Alumni Connections - No. 13 - August 2005

Alumni Connections is a sampling of alumni news. Alumni on the Move, Alumni to Know, CEO Watch: Taking the Lead, and CEO Watch: Making Headlines share news gleaned from media online and in print, including news submitted to Chicago Booth Magazine. Submit information about yourself or fellow alumni to

Alumni on the Move

Advantage Capital Partners:
The private equity firm has named Damon Rawie, '99, principal of its newly established Austin, Texas, office, which will manage the Texas Certified Capital Company (CAPCO) program. Advantage raised approximately $23 million to create the program, which will fund small businesses in Texas.

Alaron Trading Corporation:
Jason Carver, '02, was appointed CFO. Based in Chicago, Alaron is a full-service and online brokerage firm serving individuals and institutional investors globally in futures and futures options markets.

American International Group, Inc.:
David L. Herzog, '95, has been named comptroller and elected senior vice president. He has been with the firm since 1998 and has served as assistant treasurer.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.:
John Godsman, '97, joined the firm's large-cap coverage group, where he will head up the new aerospace and defense sector. Godsman has been an advisor to French aircraft engine company Snecma and to German aircraft engine maker MTU Aero Engines GmbH.

Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.:
Craig Tooman, '92, was promoted to executive vice president of finance and CFO. He joined the biopharmaceutical company in January as executive vice president of strategic planning and corporate communications.

Executives' Club of Chicago:
John Edwardson, '72, has been named chairman of the board for the year, starting in July. Edwardson is chairman and CEO of computer marketer CDW Corp., based in Vernon Hills, Illinois.

Fiserv, Inc.:
John C. Peterson, '86 (XP-55), was named president of the firm's EPSIIA unit, which provides electronic document management solutions. Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Fiserv provides information management systems and services to the financial and health benefits industries.

Frontier Oil Corporation:
Michael C. Jennings, '92, has been named executive vice president and CFO. Frontier operates refineries in El Dorado, Kansas, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Jennings is based in Houston.

General Electric:
Robert Lane, '74, was elected to the board of directors of the technology, media, and financial services company. He has been chairman and CEO of Deere & Co. since August 2000.

Heidrick & Struggles International Inc.:
Ayman Haddad, '04 (EXP-9), joined the company as managing partner of the Middle East practice, based in London. Prior to joining the recruiting firm, Haddad worked in management consulting for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Accenture.

HiEnergy MFG Company:
Henry Sprintz, '83, was named president. HiEnergy MFG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HiEnergy Technologies, Inc., a nuclear particle detection company focused on the commercialization of its initial proprietary, neutron-based, "stoichiometric" sensor devices based in Irvine, California.

Eric Belcher, '95, joined the Chicago-based firm as executive vice president, operations. Previously, he was chief operating officer for MAN Roland Inc.

Integro Ltd.:
Nancy Aque, '84 (XP-53), was appointed managing director and head of the brokerage company's Chicago office and Midwest hub. Aque previously served as managing director, central Midwestern zone leader, and head of the Chicago office for Marsh.

Jack in the Box Inc.:
Paul Melancon, '94 (XP-63), has joined the firm as vice president and controller. Based in San Diego, California, the company operates and franchises Jack in the Box and Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurants.

Nalco Holding Company:
Anthony Powell, '96, was named assistant treasurer, corporate audit director. Based in Naperville, Illinois, Nalco provides water treatment and process improvement services, chemicals, and equipment programs for industrial and institutional applications.

The New York Times Company:
Jim Kilts, '74, was elected to the board of directors of the media company, which publishes the New York Times, International Herald-Tribune, Boston Globe, 16 other newspapers, eight television stations, two radio stations, and more than 40 Web sites. Kilts is chairman, president, and CEO of the Gillette Company.

Mark Allan Smith, '98 (XP-67), has been admitted as a partner in the firm's Houston advisory practice.

RBC Capital Markets:
Chris Mulligan, '89, was named managing director and co-head of the media, communications, and entertainment investment banking group. RBC Capital Markets is the corporate and investment banking arm of RBC Financial Group, the global brand name of Royal Bank of Canada Toronto.

