2017 Speakers

Peter Berezin is chief strategist at BCA Research, where he manages the firm’s flagship Global Investment Strategy service. He also helped develop BCA’s recently launched equity trading strategy service and served as chief strategist of The Bank Credit Analyst. Previously, he served as a senior global economist and market strategist at Goldman Sachs. Dr. Berezin also worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where he was involved in program negotiations and surveillance in a variety of countries, with a special focus on bank restructuring in Asia. He was also a member of the IMF’s research department, where he contributed to the IMF’s flagship publication, World Economic Outlook. Dr. Berezin holds a BA in economics from McMaster University, an MS in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a PhD in economics from the University of Toronto.

Heather Brilliant, CFA, is Chief Executive Officer of Morningstar Australasia. In this role, she leads a team of approximately 125 financial services professionals based in Australia and New Zealand. Brilliant works closely with global and regional teams to create, communicate, and implement strategies for the business based on functional and local market priorities. Prior to assuming her current role in 2014, Brilliant was global director of equity and corporate credit research for seven years. In this role, she led Morningstar’s global equity and corporate credit research teams, consisting of more than 120 analysts, strategists, and directors. She also served on Morningstar’s Economic Moat committee, a group of senior members of the equity research team responsible for reviewing all of the firm’s Economic Moat and Moat Trend ratings. Brilliant is co-author of Why Moats Matter: The Morningstar Approach to Stock Investing, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2014. Before joining Morningstar in 2003 as an equity analyst, Brilliant spent several years as an equity research analyst for boutique investment firms. She has covered a variety of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, business services, and retail. She started her career at Bank of America as a corporate finance analyst, covering the auto industry. Brilliant holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. Brilliant is a member of the CFA Institute Board of Governors and serving her first year as Co-Chair of the Society Partnership Advisory Council. She previously served as Chair of the External Relations and Volunteer Involvement Committee, and is a past chairman of the CFA Society of Chicago. In 2014, she completed the High Performance Board program at IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland, where participants learn how to identify the strategies, structures, and processes that make boards the driving force behind their company’s success. In 2013, Crain’s Chicago Business named Brilliant to its annual 40 Under 40 class, a list that includes professionals from a variety of industries who contribute to Chicago’s business, civic, and philanthropic landscape.

Jayesh Gandhi, CFA, is a senior portfolio manager at Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company. He is also president of the CFA Society India (Volunteer). Jayesh has over 15 years of experience in area of Investment Management, including Morgan Stanley Investment Management where he served as lead portfolio manager. A CFA charterholder, he also holds a master of international management degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management, USA and the Chartered Accountant designation from ICAI, India.

Sonia Gandhi, CFA,  is a director on the board of CFA Society India (previously the Indian Association of Investment Professionals, or IAIP), where she is in charge of the programming and continuing education (PCE) committee. She also serves as the regional coordinator of eight chapters across India and represents CFA Society India on the CFA Institute global society brand council, contributing to the multi-channel, fully integrated global brand campaign targeted at the investment management industry. Previously, as chair, membership committee, Ms. Gandhi was responsible for enhancing member engagement and delivering member value to more than 1,300 IAIP members. She has worked in the investment management industry with several global, blue chip investment banks. At Deutsche Bank, Ms. Gandhi served as director, equities, where she was responsible for the APAC client base. Prior to that, she worked with J.P. Morgan, BNP Paribas, and Jardine Fleming, where she was responsible for equity sales, capital market transactions, and global account management. Ms. Gandhi is passionate about mentoring the next generation of finance professionals, especially women, and regularly conducts ethics workshops for finance students at management institutes and universities across India. She is also one of the lead voices of the CFA Institute Women in Investment Management initiative in India.

Anil Ghelani, CFA, is senior vice president at DSP BlackRock Group, where he is responsible for product management and new initiatives. Previously, he served as the business head and chief investment officer at DSP BlackRock Pension Fund Managers and as a member of the risk and quantitative analysis team at DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund. Earlier in his career, Mr. Ghelani was associated with IL&FS Asset Management Company and S.R. Batliboi, a member firm of Ernst & Young. He serves on the board of directors for CFA Society India, and he is responsible for the society’s membership committee. Mr. Ghelani holds a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Mumbai.

Amit Khurana, CFA, is head of equities and research at Dolat Capital Market Private Ltd. Previously, he worked on the buy side with IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited) and PNB MF and on the sell side with Collins Stewart UK and Birla Sun Life. Mr. Khurana’s focus areas include research and idea development and sales efforts to domestic and FII clients, and he is actively involved in developing corporate and non-corporate relationships. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors for CFA Society India. Mr. Khurana holds an MBE from Delhi University.

Aaron Low, CFA, is principal at Lumen Advisors, LLC, based in San Francisco, and is managing director at Lumen Advisors Private Limited in Singapore, overseeing Asia strategies and investments. Before joining Lumen, he was head of portfolio management, Asia, at PIMCO, where he started the firm’s Asian portfolio management and trading operations, managing global balanced stock and bond funds, emerging market bond funds, and Asia-dedicated funds. Prior to PIMCO, Dr. Low was head of fixed income, Asia, and senior portfolio manager for RCM Global Investors. He serves on the board of directors at the Wealth Management Institute and on the editorial board of the Journal of Futures Markets. Dr. Low is also a board director at Oakbridge Capital and WIT Capital Advisors. He was chairman of the Board of Governors of CFA Institute and served on the board of trustees for the Government of Singapore Pension Fund. Dr. Low was senior adviser to Harvest Fund Management Company, Bosera Asset Management, and Minsheng Tonghui Asset Management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the National University of Singapore. Dr. Low has completed corporate director programs at Stanford University and University of Chicago, and he holds a PhD in financial economics from the Anderson School, UCLA.

Philippa Malmgren is president and founder of DRPM Group and a Co-Founder of H Robotics. Previously, she served as deputy head of global strategy at UBS and as chief currency strategist and head of global investment management business at Bankers Trust. Dr. Malmgren also served as a financial market adviser to US President George W. Bush, as a member of the National Economic Council, and as a member of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets and the Working Group on Corporate Governance. She serves on several advisory boards and working groups, including the British Department of International Trade and the British Ministry of Defence Working Group on Global Strategic Trends, the Greater London Authority Infrastructure Advisory Group, MIT, and the Indiana University School of Public Policy as well as Real Vision TV. Dr. Malmgren is a frequent guest on the BBC and a guest anchor for CNBC and Bloomberg. She holds a BA from Mount Vernon College and an MSc and a PhD from the London School of Economics, where she delivered the graduation address in 2013 and 2016.

Saurav Mishra, CFA, manages corporate coverage of global markets for Deutsche Bank, India. Before joining Deutsche Bank, Mr. Mishra worked at HDFC Bank, Tala Steel, and Deloitte. He has also been a visiting faculty member in management institutes, teaching fixed income and derivatives. Mr. Mishra serves as director on the board and treasurer of CFA Society India.

Saurabh Mukherjea, CFA, is CEO at Ambit Capital. Mr. Mukherjea’s career in capital markets and equities includes work at Execution Noble, where he set up and led the Indian equities business, and the co-founding of Clear Capital, a British equity research firm. He has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics.

Navneet Munot, CFA, is chief investment officer at SBI Funds Management Private Limited. Previously, he served as executive director and head of the multi-strategies fund boutique at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. He also served as chief investment officer (fixed income and hybrid funds) at Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company. Mr. Munot is post graduate in Accountancy and Business statistics, a chartered accountant, a chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) and  a financial risk manager (FRM).

Nick Pollard joined CFA Institute in 2016 as managing director for Asia Pacific. Based in the Hong Kong office, he also oversees operations in Beijing and Mumbai. Nick is responsible for working with all CFA Institute stakeholders, increasing the number of candidates entering and moving through the organization’s credentialing programs, and working with institutional partners (employers) throughout the region. He will be actively engaged with 19 CFA Institute societies that represent 23,000 members in the region. Nick is a seasoned wealth management and banking executive and skilled at growing businesses in Europe and Asia. He brings a unique combination of strategic leadership skills as well as learning and professional development expertise. Prior to joining CFA Institute, Nick was CEO of The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Coutts Asia division and, most recently, he was the Head of International Learning and Professional Development for Coutts International. Nick began his career with NatWest Group, subsequently part of the RBS Group, where he gained experience in marketing and talent development. Nick earned his BA from University College, London, and is a Member of the Private Wealth Management Association. He has lived and worked in the APAC region since 2009 and resides in Hong Kong.

Vidhu Shekhar, CFA, is the country head of the CFA Institute office in India. He is a seasoned financial and investment professional with more than 25 years of industry experience in India and abroad. Prior to joining CFA Institute, Mr. Shekhar was vice president of new products and business excellence at the National Stock Exchange of India. He also contributed to the development of Indian financial markets through his participation in the work of various committees. Mr. Shekhar holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Delhi and a postgraduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Sunil Singhania, CFA, is Chief Investment Officer – Equity Investments of Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Ltd., one of the largest asset managers in India. In this capacity, Singhania oversees nearly $8 billion of equity assets primarily invested in listed Indian companies. He has been a key member of the management team that has driven Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Ltd.’s assets from $500 million in 2003 to over $40 billion at present. Equity schemes managed by Singhania have been, time and again, ranked amongst the best, not only in India but also globally. Furthermore, he leads Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Ltd.’s international efforts and has been instrumental in launching India funds in Japan, South Korea, and the UK, besides managing mandates from institutional investors based in the US, Singapore, and other countries. Singhania has been featured regularly in various domestic and global newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, and television, both in a professional capacity and as a representative of CFA Institute and his local society. He founded the Indian Association of Investment Professionals (CFA India Society) in 2005 and was President until 2013. In this capacity, he has seen the society, as well as the candidate count, grow many times over. An active volunteer, Singhania has participated in CFA Institute’s conferences and meetings, both as a delegate and as a member of volunteer committees. Currently, he serves as a member on the CFA Institute Board of Governors. Singhania holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and is a CFA charterholder.

Paul Smith, CFA, leads CFA Institute, a global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. He has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the asset management industry, including over 18 years in Asia. Prior to joining CFA Institute, he was chairman and CEO of Asia Alternative Asset Partners. Before that, he was Asia head of securities services at Bank of Bermuda and after the bank’s acquisition by HSBC, served as global head of securities services and global head of alternative funds administration in New York. He joined CFA Institute in 2012 as managing director for Asia Pacific and was appointed president and CEO in 2015. Mr. Smith holds a Master’s degree in History from Oxford University.

Jonathan B. Stein, CFA, is CEO and founder of Betterment. With experience from his career of advising banks and brokers on risk and products, he founded Betterment in 2008. Mr. Stein passed the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Series 7, 24, and 63 exams. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Business School.

Madhu Veeraraghavan is the T.A. Pai Chair Professor of Finance at the T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI). Prior to joining TAPMI, he was a professor of finance and head of the finance area at Monash University. Professor Veeraraghavan has also held positions at the University of Auckland Business School. He has published research in such journals as the Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Empirical Finance, and the Journal of Business Finance and Accounting. Professor Veeraraghavan holds an MBA in finance and investments and a PhD in finance.

Andy Xie is an independent economist specializing in China and Asia. He is also a guest columnist for the South China Morning Post. Previously, Dr. Xie served as a managing director and head of the Asia-Pacific economic team at Morgan Stanley and as an associate director in corporate finance at Macquarie Bank in Singapore. He also worked as an economist at the World Bank. Dr. Xie is one of the few economists who has predicted economic bubbles, including the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the more recent subprime meltdown in the United States. He was voted one of the 50 most influential people in finance by Bloomberg magazine. Dr. Xie holds an MS in civil engineering and a PhD in economics from MIT.

Charles J. Yang, CFA, is managing director of Tokio Marine Asset Management. Previously, he was a quantitative analyst at JP Morgan Investment Management (New York) and chief investment officer for major European and Japanese asset management firms in Tokyo. Mr. Yang served as a member of the CFA Institute Board of Governors and as the first Asian chair in the history of CFA Institute. He earned a BA in applied mathematics/statistics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business.