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2015 Speakers

William Ackman

CEO and Portfolio Manager

Pershing Square Capital Management

William Ackman is the CEO and Portfolio Manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P., an SEC registered investment adviser founded in 2003. Pershing Square is a concentrated research-intensive fundamental value investor in long and occasionally short investments in the public markets.

Prior to forming Pershing Square, Mr. Ackman co-founded Gotham Partners Management Co., LLC, an investment adviser that managed public and private equity hedge fund portfolios. Prior to Gotham Partners, Mr. Ackman began his career in real estate investment banking at Ackman Brothers & Singer, Inc. Mr. Ackman received an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Harvard College.

In 2006, William and Karen Ackman founded The Pershing Square Foundation which supports exceptional leaders and innovative organizations that tackle important social issues.

Mr. Ackman’s board memberships include Chairman of The Howard Hughes Corporation (NYSE: HHC), Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (NYSE: CP), and the Board of Dean’s Advisors of the Harvard Business School.

Clifford Asness

Co-founder, Managing Principal and Chief Investment Officer

AQR Capital

Cliff Asness is co-founder, Managing Principal and Chief Investment Officer at AQR Capital Management.

He is an active researcher and has authored articles on many financial topics, including multiple publications in the Journal of Portfolio Management and the Financial Analysts Journal. He has received the best paper award from the Journal of Portfolio Management twice. From the Financial Analysts Journal he has twice received the Graham and Dodd Award for the year’s best paper, a Graham and Dodd Excellence Award, the award for the best perspectives piece and the Graham & Dodd Readers’ Choice Award. In 2006, CFA Institute presented Cliff with the James R. Vertin Award, which is periodically given to individuals who have produced a body of research notable for its relevance and enduring value to investment professionals.

Prior to co-founding AQR Capital Management, he was a Managing Director and Director of Quantitative Research for the Asset Management Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co.

He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Portfolio Management, the governing board of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Finance at NYU, the Board of Directors of the Q-Group and the Board of the International Rescue Committee.

Cliff received a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School and a B.S. in engineering from the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude in both. He received an M.B.A. with high honors and a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Chicago, where he was Eugene Fama’s student and teaching assistant for two years (so he still feels guilty when trying to beat the market).

Michael R. Bloomberg

Founder, Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies

Three-term Mayor of New York City

Michael R. Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who served as mayor of New York City from 2002 through 2013. In 1981, he launched a technology startup to provide real-time data and analysis to the financial services industry. Bloomberg LP has since grown into a global company that has offices in 73 countries, employing 16,000 people and serving 320,000 subscribers.

The spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that led Bloomberg to found the company has led to its repeated expansion in new directions. In 1990, Mike launched a news division that has steadily grown and today covers the world and produces more than 5,000 daily stories.

As a philanthropist, Mike Bloomberg has given away more than $3.3 billion. His foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, employs a unique data-driven approach to its five main focus areas: public health, education, the environment, the arts, and government innovation. Bloomberg also leads a number of bi-partisan coalitions that are taking action on urgent national issues, including illegal guns, immigration reform, infrastructure investment, and climate change. In 2014, Bloomberg was appointed to be the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.

Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York City less than two months after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Under his leadership, the city rebounded faster and stronger than expected. His administration cut crime by 32 percent, raised high school graduation rates by 40 percent, reduced the city’s carbon footprint by 19 percent and increased life expectancy by three years. His economic policies, which supported entrepreneurs, small businesses, and emerging industries such as tech and bioscience, all helped led to create a record number of jobs.

Bloomberg graduated from The Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School.

Brad Burnham

Managing Partner

Union Square Ventures

Brad Burnham is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures. He started working in information technology with AT&T in 1979. Brad spun Echo Logic out of Bell Laboratories in 1989 and joined AT&T Ventures in 1993. He co-founded TACODA in 2001 before joining Fred to create Union Square Ventures in 2003. Brad majored in political science at Wesleyan University.  He is married with two kids and lives in New York City.

Barry Diller

Chairman and Senior Executive

IAC and Expedia, Inc

Barry Diller is the Chairman and Senior Executive of IAC and the Chairman and Senior Executive of Expedia, Inc.

Until late 2010, Mr. Diller spent 15 years serving as the Chairman and CEO of IAC.

Before IAC, Mr. Diller served as the Chairman and CEO of both QVC, Inc., from 1992 to 1994, and Fox, Inc. from 1984 to 1992. At Fox, Mr. Diller was responsible for the creation of Fox Broadcasting Company. Prior to joining Fox, he served for 10 years as the Chairman of Paramount Pictures Corporation, and was previously the Vice President of Prime Time Television for ABC Entertainment.

Mr. Diller serves on the boards of The Coca-Cola Company and the Graham Holdings Company (formerly The Washington Post Company). He is a trustee of New York University and serves on the Executive Board for the Medical Sciences at UCLA and the Board of Councilors for the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California.

Roger Ferguson

CEO and President


Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., is President and Chief Executive Officer of TIAA-CREF, the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields and a Fortune 100 financial services organization.

Mr. Ferguson is also the former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System.

