Alumni Connections - No. 24 - July 2006

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

Altair Nanotechnologies:
Pierre Lortie, ’74, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Reno, Nevada–based company. Lortie is senior business advisor to Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, a Canadian business law firm serving Canadian and international clients. Altairnano develops intellectual property and novel nanotechnology products in such fields as alternative energy, drugs for humans and pets, implant coatings, dental applications, paints, and water and air treatment.

AmSurg Corporation:
Todd Lunsford, ’91, has been named vice president, strategic planning, to the Nashville-based company, which partners with physicians to acquire and manage specialty ambulatory surgery centers. Lunsford previously headed retail marketing strategy for ING.

Analysis Group:
Jonathan Arnold, AB ’83, MBA ’86, PhD ’06, has joined as a managing principal. The economic consulting firm serves law firms, corporations, and government agencies through its 300 professionals in offices in Boston, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, Montreal, and Menlo Park, California. Arnold will lead expansion of the firm in the new Chicago office. An expert in antitrust, intellectual property, and securities, Arnold previously was principal of Chicago Partners.

Chicago Metallic Corporation:
Sandra Wilson , ’83, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer (June 28) with responsibilities for CMC worldwide operations. Wilson was most recently President of CMC's North American business. Prior to that she held a number of senior sales, marketing and operating positions with Illinois Tool Works, Inc., where she worked for 14 years. Chicago Metallic manufacturing facilities and sales offices are located in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Churchill Financial Holdings:
Carey Davidson, ’04, has been named a senior associate in the newly formed middle market commercial finance company based in New York. Davidson previously worked in the Chicago office of GE Antares, where she was an assistant vice president.

Citigroup Alternative Investments:
David Beeman, ’82, has been appointed chief operating officer of the New York–based company’s portable alpha investment strategies platform. Beeman previously served as chief operating officer and partner of Thunder Bay Capital Management LP, a New York–based hedge fund.

Community Anchors:
Tracey Guice, ’04, has been appointed to the board of directors of the North Carolina nonprofit organization. Community Anchors works to support the growth of locally owned small businesses in low-income communities. Guice works in leveraged finance for Banc of America Securities.

Cott Corporation:
Brent Willis, ’91 (XP-60), has been named president, CEO, and member of the board of directors of the Toronto-based beverage supplier. The company is one of the world’s largest of its kind, supplying markets in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Willis previously worked as zone president for InBev Asia Pacific, the world’s largest brewer by volume.

ECI Telecom:
Niel Ransom, ’86 (XP-55), has been appointed to the board of directors. Based in Petah Tikva, Israel, the firm provides communications equipment used to build fiber optic, microwave, and satellite networks. Ransom formerly worked as chief technology officer for Alcatel.

Emtec, Inc.:
Robert Mannarino, ’83, has been elected as an independent outside director of the Trenton, New Jersey–based information technology company. Mannarino is president of Boardroom Associates, a strategy consulting firm.

Goldman Sachs :
Jon Winkelried, '82, along with Gary Cohn, were named presidents and co-chief operating officers at Goldman, while appointing John Weinberg vice chairman. Winkelried and Weinberg co-headed the investment-banking division at the firm. The two partners led Goldman to the top merger and acquisition underwriting position in 2005.

Gulf Oil LP:
Ronald Sabia, ’89, has become chairman of World Energy Alternatives LLC, the nation’s largest distributor of bio-diesel. Sabia currently is chief operating officer at Gulf Oil. Headquartered in Chelsea, Massachusetts, Gulf Oil is one of the Northeast’s largest wholesalers of refined petroleum products.

Halcyon Asset Management LLC:
Ross Smead, ’85, has been named to head of a new business unit focused on collateralized loan obligations. Before joining the New York–based firm, a $3.7 billion hedge fund manager, Smead was a managing director and portfolio manager at Prudential Investment Management, where he worked for 21 years.

JPMorgan Private Bank:
William Levine, ’98, has been hired as a vice president and private banker in Atlanta. He will work as a relationship manager for large and complex clients in the Southeast.

