2023 TABLE TALKS // YOUR HOSTS
Behavioral Bias That Leads to Poor Allocation Decisions
50 South Capital
Greg Jones is a Research Analyst for 50 South Capital's Hedge Fund Investment Team. He focuses on sourcing and monitoring global macro, relative value, and systematic hedge fund investments. Â Prior to joining 50 South Capital, he was employed at Cliffwater LLC, where he was a Vice President on the firm's hedge fund research team. At Cliffwater, he was responsible for sourcing and performing due diligence on hedge fund managers, with a focus on the global macro family of strategies, including discretionary global macro, systematic global macro, CTAs, currency, and commodity hedge fund strategies. Prior to attending business school, Greg was an IT consultant for a boutique technology solutions firm. Greg received a BS in decision and information sciences from the University of Florida and an MBA from the University of Southern California. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Institute.
The Benefits of Investing in Emerging Managers
Stable Asset Management
Cyber and Data Security Concerns for Investors
As Senior Manager on the Cybersecurity team, Brian helps clients assess and improve their security posture through security assessments, IT budget reviews and technology implementations. His diverse background and industry experience provides clients with a holistic view of their security program and visibility into the proper areas to invest in for improvement.
Brian has more than 25 years of experience in Information Technology with the last 10 years focused on cybersecurity. His diverse background includes roles as global network manager, infrastructure manager, enterprise architect, vice president of technology and chief information security officer. Prior to joining Elliott Davis Brian was the chief information security officer at a fortune 500 engineering, design and construction firm.
Education, Credentials and Special Training
B.S., Computer Information Systems, Clemson University
Professional Affiliations and Certifications
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Member, Information Systems Security Association (ISSA)
OSIT Insider Threat Group
EVANTA Atlanta Advisory Board
Ms. Togneri is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Soundlink Partners, LLC focusing on all operational aspects of the company as well as client relationship management.
Prior to Soundlink, Ms. Togneri was Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Client Service of Tallwoods Partners, LLC. Previously, Ms. Togneri was at Roundtable Investment Partners, a large multi-family office. She joined Roundtable from Blue Ridge Capital, a long/short global hedge fund, where she was a key member of their investor relations team. Ms. Togneri's deep experience in operations and investor relations began during her time at Bank of America where she established a client service group within the Alternative Investment platform. The platform consisted of an expansive suite of products including hedge fund of funds and direct hedge funds, private equity funds and real estate funds. Prior to assuming investor relations responsibilities, Ms. Togneri performed operational due diligence for hedge and private equity funds.
Other roles Ms. Togneri has had in her career include key operations and investor relations positions at Delphi Capital Management, Opus Capital Group and International Fund Services. She began her career in the audit and assurance practice at Deloitte & Touche where she focused on the banking and securities sector. Ms. Togneri holds a BS in accounting from Rutgers College, Rutgers University.
Leap Frogging the Gate Keepers and Raising Capital in a Legally Compliant Way
Pepper Hamilton LLP
Gregory J. Nowak is a partner in the Philadelphia office of Pepper Hamilton LLP and a practice leader for hedge funds in the firm's Funds Services Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in securities law, particularly in representing investment management companies and other clients on matters arising under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the related Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Mr. Nowak also handles mergers and acquisitions, corporate and regulated investment company tax work and other corporate matters. He also represents broker-dealers and CTAs and CPOs with respect to matters under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Commodity Exchange Act.
In addition, Mr. Nowak represents many hedge funds and other alternative investment funds in fund formation and investment and compliance matters, including compliance audits and preparation work. Mr. Nowak has represented a broad range of investment funds, from funds that use the traditional broad investment charters and invest globally in virtually any financial asset that can be readily traded to specialty niche funds with narrowly defined investment strategies that invest in distressed debt and other illiquid securities. He also represents fund managers with products spanning both the private equity and hedge fund markets.
Mr. Nowak also handles mergers and acquisitions, tax matters for corporations and registered investment companies and other corporate matters.
Mr. Nowak also has represented hospitals, health care systems and health care providers and other health care entities as outside general counsel and as special counsel in regulatory, corporate and transactional matters, business operations and many other issues.
