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Alumni Connections - No. 87 - October 2011

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

Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Brian Posner, '87,
has been named to the board of directors. Based in San Diego, California, the pharmaceutical company develops treatments for hepatitis C. Posner is president and founder of Point Rider Group LLC.

Black Iron Inc.
Igor Buchatskiy, '01,
has been appointed to a nonexecutive Ukraine advisory board. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the iron ore exploration and development company has a project in Krivoy Rog, Ukraine. Buchatskiy is the former director of Smart-Holdings and former CEO of the Smart-Holdings portfolio company SARGO LLC.

Boston University Office of Technology Development
Renuka Babu, '04,
has been named director of new ventures. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the department helps the university identify, protect, and license its intellectual property.

China Cablecom Holdings, Ltd.
David Kratochvil, '91,
has been appointed to the board of directors and audit committee. The cable television provider operates in a joint venture with the People's Republic of China. It is headquartered in Shanghai. Kratochvilis is managing director of Euro Pacific Capital.

Comerica Incorporated
Karen Parkhill, '92,
is expected to assume the role of CFO in the fourth quarter of 2011. She has joined as vice chairman and a member of the management policy committee. The financial services firm is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Dana Holding Corporation
Steve Schwarzwaelder, '80,
has been appointed to the board of directors. Based in Maumee, Ohio, the company is a supplier of axles, drive shafts, and other automotive parts. Schwarzwaelder is retired from the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

DeVry University
Joseph York, '82,
has joined as dean of the College of Health Sciences. Based in Downers Grove, Illinois, with campuses across the United States and Canada, DeVry is one of the largest private sector universities in North America.

Expedia
Vikram Malhi, '07,
has been appointed general manager for operations in India. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, Expedia is a leading online travel company.

Irving Place Capital
Michelle Pearlman, '99,
has been appointed senior advisor. The middle-market private equity firm is based in New York.

Macquarie Group
William Baumgart, '94,
has joined as managing director in the financial sponsors group. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, the investment bank also offers advisory services.

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun, LLP
Anna Behrman, '03,
has been appointed chief marketing and business development officer. The intellectual property law firm is based in Chicago.

MMPI
Paul Heinen, '85,
has been promoted to senior vice president from vice president office leasing. Based in Chicago, the firm owns and runs showroom buildings and trade show facilities.

Northern Trust
Scott Murray, '81,
has joined as chief technology officer and Jason Tylor, '99, has joined as head of corporate strategy and market development. The investment bank is based in Chicago.

Omega Protein Corporation
Andrew Johannesen, '96,
has been promoted to executive vice president and CFO from senior vice president, corporate development and treasurer. Based in Houston, Texas, the company makes omega-3 fish oil and specialty fish meal products.

OpenTable, Inc.
Duncan Robertson, '98 (EXP-3),
has been appointed CFO. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, the company runs an online restaurant reservations site for diners and guest management services for restaurants.

Platte River Ventures
Michelle Eidson, '99,
has joined as vice president of business development and marketing. Based in Denver, Colorado, the private equity firm invests in lower middle-market operating companies.

PNC Bank
Peter Larson, '78,
has been appointed vice president and senior wealth planner for wealth management. The bank and financial services company is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

SAVO Group
Suzanne Martin, '95,
has been named executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Based in Chicago, the company offers cloud-based technology for collaborative sales and marketing.

Sears Holdings Corporation
Robert Schriesheim, '86,
has joined as executive vice president and CFO. The retailer, whose holdings include Sears and Kmart stores, is headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

Sikich Investment Banking
John Ebe, '97,
has joined as director. Based in Aurora, Illinois, the firm is the corporate finance and advisory practice of Sikich LLP.

Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP
Bob Desmond, '97,
has joined as senior salesman in the fixed income group. Based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, the financial firm serves institutional clients and corporations and is an affiliate of the Susquehanna International Group of Companies.

Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation
Martin McDermut, '75,
has been appointed CFO and senior vice president, finance. The manufacturer of integrated circuits is headquartered in Camarillo, California.


