2018 Leadership Conference Speaker Biographies
Victoria Adams, PhD, one of the world’s leading experts on blockchain, has more than 30 years’experience working with financial regulation in the U.S. federal space. She is currently head of ConsenSys government programs and leads the implementation of blockchain solutions for the federal government. Prior to joining ConsenSys, she held a variety of senior positions at major consulting and technology firms including Booz Allen Hamilton, PwC, and IBM. She holds a PhD in economics and public policy and has authored numerous articles and books on the subjects of economic analysis and the use of distributed ledger technology.
Karen L. Barr is President & CEO of the Investment Adviser Association. Before assuming this role 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 Association and its members. Prior to joining the IAA, Karen was in private practice at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale), where she represented clients with respect to SEC investigations, securities class action litigation, internal corporate investigations, and securities regulatory matters. Karen received her BA, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. She is a frequent speaker on investment adviser issues.
Gail C. Bernstein is General Counsel of the Investment Adviser Association. She joined the IAA from the law firm of WilmerHale in Washington, DC, where she had been a Special Counsel in the Securities Department from 2008 until June 2017. Prior to that, Gail was first an associate and then a partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale) in Washington, DC. While in private practice, Gail counseled clients on all aspects of financial and securities regulation, with a specific focus on the Dodd-Frank Act and securities and derivatives law and compliance. Ms. Bernstein grew up in South Africa and earned her BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1982 and her law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. After law school, Gail clerked for the Honorable Douglas P. Woodlock of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and was an associate at the Boston law firm of Mintz Levin from 1989-1990, when she moved to Washington. She is a member of the District of Columbia and Massachusetts bars.
Win Callender is Senior Consignment Director with Heritage Auctions. A lifelong numismatist – he found a 1770 Russian 5 Kopek when he was just five years old – Callender parlayed his hobby into a fulltime business when he was in his mid-30s, starting his own business in Broken Arrow, OK, in 1993. He subsequently worked for Carter Numismatics and David Lawrence Rare Coins, working his way up to Vice President in both firms. Win has been a life member of the American Numismatic Association since 1993.
Alex Castellanos is one of the Republican Party’s best-known and most successful media consultants and strategists. Alex has served as communications consultant to seven U.S. Presidential campaigns, has helped elect over a dozen U.S. senators and governors, and enjoys more than three decades of political consulting experience, both in the United States and abroad. He brings a wealth of campaign strategy, public opinion research insights, and communications experience to corporate communications and public policy campaigns. He is a co-founder of Purple Strategies, a boutique strategy firm that takes its name from the merger of colors commonly identified with Democrats (blue) and Republicans (red), and is the founder of NewRepublican.org. He is also an ABC News contributor and posts regularly on media outlets, including The Huffington Post and NationalReview.com.
K.J. Martijn Cremers Cremers is the interim dean and the Bernard J. Hank Professor of Finance at the Mendoza College of Business of the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining the Mendoza faculty in 2012, Cremers was a faculty member at the Yale School of Management from 2002 to 2012. His research areas are investment management, corporate finance, corporate governance and corporate law, and he teaches classes in investments, corporate governance and Catholic social teaching.
His co-authored paper “How Active is Your Fund Manager? A New Measure that Predicts Performance” (published in 2009 in the Review of Financial Studies) introduced Active Share, an innovative tool for determining the extent of active mutual fund management by measuring the percentage of stock holdings in a manager's portfolio that differs from the benchmark index.
Cremers has long-standing consulting relationships with various investment managers, including the All Pensions Group from the Netherlands and Touchstone Investments from Cincinnati. He serves as an independent director at Ariel Investments, an investment company located in Chicago, and as an external consultant with State Street Associates, State Street's academic think tank and a division of State Street Global Exchange located in Boston.