Prior to joining TIAA-CREF in April 2008, Mr. Ferguson was head of financial services for Swiss Re, Chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation, and a member of the company’s executive committee. From 1984 to 1997, he was an Associate and Partner at McKinsey & Company. He began his career as an attorney at the New York City office of Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Mr. Ferguson served on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness as well as its predecessor, the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and he co-chaired the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Long-Run Macro-Economic Effects of the Aging U.S. Population.

Mr. Ferguson holds a B.A., J.D., and a Ph.D. in economics, all from Harvard University.

Jonathan Gray

Global Head of Real Estate


Jonathan D. Gray is Global Head of Real Estate and a member of the board of directors of Blackstone. He also sits on the firm’s Management Committee.

Since joining Blackstone in 1992, Mr. Gray has helped build the largest real estate platform in the world with $93 billion in investor capital under management. Blackstone’s portfolio includes hotel, office, retail, industrial and residential properties in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Mr. Gray currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Hilton Worldwide and is a board member of Brixmor Properties. He is also Chairman of the Board of Harlem Village Academies and a board member of Trinity School. Mr. Gray and his wife, Mindy, established the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine focused on the prevention and treatment of certain genetically caused cancers.

Mr. Gray received a BS in Economics from the Wharton School, as well as a BA in English from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Alan Iny

Principal & Senior Global Specialist: Creativity and Scenarios, The Boston Consulting Group

Co-author, Thinking in New Boxes

Alan Iny is a senior global specialist at The Boston Consulting Group, where he has worked since 2003. He focuses on issues of strategy, creativity and scenarios, and change management for companies across a range of industries.
Alan is a member of the firm’s Strategy practice leadership team and has expertise in innovation, transformation, and organization design. He has trained thousands of clients and BCG consultants to challenge their assumptions and see their problems from fresh perspectives. With Luc de Brabandere, he coauthored Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity in 2013. The book is available in nine languages, and Publishers Weekly called it “a must-read for anyone in a leadership position who dares to look at the world in new ways.”
His writing with Luc de Brabandere has also appeared in various journals, including Strategy & Leadership and Technological Forecasting & Social Change. You can follow Alan @Alan_Iny on Twitter, or join the conversation at #newboxes.

Jason Kelly

New York Bureau Chief


Jason Kelly is the New York bureau chief of Bloomberg and the author of The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry, the product of five years leading Bloomberg’s global private equity coverage. He has served as managing editor of Bloomberg Link, the company’s global conference business, producing and hosting gatherings in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He’s a regular contributor to Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg Markets and Bloomberg Businessweek, where his work has spanned artificial intelligence on Wall Street to economic development during the war in Afghanistan. Prior to joining Bloomberg, he edited a magazine about technology and venture capital in the Southeast U.S. He is a graduate of Georgetown University. An accomplished marathoner, he’s currently working on a new book about the business of fitness, to be published in early 2016 by John Wiley & Sons.

Renaud Laplanche

Founder and CEO

Lending Club

As Founder and CEO, Renaud is responsible for overseeing the overall strategic direction and operation of Lending Club, which he grew from a disruptive idea in 2006 to the world’s largest online credit marketplace today. He also serves as Chairman of Lending Club’s Board of Directors.
Before founding Lending Club, Renaud was the Founder & CEO of TripleHop Technologies, an enterprise software company acquired by Oracle Corporation in June 2005. Prior to that, Renaud was a Senior Associate at New York law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Renaud won the Economist Innovation Award in the consumer products category in 2014. He was ranked one of the top SMB CEOs by the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards in 2015 and was named the “best start-up CEO to work for” by Business Insider in 2014. Renaud was named a 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award Winner for Northern California, 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year at the BFM Awards, and in 2002 was honored with the HEC Entrepreneur of the Year award. Renaud holds two world speed sailing records.
Renaud has an MBA from HEC and London Business School and a JD from Montpellier University. He is a frequent guest lecturer at Columbia Business School and a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
Renaud has appeared in many leading publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, BusinessWeek and Barron’s and has been featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, ABC News, CBS News, and Fox Business News.

Marc S. Lipschultz

Member & Head of Energy & Infrastructure


MARC LIPSCHULTZ (New York) joined KKR in 1995 and is the Global Head of KKR’s Energy and Infrastructure business. Mr. Lipschultz currently serves as a member of KKR’s Infrastructure Investment Committee and the Energy Investment Committee. Prior to joining KKR, Mr. Lipschultz was with Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he was involved in a broad array of mergers and acquisitions as well as the firm’s principal investment activities. He received an A.B. with honors and distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford University and an M.B.A. with high distinction, Baker Scholar, from Harvard Business School. Mr. Lipschultz is actively involved in a variety of non-profit organizations, serving as a trustee or board member of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Center for Curatorial Studies, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Mount Sinai Health System, Riverdale Country School and 92nd Street Y.

Jeffrey McCracken

Managing Editor

Bloomberg News

Jeffrey McCracken is a managing editor for Bloomberg News, overseeing global coverage of mergers and acquisitions, IPOS, activism and restructuring. He was previously team leader at Bloomberg in charge of U.S. deals coverage and before that a senior reporter on deals.

