Featured Speakers


Marcie Frost | CEO | CalPERS

Keynote Speaker

Marcie Frost joined the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) as chief executive officer (CEO) in October 2016. She is the ninth CEO and second woman to head the pension fund, which administers a defined benefit retirement system for more than 1.9 million California public sector workers and their families and purchases health care for more than 1.4 million public sector employees.

Marcie oversees a global investment portfolio of more than $350 billion, approximately 2,800 employees, and manages an annual budget of $1.8 billion to administer the system. Since joining CalPERS, her focus has been on improving the funded status of the plan, member services delivery, and enterprise performance management.

She has dedicated the majority of her career to public service, having spent 30 years as a public servant in Washington State. Marcie's early leadership roles were in human resources with an emphasis on employee benefit programs and information technology. She later was named executive director of the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, where she demonstrated strong leadership and innovation, an emphasis on customer satisfaction, and team collaboration.

In 2013 she was tapped by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee as cabinet lead for the Results Washington performance and accountability system, where she served as an early creator and architect for the platform that tracks goals and progress in education, the state's economy, sustainable energy, healthy and safe communities, and efficient government.

Marcie served on the Washington State Investment Board as an ex-officio voting member for four years and served as its chair until she joined CalPERS. The board manages more than $120 billion in assets for 17 retirement plans.

She has also served as chair of the Pension Funding Council, responsible for setting economic assumptions and pension contribution rates for the state's pension plans; was a member of the Technology Services Board in Washington that oversees the state's IT projects with a measurable focus on business alignment, security, open data, transparency, and mobility goals; and was a voting member of the Washington State Legislature’s Select Committee on Pension Policy.

Marcie represents the United States on the International Centre for Pension Management Board of Directors.


Gary Gensler | Former Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets

Keynote Speaker

Gary Gensler served as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2009 until 2014, leading the Obama Administration’s post-crisis reform efforts of the $400 trillion over-the-counter derivatives, or swaps market. In recognition, he was a recipient of the 2014 Tamar Frankel Fiduciary Prize.

He previously had been senior advisor to US Senator Paul Sarbanes in writing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002; was Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance from 1999 until 2001, and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets from 1997 until 1999. In recognition for his service, Gary was awarded Treasury’s highest honor, the Alexander Hamilton Award. He was a United States Presidential Elector for Maryland in 2004.

Gary has worked on various political campaigns, most recently as CFO for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. He was a senior advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, subsequently an economic advisor for the Obama 2008 campaign, and worked on several Maryland statewide races.

He coauthored a book presenting common sense investing advice for middle income Americans, The Great Mutual Fund Trap, (Broadway Books, 2002). Gay has appeared regularly on national television commenting on the economy and politics. In 2016, Politico Magazine, included him in their list of the 50 ‘Thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics.’

Prior to his public service, Gary worked at Goldman Sachs (1979-1997), having become a partner in the Mergers & Acquisition department, headed the firm’s Media Group, led fixed income & currency trading in Asia and lastly was co-head of Finance, responsible for worldwide Controllers and Treasury efforts.

Gary is currently chairman of the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission. He is also a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Senior Advisor to the Director of the MIT Media Lab where he advises both the Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative and the Ethics and Governance of AI project. 

Gary earned his undergraduate degree in economics in 1978 and his MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 1979.  

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Jeffrey Shames | Chairman & CEO (retired) | MFS Investment Management

Networking Reception Honored Guest

Jeffrey Shames is the retired Chairman and CEO of MFS Investment Management® and the Board of Trustees of the MFS Funds. He currently serves as an Executive in Residence at the MIT Sloan School of Management where he lectures in Finance, Leadership and Global Health Management.

Shames joined MFS in 1983 as an industry analyst and was named a portfolio manager in 1985; chief equity officer in 1987; president and a member of the board in 1993; and chairman and chief executive officer in 1998.  In September 2002 he retired as CEO and retained the chairman title until his retirement in February 2004.

