2023 Spring Speakers
2023 Spring Speakers
Former chief risk officer
Nick Silitch was recently senior vice president, chief risk officer of Prudential Financial, Inc. In this role, Silitch oversaw Prudential’s risk management infrastructure and risk profile across all business lines and risk types. Under his direction, his team developed models, metrics, frameworks and governance to manage risk, and works with internal corporate partners and business groups to identify, assess and prioritize risk across the company. He was chairman of the organization’s Enterprise Risk Committee that evaluates current and emerging risks relevant to the company, and is a member of Prudential’s Senior Management Council.
Silitch also worked with external stakeholder groups to forward industry interests. He was head of the International Affairs Committee for the North American Chief Risk Officers’ Council, and a member of the Advisory Council for the International Association of Credit Portfolio Managers.
Silitch joined Prudential in 2010 as chief credit officer and head of investment risk management, overseeing Prudential’s general account and other proprietary investment risks globally, as well as maintaining and approving Delegations of Authority and Investment Policy Statements.
Prior to joining Prudential, Silitch held the position of chief risk officer of the Alternative Investment Services, Broker Dealer Services and Pershing businesses within Bank of New York Mellon. He also served on the Pershing Executive Committee.
Silitch joined Bank of New York Mellon in 1983 as a credit trainee. Throughout his career at the bank, he held senior positions in client management, investor relations, risk management, loan restructuring, credit portfolio management and Basel compliance.
He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Colby College.
Managing director, applied portfolio analysis
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.
Senior risk officer
Managing partner & CIO
Global Delta Capital
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.
Head of North America fixed income risk
Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Joseph Simonian, Ph.D.
Senior investment strategist
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.
Global Financial Firms
Chris Callies has partnered with senior officers of major financial institutions to address growing complexity in the nature of financial risk and its propagation across geographic, asset class, market structure, and operational boundaries. After initially working with institutional asset managers, commercial and investment banks, and multi-family offices through the financial crisis that began in 2007–08, her professional domain later expanded to alternatives managers, insurance firms, non-bank lenders and regulators. Callies has advanced through a series of senior roles at Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Bessemer Trust, including chief investment strategist, chief strategist, head of market risk strategy, and acting chief investment officer, with oversight of more than $40 billion in traditional and alternative assets. She is a dedicated advocate for fully integrated, flexible, proactive risk analytics as a vital tool for effective capital planning, product development and sustainable returns. Callies holds a bachelors degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, with a sub-specialty in advanced applied mathematics.
Chief Risk Officer
As Chief Risk Officer, Rodney leads the Risk Management, Compliance and Ethics, and Assurance and Advisory functions for OMERS. Under his leadership, these functions work closely with the businesses units across OMERS to fulfil their mandate, and to provide ongoing monitoring and reporting to senior management, the OMERS Board of Directors and its various committees.
Prior to joining OMERS in 2011, Rodney worked as a Partner at an international accounting firm, where he specialized in auditing complex public and private companies. During this time, he also held several leadership roles with the firm.
A graduate from the University of Kent at Canterbury, with an Honours Degree in Accounting with Computing (Honours), Rodney is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ACA-UK).
He is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (CA, CPA) in Canada. Originally from Ireland, Rodney is passionate about giving back through involvement with community. Rodney also serves on the Financial Committee for Crescent School. He lives in Toronto with his family.
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.
Head of buy side sales & account management, North America
Baha Rudin is the Head of buy side sales & account management, North America for ActiveViam, a data analytics company.
In this role Ms. Rudin is focused on the acquisition of new logos in asset management, hedge fund and asset owner space. She is also responsible for expanding partnerships with the existing clients.
Ms. Rudin has more than 20 years of experience in risk management, prop trading, securities lending and financial research that allow her to connect the dots and people across the business and find opportunities that result in new efficiencies and products.
Her fintech experience includes working at State Street Global Exchange and RiskMetrics.
