2022 Speakers

2022 Speakers

Jodi Richard

Vice chair and chief risk officer

U.S. Bank

Jodi Richard is vice chair and chief risk officer of U.S. Bancorp, a well-respected financial services holding company with businesses across the United States, Canada and Europe. U.S. Bancorp is headquartered in Minneapolis and is the parent company of U.S. Bank, which is the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. U.S. Bancorp is also the parent company of Elavon, a leader in the payment processing industry. Jodi oversees all aspects of the company’s risk management activities, including operational risk, credit risk, market risk, model risk, compliance, AML/BSA, independent risk review and regulatory services. She became vice chair and chief risk officer in 2018 and is a member of the company’s Managing Committee, the highest-ranking executives within the organization.

Jodi’s financial career spans nearly 30 years. She joined U.S. Bancorp in 2014 as executive vice president and chief operational risk officer, managing the company’s operational risk management activities.

Before joining U.S. Bancorp, Jodi was executive vice president and head of operational risk and internal control for HSBC North America. She was there for 11 years, serving in enterprise risk roles including head of risk governance and administration and director of regulatory compliance.

Jodi also spent 12 years at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), where she served as national bank examiner, specializing in retail credit and credit card bank supervision. Between two periods with the OCC, she was chief compliance officer for Sears National Bank.

At U.S. Bancorp, Jodi is executive sponsor of Business Resource Group Board. She also is the executive sponsor of U.S. Bank Spectrum LGBTQ BRG and Women of Risk chapter of the U.S. Bank Women BRG.

Jodi serves on the boards of Fairview Health Services and Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. She is active in the financial service industry, serving as chair of the board of directors of the Risk Management Association. She also is  on the Advisory Committee for Minnesota Center for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics. She is a frequent speaker at risk industry events.

Jodi is a graduate of the Leading Women’s Executive program and was part of American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Banking Top Team Award in 2013, 2015, 2019 and 2020. She was named Best Technology Executive in 2017 by Waters Technology. In 2017, U.S. Bank was named Operational Risk Bank of the Year by Risk.net.

Jodi holds a bachelor of arts degree in finance from the University of Northern Iowa.

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Kristen Walters

Chief risk officer

Natixis Investment Managers

Kristen has 25+ years of experience in risk management and analytics at large buy- and sell-side firms.  She has been the Chief Operating Officer of BlackRock's Risk and Quantitative Analysis (RQA) Group since 2012. Kristen reports to the firm's Chief Risk Officer (CRO) and is a member of RQA's EXCO. Her current responsibilities include ensuring RQA effectively manages market, counterparty credit, liquidity and operational risk on behalf of BlackRock and fiduciary clients.  She is also responsible for RQA’s strategic technology, analytics and reporting initiatives partnering with BlackRock’s financial modeling and application development teams.  Kristen has been a member of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Market Risk Advisory Committee since 2014 and works closely with BlackRock’s Vice Chairman / Head of Government Relations on risk-related regulatory issues. 
Kristen previously worked for BlackRock’s CRO when he was co-heading BlackRock Solutions and focused on developing analytics for fixed income bonds and derivatives as well as portfolio risk analytics, such as VaR and stress testing.  She also worked with BlackRock’s Institutional Client Business and Sovereign Wealth clients on risk measurement for AUM managed by BlackRock. 
Kristen has also held senior positions in risk management at Goldman Sachs, PIMCO and Barclays Capital. Many of her risk roles have also involved addressing regulatory issues pertaining to risk management, including managing the Federal Reserve's initial stress testing exercise for Goldman Sachs during 2009. She has also done significant work developing analytics for market, credit and liquidity risk across cash and derivatives markets. 
Kristen started her career in Supervision and Regulation at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and holds a MBA from Babson College and an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Ronald Ratcliffe

Managing director, applied portfolio analysis

BlackRock

Ronald Ratcliffe, PhD, is a Managing Director in BlackRock’s Applied Portfolio Analysis practice area within the Analytics & Quantitative Solutions (AQS) group. He focuses on multi-asset portfolio risk, scenario analysis, and portfolio construction.