From 2010-2013 he was a senior advisor at Morgan Stanley where he advised the president of Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Wealth Management.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the X Prize Foundation, Wesleyan University, City Year, US 2020, Summer Search, Tufts Medical Center, and is chairman of the Board of the Berklee College of Music.  He also serves as a member of the Advisory Boards of the MIT Sloan School of Management, MIT Masters of Finance Program, MIT Leadership Center, Service Nation, and Kensho (a financial technology firm).

Shames graduated from Wesleyan University in 1977 and the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1983.  In between college and graduate school he served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Fiji and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

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Thomas A. Russo | Partner | Gardner Russo & Gardner

Fireside Chat: “Being a Farmer in a World of Hunters”

Thomas A. Russo joined Gardner Russo & Gardner LLC as a partner in 1989. In 2014, he became the Managing Member of the firm. Gardner Russo & Gardner LLC is a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and is not associated with any bank, security dealer or other third party. Mr. Russo serves as Managing Member of Gardner Russo & Gardner LLC and of Semper Vic Partners GP, LP, which oversees two “global value,” long-only, equity investment partnerships, the first of which Mr. Russo founded in 1983. Mr. Russo oversees more than $12 billion distributed between Semper Vic partnerships and separate accounts managed in parallel fashion.

Tom looks for companies with strong cash-flow characteristics that generate large amounts of “free” cash flow. He commits capital to leading global consumer products companies whose brands enjoy growing market shares in parts of the world undergoing economic growth and enjoying increasing political stability. He backs rare management teams willing to invest to secure robust future returns even when such investments burden current reported profits.

Toms goal is one of an absolute return rather than a relative return. He pursues a long-term investment objective of compounding assets between 10 and 20 percent per year without great turnover, thereby deferring capital gains tax on unrealized gains.

Tom is a graduate of Dartmouth College (BA 1977), and Stanford Business and Law Schools (JD/MBA 1984). Memberships include Dean’s Advisory Council for Stanford Law School, Dartmouth College’s President’s Leadership Council, and California Bar Association. Mr. Russo is a charter member of the Advisory Board for the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School. He serves on the boards of the Winston Churchill Foundation of the U.S., Facing History and Ourselves, and Storm King Art Center. In May 2017, he was awarded The Graham & Dodd, Murray, Greenwald Prize for Value Investing.

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Ted Seides, CFA | CIO | Perch Bay Group

Fireside Chat Moderator

Ted Seides is the Chief Ivestment Officer of Perch Bay Group, a single-family office he joined in 2017 to manage a diversified portfolio of direct and fund investments across asset classes.

Ted also is the Managing Partner of Capital Allocators, LLC, which he created in 2016 along with the Capital Allocators podcast (capitalallocatorspodcast.com). By the end of 2018, the show reached one million downloads. Ted serves as a strategic advisor to four high integrity, best of breed investment managers:  BlockTower Capital, Condire Resources, Stansberry Asset Management, and Sunderland Capital Partners.

From 2002 to 2015, Ted was a founder of Protégé Partners LLC and served as President and Co-Chief Investment Officer. Protégé was a leading multi-billion dollar alternative investment firm that invested in and seeded small hedge funds. He has spent time at private equity firms Stonebridge Partners and J.H. Whitney & Company, and began his career in investments under the tutelage of David Swensen at the Yale University Investments Office.

Ted is a columnist for Institutional Investor, and is a Trustee and member of the investment committee at the Wenner-Gren Foundation, is an active participant in the Hero’s Journey Foundation, and is a Decade Rider of Cycle for Survival. He previously served as a Trustee and head of the Programming Committee for the Greenwich Roundtable and as a Board member of Citizen Schools-New York.

Ted holds a BA in economics and political science, Cum Laude, from Yale University and an MBA with first-year honors from Harvard Business School.


In Search of Persistent Alpha: Opportunities and Challenges in Global Asset Allocation

Please note that this panel is on background and requires quote checks.

