Speakers are listed alphabetically. Please click the arrows for more information about each speaker.
Chief Investment Officer, Research Affiliates
Chris Brightman leads the Research and Investment Management team. In this role, he supervises Research Affiliates research and development activities, provision of index strategies, and management of client portfolios. Chris has three decades of investment management experience in equities, fixed income, currency, and asset allocation. He has traded securities and derivatives, managed portfolios, supervised quantitative product development, and allocated assets to alternative investment strategies. He also has extensive organizational and people management expertise. Prior to joining Research Affiliates, Chris served as board chair of The Investment Fund for Foundations (TIFF), vice chair of the Investment Advisory Committee for the Virginia Retirement System, chief executive officer of the University of Virginia Investment Management Company, chief investment officer of Strategic Investment Group, director of global equity strategy at UBS Asset Management, senior portfolio manager at Brinson Partners, vice president and head of asset/liability management at Maryland National Bank, and associate national bank examiner at the Comptroller of the Currency. Chris is a member of CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Orange County. Chris received a B.S. in finance from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Loyola University, Maryland.
Adjunct Professor of Finance; Academic Director, Jacobs Levy Center, The Wharton School
Chris Geczy has been on the Finance Department faculty at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania since 1997. He is Academic Director of the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research, and the Wharton Wealth Management Initiative at Wharton Executive Education. He has a B.A. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in finance and econometrics from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago (now the Booth School).
Before his studies at Chicago, Chris worked for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC in its Division of Research and Statistics. He regularly teaches investment management and co-created the first full course on hedge funds at The Wharton School, a course on Impact Investing, and a large number of executive education courses. He has taught AIMR/CFA Institute-accredited professional Risk Management courses through the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.
He currently serves on Intel’s US Retirement Plans’ Investment Policy Committee. He has served on the Economic Advisory Board of NASDAQ, has been an editor of The Journal of Alternative Investments, and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of The Journal of Wealth Management. Chris is also a founding board member and past Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Hedge Fund Association and served on the curriculum and exam committee of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (CAIA). He serves on the Impact Investing Advisory Council of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.
Chris’s current research focuses on various topics including multifactor models, wealth management, risk management, asset allocation, the performance of managed funds including hedge funds, venture capital and private equity as well as other alternatives, and various aspects of equity lending and short-selling. His work has appeared in numerous books and scholarly journals including The Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Journal of Political Economy. It has also been covered in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, Forbes, NPR, on CNBC’s Squawk Box and in numerous other media outlets.
Associate Professor of Accounting and David G. Booth Faculty Fellow, Chicago Booth School of Business
Joseph Gerakos studies the structure of markets for financial services. His current research focuses on competition in the audit market and performance of the asset management industry. Gerakos earned a Ph.D. in applied economics from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.B.A. in finance and accounting from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and an A.B. in Russian language and literature from Dartmouth College.
Chief Executive Officer, Alpha Architect
After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray received a Ph.D., and was a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in entrepreneurship and behavioral finance led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management that delivers affordable active exposures for tax-sensitive investors. Dr. Gray has published four books and multiple academic articles. He is a normal contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the CFA Institute. Dr. Gray earned an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in finance from The University of Chicago and graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Director of Quantitative Research, McKinley Capital Management
Dr. Guerard joined McKinley Capital as Director of Quantitative Research in 2005. His passion for global equity markets, along with his academic credentials and broad practitioner experience, make him a valuable member of the McKinley Capital team. Dr. Guerard’s focus is on the maintenance and enhancement of the firm’s quantitative capabilities and investment models. Prior to joining McKinley Capital, he held a number of senior-level positions including Vice President for Daiwa Securities Trust Co. where he co-managed the Japan Equity Fund with Nobel Prize winner Dr. Harry Markowitz. He is also a former adjunct faculty member and faculty member of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University Graduate School of Management, respectively. He holds a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Texas – Austin, an M.S.I.M. in Finance from Georgia Institute of Technology, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia, and an A.B. in Economics from Duke University.
Assistant Profesor, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Samuel Hartzmark studies asset pricing and behavioral finance. His research has appeared in the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Quarterly Journal of Finance, and the Review of Asset Pricing Studies. He has received a number of awards, including the Hillcrest Behavioral Finance Award, the UBS Global Asset Management Award and the Michael J. Barclay Award for young scholars. In addition, he was a finalist for both the 2014 and 2016 AQR Insight Award. Hartzmark holds a Ph.D. from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a B.A. in mathematics/economics, with a double major in religion, from Emory University. While at Emory, Hartzmark interned as an analyst on the macro-policy team at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. After completing his M.B.A. at Chicago Booth, he worked in economic consulting at Chicago Partners/ Navigant Economics as a senior consultant and later as an associate director. Hartzmark joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2014.
