Instructor Biographies

 

Program Co-Directors

Dr. Lawrence Harris, CFA, PhD, holds the Fred V. Keenan Chair in Finance at the USC Marshall School of Business.  His research, teaching, and consulting address regulatory and practitioner issues in trading and investment management.  He authored Trading and Exchanges: Market Microstructure for Practitioners, a widely regarded “must read” for entrants into the securities industry.  Professor Harris served as SEC Chief Economist from 2002-2004.  He currently serves as lead independent director of Interactive Brokers (IBKR), director of the Selected Funds, and research coordinator of the Q-Group.  Dr. Harris received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, and is a CFA charterholder. Dr. Harris teaches at Level I.


William L. Krantz, CFA, assumed his position as Co-Director on September 1, 2007. Prior to his retirement in 2005, he was involved in the CFA Review Program from 1987 through 2004. He has taught the portfolio management curriculum at all three levels and was a Level III co-coordinator for twelve years. Bill has been an active member of CFALA since 1970, serving as president in 1985-86. He was honored with the "Member of the Year" award in 1996 and the "Outstanding Lifetime Contribution" award in 2005. From 1969 through 2005 Bill worked for four investment advisory firms in downtown Los Angeles as a portfolio manager for individuals, institutions, foundations and endowment funds. His responsibilities included the management of client portfolios along with related client service and marketing activities. The last eleven years of his career were spent with Boston Partners Asset Management, a partnership he helped establish in 1995 after leaving The Boston Company. He holds BS and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California and received the CFA designation in 1976.

Program Instructors:

Anthony V. Aaron, CFA, FASA, FRICS is currently serving as an Adjunct Professor in the Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California. He has spent over 36 years in financial analysis. The majority of his career took place at Ernst & Young LLP, and he spent time earlier in his career as a securities analyst. Mr. Aaron has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Appraisal Foundations, as well as in many other roles with the ASA, the AICPA, and the Appraisal Foundation. He received his BS from USC and his MBA from UCLA. Mr. Aaron teaches at level I


Dr. Andrew L. Berkin, PhD joined Bridgeway Capital Management's investment management team in 2013 as Director of Research. Dr. Berkin drives statistical and economic research on financial data to further develop Bridgeway's investment strategies. He has an extensive technical background in theoretical physics and computer science, and has spent over 20 years experience applying his analytical capabilities to a variety of investment management considerations. Prior to joining Bridgeway, Dr. Berkin was co-chief investment officer and director of research for Vericimetry Advisors, LLC. He previously was a senior member and director in the research group at quantitative investment manager First Quadrant. Dr. Berkin received his B.S. with honors in physics from the California Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. in general relativity from the University of Texas at Austin. He subsequently was a postdoctoral research fellow in astrophysics at Waseda University in Japan. Dr. Berkin then worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory pursuing research into the visualization and analysis of large scientific data sets. The software that resulted, LinkWinds, was selected as winner of the 1996 NASA Software of the Year Award. He has published numerous articles in taxable investing, as well as scientific visualization and general relativity. Dr. Berkin is on the Editorial Board of the Financial Analysts Journal and teaches at Level III.


David Cary, PhD, CFA, is a Professor Emeritus of Finance at California State University, Northridge where he taught for over 25 years. He has also been a visiting instructor at USC, UCLA, LSU and the University of Auckland, NZ, and taught twice in the CSU London (UK) Business Semester. During his academic career he published many papers in academic journals, served as Chair of the Department twice, and received his department's Outstanding Teaching Award. For ten years he taught a course titled "Current Topics in Investments and Capital Markets" in a Masters of Finance program in Hong Kong. He was elected twice to the CFALA Board of Governors and was co-director of the CFALA Review Program for two years. He served on the CFA Institute Technology Advisory Committee for six years. He has also been honored with the CFALA Outstanding Committee Member award and as a Volunteer of the Month. He has been teaching CFA review classes for almost twenty years. Before obtaining his PhD in Finance, he received his CPA (now inactive) working for Arthur Young and Company (now Ernst and Young). Dr. Cary teaches at Levels I and II.