Lipid Sciences, Inc.:
John Crawford, ’79, has been elected to the Pleasanton, California–based company’s board of directors. Crawford, the CFO and administrative officer of Cabrellis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, will serve an initial one-year term. Lipid Sciences is a biotechnology company researching and developing products to treat diseases in which lipids, or fat components, play a role.

Marshall & Ilsley Corporation:
Gregory Smith, ’90, has been named senior vice president and CFO at the Milwaukee-based financial services corporation, which has $52 billion in assets. Previously he was managing director for Credit Suisse in Chicago and specialized in Midwest financial institutions.

Mobile Satellite Ventures:
Jack Dziak , ’88, has been appointed Senior Vice President of Services and Distribution. Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV) is at the forefront of developing the first hybrid satellite-terrestrial communications network. Dziak will be responsible for building MSV's next generation services portfolio and formulating and executing distribution and delivery agreements with strategic channel partners to meet their mobile broadband requirements. Dziak joins MSV after serving as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Business Development for MCI Communications (now Verizon Business).

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals:
Peter Davis, ’72, has been elected to the board of directors. Most recently, Davis was vice president of finance and CFO at XOMA Ltd., a biotechnology company.


Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.:
Laura A. Brege , ’82, was appointed executive vice president and chief business officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ONXX). Most recently Ms. Brege was a General Partner at Red Rock Management, a venture capital firm specializing in early stage financing for technology companies. Prior to Red Rock, she was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at COR Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that specialized in drug therapies for cardiovascular disease.

Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company:
Philippe Jorion, MBA ’80, PhD ’83, has joined the $7.4 billion hedge fund as a director in its risk management group. The company is headquartered in Irvine, California. Jorion is chancellor’s professor of finance at the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California at Irvine.

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company:
Miles McHugh, ’93, has been appointed senior vice president, corporate controller. McHugh has been CFO of the Chicago printing company since 2004.

Skyworks Solutions, Inc.:
Robert Schriesheim, ’86, has joined the board of directors. The Woburn, Massachusetts–based company makes radio and semiconductor products for mobile communications. Schriesheim is a general partner with ARCH Development Partners, a seed-stage venture capital fund.


Syracuse Symphony Orchestra:
Karen Gahl-Mills, ’03, has been named executive director of central New York’s largest cultural organization, with an annual budget of more than $6 million. Gahl-Mills was executive director of the Westchester Philharmonic in White Plains, New York.

Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC:
Stephen Moyer, ’82, has been named a director at the Santa Monica, California–based, investment firm, which manages more than $3.8 billion in assets through private funds. Moyer previously was director of research at Imperial Capital LLC, where he focused on high yield, distressed, convertible, bank debt and equity securities.

David Goldberg, ’95, has been named executive vice president, sales and marketing, for the world’s leading ticketing company, based in West Hollywood, California. Goldberg previously served as executive vice president, strategy and business development.

United States Small Business Administration:
Steven Preston, ’85, has been nominated by President George W. Bush to become SBA administrator. The nomination requires Senate confirmation. Preston, a former investment banker, was executive vice president of The ServiceMaster Company.

WJ Communications, Inc.:
Patrice Daniels, ’84, has been appointed to the board of directors of the San Jose, California–based supplier of radio frequency amplifiers, mixers, integrated circuits, and modules. She also will serve on the board’s audit committee. Daniels is chief operating officer of International Education Corporation, a private, post-secondary education company.

Alumni to Know

Clifford Asness, MBA ’91, PhD ’94, manager and founding principal of AQR Capital Management, LLC, received the James. R. Vertin Award from the CFA Institute. The CFA awards the Vertin periodically for the production of notable and valuable research. Asness has written articles on numerous financial subjects. In March 2006 the Financial Analysts Journal gave him its Reader’s Choice Award for “Rubble Logic: What Did We Learn from the Great Stock Market Bubble?” The same journal granted him a Graham and Dodd Excellence Award in 2000. The global, nonprofit professional association administers the Chartered Financial Analyst curriculum and examination.