Previously, McCracken was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal where he oversaw M&A coverage for North America since 2009 before joining Bloomberg in July 2010. He also spent several months in 2010 working with Steve Rattner on his book about the GM and Chrysler bailouts. McCracken joined the Journal as reporter based in Detroit covering Ford, auto suppliers and the United Auto Workers in2005 and began covering bankruptcy and distressed companies in January 2008.

Prior to joining the Journal, McCracken covered the automotive industry and politics for the Detroit Free Press since 2000. He covered Ford, GM, Chrysler, auto suppliers and the UAW. McCracken also held positions with Crain’s Detroit Business and The Macomb Daily in Mt. Clemens, MI.

In March 2009, McCracken and a team of reporters won an award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in the Enterprise category for their December 29, 2008 page-one article “The Weekend That Wall Street Died.”

McCracken received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Wayne State University in Detroit and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School. He currently resides with his wife and 3 children in New York.

Noor Menai

President & CEO

CTBC Bank Corp. USA

Noor Menai is President & CEO of CTBC Bank Corp. USA, where he oversees its North American operations including the bank’s Commercial and Industrial and Commercial Real Estate lending groups and branches in the US. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and North America Regional Head of CTBC. He joined CTBC in January 2011 as the Head of Governance and Retail Banking for the US, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Prior to CTBC, Mr. Menai spent three years in private equity and asset management, including as Founder of Fajr Capital, a sovereign wealth fund-backed investment fund. Previously, he served as President & CEO of Charles Schwab Bank, where he re-launched a deposit platform as the “World’s Best Checking.” For Citigroup North America, he served in nine years in several senior roles and most recently as Managing Director, Corporate & Investment Bank with responsibility for Sales for Emerging Markets and oversight of 1,100 relationship bankers across 18 countries.
Prior to Citigroup, he served as a Director for Bank of America and began his career at JPMorgan Chase. Mr. Menai holds an MBA in finance, computers and information systems and a bachelor’s degree in economics, computers and information systems from the University of Rochester.

Curtis Ravenel

Global Head of Sustainable Business & Finance

Bloomberg LP

As Global Head of Sustainable Business & Finance, Curtis Ravenel leads Bloomberg’s sustainability initiatives – a Chairman’s Office effort and the result of his 2006 Bloomberg Global Leadership Forum proposal. The program aggressively integrates sustainability considerations into all firm operations and leverages the Bloomberg Professional Service to evaluate sustainability-related investment risks and opportunities for its 315,000 customers.

Curtis has worked for Bloomberg in multiple roles. He was the Financial Controller for Asia managing accounting, tax, treasury and audit services for 23 legal entities with combined annual revenues exceeding $1 billion USD. This was preceded by various roles in the Capital Planning and Financial Analysis Groups.

Prior to his work with Bloomberg, L.P., Curtis co-managed a small real estate development group, founded a micro-brewery and worked with the Recycling Advisory Council in Washington, DC conducting Full Cost Accounting and Life Cycle Analysis work.

He currently serves as a board member at US SIF, The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, and at the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). He serves as an advisor to the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR) and the USA Advisory Board to the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce. Curtis was awarded a David Rockefeller Fellowship with the Partnership for New York City in 2011. He earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in History from Davidson College.

David Ritter

Senior Analyst, Consumer Finance and Financial Technology

Bloomberg Intelligence

David Ritter is a senior analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, a unique research platform that provides context on industries, companies, government policy, litigation and the economy, available on the Bloomberg Professional Service at BI . Mr. Ritter covers the consumer finance and financial technology industries and its leading companies. Company coverage includes the major payment networks, payments processors, consumer lenders, financial technology firms, and e-brokers.

Prior to joining Bloomberg, Mr. Ritter spent fifteen years analyzing major banks and payment companies at Argus Research, an independent equity research firm. Before his experience at Argus Research, Mr. Ritter spent ten years in the retailer credit card business.

Mr. Ritter earned an MBA in finance from Rutgers University.

Erik Schatzker

Anchor and Editor-at-large

Bloomberg Television

Erik Schatzker is co-host of “Market Makers,” airing weekdays on Bloomberg Television from 8-10 am ET.
He’s a business journalist with deep experience: Over two decades Schatzker has covered everything from technology to commodities in postings and on assignments around the world. Today his main focus is on Wall Street, and he speaks regularly with the most powerful executives in banking and top money managers. BlackRock’s Larry Fink, Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman, Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein and Citigroup’s Michael Corbat are just a few of the many financial leaders he interviews. Schatzker also reports live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles.

Prior to joining Bloomberg Television in 2007, Schatzker led Bloomberg’s print coverage of financial services in the Americas. He began his career with the South Pacific Mail in Santiago, Chile and served as a correspondent in Santiago and Toronto for Knight-Ridder Financial/Bridge News before starting with Bloomberg as a technology reporter in 1998. Schatzker’s past positions with Bloomberg include Toronto Bureau Chief and Senior Writer for Bloomberg Markets magazine.

Schatzker earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Toronto. He’s based in New York City.

