Advisory Board Biographies

Afsheen Afshar, Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer at Cerberus Capital Management

Afsheen PicUntil recently Afsheen Afshar was Chief Data Science Officer of the Corporate and Investment Bank at JPMC, covering all lines of business.  He is passionate about using data and analytics to improve how people make decisions in a variety of industries, from finance to medicine to advertising to search.  

He previously led teams at Goldman Sachs that centralized, analyzed, and presented insights from large financial data sets in order to reduce cost, mitigate risk, improve client service, and maximize profitability.  

He completed a dual-doctorate degree (MD/PhD) as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Stanford.  During his electrical engineering PhD,  he created cutting-edge machine learning algorithms to find trends in large quantities of parallel data and to make predictions in real-time. 

Management: leading multiple global teams (>50 HC) through periods of great change and expansion; 
Medicine: firsthand experience in healthcare delivery; understanding of doctors' and patients' desires and needs;  
Engineering: machine learning, Bayesian inference, prediction methods, expert programmer (C/C++, Matlab, etc.); signal processing; systems analysis, including feedback and control

Ian Allison, Senior Fintech Correspondent, IBTimes & Newsweek


Ian Allison is a senior fintech correspondent for International Business Times and Newsweek, covering crypto-economics and financial applications of AI and machine learning.

Ian was a co-founder of Wealth Bulletin, which was acquired by Dow Jones, and has also covered securities regulation and anti-money laundering. Previous to that he wrote about WAP and the early days of the mobile internet. He is the State Street data and innovation journalist of the year 2017. 

Ian attended Edinburgh University where he studied joint honours in English Literature and Philosophy.

About Newsweek

Since 1932, Newsweek has brought a unique global perspective on the world of current affairs. 

From exclusive interviews with leading figures in politics, business, entertainment and sports, to in-depth investigations and insight into the most important events in global news, business, technology, politics and culture.

Newsweek makes sense of a rapidly changing world, and does it with flair, wit and curiosity.

Newsweek Europe reaches its affluent and discerning audience across multiple platforms. Its reach spans 62 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Asita Anche, Head of Systematic Market Making, Risk Centralization & Data Science, Barclays

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Asita Anche recently joined Barclays as Head of Systematic Market Making.  Prior to this she was Managing Director at Goldman Sachs (2010-2017) in the FICC Systematic Market making division, which was set up to expand Goldman's electronic market making capabilities and consolidate its electronic trading operations.

Asita joined Goldman in 2010. The following year, Forbes magazine included her in the 30 under 30 in Finance list.

Prior to Goldman, Asita was a Portfolio Manager at Millennium Management and ran the high frequency electronic trading desk for Citadel Investment Group in EMEA. Asita graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004.

Additionally, Asita serves on the board of Celoxica Holdings Plc, which provides hardware accelerated solutions to the financial services sector.

Michael Beal, CEO, Data Capital Management

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Michael Beal is the CEO of Data Capital Management. The multi-strategy quantitative hedge fund that specializes in the use of novel sources of information (e.g. “alternative data”), systematic fundamental analysis and state of the art machine learning analytics to generate differentiated and uncorrelated investment returns.


Prior to DCM, Mr. Beal co-founded the “Big Data” group for JP Morgan Chase and was an investor with TPG Capital and Morgan Stanley. Michael is a frequent CNBC contributor and is passionate about investing, the onset of the “Data Economy” and the application of disruptive technologies to valuable “problems to solve”. Michael earned a BA from Harvard College with honors in Economics and an MBA from Harvard Business School with distinction.

Dr. Sylvain Champonnois, Director, Scientific Active Equity, BlackRock

champonnois headshotSylvain Champonnois, PhD, Director, is a member of BlackRock's Scientific Active Equity team. His responsibilities include developing new stock selection and top-down macro driven insights for the global suite of active long-only and long-short equity funds.
Prior to joining BlackRock in 2011, Dr. Champonnois was an assistant professor of Finance at the University of California, San Diego from 2007 to 2011. He was a visiting professor at Imperial College Business School, London from 2010 to 2011. Dr. Champonnois earned a BA in Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique in 2002 and a PhD in Economics from Princeton University in 2007.”

About BlackRock

BlackRock is a global leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients. At June 30, 2016, BlackRock’s AUM was $4.890 trillion. BlackRock helps clients around the world meet their goals and overcome challenges with a range of products that include separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. 

BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. 

As of June 30, 2016, the firm had approximately 12,700 employees in more than 30 countries and a major presence in global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa.