Ellen Carnahan, ’84, managing director and co-leader of the investment team at William Blair Capital Partners LLC in Chicago, looks for growth companies in which to invest according to a profile in the Chicago Tribune May 29. “I work about 50 hours weekly and travel about three days a week…but I don’t find it draining because I’m always around good people,” Carnahan told the paper. “It’s a lot of fun to build a growth company with limited capital, to watch management teams recruit talent. I feel like a parent watching their kids do something well on their own.” The toughest part is losing money, he said. “Sometimes you have to cut your losses and wind the company down, if you can’t find a buyer.”

Tom Doctoroff, ’89, Greater China CEO of J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, was featured in a profile in The Straits Times on May 21, 2006, for his book, Billions, on foreign advertising and marketing in China. Doctoroff described his book as an advertising guide derived from his own experience. “I have so many clients who come in just force-fitting their brands without adapting them to a Chinese world view, and they commit suicide,” he said. For example, he cited one JWT client, Kellogg, which ran into problems trying to market cold breakfast cereal in China when Chinese people prefer warm, comfort food in the morning. Read a story about Doctoroff that appeared in Chicago GSB magazine. [.PDF story]

Jim Hohmann, ’92, has business analysts speculating that his interim position as CEO of Conseco will become permanent. Hohmann took over the interim position from Bill Kirsch on May 23 making Hohmann the third CEO since Conseco, an insurance firm, emerged from bankruptcy. “While Conseco is conducting a national search for Kirsch’s successor, analysts say Hohmann has the inside track,” said an article May 23 in The Indianapolis Star. Hohmann has been the company’s chief administrative officer since December 2004.

Todd Hooper, ’98, a management consultant for Greenbrae, is running for a California Congressional seat against incumbent Representative Lynn Woolsey, (D-Petaluma). In a May 22 article in the Marin Independent Journal, Hooper, a Republican, said he is interested in representing a sorely underrepresented group: children. Married with two daughters ages 10 and 12, he said the biggest threat to children is the mountain of debt the United States has amassed. To pay for everything, every family would have to contribute $500,000. “We all know that is not going to happen,” Hooper said. “It’s our kids [who] are going to get saddled with both the costs that are being built up and the task of solving the problems that have been created for them.”

Joe Mansueto, AB ’78, MBA ’80, founder and CEO of mutual fund rating firm Morningstar, fueled speculation that he was on his way to becoming a media mogul after recent purchases of two magazines and partial purchase of a third, according to a profile in the June issue of Chicago magazine. Now Mansueto is generating publicity again with a plan to rate hedge funds by the end of 2006. “It’s a very opaque industry,” Mansueto said in a May 14 article in the Chicago Tribune. “So we need to build up in a grassroots fashion an audience for our hedge fund data. Investors can demand that hedge funds give us their data. They can say, ‘We're not going to invest in you because you’re not in Morningstar’s database.’”

Arun Mehra, ’97, fund manager of Fidelity Fund Management, said the intellectual stimulation he found at GSB is the same that got his attention when he decided to explore the equities market in India, where tremendous growth is expected over the next several years. “I had been in the United States and was learning about the markets,” he said in a May 16 article on “I clearly saw that the global market was the place to be. One had to be international. The U.S. market was there but there were a lot more opportunities outside of the U.S. and clearly that is where the inefficiencies were. That is where research was not being done properly.” He called India a strategic market for Fidelity.

Charles Plosser, MBA ’72, PhD ’76, has been named president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, effective August 1. Plosser is an economics professor and former dean at the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester in New York. In his new position, Plosser joins the policy-making Federal Open Market Committee. Plosser’s first committee votes will come in 2008. “I am eager to develop the relationships with banking, business and community leaders in the Third District that are an important and essential part of the institution’s mission,” Plosser said in a June 7 Reuters article. He has co-chaired the Shadow Open Market Committee of prominent economists who “keep an eye on Fed policy, typically from an anti-inflation perspective,” the article said.

Philip Purcell, ’67, former Morgan Stanley CEO, has cofounded Continental Investors LLC in Chicago with W. Eric Carlborg, ’89, a former Merrill Lynch & Co. investment banker. Purcell will be investing his own money in small financial service companies, with a focus on the Internet, according to a May 26 article on The new venture will allow Purcell time for nonprofit work. Continental will share office space with Purcell’s sons, Paul and David, ’89, who run a hedge fund that specializes in financial services and health care.