Jeff Smith

Managing Member, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Investment Officer

Starboard Value LP

Jeff Smith is a Managing Member, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Investment Officer of Starboard Value LP. Starboard Value is a New York City-based investment advisor with a focused, fundamental, and active approach to investing in US publicly traded companies. Starboard currently manages over $5 billion with a successful track record commencing in 2002. Over the last decade, Starboard has been among the most active change agent investors in the world having added or replaced approximately 150 board members on almost 50 different public company boards. Mr. Smith has directly served on many of these boards, including serving as chairman of the board of several companies, including currently as Chairman of the Board of Darden Restaurants where Starboard successfully replaced Darden’s entire board of directors. Starboard focuses on situations where its strict discipline of Value, Plan, and Path and particular expertise in operational changes to improve cash flows can create substantial value. Starboard endeavors to substantially improve each company in which it invests through these operational changes.
Mr. Smith graduated from The Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania, where he received a B.S. in Economics.

Alix Steel

Anchor, "What'd You Miss?"

Bloomberg Television

Alix Steel is anchor of “Bloomberg Markets” appearing each day from 3:00pm to 4:00pm and co-host of “What’d You Miss?”, Bloomberg TV’s flagship markets program which airs weekdays from 4:00-4:30pm.

She covers global markets, economic news and commodities across Bloomberg’s multiple digital platforms. Steel has interviewed diverse figures as Congressman Ron Paul, a variety of CEOs from Lynn Good of Duke Energy to John Chambers of Cisco to Noel Biderman AshleyMadison CEO, and former Duke Energy CEO, Jim Rogers, plus investors like Carson Block and Steve Forbes, real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran and much more.

Prior to joining Bloomberg in February 2012, Steel was Senior Multimedia reporter, anchor and producer for TheStreet, where she focused on global markets as well as commodities. Steel also co-anchored a live trading show, “Morning Call,” for TheStreet and T3Live.com. She is a multiple SABEW Award nominee.

Steel graduated cum laude from Northwestern University, earning her bachelor’s degree in Communications, and has studied business journalism at New York University.

Hank Uberoi

CEO and Executive Director


Hank Uberoi has served as Earthport’s CEO and Executive Director since February 2010, prior to which he was an investor in the company.

Before joining Earthport, Hank focused on investments in technology, financial services and payments with an emphasis on cross-border business models. Until April 2004 he was the Chief Operating Officer at Citadel Investment Group and previously spent fourteen years at Goldman Sachs, where he was a partner and co-Chief Operating Officer of the technology division.

Hank graduated from Williams College, Massachusetts with a BA, Magna Cum Laude.

Craig Walling


T2 Partners LLC

Craig Walling is founder and Managing Director of T2Partners LLC, a Management Consulting
firm uniquely focused on transformation activities within the Wealth Management and Transfer Industry. The Firm, and it’s “best of breed” partnering alliances are deeply rooted in extensive international and domestic C-level operating experience within the Wealth Management and Transfer Industry. Proudly, this includes a strong track record of working with Regulators across four continents and specifically, successfully responding to the far-reaching set of “heightened expectations” that have been thrust upon the Industry. Emphasis is on assignments delivering short cycle, tangible outcomes addressing Strategic Plan Enhancement, Regulatory Gap Closure, Price Realization, Risk Management Framework Enhancements, New Business Channel extension and market engagement, talent acquisition and development and productivity / service level improvements through adjustments in the Service Delivery Model. Guided by both Industry and Peer Group Benchmark Analysis, the firm works with and across a client’s organization to distill options and actions for Senior Leadership to consider and decision. Change management support is provided to ensure organizational alignment and engagement. Outcomes are tested and assured to the satisfaction of the program constituents. Quantitative and qualitative dashboards are incorporated to monitor and sustain the change(s) and related benefits.

Mr. Walling left UBS AG, a leading global Wealth Management firm, in 2015, after almost a decade of senior C-level leadership positions within their Wealth Management Americas Division. Most recently, Mr. Walling was Chairman and CEO of UBS Trust Company, a position he held since 2012. During that period and largely since his arrival to UBS AG in 2007, Mr. Walling also had responsibility for the UBS Private Bank in the Americas (Chairman and CEO), UBS Bank Canada (Chairman), and the International Division of Wealth Management Americas (Co-Head).

Prior to joining UBS, Mr. Walling served as President and Chief Executive Officer of US Trust Company, N.A, from 2002 to 2007, a category leading Trust Company with over 150 years of experience in advising and serving ultra high net worth clients. Mr. Walling also served as a Member of the Board of the US Trust Holding Company. Mr. Walling began his banking experience in 1977, at the Central Trust Company in Cincinnati, Ohio working in the Commercial Credit unit. In 1980, Mr. Walling joined Citibank N.A. where he spent 20 years in both Domestic and International assignments including Head of Citibank Asia’s Sales and Distribution efforts in Singapore, President and CEO of Citibank Taiwan, President and CEO of Citibank Greece, and Head of Sales and Marketing for Citibank Latin America in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Branch Banking Head for Citibank Savings in Florida.

Born and raised internationally, and educated at the University of Cincinnati, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Walling makes his home in New York, New York.

Tracy Alloway

Executive Editor, Bloomberg Markets

Louis Beryl

Co-founder and CEO


Louis Beryl is the Co-founder and CEO of Earnest. He believes we can fix the financial system with elegant software, smarter data, and thoughtful design.