Alumni to Know

Fared Adib, '11 (XP-80) has been named by CNN Money as one of The Smartest People in Tech 2011. Adib, vice president, product development at Sprint Nextel "regularly visits Silicon Valley to learn what the industry's hottest startups are up to," said an article about him that ran in CNN Money on August 30. The article suggests that Adib may be able to make Sprint Nextel "hip."

Kids Science Labs lets children have fun with science. It was co-created by Shegan Campbell, '05, who has two children of his own. "We've developed a curriculum that centered on answering kids' questions," Campbell said in an August 5 article in the Chicago Sun-Times. "We call one of our subject areas 'How Stuff Works,'" Campbell said about the first lab in Chicago. "The kids learn what's inside of a cushion, and they make hard cushions with beads and soft ones of foam." Campbell, a former director at Prudential Capital Group, considered 68 business ideas before raising $550,000 to start the venture, the article said. He aims to raise more funds to open 250 such learning centers across the country over the next decade.

Younger women in business report that they don't see gender bias, while their older female colleagues can only hope that is truly the case, according to an August 1 article in Crain's Chicago Business. Jane Ranshaw, '72, said that when she hears about a lack of discrimination based on gender, she thinks, "From your lips to God's ear." Ranshaw, who runs her own consulting firm, said she has faith that the younger generation of women will overcome obstacles "just like we did." Cheryl Francis, '78, cofounder and cochair of the Corporate Leadership Center in Chicago, said at the bottom rungs of the corporate ladder, women are likely to be judged by the same standards as their male counterparts. Things change, though, the higher women climb. "At a leadership level, it becomes more subjective," Francis said. "If you look at the landscape and just look at the numbers, there are more women at the beginning of the pipeline...but as you rise, their representational levels drop. There's something happening as women move up in an organization. The numbers haven't changed in a decade." Francis founded the Women's Leadership Forum in 2009 to support women preparing for executive positions, the article said.

Real estate investment trusts or REITS once were a $10 billion niche; "now it's about $350 billion," said Mike Kirby, '85, founder and research director at Green Street Advisors, in an August 7 article in the New York Times. "We follow over 90 percent of the market cap of U.S. REITs and now over 50 percent of the market cap in European REITS. Our business grows as the industry grows." The firm's main clients are mutual fund managers or pension fund advisors, and the hot properties right now are apartments. "So what's happened in apartment land is, the fundamentals didn't weaken as much as in the other sectors," Kirby told the newspaper. "During the downturn, they were supported by the fact that the home ownership rate declined through the recession, creating more demand for apartments. Meanwhile, there's been very little construction in the last few years, and really there won't be any in another year or two. That has been sort of a perfect storm for apartments."

The recent S&P credit rating downgrade will have an interesting effect on reshoring manufacturing to the United States. In an Axcess News article August 9, Harry Moser, '80, founder of the educational nonprofit Reshoring Initiative, says likely direct impacts of the downgrade are a lower dollar and higher interest rates. "A lower dollar unambiguously makes U.S. manufacturing more competitive. Higher interest rates may hinder manufacturing investment in general but will increase the carrying cost of inventory, making local sourcing with delayed payments relatively more attractive in comparison to offshoring."

The Reshoring Initiative has developed Total Cost of Ownership or TCO Estimator software that helps companies make informed decisions in its own interests about reshoring manufacturing of a part, product, or tool. "By understanding TCO," Moser said, companies "see that they can have innovation, customer response, lower inventory, better quality, etc. without impacting price or profitability."

Cathy Peng, '01 (XP-70), chief business development officer of Ethertronics, has been named one the 2011 Top 100 under 50 Diverse Executives and Emerging Leaders by DiversityMBA magazine. The leaders were chosen based on position, scope of responsibility, community service work, and level of education achieved. The honorees were featured in the magazine's Summer 2011 issue.

Gerry Sullivan, '86, portfolio manager of the VICE Fund, was set to be one of the leading investment managers and academics who debated the value of corporate responsibility at a forum the last weekend of September in New York. Sullivan was a member of the team taking the position that "shareholder value is eroded by sustainability and corporate responsibility," said an August 22 article on Business Wire. "In general, the capital markets reward companies that exceed expectations and shareholders benefit from that success. I have only seen anecdotal evidence that sustainability enhances shareholder value. Of 11 selected 'Green Funds' only two have one-year performances better than the S&P 500," Sullivan said. "It will be difficult to show that sustainability has sufficient evidence compared to the everyday markets that are hyper-efficient and serve the interest of investors." Corporate Responsibility magazine put on the COMMIT!Forum along with the New York Stock Exchange.