Vasant Dhar, Professor NYU, Chief Editor, Big Data, Founder SCT Capital Management

Vasant picVasant Dhar is a professor at the Stern School of Business and the Center for Data Science at New York University.  He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Big Data.  Dhar teaches for the Master of Science in Business Analytics Program for Executives (MSBA).

Dhar is a data scientist whose central question is "when should we trust robots with decisions and when shouldn't we?". His research in predictive analytics addresses this question in a number of areas, including the prediction of returns in financial markets, specifically in the use of small disjuncts and specializing in models to attain robust predictions, including social media and healthcare as well as networks.  A central question underlying this research in finance is “when do computers make better decisions than humans?" which is addressed in "should you trust your money to a robot?"

He also teaches in the Digital Marketing MBA specialization at the Stern School of Business  as well as the Master of Science in Business Analytics program.

Roland Fejfar, Vice President, Fintech IBD, Morgan Stanley


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Roland is a Vice President in Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking Division covering FinTech across EMEA and South East Asia. In his role, Roland is advising clients on corporate finance related matters, including private capital raisings, IPOs, equity and debt offerings, and M&A, especially around the following ecosystems:

  • FinTech Disruptors: Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning, Blockchain, CryptoCurrencies, InsurTech, RegTech, WealthTech, Alternative Finance Marketplaces, Mobile Money/ Banking
  • Capital Markets Infrastructure: Pre-Trade (FinInfo, FinSoft), Execution (Brokerage, Alternative/ OTC Trading Venues, Exchanges, HFT/ Algorithmic Trading, Electronic Market Makers) and Post-Trade 
  • Payment Companies: E/M Commerce, Omni-Channel, Merchant Acquirers, Payment Networks, Payment Processors, Card Issuers, Fraud Detection, Loyalty, Advanced Data Analytics Services 


Previously, Roland worked for a long / short hedge fund and as an academic research assistant in empirical asset pricing. He holds a Master in Financial Economics from Oxford University and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of St. Gallen. Additionally he’s on the Board of The Showroom, a leading London-based non-for-profit centre for collaborative and process-driven contemporary art

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley mobilizes capital to help governments, corporations, institutions and individuals around the world achieve their financial goals. For over 75 years, the firm’s reputation for using innovative thinking to solve complex problems has been well earned and rarely matched.

A consistent industry leader throughout decades of dramatic change in modern finance, Morgan Stanley will continue to break new ground in advising, serving and providing new opportunities for its clients.

Morgan Stanley is committed to maintaining the first-class service and high standard of excellence that have always defined the firm. At its foundation are four core values — putting clients first, doing the right thing, leading with exceptional ideas and giving back — that guide its more than 55,000 employees in 1,200 offices across 43 countries.

Peter Hafez, Chief Data Scientist, RavenPack

hafez headshotPeter is an award-winning expert in the field of applied news analytics and has consulted numerous leading trading and investment firms on how to take advantage of news analytics in financial markets.

Peter has more than 10 years of experience in quantitative finance with companies such as Standard & Poor's, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Saxo Bank. He is a recognized speaker at conferences on behavioral finance and algorithmic trading, and a regular contributor to the blog SentimentNews.com

Peter holds a Master's degree in Quantitative Finance from City University's Cass Business School along with an undergraduate degree in Economics from Copenhagen University.

About RavenPack

RavenPack is a leading provider of Big Data Analytics for financial applications. Clients rely on RavenPack to transform millions of news articles and social media posts into real-time actionable data. 

RavenPack helps financial professionals generate more alpha, manage headline risk more effectively, and even assist in market surveillance and compliance tasks. The company's clients include some of the best performing hedge funds, banks and investment managers in the world.

Tammer Kamel, Founder & CEO, Quandl 

Tammer picTammer created Quandl to solve a problem he encountered again and again in his 15-year career in finance: the time, effort and resources required to acquire and prepare data for analysis.

Tammer programmed the first version of Quandl with the goal of making it easy for anyone to find and use high-quality data effectively in their professional decision-making.

Prior to founding Quandl, Tammer was one of the world’s leading authorities on quantitative investment strategies and risk management. He advised and evaluated many of the world’s leading hedge funds on their technology and infrastructure, during a 15-year career at Citibank, Simplex Asset Management, and the Iluka Group.