Dr. Ratcliffe's service with BlackRock dates back to 2004, including his years with Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which merged with BlackRock in 2009. Prior to joining AQS, he led the Market-Driven Scenarios (MDS) initiative as Head of Cross-Platform Scenario Analysis in the Risk & Quantitative Analysis (RQA) group. Previously in RQA, he was Head of Multi-Asset Investment Risk for the Americas West region. In the Portfolio Management Group (PMG), he was a portfolio manager and developed systematic macro trading strategies. Prior to joining BGI, Dr. Ratcliffe was a senior manager at KPMG in corporate valuation and international transfer pricing. Previously, he was the chief economist for Latin America at SG Cowen Securities, a subsidiary of Societe Generale. Before that he was with Bankers Trust Company (now part of Deutsche Bank) where he carried out country risk analysis.

Dr. Ratcliffe earned BA degrees in economics and in political science, with distinction and with departmental honors in economics, from Stanford University. He received a PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Courtney Garcia

Head of investment risk

Apollo Global Management

Ms. Garcia joined Apollo in 2021 as the Head of Market Risk.  Prior to joining Apollo, Ms. Garcia was an Executive Vice President and Portfolio Risk Manager at PIMCO from 2007-2021.  While at PIMCO she served on various management committees, oversaw investment and counterparty risk, and led firm planning for LIBOR transition.  Prior to PIMCO, Ms. Garcia was employed by Barclays Capital within the CDO Structuring group.  She graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a Masters of Financial Engineering and Columbia University with a BS in Applied Mathematics.

Melissa Sexton

CRO

BNY Mellon Wealth Management

Melissa Sexton is the Chief Risk Officer for BNY Mellon Wealth Management and BNY Mellon N.A. Bank, responsible for independent risk oversight of risks inherent to business activities, including investment, fiduciary, operational, reputational, credit, market, liquidity, and strategic risks.

Melissa joined BNY Mellon in May 2021 from Morgan Stanley where she was Co-Head of Field Risk and Supervision, responsible for risk management oversight of Wealth Management Financial Advisors. At Morgan Stanley, she also served as Head of Investment Risk, responsible for risk management oversight of the fee-based Investment Advisory business. Prior to Morgan Stanley, she was Chief Risk Officer at hedge fund Concordia Advisors. Earlier, she held multiple senior risk management and trading roles at Bank of America and hedge funds Ore Hill Partners and Lotsoff Capital Management.

Melissa holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Boston University and is a CFA Charter holder.

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Kris Devasabai

Editor-in-chief

Risk.net

Kris Devasabai is the New York-based editor-in-chief of Risk.net. Previously, he was bureau chief and US editor of Risk magazine. He manages the editorial team. Prior to joining Risk, Kris covered hedge funds, asset management, cross-border investing and law for several publications.

Kris holds a bachelor’s degree in law and government from the University of Manchester, and he completed his legal training at the Inns of Court School of Law in London. He was called to the bar of England and Wales in 2003.

Fabrice Fiol

Managing director enterprise risk management Americas, deputy head

Societe Generale

Fabrice Fiol is a Managing Director and Deputy Head of the Enterprise Risk Management Americas division. In this capacity, he co-manages a team responsible for risk appetite statement and reporting, risk identification, enterprise wide stress testing and governance including regulatory oversight for the Americas.

He was previously in charge of the market risk cross-asset team overseeing regional limit framework, Market Risk Stress Testing and various regulatory market risk initiatives. His prior role was heading the Equity/Fixed Income/Commodity market risk teams for SG in the Americas, including NY, Canada and Brazil trading platforms.

Fabrice Fiol joined Societe Generale NY in 2009. Prior to SG, Mr. Fiol was a Senior Vice President at Natixis-NY in charge of Trading Risk Management on a U.S Agency MBS portfolio.  Prior to Natixis, Mr. Fiol was a Vice President at the reinsurance company SwissRe-NY where he was initially in charge of front-office quantitative pricing and subsequently joined the U.S Rates Derivative Desk trading.

He graduated from ENSAE (National School of Statistics and Economics) in 1998 and holds a Degree (DEA) from Paris VII University. 