Kim Cash, CFA, CPA, CAIA, CIPM is Director of Verification and Examination Services at Cascade Compliance, a specialty CPA firm providing GIPS compliance consulting, verification and education. Kim brings over 22 years of investment industry experience to each GIPS® verification. Since 1995, she has helped hundreds of firms get into compliance with the GIPS standards, examined thousands of investment strategies and composites, and continuously developed and lead educational workshops that bring compliance to life with everyday challenges and practical solutions for GIPS-compliant firms and verifiers. Kim has practiced public accounting for more than 20 years and was an integral part of developing a growing professional team and serving more than 800 clients globally. She holds a Master’s degree in education and a Certified Securities Compliance Professional (CSCP) credential. She has also worked in the industry as a Consultant and Chief Compliance Officer for RVK, Inc., an SEC-registered investment advisor. Ms. Cash teaches at Level III.


Brian M. Cronin, CFA, CPA is a Vice President in the Corporate Treasury Group at MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, the US Intermediate Holding Corporation for MUFG, the 5th largest bank in the world. Reporting to the Head of Treasury Liquidity Management, Brian specializes in liquidity analysis covering Treasuries, Agency MBS, and other fixed income investments, and deposit as well as wholesale liability strategy. Brian is a CFA Charterholder, and has a MBA from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, specializing in Financial Analysis and Valuation and Technology Commercialization. He is an active CPA in the State of California, and has other inactive designations in accounting and fraud examination. Prior to joining MUFG, Brian has had roles at other large financial institutions in their valuation and financial planning and analysis groups. Brian has a BS, Cum Laude, from Babson College in Strategic Management. Mr. Cronin teaches at Level I and Level II.


Greg Crouch, CFAis a former investigative and general assignment journalist turned financial analyst. From 2012-2018, he served as a vice-president and research analyst on the $17 billion flagship Crescent Fund at First Pacific Advisors, working on both equity and fixed-income investments. Before going into finance, Greg was a correspondent for many years at RTL, Europe's largest commercial television network, where he regularly interviewed world leaders including Angela Merkel for Germany's version of Nightline. At the same time, he covered the Netherlands for The New York Times as a contract foreign correspondent and business writer and broadcast reports on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He also taught investigative multi-media journalism at two Dutch universities. He speaks both German and Dutch. Greg earned a Bachelor's degree from The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and earned his CFA charter in 2016. Mr. Crouch currently teaches at Level III.


Erik Einertson, CFA is the Director of Product Management for Multi-Asset Solutions and Alternatives at Franklin Templeton leading strategy for these growing asset classes.   Prior to joining Franklin Templeton, Erik was with Wilshire Associates, where he was Vice President of Client Service, working with Institutions, Broker Dealers, and HNW clients in the distribution of multi-asset, liquid alternatives and hedge fund of fund products.  Prior to Wilshire, Erik spent 5 years as a product specialist and in consultant relations with First Quadrant, a $40 billion investment management firm specializing in GTAA, currency and quantitative equity strategies.  Erik also worked on Capitol Hill, in Washington DC, as a Legislative Director and Chief Policy Advisor for a member of Congress. Erik is a CFA and a CAIA Charterholder and has previously been Chairman of the CFA Los Angeles Alternative Investment Community of Interest for the past five years. Mr. Einertson teaches Level III.


Roger L. Gewecke Jr., CFA joined Clifford Swan in 2005 and has more than 35 years investment industry experience as a trader, equity analyst, and portfolio manager. His clients include individuals, institutions, and non-profit organizations. Prior to Clifford Swan, Roger was a partner at Van Deventer & Hoch, and a Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at its successor company, Mellon. He also was a specialist at the Pacific Stock Exchange in Los Angeles. Roger enjoys all facets of the investment counseling practice, from research and portfolio management to client service. He is a former President of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of Los Angeles and greatly enjoys teaching the review program for those aspiring to earn the CFA designation. Mr. Gewecke teaches at Level III. 


Milton Hadinoto, CFA joined Standard & Poor’s Global in 2011. Previously, he was a Curriculum Editor for Stalla Review, a company specializing in CFA exam preparation. During his time there, he specialized in Level I material. He holds a Master's degree in Finance as well as Engineering from Texas A&M University and received the CFA designation in 2014.  Mr. Hadinoto teaches Level I.