Principal and Co-Founder, Jacobs Levy Equity Management
Bruce I. Jacobs, G’79, GrW’86, Principal, co-founded Jacobs Levy Equity Management in 1986. He is co-chief investment officer, portfolio manager, and co-director of research. Jacobs’s articles on equity management have appeared in Financial Analysts Journal, The Journal of Portfolio Management, The Journal of Investing, The Journal of Financial Perspectives, Japanese Security Analysts Journal, and Operations Research. He has received several Graham and Dodd Awards from Financial Analysts Journal, a Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Award from The Journal of Portfolio Management, and an Outstanding Article Award from The Journal of Investing.
Jacobs is author of “Capital Ideas and Market Realities: Option Replication, Investor Behavior, and Stock Market Crashes” (Blackwell), co-author with Ken Levy of “Equity Management: Quantitative Analysis for Stock Selection” (McGraw-Hill), co-editor with Ken Levy of “Market Neutral Strategies” (Wiley), and co-editor of “The Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Awards: Five Years of Award-Winning Articles from The Journal of Portfolio Management,” Volumes One through Three (Institutional Investor). He was a featured contributor to “How I Became a Quant: Insights from 25 of Wall Street’s Elite” (Wiley).
Formerly he was Senior Managing Director of a quantitative equity management affiliate of the Prudential Asset Management Company. Prior to that, he was on the finance faculty of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and consulted to the Rand Corporation. Along with Ken Levy, Jacobs endowed the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research at the Wharton School and the Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize for Quantitative Financial Innovation. He is chair of the Advisory Board of the Jacobs Levy Center.
Jacobs has a B.A. from Columbia College, an M.S. in Operations Research and Computer Science from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, an M.S.I.A. from Carnegie Mellon University’s Graduate School of Industrial Administration, and an M.A. in Applied Economics and a Ph.D. in Finance from the Wharton School.
Managing Director, Global Head of Scientific Equity Research, BlackRock
Ronald Kahn’s service with BlackRock dates back to 1998, including his years with Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which merged with BlackRock in 2009. Prior to joining BGI, he worked as Director of Research at Barra, where his research covered equity and fixed income markets.
He is a well-known expert on portfolio management and quantitative investing. He has published numerous articles on investment management, and, with Richard Grinold, authored Active Portfolio Management: Quantitative Theory and Applications. The two of them are the 2013 winners of James R. Vertin award, presented periodically by the CFA Institute to recognize individuals who have produced a body of research notable for its relevance and enduring value to investment professionals. He is a 2007 winner of the Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy award for best article in The Journal of Portfolio Management. He serves on the editorial advisory boards of the Financial Analysts Journal, The Journal of Portfolio Management and the Journal of Investment Consulting. The 2007 book How I Became a Quant includes his essay describing his transition from physics to finance.
He teaches the equities half of the course, “International Equity and Currency Markets” in UC Berkeley’s Master of Financial Engineering Program.
He earned an A.B. degree in physics, summa cum laude, from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University. He was a post-doctoral fellow in physics at University of California, Berkeley.
Principal and Co-Founder, Jacobs Levy Equity Management
Kenneth Levy, WG’76, G’82, Principal, co-founded Jacobs Levy Equity Management in 1986. He is co-chief investment officer, portfolio manager, and co-director of research. His articles on equity management have appeared in Financial Analysts Journal, The Journal of Portfolio Management, The Journal of Investing, The Journal of Financial Perspectives, Japanese Security Analysts Journal, and Operations Research. He has received several Graham and Dodd Awards from Financial Analysts Journal and a Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Award from The Journal of Portfolio Management. Levy is co-author with Bruce Jacobs of “Equity Management: Quantitative Analysis for Stock Selection” (McGraw-Hill), co-editor with Bruce Jacobs of “Market Neutral Strategies” (Wiley), and co-editor of “The Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Awards: Five Years of Award-Winning Articles from The Journal of Portfolio Management,” Volumes One through Three (Institutional Investor). He was a featured contributor to “How I Became a Quant: Insights from 25 of Wall Street’s Elite” (Institutional Investor). Formerly he was Managing Director of a quantitative equity management affiliate of the Prudential Asset Management Company. Prior to that, he was responsible for quantitative research at Prudential Equity Management Associates. Along with Bruce Jacobs, Levy endowed the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research at the Wharton School and the Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize for Quantitative Financial Innovation. He is a member of the Jacobs Levy Center’s Advisory Board. Levy has a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University, an M.B.A. and an M.A. in Business Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and completed all requirements short of the dissertation for a Ph.D. at Wharton. He is a CFA charterholder and has served on the CFA Candidate Curriculum Committee, POSIT Advisory Board, and the investment board of a community foundation.
