19 LC Speaker Bios

2019 Leadership Conference

2019 Leadership Conference Speaker Biographies


Richard Adler is the founder of Red Arrow Capital, a strategic consulting practice serving investment and wealth management firms. He has two decades of experience successfully investing in, and managing, investment management firms – navigating multiple market downturns, financial crises, and CEO transitions. Previously, Rick was CEO and President of Convergent Capital Management (CCM), a multi-affiliate boutique investment management firm he co-founded in 1995. Rick serves on the Boards of Clifford Swan Investment Counsel and SKBA Capital Management. He is also a member of the Investment Adviser Association Board of Governors. He has a BA in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.

Karen L. Barr is President & CEO of the Investment Adviser Association. Before assuming this role in 2014, she served as the IAA’s General Counsel for 17 years, with responsibility for the wide range of legal and regulatory matters affecting the Association and its members. Prior to joining the IAA, Karen was in private practice at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale), where she represented clients with respect to SEC investigations, securities class action litigation, internal corporate investigations, and securities regulatory matters. Karen received her BA, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School.


Rush Benton CFA, is Senior Director and Wealth Management Practice Leader at CAPTRUST. He joined the firm in 2013 as senior director of strategic wealth. As leader of CAPTRUST’s private wealth business, he is responsible for growing the firm’s private wealth assets both organically and through acquisition of independent, fee-based registered investment advisors. Prior to joining the firm, Rush served as co-founder and chairman of WealthTrust, one of the first consolidators of RIAs. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Vanderbilt University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA).

Christine Carsman

Christine C. Carsman joined Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. in 2004 and currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor. In this role, she advises the CEO and the Executive team while actively engaging in policy matters around the world. Previously, Ms. Carsman served as the Executive Vice President, Chief Regulatory Counsel and Deputy General Counsel, responsible for overseeing the Company’s regulatory affairs and legal and compliance support of AMG’s global operations and its Affiliates. Prior to joining AMG, Ms. Carsman served as Vice President, Senior Counsel and Director of Operational Risk Management and Compliance at Wellington Management Company, LLP from 1995 to 2004. Ms. Carsman also held positions as Deputy General Counsel at The Boston Company, Inc., and as an attorney at Sullivan & Worcester, LLP. Ms. Carsman serves on the Board of Trustees for AMG Funds Family of Funds and is a Director of the AMG Pantheon Fund, LLC, the AMG Pantheon Master Fund, LLC and the Harding Loevner Funds, Inc. Ms. Carsman is Chair of the Board of Governors for the Investment Adviser Association (IAA), and is a member of the IAA’s Legal and Regulatory Committee, Chairing the Committee’s Regulatory Reform Working Group. She also serves as a member of the Steering Committee for the IAA Active Managers Council, and Chairs the Council’s Policy Task Force. She received her B.A. from Simmons College and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

Matthew Crow

Matthew R. Crow, CFA, ASA is the president of Mercer Capital and leads the Investment Management Industry team. The team provides RIAs, independent trust companies, broker-dealers, and investment consulting firms with valuation services related to corporate planning and reorganization, transactions, employee stock ownership plans, and tax issues as well as valuations of intangible assets, options, and assets subject to specific contractual restrictions. Matt and his team also consult with investment management clients in the process of selling or buying. Matt publishes research related to the investment management industry and is a regular contributor to Mercer Capital’s weekly blog, RIA Valuation Insights.

Nathaniel Dalton is one of the founders, a Senior Advisor and a Director of Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (NYSE: AMG). AMG is a global asset management company with roughly $776 Billion in assets under management across its Affiliate firms. Over 25 years at AMG, Mr. Dalton has held a range of executive positions including General Counsel, Chief Operating Officer, President and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining AMG, Mr. Dalton was an attorney at Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston, focusing on mergers and acquisitions. He received a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.


Tom Douglas grew up with music in the house; the son of a steel salesman who was also a part-time musician. He learned to play piano as a youngster in Atlanta, but put music aside when he attended Oglethorpe University.  After graduating with his MBA from Georgia State University in 1977, Tom sold advertising in his hometown. Still drawn to music, he quit his job at age 27 and relocated to Nashville. After four years of creative futility, he moved to Dallas, where he enjoyed a successful, 13-year career in commercial real estate. In 1993, at a songwriting seminar in Austin, Douglas played “Little Rock” for producer Paul Worley. The following year, the song was a Country hit for Collin Raye and nominated for CMA Song of the Year.  Eventually, Douglas and his family moved back to Nashville, and more hits followed. “The Gift” by Collin Raye (with Jim Brickman and Susan Ashton) earned a 1998 Dove Award for Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year. "I Run To You" by Lady Antebellum earned the 2009 CMA Single of the Year. “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert earned the 2010 NSAI Song of the Year, the 2010 CMA Song of the Year, and the 2011 ACM Song and Single of the Year.