 


Peter Heilbron, CFA is a Senior Vice President and Senior Investment Officer in Northern Trust’s Wealth Management unit. He has over 13 years of portfolio management experience serving private clients and foundations. Prior to joining Northern, Peter was a portfolio manager at RBC Wealth Management in Beverly Hills, where he managed over $1 billion of client assets across a variety of equity, fixed income, and alternative asset strategies. Prior to RBC, Peter worked as a portfolio manager at Citi Smith Barney. Peter performed his undergraduate studies at Loyola Marymount University and received his MBA from The Anderson School of Management at UCLA. He is a member of both the CFA Society of Los Angeles and the CFA Institute. Mr. Heilbron teaches at Level III.


Benjamin Hodges, CFA, FRM, started his career in the Corporate Restructuring group of Arthur Andersen. He joined Southern California Edison in 2002 in their Treasurer’s department. Mr. Hodges is currently the Director of Power Generation & Delivery at SCE where he has finance responsibility for transmission, distribution, generation, and nuclear decommissioning.  He previously was Director of Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis at both SCE and Edison International, where his responsibilities include managing the review of large capital projects, financial planning, M&A, and serving as an expert financial witness in regulatory proceedings. Mr. Hodges received both his BS and MBA from University of Southern California. Mr. Hodges teaches at Levels I & II.


Glen A. Holden, Jr., CFA, started his career in the insurance and investment industries in 1976, primarily managing investment portfolios. Mr. Holden has worked with both institutional and individual client. He is currently a financial advisor with VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc. He is a Past President of the CFA Society of Los Angeles, former Board Member of the CFA Institute, and was on the Candidate Curriculum Committee of the CFAI for five years. He and his wife, Sharon, live in Santa Barbara. Mr. Holden teaches at Level III. 

 

 


Lou Holtz, CFA is a Portfolio Manager for Rice Hall James in Pasadena, CA. At Rice Hall James, Mr. Holtz co-manages small-cap growth, micro-cap growth, and SMID growth investment strategies. Prior to joining Rice Hall James in 2008, Mr. Holtz spent 12 years at Engemann Asset Management in Pasadena serving as a portfolio manager of small-cap growth, micro-cap growth, all-cap growth and balanced investment strategies. Mr. Holtz also spent three years as a business valuation analyst at Marshall and Stevens and one year as an analyst for a regional real estate appraisal firm. Mr. Holtz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics with honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance from the University of Southern California, where he was on the Dean's List. Mr. Holtz teaches at Level III.


Dr. Cecil W. Jackson, CPA, is a professor of Clinical Accounting in the Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California. He teaches courses on fraudulent financial reporting and managerial accounting for the MBA program as well as the graduate and undergraduate accounting programs.  Cecil Jackson has appeared on a number of business news shows, including Bloomberg Television, The Street.Com, and CNN. He has worked for two leading public accounting firms and qualified as both a CPA and Chartered Accountant.  Dr. Jackson has won several awards for his teaching and is a respected speaker and consultant on aggressive financial reporting issues.  In May 2010, he was awarded the prestigious Evan C. Thompson Teaching and Learning Innovation Award by the Marshall School of Business.  In May 2012, he was voted one of the best professors in the Marshall School of Business and received the Golden Apple Award.  Dr. Jackson’s textbook, Detecting Accounting Fraud: Analysis and Ethics, was published by Pearson/Prentice Hall in January, 2014. Dr. Jackson currently teaches at Level II.


Bryan Johnson, CFA, CAIA, is a Managing Director and the Western U.S. Regional Director for the Advisor Solutions Group at AQR.  In this role, he consults with and educates wealth management firms and multi-family offices about AQR’s research and the firm’s ideas about asset allocation and alternative investment strategies. Prior to AQR, Bryan was a regional director for Dimensional Fund Advisors and he held various management positions in the semiconductor industry.  Mr. Johnson earned a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Arizona State University and an M.B.A. from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.  Mr. Johnson currently teaches at Level I.  


