Matt Ahlstrand is a vice president of product management and solutions consulting for SS&C Advent. In this role, he is responsible for helping investment managers better understand, evaluate, and leverage technology. Ahlstrand’s product management responsibilities include steering the roadmap for the Advent Portfolio Exchange (APX), Revenue Center, and Data Solutions. He also leads the Americas-based Solutions Consulting team, whose depth of knowledge on industry and developing technology trends help drive client success. He joined the firm in 2002. Ahlstrand holds a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Colorado.
Stephanie Avakian leads Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP’s Securities and Financial Services Department in counseling and defending public companies, investment banks, asset management firms, accounting firms, boards of directors and individual executives through the challenges of government investigations. Prior to joining the firm, Avakian served as director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. Matters under her direction concerned a wide range of issues including insider trading, financial fraud and disclosure violations, auditor and accounting issues, market structure, asset management, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Avakian earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from Trenton State College and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Temple University Beasley School of Law.
Bliss Bernal, IACCP®, is an executive director, shareholder, and the chief compliance officer of Crestone Asset Management, a multi-family office. Bernal serves as chair of the Crestone Risk Committee. Prior to joining Crestone, Bernal oversaw the daily operations of the compliance program at Manchester Capital Management. Before that, she served in compliance roles at two hedge funds in New York City. She began working in financial regulatory compliance in 2006. Bernal received her B.A. in international studies, with a concentration in East Asian studies, from Colby College. She also studied abroad at Stanford University’s (now Columbia University’s Global Engagement) Kyoto Consortium for Japanese studies in Kyoto, Japan.
Karen L. Barr is president and chief executive officer of the IAA. Before assuming the role of president and CEO in 2014, she served as the IAA’s general counsel for 17 years, with responsibility for the wide range of legal and regulatory matters affecting the investment adviser industry. Prior to joining the IAA, Barr was in private practice at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale), where she represented clients in SEC investigations, securities class action litigation, internal corporate investigations, and securities regulatory matters. She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Gail C. Bernstein is general counsel of the IAA. She joined the IAA in 2017 from the law firm of WilmerHale in Washington, DC, where she had been a special counsel and before that a partner in the Securities Department. While in private practice, Bernstein counseled clients on all aspects of financial and securities regulation. Bernstein earned her B.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. After law school, Bernstein clerked for the Honorable Douglas P. Woodlock of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Monique S. Botkin is associate general counsel of the IAA. Prior to joining the IAA in 2004, she was an associate in the financial services groups at Dechert LLP in Newport Beach, California, and Alston & Bird LLP in Washington, DC. While in private practice, Botkin represented investment advisers, registered investment companies, private funds, and broker-dealers in corporate, securities and investment management matters. Botkin also served as an attorney in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management disclosure review office from 2013 to 2014. She earned her B.A. in government and politics from the University of Maryland at College Park and her J.D., cum laude, from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, where she was an editor of the Law Review.
Sara P. Crovitz is a partner at Stradley Ronon, where she provides counsel on all aspects of investment adviser and investment company regulation, including the implementation of SEC regulation and guidance, strategy, and product development and responding to SEC compliance examinations. Previously, Crovitz was deputy chief counsel and associate director at the SEC, where she worked for 21 years, including 17 years in the Division of Investment Management focusing on issues under the Investment Advisers and Investment Company Acts of 1940. For many years, she also led the Division’s international efforts, including numerous IOSCO and FSB work streams. Crovitz earned her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
Ranah Esmaili is a partner at Sidley Austin’s office in Washington, D.C., and a member of the firm’s global Securities Enforcement and Regulatory practice. She represents private fund managers, registered fund advisers and trustees, investment advisers to individuals, and broker-dealers in regulatory and government investigations and examinations. She also provides advice and counseling to clients on a wide range of securities regulatory matters. Previously, Esmaili served as assistant director of the SEC Enforcement Division Asset Management Unit and as counsel at a leading global law firm. She earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins, and a J.D. from University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
Steven Farmer is the chief compliance officer for Confluence Investment Management LLC, responsible for managing the compliance program, which includes monitoring firm-wide compliance with internal policies as well as regulatory requirements. Before joining Confluence, he served as the chief compliance officer for Northern Trust Investments, Inc., 50 South Capital Advisors, LLC and various registered mutual funds. Previously, Farmer served as the chief compliance officer for Mesirow Advanced Strategies, Inc., as well as senior compliance positions for Mesirow Financial International in the U.K. and Hong Kong. He received a B.S. degree in Finance from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from DePaul University.
Laura L. Grossman is associate general counsel of the IAA. She has more than 20 years of experience as an investment management attorney. Prior to joining the IAA in 2012, she was in private practice for over 10 years in the New York office of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. (now Norton Rose Fulbright), where she advised registered investment adviser, mutual fund and private fund clients on matters arising under the Investment Advisers Act, the Investment Company Act and other federal securities laws, the Commodity Exchange Act and associated regulations, and a wide range of compliance issues. Grossman received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Rutgers College, and she received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Joe LaFemina is a director on the Advent Managed Services Solutions Management team. In this role, he is focused on business development activities to advance the existing capabilities of Advent Managed Services and find new ways to grow the business. Prior to his current role, he was a senior relationship manager on the Customer Success team, where he helped complex asset management clients maximize their investment in SS&C Advent’s suite of products and services. LaFemina joined SS&C Advent in 2015. He holds B.S. degrees in Marketing and Accounting from Syracuse University and an MBA from Babson College.
