Opening & Closing

Harumi Urata-Thompson, CFA, Chief Operating Officer of the New York Society of Security Analysts, was previously a Director at Thomson Reuters, managing a portfolio of innovation best practices as well as their mobile products. Thomson Reuters has six business units which consist of 55,000 employees and over $12B revenue. Prior to this position, she served as Chief of Staff to the CEO of the Healthcare and Science business. This role included overseeing all management activities of 5 sub business units including acquisitions, business and product management, and planning of $900M budget and 4,300 employees. She began her career in investment banking with Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. During these years she worked as a fixed income sales professional and M&A banker in three financial capitals. On assignment in London, she opened the Japan Desk, creating a new business line. Ms. Urata-Thompson earned her MBA from Institute Européen D’administration Des Affaires (INSEAD) in France. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Business magna cum laude from Sophia University in Japan. She is a CFA charterholder, PMP certified, and bilingual in English and Japanese.


Murray Stahl is Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer, Chairman of the Board of Horizon Kinetics and is a co-founder of the Firm. He has over thirty years of investing experience and is responsible for overseeing the Firm’s proprietary research. As the Firm’s Chief Investment Officer, Murray chairs the Firm’s Investment Committee which is responsible for portfolio management decisions across the entire Firm. He is also the Co-Portfolio Manager for a number of registered investment companies, private funds, and institutional separate accounts. Additionally, Murray is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FRMO Corp. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Bermuda Stock Exchange, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, Winland Electronics, Inc., and IL&FS Securities Services Limited. Prior to co-founding the Firm, Murray spent 16 years at Bankers Trust Company (1978-1994) as a senior portfolio manager and research analyst. As a senior fund manager, he was responsible for investing the Utility Mutual Fund, along with three of the bank’s Common Trust Funds: The Special Opportunity Fund, The Utility Fund, and The Tangible Assets Fund. He was also a member of the Equity Strategy Group and the Investment Strategy Group, which established asset allocation guidelines for the Private Bank. Murray received a Bachelor of Arts in 1976, a Masters of Arts in 1980 from Brooklyn College, and an MBA from Pace University in 1985.

John Andrew Levin serves as the Chief Executive Officer, Portfolio Manager, and Chairman at Levin Capital Strategies, L.P. Mr. Levin served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman at Levin Management Co., Inc. and John A. Levin & Co., Inc., from June 1996 to September 28, 2005. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and President from 1996 to September 28, 2005 at BKF Asset Management, Inc. and served as its Chairman from February 2000 to September 28, 2005. Mr. Levin was a Partner at Steinhardt Partners, serves as Chairman Emeritus of BKF Capital Group Inc. and served as its Director from 1996 to September 28, 2005. Mr. Levin serves as the Member of Board of Advisors at The Yale School of Management.

Thomas A. Russo joined Gardner Russo & Gardner LLC as a partner in 1989. In 2014 he became the Managing Member of the firm. Mr. Russo manages individual separate accounts and serves as the Managing Member of the General Partner to Semper Vic partnerships. Mr. Russo oversees more than $9 billion through separately managed accounts and Semper Vic partnerships. Gardner Russo & Gardner LLC is a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and is not associated with any bank, security dealer or other third party. Mr. Russo looks for companies with strong cash-flow characteristics, where large amounts of “free” cash flow are generated. (These industries typically have included food, beverage, tobacco, and advertising-supported media.) Portfolio companies tend to have strong balance sheets and a history of producing high rates of return on their assets. The challenge comes in finding these obviously desirable situations at reasonable or bargain prices. Mr. Russo commits capital to leading global consumer products companies whose brands enjoy growing market shares in parts of the world undergoing economic growth and enjoying increasing political stability. He prefers companies with sufficient cash flows from existing operations, combined with balance-sheet strength, to allow investments to activate emerging markets. He backs rare management teams willing to invest to secure robust future returns even when such investments burden current reported profits. Mr. Russo believes that family-controlled companies are often uniquely well positioned to bear burdens on reported profits in pursuit of long-term gains. Accordingly, he often invests in public companies where founding families still retain control and significant investment exposure, to reduce management agency costs and to align owner interests. Mr. Russo’s goal is one of an absolute return rather than a relative return, and he continues his long-term investment objective of compounding assets between 10 and 20 percent per year without great turnover, thereby realizing a minimum amount of realized gains and net investment income. Thomas Russo is the Managing Member of the General Partner of Semper Vic Partners, L.P., and Semper Vic Partners (QP), L.P., limited partnerships whose combined investments are roughly $3 billion, along with overseeing substantially more funds through separate accounts for individuals, trusts, and endowments. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College (BA, 1977), and Stanford Business and Law Schools (JD/MBA, 1984). Memberships include Dean’s Advisory Council for Stanford Law School, Dartmouth College’s President’s Leadership Council, and California Bar Association. Mr. Russo is a charter member of the Advisory Board for the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School. He serves on the boards of the Winston Churchill Foundation of the U.S., Facing History and Ourselves, and Storm King Art Center.