Fabrice Fiol has participated as a speaker and panelist at various risk conferences (Bloomberg,Risk.Net,Cefpro) and has co-authored an article in the RMA Journal in 2017 “Risk Appetite: How Banks are responding to risk in a new regulatory environment”

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, RMA Risk Management Association (2012– Present)
Ying Murdoch

Head of North America fixed income risk

Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Michael Ashton

Managing principal

Enduring Investments LLC

Mr. Ashton is a pioneer in the U.S. inflation derivatives market. Prior to founding Enduring Investments, Mr. Ashton worked in research, sales and trading for several large investment banks including Bankers Trust, Barclays Capital, and J.P. Morgan. Since 2003, when he traded the first interbank U.S. CPI swaps, and 2004 when he was the lead market maker for the CME’s CPI Futures contract, he has played an integral role in developing new instruments and methods for accessing and hedging various inflation exposures. In 2016, Mr. Ashton publishedWhat’s Wrong With Money? The Biggest Bubble of All. He is a graduate of Trinity University and lives in Morristown, New Jersey.

Dennis Sadak

SVP - product management risk

Numerix

Dennis Sadak is Senior Vice President of Product Management for Numerix and oversees risk product offerings, market risk, counterparty risk, xVA and capital.  Prior to Numerix, he held several positions at MetLife, portfolio management and derivative trading units, where he implemented numerous derivatives overlay strategies for their General Account portfolio and built out pricing and risk analytics for active derivatives hedging of their variable annuity program. Mr. Sadak earned a dual degree in Mathematics and Finance from Rutgers University and is a CFA charter holder.

Dharrini Bala Gadiyaram

Global head of enterprise risk products

Bloomberg

Dharrini Gadiyaram is the Global Head of Enterprise Risk Products for Bloomberg, responsible for developing the business strategy across risk solutions including market risk, credit & counterparty risk and collateral management that are used by the sell-side and buy-side. Ms Gadiyaram joined Bloomberg in 2014 and has held various roles including product management for front office risk solutions and FX/commodity derivatives across the terminal, enterprise data and risk solutions. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Ms Gadiyaram led oil refined products and exotic derivatives trading for Credit Suisse, and has held roles in commodities quantitative research and risk technology at Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers. She graduated in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.

Joseph Simonian, Ph.D.

Senior investment strategist

Scientific Beta

Joseph Simonian is Senior Investment Strategist at Scientific Beta. Over the last 17 years Joseph has held senior portfolio management and research positions in several asset management firms, including PIMCO, Fidelity, Natixis Investment Managers, and JP Morgan Asset Management. He is also the founder and CIO of Autonomous Investment Technologies LLC.

Joseph is a noted contributor to leading finance journals and is also a prominent speaker at investment events worldwide. He is currently the co-editor of the Journal of Financial Data Science, on the editorial board for The Journal of Portfolio Management, and advisory board member for the Financial Data Professional Institute. Joseph is the author of over 40 academic publications. 

Joseph also has vast experience in teaching both in academia and industry. 

He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara; an M.A. from Columbia University; as well as a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Pietro Toscano

Senior risk officer

Wellington

Dawn Sidgwick

Chief learning officer

Risk.net and Central Banking

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Giuseppe Paleologo

Head of risk management

Hudson River Trading

Giuseppe ("gappy") Paleologo is head of risk management at Hudson River Trading (HRT), one of the largest principal trading firm in the world, where he is responsible for all risk facets across the firm. Before HRT, he was Head of Enterprise Risk at Millennium, and Director of Quantitative Research at Citadel, and a director at Axioma (not Qontigo). He spent several blissfully short years in the Mathematical Sciences department at IBM Research, and a long but eventful summer at Enron. He has a PhD in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford, and MS in Statistics, Operations Research, and Physics, from Stanford and the University of Rome.

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Mauro Cesa

Quantitative Finance Editor

RISK.NET

Mauro Cesa is quantitative finance editor for Risk.net, based in London. He leads the team responsible for the publication of quantitative research across all brands of the division. The section of Risk.net he manages, Cutting Edge, publishes peer-reviewed papers on derivatives, asset and risk management, and commodities.
 
