Gene Phillips is a director at PF2. Gene was previously on the buy-side at a hedge fund within Citigroup Alternative Investments. He began his career in the Derivatives group at Moody’s Investors Service. Gene has written extensive research on debt and credit concerns, including pricing and manipulation in the realm of corporate and structured finance securities; litigation and cultural concerns at financial institutions; and whether credit ratings should be afforded First Amendment protections. More recently, he has concentrated on inefficiencies in market mechanisms. His research and commentary has received numerous press citations in publications such as The Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek. Gene holds a BSc degree in mathematics and applied mathematics, and a BSc Hons degree in the Advanced Mathematics of Financial Derivatives, from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.
Brian Macnish is a Senior Strategist at PF2, consulting on specialist assignments involving complex financial and securities matters. He is also responsible for overseeing the development and operations of PF2’s affiliated business in Australia. Brian has over 30 years of experience in the legal and financial services industry. He is also a managing principal of Craven Capital LLC, an investment advisory and money management firm located in New York City. Brian was formerly a Director at Deutsche Bank Securities and prior thereto, a Managing Director at Wilmington Trust, where he represented high net worth individuals, families and foundations. Brian began his career in financial services in 1997 with Merrill Lynch before joining Atlantic Trust Company as a Senior Vice President in 2003. Brian holds an LLB from the University of Queensland and practiced law in both the US and Australia prior to embarking on his career in private banking and investment management.
Joel Balbien, CFA, Ph.D. has over 30 years of cross-industry expertise, applying his quantitative skills within a number of different corporate environments, ranging from tech start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Joel’s expertise in financial management (including financing arrangements) asset valuation, microeconomic forecasting, and financial reporting complements his deep industry knowledge in the semiconductor, materials/energy (especially clean technologies), public utilities, healthcare, biotechnology, cybersecurity and e-commerce sectors. Joel is currently a consultant at TechNavi, LLC, assisting global Fortune 1000 specialty chemical companies in identifying market trends and leveraging critical technology. He is also a Principal Advisor at the Larta Institute, which helps entrepreneurs and federal agencies like the U.S. Department of Energy to commercialize new technologies. Joel co-founded Olympus Sky Global, an IoT cybersecurity company, and Smart Technology Ventures, a venture capital fund. Joel is a CFA charterholder. He earned his Ph.D. (Economics) and MS (Social Science) from the California Institute of Technology and his BA from UCSD. Joel is an Adjunct Professor of Economics at California Lutheran University where he teaches graduate level microeconomics, including courses on market structure and game-theory.
Eric Ben-Artzi, Ph.D., specializes in financial risk and valuation modeling and analysis. Eric began his Wall Street career at JPMorgan, later joining Citigroup where we modeled, structured, priced and traded credit correlation products. He moved to Goldman Sachs as a strategist-VP in 2007, where he built models in the commodities and credit derivative space, before joining Deutsche Bank in 2010 as a quantitative risk officer, developing risk and market management models. Eric has since been involved in the financial technology space (fin-tech), working with firms, including BondIT, based in Israel. Eric Ben-Artzi holds a PhD in mathematics from the Courant Institute at NYU.
Bella Borg-Brenner specializes in risk assessment, portfolio management and security evaluation, having over 25 years of experience in structured finance and related fixed-income products. Concurrent with her consulting role at PF2, Bella is the director of risk management and a product specialist at New York-based hedge fund Altum Capital, which focuses on making opportunistic investments in distressed structured credit securities. Previously, Bella held roles as Managing Director at Gottex Fund Management and Stillwater Capital. Bella has consulted on a variety of assignments, and has provided opinions on issues of hedge fund due diligence, securities lending, and pricing and suitability concerns in the U.S. and European asset-backed securities arena (including RMBS, CLOs, CDOs, CMBS, SIVs and ABCP). Bella studied as a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at New York University (NYU) and earned her MBA, magna cum laude, from NYU.
Thomas Buckhoff, Ph.D., CPA/CFF, CFE, specializes in forensic and investigative accounting matters, including fraud detection. Prior to his litigation consulting practice, he held managerial and senior accounting roles at Eide Bailly LLP (Fraudwise Division) and Buckhoff, O’Halloran, & Associates, LLP, a firm he co-founded. Thomas serves as a tenured Associate Professor of Accounting at Georgia Southern University, and he continues to publish in publications such as the Journal of Accountancy, Journal of Forensic Accounting, and the Journal of Forensic & Investigative Accounting, among others. He holds a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Kentucky, and his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Accountancy degrees from Brigham Young University. Thomas is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and is Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Robbin Conner has more than 20 years of experience with ABS asset classes, including flow asset classes such as credit cards, auto loans and leases, CDOs, small ticket equipment leasing and student loans; a wide variety of esoteric securitizations such as solar leases, time share receivables, servicer advances, peer-to-peer lending, single family rental, and small box single-property CMBS; and most transportation classes (aircraft, rail and container leasing). His background encompasses leadership and analytic roles on the buy side, sell side and with the rating agencies, and he has led teams both domestically and abroad. Most recently Robbin was engaged as an independent contractor for Goldman Sachs, providing legal advice to and assisting in negotiating transaction documents for securitization teams involved in aircraft securitizations, CLOs, consumer ABS and esoteric transactions, including stranded cost securitization, solar and franchise loan ABS. Prior to that he was an MD at Credit Suisse where he ran asset selection and risk assessment for the bank’s $19B ABCP conduit.Previously he was the COO and head of office for a Bermuda fund specializing in synthetic structured risk and prior to that an MD at Moody’s in NY and London. He has extensive experience in the risk measurement of ABS tranches, model development, portfolio management, compliance, and foreign bank capital regulations relating to structured funds.Robbin began his ABS career as an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP where he practiced for more than 5 years. Robbin received his J.D. from Northwestern University and a B.A. in economics from Carleton College.
Mark Froeba has 16 years of experience in structured finance, most recently as senior vice president and CLO team leader with Moody’s Derivatives Group. He is best known for his work on the development of Moody’s CLO rating criteria, including the PDR-LGD initiative. Mark started his career in structured finance at Skadden, Arps Slate, Meager & Flom LLP as a tax lawyer analyzing issues in structured finance transactions, with a primary focus on credit card securitizations. He holds a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from St John’s University in Minnesota, and a law degree, cum laude from Harvard University. Mark is a member of the bar in both New York and Illinois. The trial judge in MBIA Insurance Corporation v. Patriarch Partners VIII, LLC, in rendering his opinion, remarked that Mark “was the most qualified and credible of the experts” and “the most authoritative … with respect to the issue of the rating process and the ratability of the [notes].”
Joseph Heller, CFA, is part of the research team at PF2, where he focuses on mortgages and mortgage-backed securities (MBS), analyzing debt instruments issued by financial institutions, and market micro-structure. Prior to joining PF2 he spent four years at the investment firm Rodman & Renshaw. There, he held positions as an equity trader and as an equity research associate in the financial institutions group where he covered regional and community banks. Joe graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Psychology and has a Master’s in Global Finance from The New School. Joe holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.
David Hinman, CFA has over 25 years of fixed income asset management experience. His expertise includes credit derivatives, investment grade and high yield corporates, bank loans, emerging market debt, and CLO structuring. He has also participated in numerous corporate debt restructurings and served on workout creditor committees. Most recently, David was head of fixed income at Salient Partners. He joined Salient in 2015 when it acquired SW Asset Management, an asset management firm specializing in emerging market corporate debt that David co-founded and where he served as CIO. In his role at SW, David had extensive involvement in several bankruptcies and reorganizations of companies in developing countries. Prior to co-founding SW Asset Management, David held roles overseeing the credit business at Drake Management where he helped the firm navigate its way through the financial crisis, and before that as head of Ares Management’s capital markets group, where he managed the Ares Total Value Fund. David began his investment management career at PIMCO, where he served for nearly 10 years as a portfolio manager, credit analyst and product manager, creating a dedicated bank loan desk. David is a CFA charterholder. He holds a BS (Corporate Finance and Investment Management) from the University of Alabama and an MBA (Accounting and Finance) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Marc Joffe specializes in municipal and sovereign credit issues and also has a background in public policy as well as credit assessment technologies. In his nine years at Moody’s, Marc worked on a variety of software development projects benefiting both the Analytics and Ratings franchises. Prior to joining Moody’s, Marc had technology roles at CIBC, Dresdner Kleinwort and a number of other money center banks. In 2011 he researched and co-authored Kroll Bond Rating Agency’s inaugural Municipal Bond Default study – gathering data on thousands of defaults dating back to 1920. Marc’s research, and the development of his open-source credit model, has been funded by grants and honorariums from The Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Fraser Institute, Mercatus Center, National University of Singapore's Risk Management Institute, the California State Treasurer's Office and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Marc’s work is widely cited and his op-eds have appeared in Bloomberg View, The Guardian, The Fiscal Times and RealClearMarkets. Marc has an MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business and an MPA from San Francisco State University.
Lori McKnight, CFA, specializes in institutional investment management, with expertise in defined benefit and defined contribution pensions plans, asset allocation, investment management compliance, and due diligence. Lori has developed relationships with institutional investment service providers and asset owners, and has consulted for clients in their preparation of bids for public pension plans. Lori’s experience is firmly rooted in having served the State of Florida defined benefit pension plan for approximately 16 years in various capacities: as a compliance officer, manager of equity analytics, equity investment analyst, and senior investment analyst. Lori was also part of the investment team that set up Florida’s defined contribution plan for state employees. Prior to that, Lori was a Senior Management Analyst at the State of Florida’s Department of Health. Lori is a CFA charterholder. She earned her MBA from Florida State University as salutatorian, and holds dual undergraduate degrees from Indiana University in German and Music Tech.
Rick Michalek is a consultant to PF2. He has worked in structured finance since graduating from Columbia University with a joint graduate degree in law (honors) and business (JD/MBA) in 1993. Rick began as a structured finance associate in the New York office of the law firm Skadden Arps, after which he consulted for the pre-eminent New Zealand law firm Chapman Tripp. Returning to the U.S. in 1999, Rick worked until December 2007 in Moody's Derivatives Group, where as a Senior Credit Officer his responsibilities included analyzing novel legal risks associated with new products and developing a methodology for rating collateral managers. Since leaving Moody's he has provided legal and financing services primarily through RJM Consulting.
Joe Pimbley, Ph.D., FRM specializes in complex financial instruments and the review of banking models and procedures for all purposes including valuation and risk management processes. In his consulting engagements with PF2, Joe has performed or overseen event studies, efficiency analyses, measurements of the impact of trades on market dynamics, and issues pertaining to fees, and asset and trade allocation. He is also regularly involved in matters concerning market structure and electronic trading, including trade executions and order matching systems. He has provided expert reports and given testimony for litigation regarding asset-backed securities (RMBS/CDOs and others), credit default swaps (CDS), asset managers and trustees, credit ratings, bond insurance, and municipal debt. Joe previously served as a lead investigator for the Examiner appointed by the Lehman bankruptcy court to resolve numerous issues pertaining to history's largest bankruptcy -- with his colleagues, he discovered Repo 105 and reported the critical importance of pledged collateral mishaps and mischaracterizations to the Lehman failure. Joe has over 25 years of experience in the financial industry, having held positions at Duff & Phelps, ACA Capital, Sumitomo, FGIC, Moody's and Citicorp. Joe earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Joe Pimbley, "Bond Insurers", Journal of Applied Finance, 22(1), 36-43, April 2012.
Frank Raiter has over 15 years of experience in the structured finance markets, including as Managing Director in the Residential Mortgage Ratings Group at Standard & Poor’s. At S&P he managed 50 analysts and research assistants and had P&L responsibility for directing global criteria, ratings production, marketing and business development for single family mortgage and HEL bond ratings and related products. Frank also managed the firm’s design, development and marketing of analytical products including LEVELS, DACSS, SPIRE and RAMPS. Since leaving S&P in 2005, Frank has held various positions, including as Director/Member of Luminent Mortgage Capital’s Compensation and Litigation committees and as Director/Chairman of the Audit committee at 650 High Income Fund. Frank holds an MBA (Finance) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BA (Economics) from North Carolina State University. He also served as a Captain and Company Commander in the United States Marine Corps.
Jonathan Wetreich has spent 20 years in the foreign exchange markets, beginning on the buy side with the Treasury Group at Honeywell International. There he was responsible for managing the foreign exchange risk to this multinational firm, which included trading in spot, forwards and options. At Brown Brothers Harriman, a private bank, his sell side positions included consulting with the senior management of corporations to improve their foreign exchange risk management and execution. Jonathan also spent several years there on the foreign exchange trading desk, working primarily with asset management firms, as well as spending time as an FX strategist. Jonathan also assisted asset management firms in managing their passive hedge programs. Since 2012 Jonathan has been an independent consultant, primarily to corporations on matters of foreign exchange risk management. In addition, he has consulted on FX litigation and to organizations attempting to further their understanding of corporate hedge programs. Jonathan received an MBA from Columbia Business School.