Ms. Rudin holds an MS degree in Economics from University of Wisconsin-Madison and BS degree in Math and Economics from University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
Product content director
Louie Woodall is product content director at Manifest Climate, a leading climate technology company that provides businesses with an all-encompassing solution to manage climate risks and disclosures. Previously, Louie was editor of Risk Quantum and deputy editor for Risk.net's risk management desk. Louie holds a bachelor’s degree in modern history and politics from the University of London.
Chris Dearie has more than 20 years’ experience in capital markets, managing commercial teams and strategy. Chris is currently Deputy CEO for Parameta Solutions and has worked at Tullett Prebon and TP ICAP for over 16 years. In addition to his role as Deputy CEO, Chris also manages global teams responsible for product development, strategic partnerships, acquisitions and Burton-Taylor, a leading market research company.
Prior to joining Tullett Prebon, Chris held a number of roles at Reuters including managing the team with responsibility for global exchange market data contracts, and management of the European Content Acquisition team. Chris sits on various industry discussion groups and speaks regularly on panels about policies and strategy in market data.
Director of Risk Management
Boston Trust Walden Company
Reba Beeson is the General Counsel at AlphaPoint, a white label exchange software provider powering crypto exchanges worldwide and the technology behind El Salvador’s bitcoin wallet, Chivo. She is a member of 100 Women in Finance and Digital Asset Regulatory and Legal Alliance and a member of the New York State bar. Reba has also held numerous FINRA licenses.
Prior to joining AlphaPoint, Reba worked as an attorney and capital markets banker, having served as Deputy General Counsel – US for World Gold Council and its US affiliated sponsors of the largest global gold-backed ETF product suite. Reba formerly held roles as lead counsel for UBS Alternative Investment Group and SVP/Head of Complex Financing for BNP/Paribas.
Director, risk management
Liberty Mutual Investments
Rahul Ajmera is a Senior Risk leader at Liberty Mutual Investments and spearheads risk management for global fixed income portfolios at LMI, overseeing all aspects of portfolio oversight, risk management, modeling and analytics processes, relative value analysis, and stress testing techniques used for asset allocation, portfolio management and reporting purposes.
Rahul is a seasoned Investment professional with over 15 years of experience on both buy and sell side, He specializes in Risk management across public and private markets, his expertise spans Portfolio construction and Asset allocation, Hedging strategies, Research and Modeling, and cross-asset exposure (Fixed Income, Equities, Derivatives, Private Equity/Debt, and Hard Assets).
Founder and CEO
Jaime Lee, Ph.D.
Managing Director, Head of Dynamic Equity
PanAgora Asset Management
Dr. Lee is a Managing Director at PanAgora Asset Management and leads the Dynamic Equity Team. Her primary responsibilities include oversight and management of the team, conducting research to uncover new alpha sources, building quantitative stock selection models, and managing portfolios within the Dynamic Equity strategies. Dr. Lee is a key contributor to the innovative equity research used in the development of PanAgora’s Dynamic Equity models. Dr. Lee is a member of the firm’s Operating and Directors Committees.
Prior to joining PanAgora, Dr. Lee was a Managing Director of the Scientific Active Equity team at BlackRock, Inc. Dr. Lee joined Barclays Global Investors in 2007, which merged with BlackRock in 2009. While at BGI/BlackRock, she managed the Emerging Markets strategies and led the Emerging Markets portfolio management team, overseeing $15B AUM across long-only, 130/30 and market neutral strategies. Her prior experience includes a role as a Senior Portfolio Manager at Barclays Global Investors as well as Research and Portfolio Management roles at Quantal Asset Management, managing International equity strategies.
Dr. Lee graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Ph.D. in Economics.
