2018 Speakers

Akhilesh Tilotia, is currently Chief of Staff to the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India. His earlier experience spans equity research, investment banking, entrepreneurship and consulting. Mr. Tilotia has played critical roles in flagship government initiatives like India’s regional aviation connectivity scheme, shaping strategic disinvestments of Air India and Pawan Hans, crafting India’s drone policy, among others. His debut book, The Making of India – Game Changing Transitions, looks at the socio-economic transitions that India is going through and the opportunities it opens for government, citizens and investors. He has a MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.

Madhu Veeraraghavan, is the director and chair professor of finance at T. A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal. He has published more than 50 papers in top journals, presented his work at conferences in accounting and finance, and won many awards for the best paper at both national and international conferences. The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) recently announced that Professor Veeraraghavan—whose research interests include corporate finance, behavioural finance, and the interplay between auditing and finance—ranked in the top 10 percent of authors around the world. He holds a doctorate in finance.

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 Gaba is professor of decision sciences, the Orpar Chaired Professor of Risk Management, and academic director of the Centre for Decision Making and Risk Analysis at INSEAD. He has also served as dean of faculty at INSEAD and dean of faculty and research at INSEAD’s Asia campus. Professor Gaba teaches MBA courses on uncertainty, data, and judgment and PhD courses on probability and statistics and Bayesian analysis. In addition, he teaches modules on judgments and decision making and risk management in several executive development programs around the world and is a regular consultant and keynote speaker at various multinational organizations. Professor Gaba’s research is in the area of assessment and use of subjective information and analysis of decisions under risk and uncertainty, and it has appeared in several academic journals, including Management Science, Operations Research, Marketing Science, and the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty. He is co-author of Dance with Chance: Making Luck Work for You and has won the INSEAD Outstanding Teacher Award for the MBA core course “Uncertainty, Data, and Judgment” 10 times. Professor Gaba received a PhD in decision sciences at Duke University.

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.

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.

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.

James McGregor is the chairman of the Greater China at APCO (Beijing) Consulting Company Limited. He is the author of No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers: The Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism and One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China. Previously, Mr. McGregor has served as China bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal and CEO of Dow Jones China. In his nearly three decades in China, he has also been a venture capital investor, an entrepreneur who founded a research company for hedge funds, and an adviser to many companies. Mr. McGregor currently splits his time between Shanghai and Beijing.

Carla Harris is vice chairman, managing director, and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley. Previously at Morgan Stanley, she headed the Emerging Manager Platform, the equity capital markets effort for the consumer and retail industries, and she served as a senior member of the equity syndicate desk and in the mergers and acquisitions department. Ms. Harris has extensive industry experience in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial, and health care sectors. She was appointed by President Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council, and she is the author of the books Expect to Win and Strategize to Win. Ms. Harris holds an AB in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Richard Koo is the chief economist of Nomura Research Institute. He is best known for developing the concept of balance sheet recession, which is now widely used around the world to explain post-1990 Japanese and post-2007 Western economies. Mr. Koo has also advised successive prime ministers on how best to deal with Japan’s economic and banking problems. Before joining Nomura, he served as an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and as a doctoral fellow of the Federal Reserve System board of governors. Mr. Koo has authored many books on the Japanese economy and economics in general, including The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan’s Great Recession and The Escape from Balance Sheet Recession and the QE Trap. Currently, he is serving as a senior adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies and as an advisory board member of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Mr. Koo holds BA degrees in political science and economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA degree in economics from Johns Hopkins University.

Rupal J. Bhansali is chief investment officer and portfolio manager of international and global equity strategies at Ariel Investments, where she manages portfolios for both institutional and retail clients. A long-only manager, her buy-side career began on the long–short side, at Soros Fund Management, where she learned how to think about both the long and the short side of trades. Barron’s has referred to Ms. Bhansali as a “global contrarian,” Forbes has called her a “global guru,” and PBS’s Consuelo Mack has referred to her as an “unconventional thinker.” She earned a bachelor’s degree and a master of commerce degree in finance from the University of Mumbai and an MBA in finance from the University of Rochester, where she was a Rotary Foundation Scholar.