Mauro holds a degree in economics from the university of Trieste and a masters in quant finance from the University of Brescia.

David Androsoni

Founder & CEO

Sapiat

David is the founder and CEO of Sapiat, a modern technology platform for long-term scenario forecasting, helping investors and policymakers plan decisions that meet the desired financial, social and environmental objectives. His career spans 22 years across Europe (London based) and Asia (Tokyo based) in the development of next generation predictive analytics and financial technology. Having collaborated with prominent world academics and practitioners, he is a thought leader in decision-making for investment portfolios and a frequent speaker at quantitative finance events globally.

Blythe Barber

Head of business development, North America

Droit

Blythe Barber is Droit’s Head of Business Development, Americas. Previously, Blythe spearheaded new business development as Commercial Partner at Catalyst. Prior to that, Blythe was a Managing Director of the RegTech company JWG, Director at Expand Research, Managing Principal at Capco which followed six years trading Fixed Income. Blythe holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from Kingston University. 

Steve Boras

Executive Vice President

Citizens Bank

Steve Boras is the Head of Model Risk Management & Validation at Citizens Bank in Boston, focused on managing the model risk of the bank via validation of models, performance management and monitoring of outcomes, and serving as a sounding board for new and emerging modeling techniques and their respective appropriateness. Since joining Citizens in 2015, Steve has led several risk analytics functions, most recently heading the Risk Architecture Center of Excellence (covering loss forecasting model development for CCAR/DFAST and CECL, and PD, LGD, and EAD modeling for wholesale), as well as anti-money laundering modeling, macroeconomic scenario generation, and Data Science.  Steve also holds leadership roles in enterprise risk, ESG and Inflation/Stagflation scenario analysis, and artificial intelligence and machine learning governance.

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Jing Zou

Managing director, model risk management

Royal Bank of Canada

As Managing Director in Enterprise Model Risk Management (EMRM), Jing Zou is responsible for validating models in Securitized Products, Pre-Provision Net Revenue, Retail Credit models, and interest rate derivatives models. She also developed Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) model fragility analysis, which identifies the impact of model uncertainty on capital ratios. She is an invited speaker for many industry model risk management training courses.

Jing joined RBC in 2014 as a Director in local model risk manager, where she was responsible of engaging the business about model risks. Later on, she was promoted to Senior Director and then Managing Director and has expanded the scope to cover the validation of 40% of CCAR models. Prior to joining RBC, Jing worked at Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Fannie Mae in various quantitative analytics roles covering front office quant, market risk, and model risk areas.

Jing has a Ph.D. in Applied and Computational Mathematics from Princeton University and a B.S. and M.S. in Computational Mathematics in Xi’an Jiaotong University.

Kim Jaffee - Prado

CIO, US Capital Markets, I&CB and Office of the COO

BMO Capital Markets

Kim joined BMO in August 2021 from RBC where she was the Global Head of the Client, Banking & Digital Channels Technology group across Capital Markets.  Kim developed and implemented a comprehensive client data strategy adopted by Capital Markets, sunset legacy applications and united the global salesforce under a single CRM instance.  Collecting and connecting client touchpoints with external data sets allowed her team to proactively source opportunities and recommendations using advanced AI and machine learning to deepen client relationships and increase wallet share.  Kim held multiple roles at RBC over 15 years supporting the business in various capacities from running Global Fixed Income Production Services to Head of Fixed Income Sales and Credit Trading technology.

Prior to joining RBC, Kim ran Front Office technology at Mizuho as well as the API Connectivity Development team at ICAP and was part of the initial launch of BrokerTec. She has also held multiple positions across the street with Kidder Peabody, Deutsche Bank and Chase Securities. Kim received a BA from Stockton University in accounting.

Allen Whipple

Founder and Managing Director

ActiveViam

Allen Whipple is Managing Director and one of the founders of ActiveViam. In his current role, he oversees commercial operations and is focused on expanding ActiveViam’s channel partners, including OEMs, Value Added Resellers (VARs) and integrated software vendors (ISVs). By joining forces with partners, Allen ensures that ActiveViam expands its offering within an ecosystem of integrated solutions to better address customer needs. Previously Allen was a co-founder of Summit Systems and at various times managed development, financial engineering, and the Americas.