Amira El-Gawly is the founder of Manifesta, a culture-first agency that designs human-centered experiences for individuals and teams to live and work with greater purpose, alignment, joy and humanity. An accomplished business executive and certified coach, she believes in the power of culture to transform our lives. Ms. El-Gawly co-founded her first company at the age of 27, achieving both rapid growth (400% in five years) and high employee satisfaction (twice named Best Place to Work in Washington). She designed experiences in partnership with the world-leading Gallup organization, design firm IDEO and the American Society of Association Executives. Through these programs, she introduced more than 10,000 people to a strengths-based development approach. Her commitment to helping people and organizations unlock their unique genius led to her being recognized as one of Washington DC’s 40 under 40 in 2017.


Mitchell W. Goldberg is a Partner at Berger Singerman and a member of the firm’s Business, Finance & Tax Team and the Wealth Preservation and Tax Planning Group.   He is a Board Certified Specialist in Tax Law by The Florida Bar and concentrates his practice in the areas of federal income, estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer taxation and related business transactional matters. Mitchell counsels businesses and individuals on choice of entity for both new business ventures and for restructuring ongoing businesses in order to achieve desired economic and tax results.

Mitchell’s international tax practice includes counseling nonresident aliens investing in the United States (in- bound transactions) on different methods to minimize exposure to U.S. taxes, pre-immigration tax planning for nonresident aliens desiring to become U.S. tax resident or U.S. citizens, and counseling U.S. persons desiring to invest outside the United States (out-bound transactions) on the most effective structures to defer U.S. tax, minimize exposure to taxation in multiple jurisdictions, and other desired tax and economic results.

In addition, Mitchell represents taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service in connection with audits, IRS Appeals, installment agreements, offers in compromise, penalty abatements, offshore voluntary disclosures, and other administrative matters.


Jennifer Goldman, CFP is a business transformation consultant. She has 20+ years’ experience in the financial services industry, serving in roles of Quality Control Manager, COO, Business Developing Advisor, FPA New England Education Chair, and Town Finance Committee Vice Chair, and more. She is driven by the mission to help advisory businesses work with more consumers by improving their client and staff experience and maintain healthy profitability to allow investment into the next generation of owners.


Catherine Halberstadt is a Co-President and Co-CEO at Osterweis Capital Management. She is responsible for the firm’s non- investment functions including operations, compliance, finance, technology, client relations, business development, marketing and human resources. She is also a Partner and member of the firm’s Management Committee.


Kenneth R. Hoffman is Managing Director and President of Optima Group, Inc.  Ken has over thirty years experience in wealth and asset management helping U.S. and global financial services organizations build, implement and manage their growth strategies. As a leader in the field, he has led client teams focused on new product development, sales and marketing enhancements, systems and operational efficiencies, and branding.  Clients include the senior executives of world-leading firms participating in the institutional, wholesale and retail markets as well as larger boutiques looking to profitably expand market share. The experience of Ken and Optima Group spans the brokerage, RIA, and bank and trust segments as well as leading technology providers to the industry.  Ken holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and a M.S. from Yale University.


Matthew Kishlansky is a Principal with GenTrust. He is responsible for the development and management of the institutional business relationships at the firm, spanning family offices, institutions, consultants and other independent investment advisory firms. Prior to joining GenTrust, “Kish” was the founder and managing partner of Old Master Capital, LLC, a managed account for Millennium Partners in NYC. Earlier, he was a portfolio manager at Pentagon Capital Management, Plc in London. At Pentagon, he originated, structured and managed alternative strategies including the Pentagon Hercules Fund, a portfolio of over $700 million worth of alternative investments, and the Pentagon Bernini Fund, an illiquid finance fund focused on absolute returns. Kish graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, with an AB in History of Art and Architecture.


Arthur B. Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an institutional economic research and consulting firm, as well as Laffer Investments, an institutional investment management firm utilizing diverse investment strategies. Laffer Associates’ research focuses on the interconnecting macroeconomic, political and demographic changes affecting global financial markets. Laffer Investments’ investment management strategies utilize some of the economic principles and models pioneered by Dr. Laffer, as well as other unique offerings managed by the firm’s portfolio management group. The firms provide research and investment management services to a broad range of clients including institutions, pension funds, corporations, endowments, foundations, individuals and others.

Dr. Laffer was a member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board for both of his two terms (1981-1989). He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Reagan/Bush Finance Committee in 1984 and was a founding member of the Reagan Executive Advisory Committee for the presidential race of 1980. He also advised Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on fiscal policy in the UK during the 1980s.


Elizabeth Nesvold is Managing Director, Head of Asset & Wealth Management Investment Banking at Raymond James. She has advised on approximately 170 completed M&A, valuation and strategic advisory assignments for a variety of clients including institutional managers (both traditional and alternative), trust companies, multi-family offices, investment counselors, financial planners and investment consultants.

Prior to joining Raymond James, Ms. Nesvold founded Silver Lane Advisors in 2007, which was acquired by Raymond James in 2019. Before Silver Lane, she spent 15 years at another investment bank, where she co-founded and led the first wealth management specialist M&A advisory group in the investment banking industry.

Ms. Nesvold has authored several articles published in Private Wealth Management magazine, and co-authored The Art of M&A Valuation, published by McGraw-Hill. She earned her BA in Political Science with a minor in Economics from Binghamton University and an MBA in Finance (with high honors) from Fordham University Graduate School of Business.