Jim Grant, financial journalist and historian, is the founder and editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, a twice-monthly journal of the investment markets. His new book, The Forgotten Depression, 1921: the Crash that Cured Itself, a history of America’s last governmentally unmedicated business-cycle downturn, won the 2015 Hayek Prize of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.Among his other books on finance and financial history are Bernard M. Baruch: The Adventures of a Wall Street Legend (Simon & Schuster, 1983), Money of the Mind (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992), Minding Mr. Market (Farrar, Straus, 1993), The Trouble with Prosperity (Times Books, 1996), and Mr. Market Miscalculates (Axios Press, 2008).He is, in addition, the author of a pair of political biographies: John Adams: Party of One, a life of the second president of the United States (Farrar, Straus, 2005) and Mr. Speaker! The Life and Times of Thomas B. Reed, the Man Who Broke the Filibuster (Simon & Schuster, 2011).Mr. Grant’s television appearances include “60 Minutes,” “The Charlie Rose Show,” “CBS Evening News,” and a 10-year stint on “Wall Street Week”. His journalism has appeared in a variety of periodicals, including the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Foreign Affair. He contributed an essay to the Sixth Edition of Graham and Dodd’s Security Analysis (McGraw-Hill, 2009).Mr. Grant, a former Navy gunner’s mate, is a Phi Beta Kappa alumnus of Indiana University. He earned a master’s degree in international relations from Columbia University and began his career in journalism in 1972, at the Baltimore Sun. He joined the staff of Barron’s in 1975 where he originated the “Current Yield” column. He is a trustee of the New York Historical Society. He and his wife, Patricia Kavanagh M.D., live in Brooklyn. They are the parents of four grown children.

Rupal J. Bhansali is executive vice president of Ariel Investments, a money management firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois with offices in New York and Sydney. The firm offers six no-load mutual funds for individual investors and defined contribution plans as well as separately managed accounts for institutions and high net worth individuals. As chief investment officer and portfolio manager of Ariel’s multi-billion dollar international and global equity strategies, she oversees Ariel’s New York based global equities research team. Rupal joined Ariel in 2011 after spending 10 years with MacKay Shields, where she was senior managing director, portfolio manager and head of international equities. Prior to that, she spent 5 years at Oppenheimer Capital, where she managed international and global equity portfolios and was promoted to co-head of international equities. Additionally, she has held various roles at other financial services firms since she began her career in 1989, including Soros Fund Management. In 2009, Forbes International Investment Report named her a “Global Guru”, and in 2015, Barron’s recognized her as a “Global Contrarian”. Rupal is a frequent guest on premier shows such as Bloomberg, CNBC Squawk Box and Fox Business News. She is also a sought-after speaker at prestigious industry conferences including the CFA Institute, Morningstar and Schwab. Fluent in several Indian languages including Hindi, Rupal earned a Bachelor of Commerce in accounting and finance, as well as a Master of Commerce in international finance and banking from the University of Mumbai. She later earned an MBA in finance from the University of Rochester, where she was a Rotary Foundation Scholar.

Ricky Sandler, CFA, As the CIO of Eminence, Ricky is responsible for managing the investment team and a diversified portfolio across all sectors of the market. Prior to launching Eminence in 1999, Ricky was cofounder and co-general partner of Fusion Capital Management, LLC. Prior to that he was a research analyst covering a wide range of industries and companies for Mark Asset Management, where he began his investing career in 1991. Ricky received a BBA in Accounting and Finance graduating with honors from the University of Wisconsin where he currently serves as a board member for the University of Wisconsin Foundation and as a member of its Development Committee, Investment Committee and Traditional Asset Subcommittee. Ricky is also a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.