A native of the Netherlands, Cremers earned his master’s degree from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and his PhD from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Ken Gronbach, President of KGC Direct, LLC, is an internationally respected demographer who has been able to forecast societal, commercial, economic, cultural and political phenomena with uncanny accuracy. Ken’s unusual blend of marketing savvy and common sense demography, based on 20 years of proprietary demographic study, sets him apart. Ken keynotes all over the United States and does customized demographic research. Ken’s belief that the U.S. is the best nation on earth and that its best days are ahead season his spirited presentations with an unmistakable pro-American enthusiasm. Ken is the author of the current best-selling book The Age Curve: How To Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm.
Carson Hall is a private art dealer and art consultant dealing in master paintings, prints and sculpture. He is the owner of Carson Hall Fine Art, LLC, which specializes in Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art. He advises clients with the discreet buying and selling of art on the private market, at auction, and to/from museums. Carson often lends paintings and sculptures to distinguished museum exhibitions worldwide on behalf of his clients. He handles transactions of all sizes, from more affordable contemporary prints to important paintings and sculptures that sell for over $25 million. The most exciting parts of the business for Carson are the building of long-term relationships with clients and the opportunity to handle exquisite and rare objects that few ever see outside of a museum. Carson graduated from TCU with a degree in Art History.
Kenneth A. Hersh is President and Chief Executive Officer of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a Dallas-based non-partisan institution which houses the George W. Bush Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute. He also serves as Co-Founder and Advisory Partner of NGP Energy Capital Management where he assists with the strategic direction of the firm. Mr. Hersh currently serves as Senior Advisor to The Carlyle Group’s natural resources division and sits on the Board of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. In addition, Mr. Hersh serves on the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute, the Dallas Citizens Council, and the World Economic Forum. He also sits on the Dean’s Council of the Harvard Kennedy School. Mr. Hersh served on the Advisory Council of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business from 2009 through 2015. Mr. Hersh received his degree in Politics, magna cum laude, from Princeton University and his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar. For more, see https://www.bushcenter.org/people/kennet-hersh.html
Hunter Judson, Jr. is Wealth Management Practice Director for the Judson Group. In his practice, he partners with successful wealth management firms to place top talent. He previously worked with ultra-high net worth (UHNW) clients as part of a client advisory team with Bessemer Trust in Chicago. Mr. Judson held the Series 7 and 63 licenses as well as the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation. He earned a BA in economics from Kenyon College.
Matthew Kishlansky is a Principal with GenTrust. He is responsible for the development and management of the institutional business relationships at the firm, spanning family offices, institutions, consultants and other independent investment advisory firms. Prior to joining GenTrust, “Kish” was the founder and managing partner of Old Master Capital, LLC, a managed account for Millennium Partners in NYC. Earlier, he was a portfolio manager at Pentagon Capital Management, Plc in London. At Pentagon, he originated, structured and managed alternative strategies including the Pentagon Hercules Fund, a portfolio of over $700 million worth of alternative investments, and the Pentagon Bernini Fund, an illiquid finance fund focused on absolute returns. Kish graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, with an AB in History of Art and Architecture.
Rebekah L. Kohmescher, CFP®, CPA is a founding partner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Altai. Under her leadership, the firm has redesigned entire aspects of the investment reporting processes, expanded online accessibility to account information for clients, and restructured internal workflows to best meet client needs and improve internal efficiencies. Additionally, Beka serves as the head of compliance for the firm, assisting with creating policies and filing annual reports with the SEC. Beyond her work at Altair, Beka has been a mentor to young women pursuing finance and accounting majors and has been an industry advocate for bringing more women into the financial advisory field. In 2014, Beka was selected by Crain’s InvestmentNews as one of the top 40 advisers under age 40 in a nation-wide ranking based on individual contributions to the overall investment industry, leadership and promise for the future. Beka graduated cum laude from Xavier University with honors in accounting.