Christopher Jones, PhD, conducts research on empirical asset pricing and financial econometrics. He is an expert on volatility modeling and its application to option pricing and fixed income. He currently teaches courses on investment management. Prior to USC, Professor Jones was on the faculty at the University of Rochester. Dr. Jones teaches at Level II.

 

 


Scott Joslin, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Finance and Business Economics at USC Marshall School of Business. His research focuses on asset pricing and related econometric methods with applications to fixed income and options. He teaches elective courses on fixed income and risk management in addition to finance in the online MBA program.  Prior to coming to USC, Dr. Joslin was an assistant professor at MIT Sloan School of Management. He received his Ph.D. in finance from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Professor Joslin teaches Level III.

 


John M. Lacey, Ph.D., CPA,  is Ernst & Young Research Fellow and Professor of Accountancy at California State University - Long Beach. He previously taught at the School of Accounting at the University of Southern California (USC) and at Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. He earned his Ph.D. at UCLA and earned his MBA and BS degrees at USC. Professor Lacey is a CPA and has served on several committees and tasks forces for the Am
erican Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), including the Accounting Standards Executive Committee (AcSEC). Professor Lacey has also served as Chair of the California Society of CPAs Accounting Principles and Auditing Standards Committee and chaired its Special Committee on the future of the accounting profession. He has also taught regularly for a large investment management firm, for banks, and for various judicial organizations. Professor Lacey is the author of a research study on auditor independence commissioned by the Chief Accountant of the Securities & Exchange Commission. Professor Lacey is widely published and also serves as an expert witness in major legal cases involving accounting and financial issues. Prior to his academic career, Professor Lacey was a supervisor in the national office of a major CPA firm and served as corporate officer and controller of a manufacturing company. Professor Lacey teaches at Level I.


Erin Lavelle, CFA, CPA is the Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer for Dalton Investments. She is responsible for overseeing financial and accounting matters for Dalton and Dalton’s funds. Prior to joining Dalton, she was an Accounting Manager at Colony Capital LLC, and began her career as an auditor at KPMG LLP. Ms. Lavelle holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA (Hons.) from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. She is a Certified Public Accountant in California and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. She is a member of the California Society of CPAs, the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of LA. Ms. Lavelle teaches at Level II.

James Lewis, CFA, CIPM is a Managing Director at TCW Group. Prior to joining TCW in 1999, Mr. Lewis was a Quantitative Analyst for Loomis, Sayles & Company. Mr. Lewis received a BS in Mathematics from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from the University of Southern California. He is a CFA® charterholder, CIPM® certificant, and member of the CFA Institute. He is a past President of CFA Society of Los Angeles. Mr. Lewis teaches at Level III.
 
 
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Andrea Mack, CFA is a Managing Director and Senior Consultant Relations Executive with primary responsibility for the Western U.S. region. Prior to joining TCW, she was a Portfolio Manager at Western Asset Management Company for a dozen years and an Institutional Client Service Executive both at Western Asset and at Payden & Rygel Investment Counsel before joining Western’s U.S. investment team. Ms. Mack currently serves on the boards of Westmark School, The Toigo Alumni Endowment, and the Riordan Programs at UCLA. In addition, she is on the Host Committee of 2020 Women on Boards, the Los Angeles Chapter. Andrea received her Bachelors Degree in Romance Languages and Literature, cum laude, from Harvard College. Later, she earned an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where she focused on Finance and was awarded the Robert Toigo Fellowship. She is a CFA charterholder and a member of CFA Society Los Angeles. Ms. Mack teaches at Level III.

Tom Mahoney, CFA, CAIA, a 30-year veteran of the financial services industry, is a Senior Portfolio Manager with UBS Private Wealth Management in Los Angeles. Prior to joining UBS, he advised private clients with Credit Suisse, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, Kidder Peadbody, and E.F. Hutton & Co.  After receiving his B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Tom earned an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University.  He completed the Private Equity and Venture Capital Program at Harvard Business School.  He is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder, serves as Co-Chair of the Private Wealth Management Committee of the CFA Society of Los Angeles, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Society. Tom is also a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA®). He is the immediate past President and Co-Founder of the CAIA Los Angeles chapter. Mr. Mahoney teaches at Level II.