Prior to Earnest, Louis worked at banks, government agencies, startups, and the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He studied mathematics, economics, computer science, and engineering at Princeton before completing his graduate studies at Harvard.

Jeanne E. Branthover

Managing Partner

Boyden Global Executive Search

Jeanne Branthover is the Head of Boyden’s Global Financial Services Practice and an active leader in the Global Technology Practice. She serves as Managing Partner of Boyden’s New York office.

A 25 year veteran of the industry, Ms. Branthover closely partners with her clients on senior level searches and personally manages each assignment. After founding her own New York based generalist executive search firm, Branthover Associates, she merged the firm into Boyden Global Executive Search in 2003. Boyden New York is well known for offering clients senior level retained search and customized consulting assignments. Ms. Branthover’s “hands-on” approach with her team distinguishes her from other search professionals.

Ms. Branthover appears on Bloomberg, FOX Business and CCTV television to offer her expertise on the current trends and issues in human capital such as: CEO and human resources strategy as well as analysis of management and compensation issues. She is regularly quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Bloomberg on leadership, succession planning and market trends. An author of several career related books, Ms. Branthover has penned bylines in publications including World Finance, The Financial Executive and Insight Magazine on CFO Training, Private Banking and Wealth Management.

Ms. Branthover has been named one of the World’s Top 50 Most Influential Headhunters by BusinessWeek. She has served as United Way’s first female President of The Community Fund and currently sits on several not-for-profit boards. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and she has credits towards a diploma at the London School of Economics.

Rob Dieterich

Senior Editor

Bloomberg Markets

Rob Dieterich is a senior editor at Bloomberg Markets. Prior to joining the magazine in 2007, he spent five years as a team leader running energy markets and company coverage in the Americas. He joined Bloomberg News in April 2000 and reported on the U.S. stock market for his first two and a half years.
Before that, Rob worked for McGraw-Hill’s electric power publications, covering electricity markets and power industry finance. He also worked at Dow Jones News Service.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and a master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Blair Effron

Co-Founder and Partner

Centerview Partners

Blair W. Effron, Partner, co-founded Centerview in 2006. The Firm has advised on over $1 trillion of transactions since its founding. The Firm’s approximately 250 professionals are in New York, London, Los Angeles, and San Francisco as well as in investing offices in Menlo Park, California, and Greenwich, Connecticut.

Mr. Effron began his career at Dillon Read Co. Inc., where he worked ten years before it was merged into several successor firms, in what was to become UBS. He was Group Vice Chairman of UBS AG and a member of the Board of UBS Investment Bank. In his over 25-year career, Mr. Effron has advised Fortune 500 and multinational companies across a range of sectors including in the Consumer and Retail, General Industrial, Healthcare and Media industries.

While at Centerview, select clients with which Mr. Effron has executed multiple transactions include: Kraft (advisor on its $58 billion merger with Heinz); H.J. Heinz (advisor on its $28 billion sale to Berkshire Hathaway and 3G and advisor in its proxy contest with Trian Partners); GE (advisor on its planned disposition of $200 billion of GE Capital assets, its pending $13 billion acquisition of Alstom’s Thermal, Renewables and Grid businesses, and the $18 billion sale of its remaining 49% interest in NBCUniversal to Comcast); PepsiCo ($21 billion joint acquisitions of The Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas, advisor on its $5.4 billion acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods in Russia, and advisor on the creation of a three-way beverage joint venture in Mexico).

Peter T. Grauer


Bloomberg LP

Peter T. Grauer is chairman of Bloomberg LP, the global financial technology company that was founded in 1981.

He has been a member of the Bloomberg Board of Directors since October 1996 and was named chairman of the board in March 2001, succeeding Michael R. Bloomberg. Mr. Grauer joined Bloomberg full time as chairman, president and CEO in March 2002.

Prior to joining Bloomberg, Mr. Grauer was a managing director of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette from 1992 to 2000 when DLJ was acquired by Credit Suisse First Boston. He is a founder of DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and DLJ Investment Partners and had also served as a managing director and senior partner of CSFB Private Equity.

Mr. Grauer graduated from the University of North Carolina and the Harvard University Graduate School of Business, Program for Management Development. Mr. Grauer serves as lead director of Davita Health Care Partners, Inc. (NYSE: DVA), a healthcare services company based in Colorado. He is a member of the Business Council, the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and serves on its Media, Entertainment and Information Industry Board of Governors. He is founding Chairman of the Community of Chairmen at the World Economic Forum. Mr. Grauer is the Senior Independent Director and Chairman of the Nominations and Audit Committees of Glencore. Peter is also a member of the McKinsey Advisory Council.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mr. Grauer is the President of the Board of Trustees of the Inner City Scholarship Fund in New York City and a member of the Partnership for Inner City Education Board of Directors. He is a trustee of Rockefeller University and is Chairman of the Rockefeller Finance & Operations Committee. He is founding U. S. Chair of the 30% Club and a Member of the Advisory Council of Out on the Street. Mr. Grauer is a member of the Board of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of Room to Read and a member of the Board of the USA Cycling Development Foundation. He is Chairman of the College Advising Corps. Mr. Grauer is also a member of the British American Business International Advisory Board. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of The Big Apple Circus and is a former President of the Pomfret School Board of Trustees. He is a recipient of the Peterson Business Award, the William Richardson Davie Award, the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service to the College of Arts and Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Papal Order of Merit.

