Giorgio De Santis (Panelist) '93
Director of Research, Kepos Capital
Giorgio De Santis is the Director of Research and a founding partner of Kepos Capital. Prior to Kepos, Giorgio was a Partner and the co-head of the research team in the Quantitative Investment Strategies Group at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Prior to Goldman Sachs, he was an Assistant Professor of Finance and Business Economics at the Marshall School of Business at USC. He has published articles in The Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of International Money and Finance, the Financial Analysts Journal and other academic and practitioner journals in finance and economics, and received the FAJ's Graham and Dodd Award in 2014. He has also contributed chapters to several books on investment management and is a co-author of Modern Investment Management: An Equilibrium Approach. Giorgio earned a B.A. from the Libera Universita' Internazionale degli Studi Sociali in Rome in 1984, a M.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1993.
Stephen M. Ewen (Panelist)
CFA, Principal, Mercer
Stephen Ewen is a Principal and Deputy CIO – Hedge Funds with Mercer, dedicated to hedge fund investments and research. In this capacity, Stephen is co-portfolio manager for Mercer's North American based discretionary hedge fund offerings in excess of $4 billion in assets as well as a voting member of the firm's Macro Ratings Review Committee. As such, he works with a large number of clients, both large and small, consisting of: university endowments, charitable foundations, healthcare, corporate pension, and high net worth. Stephen is highly engaged in Mercer's broader hedge fund research efforts as a mentor to the hedge fund research team, providing advice and guidance in addition to working alongside researchers to conduct primary manager research and also acts as a leading source of new manager ideas and intellectual capital.
Stephen joined Hammond Associates in October 2005, which was subsequently acquired by Mercer in January 2011. He has spent his entire career in alternative investments dating back to 1998 when he worked at HFR Consulting/HFR Asset Management. Stephen joined Swiss American Corp, a Member of the Credit Suisse Group, in 2002, and while there, focused on hedge fund manager selection for the Private Bank's $10 billion in hedge fund assets. In 2004, he joined NIP as a hedge fund analyst overseeing and advising on nearly U.S. $1 billion in hedge fund of fund assets.
Stephen received a BS degree from Miami University with a double major in Finance and Decision Sciences. Stephen is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute as well as the CFA Society of Cleveland.
Mark Florian (Panelist) '82
Managing Director, Global Energy & Power Infrastructure Funds, BlackRock
Mark Florian leads the Global Energy & Power Infrastructure team at BlackRock, which currently manages about $3.8 billion for investment in the power, midstream, utility and other areas in the energy sector across two 15-year funds. The team has created over 20 portfolio companies for the Funds and is actively investing globally. BlackRock acquired the Funds in 2017, which were created and built at First Reserve, a private equity firm that has been investing in exclusively in the energy sector since 1983.
Mr. Florian started the Energy and Power Infrastructure business at First Reserve in 2008. The team now includes about 30 professionals and is located in Greenwich Connecticut, London and Houston. Prior to First Reserve, Mr. Florian had a 23-year career at Goldman Sachs. He was a Partner at this Firm, and worked across many areas including corporate investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, and public finance in his career there. His last position at Goldman was as the COO of the Public Sector and Infrastructure Department, managing the infrastructure investment banking business which included about 150 people, and a member of the investment committee for Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners.
Mr. Florian has an undergraduate degree from Duke University, magna cum laude, majoring in Computer Science and Economics and an MBA from the University of Chicago in Finance.
Marjorie Kaufman (Panelist) '84
Chairman of the Board, Undercover Colors, Inc.
Marjorie Kaufman, CFA is a financial expert and multifaceted executive with over 30 years experience in investment banking and asset management. During the course of her career in finance, Marjorie held senior roles with Barington Capital, Guggenheim Partners, Kingdon Capital, J.&W. Seligman, Bankers Trust and Prudential Securities. Her accomplishments include raising over $5 billion in institutional capital for hedge fund and other alternative strategies, leading over $3.5 billion in closed-end fund IPOs for various equity and tax-exempt debt funds, and structuring financing for a number of prominent ESOP LBOs.
Currently, Marjorie is Chairman of the Board at Undercover Colors, Inc, an emerging diagnostics company whose first product will allow consumers to accurately detect date rape drugs in drinks using lateral flow technology. She also serves as an Advisory Board member for the Bio Capital Impact Fund based in Melbourne, Australia; as Chairman of the Hilltop Cares Foundation; and as Chairman of the Investment Committee for the Westchester Land Trust.