Chairman, Risk Committee, Kepos Capital
Bob Litterman is the Chairman of the Risk Committee and a founding partner of Kepos Capital. Prior to joining Kepos Capital in 2010, Bob enjoyed a 23-year career at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he served in research, risk management, investments and thought leadership roles. He oversaw the Quantitative Investment Strategies Group in the Asset Management division. While at Goldman, Bob also spent six years as one of three external advisors to Singapore’s Government Investment Corporation (GIC). Bob was named a partner of Goldman Sachs in 1994 and became head of the firm-wide risk function; prior to that role, he was co-head of the Fixed Income Research and Model Development Group with Fischer Black. During his tenure at Goldman, Bob researched and published a number of groundbreaking papers in asset allocation and risk management. He is the co-developer of the Black-Litterman Global Asset Allocation Model, a key tool in investment management, and has co-authored books including “The Practice of Risk Management“ and “Modern Investment Management: An Equilibrium Approach“ (Wiley & Co.). Bob earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in Human Biology from Stanford University. He was inducted into Risk magazine’s Risk Management Hall of Fame and named the 2013 Risk Manager of the Year by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. In 2012, he was the inaugural recipient of the S. Donald Sussman Fellowship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. In 2008, he received the Nicholas Molodovsky Award from the CFA Institute Board as well as the International Association of Financial Engineers/SunGard Financial Engineer of the Year Award. Bob serves on a number of boards, including Commonfund, where he was elected Chair in 2014, Options Clearing Corporation, Resources for the Future, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Sloan Foundation and World Wildlife Fund.
Vice President, State Street Global Advisors
Rob is a Vice President of State Street Global Advisors and is a Senior Research Strategist in the Investment Solutions Group. In this role, he provides analysis and research focusing on building custom multi-asset class solutions for institutional clients. Previously, Rob was a portfolio manager in the enhanced equity group where he focused on quantitative equity modeling. In this role, Rob constructed and managed SSGA’s low volatility strategies. He has been publishing research on smart beta equity factors since 2008.
Rob graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Economics and received an M.B.A. in Finance from Bentley University. He has also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations and is a member of the Boston Security Analyst Society, the CFA Institute and the CAIA Association.
STANCO 25 Professor of Finance, Emeritus, Stanford University Graduate School of Business
William F. Sharpe is the STANCO 25 Professor of Finance, Emeritus, at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1970, having previously taught at the University of Washington and the University of California at Irvine. In 1996, he cofounded Financial Engines, a firm that provides online investment advice and management for individuals.
Sharpe was one of the originators of the Capital Asset Pricing Model, developed the Sharpe Ratio for investment performance analysis, the binomial method for the valuation of options, the gradient method for asset allocation optimization, and returns-based style analysis for evaluating the style and performance of investment funds.
Sharpe has published articles in a number of professional journals, including Management Science, The Journal of Business, The Journal of Finance, The Journal of Financial Economics, The Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, The Journal of Portfolio Management, and The Financial Analysts’ Journal.
He has also written seven books, including Portfolio Theory and Capital Markets (McGraw-Hill, 1970 and 2000), Asset Allocation Tools (Scientific Press, 1987), Fundamentals of Investments (with Gordon J. Alexander and Jeffrey Bailey, Prentice-Hall, 2000), Investments (with Gordon J. Alexander and Jeffrey Bailey, Prentice-Hall, 1999) and Investors and Markets, Portfolio Choices, Asset Prices and Investment Advice, Princeton University Press, 2007.
Sharpe is past president of the American Finance Association. In 1990 he received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
He received his Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. He is also the recipient of a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from DePaul University, a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Alicante (Spain), a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Vienna (Austria), and the UCLA Medal, UCLA’s highest honor.
Portfolio Manager, Cubist Systematic Strategies
Jinghua Yan is a Portfolio Manager at Cubist Systemic Strategies. He is also a Research Fellow at Wharton Financial Institution Center and a guest lecturer of Investment Management at the Wharton School. He holds Ph.D. in Finance from the Wharton School and B.A. in Computer Science from Columbia University. His research has been published in scholarly journals such as Journal of Financial Economics and Quarterly Journal of Finance.