MFA Forum 2021 Conference Speakers

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Pablo E. Calderini

President and Chief Investment Officer, Graham Capital Management, L.P.

Pablo E. Calderini is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Graham Capital Management, L.P. (“GCM”), an alternative investment firm with approximately $16 billion in AUM as of April 1, 2021.  Mr. Calderini is responsible for the management and oversight of the discretionary and systematic trading businesses at GCM, among other things.  Mr. Calderini is also a member of the firm’s Executive, Investment, Risk and Compliance committees. He joined GCM in August 2010 and became an Associated Person and Principal of GCM effective August 13, 2010. Prior to joining GCM, Mr. Calderini worked at Deutsche Bank from June 1997 to July 2010 where he held positions of increasing responsibility, most recently the Global Head of Equity Proprietary Trading. Mr. Calderini commenced his career at Deutsche Bank as Global Head of Emerging Markets. During his tenure at Deutsche Bank, Mr. Calderini also helped manage several groups across the fixed income and equity platforms, including the Global Credit Derivatives Team. Mr. Calderini received a B.A. in Economics from Universidad Nacional de Rosario in 1987 and a Masters in Economics from Universidad del CEMA in 1989, each in Argentina.

Andrew Chen

Portfolio Manager, Lockheed Martin Investment Management Company

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Denise Crowley

Head of Securitized Credit, ZAIS Group

Ms. Crowley serves as Head of Securitized Credit and Head of Business Development and Client Relations at ZAIS. As Head of ZAIS’s Securitized Credit Business, Ms. Crowley is responsible for mortgage investments, including Non-Agency RMBS, CMBS, Commercial Real Estate debt and equity, ABS investments and CLO investments across our separately managed accounts and comingled funds. She is also a member of ZAIS’s Management Advisory Committee. Before joining ZAIS in August of 1997, Ms. Crowley worked at J.P. Morgan in the High Yield Trading Group. Before J.P. Morgan, she worked for Hon. Daniel P. Moynihan as an economic research analyst. Ms. Crowley received a B.A. from Boston College and an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

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Jamie Gnall

Senior Vice President, Alternatives Research and Advisory, Wilshire Associates

Jamie Gnall is a Senior Vice President with Wilshire Associates and a member of Wilshire’s Alternatives Manager Research team. Mr. Gnall works in Wilshire’s Santa Monica office and leads the firm’s hedge fund discretionary and non-discretionary efforts.  He is responsible for providing alternative discretionary and non-discretionary services to institutional plan sponsors, including public pension funds, private pension plans, endowments, foundations, and insurance companies. These services include alternatives investment policy development, asset allocation, portfolio structuring, manager selection, and portfolio monitoring.  His research, portfolio management, and advisory responsibilities include multiple types of alternative investments, including hedge funds, risk premia, liquid alternatives, and private credit.  He is also a member of Wilshire’s Hedge Fund of Funds Asset Class Committee.

 

Prior to joining Wilshire Associates in 2015, Mr. Gnall worked at Royal Bank of Canada in New York where he was involved in the management of a diversified portfolio of hedge funds and provided customized investment advisory solutions to clients of RBC Global Asset Management.  Before that, he worked at Morgan Stanley where he was part of a six-person team responsible for the selection and investment management of commodity trading advisors and global macro hedge funds on Morgan Stanley’s wealth management platform.

 

Mr. Gnall earned his BA in economics from Vanderbilt University. Mr. Gnall holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

 

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Michael Green

Chief Strategist & Portfolio Manager, Simplify Asset Management

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Randy Griffith

Director, Credit & Diversifying Strategies, UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust

Randy Griffith, CFA, CAIA, is Director of Credit & Diversifying Strategies for the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (Trust), the largest non-governmental purchaser of retiree health care benefits in the United States with $59 billion in assets under management. The Trust is a responsible steward of assets, committed to providing financial viability over the life of all its eligible members. As part of investment operations, Randy’s responsibilities at the Trust include managing the Trust’s external allocation to investment managers within the following strategies: credit (both public and private), hedge funds, and alternative risk premia.