While working as a Partner with small cap activist Barington Capital, Marjorie's personal interest in ESG issues as an individual investor expanded into the institutional arena. She acquired extensive knowledge of corporate governance matters, from proxy access and director nominating procedures to nuances of board interaction with executives and shareholders, and conducted research on strategies to promote ESG initiatives with corporate boards. She is currently at work on a series of articles focused on how investors can exercise their influence as shareholders to affect ESG improvements at corporations.
Marjorie holds an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA, magna cum laude, in economics and anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. She was awarded the CFA designation in 1995. She has been an active member of NACD since 2017. An accomplished photographer, Marjorie posts images at her website, www.marjoriekaufman.com.
Nicholas Liolis (Panelist)
GA Chief Investment Officer, TIAA
Nicholas Liolis is Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer for the General Account of TIAA based in New York. He is responsible for the portfolio strategy, asset allocation and risk-adjusted targets for the $250 billion General Account, consisting of public and private fixed income, private equity, real estate and real asset alternatives.
Prior to joining TIAA in 2015 he was Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company in New York. At AXA, Mr. Liolis was responsible for asset-liability management, asset allocation and overall investment strategy for AXA Equitable's General Account investment and pension portfolios. Mr. Liolis worked in several areas at AXA, including investment analysis, asset liability management, credit investments, structured products and alternative investments. He held several positions including Head of Hedge Fund Investments, Chief Credit Officer and Deputy Chief Investment Officer prior to being named Chief Investment Officer in 2012.
Mr. Liolis joined AXA Equitable following his graduation from New York University's Stern School of Business, where he earned an MBA in Finance and Information Systems. Mr. Liolis also holds a BA in Economics from New York University.
Trey Parker (Panelist)
Partner and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Highland Capital Management, L.P
Trey Parker is Co-Chief Investment Officer, Partner and a Portfolio Manager at Highland Capital Management, L.P. Prior to his current role, Mr. Parker was responsible for managing the Credit Team/Platform; he also worked as a Managing Director covering a number of the industrial verticals, as well as parts of tech, media and telecom; he started his tenure at Highland as a Senior Portfolio Analyst on the Distressed & Special Situations investment team. Prior to joining Highland in March 2007, Mr. Parker was a Senior Associate at Hunt Special Situations Group, L.P., a Private Equity group focused on distressed and special situation investing. Mr. Parker was responsible for sourcing, executing and monitoring control Private Equity investments across a variety of industries. Prior to joining Hunt in 2004, Mr. Parker was an analyst at BMO Merchant Banking, a Private Equity group affiliated with the Bank of Montreal. While at BMO, Mr. Parker completed a number of LBO and mezzanine investment transactions. Prior to joining BMO, Mr. Parker worked in sales and trading for First Union Securities and Morgan Stanley. Mr. Parker received an MBA with concentrations in Finance, Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA in Economics and Business from the Virginia Military Institute. Mr. Parker serves on the Board of Directors of Euramax Holdings, Inc., TerreStar Corporation, JHT Holdings, Inc., and a non-profit organization, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Dallas chapter).
Gilbert Ong (Moderator) '09
Managing Director, Nuveen Solutions, TIAA
Gilbert Ong moved to the Multi-Asset Solutions Analytics group at Nuveen (part of TIAA) in May 2018 after spending 2.5 years as a Senior Director in the Investment Risk group of the General Account, where he was responsible for modeling, setting limits and formulating stress tests for a range of asset classes such as Commercial Real Estate, Agriculture, Timber and Private Equity. Prior to joining TIAA, Gilbert was an Executive Director in the hedge fund consulting group at MSCI, responsible for $6 million annual revenue and also managed the Americas Risk Management Analytics Presales Team which worked on $11 million of deals.
Over the past 17 years, Gilbert has also served as Quantitative Analyst/Strategist at hedge fund, Platinum Partners, lead Asia structured credit analyst at Fitch Ratings and CIBC World Market and as a quantitative credit portfolio manager at UOB/OCBC Asset Management. Gilbert started his career in Asian Equity Research in Salomon Smith Barney. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a MA in Statistics from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Accounting (Honors) from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is also a CFA Charterholder.