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Alumni Connections - No. 64 - November 2009

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

American Electric Power Corp.
Brian Tierney, ’95,
has been promoted to executive vice president and CFO from senior vice president of commercial operations. Based in Columbus, Ohio, the company provides electricity to customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Broadpoint Capital, Inc.
Michael Voelker, ’88,
has joined as a senior professional in the debt capital markets division. The New York–based firm is a broker-dealer subsidiary of Broadpoint Gleacher Securities Group, Inc.

Ceteris
Wes Cornwell, ’09,
has been promoted to managing director. Headquartered in Chicago, the consulting firm specializes in transfer pricing, intellectual property, and valuation services to multinational companies, law firms, and government agencies.

Chrysalis Ventures
John Willmoth, ’89,
has been promoted to full-time venture partner from part-time venture partner. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, the early-stage and growth venture capital firm invests mainly in health care and technology companies in the Midwest and the South.

College of Santa Fe
Laurence Hinz, ’91,
has been named interim president. He has served as senior vice president at Laureate education. Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the college is part of Laureate International Universities.

Cortera
Dwayne Spradlin, AB ’90, MBA ’97,
has been appointed to the board of directors. The community-driven, business information company is based in Boca Raton, Florida. Spradlin is president and CEO of InnoCentive, Inc.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Developmen
Roberto Ippolito, ’03,
has been named principal banker in charge of business development (debt and equity) in the western area of the Balkans for the corporate sector. Based in London, the EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries, and businesses in countries from central Europe to central Asia.

FBR Capital Markets Corporation
Bob Brown, ’00,
has joined as a managing director of the financial institutions group in Irvine, California. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the investment bank serves the middle market.

Federal Signal Corporation
Leo Mahon, ’00,
has been appointed to the newly created position of vice president of strategy, business development, and investor relations. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, the company manufactures safety and security systems and products in the environmental and fire rescue fields.

Georgia Gulf Corporation
Robert Schriesheim, ’86,
has been appointed to the board of directors. The Atlanta-based chemical company makes chlorovinyls, aromatics, and Royal Group brand products. Schriesheim is executive vice president and CFO of Lawson Software, Inc.

Harley-Davidson, Inc.
John Olin, ’91,
has been promoted to senior vice president and CFO. He had been serving as interim CFO and as Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s vice president and controller. Based in Milwaukee, Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Buell Motorcycle Company, MV Agusta, and Harley-Davidson Financial Services.

Heritage Foundation
Robert Book, MBA ’02, PhD ’02,
has been appointed inaugural senior research fellow in health economics in the Center for Data Analysis. Based in Washington DC, the conservative think tank promotes public policy research and analysis based on free enterprise, limited government, and individual freedom.

Hospital for Special Surgery
Robert Steel, ’84,
has been named a member of the board of trustees. The hospital is based in New York. Steel is former president and CEO of Wachovia Corporation.

HSBC Private Bank
Willem Sels, ’97,
has joined as head of fixed income strategy. Based in London, the firm provides private banking and trustee services to wealthy individuals and families worldwide.

Information Services Group, Inc.
David Berger, ’82,
has joined as executive vice president and CFO. The company acquires businesses in advisory, data, business, and media information services. It is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Peter Barker, ’71,
has been named California chairman. The global financial services firm is based in New York.

KeyCorp
Ruth Ann Gillis, ’80,
has been elected to the board of directors. Based in Cleveland, the company offers bank-based financial services. Gillis is executive vice president and chief diversity officer of Exelon Corporation.

Medical Innovation and Business
Michael Zimpfer, ’98 (EXP-3),
has been named co-editor. The first peer-reviewed journal concentrating on biomedical science entrepreneurship, the new publication is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, which is headquartered in Philadelphia.

Merriman Curhan Ford Group, Inc.
Michael Marrus, ’87,
has joined as managing director and head of clean technology. Based in San Francisco, the financial services firm focuses on fast-growing companies and the institutions that invest in them.

MTS
Cheenu Seshadri, ’02,
has been appointed chief strategy officer. Headquartered in Gurgaon, India, the mobile telephone services company is a brand of Shyam TeleServices Ltd.

RBC Bank
Glenn McCoy, ’76,
has been appointed CFO. The financial services bank is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Retirement Plan Advisors
Ghian Foreman, ’01,
has been named president. The Chicago-based financial services group specializes in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Russell Reynolds Associates
Constantine Alexandrakis, ’96,
has been promoted to managing director in the Chicago office. He was a member of the firm’s technology and board services practices. The New York–based firm conducts global executive searches and assessments.

Saint James Company
George McCarthy, ’64,
has been appointed chairman. Based in Santa Monica, California, the company acquires and distributes wines and has recently signed agreements to acquire wineries and wine brands in New Zealand, Australia, and North America.

Sanmina-SCI Corporation
Bob Eulau, ’85,
has joined as executive vice president and CFO. The company offers electronic manufacturing services. It is based in San Jose, California.

Tamalpais Ban
Karry Bryan, ’96,
has been appointed acting CFO. She is senior vice president and chief accounting officer. The bank is headquartered in San Rafael, California.