Randy joined the Trust in 2013 after serving as a senior hedge fund analyst at Crestline Investors, a $10 billion alternative investment firm based in Fort Worth, Texas. While with Crestline, he was strategy head for hedge fund strategies including volatility arbitrage, CTA/managed futures and currencies; served as an analyst on the Fixed Income and Derivatives Team; and, in addition to those strategies covered mortgage arbitrage, fixed income arbitrage and structured products.

Mr. Griffith is an honors graduate of the University of Alaska with a B.B.A. in Finance and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.

 

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Ben Hanko

Americas Head of Capital Introduction, UBS

Ben Hanko is an Executive Director at UBS and leads the Americas Capital Introduction team. Initially joining UBS in 2001, Ben has spent 18 years at the firm where he has focused on developing hedge fund and investor relationships. He also previously spent time on the buy-side at Capital Management Advisors, where he was responsible for investing in long/short equity strategies. Ben is a CFA Charterholder, and earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Finance and Accounting from West Virginia University. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and three children.

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Kenneth J. Heinz

President, HFR Inc.

Kenneth J. Heinz, CFA is the President of Hedge Fund Research, Inc. (HFR) and is a leading authority on the global hedge fund industry. Mr. Heinz manages HFR’s industry leading hedge fund index business, including the HFRI, HFRX, HFRL and HFRU Indices. Mr. Heinz has provided specialized consulting services to the industry’s most significant institutional investors globally and has worked directly with thousands of managers, including many of the industry’s most influential firms. He has also contributed authoritative research and commentary to some of the industry’s best-known conferences and organizations, having provided keynote presentations at or for the following: Cayman Islands Alternative Investment Summit, GAIM (Monaco), the SwissFunds Association (SFA), University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Alternative Investment Council of Switzerland (AIC), University of Chicago Center for Research and Security Prices (CRSP), Skybridge Conference (Las Vegas), Money Talks (China) and various CFA Society Events. He is also a highly sought-after source of expert commentary for leading media outlets Including the Fox Business News, Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Financial Times (FT), Dow Jones Newswires, CNBC (U.S., European, Asian), New York Times, London Times, the Guardian, CNN, Fortune, Time, Pensions & Investments, Barron’s, the Nikkei, Bloomberg and many more.
Mr. Heinz has a Master of Business Administration from University of Chicago Booth School of Business with a concentration in Econometrics and Statistics and is a Charter Financial Analyst (CFA). Mr. Heinz holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois, with a concentration in Finance, Business Finance, Investments and Financial Institutions. Mr. Heinz also has experience as a trading member of Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Board of Options Exchange.

 

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Ross Kasarda

Director of Risk Management, Virginia Retirement System

Ross Kasarda is the Director of Risk Management for the Virginia Retirement System. Ross joined the VRS in 2004 as an intern and was hired full time to help start the Research Group in 2005. Today Ross serves as the senior team member in charge of the Risk Team and processes related to Total Fund risk management. In addition, Ross serves as the portfolio manager for the Risk Based Investments Program, or RBI. RBI is a collection of strategies whose aim is to offset growth risks of the VRS Total Fund by investing in uncorrelated and anti-correlated investments. Ross also helps complete Fund level asset liability modeling and stress testing. Ross earned a BS summa cum laude and an MA in Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a CFA charter holder.

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Paul Kreiselmaier

Director, Hedge Funds, Verus Investments

Mr. Kreiselmaier has over 20 years of investment experience in various roles in both manager due diligence, portfolio management, and quantitative research. At Verus, he is primarily responsible for investment strategy, due diligence, portfolio construction recommendations and relationship building across the hedge fund universe.

Prior to joining Verus, he was a senior research analyst at Russell Investments where he was responsible for evaluating, recommending and monitoring hedge funds for inclusion in client portfolios. He began his career at Russell evaluating US large cap equity and Global Tactical Asset Allocation (GTAA) managers. He also worked at Mellon Capital Management where he was responsible for both research and portfolio management related roles focused on both equity and GTAA mandates.

Mr. Kreiselmaier graduated from Trinity University with a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in economics. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a CFA charter holder  (Chartered Financial Analyst) and a member of both the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Seattle. Mr. Kreiselmaier is also a member of the Chicago Quantitative Alliance.