Fred Martin, CFA, founded Disciplined Growth Investors (DGI) in 1997. As President and Chief Investment Officer, he oversees the operation of the firm and serves as an analyst, portfolio manager and head of the investment team.

Fred’s investment management career spans four decades. By the time he founded DGI, he had already attracted a loyal client base of investors as a portfolio manager with Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management. Today, DGI manages over $4 billion in client assets. Fred credits the firm's success to a meticulous investment management process and a commitment to client service.

As CIO, Fred has built DGI’s investment process based on the strategies of Benjamin Graham, a prolific investment author and portfolio manager who was known as “The Father of Securities Analysis.” Fred has had the opportunity to not only prove out Graham’s strategy throughout his four decades as a money manager, but also to expand on that strategy in Benjamin Graham and the Power of Growth Stocks, published in 2011 by the same house—McGraw-Hill—that published Graham’s best-selling classics.

Jason Karp is the founder and CIO of Tourbillon Capital Partners, which manages a multi-billion global, low net exposure long/short equity fund and a long alpha fund. Mr. Karp has 18 years of investment experience and was previously co-CIO of Carlson Capital, Portfolio Manager at SAC Capital, and a Partner and Portfolio Manager at George Weiss Associates. Mr. Karp graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Economics and concentration in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was Academic All-American and Academic All-Ivy as a Varsity Squash player. He is Chairman of the investment committee overseeing Loomis Chaffee’s endowment, and he has endowed scholarships in his parents’ names for low-income students at both Loomis Chaffee and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Paul Hilal is the Founder and CEO of Mantle Ridge LP. Over the past two decades, he has built a strong record as an engaged or activist investor, and as a passive value investor.

Mr. Hilal is Vice Chairman of the board of directors of CSX Corporation (“CSX”). He was appointed in 2017 in connection with a successful campaign to install railroad legend Hunter Harrison as CEO and reconstitute the company’s board with five new directors.

Prior to forming Mantle Ridge, Mr. Hilal was a Senior Partner at Pershing Square Capital Management, where he focused on both passive and activist investing projects. Among these was the successful value creation initiative at Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (“CP”).

Mr. Hilal identified the potential investment opportunity at CP and recruited Hunter Harrison to offer his services to CP as a CEO candidate. Following a 2012 proxy campaign that secured seven seats on Canadian Pacific Railway's board and installed Hunter Harrison as CEO, Mr. Hilal served as a CP Director until January of 2016, when he retired from Pershing Square.  

At CP, Mr. Hilal chaired the board's Management Resources and Compensation Committee, served on its Finance Committee, and played an active role supporting the work of the Nominating and Governance committee. He worked closely with Mr. Harrison and the rest of the CP team in an effort that lead to the transformation of CP from the industry laggard to one of the two top-performing Class I railroads in North America, with strong improvements in operating performance, customer service, safety and shareholder value.

Mr. Hilal also played leading roles in Pershing Square’s successful activist investments in Ceridian, a data processing company, and Air Products & Chemicals Inc.

Prior to joining Pershing Square in 2006, Mr. Hilal:

  • Founded and served as Managing Partner of Caliber Capital Management, L.P., an information technology-sector-focused investment fund, from 2002 to 2005;

  • Led the Information technology-sector investment program at Hilal Capital Management from 1998 to 2001;

  • Served in 1999-2000 as Chair of the Board and in the capacity of Interim Chief Executive Officer of Worldtalk Communications Corporation, a publicly traded software company that Mr. Hilal led through a restructuring and successful sale; and

  • Prior to 1999, advised numerous companies across the information technology sector as an investment banker at Broadview Associates, at the time the leading mergers and acquisitions advisory firm to the sector. (Broadview is now a subsidiary of Jefferies Inc.)

Mr. Hilal serves on the Board of Overseers of Columbia Business School and served until 2016 on the Board of the Grameen Foundation – an umbrella organization that helps microlending and microfranchise institutions empower the world’s poorest through financial inclusion and entrepreneurship. 

He is also a Trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the collection and preservation of the history of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mr. Hilal received an A.B. degree in Biochemistry from Harvard College in 1988, a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1992, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University School of Business in 1992.