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Lila Hunnewell | CIO | Boston University Endowment

Clarissa (Lila) Hunnewell joined Boston University as Chief Investment Officer in May 2011. She provides day-to-day oversight, management, and monitoring of the University’s endowment. Specific responsibilities include portfolio positioning, manager selection, performance reporting, and advising the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees in establishing risk and return objectives and investment policy. 

Previously, for 20 years, Lila was a Managing Director at Cambridge Associates; she provided investment advisory and outsourced CIO services to a range of non‐profit organizations, as well as to families; she also advised educational institutions’ in‐house banks and planned giving programs. Earlier in her career, Lila was an investment banker with Brown Brothers Harriman, First Boston Corporation, and BNE Associates.

Lila currently serves on the Board of Trustees and chairs the Investment Committee for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and serves on the Board of the Boston Athenaeum. Lila earned her B.A. Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar.


Jordan Alexiev, CFA | Head of Dynamic Asset Allocation Research | Fidelity Investments

Jordan Alexiev is a head of dynamic asset allocation research in the Global Asset Allocation (GAA) group at Fidelity Investments. Fidelity Investments is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions and financial intermediaries.

In this role, Jordan is a member of the Asset Allocation Research Team (AART), which conducts economic, fundamental, and quantitative research to develop asset allocation recommendations for Fidelity’s portfolio managers and investment teams. AART is responsible for analyzing and synthesizing investment perspectives across Fidelity’s asset management unit to generate insights on macroeconomic and financial market trends and their implications for asset allocation.

Prior to joining Fidelity in his current position in 2011, Jordan was vice president and head of currency research at State Street. In this role, Jordan was responsible for quantitative asset allocation research and was involved with managing active currency programs. He has been in the investments industry since 2003.

Jordan earned his bachelor of science degree in economics and marketing from West Virginia Wesleyan College, as well as his master of business administration and master of science in finance degrees from Boston College. He is also a CFA® charterholder.

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Chris Doheny, CFA | Managing Director | AQR Capital Management

Chris Doheny is a member of the portfolio management team in AQR’s Global Asset Allocation group. In this role, he monitors portfolio performance and positioning, reviews accounts with clients and presents global asset allocation strategies to investors. He is also a member of AQR’s Long-Only Equity Investment Committee and a member of AQR’s ESG Working Group, for which he provides direct research and portfolio management perspectives with respect to AQR’s Global Asset Allocation team. Prior to AQR, he was associate director of asset allocation and risk for the Ford Foundation.

Chris previously worked at Bridgewater Associates, Morgan Stanley and Wellington Management Co. Chris earned a B.S. in economics and operations management from Boston College, graduating magna cum laude, and an M.B.A. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He is a CFA charterholder and holds a Certificate in Quantitative Finance.


Daniel Adamson | Managing Director | Wafra

Daniel Adamson is a Managing Director and serves on Wafra’s Management Advisory Committee. Mr. Adamson leads Wafra’s efforts in business and product development, building financial and strategic solutions for sovereign investors and pension funds. He is also the President of Capital Constellation, a joint venture between asset owners in Europe, North America and the Middle East, investing in the next generation of alternatives managers.

Previously, Daniel held senior positions at Ares Management and Bridgewater Associates. He began his career at McKinsey & Company.

Daniel earned a BA, summa cum laude, from Yale University, an MPhil in Politics from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar and a JD from the Yale Law School. He currently serves on the External Advisory Board for Strategic Investment Funds at the World Bank. 

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Barry Ritholtz | Chairman & CIO | Ritholtz Wealth Management

Panel Moderator

Barry Ritholtz has spent his career helping people spot their own investment errors and to learn how to better manage their own financial behaviors. He is the creator of The Big Picture, often ranked as the number one financial blog to follow by The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and others.