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Mark Langan

VP of Hedge Fund Research, Preqin

Mark Langan is Vice President of Hedge Fund Research at Preqin, the alternatives assets industry’s leading source of data, insights and solutions for professionals around the globe. Mark is responsible for data and intelligence concerning the alternative open-end investment fund space, including its implementation and future advancements within Preqin’s database. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Business & German from Franklin & Marshall College.

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Andrew Lapthorne

Global Head of Quantitative Research, Societe Generale

Andrew Lapthorne joined Societe Generale in London in November 2007, having previously spent 11 years at Dresdner Kleinwort where he was also Global Head of Quantitative Research. At SG, he heads up the SG Quantitative Research Group, which includes the Equity and Cross Asset Quant, Index and ETF research teams. This group of 20 analysts has extensive experience, having often worked on both the buy and sell-side.

 

Andrew and his team have been writing about equity styles and factors since the mid-1990s and have covered most topics relating to factor investing. Since 2013, they have been writing specifically about alternative risk premia investing and more recently, the use of machine learning and alternative data in the investment process. The team has created and runs a variety of systematic quantitative strategies.

 

The Quant and Index research teams are both regularly ranked #1 in surveys and was recently awarded the Research House of the Year in annual Risk.Net Awards. Andrew was also ranked the #1 individual analyst for the 11 years in a row in the Extel survey.

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Andrew Lowenthal

Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Head of Global Policy, Managed Funds Association

Andrew Lowenthal is MFA’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Head of Global Policy.

He has worked at the intersection of public policy and capital markets for more than 30 years. Andrew joined MFA from the office of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Chair of the House Oversight & Reform Committee, where he served as chief of staff.

Prior to rejoining Rep. Maloney, Lowenthal was a senior policy analyst for Reorg, where he covered M&A with complicated regulatory issues. Lowenthal co-founded one of DC’s leading financial services advocacy firms, Porterfield & Lowenthal, where he served as an advisor to, and advocate for, leading hedge fund managers, mutual funds, and Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to that, Lowenthal was Director of Government Relations at Freddie Mac. Lowenthal was also chief of staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and served as the minority staff director for Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) on the Securities Subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee.

Lowenthal has a degree in government, with distinction in all subjects, from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

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Edouard Matitia-Cohen

Global Head of Equity Financing Distribution, Bank of America

Edouard Matitia-Cohen is a Managing Director and Global Head of Equity Financing Distribution at Bank of America, based in New York.

In his role, he is responsible for all sales globally across Prime Brokerage, Equity Synthetics and Stock Loan, ensuring the delivery of an integrated coverage and distribution strategy worldwide. He joined the firm in 2012 and was previously Americas Head of Equity Sales.

Prior to joining Bank of America, Matitia-Cohen was the European Head of Equity Derivatives, Convertibles and Delta One sales at Credit Suisse, based in London. He was a member of Credit Suisse’s European Equity Management Committee and Global Equity Management Committee.

Previously, Matitia-Cohen worked at Morgan Stanley for over 11 years and held various roles including the Head of U.S. Capital Structure and Special Situations business in New York, and a member of the Equity Derivatives trading team in London.

He holds a B.A. (Hons.) in economics from ICADE University in Madrid and Ecole Superieure de Commerce in Reims, France.

Matitia-Cohen is a board member of the Managed Fund Association (MFA), a term corporate member of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) and serves as an outside advisor to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Phelan, Peter

Peter Phelan

President, Phelan Advisory LLC / Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Capital Markets, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Peter Phelan is the President of Phelan Advisory LLC, an independent firm offering bespoke advisory services to banks, asset managers, non-financial corporates, private equity firms, and capital markets businesses.

Peter was most recently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Capital Markets at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, ending his service in January 2021. As part of the Domestic Finance team, Peter advised the Secretary and other Department senior leadership on the policy implications and effects of all capital markets activities across the nation. Peter represented Treasury as its ex-officio member of the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC). He coordinated Treasury’s response to the reference rate transition and led workstreams both domestically and internationally, with foreign central banks and finance ministries on international harmonization, with Congress on legislative proposals, and with the Office of Tax Policy and the Internal Revenue Service on tax reforms and procedures. He presented to the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) on the topic of the LIBOR transition and supervised Treasury’s collaboration with the NY Federal Reserve Bank’s Credit Sensitivity Group and led discussions on the challenges of transitioning certain loan products to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR).

