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Alumni Connections - No. 51 - October 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 editor@chicagobooth.edu.

Alumni on the Move

AlixPartners
Marc Brown, ’04, and Joseph Kacergis, ’91, have been appointed directors in the financial advisory services practice. The restructuring, consulting, and financial advisory firm is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan. Brown and Kacergis will be based in the firm’s Chicago office.

Allstate
Don Civgin, ’85, has joined as senior vice president and CFO of the insurance company, which is based in Northbrook, Illinois.

Auda International LP
George Chacko, ’92, has been appointed chief investment officer of one of its core businesses, Auda Hedge LLC. Headquartered in New York, the firm is an alternative investment advisor.

Broadwind Energy, Inc.
Ken Myszkowski, ’99, has joined as corporate controller. The company owns and positions companies that make, install, and maintain components for energy and infrastructure-related industries, particularly wind energy. It is based in Naperville, Illinois.

DORA Holdings, Inc.
Larry Stuenkel, ’87 (XP-56), has joined as CFO. The management company is based in Joliet, Illinois.

Expert Panel on Securities Regulation
Patrick Finnerty, ’79, has been appointed to a legal advisory committee. Based in Ottawa, Canada, the panel is developing a securities act. Finnerty is a partner with Blakes Cassels and Graydon LLP in Calgary.

IFRA
Thomas Jacob, ’04 (AXP-3), has joined as deputy CEO and managing director in charge of the greater Asia-Pacific region. Based in Darmstadt, Germany, the organization bridges the media with publishing houses and supply companies.

InnerWorkings, Inc.
Charles Bobrinskoy, ’83, has been appointed to the board of directors. The Chicago-based company makes print and promotional materials for corporate clients. Bobrinksoy is vice chairman and director of research at Ariel Investments.

Investment Industry Association of Canada
Kirby Gavelin, ’87, has been appointed chairman of the board of directors. Headquartered in Toronto, the association lobbies for regulatory and public policy issues. Gavelin is managing director and head of equity capital markets, Canada, for RBC Capital Markets.

Morgan Joseph & Co. Inc.
Peeyush Varshney, ’01, has joined as a senior vice president. The investment bank is headquartered in New York.

OmniVision
Anson Chan, ’97, has been promoted to CFO from vice president, finance. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, the international firm makes semiconductor imaging devices.

Ruby Red Resources Inc.
Richard Grayston, MBA ’69, PhD ’71, has been appointed CFO and vice president, finance. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the mining company explores for gold and base minerals, primarily in British Columbia.

Southwest Securities
Maryrose Dombrowski, ’99 (XP-68), has been appointed senior vice president and head of marketing, clearing services. Based in Dallas, Texas, the securities clearing and brokerage services provider is the primary subsidiary of SWS Group.

Tenaska Capital Management, LLC
Christopher Leitner, ’05, has been promoted to managing director. The energy investment management firm is an affiliate of Omaha, Nebraska–based Tenaska, an energy company Leitner joined in 2003.

Whrrl
John Kim, ’99, has been appointed vice president, advertising products. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the mobile and Web-based social networking service is owned by Pelago, Inc.

Wintrust Financial Corporation
Timothy Crane, ’88, has joined as executive vice president and market head for three of the company’s community banks: North Shore Community Bank & Trust, Northbrook Bank & Trust, and Lake Forest Bank & Trust. The financial company is headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois.


Alumni to Know

Insurance brokerage Arthur J. Gallagher’s unusual approach in the Latin American market was featured in a September 8 article in BNamericas. David Battman, ’04, head of global wholesale operations, explained how the firm chose to use the broker partner model there rather than picking an equity state, as the firm did recently in Jamaica. Battman said, “The alternative is to go on sort of an aggressive hunt where something must be bought. We don’t feel something must be bought. If we can have a productive relationship, retail or wholesale, that’s perfect, if that solves our needs in a country. When there’s a situation when it’s in both parties’ aligned interests for us to move to taking an equity position and a majority over time, we will look at that as well. Our model is not to rush in because we must have a Gallagher flag in every country. We want value for money. To ensure we do, we prefer to trade before we invest.”


David Booth, ’71, and Rex Sinquefield, ’72, cofounded Dimensional Fund Advisors in 1981, an investment company that grew out of “academic ideas” and is “born of eggheads,” according to the October 2008 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. The company boasts such board members as Nobel Prize-winning economist Myron Scholes, MBA ’64, PhD ’70, and Eugene Fama, PhD ’64, Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance. The article called Booth and Sinquefield “Fama disciples in college.” As Booth puts it, “When I walk into a board meeting I don’t have to worry about being the smartest person in the world.” The article said that “over the long term, many DFA funds boast impressive results.”

 



Melinda Hightower, ’07,
was featured in a September 4 Targeted News Service article about the University of Virginia’s School of Law Class of 2011, which the news service reported had the “best median LSAT and grade point average qualifications ever for an entering class.” Hightower, whose former work includes a stint in human resources at World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and a position at Morningstar in Chicago, was noticed by teachers early on, the article said. “My kindergarten teacher approached my parents about my performance and asked them to consider placing me in a higher grade,” Hightower said. She ended up graduating from high school at 16, the article said.



CEO Watch: Taking the Lead

Raymond Brooks Jr., ’92
CEO and Director
ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation

Brooks joins the New York-based insurance firm as part of its reorganization and restructuring of its balance sheet and obligations.


CEO

David Paul, ’90
CEO
Bluewater Bio CEE
The company, a subsidiary of Bluewater Bio International, was created to develop a pilot plant for wastewater treatment in the Czech Republic. Paul is an industrial engineer.


CEO Watch: Making Headlines

Andrei Movchan, ’03
CEO and Co-Head
Renaissance Investment Management

In a September 1 article in Business New Europe, Movchan discusses his company’s strategy of following the money by managing the wealth of high net-worth individuals. The firm has stopped new development of retail and institutional funds in Russia, the article said. “We now manage about $7 billion in total and $5 billion from CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] high net-worth individuals,” Movchan said in the article. “This high net worth market in CIS is represented by just under 90,000 individuals with bankable wealth in excess of $3 million. A 20 percent market share gives us over $50 billion which, provided a successful strategy execution, will make us grow 10 times in three to five years.” The firm seeks to add 120 client advisors within the next two to three years, the article said.


Submit information about yourself or fellow alumni to editor@chicagobooth.edu.