Transatlantic Holdings, Inc.
Thomas Cholnoky, ’86,
has been elected senior vice president, investor relations. Based in New York, the reinsurance organization operates on six continents.

Woodbridge Group, Inc.
Joseph Achenbaum, ’75,
has joined as senior vice president. The mergers and acquisitions firm is headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut.


Alumni to Know

Roger Ferguson, ’70, is investing his own money to pay for tutoring for foster teens in Des Moines, Iowa, so that they can go to college. “So many of these kids became delinquents not because of a predilection but because when you can’t read, you’re bored to death in school for six or seven hours a day,” Ferguson said in a September 12 article in the Des Moines Register. Ferguson founded the Foster Aunt and Uncle Project in 2005.


Chicago-based Good Harbor Financial has been able to “keep losses to a minimum when the stock market turns sour,” said a September 16 article published by Dow Jones Newswires. Money managers Neil Peplinski, ’06, and Paul Ingersoll, ’06, work with private accounts and hedge fund partners, the article said. They also are partners in Good Harbor’s parent company, Cedar Capital Advisors. Their secret? Rule out common investment ideas like buying and holding stocks. “Portfolio managers can sell a few losing stocks and then say ‘my fund beat the market. I was only down 35 percent when the market fell 37 percent,’” Peplinski said. But in the long run those big losses add up. Good Harbor also doesn’t believe in stock-picking, the article said. “It’s too hard to get right,” Ingersoll said. “A competitor can come along with a better invention, or the CFO can run away with the company’s money.” The fund instead invests in large- and small-cap stock indexes and mutual funds with maturities of five or ten years, the article said.


The London West Hollywood has been chosen as number one large city hotel in the continental United States and Canada in Travel and Leisure’s 2009 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey. “We feel that our property exemplifies the best of Los Angeles,” said the hotel’s general manager, Vincent Mercurio, ’01 (EXP-5), in a July 10 press release, “and we are very pleased that the readers of Travel and Leisure share our sentiment.”


William Miller, ’67, has received a 2009 New Mexico Governor’s Arts Award for Major Contributor to the Arts. Miller sits on the board of SITE Santa Fe, a nonprofit contemporary arts organization. “I became more interested in contemporary art, particularly where it was produced by people I could get to know, so I had more than an object connection to it; I had a personal relationship,” Miller said in a September 25 article in the Santa Fe New Mexican. When asked how Santa Fe arts groups will do in a continuing recession, Miller said, “I think certain institutions are going to be fine, but I worry about the artists; I worry about the dealers; I worry about some institutions. This is a tough time, but I have no crystal ball.”


AA September 20 Chicago Tribune article heralds the return of V.I Warshawski, a female detective created by Sara Paretsky, AM ’69, MBA ’77, PhD ’77, in Paretsky’s latest novel, Hardball. The book centers on Warshawski’s attempt to get information about Lamont Gadsen, a missing African American man whose disappearance coincided with the 1966 march led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through Chicago’s Marquette Park, the article said. Warshawski is “a sardonic, progressive commentator on the world,” Paretsky told the Trib, “and so am I.”


CEO Watch: Taking the Lead

Neelan Choksi, "98
CEO
Lexcycle, Inc.

Amazon.com acquired the company in April. It makes Stanza, an e-book reading application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Choksi will continue to manage the company as a stand-alone business unit. He has relocated to Seattle from Austin, Texas.


CEO Watch: Making Headlines

Brady Dougan, AB "81, MBA "82
CEO
Credit Suisse

In a September 29 Reuters article, Dougan said his bank has performed well in the credit crisis and that he expects to gain market share among wealthy private banking clients. “We really believe that we have very good chances to build up our market share among wealthy and very wealthy private customers,” he said. That same day, an article published by wire service ADPnews said that the bank intends to hand out $1.8 billion in bonuses to about 300 employees in 2010. Dougan said bonuses will be paid only for successful business performance and positive development of equity price.

Satish Jasti, "02 (XP-71)
President and CEO
Lotus Bank

The bank became the first based in Michigan to finance a television series through the state’s Film Production Incentive. The bank is funding “The Wannabes,” a comedy aimed at tweens and teens. The series is being produced in Howell, Michigan. Lotus is a community bank owned and operated by people living and working in Southeast Michigan

Joe Mansueto, AB ’78, MBA ’80
Founder and CEO
Morningstar

Shares in the investment research group have grown more than 100 percent since it listed in 2005, according to a September 4 profile of Mansueto in MoneyWeek. Mansueto explains how he started the business from his one-bedroom apartment on the North Side of Chicago after writing Berkshire Hathaway and other fund managers for information. The amount of material was overwhelming. “So I thought, wouldn’t it be a good idea to gather them all into one compendium for investors?” With $80,000 in start-up funds in 1984, Mansueto created a database of information, which turned into the Mutual Fund Sourcebook. Technological advances gave Mansueto better distribution. With revenues of $502 million today, the article said, it’s “been by far and away my best investment,” he said.


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