Sovereign Wealth & National Pensions Funds Bios
Deepika Sharma, CFA, is a Portfolio Manager and Managing Director of Investments at Astor Investment Management LLC, a nearly $2bn quantitative global macro asset manager, which was previously a subsidiary of Knight Capital Group. As a member of the Investment Committee, she assists with the management of Astor’s multi-asset and global macro strategies and reports directly to the Chief Investment Officer. She previously worked on the Fixed Income Proprietary Trading Desk at Nomura, as well as in macro-strategy at Roubini Global Economics. Ms. Sharma began her career as an Analyst on the Structured Credit desk at Lehman Brothers. Ms. Sharma is an active volunteer at the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) and was recognized with the NYSSA Young Investment Professional Award 2015, Volunteer of the Year Award 2016 and the Asset Owner Series Award 2016. Ms. Sharma holds a Masters in International Finance at Columbia University, is a CFA charterholder and holds FINRA Series 3 and 65 licenses.
Thomas Brigandi is an associate analyst in the Global Project and Infrastructure Finance Group at Moody's, where he covers public power, power generation projects, toll-roads, airports, ports, project finance and public-private partnerships, across the Americas. Brigandi also serves on Moody's public pension task force. In the past, Brigandi worked at the US$150 billion NYC Pension Fund, where he focused on the energy and natural resources sectors and reported directly to the chief investment officer. Brigandi, the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) 2015 Volunteer of the Year and 2013 Young Investment Professional Award recipient, has organized over 30 NYSSA conferences that were attended by over 5,000 investment professionals, in addition to over 200 speakers who collectively and directly oversee north of US$5 trillion. Additionally, while serving as the Vice President and Director of Global Volunteers of the American Foundation for African Children's Education, Brigandi was the lead organizer of the NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony on September 23, 2011, hosted for the President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Koroma. Brigandi has cultivated personal relationships with thousands of asset owner, buy-side & sell-side investment professionals globally and maintains over 7,000 connections on LinkedIn.
Patrick Holert, CFA, CAIA, is vice president and research principal for BBVA Securities, where he oversees research compliance in the US, and research operations in the US, Latin America, and Europe. In the past, Holert lived in Asia for many years and has served as an equities analyst for Nomura Securities in Thailand and Korea, an investment manager for a frontier private equity fund covering the Mekong region, and a consultant on projects in the Middle East, India, and across Southeast Asia. He specialized in finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has a BA in economics and mathematics from Claremont McKenna College. Holert is serving as Chairman Emeritus of the Global Investing Committee at NYSSA, and is on the Board of Directors at NYSSA.
Evelyn Yeow is a lead investment analyst covering China at John Hsu Capital Group, where she works directly with the Chief Investment Officer on China equity investing for the firm’s Dedicated China, Global, and International strategies. Prior to her current position, she was a junior analyst with the firm where she was responsible for research, fund accounting, performance measurement and evaluation, and portfolio analytics. She serves as the outreach coordinator of the Global Investing Committee at NYSSA. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Baruch College, City University of New York. She completed all three levels of the CFA Program in June 2015.
Robert Discolo, CFA, CAIA, CPA, is Executive Vice President, Investments, at Permal Group, a role that encompasses the asset management team and investment processes, working alongside the Chief Investment Officers, as well as proprietary research capabilities. He is also a member of the Group’s Global Investment Committee. Mr. Discolo joined in 2015, having previously spent 14 years working at PineBridge, where he was Managing Director and Head of Hedge Fund Solutions Group, ultimately responsible for managing proprietary and client assets in hedge funds and other alternative asset classes. Prior to joining PineBridge, Mr. Discolo spent seven years at Bank Julius Baer where he was head of the Public/Private Funds Group, and before that was at Merrill Lynch in Partnership Financing, having started at Drexel Burnham Lambert in their Fund Services Group. He has authored and co-authored several papers on alternative investing and is a frequent speaker at alternative investment conferences. Mr. Discolo is a CFA® Charterholder and holds an M.B.A. from Pace University, Lubin School of Business, New York, and a B.S. from St John’s University, Jamaica, New York.
Chris Cutler, CFA, is founder of Manager Analysis Services, a hedge fund consultant for institutions, funds-of-funds and high-net-worth individuals. Since launching in 2003, MAS has reviewed more than 1,500 hedge fund managers representing every strategy in the asset class. In addition to hedge funds, Cutler has analyzed traditional equity, fixed income and private equity managers as well as individual private equity and venture capital investments. Prior to founding MAS, he worked for Deutsche Bank from 1994 to 2003, cofounding a specialized fixed income derivatives product, marketing over-the-counter interest rate derivatives and developing structured financial products. From 1988 to 1994, he worked as an emerging markets economist and bank regulator for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Cutler earned his MBA in finance from the New York University Stern School of Business and BA in economics from the University of Chicago, where he was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. As chair of the New York Society of Securities Analysts’ Alternative Investment Committee from 2005 to 2007, he created the Alternative Analysts’ Forums.
Jae Yoon, Chief Investment Officer of New York Life Investment Management, joined NYLIM as a managing director in 2005. He most recently served as the CIO of the Strategic Asset Allocation and Solutions group. Previously, he was responsible for risk management efforts at boutique affiliate MacKay Shields. Prior to joining NYLIM, Mr. Yoon was head of Quantitative Research, Analytics, and Risk Management at Western Asset Management. Previous roles include serving as head of Risk and Performance for the EMEA-Pacific regions of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and regional head of Risk Management Control for Fixed Income and Equity Derivative Trading at J.P. Morgan Securities in Asia. Mr. Yoon earned his master’s degree in Operations Research and bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. Mr. Yoon is a CFA® charterholder and holds FINRA Series 3 and 7 registrations.
Arthur Fliegelman is the Chair of the Financial Reporting and Analysis Working Group. Mr. Fliegelman is an analyst in the Policy Studies unit of the Office of Financial Research, a unit of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Mr. Fliegelman has previously been associated with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Moody’s Investors Service and Salomon Brothers. He has earned an MBA from the Wharton School and is a long-time Chartered Financial Analyst. He has twice been named a NYSSA volunteer of the year for his NYSSA activities.
Ira Kaplan, CFA, has 15 years of institutional portfolio management experience. Currently Director of Investments at Prosperity Life He was previously with Swiss Re as head of US Admin Re® Portfolio Management and with MetLife’s Investment Department where he was responsible for managing assets within an ALM framework and driving the incremental income of the insurance company’s general account with AUM totaling of up to $75+ billion. Mr. Kaplan has managed assets supporting both retail and reinsured liabilities within diversified, primarily fixed income, portfolios. He was a member of Aurora National Life Assurance Company’s Board of Directors as well as the Swiss Re’s Admin Re® management team. Mr. Kaplan is a CFA® Charterholder and earned a MBA in finance from the New York University Stern School of Business and a BS in Statistics & Biometry from Cornell University.