Barry is the creator and host of Bloomberg’s “Masters in Business” radio podcast, and a featured columnist at the Washington Post. He is the author of the Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy (Wiley, 2009). In addition to serving as Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, he is also on the advisory boards of Riskalyze, and Peer Street, two leading financial technology startups bringing transparency and analytics to the investment business.

Barry has named one of the “15 Most Important Economic Journalists” in the United States, and has been called one of The 25 Most Dangerous People in Financial Media. When not working, he can be found with his wife and their two dogs on the north shore of Long Island.


Double Bottom Line and Beyond: The State of Impact Investing

Presented by the MIT Impact Investing Initiative (Mi3)

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Lara Metcalf | Managing Director | The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund (TSEF)

Lara Metcalf is a Managing Director at TSEF: The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund, an early-stage impact venture fund focused on investing in fintech, healthtech and human/social services technology companies that improve access and economic opportunity for low-to-moderate income communities. TSEF is part of the Maycomb Capital family of funds.

Before joining TSEF, Lara was a Fellow at The Engine, an early-stage venture fund founded by MIT, focused on commercializing groundbreaking scientific discoveries. Prior to The Engine, she served as the Managing Director at Social Finance from 2013-2018 where she developed $70M+ in pay-for-success investments addressing issues such as improving maternal-child health outcomes, family stability and reducing recidivism.

Lara was previously Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (CFAO), and Senior Associate Dean for Operations at Harvard University’s Kennedy School (HKS). Metcalf spent the first 18 years of her career on Wall Street, as a Managing Director at Credit Suisse, structuring complex credit transactions; as a Vice President in the Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities Division at Goldman Sachs; and at Morgan Stanley in the Municipal Bond Department where she worked with investors and state and local issuers on tax-exempt bond issuance.

Lara serves on the advisory board for Longfellow Investment Management, and MIT Solve Fund. She received a B.S in Finance, and Information Systems from Boston College, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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Quyen Tran | Sustainable Investment Strategist | Wellington Management

As sustainable investment strategist, Quyen partners with industry practitioners, academia, and other organizations to develop thought leadership and strategy to advance the sustainable investment ecosystem. She meets with clients, represents Wellington as a speaker at industry conferences, and authors publications with a focus on impact investing and measurement. Quyen has provided strategic guidance for the development of Wellington’s flagship impact investing strategy in public equities and continues to serve investment teams in a consultative role.

Her prior roles include working as a senior investment consultant at Cambridge Associates, where she advised endowments, foundations, and other institutions determine total portfolio asset allocation strategies, and recommended investment products for their portfolios. She also headed the training program for consulting associates globally.

Quyen earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA, cum laude, in philosophy from Mount Holyoke College. On a volunteer basis, she has taught English as a classroom teacher in Vietnam, worked with Tibetan students in India to advance their higher education, and worked for the advancement of grade-school children in the US. She is a member of Harvard Business School’s Alumni for Impact Initiative.

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Jacob Donnelly | Principal | Bain Capital

Jacob Donnelly joined Bain Capital Double Impact in 2016. Previously, Jacob was a Senior Vice President on the private equity team at New Island Capital. In 2014 and 2015, Jacob served as a non-partisan, Presidentially-appointed White House Fellow at the U.S. Department of State. He is the former Founder & CEO of Fans Artists Memories, a digital media company, and began his career as a Consultant in Accenture's strategy practice.

Mr. Donnelly received an MBA from the Harvard Business School, an MPA-ID from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a BS magna cum laude from Babson College.


Liqian Ma | Managing Director | Cambridge Associates

Panel Moderator

Liqian has been with Cambridge Associates since 2011. He is a Managing Director at the firm, and specializes in advising universities, foundations, families, and retirement plans on the construction of custom private investment portfolios. He is a member of the firm’s global private investment ratings committee.

Liqian also works with several clients on building portfolios focused on impact and sustainability. He was the lead author of Cambridge Associates’ research paper, “Risks and Opportunities from the Changing Climate: Playbook for the Truly Long Term Investor.” He oversees the Cambridge Associates Clean Tech Benchmark and is a frequent speaker at client and industry conferences.