Craig Robinson, ’92, was 37 when he decided to change his life according to a recent article in the The Providence Journal – one that meant taking a million dollar pay cut. That change led him from the trading floor back to the basketball court. A high school star, Robinson chose Princeton for the opportunities it would provide. A two-time award-winning Ivy League player, Robinson initially pursued a career in professional basketball as well as coaching. In 1990, he made the switch to business - working at Continental Bank, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Loop Capital Markets – and got his MBA.

When his former Princeton coach asked if he would like to join him at Northwestern, Robinson, who thought “one day [he’d] teach seventh grade and coach basketball” returned to his first passion. An integral part of the Wildcat’s school record for the most wins in a four-year period, Robinson has accepted the position of head coach at Brown. One thing he looks forward to is helping other young athletes understand how an Ivy League school can change their lives.

Frederik (Frits) Seegers, ’89, has been appointed to the new position of chief executive of global retail and commercial banking at Barclays. Seegers also will serve on the boards of both Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank PLC, starting in July, and on the Barclays Group Executive Committee. He came to Barclays from Citigroup, where he held senior positions for 17 years. Most recently he was CEO Europe, Middle East and Africa, global consumer group. A June 9 article in the Financial Times said, “By recruiting Mr. Seegers, a long-serving Citigroup executive with a reputation for being very hands-on, [Barclays CE0 John] Varley is effectively recreating the management structure of Barclays’ wholesale banking businesses on the retail and consumer side.” The paper also called Seegers “highly respected in the industry.”

John Studzinski, ’80, a prominent London banker, is joining private equity giant Blackstone Group, according to a May 18 article in The New York Times. Studzinski left HSBC, where he was co-head of corporate, investment banking, and markets. The article quotes a statement from Studzinski calling the move a “big and exciting change that I have thought about a lot.” An article in the May 19 Financial Times said that over the past three years, Studzinski and his co-head hired dozens of senior bankers to try to build up HSBC’s presence in areas typically dominated by large Wall Street banks, such as mergers and acquisitions and underwriting debt and equity issues. The New York Times said Studzinski plans to open a Blackstone office in London and hire bankers in Europe and New York.

Diane Swonk, ’89, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, said people in the United States save too little and consume too much. One reason people don’t save is they have to spend more than they did previously on health care, energy, and insurance, she said in a May 21 article in the Chicago Sun-Times. Low interest rates have added to the trend. “You’re more willing to spend when it’s cheap to finance the spending,” Swonk said. In the same article, Erik Hurst, associate professor of economics and John Huizinga Faculty Fellow, said such debt may not be so bad because it allows people to buy houses and other assets with a lower salary that they can pay off when their salary increases. “Debt allows us to smooth our consumption over time,” he said.

Julie Roehm, ’95, knows firsthand of one way to spice up an annual meeting—with a little song and dance. The Wal-Mart senior vice president for marketing communications staged an original musical comedy at the shareholders meeting June 2 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, that was featured in The New York Times June 3. Two dozen New York actors performed such numbers “Walk Across the Aisle,” “It’s All About the Customer,” and “The Day That I Met Sam,” about Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. The musical was a hit. “I always knew this was a bit of a risk,” Roehm told the paper. “But everybody was willing to give it a try and that is all you can ask.” She said the company’s openness to the performance revealed “they are serious when they said ‘we are interested in marketing and open to your ideas.’” Roehm, a former senior marketing executive at the Chrysler Group unit of DaimlerChrysler, joined Wal-Mart in January.

Rick Steiner, ’70, this year garnered another Tony award as a lead producer of Jersey Boys, which won for best musical. A June 13 article in Daily Variety described this year’s results: “A biotuner that stitches the hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons into a chronicle of their bumpy rise from blue-collar Garden State suburbia to pop stardom, Jersey Boys nabbed four trophies, beating chief rival The Drowsy Chaperone in what was widely considered a two-horse race.” Steiner also has won 12 Tonys for The Producers, eight for Hairspray, and seven for Big River. Into the Woods and The Secret Garden won Tony nominations for best musical. Smokey Joe’s Café earned another Tony nomination and became Broadway’s longest-running musical review.

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