Bob Greifeld

Chief Executive Officer


Bob Greifeld assumed leadership of Nasdaq in 2003, when the company’s primary business was operating one equity market in the U.S. Today, Nasdaq is a leading participant in the exchange and technology sector, delivering trading, listing, intelligence, and public company services across six continents.
During his tenure, Mr. Greifeld has led Nasdaq through a series of complex, innovative acquisitions that have extended the company’s footprint across the world, spanning all asset classes. In 2008, he led the Exchange’s combination with Stockholm-based OMX AB, as well as acquisitions of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, the Boston Stock Exchange and Nord Pool, Europe’s largest power market. Nasdaq owns and operates 26 markets, one clearinghouse and five central securities depositories across the U.S. and Europe. Its technology drives more than 70 marketplaces worldwide. In January 2009, Nasdaq was named “Company of the Year” by Forbes magazine. Also in 2009, Nasdaq was ranked as one of the best performing companies in the U.S. as part of the BusinessWeek 50, and it was named to Fortune Magazine’s annual list of 100 Fastest Growing Companies.
Mr. Greifeld has been a strong advocate for modernizing exchanges and financial regulation to keep America’s capital markets competitive. He has also called for CEOs to embrace sound, modern regulation as consistent with good business practices. Mr. Greifeld has been outspoken on a number of issues, including long-term U.S. fiscal debt, corporate tax reform, and the nation’s outmoded immigration policy, citing each as harmful to U.S. innovation and business growth.
Prior to joining Nasdaq, Mr. Greifeld was an Executive Vice President at SunGard Data Systems, Inc. (“SunGard”), where he was responsible for all of SunGard’s sell-side businesses and its buy-side transaction routing businesses. Mr. Greifeld joined SunGard in 1999 through SunGard’s acquisition of Automated Securities Clearance, Inc. (“ASC”). From 1991-1999, Mr. Greifeld was the President and Chief Operating Officer at ASC.

Tom Keene

Editor-at-large, Bloomberg

Host, "Bloomberg Surveillance", Bloomberg Television and Radio

Tom Keene is an editor-at-large at Bloomberg News and host of “Bloomberg Surveillance,” Bloomberg’s morning program where the day’s conversation on economics, finance and investment begins. Keene can be heard on “Bloomberg Surveillance” starting at 6 AM/ET across Bloomberg Television, Radio, Bloomberg.com and Bloomberg’s devices for mobile and tablets. Join in for an in-depth discussion with the world’s smartest guests. In addition to his work on “Bloomberg Surveillance,” Keene provides economic and investment perspective to Bloomberg Television and to Bloomberg’s various news divisions. Keene also founded the “Chart of the Day” article, available on the Bloomberg Professional Service. Keene is editor “Flying on One Engine: The Bloomberg Book of Master Market Economists,” published in 2005. (Two chapters appeared in the CFA Institute curriculum.)

Keene is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology and is enrolled in courses at the external programme of the London School of Economics & Political Science. Keene is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Institute, the National Association for Business Economics, the American Economic Association and the Economic Club of New York.

Sheelah Kolhatkar

Features Editor and National Correspondent

Bloomberg Businessweek

Sheelah Kolhatkar is a features editor and national correspondent at Bloomberg Businessweek, where she writes features and investigative stories about Wall Street, hedge funds, financial crime, women’s issues and national politics. She is also a contributor to Bloomberg Television. She appears as a speaker and commentator on subjects ranging from ethics in the financial industry to the future of hedge funds and gender diversity, and has been interviewed on PBS NewsHour, CBS, NPR and Charlie Rose among others. Prior to becoming a journalist, she was a risk arbitrage analyst at two hedge funds in New York City. She’s currently working on her first book, about the government’s crackdown on insider trading, to be published by Random House.

Dan Levitan

Co-Founder and General Partner


Dan Levitan is Maveron’s managing partner, co-founder, and institutional memory. Since starting the firm with Howard Schultz in 1998, he’s been the key player on many of Maveron’s home runs, including zulily.

Dan came to venture capital in an unconventional way. While an investment banker in the 1980s and 90s, he met Howard Schultz and helped the Starbucks team accomplish their blockbuster IPO. Wanting to partner more with entrepreneurs and seeking a professional adventure, Dan headed West in 1998 and launched Maveron with Howard.

Dan currently serves on the boards of Earnest, PayNearMe, Peach, Pinkberry, Potbelly, Pro.com, Trupanion, the Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, where he acts as a judge in the annual New Venture Competition. He also is chair of Brothers for Life, a charity that helps wounded Israeli combat soldiers. Recognizing Dan’s leadership, Forbes recently named him to its Midas List—the magazine’s annual ranking of the top 100 VCs in the world.

Dan is a graduate of Duke and the Harvard Business School.

Blythe Masters


Digital Asset Holdings

Blythe Masters is CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, a company which uses distributed ledgers to enhance settlement and recording of both digital and mainstream financial assets.

