SMIFC: 2017 SMIFC Speakers

Brian Wesbury

Brian WesburyBrian Wesbury is this year's keynote speaker.

Mr. Wesbury is Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors L.P., a financial services firm based in Wheaton, Illinois.

Mr. Wesbury was a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago from 1999-2007 and has been a regular attendee of the Economist Roundtable Luncheon at the Chicago Fed since 2007. In 2012, he was named a Fellow of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, TX where he worked closely with its 4%-Growth Project. His writing appears in various magazines, newspapers and blogs, and he appears regularly on Fox, Bloomberg, CNBC and BNN Canada TV.

In 1995 and 1996, he served as Chief Economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. The Wall Street Journal ranked Mr. Wesbury the nation’s #1 U.S. economic forecaster in 2001, and USA Today ranked him as one of the nation’s top 10 forecasters in 2004.

Mr. Wesbury began his career in 1982 at the Harris Bank in Chicago. Former positions include Vice President and Economist for the Chicago Corporation and Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for Griffin, Kubik, Stephens, & Thompson.

Mr. Wesbury received an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Montana. McGraw-Hill published his first book, The New Era of Wealth, in October 1999. His most recent book, It’s Not As Bad As You Think, was published in November 2009 by John Wiley & Sons.

In 2011, Mr. Wesbury received the University of Montana’s Distinguished Alumni Award. This award honors outstanding alumni who have “brought honor to the University, the state or the nation.” There have been 267 recipients of this award out of a potential pool of 91,000 graduates.

Dr. Mahmoud M. Haddad

Mahmoud Haddad

Mahmoud Haddad is Professor of Finance at The University of Tennessee at Martin. Dr. Haddad received a B.A. and M.B.A. in Accounting from Minnesota State University, and a Ph.D. in Finance from The University of Alabama. He has taught finance at Wayne State University, The University of Tennessee at Martin, University of Alabama, Arab American University-Jenin, American University of Armenia, American University of Beirut, Al-Quds University, Eastern Michigan University and Minnesota State University. He is also certified in e-teaching and learning and he has broad experience in distance and online teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Dr. Haddad has published over 30 papers which have been published in leading refereed journals.

Dr. Haddad was the Financial and Accounting Manager at the American Family Insurance Co., the Executive Director of Research at the Palestinian Monetary Authority, the Vice President for Administrative and Financial Affairs and Dean of College of Business and Financial Sciences at Arab American University, and a Research Scholar and Head of Economic and Social Studies Division at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research. He is the co-director of the UT Martin Tennessee Valley Authority Investment Challenge program and a UDAID Visiting Scholar. The Board of Trustees of the Economic Research Forum of the Arab Countries, Iran, and Turkey awarded Dr. Haddad a life membership as an ERF Research Fellow.

Victor Jones

Victor JonesVictor Jones is Director of Trading and Operations, TD Ameritrade where he oversees client education programs and their trading experience through the trading platforms. He currently holds Series 3, Series 7, and Series 63 U.S. industry licenses, along with Singapore IBF modules 1B and 6A. Mr. Jones has spoken at conferences across the United States and Southeast Asia on trading technology, high probability trading methods, and retail execution techniques. Jones has spent the past 11 years in financial services, primarily building innovative and award-winning trading tools. Prior to joining the TD Ameritrade team, he was responsible for the development of the active trader platforms at TD Ameritrade after working as a TD Ameritrade broker on the electronic execution desk.

Randall K. Minas, CFP

Randy Minas

Randy Minas, CFP®, Director/Investments, Stifel, specializes in managed money, investment and retirement planning, and issues surrounding estate planning; as well as municipal bonds.  He began investment industry career in 1976 and holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional certification, Series 4, 6, 7, 24, 63, and 65 licenses, and life and variable insurance licenses. 

Randy earned a B.S. in Management from Indiana State University and is an active alumnus, serving on the university's Board of Trustees, the Indiana State University Foundation Board and the Investment Committee.  He is also the Head Varsity Softball Coach at Culver Academies.

Shawn Sabau, CFP

Shawn Sabau

Shawn Sabau, CFP®, Senior Vice President / Investments, Stifel​, is experienced in various areas of focus that include retirement planning, estate planning, insurance planning, liability management, personal financial planning, and portfolio construction. He also oversees the Team’s Investment Committee which is responsible for portfolio creation and analysis. He began his industry career in 1998 and holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional certification, Series 6, 7, 63, and 66 licenses, and life and variable insurance licenses.

Shawn graduated from Purdue University with a B.S in Business Management and a Finance Minor. He also completed the Certificate Program in Financial Planning at DePaul University. Shawn enjoys spending time with his family, and is actively involved in youth sports.

Brien Smith

Brien SmithBrien N. Smith is the dean for the Scott College of Business at Indiana State University. Smith attained his PhD in industrial/organizational psychology in 1989 from Auburn University. He has over 25 years of administrative experience in higher education and has actively participated in university governance. Smith previously worked at Ball State University where he served a number of roles including associate dean, chair for the Department of Marketing and Management, and director of business graduate programs.

While at Indiana State, the college of business has experienced marked growth in undergraduate and graduate enrollments. Dean Smith has secured nearly 10 million dollars in grant funding for new and existing programs in the college. Under his direction the college developed the Student Managed Investment Consortium with over 30 university affiliates. The college continues to be recognized as a thought leader in insurance and risk management, hosting the Insurance Public Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. each year. Smith has published numerous articles in refereed proceedings and journals, including many of the most highly acclaimed journals in his field: Journal of Applied Psychology, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of Business and Psychology, and Journal of Applied Social Psychology. He has delivered presentations and speeches at national and international conferences.

Dr. Smith has a strong interest in psychological applications to the workplace, and draws heavily from his organizational psychology background. His 2004 article, “Transformational and Servant Leadership: Content and Contextual Comparisons” in the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies has been cited hundreds of times in journal articles, periodicals, and books.

Tarek Zaher

Tarek ZaherTarek Zaher is a professor of Finance at Indiana State University. He has also held a number of professional positions with the industry and provided consulting services to a number of international institutions including the World Bank, the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, and the Academy for Educational Development in the United States and the Ministry of Work in Dubai. He has also offered a number of seminars in investment and international financial management at a number of institutions around the world.

Dr. Zaher is the supervisor of the investment club at Indiana State University. He also manages and supervises other international portfolios for individuals and institutions. Dr. Zaher’s research has been published in numerous prestigious professional and scholarly journals, including the Journal of Financial Research and Journal of Banking and Finance. Dr. Zaher received three research awards from professional conferences and one research certificate of excellence. He was also recognized by the Scott College of Business as the winner of the faculty research award in 2002 and the winner of the exemplary service award in 2004.

Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium (SMIFC)