 
Emily Matthews, CFA, CPA is a Director at CNM, LLP focused on Accounting and Transaction Advisory Services. She provides accounting and transaction advisory services to clients on a range of topics, including VIEs, business combinations, debt and equity issuances, and financial reporting. She leads the Firm’s ASC 842 leases initiative, which includes conducting trainings for clients and leading ASC 842 implementation engagements. She has led several engagements to prepare clients for the adoption of new revenue accounting guidance in ASC 606 within the consumer products, FinTech, retail, and other industries. Prior to joining CNM, LLP, Emily was a Senior Manager in Deloitte’s National Office and provided accounting consultation services to Deloitte audit teams on complex accounting topics. Also at Deloitte, Emily assisted clients with the design and implementation of hedging and risk management strategies and assisted in the valuation of complex securities, including mortgage-backed securities, private placement bonds, convertible instruments, and derivatives. Ms. Matthews teaches at Level I.
Ara Oghoorian, CFA, CFP, CPA, is the founder and president of ACap Asset Management, Inc. and ACap Accounting Services, Inc. a wealth management and CPA firm located in Los Angeles. Previously, Ara worked for a wealth management firm in the Washington, DC, worked overseas for the US Department of the Treasury, and spent nine years at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Ara is on the Board of Directors of Mission Valley Bank. In addition to his work in finance, Ara is on the board of the Water Buffalo Club, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children in LA. He has a degree in finance from San Francisco State University, is a Commissioned Bank Examiner through the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Enrolled Agent (EA), and holds the Series 65 license. Mr. Oghoorian teaches at Level I.
Dan Pomerantz, CFA, CFP is a Senior Investment Strategist at Wells Fargo.  Prior to joining the firm he was a Director and Senior Portfolio Manager at City National Rochdale where he managed ultra-high net worth client portfolios.  Services included investment management, trust, tax and estate planning.   Prior to Bessemer, Mr. Pomerantz worked as a Senior Portfolio Manager at the Northern Trust Company and managed over $800 million in assets.  He also worked as a Civil Engineer for eight years and holds a professional engineer license in the state of California. Mr. Pomerantz has been on the Board of Governors of CFA Los Angeles since 2012 and is currently serving as the Society’s President.  From 2010 to 2012, he was the President of the Applied Behavioral Finance Group, an affiliated organization to CFA Los Angeles.  Mr. Pomerantz is a CFA Charterholder and a Certified Financial Planner, CFP ®.  He has an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from UCLA.  Mr. Pomerantz teaches at Level I.

 Herbert Y. Poon is a Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel, Fund Business Management Group, of Capital Research and Management Company, investment adviser to the American Funds and part of Capital Group. Mr. Poon is also the Principal Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of AMCAP Fund, American Mutual Fund, The Investment Company of America and American Funds Global Balanced Fund. In addition, he serves on the Liquidity Risk Management Committee for Capital Group. Prior to joining Capital as an attorney in 2001, Mr. Poon was a financial analyst in the investment banking division of Smith Barney Inc., focusing on financial institutions. Mr. Poon received his JD from UCLA School of Law and his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Harvard University.  Mr. Poon teaches Level II.


Justin Regus, CFA is the President of Agility Economics, LLC, and a specialist in financial and economic analysis for parties in litigation, transactions, or other disruptive events.  For more than 15 years he has supported clients involved in complex disputes, including both civil and criminal litigation. His project experience includes disputes related to white collar fraud, insider trading, valuation, antitrust issues, commercial damages and intellectual property.  He has been qualified as an expert and testified in deposition and at trial in the state of California.  He has also presented at mediation and has supported numerous expert testimonies in state and federal courts. Justin received his Bachelor of the Arts degree from Claremont McKenna College, where he majored in Economics and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society.  Mr. Regus teaches at Level III.