Anne Lester is Managing Director and Head of Retirement Solutions for J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Solutions, where she is responsible for advancing the firm’s market eading retirement investment product offering and thought leadership. As the architect of the firm’s SmartRetirement strategy, Anne has worked to help define and determine the potential applicability of J.P. Morgan’s investment processes and strategies to retirement issues faced by corporations and governments worldwide, as many organizations begin shifting some or all of the responsibility for retirement investing and spend-down to individuals. Before beginning her career with J.P. Morgan, she was a Fulbright Scholar, spending more than a year in Tokyo working for a member of the Japanese Parliament. Previously, she worked for the U.S. Senate Government Affairs Committee. Anne earned an MA in international economics and Japan Studies from Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies, and received her AB in Politics from Princeton University.
Charles ("Chip") Roame, Managing Partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, is a leading strategic consultant to CEOs and Boards of Directors in the financial services sector. Because he has responsibility for all of the Triburon's research and consulting activities, he stays on the leading edge of strategic initiatives in the industry's fastest growing businesses – exchange traded funds (ETFs), hedge funds and other alternative investments, financial planning, socially responsible investing, robo advisors, break-away brokers, and the growing RIA market. He has also taken a substantial interest in financial services industry venture capital and private equity opportunities, as well and mergers & acquisitions transactions. At Tiburon, Mr. Roame has led over 1,900 client engagements for more than 450 corporate clients since 1998.
Mr. Roame has won numerous awards throughout the consulting and financial services industries, including being named one of the Power 25 Elite by InvestmentNews, one of the 25 most influential individuals in the advisor business by Investment Advisor Magazine, and one of the five experts with the answers by Boomer Market Advisor. Tiburon has also been named one of the fastest growing companies by the San Francisco Business Times in multiple years.
Neil A. Simon is Vice President for Government Relations for the Investment Adviser Association. He has a leading role in the formulation and communication of IAA’s views on legislative and regulatory issues important to the investment advisory profession 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. From 1998 to 2003, he served as executive director of the National Franchise Council where he led an innovative public-private compliance partnership between national franchisors and U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Prior to that, he was counsel in the law firm of Hogan & Hartson LLP (now known as Hogan Lovells). Mr. Simon received his BA magna cum laude in government and international relations from Clark University. He received his JD from Georgetown University, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Kenneth K. Swan serves as Chief Executive Officer at LMCG Investments LLC and is a member of LMCG’s Board of Directors. He was President and Chief Operating Officer of the firm from 2001-2009. Prior to joining LMCG, he was a Principal at State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) for 10 years, where he served as Director of Sales, Marketing, Client Service and Consultant Relations for SSgA’s institutional and private clients. Mr. Swan started his career at IBM, where he held positions in management, marketing and sales. He joined the board of Tenacity, a Boston-based charity dedicated to literacy and fitness in the Boston Public Schools, in 2012. Mr. Swan holds a BA from Bates College.
Jane Williams is Chair and Co-Founder of Sand Hill Global Advisors. She advances the firm’s business development goals and advises on its strategic direction and, as a member of its Executive Committee, is responsible for oversight of Sand Hill's compliance function. Jane participates in industry panels and organizations dealing with topics of best business practices, she is a member of the Fidelity Investment Advisors’ Council, and is Chair of the Board of Governors of the Investment Adviser Association. In October 2010, Jane received the Charles Schwab & Co. IMPACT® 2010 Leadership Award. She has been listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Business in the San Francisco Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times and San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal. She was named to the Top 50 Women in Wealth by Wealth Manager Magazine in May 2010 and to Barron’s List of Top Women Financial Advisors in the nation in both 2014 and 2015. In September 2014, she was honored by the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce with the Athena Award, which recognizes the achievements of outstanding professional and business women.
John Wise, InvestCloud Chairman and CEO, is a serial entrepreneur and CEO responsible for creating several companies, including: Synergo Technology, the U.K.’s leading Agency Brokerage solution; TCA Syntec, the first EAI company in Europe; Netik, the securities market leading data warehouse and portal company responsible for 70 of the world’s largest banks including Citibank, UBS, PNC, SEI, Fortis, BNP, Scotia and Pershing. John received a double honors degree in Cybernetics and Computer Science, and is a Chartered Software Engineer.