Alumni Connections - No. 50 - September 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

Biogen Idec Inc.
Brian Posner, ’87,
has been appointed to the board of directors. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the biotechnology company makes therapy products for such diseases as lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Posner is former CEO and co-chief investment officer of ClearBridge Advisors LLC.

Bridge Strategy Group
Cory Klippsten, ’04,
has joined as a consultant. Headquartered in Chicago, the consultancy advises clients on general management issues.
Chloride Group PLC
Joe Nitiss, ’92,
has joined as president, Chloride North American operations. Headquartered in London, the electronics manufacturer mainly operates in the power protection and safety system markets.

CME Group
Evans Papanikolaou, ’89,
has been appointed managing director, CME Globex market operations. The financial exchange is based in Chicago.

Convergys Corporation
Jim Goetz, ’84,
has been appointed chief information officer. Based in Cincinnati, the company offers such outsourcing services as customer care, human resources, and billing.

CREDO Petroleum Corporation
W. Mark Meyer, ’96,
has been elected to the board of directors. The publicly traded independent energy company is headquartered in Denver. Meyer is president of RR Advisors, LLC, and a principal of Dallas-based RCH Energy Opportunity Fund II, LP, and RCH Energy Opportunity Fund III, LP.

Dahlman Rose & Co., LLC
Mark Schulte, ’76,
has been appointed managing director and head of transportation investment banking. The New York–based firm is a leading investment bank

Dell Inc.
Ted Cummings, ’01, (XP-70),
has joined as account executive for federal joint agencies. Headquartered in Round Rock, Texas, Dell is a Fortune 500 computer and technology company.

DivX, Inc.
Eric Rodli, ’81,
has joined as executive vice president for sales and marketing. The San Diego–based company makes digital media technologies.

Joseph Paulsen, ’91,
has been appointed general manager of integrated marketing services business. Headquartered in Dublin, the company offers such services as credit, marketing, analytics, and internet shopping and credit reports.

FBR Capital Markets Corporation
Daniel Blood, ’90,
has joined as managing director and head of debt capital markets. Based in Arlington, Virginia, the investment banking firm is a subsidiary of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, Inc.

FD Chicago
Kathy Fieweger, ’06 (XP-75),
has joined as vice president, Midwest operations. Headquartered in London and New York, the strategic financial and business communications firm is wholly owned by FTI Consulting Group.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Margaret “Peg” Koenigs, ’86,
has been promoted to senior vice president, audit. She has held various leadership roles in accounting and human resources since joining the bank in 1983.

Force Protection, Inc.
Charles Mathis, ’86,
has been named to the newly created position of executive vice president, finance. Headquartered in Landon, South Carolina, the company makes military vehicles.

Global Aircraft Solutions Inc.
Brent Dau, ’89,
has joined as an independent member of the board of directors. Based in Tucson, the company repairs and overhauls large passenger jets. Dau is a managing director at Ewing & Partners.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Joe Copeland, ’95,
has become vice president of commercial tire systems. He previously was vice president of the off-highway business. The company is headquartered in Akron, Ohio.

HUB International Limited
Donn Vucovich, ’90,
has been named president, brokerage shared services, and will join the executive management team and executive committee. The insurance broker is based in Chicago.

KPMG Corporate Finance LLC
Leslie Fenton, ’82,
has joined the firm’s Chicago office as managing director and head of its insurance investment banking team. The investment banking and advisory firm operates in 51 countries.

L.E.K. Consulting
Jamil Satchu, ’95,
has been appointed vice president, retail and consumer behavior, in the Chicago office. The consulting firm is headquartered in London.

Maguire Properties, Inc.
Jonathan Brooks, ’88,
has been elected to the board of directors. The Los Angeles–based real estate firm owns and runs office properties in the city’s central business district. It also focuses on the Southern California market. Brooks is founder and general partner of JMB Capital Partners, an investment partnership.

Northern Trust Global Investments
George Maris, ’99,
has joined as a senior vice president and senior portfolio manager of institutional large cap core strategy. The Chicago-based firm is the investment management business of Northern Trust Corporation.

PCG International
Amit Chandra, ’05,
has joined as a senior associate. Based in Washington DC, the firm is a leading international private equity fund-of-funds manager.

Richard Wolf, ’85,
has been appointed director. Based in Spokane, Washington, the firm makes fuel cell products. Wolf is founding partner for Wall Street Technology Partners.

SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Jeffery Lange, ’99,
has been appointed vice president, business development. The biopharmaceutical company is based in Foster City, California.

SCAN Health Plan
Arthur Henkel, '71,
has been appointed vice president of mergers and acquisitions. The nonprofit health organization is headquartered in Long Beach, California, and focuses on the Medicare-eligible population primarily in Arizona and California.

David Meline, ’86,
has been appointed vice president, corporate controller, and chief accounting officer. Based in Maplewood, Minnesota, 3M is a diversified technology company in such sectors as consumer, office, electronics, telecommunications, and display and graphics.

Tidewater Inc.
Quinn Fanning, ’94,
has joined as executive vice president. Based in New Orleans, the company owns the world’s largest fleet of vessels in the offshore energy industry.

Titan Chemical Corp. Bhd
Warren Wilder, ’82,
has been named managing director. Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the company makes olefins and polyolefins.