Sabeus Photonics:
Mark Demos, '95, joined the firm as general manager, Sabeus optical components. Sabeus develops fiber optic components and subsystems for telecommunications, acoustic sensing, and surveillance applications.

SolomonEdwardsGroup, LLC:
Wendy Katz, '95 (XP-64), and Jeffrey Martin, '85, have joined the firm as principals in the newly established Chicago office. The Philadelphia-based company is a privately-held business consulting and accounting services firm.

Sonomax Hearing Healthcare Inc.:
Peter Brennan, '79, has been elected to the board of directors of the Montreal-based earpiece developer. Brennan is a cofounder of Palmer Brennan LLC, a New York-based investment management firm.

SPSS Inc.:
Marc Nelson, '85, has been named vice president, corporate controller, and principal accounting officer. Nelson had been U.S. controller of the Chicago-based predictive analytics software provider since May 2003.

Niel Ransom, '86 (XP-55), was appointed a director. Based in Petaluma, California, Teknovus is a leading provider of semiconductors for broadband optical access networks.

Wells-Gardner Electronics Corporation:
James Brace, '72, was named vice president, CFO, treasurer, and secretary. The Chicago-based company distributes and manufactures color video monitors.

Xethanol Corporation:
Richard Ditoro, '61, has been named to the board of directors. Ditoro is currently a principal in the consulting firm Merestone Development. Xethanol is a biotechnology integration and ethanol production company based in New York.

Alumni to Know

Walid Kassem, '92, manages the top-performing Merrill Lynch Global Financial Services Fund, but following news affecting daily stock prices isn't part of his strategy. "I ignore short-term events to a degree that you might find surprising," he told Dow Jones Newswires. Kassem focuses on regulatory filings and forms, and looks for well-managed companies with clear strategies and relatively cheap stock prices. When Citigroup shares fell on news of its involvement in corporate scandals in 2003, Kassem researched the company and made it his largest position, buying at around $26 and selling at more than $50. With $104 million in assets, his fund has been ranked by Lipper and Morningstar as the top-performing specialty financial fund over the last three years. Kassem has managed the fund since 2002 and also manages about one-third of Merrill Lynch's $660 million Global Value Fund.

When Joe Mansueto, AB '78, MBA '80, was in college, he'd get up early on Saturdays to read Barron's. Now the founder and head of the Chicago investment research firm Morningstar is making his lifelong interest in publishing a reality, having just bought the magazines Fast Company and Inc. for $35 million. Both titles have recently fallen on hard times, which Mansueto attributes partly to their having four different publishers in two years. He's convinced he can get them back on track by ramping up their Web presence and by letting the editors concentrate on putting out the magazines they want to. "They are two powerful brands," he told BusinessWeek. "I want to make them even stronger."

India is poised to become a stock picker's paradise, according to Arun Mehra, '97, a fund manager at Fidelity Fund Management. "Indian companies know how to make money," he told "These are not high capital investment businesses. These are high cash-generative business- and services-oriented. There is a mentality of turning out more from an asset. Indians are entrepreneurs but they have been shackled and if you let them free, these companies can grow and make a lot of money."

Experts in Six Sigma, Sheila Shaffie, '04, and her husband, Shahbaz Shahbazi, could work as consultants anywhere they'd like, but they decided to start their own consulting firm, ProcessArc, in Milwaukee. The couple lived there while working for GE, and decided to stay because of the city's relatively high density of financial companies, and it seemed like an easier place to start a business than many bigger cities. The firm handles four to six clients at a time and targets the growing number of small to midsize institutions getting interested in Six Sigma techniques. "We knew that small to midsize institutions would need help [for which] they didn't have the horsepower to go recruit three people at $200,000 to $250,000 a year," Shaffie told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Founded in March 2004, ProcessArc is generating revenue and making a profit. "It all comes down to having competitive fees and excellent service, and that all comes down to using Six Sigma to get there," Shaffie said.

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