Before joining Cambridge Associates, Liqian was a finance associate at GreenerU, where he worked on developing a private investment vehicle to finance energy efficiency projects on university campuses. Previously, he was a financial analyst in the Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs. Liqian received his MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Harvard College.


Mind and Machine: Frontiers of Quantitative Investing

Please note that this panel is on background and requires quote checks.

This panel will be moderated by Barry Ritholtz (bio featured above).

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Michael Deaddio | President and COO | WorldQuant

Michael oversees the global day-to-day operations of WorldQuant, including the execution of strategic business and capital development initiatives. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Michael was Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Compliance Officer and Head of Investor Relations at Elm Ridge Capital and before that served as Chief Operating Officer at Credit Suisse Alternative Asset Management. He was also Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Technology Officer at Silver Point Capital and a Managing Director in the Credit business at Citadel Investments Group.

Michael holds an MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a BS in Electrical Engineering from MIT. He began his career at Bell Communications Research and holds a patent for an object-oriented system used to manage complex financial instruments.


Robert Furdak | Co-CIO | Man Numeric

Rob Furdak is Co-Chief Investment Officer of Man Numeric and a member of the Man Group Executive Committee. He also serves as Chairman of Man Numeric’s Investment Committee and as Head of Man Numeric’s US/Global Group. Moreover Rob oversees Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (‘ESG’) investing for Man Numeric and serves on the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Macroeconomic Risk Advisory Committee.

Rob was previously Man Numeric’s Director of International Strategies and designed and launched Man Numeric’s Japanese, European and World strategies.

Before joining Man Numeric in 1997, Rob was a Principal in the Active International Group at State Street Global Advisors. During his eight years there, Rob performed quantitative research on country, currency and stock-selection strategies in the international markets and was the principal architect of State Street’s active emerging markets investment process. Previously, Rob worked at Harvard Management Company.

Rob holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago. He is also a CFA charterholder.

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Maria Mähl | Partner, Head of Nordics | Arabesque Asset Management

Maria is a Partner at Arabesque Asset Management, a specialist Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Quant fund manager. Arabesque’s investment technology processes over 100 billion data points to select an investment universe of global stocks with the aim of delivering superior returns while ESG information into its quantitative strategies. 

Maria started her career at Volvo AB before working as a management consultant at Capgemini Consulting and Health Navigator. Previously, Maria worked at Clinton Global Initiative with a special focus on entrepreneurship, technology and sustainable investing. She is also the co-founder of the med tech company BellPal, providing predictive personalized eHealth services and products for seniors, and is a board member of the impact investing firm Kito Capital. 

Maria attended Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin Institute of Technology, Uppsala University and graduated with a Bachelor degree in Political Science and a Master degree in Business and Economics. Maria is from Sweden and lives in New York. 


George D. Mussalli, CFA | CIO & Head of Research | PanAgora Asset Management

George Mussalli is Chief Investment Officer and Head of Research, Equity at PanAgora Asset Management. He is responsible for oversight of the firm’s Dynamic, Stock Selector, and Diversified Arbitrage strategies, as well as the Equity team’s Data Infrastructure, Portfolio Construction, and Trading teams. He is also a member of the firm’s Investment, Operating, and Directors Committees.

George directs innovative equity research used in the development of models used within PanAgora’s equity strategies. Prior to his current position, George served as Head of PanAgora’s Stock Selector strategies. His work focused on combining fundamental insights with sophisticated quantitative techniques to develop proprietary models designed to analyze companies across many dimensions. In addition to overseeing the management of the firm’s Stock Selector strategies, he has significantly contributed to the proprietary pool of equity research leveraged across the entire firm during his tenure. The research he has conducted also led to the founding of the firm’s Diversified Arbitrage hedge fund strategy in 2010.