Tammer has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Petter Kolm, Clinical Professor of Mathematics;  Director of the Mathematics in Finance M.S. Program, NYU

Petter picPetter's research interests include quantitative trading strategies, delegated portfolio management, financial econometrics, risk management, and optimal portfolio strategies.  He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Portfolio Management.

Previously, Petter worked in the Quantitative Strategies Group at Goldman Sachs Asset Management where his responsibilities included researching and developing new quantitative investment strategies for the group's hedge fund.

Petter coauthored the books Financial Modeling of the Equity Market: From CAPM to Cointegration (Wiley, 2006), Trends in Quantitative Finance (CFA Research Institute, 2006), and Robust Portfolio Management and Optimization (Wiley, 2007). He holds a doctorate in mathematics from Yale University, an M.Phil. in applied mathematics from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and an M.S. in mathematics from ETH Zurich. 

Dr. Jim Liew, Assistant Professor in Finance, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

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Dr. Jim Kyung-Soo Liew is an Assistant Professor of Finance at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and revels in pushing the boundaries of financial knowledge both as an academic and FinTech Data Scientist. 
He has published pioneering research in the intersection of social media big data and financial markets.

He currently teaches "Big Data Machine Learning," "Advanced Hedge Fund Strategies," 
and "Leading Entrepreneurship and Innovation" courses at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. 
Additionally, he serves as the Chairman of the Johns Hopkins Innovation Factory and has received the Dean’s Award for Faculty Excellence in 2015 & 2016. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Journal of Portfolio Management and co-authored the most read Invited Editorial "iGDP?".

About SoKat Consulting, LLC

He owns and operates SoKat Consulting, LLC, which provides world-class Machine Learning / AI
services to primarily large hedge funds, government agencies, and academic institutions. SoKat unlocks the hidden value of data though thoughtful, creative solutions, comprising of actionable insights, data analytics, and predictive modeling. 

Previously, Jim has been with the Carlyle Asset Management Group, Campbell and Company, and Morgan Stanley. He holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Finance from Columbia University. 

He currently lives just outside of Baltimore with this wife and two daughters, who he plans to raise as the next generation disruptors.

Marcos Lopez De Prado, Research Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Marcos ImageMarcos López de Prado is a Senior Managing Director at Guggenheim Partners, where he manages several multibillion-dollar internal funds. Over the past 18 years, his work has combined advanced mathematics with supercomputing technologies to deliver billions of dollars in net profits for his investors and firms. A proponent of research by collaboration, Marcos has published with over 30 leading academics, resulting in some of the most read papers in Finance (SSRN), multiple international patent applications on Algorithmic Trading, three textbooks, numerous articles in the top Mathematical Finance journals, etc. He serves on the editorial board of 5 academic journals, including the Journal of Portfolio Management (IIJ). In 2017 he was elected to the board of directors of the IAQF.

Since the year 2010, Marcos has also been a Research Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science), where he conducts unclassified research in the mathematics of large-scale financial problems and HPC at the Computational Research Department. For the past 6 years he has lectured at Cornell University, where he currently teaches a graduate course in Financial Big Data and Machine Learning at the Operations Research Department.

Marcos is a recipient of the 1999 National Award for Academic Excellence, which the Government of Spain bestows once a year to the best graduate student nationally. He earned a Ph.D. in Financial Economics (2003), and a second Ph.D. in Mathematical Finance (2011) from Complutense University, both "summa cum laude." Between his two doctorates, Marcos was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of RCC at Harvard University for 3 years, during which he published dozens of articles in JCR-indexed scientific journals. In 2006, he was admitted into American Mensa with a perfect test score. Marcos has an Erdös #2 and an Einstein #4 according to the American Mathematical Society.

Michael Marrale, CEO, M Science

M Marrale PicMichael is the CEO of M Science, leader of the executive team and sits on the company’s board.  Prior to M Science, Michael was an Executive Committee Member and Head of Research, Sales & Trading at Investment Technology Group where he led one of the world’s largest and most respected data-driven research teams and was instrumental in the divestiture and sale of its Energy research business to Warburg Pincus for over $120mm in late 2015.  

Previously, he has held senior roles at RBC Capital Markets and Lehman Brothers.  Michael currently serves on the Boards of the City Parks Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House of NY.  He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and previously served as a Trustee of the Nature Conservancy on Long Island. He enjoys spending time on the east end of Long Island with his 3 children.