Blythe was previously a senior executive at J.P. Morgan which she left in 2014 after a career spanning 27 years, following the successful sale of the bank’s physical commodities business which she built.

Named J.P. Morgan’s head of Global Commodities in 2007, Blythe was responsible for building an integrated physical and financial commodity business, including market-making, structuring, risk management, financing and warehousing capabilities across the full spectrum of commodity asset classes.

From 2012, in addition to Global Commodities, she was responsible for the Corporate & Investment Bank’s Regulatory Affairs overseeing strategies to address the range of complex regulatory changes. She was a member of the JPMorgan Corporate & Investment Bank Operating Committee and previously the firm’s Executive Committee.

From 2004 to 2007, she was Chief Financial Officer of the Investment Bank. Prior to that role, she was J.P. Morgan’s head of Global Credit Portfolio and Credit Policy and Strategy. Earlier positions at J.P. Morgan include head of North American Structured Credit Products, co-head of Asset Backed Securitization and head of Global Credit Derivatives Marketing.

From 2012 to 2014, Blythe was chair of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA). Additionally, she was previously chair of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

Blythe is a member of the board of directors of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Global Fund for Women.

Stephanie Mehta

Editor, Bloomberg LIVE

Editor-at-large, Bloomberg Businessweek

Stephanie Mehta is Editor of Bloomberg LIVE and Editor-at-large for Bloomberg Businessweek. She most recently served as the deputy editor of FORTUNE, where she helped set the overall direction of the magazine, with a special focus in technology, international news and policy coverage. She helped reinvent Fortune’s annual Brainstorm Tech conference, and spearheaded the international expansion of the title’s Most Powerful Women summit. Mehta joined FORTUNE in 2000 from The Wall Street Journal, where she was an assistant news editor, reporting and editing technology stories. Prior to joining the Journal, she worked as a business reporter for the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. She received a B.S. in English and an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University. A Chicago-area native, she now lives with her husband and two daughters in Scarsdale, New York.

Rod Paris

Chief Investment Officer

Standard Life Investments

Rod started his career with Standard Life Investments as Head of Global Fixed Income in May 2002 and was appointed to Standard Life Investments Board of Directors in June 2004. Rod has been CIO since 2007. He was previously for three years a Managing Director and Head of the Global Fixed Income team at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. Prior to that, starting in 1984 Rod worked at Mercury Asset Management PLC, where latterly he was a Board Director. He started his career at Chase Manhattan Bank as a Credit Analyst in 1981. He holds a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Keble College Oxford (1978-1981).

Alysia Reiner

Executive Producer, Equity

Alysia just won a SAG award, and finished her third season in her work as the tough as nails assistant warden “Fig” on Orange is the New Black, as well as an arc on Shonda Rhimes’ break out hit How to Get Away With Murder. She also just shot a series regular role in the pilot Down Dog for Amazon. Equity is the fifth independent film she acted in this year, and recently in theaters are 5 Flights Up with Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton, and Fort Tilden (SXSW winner). Reiner, one of the SAG Award-winning ensemble of Sideways, can also be seen in That Awkward Moment with Zac Efron, and had two award-winning films (both directed by women!) at the 2014 South by Southwest festival. She served as an associate producer on Backwards.

Alysia Reiner conceived of, executive produced, and starred in Speed Grieving, which had its world premiere at The Hamptons International Film Festival. The film has screened and won awards at over a dozen film festivals all over the country, and is now used as a grief counseling tool in every Cancer Support Community center in the country.

Alysia loves working as a change maker for women, and was recently awarded the Sarah Powell Huntington Leadership Award by the Women’s Prison Association, was recognized as an “Intelligent Optimist” in Ode Magazine and profiled by New York Women in Film and Television as a “woman to watch.”

Stephanie Ruhle

Anchor and Managing Editor

Bloomberg Television

Stephanie Ruhle is a co-anchor of “Market Makers,” airing every day on Bloomberg Television from 8-10am ET. Ruhle regularly interviews industry titans such as Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, hedge fund managers David Tepper and Stanley Druckenmiller, NBA star Kobe Bryant, former Vice President Al Gore and music moguls Sean “Diddy” Combs and Kanye West.

Prior to joining Bloomberg, Ruhle served as a Managing Director in Global Markets Senior Relationship Management at Deutsche Bank. There, she oversaw relationships for some of Deutsche Bank’s largest hedge fund clients.

Ruhle plays an active role in women’s leadership and business leader development. She founded the Corporate Investment Bank (CIB) Women’s Network and co-chaired the Women on Wall Street (WOWS) steering committee. Ruhle is also a member of the board of trustees for Girls Inc. NYC and formerly served on the corporate councils of I-Mentor and The White House Project, a non-profit organization working to advance women in business, government and media. She currently serves on the board and advises for “React To Film,” an issue-based documentary film series.

Ruhle began her career at Credit Suisse, where she was the highest producing credit derivatives salesperson in the U.S. Ruhle earned her bachelor’s degree in International Business from Lehigh University. Under her major, she studied in Guatemala, Italy and Kenya.