Debbie Noury is the Senior Director of the Elder Financial Investigations team at Fidelity Investments. The team is responsible for investigating concerns of financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.  Debbie has over eighteen years of experience in the Financial Services Industry, including fifteen within Investigations.  Debbie has received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. 

Debbie holds a Series 7 and Series 24 license, is a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Certified Financial Crimes Investigator.  She is also a board member of the NH Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, a member of the International Association of Financial Crime Investigators and a member of the The National Association of Bunco Investigators.


Bonnie E. Orlowski, CAIA, serves as head of consultant relations and financial intermediaries for Ariel Investments. In this capacity, she is responsible for cultivating relationships with global investment consulting firms and strategic partners. Beyond these roles, Ms. Orlowski also functions as president of Ariel Distributors, LLC. Previous to joining Ariel, she spent 18 years with AllianceBernstein L.P., most recently as senior vice president and head of North America consultant relations. Prior to that, she held various roles including global business development, vice president of public fund marketing, and client service. Ms. Orlowski graduated from Bucknell University with a BA in international relations and is also a CAIA Charter Holder.


Preston R. Sargent  is an Executive Vice President at Bailard and the President and CEO of the Bailard Real Estate Fund. Prior to Bailard, he was an Executive Vice President and Principal at Kennedy Associates (now Bentall Kennedy) where he was a member of the firm’s Executive and Investment committees and Portfolio Manager of Kennedy’s $8BN Open End Diversified Core Equity fund. Before Kennedy, Sargent was a Vice President and Regional Team Leader at GE Investments where he bought, managed, and sold over $2BN in assets across all property types. He has held positions in acquisitions, asset management and debt workout at Aetna Realty Investors, William Blair Realty and LaSalle Partners. Preston is active in the Urban Land Institute and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM). He has been a frequent speaker, moderator and panelist at industry conferences, a guest lecturer at graduate programs of Columbia University and the University of Washington, and a regular judge at University of Texas Graduate School’s annual National Real Estate Challenge. Preston holds a JD Degree from Case Western Reserve University and a BA Degree from Colorado College.


Jay Soave is a Managing Principal for Cadence Capital Partners. He has been structuring, negotiating and closing sophisticated transactions for 16 years, representing over $15 billion in gross value. Before joining Cadence, Mr. Soave was Managing Director in the Transactional Tax Group for Tishman Speyer's New York office. At Tishman Speyer, Jay advised on the acquisition and equity syndication of Tishman Speyer's two Hudson Yards projects, representing 4 million RSP of office space, the $750m recapitalization of One Federal Street in Boston, the $750m acquisition of 10 & 30 S. Wacker in Chicago and the $340m privatization of the Tishman Speyer Office Fund, an Australian listed property trust. Before Tishman Speyer, Jay worked as an attorney in the Chicago offices of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Kirkland & Ellis, and Baker & McKenzie where he spent his time on mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, restructurings, and fund formation. Jay received his B.S. Engineering and J.D., magna cum laude, both from the University of Michigan.


Jonathan Stern, CFA is a Partner at Berkshire Global Advisors. He co-leads Berkshire’s Investment Management practice. Mr. Stern joined Berkshire in 1998 and has over 30 years of industry experience. He has extensive experience in transactions involving banks, thrifts, asset managers, broker dealers, and finance companies. During his tenure at Berkshire, Mr. Stern has advised on a wide range of M&A transactions in the Real Assets, Wealth Management and Securities industries. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President at First Union and a predecessor bank, First Fidelity Bancorporation. He received his BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and his MBA in Finance from Rutgers University.


Amy Walter is the National Editor of the Cook Political Report and Host of WNYC’s The Takeaway Fridays. Known as one of the best political journalists covering Washington, she appears weekly on the popular “Politics Monday” segment on the PBS NewsHour, and hosts WNYC’s nationally-syndicated public radio news program, “Politics with Amy Walter” on The Takeaway. She is also a regular Sunday panelist on NBC’s Meet the Press and CBS’s Face The Nation, and appears frequently on Special Report with Bret Baier on FOX. She is the former political director of ABC News. Before ABC, she was the editor-in-chief of The Hotline, Washington’s premier daily briefing on American politics. There she served as the political publication’s primary voice for three years, and she provided regular analysis of the national political environment in her weekly National Journal column, On the Trail. Ms. Walter has provided election night coverage and analysis since 1998 and was a member of CNN’s Emmy-award winning election night team in 2006. She graduated summa cum laude from Colby College. She was also honored by her alma mater her with an honorary PhD, and is as a Trustee Emeritus. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.

Greg Vigrass is President of Folio Institutional. He joined the company in 2003, and oversees all corporate sales and business development activities with financial advisors, money managers, mutual fund companies and other financial institutions. He is a noted expert on digital advisory services, SRI industry perspectives, brokerage technology, and risk mitigation. Mr. Vigrass previously served as Vice President, Sales and Marketing for GlobeNet Capital Corp. Prior to that he worked for 10 years at Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., spending significant time in senior level institutional sales and service roles at Schwab Institutional. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii, and has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.