Alumni Connections - No. 48 - July 2008

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

Alvarez & Marsal Taxand, LLC
Stephen Hoffman, ’79,
has joined as a managing director. The New York–based firm, which is an affiliate of Alvarez & Marsal, offers tax advice to clients and advisors across a range of industries.

APAC Customer Services, Inc.
Andrew Szafran, ’95,
has been appointed senior vice president and CFO. Based in Deerfield, Illinois, the firm provides outsourced customer-management services and acquisition services over the phone and Internet.

Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Rick Carpenter, ’99 (XP-68),
has been named chief marketing officer. One of the Midwest’s largest law firms, the company has seven offices in Chicago, Indiana, Michigan, and Washington DC.

David MacLennan, ’88,
has been elected CFO. The food giant and grain trader is headquartered in Wayzata, Minnesota.

CF Industries Holdings, Inc.
Randall Selgrad, ’91,
has been promoted to vice president. He also remains treasurer and assistant secretary. Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, the firm is the holding company for CF Industries, Inc., which makes nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers.

Dana Holding Corporation
James Yost, ’74,
has been appointed executive vice president and CFO. Based in Toledo, Ohio, the company makes axles, drive shafts, and other automotive parts.

Dow Jones Indexes
David Krein, ’98,
has joined as senior director of institutional markets. The global index provider is based in New York.

Exelon Corporation
Kyle Crowley, ’99,
has been promoted to vice president of corporate development from director of corporate development. The Chicago-based company is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities.

Gary McDaniel, ’80 (XP-45),
has been named senior vice president and general manager, plastics business. Headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the company makes paper and plastic packaging and film coatings.

F&C Investments
Alvin Chua, ’87,
has been appointed head of distribution and business development, Asia. Chua will be based in the Hong Kong financial district. The global asset manager is headquartered in London.

First Wind
Michael Metzner, ’88,
has been named executive vice president and CFO. The wind energy company is based in Newton, Massachusetts.

Grubb & Ellis Company
Dylan Taylor, ’98,
has been named president, global client services. Taylor had been serving as acting president of global client services since January. One of the largest commercial real estate and investment companies, the firm is headquartered in Santa Ana, California.

Hospira, Inc.
Barbara Bowles, ’71,
has been named to the board of directors. The global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company is based in Lake Forest, Illinois. Bowles recently retired as vice chair of Profit Investment Management.

Ideal Standard International
Gustavo Minacci, ’05 (EXP-10),
has joined as general manager sales and marketing, Italy. The Brussels-based firm, a leading provider of innovative and design-driven bathroom solutions, was acquired by Bain Capital in November 2007. Minacci will be based in Milan.

McHenry County Economic Development Corporation
Jim Allen, ’96,
has been named director for the Business Accelerator for Innovation and Collaboration program. The nonprofit business advocacy group is based in McHenry, Illinois.

MountainOne Financial Partners
David Crane, ’85,
has been elected trustee. The financial firm is based in North Adams, Massachusetts. Crane owns and is chairman of the board of Excelsior Printing.

Neuberger Berman LLC
Robert Corman, ’82,
was promoted to chief investment officer for the institutional and mutual funds business. Previously, he was fund manager and head of research. The New York–based company is a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

NiSource Inc.
Stephen Smith, ’92,
has joined as executive vice president and will become CFO in early August. Based in Merrillville, Indiana, the company distributes and stores natural gas in a corridor stretching from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England.

Omnicare Inc.
John Crotty, ’62,
has been named a nonexecutive chairman of the board. Headquartered in Covington, Kentucky, the pharmacy company serves the long-term care industry.

Outrigger Enterprises Group
Kenneth Kan, ’07 (AXP-6),
has been appointed to the newly created position of senior hospitality investment analyst. Headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, the hotel and resort company operates in the Asia Pacific and Oceania regions.

Richard Piacenza, ’95 (XP-64),
has been appointed vice president of sales, metal fabrication. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, the company makes products to shorten manufacturing cycles by optimizing material usage.

Pritchard Capital Partners
Mark Brown, ’02,
has joined as a senior analyst. The energy investment bank is based in Mandeville, Louisiana.

Sikich LLP
Christopher Geier, ’00 (XP-69),
has joined as partner-in-charge, investment banking division. Headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, the company offers public accounting and tax services, operations and management consulting, investment banking, and other services.

Soseman Law Firm, P.C.
Thomas Soseman, ’95,
announces the formation of the Chicago-based law firm. Soseman will continue to represent corporate legal needs of European companies and their subsidiaries doing business in the United States. He will have co-counsel with experience in business immigration and trade and customs law.

Time Warner Cable
Matthew Siegel, ’91,
has been named senior vice president and treasurer. The New York–based company is the second largest cable operator in the United States.

Tremor Media
Mark Pinney, ’82,
has been named global CFO and joins the senior management team. The video advertising firm is based in New York.

Tripp Lite
Darwin Haines, ’01 (XP-70),
has been appointed vice president of international business development. Headquartered in Chicago, the company makes power protection equipment.

University of New Haven
Richard Highfield, PhD ’87,
has been named dean of the College of Business for the independent university, which is located in West Haven, Connecticut.

Noelia Fernandez Arroyo, ‘05 (EXP-10)
has been promoted to programming director for the European Union. She had founded Yahoo! Spain and was director, products and services there. Arroyo will be based in new Yahoo! headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Alumni to Know

The typical CFO is too confident, Itzhak Ben-David, MBA ’07, PhD ’08, said in research quoted in a May 15 article in Executive Briefing. “Overconfident finance chiefs tend to use lower discount rates when valuing cash flows and assign higher values to projects,” the article said. “Their companies invest more, use more debt, and are less likely to pay dividends. Multitasking is a hallmark, too, as overconfident CFOs tend to take on many projects at once.” The article referred to “Managerial Overconfidence and Corporate Policies,” a paper Ben-David coauthored as part of the NBER Working Paper Series.