Alumni to Know

Mike Bacevich, ’88, managing director and co-head of leveraged credit at Hartford Investment Management Co., discussed how investing philosophy has changed over the past year in a July 14 article in Bank Loan Report. “We still believe strong long-term performance will be driven by minimizing losses through a disciplined credit process combined with a management style that relies on diversification and liquidity,” Bacevich said. “However, with loans trading at a steep discount, we’re seeing numerous total-return opportunities that didn’t exist a year ago. Prior to this recent credit crunch, leveraged loans traded around par and returns were largely driven by the credit spread. Now we need to factor in both credit spread and the potential for price appreciation in our total-return analysis.”

John Keeley Jr., ’65, founder and chief investment officer of Keeley Asset Management, talked about his firm’s approach to stock selection in an August 11 article in Barron’s. “What makes us different is where we look,” Keeley said. The article said that the Keeley Small Cap Value Fund “searches for little-known companies going through restructurings or spinoffs, trading at significant discounts and not included in popular indexes.” Such methods “clearly have merit,” the article said, with a 4.95 percent return for the 12 months ending August 6. That was 15.26 percentage points over Standard & Poor’s 500.


Mark Konjevod, ’07 (XP-76), has a start-up that went for Olympic gold. The Wall Street Journal discussed how his company signed a deal with the U.S. Olympic Committee. WIN High Performance Sport Detergent is the official detergent of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Konjevod, chief executive, was a banker and media executive before plunging into the laundry business in 2002. WIN also has won another major endorsement—Nike, whose customer-service reps will recommend you buy WIN to take care of smelly workout clothes.


Craig Robinson, ’92, head basketball coach at Oregon State University and Barack Obama’s brother-in-law, recently motivated young basketball campers. “It’s not that you don’t know you can work hard,” Robinson told the campers, according to an August 9 article in the McMinnville (OR) News-Register. “It’s often that you just don’t know how hard you can work. There’s a difference.” He proceeded to teach the value of incentives by timing one camper, and then offering an OSU basketball shirt if she could run the same distance in a faster time. The camper did. “I’m here to tell you, whether you want to play college sports or just want to be a good student, you have to give your very best all the time. It’s all about hard work,” Robinson said.

In a July 22 article in, Robinson said his sister, Michelle Obama, got her “work ethic and compassion” from their late father, the family’s sole wage earner who never missed a day, even when he had to use a walker to get to the water-filtration plant where he worked.

Adam White, ’95, director of research at White Knight Research and Trading, recently testified to a congressional committee about his theory that retirement fund activities are contributing to rising fuel prices, according to a July 16 article in the Fort Myers (FL) News-Press. Such investment plans as a 401(k) or 403(b) have “traded more in commodities futures—including crude oil—during the last two years, effectively cornering the oil market and driving up its price,” the article paraphrased White. His firm is based in Alpharetta, Georgia.

CEO Watch: Taking the Lead

Brent Willis, ’91
Vascular Technologies Inc. and Ultroid Technologies Inc.
Willis has joined the firm, one of the fastest growing medical device companies in the United States. Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, the company makes a system for treating hemorrhoids and varicose and spider veins.

CEO Watch: Making Headlines

Dhiraj Rajaram, ’03
Founder and CEO
Mu Sigma
Rajaram told The Hindu in an August 11 article that he believes his firm is at “the forefront of a revolution,” given the growing demand for analytics in India. “Eighty percent of organizational data is not being used,” Rajaram told the newspaper. “There is a lack of quantitative talent at lower levels.” His firm gathers mathematic talent in India to meet that need. “We will have the world’s largest math factory,” he said.

President and CEO

The Parking Spot

The company, a Chicago-based airport parking lot owner and operator, has 19 locations across the country, according to a July 21 article in the Chicago Tribune about Nesbitt’s career path. Nesbitt said he discovered the parking lot industry’s “attractive investment characteristics” as a portfolio manager for LaSalle Partners. “I looked at the stability of revenue, income over extended periods and realized parking held up very well, despite economic slowdowns,” Nesbitt told the Trib. “So, I wrote a plan,” but institutional investors “weren’t enthusiastic about putting money in real estate at that time.” His plan was set aside but revived when Nesbitt took a job as vice president at Pritzker Realty Group.

Kelvin Pennington, ’82
Chairman and CEO
Concord Family Services
Pennington, a native of Hammond, Indiana, recently received the Distinguished Hoosier Award. The Chicago-based firm is the second largest African-American funeral service company in the country, according to a July 21 article in the Gary Post-Tribune. The article said Concord was founded under Pennington Partners, which Pennington started in 1990.

Matt Wasserlauf, ’98
Broadband Enterprises
The company recently unveiled an “aggressive slate” of ten original Web series, according to an April 21 Mediaweek article. Wasserlauf said in the article that timing and scripting of the shows is based on advertisers’ interests. “That formula proved successful for last year’s fantasy football-themed ‘The Fantastic Two,’ which integrated McDonald’s into the show’s story line,” the article said. Wasserlauf also told Mediaweek that his company’s new distribution technology has been likened to Google’s AdSense for video. Douglas McCurdy, ’96, is executive vice president of finance and strategy at Broadband Enterprises.

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