Who We Are

Roger A. Sayler

Mr. Sayler is Chief Investment Officer at the 12 billion dollar Church Pension Fund . Previously, he served as Chief Operating Officer at Columbia Management Group. Before that, he spent 20 years at J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc., where, as Managing Director, he headed such areas as Structured Equity Portfolio Management and Mutual Funds and served as global head of derivatives. Mr. Sayler has an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

 

Ravi Jagannathan, PhD

Dr. Ravi Jagannathan is the Chicago Mercantile Exchange/John F. Sandner Professor of Finance at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He has previously held positions at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and has appointments as Special Terms professor at Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Indian School of Business. Ravi received a Ph.D. in Financial Economics (1983) and an M.S. in Financial Economics (1981) from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.B.A. from the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad (1972), and a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras (1970). His Ph.D dissertation received the Alexander Henderson award for excellence in economics.

Ravi's research interests are in the areas of asset pricing, capital markets, and financial institutions. His articles have appeared in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Finance, and Review of Financial Studies. He is noted for his contributions to the development of the Hansen-Jagannathan bound, and the Hansen-Jagannathan distance that summarizes what is missing in an asset pricing model, the TGARCH volatility model, a contingent claims framework for evaluating the performance of actively managed portfolios, and the role of portfolio weight constraints in estimating vast covariance matrices with precision.  He received the 2014 Graham & Dodd, Murray, Greenwald Prize for Value Investing.

 

Eckhard Platen, PhD, DrSc

Professor Platen holds a Chair in Quantitative Finance at the University of Technology, Sydney. Prior to this appointment he was the Founding Head of the Centre for Financial Mathematics at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Australian National University and is Adjunct Professor of this University. He has a PhD in Mathematics from the Technical University in Dresden and obtained his Dr Sc from the Academy of Sciences in Berlin. He is co-author of three well-known books on numerical methods for stochastic differential equations and a recent book on his benchmark approach in quantitative finance at Springer Verlag. He has authored more than 150 papers in finance and applied mathematics. He serves on the editorial boards of five international journals including Mathematical Finance and Quantitative Finance. His current research interests cover areas ranging from asset allocation, financial market modeling, long term derivative pricing and dynamic risk analysis to numerical methods in finance. He initiated and has been co-organizing the annual Quantitative Methods in Finance conference series. Prof Platen has been Past President of the Bachelier Finance Society, the premier professional organisation in mathematical finance.

 

M. Stephen Soltis

Mr. Soltis began his investment management career at J P Morgan Investment Management (JPMIM) where he became Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer responsible for all administrative, financial and support functions of the firm. He later joined The Bankers Trust Company (now Deutsche Bank) where he served as Business Head and Partner for all asset management and investor service products (global custody, funds management, cash management, master trustee, securities lending, performance measurement, strategic risk management advisory and institutional brokerage) directing over 3,000 employees worldwide. Subsequently, Steve joined the Church Pension Fund as Executive Vice President and CFO responsible for all operating and financial activities of the $12 billion Church Pension Fund, Church Insurance Companies and the Church Publishing Company. 

 

Tony Estep

When Institutional Investor Magazine added a category for Quantitative Research to its All-America Analyst team, the first #1 winner was Tony Estep, who was at that time the Director of Quantitative Research at Kidder, Peabody & Co. He remained at the top of the rankings during his tenure at Kidder and later at Salomon Brothers, where he was Director of Equity Quantitative Research. In 1986 he was one of the founding partners of New Amsterdam Partners, a boutique investment manager in New York serving public and private pension and endowment funds.
In the 1990s, Tony was Managing Director of Global Portfolio Trading at Credit Suisse – First Boston Corp., responsible for several trading desks and in-house hedge and arbitrage accounts. From 1998 to 2005, he was Managing Director of the Quantitative Services Group at Banc of America Capital Management, responsible for $12 billion in client funds, comprising mutual funds, endowment funds, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds.
He has published widely in industry and financial journals. Some of his publications are referenced at the Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-model, which describes one of the best-known equity valuation models he pioneered.
Tony is presently the Managing Member of Battenkill LLC, a private investment partnership in St. Louis, Missouri, and serves in various volunteer capacities serving immigrants in the St. Louis area.