Matthew Robinson, CFA graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a double major in Mathematics and Statistics, with a minor in Finance. Mr. Robinson currently works for Analytic Investors, LLC; a quant-heavy investment  firm that was recently acquired by Wells Fargo Asset Management. Mr. Robinson is responsible for day-to-day monitoring, rebalancing, trading, research, and attribution for over $5 billion in Global, Emerging Markets, and Japanese equity portfolios for a variety of institutional clients. Mr. Robinson currently teaches at Level II.  

 


Mohammad R. Safarzadeh, PhD is in the FBE, Marshall School of Business at USC. Professor Safarzadeh received his B.S. in economics from Tehran University and M.S. and Ph.D. in economics from Claremont Graduate University.  He is the author of a book in Mathematical Economics using Mathematica and has published several articles on exchange rate, trade, and finance in refereed journals. He teaches courses in econometrics, macroeconomics, risk analysis and forecasting. Dr. Safarzadeh teaches in Level I.


Michael Salvay, CFA, is a Managing Principal at Payden & Rygel. He is a member of the firm’s Investment Policy Committee and serves as Senior Portfolio Manager advising public pension plans, endowments and universities and corporations. He directs the core bond architecture group and has extensive experience in developing customized mandates for active and passive index replication portfolios as well as hedging programs. Mr. Salvay is also a trustee of The Payden & Rygel Investment Group, the sponsor of the Paydenfunds, for which Payden & Rygel is the investment advisor. He earned an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College and a BA in Economics from the University of California, San Diego. Mr. Salvay teaches at Level III.

Francois Schramek, CFA, is a Vice President working at J.P. Morgan and is based in Los Angeles, CA. He serves as an advisor to a variety of clients and advises on their asset allocation, portfolio construction, and wealth plan implementation. Prior to joining JPM, Francois was a Director at Pathstone, a $12BN Multi-Family Office, where he spent 5 years directly servicing some of the firm’s more complex ultra-high net worth and family office client relationships. Francois earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Asset Management from the European Business School in Germany and an MBA from University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. He additionally passed the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Series 65 exam, holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, and is an active member of the CFA Institute, CFA Society Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles World Council. Mr. Schramek teaches at Level III.

Lauren Semeniuta, CFA, CPA, is a Regional Director in the Financial Advisor Services group at Dimensional Fund Advisors, Lauren Semeniuta is responsible for managing new and ongoing relationships with financial advisors. Lauren joined Dimensional in 2015 and spent a year focused on subadvisory clients in the Institutional group. Lauren currently works primarily with wirehouse and broker-dealer affiliated advisors. Previously, Lauren worked as a manager in the accounting, valuation, and analytics group at Deloitte, where she led teams in advising public and private companies and financial institutions in addressing technical accounting and structuring issues related to complex financial instruments and transactions, including debt and equity financing, derivative hedging, consolidations, and securitizations. Lauren began her career in the advisory practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, focused on business process improvement, internal controls, and accounting issues for clients primarily in the financial services and real estate industries. Lauren holds a BA in business-economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a minor in accounting. Lauren is a CPA in the state of California and a CFA charterholder. Ms. Semeniuta teaches at Level I.

Atul Sharma, CFA is a Senior Manager with Ernst & Young and focuses on transaction due diligence on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and value creation for private equity (PE) clients. Atul has diverse deal experience and works closely with PE portfolio companies to improve business processes, technology, and innovation. Atul has worked on more than 75 transactions including buyouts, carve-outs, integrations and joint ventures (JV). Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Atul worked in financial services industry specializing in IT strategy and transformation. Mr. Sharma teaches Level II.

Chen Song, Ph.D., CFA, is a Senior Vice President at Nathan Associates’ LA office. She was an adjunct assistant professor with the California State University, Los Angeles, where she taught a course on financial institutions which covered topics on derivatives, mortgage and securitized asset markets. Chen has provided consulting services and authored expert reports related to liability, class certification, and damages in class action, multiple- and single-plaintiff disputes. She has supported academic experts in financial litigations such as options backdating and economic analyses of materiality and loss causation. Chen is well-versed with financial econometric modeling tools.  She routinely implements statistical techniques to analyze complex data. Chen received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. Dr. Song teaches Level III.

Peter Stutz, CFA, is a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at Guggenheim Partners in Santa Monica, CA, and has over 25 years of institutional investment industry experience as a fixed income analyst, trader, and portfolio manager. At Guggenheim he is responsible for the management of a variety of insurance company fixed income portfolios. He has also been a part of the firm’s Portfolio Construction Group where he was responsible for creating model portfolios for the firm’s core fixed income, multi-credit, multi-asset, and insurance strategies. Prior to joining Guggenheim, Mr. Stutz was a Portfolio Manager at Western Asset Management where he was part of the generalist fixed income portfolio management team as well as a member of the firm’s Investment Advisory Committee. Mr. Stutz specialized in global interest rate and derivative strategies and was responsible for U.S. inflation-linked bond portfolios. Mr. Stutz received his BS in computer science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and received the CFA® designation in 1996.  Mr. Stutz teaches at Level II.

Eric Souders, CFA, is a Senior Vice President and Strategist on the global unconstrained fixed income team with a focus on absolute return solutions. In this capacity, he is responsible for strategy implementation, risk management and performance attribution. Prior to joining Payden & Rygel, Souders worked as a Portfolio Manager at Guggenheim Partners, focusing on multi-sector and structured product dedicated strategies. In addition, he worked as a Portfolio Manager at Blackrock, focusing on investment-grade corporate credit strategies. Previously, he worked at BNY Mellon in their Wealth Management division. Eric Souders holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, and is a member of the CFA® Society of Los Angeles and the CFA® Institute. He earned a BA in Business-Finance at California State University, Fullerton. Mr. Souders teaches at Level III.

Michelle Tucker, CFA is an Associate Vice President within the corporate bond strategy team at Payden & Rygel. She is responsible for strategy write-ups, presentations, and architecture of corporate portfolios that aligns with the team’s outlook. Prior to her current position, Ms. Tucker was a Portfolio Analyst responsible for market analysis, aiding security selection and executing trades for the firm’s municipal bond portfolios. Before joining Payden & Rygel, she worked as an intern for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. She graduated cum laude from University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Economics. Ms. Tucker teaches at Level I.              


 Karyn Williams, Ph.D, joined Farmers Insurance Group in February 2013 as Head of Insurance Investments, and in that role manages Farmers’ insurance investments and processes. Over the past 13 years, Karyn has worked with all types of institutional investors to develop, implement and advise on strategic investment decisions within a risk management framework. Karyn has expertise in institutional portfo lio investment and risk management; risk management governance and analytical frameworks; investment operations; and research, development, and implementation of applied portfolio risk analytics and systems. Prior to Farmers, Karyn worked at Wilshire Associates for over 12 years, most recently as a senior investment consultant for pension, foundation, endowment and other institutional clients, where she advised on investment decisions and risk management frameworks, including policy and governance. Prior to her role as a consultant, Karyn contributed to the development of Wilshire’s total fund analytical tools as head the Total Fund Analytics division. Before Wilshire, Karyn taught graduate level finance courses and co-directed the Financial Engineering program at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Karyn is a member of the Industry Advisory Board of the University of California at Los Angeles’s Master of Financial Engineering Degree Program and a Board member and Vice Chair of the Finance Committee at of the KCRW Foundation. She is a graduate of Arizona State University where she earned a B.S. in Economics and a Ph.D. in Finance.  Dr. Williams teaches at Level III.


Ken Yee, CFA, CPA, is the president of an investment advisory company specializing in commercial real estate capital sourcing and asset-backed securities.  He has completed over $1 billion in commercial mortgage sales, originations, and asset-backed transactions on behalf of public and private institutions.  Mr. Yee also serves as an Independent Director and Audit Committee Chair of KBS Strategic Opportunity REITs I and II, which are two SEC-registered non-traded REITs.  He recently completed a second elected term as the Western U.S. Region Presidents Council Representative (PCR) for the CFA Institute, and was a past President of CFA Society Los Angeles.  Mr. Yee is a California Certified Public Accountant, a California licensed attorney, and a California real estate broker.  He graduated from the University of Southern California (BSBA, MBA and MBT), University of California at Los Angeles (JD), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MSRED).  Mr. Yee currently teaches Level I.

 

 

 

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