Peter also led Treasury’s work on the national housing market. He regularly interacted with the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) in its capacity as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs), advising them on housing finance reform policy. In annual and quarterly meetings with the management teams of the GSEs, Peter reviewed and made recommendations on their financial performance and risk management plans. Peter also led Treasury’s work in the transition to the Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (UMBS). He contributed to the development and drafting of the Department’s Housing Reform Plan, issued in September 2019.

Peter worked on numerous other matters for Treasury, including wholesale and leveraged lending, equity market structure, securitizations, and student loans, amongst others. He was part of the Secretary’s senior leadership team during the Treasury’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this capacity, he led workstreams focused on implementing various CARES Act facilities, including liaising with the Federal Reserve on numerous 13(3) liquidity programs. Peter was awarded the Treasury Medal for his service to the Department.

Prior to his service in the federal government, Peter was a Managing Director at CIT Group where he led the bank’s capital markets team focused on interest rate and foreign exchange trading and sales. Previously, he served as the deputy desk manager for Commerzbank AG, coordinating the bank’s asset-liability management, various liquidity portfolios, and interest rate and foreign exchange hedge portfolios. Peter graduated from Dartmouth College.

Phelan Advisory LLC is available for specific project work, retained advisory services, and public and private speaking engagements for institutions and individuals.

Pulvino, Todd

Todd C. Pulvino, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and Principal, CNH Partners

Todd Pulvino is a Principal and co-founder of CNH Partners, an affiliate of AQR that trades merger arbitrage, convertible arbitrage and other strategies related to corporate events. Prior to co-founding CNH in 2001, Todd was a tenured Associate Professor of Finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where his research focused on the risks and returns in event arbitrage. Earlier, he was a consultant at two fund-of-fund firms, Collins Associates and Grosvenor Capital Management, and a visiting professor at Harvard Business School. He began his career as an aerospace engineer. He has published in finance journals, winning two Smith Breeden awards for his research, and teaches at the Kellogg School. Todd earned a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.S. in mechanical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, and an A.M. and a Ph.D. in business economics from Harvard University.

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Alison Romano

Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Florida State Board of Administration

Alison Romano currently serves as Deputy Chief Investment Officer at the Florida State Board of Administration (SBA).  In that role she provides strategic leadership and oversight of the SBA’s internal and external investment portfolios, collaborates with senior staff to identify and manage risk, and supports the development and implementation of investment policies and the strategic plan. Previously, Ms. Romano was Senior Investment Officer, Global Equity, responsible for directing the investment of over $85 billion in active and passive strategies across all regions of the globe.  She led the asset class team in the management of internal funds and the selection of external equity and currency strategies.  Preceding that role, she served as Senior Portfolio Manager within Global Equity, providing broad oversight of active managers and identifying new investment strategies. Prior to joining the SBA, Ms. Romano held various positions at Goldman, Sachs & Co., last as Vice President in Investment Banking.  In this role she advised healthcare companies on mergers and acquisitions, financings and strategic alternatives.  Ms. Romano graduated summa cum laude with a BSE in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a BSEcon from The Wharton School.

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Jaynita Sodhi

Managing Director, Head of Capital Services Americas, Credit Suisse

Jaynita Sodhi is the Head of Capital Services Americas within Prime Services where she has worked for the past decade.  She joined Credit Suisse in 2006 in the Hedge Fund Private Fund Group, where she was involved in all aspects of deal management, sourcing, and due diligence of hedge funds. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Jaynita was at J.P. Morgan, where she worked with the Credit Derivatives and Structured Credit Product groups focusing on CLOs.  While at J.P. Morgan, she was invited to join the bank’s Financial Institutions Group (FIG) advising alternative investment clients on M&A, capital raising (including debt and equity financing solutions), and risk management.  Jaynita graduated from the Cass Business School in London with a BSc (Hons) in Banking & International Finance.  She is based in New York City.

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Daniel Stone

Principal and Portfolio Manager, Ionic Capital

Daniel Stone (Principal and Portfolio Manager) – Daniel Stone is one of the co‐founders of Ionic, where he focuses on managing the firm’s interest rate, currency and credit strategies for the Volatility Funds. He has over 22 years of experience managing relative value arbitrage and long volatility strategies across multiple asset classes. Mr. Stone was formerly a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager in the US and European Volatility and Credit Arbitrage Group at Highbridge. He joined Highbridge in 1996 where he traded convertible bonds and equity, interest rate and credit derivatives. Mr. Stone earned an AB in Economics magna cum laude from Harvard College.

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David Sultan

Managing Partner and CIO, Fir Tree Partners

David Sultan is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Fir Tree Partners, a value-oriented investment adviser founded in 1994.  The Firm capitalizes on mispriced opportunities across capital structures and asset classes, using a long-term and team-oriented approach.  Fir Tree manages assets on behalf of pension funds, endowments, foundations, families and other institutional investors.  Mr. Sultan joined Fir Tree in 1999 and assumed the CIO role in 2015.  Over his 22 year tenure at the Firm, Mr. Sultan has developed the Firm’s investment processes, culture and team.  Mr. Sultan has led the Firm’s corporate and sovereign credit, capital structure arbitrage, distressed, special situation equity and SPAC investments globally and through multiple market cycles.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Sultan was an investment banker at Wolfensohn and Co. and an analyst at fundamental value investment firm Siegler, Collery & Co.

Mr. Sultan holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University.

 

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Diego Syrowicz

Managing Director, Global Fiduciary Solutions, State Street Global Advisors

Diego Syrowicz is a Managing Director of State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) and Head of Hedge Funds within the Global Fiduciary Solutions (GFS) organization.  He is responsible for leading asset class portfolio design, new manager sourcing and selection, current fund monitoring, and all other activities related to the Hedge Fund program.  He is also a member of the GFS Investment Manager Oversight Committee and leads the ESG program for the GFS organization.

Diego joined SSGA in 2016 as part of its acquisition of GE Asset Management (GEAM). At GEAM, he was Senior Managing Director and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Hedge Funds, leading the Hedge Fund program across clients and select private equity investment responsibilities. Prior to joining GEAM in 2010, Diego was a Corporate Vice President at New York Life overseeing activities in Corporate Development and M&A. Before that, he was an analyst covering investments in the North American financials space at Kinyan Capital Management, an equity long/short hedge fund based in New York City. Previously, Diego worked for several years as a strategy consultant at the New York office of McKinsey & Company.

Diego holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, a Masters in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), and BS degrees in both Management Science and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is a member of the Managed Funds Association (MFA) Institutional Investor Advisory Council and of the Limited Partner Advisory Committee (LPAC) at various alternative investment funds.

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Joe Tolen

CAIA, Director of Multi-Asset Strategies, Indiana Public Retirement System

Joe Tolen is the Director of Multi-Asset Strategies for the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) and is responsible for the formulation and implementation of the Risk Parity and Absolute Return portfolios.  Joe joined INPRS in January 2018 and previously served as an Investment Officer focused on Multi-Asset Strategies. Prior to joining INPRS, Joe worked on the Equity Derivatives Sales Trading team for Morgan Stanley in London.  Joe received his BS in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Indiana University.

Joseph E. Veeneman

Director, Head of Equity & Liquid Alternatives, IBM Retirement Funds

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Jennifer Wildeman

Senior Portfolio Advisor, Aksia LLC

Jennifer is responsible for managing the firm’s relationships with North America-based clients and advising on their alternative investment programs, providing tailored, high-touch support. Prior to joining Aksia, Jennifer spent four years at PNC Asset Management where she played an integral role in the initial build out of PNC’s single-strategy hedge fund, private asset and alternative mutual fund platforms. Prior to PNC, she worked with Gapstow Capital Partners, where her primary focus was sourcing, evaluating and executing the firm’s direct private investments in financial institutions. Before that, she was a Senior Research Analyst at Optima Fund Management tasked with research and portfolio management. Jennifer started her career in 2002 as a Senior Equity Research Analyst at Morgan Stanley. Jennifer graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Economics and Political Science.