Sanjay Lamba is associate general counsel at the IAA. Prior to joining the IAA, Lamba worked at SEC headquarters for 10 years, beginning his service in the rulemaking office of the Division of Investment Management before transferring to the Office of Chief Counsel (Legal Branch) in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations in 2010. Prior to the SEC, he was in private practice advising registered investment adviser and mutual fund clients on a wide range of matters arising under the federal securities laws. He received his B.S. degree in Finance from George Mason University and his law degree from Boston University.
Ian J. McPheron is head of Legal-Americas and board member for Aviva Investors, overseeing the team responsible for all legal and corporate governance matters in the U.S. and Canada. He is also a member of the AI’s North American Executive Team and Global Legal Executive Leadership Team. Prior to joining Aviva Investors, he spent 14 years at Harris Associates serving in several senior capacities, including interim general counsel and deputy general counsel focused on mutual fund, global investment advisory, and governance issues. He has also held senior legal and compliance positions with Calamos Advisors and Morgan Stanley/Van Kampen Investments focusing on open-end and closed-end funds and institutional and high net worth accounts. McPheron also contributed to the treatise Regulation of Investment Companies by Lemke, Lins, and Smith.
Sean Murphy is senior vice president, chief compliance officer, and senior counsel in the Legal and Compliance Department at EIG, an energy and infrastructure focused private equity fund manager. Prior to joining EIG in 2019, Murphy was a vice president and counsel at BlackRock, where he advised various business groups on commercial, regulatory, compliance and transactional matters. Previously, he was an associate in the Financial Services Group at Dechert LLP in Washington, D.C., and London, where his practice focused on providing counsel to managers of registered and unregistered investment companies. Murphy received a B.S. in Government from the College of William and Mary and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
William A. Nelson is associate general counsel at the IAA. Previously, he was assistant general counsel and public policy counsel at CFP Board and chief compliance officer for Mercer Advisors. He has also held roles as an attorney with both the U.S. Departments of Justice and Veterans Affairs. Nelson has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and George Washington University Law School. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tulsa, his J.D. with Honors from the University of Tulsa College of Law, and his LL.M. from the George Washington University Law School.
Alpa Patel is a partner in the Investment Funds Regulatory Solutions Group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where she focuses on counseling U.S. and non-U.S. investment advisers regarding the complex regulatory framework in which they operate. Patel counsels some of the largest, most sophisticated asset management firms on issues related to the registration, structure, and operations of their advisory businesses and navigating complex SEC examinations and enforcement investigations. Previously, she was branch chief of the Private Funds Branch of the Investment Adviser Regulation Office in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, where she was a key adviser on private fund-related projects and priorities.
Mari-Anne Pisarri is a partner with Pickard Djinis and Pisarri LLP. She specializes in regulatory issues pertaining to investment advisers, NRSROs, and service providers to the securities industry and frequently writes and speaks about these matters. Pisarri received her B.A. from St. Lawrence University, summa cum laude, and her J.D. from Cornell Law School, magna cum laude.
Mukya Porter is a principal of CIM Group, serving as chief compliance officer of the company and two affiliated companies, OCV Partners and OFS Capital Management. Prior to joining CIM, Porter served as a senior vice president of compliance at Oaktree Capital Management. Her experience also includes roles at Pacific Investment Management Company as vice president, compliance; ay Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management as vice president, legal; and at Morgan Stanley Investment Management as vice president, compliance. Porter earned a B.S. degree in Biology from Howard University and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
Jennifer Reiche, IACCP®, is the chief compliance officer for Eventide Asset Management, LLC, responsible for managing the firm’s compliance program and leading the Compliance team. Prior to joining Eventide in May 2022, Reiche held compliance roles at Marsh McLennan and its affiliate, Mercer, most recently as chief compliance officer of Mercer Funds, Mercer Trust Company, and Mercer Investments LLC. Previously, she served as chief compliance officer for Century Capital Management and the Century Funds, in various compliance roles for Wellington Management and Foreside Compliance Services, and in mutual fund administration, custody, and accounting at Investors Bank & Trust. Reiche holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of New Hampshire and a Certificate in Accountancy from Bentley College.
Neil A. Simon is the IAA’s vice president, government relations. He has a leading role in the formulation and communication of the IAA’s views on legislative and regulatory issues and is responsible for advocacy before the U.S. Congress. Before joining the IAA, he was director of government relations for the Financial Planning Association and served as executive director of the National Franchise Council. Prior to that, he was counsel in the law firm of Hogan & Hartson LLP (now known as Hogan Lovells). He received his B.A. magna cum laude from Clark University, his J.D. from Georgetown University, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Danielle Nicholson Smith is vice president and managing legal counsel for U.S. communications and digital services at T. Rowe Price. She advises on the firm’s advisory services and mutual funds marketing, with a focus on digital marketing and social media. She worked extensively on the implementation of the SEC Marketing Rule and its application to the firm’s advisory communications. Most of her time in the industry has been spent on SEC adviser marketing and FINRA advertising rules regarding communications with the public. She is the co-chair of the IAA’s Digital Advisers Committee and serves on FINRA’s Public Communications Committee and the Advertising Rules Committee of the Investment Company Institute. Smith received her B.A. from Smith College and her J.D. from the University of Maryland King Carey School of Law.
Kimberly Versace is chief compliance officer at National Real Estate Advisors, LLC, where she is responsible for implementing and overseeing all aspects of the firm’s compliance program. She has extensive experience advising SEC-registered investment advisers on regulatory and compliance matters. Previously, she served as chief compliance officer for an emerging markets hedge fund adviser and as lead consultant to a wide range of investment adviser clients for a leading regulatory consulting firm. She spent much of her career practicing law in the securities regulation practice of a boutique law firm, with a focus on investment adviser regulation and compliance. Versace holds a B.A. in Modern Language, Politics from Fairfield University and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.