Emerging markets offer promising prospects for investment in real estate, especially the BRIC countries: Brazil, Russian, India, and China, said Joel Wells, '03, in an August 3 article on TWST.com. "The BRIC exposure in the portfolio is more than 50 percent, and that breaks down to almost 30 percent in Brazil, 12 percent in China, 6 percent in Russia, and about 5 percent in India," Wells said. "Brazil is of particular interest to us for a number of reasons. A considerable amount of its GDP growth is driven by domestic consumption" and Brazil also has "strong natural resources."

More and more companies, including Kraft, are splitting into two to find shareholder value. "You see more of that type of activity in downturns because that's when people have to rethink what they have done over the past several years-and that's when they start dismantling empires," said Pavel Begun, '03, partner with 3G Capital Management and a former stakeholder in Sara Lee, which had earlier announced similar break-up plans. Such break-ups don't always bring success, said an August 5 article in The Globe and Mail. "If you have two bad businesses to begin with, whether you split them up or not, they're not going to do well," Begun said in the article. "When you have two businesses that are genetically good but are not performing well because they're shackled by a marriage that does not make sense-then a split-up is going to work very well."


CEO Watch: Taking the Lead

Carla Dearing, '88
Managing Director and CEO
IMC Licensing

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, the company licenses consumer product brands. Dearing has been on the board of directors since 2003 and was named CEO in July.

Russell Read, '87
Deputy CEO and Chief Investment Officer
Gulf Investment Corporation

The firm aims to foster regional economic growth and encourage economic diversification in the Gulf region, including in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Kuwait, where the company is based.


CEO Watch: Making Headlines

Kobchai Chirathivat, '08 (AXP-7)
President and CEO
Central Pattana

Chirathivat's company manages 17 shopping centers, six office buildings, two hotels, and two residential projects, according to an August 24 article in The Nation. The company is expanding with two more malls and also is restructuring. In the article Chirathivat offered some principles for management success. Leaders, he said, need to commit to reaching their goals, continuously learn, adhere to a clear strategy and roadmap, and communicate well.

Scott Griffith, '90
CEO
Zipcar Inc.

Griffith was named CEO when the company was struggling to raise capital. His attempts to do so weren't always warmly welcomed, he told the San Francisco Examiner in an August 26 article. "When I was first raising money for Zipcar, I'm pretty sure people were snickering when I walked out of the room. I'd say, 'We're going to change the way of cars,' and they wouldn't really say anything."

Joshua Hong, '02
CEO and Founder
K2 Network

An August 12 article in the Orange County Register said Hong "exemplifies a true entrepreneur, who does whatever it takes to keep his venture going." Hong recalled that in early years in his multiplayer game site business, he was evicted from his apartment and sometimes didn't have rent money. For three years he sought funding from venture capitalists, explaining his "free-to-play" model to people who "couldn't understand ownership of virtual items. I did a lot of education of Free2Play," Hong said. Today K2's business GamersFirst has 100 employees and boasts 30 million users, the article said.

Jerrold Senser, '82
Chief Investment Officer and CEO
Institutional Capital LLC

In an August 23 article in TWST.com, Senser discussed holdings that are attractive to his firm. A prized sector right now is health care, he said. "That sector has several good examples of what we look for in our investment process." Pfizer is one example, because of its new chief executive and restructuring, Senser said.

Uzi Shmilovici, '11
CEO
Future Simple

The software company, which focuses on businesses of 100 employees or fewer, offers software called PipeJump that aids in managing sales and contacts, according to an August 23 PRNewswire article. "Small business software has missed the mark on meeting the needs of the 27 million small businesses in the US," Shmilovici said. "It needs to be rebuilt from the ground up to be powerful yet simple to use, so small businesses can focus on growing the business rather than wasting time managing their software. Future Simple is dedicated to building these solutions to this under-served market."


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