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Naresh Malhotra

Supervisor/Director – markets and investment management activities

Societe Generale

Naresh is considered a recognized market expert in the areas of market risk, counterparty credit risk, and model risk management. Currently, he is a supervisor/director at Sociate Generale focused on capital markets activities. Prior to joining Sociate Generale, Naresh served as US lead director of traded risk and capital at KPMG. Previously, Naresh worked at Diamond Notch Asset Management, a hedge fund, as a portfolio manager and head of European credit trading and strategies. In prior roles, he served as head of credit exotics at Commerzbank in London, and as a senior derivatives trader and market maker at UBS and Merrill Lynch in New York.

Naresh has a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BS in Engineering from IIT-Kanpur (India). The academic preparation was followed by a research faculty position in Engineering & Applied Math at Caltech (Pasadena).

Karim Faraj

Global head of pricing & risk services

Bloomberg LP

Karim Faraj is head of strategy and product development for Pricing and Risk Services at Bloomberg. He also represents the company in the Climate Financial Risk Forum (CFRF) and at the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) as part of the work stream focused on providing recommendations and guidance to financial institutions on net-zero transition plans. Previously, Karim led front office derivative products and services and has served as both the regional head of financial engineering in EMEA as well as lead product manager for Bloomberg's Derivatives Library (DLIB).

Previously, Karim worked at Barclays Capital, where he launched the Quantitative Investment Strategies business, and supervised quantitative projects. He was also a member of Barclays' Equity Steering Committee across all trading desks. Karim also served as a quantitative analyst at BNP Paribas and strategist at Goldman Sachs, where he developed innovative cross-asset investment products, analytics and front office systems for market data, valuation, hedging, life cycle and risk management.

Karim holds a master’s degree from Mines Paris Tech in Quantitative Finance.

Christopher Halldorson

Managing director and head of financial markets risk

Prudential

Christopher joined Prudential in 2011 and currently leads the Financial Markets Risk group which is responsible for Market Risk, Investment Risk, Counterparty Risk, Risk Appetite, and Enterprise Stress Testing. He previously held several roles in Investment risk, including Chief Investment Risk Officer  Prior to joining Prudential, Christopher held several roles at The Bank of New York Mellon and Ambac. Christopher has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Music from Bucknell University and an MBA from The University of Notre Dame.  He is a CFA charterholder.

Ash Majid

Managing director and CRO

SMBC Capital Markets & SMBC Nikko America

Ash Majid is Managing Director and Chief Risk Officer for SMBC Capital Markets, Inc. & SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc. wholly owned subsidiaries of SMBC Americas Holdings, Inc. In his current role he oversees teams responsible for managing the risk from the two subsidiaries within the broader America’s Division risk management team. Prior to joining SMBC Capital Markets, Ash worked at Ernst and Young, LLP within their Quantitative Advisory Services and SunTrust Banks, Inc. with oversight of their derivatives trading desks' market risk. Ash holds a Doctorate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Master's degree in Quantitative and Computational Finance from Georgia Institute of Technology. Additionally, Ash holds FINRA Series 7 & 24 licenses.

Julian Horky

CEO and Head of Risk Controlling

Berenberg Asset Management

Julian Horky is the CEO of Berenberg Asset Management and the Head of Risk Controlling at Berenberg Capital Markets.

As the Head of Risk, he’s in charge of the broker-dealer's risk management program covering the firm’s equity capital market deals and trading business. His expertise spans areas of enterprise risk management, quantitative solutions, and technology. His background in finance and engineering provided him with the quantitative skills needed to clearly communicate the requirements of modern financial risk management solutions.

Before joining Berenberg, he advised leading financial institutions in Europe and the United States, where he developed a strong track record across buy and sell-side. Over the years, he became a trusted advisor to finance, risk and treasury departments on both sides of the Atlantic.

Besides teaching at Columbia University, he holds teaching positions at Boston and Fordham University.

