equity and metals&mining sector.
Stephanie Breslow, Partner, Schulte Roth & Zabel
Stephanie R. Breslow is co-head of the Investment Management Group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. She maintains a diverse practice that includes liquid funds, private equity funds and the structuring of investment management businesses. She focuses her practice on the formation of private equity funds (including LBO, mezzanine, distressed, real estate and venture) and liquid-securities funds (including hedge funds, hybrid funds, credit funds and activist funds) as well as providing regulatory advice to investment managers. She also represents fund sponsors and institutional investors in connection with seed-capital investments in fund managers and acquisitions of interests in investment management businesses and funds of funds and other institutional investors in connection with their investment activities, including blockchain technology and virtual currency offerings and transactions.
Recently serving as chair of the Private Investment Funds Subcommittee of the International Bar Association, Stephanie is a founding member and former chair of the Private Investment Fund Forum, a former member of the Advisory Board of former Third Way Capital Markets Initiative, a former member of the Board of Directors and current member of 100 Women in Finance, a member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School and a member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. Stephanie has received the highest industry honors. She was named to the inaugural Legal 500 US Hall of Fame in the category of “Investment Fund Formation and Management: Alternative/Hedge Funds.” Stephanie is also listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers, Crain’s Notable Women in Law, IFLR1000 Women Leaders, Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers (which ranked her one of the world’s “Top Ten Private Equity Lawyers”), Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Private Funds Lawyers (which ranked her at the top of the world’s “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” list), Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders: Global Elite, Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders: Private Funds, Expert Guide to the Best of the Best USA, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Banking, Finance and Transactional Law Lawyers, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law and PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook, among other leading directories. Stephanie was named the “Private Funds Lawyer of the Year” for 2020 by Who’s Who Legal and the Euromoney Legal Media Group’s “Best in Investment Funds” and “Outstanding Practitioner,” both at the Americas Women in Business Law Awards. She is also recognized as one of The Hedge Fund Journal’s 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds and was named one of the 2012 Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. Stephanie’s representation of leading private investment funds has won numerous awards, including Law360’s Asset Management Practice Group of the Year. She is a much sought-after speaker on fund formation and operation and compliance issues, and she regularly publishes articles on the latest trends in these areas. Stephanie co-authored Private Equity Funds: Formation and Operation (Practising Law Institute), co-authored Hedge Funds: Formation, Operation and Regulation (ALM Law Journal Press), contributed a chapter on “Hedge Fund Investment in Private Equity” for inclusion in PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook 2005/06 (Practical Law Company), contributed a chapter on “Advisers to Private Equity Funds — Practical Compliance Considerations” for Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds Regulation, Volume 2 (Practising Law Institute), and wrote New York and Delaware Business Entities: Choice, Formation, Operation, Financing and Acquisitions (West) and New York Limited Liability Companies: A Guide to Law and Practice (West).
Optimal Investment Due Diligence Best Practices on Crypto Funds
Tracy Fong, Partner, Albourne Partners
Tracy Fong is an alternative investment professional with over 22 years of experience across startups, public technology companies, investment banking, alternatives endowment management, fixed income and foreign exchange, and strategic equities management. She has a passion for global, complex and emergent investment opportunities, e.g. healthcare structured investments in 2015, SaaS revenue-based loans and marketplace lending in 2016, technology company SPACs in 2017, and crypto assets in 2017.