Rear admiral Dirk Debbink, ’90 (XP-59), was nominated for a third star and an assignment as the U.S. Navy’s top reservist, according to a May 22 article on NavyTimescom. Debbink most recently served as deputy chief of the Navy Reserve, the article said.

Michael Fung, ’86 (XP-55), senior vice president of finance for Wal-Mart Stores and CFO of the company’s U.S. Wal-Mart branded stores, was featured in a Q & A May 20 on Fung discussed why internal auditors make good CFOs. “Internal audit offers a deep understanding of the value drivers of the business and the underlying business processes, whether in merchandising, store operations, the supply chain—all those things were worthwhile,” said Fung, who went from vice president and CFO of Wal-Mart’s global procurement division into internal audit for four years. “[I saw that I had] minimized truly appreciating the decision-making process within the company, and our culture and how it permeates our decisions and how we operate. I gained those things in audit.”

Leonard Harris, ’79, the only black owner of a supermarket in Chicago, has sold his store, Chatham Food Center, according to a May article in the Chicago Defender. “Let me say right off the bat that our preference was to sell to someone black,” Harris said in the article. Harris and his wife founded the store 25 years ago, the article said. “But when we could not find a black buyer we started looking ‘outside the box’” and the couple accepted an offer from a Lebanese investor. Harris told the Defender he will invest sale proceeds in future economic development for Chatham, a South Side community.

Jennifer Heyman, ’94, was quoted in a June 9 article on about flextime. A former marketing director for Charles Schwab, Heyman left the firm to have more time to parent. She took a position managed by Flexperience Consulting, an employment firm for professionals seeking flextime contract jobs in the San Francisco Bay area, the article said. “My friends with full-time jobs and children can’t turn off the valve at 5 p.m., or they must be on call for meetings at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. the same day,” Heyman said in the article. “With contracting work, I don’t get involved in office politics, all-company meetings, and I’m building my resume, especially in the technology sector.” On the other hand, one drawback to such contract work is the lack of health insurance and related benefits, she said.

Jason McDannold, ’05, was quoted in a May 16 article in The Indian EXPRESS newspaper about working in India. “So far it’s been an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience to lead an Indian company in India,” said McDannold, executive vice president in charge of the HC Kothari Group’s petrochemical business in Chennai. McDannold also told the EXPRESS that his Indian wife, Alka, contributed to his decision to work in India. He said he got help from the Chicago GSB alumni network in lining up interviews and has put his education to use. “Without a doubt, the University of Chicago’s emphasis on pragmatic application of theory and value-driven execution allowed me to come to India with a conceptual toolkit that I could apply from day one. Since joining, we’ve implemented a number of strategic and operational changes throughout the company as we prepare to double in size and service the global market on an entirely new scale,” he told the EXPRESS. The article also quotes Pradeep Chintagunta, Robert Law Professor of Marketing, who said India has “a ready environment for people to add value in the Indian context from their training here.”

Carl Tannenbaum, AB ’81, MBA ’84, has joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in the newly created position of vice president for the risk specialist division of the bank’s supervision and regulation department, according to a May 20 article in the Chicago Tribune. “Our group is charged with watching markets and industries to identify trends which may have an impact on the financial system,” Tannenbaum was quoted as having written in the final issue of his Week That Was newsletter, in which he announced he was taking the Fed job. Tannenbaum was a former chief economist at LaSalle Bank.

Susan Wagner, ’84, chief operating officer of BlackRock, is “one of the most powerful people on Wall Street,” according to a May 30 article in the International Herald Tribune. She is the “go-to fund manager for banks stricken by the current credit crisis and a willing broker for soured securities these banks want to unload,” the article said. The article said she has a “simple view” of that part of the business: “It’s about: I have some stuff I own. What is it worth? How can I sell it?” Wagner said. Wagner cofounded the firm, an offshoot of Blackstone private equity group, in 1988.

CEO Watch: Taking the Lead

James Feely, ’76
President and CEO, TDI Power

The power suppy and conversion company is headquarted in Hackettston, New Jersey. Feerly was CFO.

Roger Orf, MBA ’77, JD ’79
CEO, Citigroup Property Investors

Orf has been promoted from managing director of European real estate. He will start his new position at the end of June and will continue to be based in London.

CEO Watch: Making Headlines

Roger Altman, ’69
Chairman and CEO, Evercore Partners

Altman discussed the recent credit bubble in his May 15 column in the Financial Times. “We cannot eliminate bubbles, but the question is how to avoid another round of credit speculation,” Altman wrote. “The answer is to understand the worst excesses we have just seen and how the rules of finance have re-established themselves.” The primary cause was excess leverage, “where banks fell over themselves to lend amounts equal to 10 or more times the underlying cash flow, compared with the long-term average of approximately five times,” he wrote..

Joe Mansueto, AB '78, MBA '80

A June 9 BusinessWeek article said Mansueto is leading his investment information company "toward the pros, where the growth is." Morningstar has guided individual investors toward mutual funds for 24 years. But last year, Morningstar saw a 58 percent growth in the segment of its business that involves managing parts of institutional fund portfolios, the article said. Mansueto, who owns more than 61 percent of the business, has "global ambitions for it," Businessweek said. In the article, Mansueto was quoted as saying during the company's May 20 annual meeting: "It's natural in this environment for people to be cautious. But we try not to get too distracted by the current environment. We focus on what seeds we're planting today that will allow growth in the long term."

Submit information about yourself or fellow alumni to