Julian is a Certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM), and as a dual-hatted employee, he holds several investment advisory and broker-dealer FINRA licenses (e.g. SIE, Series 7, and Series 27).

Amit Singh

Principal (SVP), market risk

BNY Mellon

Amit is Senior Vice President and head of market risk reporting strategy in The Bank of New York Mellon. Amit is responsible for defining and executing the strategy for reporting and analytics automation as well as implementation of regulatory changes related to market risk. Amit is key risk technology integrator, directing data, process, and measurement efficiencies to ensure error free and timely risk reporting and analytics. Currently, Amit is heading the implementation of FRTB for the bank. Before joining BNY Mellon, Amit worked at Goldman Sachs for close to 6 years in different roles across market risk and capital planning and led several initiatives related to capital optimization and streamlining of tech infrastructure to improve risk/capital analytics. Amit’s areas of expertise include regulatory capital calculation, capital planning, market risk management, risk analytics, system integration and automation strategy. 

 

Amit holds MBA in finance and systems from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow and bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering from VIT University, India. Amit also holds FRM designation - Certified by the GARP.

Venky Venkatesh

Head of multi-asset investment risk

Vanguard

Venky Venkatesh is the Head of Multi-Asset Investment Risk at the Vanguard Group. Venky has been with Vanguard since 2018 and is responsible for overseeing the risk governance for the flagship Target Retirement Fund suite (target date funds) at Vanguard. Additionally, Venky’s team is responsible for overseeing both liquidity and derivatives risk for Vanguard’s 40-Act funds.

Venky has more than 15 years’ experience in Investment Risk Management. Prior to joining Vanguard, Venky was Vice President at Oppenheimerfunds specializing in risk management of fixed income domestic, and municipal funds.

Venky has a master’s degree in computer science from University of Missouri and an MBA from NYU Stern. He is also a CFA Charterholder.

Haibo Huang

Global head of credit stress and portfolio analytics

Morgan Stanley

Haibo Huang is a Managing Director and Head of Credit Stress and Portfolio Analytics at Morgan Stanley. His team is responsible for developing credit risk models, including credit stress testing models, credit allowance methodologies (CECL/IFRS 9), credit limit setting framework and other credit portfolio analytic solutions. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 2013, he was a Senior Director and Head of Dual Risk Rating Modeling team at Capital One, in charge of developing credit risk models for the bank’s wholesale portfolios. Prior to that, he was the Quant Team Head and Head of US Forecasting at CoStar Portfolio Strategy (formerly PPR), a commercial real estate advisory firm in Boston. Haibo is a CFA charter holder since 2008 and holds a PhD degree in Economics from University of Texas at Austin. Haibo lives in Connecticut with his wife and two daughters. During spare time, he enjoys playing soccer, and is the proud captain of a Morgan Stanley Coed Team that won the Kicker’s Cup in America SCORES Cup tournament in 2018, which is the largest charity soccer event in NYC to raise funds for under resourced communities.

Barry Lowe

Senior vice-president, capital markets

KWA Analytics

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Mark Higgins

Co-founder and chief analytics officer

Beacon

Dr. Higgins co-founded Beacon in 2014 after spending twenty years on trading floors as a quantitative developer, trader, and manager, developing industry-leading trading and risk management software.

Prior to co-founding Beacon, Dr. Higgins spent four years at JPMorgan Chase as a trader and quantitative developer. In addition to launching the Athena project with Singh from 2006 to 2010, Dr. Higgins was Co-head of Quantitative Research for the Investment Bank from 2010 to 2012 and head of the electronic currency options franchise and algorithmic FX index business from 2012 to 2014. From 1998 to 2006, Dr. Higgins
was the head of the FX and US interest rate strategist teams at Goldman Sachs, where he developed pricing and risk solutions in SecDB. Dr. Higgins began his career as a Lead Quantitative Developer at Contango Energy, where he designed and built the Contango System, a trading and risk management system for
electricity and natural gas derivatives.

Dr. Higgins received a B.S. in Engineering in 1992 and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Astrophysics in 1996 from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario..