Board Oversight of
Investment Products Roundtable
Co-hosted by the Center for
Financial Policy and the Mutual Fund Directors Forum
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Ronald Reagan Building &
International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
The recent surge in the use of alternative investments by asset managers
shows no signs of abating. Alternative investments, previously the province of
institutional investors, are becoming increasingly popular with individual
investors. Alternative funds – which can provide investors with exposure to
investments beyond stocks and bonds or pursue trading strategies more common in
hedge funds and similar products – present unique challenges for fund directors,
particularly with respect to risk oversight. This program, presented jointly by
the Mutual Fund Directors Forum
and the Center for Financial Policy at the University of Maryland’s Robert H.
Smith School of Business, will explore these issues and provide practical
information for directors.
Geoffrey Craddock is an Executive Vice President and Director of Risk Management
& Asset Allocation at OppenheimerFunds. He is responsible for the company's independent
risk management function and for oversight of asset allocation techniques and products.
The role includes ensuring the effective identification and management of risk throughout
the OppenheimerFunds complex, and the development and maintenance of a robust approach
to asset allocation.
Prior to joining OppenheimerFunds in 2008, Mr. Craddock was a Senior Vice President
and Head of Market Risk Management for CIBC, where he oversaw market risk management
globally for the bank’s investment banking, trading and retail activities. In total,
Geoff spent 15 years with CIBC in London, Toronto and New York in a variety of risk
management and trading roles and 12 years prior to that in trading and brokerage
positions with various investment banks in Europe and the United States.
Michael G. Doherty
Michael Doherty is a partner at Ropes & Gray LLP. He focuses his practice on
the representation of asset managers. His practice spans a wide variety of products,
and he is equally comfortable providing advice with respect to registered funds,
unregistered products such as private equity funds and business development companies.
Michael has considerable experience with the formation and ongoing representation
of investment advisers, registered investment companies and their boards of directors,
and privately offered investment pools and their sponsors.
Devin McCune is the Head of Board Reporting & Compliance at Lipper where he has
held various roles related to the advisory contract renewal process since 1998.
He was the Director of Operations prior to being promoted to his current position.
Devin has also managed the Lipper Fund Fact Sheet and online businesses, and continues
to manage the Lipper Fund Flows business.
Devin frequently attends fund board meetings where he provides guidance related
to Lipper’s reports and methodology, and addresses questions from meeting attendees.
Prior to Lipper, Devin worked for a third party administrator, concentrating
on limited partnerships and real estate investment trusts. Devin holds a Bachelor
of Arts degree in English from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Neil D. Pearson is a professor of finance at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. He previously held a faculty position at the University of
Rochester. His research includes both theoretical and empirical work on asset
pricing and the valuation and hedging of financial derivatives and other
financial instruments. Dr. Pearson has published papers in a number of academic
journals, is an associate editor of the Journal of Financial Economics, the
Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, and Economics Bulletin and has
written a book, Risk Budgeting: Portfolio Problem Solving with Value-at-Risk,
published by John Wiley & Sons. He has consulted for a number of U.S. and
international banks, working on term structure models, the evaluation of
derivatives pricing models, and some issues that arise in the computation of
“value at risk” measures. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute
Ethan Powell is the Executive Vice President and Secretary of the Pyxis Funds.
Prior to Pyxis he served as Senior Retail Fund Analyst at Highland Capital Management,
L.P. Prior to joining Highland in April 2007, He spent most of his career with Ernst
and Young providing audit and merger and acquisition services within the firm’s
Transaction Advisory Services Group. His primary focus was acquisitions in the Energy
industry. He received an MS in Management Information Systems and a BS in Accounting
from Texas A&M University. He has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial
Analyst designation and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
Elizabeth Reza is a partner at Ropes & Gray LLP. She advises investment advisers,
investment companies, boards of trustees/directors, endowments, sovereign wealth
vehicles, and private foundations in connection with regulatory and transactional
matters and a range of products including open-end funds, closed-end funds, interval
funds, and separate accounts.
Erik Sirri is an Independent Director at Natixis Funds. He also serves as a Governing
Counsel member of the Independent Directors Counsel (IDC) and Professor of Finance
at Babson College. From 2006-2009 he was the Director of the Division of Trading
and Markets at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he was responsible
to the Commission for matters relating to the regulation of stock and option exchanges,
national securities associations, brokers, dealers, clearing agencies, transfer
agents, and credit rating agencies.
Laura Starks is the Charles E. and Sarah M. Seay Regents Chair in Finance and
Associate Dean for Research at the McCombs School of Business at the University
of Texas at Austin. Her research and teaching interests include valuation of
financial assets, portfolio management, corporate governance, the influence of
institutional investors in financial markets, managerial incentives and
environmental, social and governance investing. Her research on finance issues
has appeared in leading academic journals including the Journal of Finance,
Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of
Business, and Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, among many others.
She is Independent Director of CREF Retirement Equities and TIAA-CREF mutual
funds. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin
and her M.B.A. from The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Nancy Szmolyan is a Senior Practice Expert in McKinsey’s North American Asset
Management, and Retirement Practice and leads several proprietary research
McKinsey’s annual Asset Management Benchmarking Survey and recent efforts on the
solutions, growth of alternatives, asset management following the crisis, the
future of the US defined
contribution market, and risk management for asset managers. Prior to her
current role, Nancy was an
Associate Principal in McKinsey’s London office where she served global
wholesale banks, retail banks,
investment managers, and life insurers. Nancy has also worked as a consultant in
McKinsey’s offices in
São Paolo and Toronto.
Nancy is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has a Masters of Public
Policy from Harvard University,
as well as a Bachelor of Commerce with distinction from the University of
Laurie Thomsen is an Independent Director at MFS Funds. Previously, she served
as an Executive Partner of New Profit, Inc., a venture philanthropy firm and as
a co-founding General Partner of Prism Venture Partners, a venture capital firm
investing in healthcare and technology companies.