Ruchir Sharma

Head of Emerging Markets and Global Macro

Morgan Stanley Investment Management

Ruchir is Head of Emerging Markets and Global Macro at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1996 and has 21 years of investment experience. Prior to joining the firm, Ruchir worked with Prime Securities (Delhi), a non-banking financial services firm, where he helped run the firm’s foreign exchange business. He has been a contributing editor with Newsweek and has frequently penned essays for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and Time magazine. Ruchir has also authored the book, Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles, which is an international bestseller.

Tom Steyer

Businessperson, Philanthropist and Clean Energy Advocate

Tom Steyer is a California business leader, philanthropist and advanced energy advocate. Before retiring from the private sector, Tom founded and was the Senior Managing Member of Farallon Capital Management.

Tom is actively engaged in climate politics through his NextGen Climate political organization, and works to promote economic development and environmental protection in California and across the country. In 2010, Tom teamed up with former Secretary of State George Shultz to defeat Proposition 23, an effort by out-of-state oil companies to dismantle California’s groundbreaking clean energy law, AB 32. In 2012, Tom served as co-chair with Shultz for Yes on Proposition 39, which closed a tax loophole for out-of-state corporations and created jobs in California.

Tom and his wife, Kat Taylor, joined Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and other high-wealth Americans in the “Giving Pledge,” a promise to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable and nonprofit activities during their lifetimes. Tom and Kat created and funded the Oakland-based Beneficial State Bank and Foundation, which provides loans and banking services to underserved small businesses, communities and individuals in California and along the west coast. Tom and Kat have four children.

Sarah Megan Thomas

Executive Producer, Equity

Sarah Megan Thomas works as a Producer, Actress and Writer for film and theater. Her mission has always been to produce more content with strong women’s roles, and to that extent, she founded Broad Street Pictures with fellow actress Alysia Reiner, to create entertaining and thought-provoking content that employs more women in front of and behind the camera.

Sarah’s most recent feature at Broad Street is the first female-driven Wall Street movie, Equity, which stars Anna Gunn and James Purefoy. Sarah’s husband works in finance, and her idea for this film stemmed from her interest in the brilliant women who work on Wall Street, and her curiosity as to why these women have not been depicted on screen before.
Sarah is also known for starring opposite James Van Der Beek in the family-friendly feature film Backwards, released in select theaters nationwide, as well as On Demand, Netflix, etc. Disney is licensing the film internationally. Sarah has been seen in various other films (including the lead role in the indie rom-com The Little Things), television shows, and commercials, and interviewed on numerous talk shows including The Today Show, CNN, and Fox.

On stage, Sarah starred in the gender-reversed “Love’s Labour’s Lost” reviewed by The New York Times: “Once you hear Berowne’s (Sarah Megan Thomas’) immortal cry of longing, ”Oh my little heart!” spoken by a woman you may wonder why Shakespeare didn’t think of that.”

Sarah is a graduate of Williams College, and received a graduate degree in acting at Drama Studio London.

Chris Ventresca

Global Co-Head Mergers & Acquisitions

J.P. Morgan

Chris Ventresca is Global Co-Head of Merger & Acquisitions at J.P. Morgan. Having started his career at J.P. Morgan, Mr. Ventresca was named North American Co-Head of M&A in 2008 and Global Co-Head of M&A in 2013. In his 27-year career, Mr. Ventresca has advised on over $1 trillion of announced M&A transactions including a variety of strategic acquisitions, mergers and sales, as well numerous hostile defenses and shareholder activism situations. Mr. Ventresca received an MBA in Finance from the New York University Stern School of Business and received a BSE in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Ventresca has led many key transactions including: Dollar Tree’s acquisition of Family Dollar; Verizon’s acquisition of Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless; Virgin Media’s merger with Liberty Global; United Technologies’ acquisition of Goodrich; United Airlines’ merger with Continental Airlines; Black & Decker’s merger with Stanley Works; Ingersoll Rand’s spin-off of its security businesses; Dollar Thrifty’s sale to Hertz; Caterpillar’s acquisition of Bucyrus; ITT’s spin-off into three publicly traded companies; Freeport-McMoran’s acquisition of Phelps Dodge; Alcan‘s sale to Rio Tinto; Michaels Stores’ “go-private” sale to Bain and Blackstone; Pernod Ricard’s sale of Dunkin Brands to Bain, Carlyle and T.H. Lee; and IBP’s sale to Tyson Foods.

Joe Weisenthal

Managing Editor and Anchor, "What'd You Miss?"


Joe Weisenthal is managing editor of Bloomberg Media’s markets coverage and co-host of “What’d You Miss?”, Bloomberg TV’s flagship markets program which airs weekdays from 4:00-4:30pm. Joe leads the editorial development of markets and finance coverage across Bloomberg’s digital brands, which sit at the core of the company’s new media strategy.
In November 2014, Joe joined Bloomberg from Business Insider, where he was one of the digital startup’s first employees. Most recently serving as Executive Editor, he helped build a large, international newsroom that now reaches 50 million unique visitors. He has been widely lauded for his around-the-clock commitment to covering Wall Street and the economy, serving as one of the leading journalistic authorities on the inner-workings of the financial industry.
He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.