Ms. Tracy Fong is a Partner and Private Markets Investment Due Diligence Analyst at Albourne Partners, a leading investment consulting firm that advises on over $550bn of alternative assets to over 300 institutional clients. She leads the Firm’s global Venture Capital coverage (including crypto/blockchain) and previously served as the co-chair of the Private Markets Investment Committee. Ms. Fong was previously a Managing Director at SVB Capital’s $4bn+ VC fund-of-funds and direct VC fund. Ms. Fong also spent four years at the Harvard University endowment, Harvard Management Company, where she was Vice President of Alternative Assets and worked on HMC’s $20bn+ alternatives portfolio construction, investment manager selection, and direct natural resources transactions (including timber and agriculture). Her Venture Capital experience included allocations to prominent access-constrained firms and strategic transactions resulting from the IPOs of numerous portfolio companies. Prior to business school, she also worked at Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) on the Corporate Finance and Treasury Team, where her group managed Yahoo!’s $4bn+ fixed income portfolio; worked on structured transactions; and helped manage 30 acquisitions, including the landmark joint venture with Alibaba (NYSE: BABA). Ms. Fong has also worked in Investment Banking at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs where she worked on Technology Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Finance transactions including the IPO of Netscreen Technologies (NASDAQ: NSCN) and NPTest Holding (NASDAQ: NPTT). During the first technology boom, Ms. Fong began her career at two startup companies, Webvan Group (NASDAQ: WBVN) and Varsitybooks.com. Webvan, a Sequoia and Benchmark-backed company, was one of the first online grocery delivery services, was called by CNET one of the most well-known companies of the dot-com era.
Ms. Fong received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley (honors recognition) and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. In her spare time, Ms. Fong enjoys adventurous international travel (~60 countries), immersive art projects, listening to podcasts, and scuba diving.
Aram Verdiyan, Partner, Accolade Partners
Daniel Davis, Partner, Financial Markets and Funds, Katten
From derivatives products to cryptocurrencies, Dan Davis helps clients navigate ever-changing regulatory requirements. Drawing on his years of experience as General Counsel at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Dan understands how financial services agencies operate. As an experienced complex civil litigation attorney, Dan can defend clients in any forum.
Regulatory perspective meets business-oriented counsel
Clients trust Dan’s experience to help mitigate risks in the face of investigations and enforcement actions and to assess rules issued by financial agencies. From futures commission merchants to swap dealers to derivatives clearing organizations, he is well-positioned to advise on potential enforcement priorities, staff relief and exemptive orders, and submit comments on proposed financial agency rules. Dan has particular experience in handling fraud-related allegations under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and can help clients develop compliance practices for meeting regulatory requirements. He also has successfully challenged rulemakings by financial agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) first rulemaking under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act regarding proxy access and the SEC’s attempt to regulate fixed indexed annuities.
In Dan’s role at the CFTC, he assisted with the creation and development of LabCFTC, the agency’s hub for engagement with the fintech community to promote innovation and fair competition. He is highly experienced with helping crypto exchanges, bank and other fintech entities in working with distributed ledger technologies. He also provides counsel on meeting regulatory requirements when bringing new products to market. Dan had a distinguished career at the CFTC, receiving the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in 2019. This award is the CFTC’s highest honor, given to one employee annually in recognition of extraordinary accomplishments and superior service dedicated to realizing the vision, mission and values of the CFTC.
Dan has the full range of litigation experience, having practiced in federal and state court, defending clients in arbitration and jury trial, and arguing ten cases before the federal courts of appeals. He excels at crisis litigation, having successfully obtained a rarely granted writ of mandamus on behalf of the CFTC. Dan uses his extensive litigation experience to advise clients on both litigation and regulatory matters.
Previously, Dan served as counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division for the US Department of Justice. He also clerked for the Honorable Douglas H. Ginsburg, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. While in law school, Dan served as Executive Editor of The University of Chicago Law Review.
While at the CFTC:
- Handled crisis management litigations. Cases involved reversal of district court decision and obtaining writ of mandamus.
- Negotiated with other financial agencies regarding jurisdictional and statutory questions.
- Reviewed more than 40 final rules in all areas of CFTC jurisdiction affecting registered entities. Also reviewed staff no-action letters, exemptive and registration orders, and interpretive guidance.
- Conducted internal investigations of CFTC matters.
- Reviewed proposed enforcement actions. Evaluated key legal theories advanced by Division of Enforcement.
- Oversaw CFTC’s first FinTech initiative.