Christopher C. Davis joined Davis Advisors in 1989. He has more than 28 years experience in investment management and securities research. He is a portfolio manager for the Davis Large Cap Value Portfolios and a member of the research team for other portfolios. Mr. Davis received his M.A. from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Mariko Gordon, CFA, founded Daruma Capital Management 22 year ago. She is the portfolio manager for Daruma’s high conviction (no more than 35 stocks) small and smid strategies. Gordon and her team use a classic, bottom-up fundamental approach to analyzing stocks, and every stock counts in the portfolio. Daruma manages $1.8 billion on behalf of charitable organizations, public and corporate pension funds, foundations and endowments.


Michael Oliver Weinberg, CFA, for more than two decades has invested directly at the security level and indirectly as an asset allocator in traditional and alternative asset classes. He is Chief Investment Strategist at Protege Partners, where he is a Senior Managing Director, and on the investment, risk and management committees. Michael is also an adjunct Associate Professor of Economics and Finance at Columbia Business School, where he teaches Institutional Investing: Alternatives in Pension Plans, an advanced MBA course that he created. He spent nine years at FRM, a multi-strategy fund of fund where he headed the equity business and was on the investment, asset allocation and management committees. Prior to that, Michael was a portfolio manager at Soros, the macro fund and family office, and at Credit Suisse First Boston. Before that he was a Real Estate analyst at Dean Witter. Michael is a member of The Economic Club of New York, CFA Institute, New York Society of Security Analysts, The Credit Suisse Alumni Network and the Yale, Princeton and NYU Family Office Councils. He is an advisory board member for the NYU Stern Investment Management and Research Society, a volunteer at the Columbia Business School Hermes Society and a mentor and events committee member for YJP, a not for profit young professional organization. Michael is a member of AIMA's Research and Communications Committees and participant in Peter Peterson's Fiscal Summit. Michael is a published author, having written articles for The New York Times, Institutional Investor and CAIA. He has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, CNBC, Bloomberg and Reuters. Michael is a frequent panelist, moderator and lecturer for investment banks, institutional and family office organizations and business schools including Institutional Investor, Pensions & Investments, Harvard and The London School of Economics. He has a BS from New York University, an MBA from Columbia Business School and is a CFA.

Elliot Trexler brings over 15 years of investment analysis experience to his role as President and Chief Investment Officer of Global Return Asset Management, LLC. As Chief Investment Officer, Elliot oversees all securities analysis, buy-and-sell decisions, and risk and portfolio management. He also writes whitepapers ranging in topics from security analysis, risk management, the psychology of investing and ESG factors. Elliot received the 2016 Awards for “Best Fundamental Growth Investor” and “Award for Excellence in Risk Analysis” from BarclayHedge and the "2016 Hedge Fund Manager of the Year" award from Wealth & Finance International. Elliot is also a Forbes Magazine contributor.

Elliot currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Value Investing Group at the New York Society of Security Analysts. He also hosts the Author Series symposium where he interviews authors of business and investing books; these interviews are followed by topical panel discussions with industry leaders.

Prior to Global Return, Elliot was a proprietary trader at a large SEC broker-dealer and member of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange where he was promoted to Senior Trader. In this capacity, he trained and managed a team of eight traders. He also worked for the nation’s largest real estate investment brokerage company where created data analytics and custom research reports for individual and institutional investors. Elliot began his career as an analyst for a real estate development and investment company.

Politics and nonprofits have always been important to Elliot. He has received three political appointments and served on numerous nonprofit boards, including a $550 million dollar foundation. He was the youngest member ever on the board of directors for United Way of Central Indiana and was a finalist for the “Governor’s Award for Tomorrow’s Leaders” for the State of Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University and attended the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

Vishal Mishra is a value and special situation investor and manages a private value-investing partnership. He organizes the Special Situations Ideas Forum at NYSSA and 10-K club meetings, which is a group of value and special situation investors. In 2014, he worked on a start-up website trying to connect value investors and generate a library of long-term investing ideas. Prior to that he was in a Specialty lending role at Citigroup providing financing against collateral like hedge fund shares, LP interests, defaulted debt, bankruptcy claims, fund management fees, catastrophe bonds, tax liens etc. He led the trading team of fund linked investment and financing products business of Citigroup and helped grow the revenues from ~$20 million to ~$150 million. He has an MBA from Tulane University, Bachelors in Engineering from REC, India and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder.

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