Before joining PanAgora, he was a Portfolio Manager on the Putnam Investments Structured Equity team, where he was responsible for Structured Equity portfolios. He contributed to quantitative research and analysis that supported all equity strategies, including International and Global strategies.

George earned his BS from Tufts University and his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is also a CFA charterholder.


Uncorrelated Returns: Alternative Investments in the QT Era


Russ Wilcox | Partner | Pillar VC

Russ Wilcox is a partner at Pillar VC, where he backs early stage Boston companies in technology and science fields such as AI applications, connected devices, quantum computing, blockchain, 3D software, AgTech, digital health, and synthetic biology. Previously, he co-founded E Ink Corporation to commercialize electronic paper invented at the MIT Media Lab. E Ink conducted R&D, filed patents, scaled a factory, and shipped tens of millions of displays for the Amazon Kindle and other devices. After the sale of E Ink for $480 million in 2009, Russ co-founded Transatomic Power, advancing an invention for safer, cleaner, cheaper nuclear energy; and Piper Therapeutics, conducting preclinical studies for an immuno-oncology drug. He sits on the Harvard Physical Sciences Accelerator Review Board and was a Board Director for Harvest Automation, a developer of agricultural robots.

Russ graduated with honors in Applied Mathematics from Harvard College and was a Baker Scholar at the Harvard Business School where he serves as a Venture Partner. He holds thirty-five issued U.S. patents. He is an Ernst & Young New England Entrepreneur of the Year and a Mass High Tech All-Star.

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Nina Streeter | Director | Abbot Downing

Nina Streeter is a director of Asset Management in Abbot Downing’s Boston office. Nina focuses on all facets of sourcing, researching, selecting for approval, and monitoring alternative private capital (including venture capital, buyouts, mezzanine debt, and distressed debt) and real asset (including timber, illiquid real estate, and farmland) fund investments for Abbot Downing clients. She is also engaged in asset allocation and portfolio construction within these sectors. She has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years serving wealthy families, endowments, pensions, and other not-for-profit institutions.

Since joining the organization in 2001, Nina’s experience has included similar roles for Wells Fargo Family Wealth, Wachovia’s Calibre Advisory Services, and Tanager Financial Services, all of which are precursor organizations to Abbot Downing. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Nina worked at Cambridge Associates for nearly five years, where she was a private equity and real estate research analyst. Previously, she also worked at Kidder Peabody in London and State Street Bank.

Nina earned her MS in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management where she concentrated in finance, information technology, operations, and accounting. She also received a BA with honors in history from Harvard College.


Allen Breed | Senior Real Estate Officer | MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCo)

Allen Breed is a Senior Real Estate Officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Investment Management Company (MITIMCo), which currently oversees approximately $25 B of Institute assets, comprising the endowment, pension, and working capital, including $3.5B of commercial real estate in Cambridge. In his role, Allen focuses on the acquisition, development, leasing, and management of commercial property in the Cambridge real estate market, with an emphasis on attracting life science and information technology companies. In addition, he works to create a built environment that is conducive to innovation and knowledge sharing.

Prior to joining MITIMCo, Allen was in the Development Group at The JBG Companies, a commercial real estate developer and investor in the Washington DC market, focusing on high end mixed use transit orientated development.

Allen received his Bachelor of Engineering from Vanderbilt University and his Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He lives in Dover, MA with his wife and two sons.

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Wasim Malik | Managing Partner | Iaso Ventures

Panel Moderator

Wasim Malik is the Founder and Managing Partner of Iaso Ventures, the nation’s first impact-driven venture capital fund investing in early-stage neurological and behavioral health startups, aimed at spurring innovation in this area of great unmet need whilegenerating non-concessionary returns for investors. He is also Chief Digital Strategist at Roivant Sciences Inc., where he leads the digital health strategy and corporate venture capital group. His team is responsible for strategic investments, partnerships and M&A activity across the spectrum of digital health technologies.

Wasim currently holds a faculty appointment at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) under Harvard Medical School. He has previously taught and led academic research programs at MIT, Brown and Oxford Universities, with a focus on med-tech and data science innovation with applications in the life sciences, telecommunications and finance industries. He is actively involved with the entrepreneurship ecosystem and serves on a number of government and corporate advisory councils and boards.

He earned his BE in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Science and Technology in Pakistan, completed his postdoctoral fellowship in Electrical Engineering at MIT, and received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oxford.


Of Rising Rates and Falling Knives: Allocating to High-Yield and Emerging Market Debt

Please note that this panel is on background and requires quote checks.

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Katherine Renfrew | Managing Director | TIAA Investments

Katherine co-manages TIAA Investment's emerging markets debt strategies and has been a portfolio manager of the Emerging Markets Blended Debt strategy since inception in 2004. She has lead sector responsibility for emerging markets corporates and quasisovereigns and for all developed markets quasi-sovereigns, excluding U.S. and Canada, in both hard and local currency. She co-manages the emerging market sovereign portfolios. From 2005 to 2014, Katherine was the primary Portfolio Manager overseeing the Emerging Market Debt strategies for TIAA, including sovereign (both hard currency and local currency). She is the co-PM of a dedicated Emerging Market Local Currency strategy and a dedicated Emerging Market High Yield strategy (blend of sovereigns and corporates).

Ms. Renfrew joined TIAA in 1997 and has held several roles relating to emerging markets during her tenure, including South American regional analyst/PM and trader, portfolio manager for the firm’s investments in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions, and Asian and EMEA regional analyst/PM and trader. From 2005 to 2007, she managed the Emerging Market Debt team, which consisted of 5 professionals. Before joining the firm’s Emerging Markets team, Ms. Renfrew was part of its Structured Finance team and was responsible for asset-backed securitization analysis and investment.

Prior to joining TIAA, Katherine was a fixed-income securities analyst at MONY Capital Management and a financial analyst at Mattel Toys. Ms. Renfrew holds a BS in economics and a BS in engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA in finance and accounting from the Columbia Business School at Columbia University.


Josephine Shea | Lead Portfolio Manager | Mellon

Josephine is a director and senior portfolio manager of emerging markets responsible for managing investments in emerging market US dollar-denominated debt portfolios at Mellon (a firm formed in 2018 by the mergers of Mellon Capital Management, Standish Mellon Asset Management, and The Boston Company Asset Management). Josephine joined the firm in 2015 from Hartford Investment Management Company where she was co-head of the emerging markets debt team and senior portfolio manager for emerging market corporate and sovereign credit. Josephine has 23 years of industry experience, of which the first decade as an research analyst and junior proprietary trader on emerging market corporate debt, US high yield, convertible bonds and US equities.

Josephine earned Mlitt in Political Economy from Oxford and Master's in Economics from the University of Amsterdam.

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Deborah Lucas | Sloan Distinguished Professor of Finance | MIT Sloan School of Management

Panel Moderator

Deborah Lucas is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy.

Her recent research has focused on measuring and accounting for the costs and risks of government financial obligations. Her academic publications cover a wide range of topics including the effect of idiosyncratic risk on asset prices and portfolio choice, dynamic models of corporate finance, financial institutions, monetary economics, and valuation of government guarantees. An expert on federal credit programs, Lucas has testified before Congress on budgeting for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, student loans, and on strategically important financial institutions. 

Previous appointments include assistant and associate director at the Congressional Budget Office; Donald C. Clark Professor of Finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; chief economist at the Congressional Budget Office; senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers; and member of two Social Security Technical Advisory Panels. Lucas also has served as a director on several corporate and non-profit boards.

She is on the editorial board of the Annual Review of Financial Economics, a coeditor of AEA-Policy, and a co-organizer of the group Capital Markets and the Economy at the NBER. Lucas is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a research associate of the NBER, a member of the Advisory Roundtable of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a member of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee, a member of the Shadow Open Market Committee, and a member of the Academic Research Council for the Urban Institute Housing Finance Policy Center.

Deborah received her BA, MA, and a PhD in economics, all from the University of Chicago. 


From Platforms to Cryptocoins: Building and Funding the Industries of Tomorrow


Jennifer Lum | Co-Founder & COO | Forge.AI

Jennifer Lum is the COO and Cofounder  of Forge.AI, a data company that creates fuel for intelligent machines. Prior to Forge, Jennifer helped build four startups through to acquisition by public companies - Adelphic (acquired by Time Inc), Quattro Wireless (acquired by Apple), m-Qube (acquired by VeriSign), and WebHosting.Com (acquired by AT&T). 

Jennifer is an investor, board member, and advisor to startups and venture capital firms. Jennifer has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, TechCrunch, Business Insider, and the Boston Globe.


Dave Balter | CEO | Flipside Crypto

Dave Balter is a Managing Partner at Flipside Crypto, which provides algorithms, indexes and analysis for institutional-level cryptocurrency investment vehicles. Previously, Dave was co-founder and CEO of Smarterer, a skills assessment company acquired by Pluralsight (NASDAQ: PS) in 2014. Post-acquisition, Dave was the Head of Transactions at Pluralsight, while also serving as a Board Observer. In 2001, Dave founded and was CEO of BzzAgent, a social media marketing company, which was acquired by dunnhumby, a division of Tesco in 2011. From 2011-2014 Dave sat on the Global Executive Team at dunnhumby, where he led all venture and M&A activity.

Dave is Venture Partner Emeritus at Boston Seed Capital; personally, he is an investor or advisor to more than 50 technology organizations. Investments include Promoboxx, Help Scout, Kettle & Fire, Turo, NRG, AdHawk, and Enwoven. Dave sits on the Board of Directors of Flipside Crypto, Adhawk, Grapevine, and Kindara; he is an Advisor at Berklee (Music) Online and is Vice Chairman of Boch Center for the Performing Arts, a nonprofit steward of iconic venues, providing arts, entertainment, cultural, and educational experiences to the greater Boston community.


Kirstan Barnett | Founder & Managing Partner | kbb capital

Kirstan Barnett is an active angel investor through her fund kbb capital.  She launched kbb capital in 2016 after over 13 years at a premier $13 billion hedge fund, where she was a partner and part of an “all hands on deck” entrepreneurial team that saw dynamic growth in all key areas.  Most recently, Kirstan was Co-founder and a Managing Partner of a financial services and asset management firm focused in the digital asset market that launched four business lines in less than a year:  asset management, OTC trading, technology product and advisory.

Her early stage portfolio includes over 25 pre-seed investments in a diverse range of companies, focused primarily in fintech and e-commerce. Rialto Trading, which developed an alternative trading system, and one of the portfolio companies for which she wrote the first outside check, has recently announced an agreement to be purchased by Bittrex, the leading U.S.-based blockchain trading platforms.  In addition to her own direct investing, Ms. Barnett also serves on the Investment Committee for funds 1 and 2 of Castor Ventures, a venture fund focused on MIT founders.

Kirstan has an MBA from the MIT Sloan of Management and a JD from Georgetown University.


SJ Maxted | Director of Strategic Initiatives | The Engine

Panel Moderator

SJ Maxted is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for The Engine, a home for tough tech founders building the next generation of world changing companies. This mission is achieved through a mix of long-term capital, access to specialized infrastructure and facilities, and platform to collaborate. SJ leads strategic priorities and broader ecosystem development at The Engine, including advising the CEO.

SJ has worked with 50+ innovation ecosystems across the world and holds a position on the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Innovation Ecosystems. She has deep understanding of the role of the public and private sector, and the critical role each play in supporting the advancement of technology and innovation thanks to her experience at MIT, Harvard, Deloitte, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

SJ is a graduate of Duke University, where she studied the intersection of policy, private sector, and society. She also lectures at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS), MIT, and Tufts University.