 

Denis Kelleher

He is Chairman of Wall Street Access Limited, a NYSE member firm, which he founded in 1981 and was an early investor in GWA. Previously, Mr. Kelleher was a founder of the investment firm  Ruane Cunniff & Co., Inc., best known as the adviser and distributor of the Sequoia Fund for which he also served as Vice President and Treasurer.  Mr. Kelleher is past Chairman and a member of the Boards of St. John’s  University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is Director of the  Staten Island Foundation and the New Ireland Fund, Inc, as well as an  economic adviser to the Prime Minister of Ireland. He is also the recipient of numerous honors, including the 1995 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and a Doctor of Commercial Science degree from St. John’s University, and an honorary Doctorate from the National University of Ireland. Mr. Kelleher is a graduate of St. Brendans College and St. John's University, where he is now Chair Emeritus.

 

Nassos Michas CFA

Mr. Michas is President of Masons Islands LLC and was an early investor in GWA. Prior to that Mr. Michas was President and CEO of Robeco USA, a $30 billion AUM asset manager, which acquired Weiss Peck & Greer, Boston Partners and Sage. Mr. Michas served Merrill Lynch for 27 years. In his final post he was Chairman of Merrill Lynch Banks Division. Mr. Michas holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and holds the CFA designation.

 

Denis Curran

Mr Curran was President of Bank of Ireland Asset Management (International). Mr. Curran grew the business to $30bn during his tenure as President. The $30bn  in USA  was gathered from 300 institutional pension plans /endowments and foundations. Mr Curran played a significant role in securing business outside of the USA from such as The Japan Pension Fund Association, GPIF (Japanese Govt pension plan---largest in the world) and Dai Ichi Life—each of these exceeded $700m in allocation. Mr. Curran was on the Board of Directors of Bank of Ireland Asset Management, Berger/ Bank of Ireland Funds(Co-CEO), The New Ireland Fund( a closed end country fund), and  Iridian Asset Management. He has served on the Board of Governors of Innis Arden Golf Club and Flax Trust America a not for profit focused on economic recovery in marginalized communities in Northern Ireland.

 

Daniel Oyon, PhD

Dr. Oyon is professor of management control and the former Dean at HEC Lausanne in Switzerland. He received Bachelors, Masters’ and Doctoral degrees from the University of Lausanne. He was also a visiting scholar at Harvard Business School and at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His research interests focus on the importance of formal control systems on the execution and the emergence of business strategies as well as the role of governance systems on firms’ performance. He is actively involved in business through consulting assignments and board memberships. 

 

Apoorva Koticha, PhD (Emeritus)

Dr Koticha was most recently a Managing Director, managing fixed income and cross-asset portfolios for the Harvard Management Company that manages the Universities’ Endowment. Prior to that, he was a Partner at Archeus Capital Management, and before that, he was a Managing Director in charge of Citigroup’s Interest Rate and Multi-Asset derivatives in New York and then London. He has a bachelor’s in Electrical Engg. from IIT Bombay, an MBA from Iowa and a PhD in Finance from NYU.

 

Yukichi Itakura (Emeritus)

Mr. Itakura has served in important roles for Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company (SMAM), one of the leading asset management companies in Japan. He was appointed as Executive Managing Director in 2006 and Executive Deputy President in June 2007 until June 2015, and engaged in company management as a board member and also in daily execution of the business. Since April 2009, he had been responsible for institutional and retail business development both in Japan and overseas. Until March 2009, he had been in charge of corporate strategy, accounting, HR, compliance, risk management, IT and administration of the company. Before joining SMAM, he served for more than 7 years as Managing Director of Mitsui Marine’s investment subsidiary in London (presently SMAM London).  He earned his bachelor's degree in economics from Keio University.  He is also educated in France at Universite de Dijon. Mr. Itakura is a Chartered Member of the Security Analysts Association of Japan.