About M Science

M Science is a data-driven research and analytics firm, uncovering new insights for leading financial institutions and corporations. Founded in 2002, M Science is revolutionizing research, discovering new data sets and pioneering methodologies to provide actionable intelligence. Our research teams have decades of expertise working with massive amounts of unstructured data in near real-time to discern critical insights that help clients make smarter, more informed decisions. We combine the best of finance, data and technology to create a truly unique value proposition for both financial services firms and top corporations.
M Science was founded as Majestic Research in 2002 and in 2016 was spun out to form M Science, a portfolio company of Leucadia National Corporation.

Kevin Maney, Technology Columnist, Newsweek

K Maney PicKevin Maney is a best-selling author, award-winning columnist, and musician still waiting for his big break.

Maney co-authored, with Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson and Christopher Lochhead, the 2015 book Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets, published by Harper Business.  Maney’s other books include The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future...Just Enough, a 2011 New York Times bestseller. He also co-wrote the most widely distributed business book of 2011, Making the World Work Better:The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company, which marked IBM’s centennial. His other books are Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don't; The Maverick and His Machine: Thomas Watson Sr. and the Making of IBM; and Megamedia Shakeout.

Maney has been a contributor to Fortune, The Atlantic, Fast Company and ABC News, among other media outlets. He was a contributing editor at Conde Nast Portfolio during its brief run from 2007 to 2009. For 22 years, Maney was a columnist, editor and reporter at USA Today. He has been a book and writing consultant to numerous CEOs and companies such as Cisco, IBM, IdeaPaint and Qualcomm. He lives in New York.

Stephen Morse, Advisor at Neudata

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Stephen consults in the areas of AI and big and alternative data, including as an advisor to Neudata - a firm specializing in alternative data discovery and intelligence. 

Previously, as former Head of Global Financial Data Partnerships at Twitter, Stephen was responsible for all business with hedge funds, asset managers, banks, FinTech partners, platforms and other financial institutions.

He joined via acquisition of Gnip, where he opened and ran the New York City office. Stephen has a long career in entrepreneurial, disruptive businesses, especially in and around data, hedge funds, FinTech and business information services, including with firms that were acquired by, or are now a part of Barra/MSCI, Dow Jones, KCG and Twitter. 


Gordon Ritter, Senior Portfolio Manager, GSA Capital

Gordon PictureGordon Ritter joined GSA in 2015 as a senior portfolio manager and leader of a team pursuing a broad range of statistical arbitrage strategies across geographies and asset classes. Gordon is also responsible for directing all research in GSA's New York office.

GSA has won the Equity Market Neutral & Quantitative Strategies category at the Eurohedge awards four times in the last six years, with numerous other awards. Prior to joining GSA, Gordon was a Vice President of Highbridge Capital Management and a core member of the firm's statistical arbitrage group.

Concurrently with his position at GSA, Gordon is an Adjunct Professor at NYU, where he teaches a graduate course in advanced econometric modelling which he designed. He also teaches at Rutgers and Baruch College, and is frequently invited to speak at the top industry conferences, such as Risk USA and Global Derivatives.

Prior to entering the hedge fund industry in 2007, Gordon completed his PhD in mathematical physics at Harvard University, where he published papers in top international journals across the fields of quantum computation, quantum field theory, and abstract algebra. He earned his Bachelor's degree with honours in Mathematics from the University of Chicago.

Larry Tabb, Founder & Research Chairman, TABB Group

Larry PicLarry Tabb is the Research Chairman of TABB Group. He has published industry research analyzing both US and European market structure; central clearing, credit default swaps, fixed income, equity and foreign exchange trading; financial markets trading and processing systems; analytical trading tools; financial markets infrastructure, including grid and cloud computing; and foreign and emerging market technologies.

Larry has written extensively on the changing market structure, exchanges and regulatory issues, as well as new technology trends in high frequency trading, market data, risk management, order management, best execution, algorithmic trading, dark pools, multi- and cross-asset trading, liquidity management, FIX connectivity, custody, and advances in emerging technologies.

About the TABB Group

TABB Group is a financial markets research and strategic advisory firm focused on capital markets. Founded in 2003 and based on the methodology of first-person knowledge, TABB Group analyzes and quantifies the investing value chain from the fiduciary, investment manager, broker, exchange and custodian, as well as the operations that support them.

Our goal is to help senior business leaders gain a truer understanding of financial markets issues and trends, and develop with them a workable roadmap and approach to the future so they can grow their business. TABB Group focuses our industry knowledge into practical application to provide clients with unparalleled insight into the Securities and Investment Management industry segments, with experience in the various sectors including derivatives, equities, foreign exchange and the bond markets.