University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. Economics
Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, MFE
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, B.S. Economics
Chief revenue officer
Bill Papp is Chief Revenue Officer at Arival Bank. Arival's mission is to deliver cutting edge banking services and solutions to global businesses and entrepreneurs. Bill is an Advisor for the Provenance Blockchain Foundation, the # 1 public open-source blockchain for financial services, a Member of the Bretton Woods Committee - Future of Finance Working Group| Digital Finance Project Team and a Member of the Boston Blockchain Association. Prior, Bill was Head of Sales - Digital Asset Group for BankProv.
Bill has over twenty years of experience within Alternative Investment Custody and Global Equity Capital Markets with Pacific Premier Trust (Pensco Trust), Lehman Brothers, Prudential Securities, Pacific Crest Securities (KeyBanc Capital Markets) and Mizuho Securities USA.
Bill was appointed to the Board of Director of the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), a $4.0 + Billion 529 Plan, by Governor Mitt Romney in 2004 and reappointed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2011. Over the course of his eleven years at MEFA, he served as Vice Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Audit Committee and Chairman of the Investment Committee. In addition, Bill was appointed by Governor William Weld, Governor Paul Cellucci and Governor Jane Swift to the Massachusetts Finance Advisory Board, The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund, The Commonwealth Corporation and the Massachusetts State Workforce Investment Board.
Bill also serves as Senior Advisor for Star Mountain Capital, a Private Credit asset manager and Disciplined Alpha, a registered investment advisor, specializing in systematic equity and macro strategies. Bills holds a BA in Finance from Michigan State University and a Global Master of Arts (GMAP) in International Affairs from Tufts University's - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Boston Blockchain Association
Lynne is a frequent global speaker, investor and thought leader in the blockchain, digital assets and NFT ecosystems. A traditional finance professional, Lynne embraced blockchain in 2018 by completing the Oxford Blockchain Strategy Program, Said Business School at Oxford University.
Lynne’s deep understanding and experience in traditional Capital Markets FX, Liquidity, Trading and Execution, Clearinghouses, Global Payments, Corporate Note programs and investment vehicles has given her insights into many channels. She was most recently a Managing Director and Head of the Specialized Industry Segment within BNYMellon. Lynne was Senior Advisor to the EnterpriseWomen Program launched in 2019 at the Judge Business School, Cambridge University, UK. She is a Board-member of Fintech Women, The Northshore YMC’A’s Corporate Board, the Boston Ballet and the Copernicus Institute. She is a non-Executive Director to Altemis Labs, UK and AlphaClinix a UK and Africa based clinical trials startup.
Lynne currently advises corporations and financial institutions on navigating the digital asset space. While most of her work is in the financial sector she just led the team that launched an NFT collectible for a major manufacturer.
She is passionate about giving back and lifting up. Her speaking engagements are as follows:
Lynne is a sought-after global speaker, investor and thought leader in all things Blockchain, Digital Assets and Web3. She recently was nominated as an Unstoppable Women of Web3 (12|2022). She has been an Innovation Judge at MIT (3+ years), a Judge for the Fintech Banking Awards (2022) and the Northeast Innovation Symposium. Lynne’s most recent speaking engagements include:
*Finland MA, March 9, 2023-Blockchain in Corporate Finance
*Cambridge U, UK, February 2023-EMBA Blockchain in Corporate Finance
*SuffolkUniversity, January, 2022-Blockchain Revolution
*FintechWomen, November 2022-Real Talk Blockchain
*Charitable Giving Conference, November 2022-Ropes and Gray
*BBA, August, 2022- -Senator Cynthia Lummis and the RFIA interviewer
*BBA, July, 2022-BBA-Women Executives in the Blockchain Space moderator
*BBA, July, 2022-BBA-Anthony Scaramucci interview re: future of Crypto
*April, 2022- New England-Canada Business Council, April 2022 on Blockchain at
its Impact in Financial Services
*Texpo, April 2022, Blockchain Use Cases
*Mid-Atlantic AFP-Blockchain, April 2022, Crypto and Digital Assets
*Atlanta AFP, April 2022 Blockchain Round 2
*Tmany, NYC Virtual, April 2022, Blockchain in and around corporations
*New England AFP, May 2, 2022-Blockchain, the metaverse and tokenization
*Web3.0Summit, San Diego, May 2022-NFT roadmap of the Metaverse
*University of Oxford, April 2021 “Value for Money-Lean Canvas Valuations”
*University of Oxford, December, 2020 “Money Talks”
* Women in Housing and Finance, DC conference on Payment Innovation,
*2018 Oxford University Global Symposium, UK-Navigating Financial Change
*Third Annual Global Back Office & Operational Efficiency Summit,
November 2019, Barcelona, Spain - blockchain for operational efficiency
*The Boston Club- Merrill Lynch and BNYMellon’s WIN program | Blockchain
*Association of Financial Professionals (AFP) National and Regional programs
(NYC, NC, MidAtlantic, Texas, Midwest, Boston) on Blockchain.
Lynne is the past president of the New England Association of Financial Professionals (NE- AFP). She is currently Chair of Boston Blockchain Association, An Ambassador for GBBC and on the Board of The Boston Ballet and Copernicus Institute. She has been an advisor to Knovva Academy supporting their efforts globally to educate high school students for leadership, diplomacy and critical thinking.
Senior managing director, head of research
State Street Global Markets
Will is senior managing director and Head of Research at State Street Global Markets, the capital markets business at State Street, where he is responsible for a global team of 50 data scientists, quantitative researchers and macro investment strategists as well as managing partnerships with data science start-ups and academics. The team delivers proprietary investment indicators, data-driven trade ideas, and award-winning research to thousands of institutional investors around the world through its Insights platform.
Will’s personal research has focused on recession forecasting, private equity investing, asset allocation, inflation and risk measurement. He and his co-authors received “outstanding article” awards for their research in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2021. The second edition of his book, “Asset Allocation: From Theory to Practice and Beyond,” co-authored with Mark Kritzman and David Turkington, was published in 2021. He also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Portfolio Management and the Journal of Alternative Inestments. He holds an M.S. in finance from Boston College, a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University, and a CFA designation.
VP, AI center of excellence for asset management
Vineel Gujjar, is a VP at AI Center of Excellence for Asset Management at Fidelity Investments, where he oversees the development of AI technologies for portfolio management and predictive modeling. His areas of expertise also include Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning.
Prior to his role at Fidelity, Vineel was a research scientist at GE Research, where he made significant contributions to the development of NLP models for GE businesses. Vineel has a master’s degree in computer science from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, and has four patents and several publications to his name.
Principal, Senior Quantitative Analyst
Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management, and Professor of Applied Economics
MIT Sloan School of Management
Global editorial director
Duncan Wood is the London-based editor-in-chief of Risk.net. He was promoted to the role at the start of 2015, to lead the editorial reorganisation of the website and its print titles. Wood had been editor of Risk magazine since July 2011. He rejoined Risk as European editor in October 2009, having originally worked for Risk and Asia Risk in London and Hong Kong as a writer and researcher between 1998 and 2000.
In the intervening years, Wood was news editor for the Oliver Wyman-founded online start-up ERisk.com. He also worked freelance for six years while living in Germany, with his work featuring in Euromoney, Financial News, IFR, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as Risk magazine and its sister titles. Wood has written about derivatives and risk throughout his 17-year career in journalism. He is a Neal Awards finalist, and has won Incisive Media's journalist and editor of the year awards.
Commercial editor, Americas
Sakshi Sharma has over 12 years of multi-platform professional journalism experience as a financial news editor and reporter at global news organizations in New York, London and Mumbai at Euromoney, CNBC and Bloomberg. Over the past ten years she specialized in infrastructure and energy finance news across the Americas with a deep understanding of financial markets, project finance, asset management, institutional investors, capital markets and various debt & equity instruments. In her current role, as Americas commercial content lead and an editor with Infopro Digital’s Ignite team, she provides financial industry clients with compelling thought leadership content across its brands - Risk.net and WatersTechnology.