Mr. Nowak writes and speaks frequently on issues involving alternative lending, blockchain, initial coin offerings (ICOs), investment management, health care and other matters. Mr. Nowak is the author of five books on hedge funds. Hedge Fund Disclosure Documents Line by Line - A User's Guide to Confidential Private Placement Memoranda for Funds Formed as Limited Liability Companies (the 3rd edition was published in 2018; the 2nd edition was published in January 2011; the 1st edition was published in 2004) and Hedge Fund Agreements Line by Line - A User's Guide to LLC Operating Contracts, (the 2nd edition was published in September 2009; and the 1st edition was published in 2004) All were published by Aspatore Publishing.
Mr. Nowak joined Pepper from Gartmore Global Investments, Inc., an asset management subsidiary of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Mr. Nowak was Gartmore's executive vice president for mergers and acquisitions and was responsible for all aspects of acquisitions of investment advisory firms. He also was instrumental in developing and managing Gartmore's hedge fund business and in developing a compliance module that allows Gartmore to manage alternative assets, such as hedge funds, along with traditional investment products.
Before joining Gartmore, Mr. Nowak was in private practice as a partner in another large, Center City Philadelphia law firm.
Operational Due Diligence - Getting the Investment
Jennifer Keeney is a Senior Risk Officer for alternative investments at Russell Investments. She has over fifteen years of alternative investment operational due diligence, hedge fund manager research and equity research experience. Her responsibilities include implementing and leading a risk-based operational due diligence program across hedge fund, private equity and private real estate managers. She also works with the Private Capital team on sourcing managers for impact investing mandates.
Prior to Russell, Ms. Keeney served as the Head of Operational Due Diligence at a socially responsible hedge fund of funds. She was a Senior Consultant with the Enterprise Risk Management team at General Motors Asset Management, and previously, a Managing Director at Fairfield Greenwich Group, where she evaluated hedge fund managers for an Asian joint venture. Ms. Keeney served as the Head of Due Diligence for a hedge fund-of-funds, and earlier, held research positions at Bear, Stearns and Standard Chartered Securities.
Ms. Keeney is a member of the New York Society of Securities Analysts Alternative Investment Committee and former member of the Greenwich Roundtable's Best Practices Working Group. She was a contributing writer to the Greenwich Roundtable's white paper, Best Practices in Due Diligence: Alternative Investments, published in July 2010.
SkyView Investment Advisors
Larry is a co-founder of SkyView Investment advisors and his career spanned a number of milestones within the financial industry.At Riverview Investment Advisors, Larry focused on manager research and helped grow assets under management in excess of $2 billion internationally. He also served as a risk manager for BPV Capital as AUM grew from under $200m to over $2 billion.Larry's career at Soros Fund Management spanned over 16 years where he built the performance and risk analytics group. He also expanded the outside manager (i.e. satellite) network to over $4 billion. While at Soros assets under management grew from under $400 million to over $25 billion.While at Drexel Burnham, Larry was a member of the Los Angeles based High Yield & Convertible Bond Group headed by Michael Milken.Larry frequently speaks and contributes to various venues within the alternative asset industry. He has met with hundreds of managers during his career. He is an active community member and devotes his time to expanding access to the arts.
How to Build a Relationship with a Consultant
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.Â Chris has broken 9 Guinness World Records, and has run marathons on all 7 continents and in all 50 US states.
Susanne Wei is a Vice President of Cliffwater LLC and a member of the hedge fund research team. Susanne is responsible for manager selection and due diligence on Global Macro, Managed Futures, and Market Neutral strategies. Prior to joining Cliffwater, Susanne was a research analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she was responsible for manager due diligence for the hedge fund platform.
She earned a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Boston College. Susanne holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Mitigating Risk Through Asset Allocation - An Investor's Perspective
Meketa Investment Group
Mr. Obregon joined Meketa Investment Group in 2014. A Senior Research Analyst for the firm, his responsibilities include asset allocation, risk management, and macro-economic research, and investment manager research. Mr. Obregon works directly with the public markets manager research team and the Director of Research to develop and communicate research and guidance to our Consultants and clients.
Prior to joining Meketa Investment Group, Mr. Obregon was employed by Agrega Partners in Caracas, Venezuela, a financial and strategic consulting firm. In addition, he served as an Analyst for Core Global Management, an actuarial consulting firm in Caracas.
He received a Master of Finance from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, in Applied Mathematics from the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela. Mr. Obregon holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and is a member of the CFAÂ Institute. He also holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation and is a member of the CAIA Association.
How Effectively Articulating your Risk Profile Will Transform your Asset Raising
ATA RiskStation, LLC
Aladin Abughazaleh has been involved in the Alternative Investments industry since 1983. From 1985 until 2000, Mr. Abughazaleh ran his own investment firm that specialized in allocating both proprietary and investor capital to commodity trading advisors, option traders and hedge funds and overseeing risk in those portfolios. In 1997, Mr. Abughazaleh spun out his investments firm's back and middle office groups into a new service provider that he grew and ultimately sold to the Bank of New York in 2008. In 2010, Mr. Abughazaleh retired to manage his family's proprietary capital and developed the required technologies to support the risk oversight process. Mr. Abughazaleh no longer manages outside capital and does not provide risk or investment advice to investors.
Mr. Abughazaleh holds a Bachelor's degree in Business from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from the University of Dallas.
Understanding What Makes a Prime Broker an Effective Partner: Services, Balance Sheet and Access to Capital
Mirae Asset Securities (USA), Inc.
Robert Akeson is co head of prime brokerage, correspondent clearing and agency execution at Mirae Asset Securities (USA) Inc., an affiliate of the Mirae Family of companies, Korea's leading non-bank financial group.
Mirae Asset Securities (USA) Inc. provides prime brokerage, equity finance, repo, correspondent clearing, agency execution, foreign research distribution and corporate access services to institutional investors, including hedge funds. Mr. Akeson is well versed in the management, marketing, operations, enterprise technology, compliance, risk management, due diligence, balance sheet and liquidity management aspects of these businesses.
His background includes leadership positions with Neuberger Berman, Morgan Stanley, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Services and Broadridge Financial Solutions (formerly ADP BISG).
Mr. Akeson is a frequent speaker on topics related to the hedge fund industry, prime brokerage, market liquidity and Basel III. He is a member of the Management Committee of the New York Alternative Investment Roundtable, the DTCC Systemic Risk Roundtable, CFA Society New York and the Economic Club of New York. Mr. Akeson has also taught Money, Banking and Financial Markets at Molloy College.
Mr. Akeson holds an MBA from New York University and a BA from Washington College.
Longship Alternative Asset Management
Bob is the managing partner of Longship Alternative Asset Management LLC. He has over 32 years of hedge fund experience, starting back in 1987 as Bruce Kovner's trading assistant at Caxton. Past experience as a CIO and senior analyst at two funds of funds in San Franciso and Greenwich CT. Longship raises assets for hedge funds. The firm focuses on global macro, currency, global bond, commodities and long / short hedge fund managers.
Finding Alternatives to Seed Capital
Prophecy Asset Management, LLC
Jeffrey Spotts, CMT has 27 years of professional experience providing portfolio management services to institutions and high-net-worth clients. He launched the firm in 2001, with a single strategy, technical trading fund focused on equities. Mr. Spotts has managed a first-loss capital allocation since 2000.
Prior to Prophecy, Mr. Spotts worked at Merrill Lynch from 1989 to 2001. During his tenure, he worked in various areas of the firm, including origination, research and asset management. He lead a portfolio management team with $500 million of AUM. He also managed a discretionary hedged product from 1999-2001 at Merrill Lynch, and from 2001 to present at Prophecy.
Mr. Spotts is published on trading strategies. He graduated in 1989 from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Reducing Real Estate Investing Risk and Locking in Returns by Co-Investing
Jason Kliewer is a partner and general counsel for Trumark Homes, and serves on its Board of Directors. He brings a deep background in real estate acquisition and neighborhood design developed over the past 12 years at Trumark Companies, where he continues to be responsible for all aspects of the firm's land acquisition, neighborhood planning and entitlement processing. He was instrumental in the company's 1995 expansion into Southern California and his experience is vital to the land supply side of Trumark Homes. An attorney by training, Mr. Kliewer became president of Trumark Companies in June 2002 after four successful years of running the company's land acquisitions as vice president. He became partner and general counsel of Trumark Homes when the new home-building company was founded in 2008.
Ms. Ball joined Trumark in 2014 and oversees all creative and strategic marketing efforts
for the company. She is actively involved in marketing communications, public
relations, branding, and promotional activities for the company and its related new
home developments and master planned communities. With 15 years of real estate
experience, Ms. Ball has worked with some of the industry's most prominent firms
including the Irvine Company, Brookfield Residential and Bosa Development. Just prior
to joining Trumark she was involved in the launch of a trading platform for illiquid real
estate investments and Series 7 licensed. Ms. Ball received her B.A. degree in sociology
and business management from the University of California, Irvine.
How to Identify and Make Great Early Stage Investments
Deb Kemper is a managing partner of Golden Seeds Venture Fund, focused on investing in early stage enterprise B2B and medtech companies. She formerly led the Boston Forum of Golden Seeds, a national angel investor group. Prior to launching Golden Seeds Venture Fund, she built a portfolio of over two dozen early stage investments via Libra Global Partners, LLC.Â Deb is a Board Member at Day One Response, and a Board Observer at DayZero Diagnostics and 99DegreesCustom. She was an advisor to Grokstyle until their recent acquisition by Facebook. Deb serves on several non-profit boards including the Council of Advisors of USA Girl Scouts Overseas.
Deb was a consultant with McKinsey & Company where she served clients in the energy, electronics, and healthcare sectors. She earned her MBA from The Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and her Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Cornell, where she was a member of the Varsity Women's Crew. As an alumna, she is serves on the Engineering College Council and Entrepreneurship@Cornell advisory board.
Jo Ann Corkran
Golden Seeds Venture Fund
Jo Ann Corkran is a managing partner of Golden Seeds Venture Fund, Golden Seeds Fund 2, and Golden Seeds Innovate New York Fund; these venture capital funds invest in high potential, early stage companies with gender diverse management and founding teams. She is also a managing member of Golden Seeds LLC, a nationwide investor network with a similar investment thesis.
Jo Ann serves on the board of directors of two SaaS companies: Brandwatch, an AI powered consumer insights company, and Work Truck Solutions,
technology to improve efficiency in commercial truck sales.
Prior to Golden Seeds Funds, Jo Ann had a more than 20-year career on Wall Street. She has extensive experience in asset management and securities research mainly with Credit Suisse and First Boston. Jo Ann holds a BS in Mathematics from NYU and was a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries
The Do's and Dont's of Investing with Independent Sponsors
Sylvie Gadant is a partner with the firm's Private Equity Group and is the
Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) practice leader. She coordinates and leads
buy-side and sell-side due diligence engagements for private equity firms and
Prior to joining Citrin Cooperman, Sylvie was the principal-in-charge of the TAS Practice at a Top-20 national
accounting firm, where she also spent more than 10 years with its audit and advisory practices. Previously, she
served middle-market private companies across several industries for another public accounting firm. Sylvie has
advised clients on over 300 transactions valued between $5 million and $300 million, including platform
investments, add-on acquisitions, leveraged recapitalizations, carve-outs, and minority investments.
Her areas of expertise include analyzing an acquisition target's quality of earnings, understanding key
performance indicators, assessing working capital requirements, and identifying key deal issues and risk areas.
She also provides her clients with guidance on accounting for mergers and acquisitions, and works with legal
counsel on the drafting of purchase and sale agreements, focusing on purchase price adjustment mechanisms,
and financial statement representations.
Sylvie is a recipient of the 2013 M&A Advisor "40 Under 40" award. She is an active member of the Association for
Corporate Growth (ACG) and was selected as a judge for the 2014 ACG New York Champion's M&A Awards. Most
recently, Sylvie was chosen as one of the top 25 women "Intrapreneurs" by LWE (Leading Women Entrepreneurs).
A French native, Sylvie earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the Graduate School
AGI Partners LLC
David Acharya is a Partner at AGI Partners LLC, where he is responsible for investment sourcing and performing due diligence, transacting/financing structuring, post-close value creation and portfolio management. In addition, he is very active in managing the firm and its strategy. Mr. Acharya is a Board Member of Impact XM, a leading provider of experiential marketing solutions for global clients and a portfolio company of AGI Partners LLC.
Previously, Mr. Acharya was a Vice President with Apprise Media, a private equity firm focused on niche media investments, where he worked with the founders of PRIMEDIA, a former KKR founded portfolio company. Mr. Acharya invested over $200 million in niche media companies across digital, events and print products in North America, Europe and Asia. He has made significant contributions to Apprise Media's largest portfolio company: Canon Communications, the leading B2B media company focused on the $3 trillion advanced, technology-based manufacturing industries. Canon was successfully sold to United Business Media in 2010.
Prior to his private equity investing career, he spent 10 years as an investment banker in the highly ranked leveraged finance groups of JP Morgan Chase and Toronto Dominion Securities where he advised, structured and raised over $18 billion of capital for leading financial sponsors, media, telecom, consumer product and other various companies across the globe. He also advised clients on debt tender/consent transactions that affected over $4 billion in debt. In addition, he was involved in numerous private equity investments as part of Toronto Dominion's merchant banking investments.Â
Mr. Acharya is also the President of the Board of Directors for the ACG NY Chapter, the single-most comprehensive networking/content platform for the middle market dealmaking community serving over 8,000 attendees. Mr. Acharya is a frequent speaker and recognized by his peers for his expertise on topics such as private equity, capital markets, family offices, and post-close value creation and portfolio management.
Mr. Acharya holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees, both conferred with honors, from St. John's University.
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AGI is an alternative investment management firm that deploys capitalÂ in private equity investments. In particular, AGI specializes in identifying and acquiring businesses that then provide a platform for further add-on acquisitions.Â We identify and partner with best-in-class management teams by providing the financial and strategic resources required to grow these business, both organically and through strategic acquisitions.Â For more information, please visit our website atÂ http://www.agi-llc.com .
Micro Cap Strategy and Tactics to Generate Alpha
Mercadyne Fund Management LLC
David N. Baker is the Managing Member of Mercadyne Fund Management LLC and the Managing Principal of the General Partner of Mercadyne Funds LP and Mach 100 LP. He is the principal portfolio manager of the Fund. For the last 25 years, Mr. Baker has been a financial markets professional. His career has included positions as the managing principal of two previous small cap and micro-capitalization, hedge funds; and was ranked as a Top 10 performing Hedge Fund Manager in 1997 by MAR Hedge. Additional positions have included other investment management capacities, proprietary trading, investment banking and securities brokerage. Mr. Baker has extensive experience managing capital for boutique institutional and accredited investors. He has led as investment principal, originating, structuring, financing and investing in private, alternative going public and public transactions for numerous emerging growth companies, as well as advising them at all stages of their corporate lifecycle, from startup through subsequent public financings. Mr. Baker has co-authored two financial analytics patents, including a design for product/service hierarchy database for market competition and investment analysis, as well as a patent for a granular method for index performance by sector. These issued patents were the basis of a Company he co-founded (Revere Data LLC fka Sectorbase) that was eventually acquired by Factset Data Systems, Inc. He is also the Founder and Managing Member of Mercadyne Automated Properties LLC, a portfolio of self storage facilities. Mr. Baker earned a B.A. in 1989 from the University of Colorado and received a J.D. in 1992 from Golden Gate University (and interned with the SEC, division of enforcement). He has previously held Series 7, 63, 65 and 55 securities licenses.
Discovering Value in Metals and Mining
Rossport Investments LLC
* Independent mining analyst and primary investor
* 25 years of experience in the mining sector including visits to over 150 mines and projects
* Named "Best on the Street" for Precious Metals stock picking by the Wall Street Journal in 1995 and 1999
* Joined Goldman Sachs as a Senior Precious Metals Equity Research Analyst from 1997 until 2002
* Prior to that worked at Lehman Brothers as a Gold Mining Analyst from 1994 to 1997
* Joined Barrick Gold Corp. as Assistant Controller in 1987 and left as Operations Controller in 1994