NFTs: A Marketplace Overview — How to Access, Evaluate and Value
Jake Brukhman, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, CoinFund
Alex Salnikov, Co-Founder, Head of Product, Rarible, Inc.
The Investor Appetite for Digital Assets
Andrew Chen, Portfolio Manager- Absolute Return Strategies, Lockheed Martin Investment Management Company
Andrew Chen is a Portfolio Manager in the Absolute Return Strategies group within LMIMCo. In this role he focuses on the Long Short Equity portfolio, though he also sources and conducts investment due diligence across all Hedge Fund strategies. Prior to LMIMCo, Andrew was a Director at Gottex Fund Management, a Fund of Hedge Funds, with responsibility over the Structured Credit, Fixed Income Relative Value, and Event Driven Strategies. Before Gottex, he was an Associate at Attalus Capital, which he joined after starting his career on the Convertible Arbitrage desk at BNP CooperNeff Advisors.
Andrew has a BSE in Bioengineering and a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, in addition to an MBA from INSEAD.
Katherine Molnar, Chief Investment Officer, Fairfax County Police Officers Retirement System
Ms. Molnar joined Fairfax County Retirement Systems in 2013 and currently serves as Chief Investment Officer of the Fairfax County Police Officers Retirement System, a $1.8 billion plan. Her responsibilities include all aspects of portfolio management and oversight, including strategic and tactical asset and risk allocation, selection and supervision of external investment managers and risk management. From 2001 until 2012, Ms. Molnar was Vice President, Senior Research Analyst at AIG Investments’ Hedge Fund Solutions Group – both in London and New York. At AIG Investments, Ms. Molnar was responsible for due diligence procedures and research including: sourcing new managers, monitoring current hedge funds, analyzing portfolio risk and performance, making new investment recommendations to an investment committee as well as hedge fund asset allocation recommendations for portfolio construction. She was additionally responsible for portfolio reviews and overall asset allocation recommendations for external client portfolios. Previously, she was Vice President, Market Research Analyst at Citigroup Investments’ Alternative Investment Strategies group. Prior investment management experience includes positions at Paribas Asset Management as well as Trevor Stewart Burton & Jacobsen. Additionally, Ms. Molnar spent one year in Warsaw, Poland launching the first retail mutual funds available to the Polish market as well as two years in Frankfurt, Germany as an intern with J.P. Morgan. Ms. Molnar received a B.S. in Business Administration/Finance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a CFA charterholder.
Chris Solarz, Managing Director, Cliffwater, LLC
Chris is a Managing Director at Cliffwater LLC covering global macro and relative value strategies on the hedge fund research team. Prior to joining Cliffwater in 2011, Chris was a Senior Analyst at SAIL Advisors, where he focused on manager selection and due diligence as Head of Research for tactical trading and relative value strategies. Previous experience includes working for ING Investment Management, Antarctica Asset Management, Societe Generale Barr Devlin, and CIBC World Markets.
He earned a BA in Economics and Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and a MComm in Finance from the University of New South Wales, where he was a Federation Scholar. Chris is a Certified Public Accountant, holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst® designation, the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, and is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts. Chris has broken 7 Guinness World Records, and has run marathons on all 7 continents and in all 50 US states.
Wei Xie, Director, Capital Markets Group, OPTrust
Wei Xie is a Director in the Capital Markets Group at OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest pension funds with assets of $20 billion and investment professionals in Toronto, London and Sydney.
Wei leads the management of the external public markets program that covers a broad spectrum of liquid strategies, which includes equities, credit and hedge funds. Wei also spearheads the investment innovation efforts at OPTrust by co-chairing the Incubation Portfolio Investment Committee, with a particular focus on Crypto and the application of Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence.
Wei held various progressively senior positions at OPTrust. Prior to this, Wei was the Chief-of-Staff to the Chief Investment Officer, when he supported and advised the CIO in his day-to-day management of OPTrust’s Investment Division. Prior to that, he served as an Investment Strategist for the Global Investment Strategy Group, and an Associate Portfolio Manager within the Private Markets group.
Wei earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada.
Giles Colwell, Head of Institutional Sales, North America & LATAM, BlockFi
Giles Colwell is responsible for overseeing the Americas distribution team and delivering BlockFi’s cryptocurrency products and services to institutional clients. Giles has more than 30 years of experience on Wall Street, including positions at Bank of America, JPMorgan, and UBS. Throughout his career, he has held senior leadership roles across Global Markets and FIG banking, providing insight, advice, and tailored solutions to investment managers, corporations, and individuals. For the last decade, Mr. Colwell has been a Managing Director in the Senior Relationship Management team at Bank of America, responsible for overseeing the entire Bank of America platform and driving strategic dialogue with some of the bank’s largest institutional accounts across global markets, banking, capital markets, and advisory services.
Keynote: The Policy Landscape for Digital Assets
The Honorable Cynthia Lummis, United States Senator, Wyoming
Cynthia Lummis was sworn into the United States Senate on January 3, 2021, becoming the first woman to serve as United States Senator from the great State of Wyoming.
Born on a cattle ranch in Laramie County, Senator Lummis has spent her entire career fighting for Wyoming families, communities, businesses and values. From the halls of the Wyoming House to the halls of the U.S. House, her time in public service has always been focused on advocating for Wyoming’s future.
First elected to the U.S. House in 2008, Senator Lummis quickly earned her reputation as a no-nonsense conservative and principled policymaker. She was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group consisting of the most unflinching conservative Members of the House of Representatives. She fought throughout her tenure in Congress to rein in spending and reduce the federal deficit, working with the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and ultimately co-sponsoring several bipartisan budget proposals.
In the House of Representatives, Senator Lummis effectively elevated western issues, pushing through the first Interior and Environment (EPA) Appropriations bill to pass the House in seven years under her chairmanship. This marked a significant milestone for the Western Caucus and the rural communities across the West they represent. She also worked to keep public lands open to the public and available for multiple use. She successfully passed the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act in 2016, a bipartisan effort led by Cynthia to maintain over 157,000 miles of trails within our national forests.
Senator Lummis is a dedicated champion of Wyoming’s mineral and energy resources. In Washington, she fought off attacks from the environmental left while advocating for market opportunities both at home and abroad. She is the proud godmother of the ANSAC Wyoming, a commercial shipping vessel transporting trona from the U.S. to Southeast Asia and is the recipient of the lifetime achievement award from the Washington Coal Club.
Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Senator Lummis spent eight years as Wyoming State Treasurer and 14 years as a member of the Wyoming State House and Senate. She also worked as general counsel to Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer and Director of the Office of State Lands and Investments, as well as a law clerk at the Wyoming Supreme Court.
After departing U.S. House of Representatives in 2016, Senator Lummis operated her family’s cattle ranches, and the Sweetgrass development in Laramie County, with her brother and sister. She is a three-time graduate of the University of Wyoming in animal science, biology and law. She and her late-husband, Al Wiederspahn, have one daughter, Annaliese, son-in-law Will Cole and grandsons Gus and Al.
Jillien Flores, Managing Director, Head of U.S. Government Affairs, Managed Funds Association
Flores joined MFA after six years at Vanguard, one of the world’s leading asset managers. There, she advocated before Washington policymakers on a range of issues related to US capital markets, tax, and retirement policy. Leveraging policy depth, strategy, and relationships, Flores achieved policy outcomes beneficial to Vanguard’s clients on issues including equity market structure, ESG and corporate governance, and systemic risk.
Throughout her career, Flores has sought opportunities to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the financial services sector, serving in leadership roles of related efforts at Vanguard.
Prior to joining Vanguard, Flores was Director of Government Relations at Porterfield, Lowenthal, Fettig & Sears, where she represented clients before Congress and the federal financial regulators in the asset management, insurance, securities, and biotechnology sectors. She was involved in the legislative and rule-writing process for several financial services laws and regulations, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act.
Flores earned a B.A. from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.