SMIFC 2023 Conference Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Andrew Opdyke, CFA

Senior Economist, First Trust

Andrew OpdykeAndrew is a Senior Economist and a member of the First Trust Economics Team that Bloomberg has ranked as one of the top forecasters of the U.S. economy over the past several years.

At First Trust, Andrew is responsible for analyzing economic indicators, writing economic commentaries and producing articles on the First Trust Economics Blog. Andrew regularly presents economic commentary to financial professionals, CFA Societies, and Financial Planning Association (FPA) chapters across the United States. Andrew also provides research and analysis to Chief Economist Brian Wesbury, Chief Market Strategist Bob Carey, and First Trust CEO Jim Bowen. Cogent’s 2017 Survey of Advisors rated First Trust’s thought leadership material as number one for most read and most shared by financial professionals with colleagues or clients.*

Andrew received an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a BA in Business and Economics from Hope College. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Chicago.

*Cogent Reports conducted an online survey of a representative cross section of 1,078 financial professionals in April through June 2017. Survey participants were required to have an active book of business of at least $5 million and offer investment advice or planning services to individual investors on a fee or transactional basis.


Nathan W. Beemster

VP - Senior Regional Trust Consultant, Charles Schwab Trust Company of Delaware

Nathan Beemster

Nathan Beemster is a member of the Trust Company's Trust Services Consulting Team which is responsible for all aspects of trust onboarding and review. In this role, Nathan works closely with investment advisors, estate planning professionals, and trust beneficiaries to establish new trust relationships with Charles Schwab Trust Company of Delaware.

Prior to joining Schwab in 2020, Nathan worked as a Trust Officer for ATG Trust Company in Chicago, Illinois, where he was responsible for administering decedent's estates and irrevocable trusts. He also managed the trust department's tax preparation and IRA administration. Prior to that, Nathan worked as a Trust Associate for FNBC Bank and Trust in Chicago, Illinois, where he worked in all aspects of trust and estate administration.

As an attorney who has solely focused on trusts and estates throughout his law school and professional career, Nathan enjoys discussing and assisting with all areas of the practice, whether it be ordinary concerns or esoteric issues.

Hope Collins

Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions (MASS), BlackRock

Hope Collins

Hope Collins is a member of the Models Infrastructure team in Multi-Asset Strategies & Solutions (MASS). Her team is responsible for the development of a scalable models operating platform and client experience underpinned by a robust governance framework. The Multi-Asset Strategies & Solutions team is the investment group at the heart of BlackRock's portfolio construction, asset allocation, and active management ecosystem. MASS draws on the full toolkit of BlackRock's index, factor, and alpha-seeking investment capabilities to deliver precise investment outcomes and cutting-edge alpha insights. MASS constructs active asset allocation strategies and whole portfolio solutions across a wide spectrum of commingled funds, separate accounts, model portfolios, and outsourcing solutions in the wealth and institutional channels.

Previously, Ms. Collins was a regional team lead of Analytics Ops (AO) in the Atlanta iHub within Data & AI. The group, founded in late 2016, develops and enhances client-agnostic quality control of risk analytics for BlackRock and BlackRock Solutions. The team relies on the principles of centralization, specialization, and data science to shape its initiatives.

Ms. Collins earned an undergraduate degree in Economics and Management (concentration in Biophysical Economics) from Wells College (Aurora, NY) and an undergraduate degree in International Relations.

Tiffany Dolby

Relationship Manager, Advisor Services Relationship Management, Charles Schwab & Co.

Tiffany Dolby

Tiffany Dolby is a Relationship Manager within the Advisor Services organization of Schwab Institutional where she works closely with Registered Investment Advisors. She helps owners grow their business, compete in this market place, and be successful among their peers.

Prior to joining Advisor Services, Tiffany worked as a Branch Manager on the North Shore of Chicago where she was responsible for 8 Financial Advisors and 2 Operational Staff. She was responsible for helping the advisors grow their practice, increase community awareness, and grow & maintain client relationships. Prior to that Tiffany held various roles within the company mainly focusing on leadership, business development, sales and wealth management.

This is Tiffany’s 15th year with Charles Schwab & Co. Her first 10 years were in the southern suburbs of Denver, Colorado, then in 2017 she relocated to Chicago to serve as the North Shore Branch leader and managed the Winnetka and Kenilworth branches.

Tiffany graduated from Purdue University, Krannert School of Management, located in West Lafayette, IN with a degree in economics. She holds the series 7, 63, 66, 9, and 10 financial licenses.

As a native of San Diego, she loves the sun, outdoors, mountains and being near or in a large body of water. Currently, she and her dog Luna can be found walking around Chicago looking for new restaurants & patios.

Ano Glonti, MS

Founder and CEO of TradeUpToWallStreet LLC

Ano Glonti

Ano Glonti has her Master’s degree from Fordham University, where she majored in Global Finance with a specialization in Compliance and Risk Management. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Finance & Economics from George Mason University (GMU). She was a co-president of the risk committee of Montano Student Managed Investment Fund at GMU in 2018. Ano has an extensive background in financial services, with specific interest in financial modeling, business valuation, stock market and portfolio analysis. Ano has founded TradeUpToWallStreet in 2022 with the mission to increase financial literacy among students.

Mahmoud Haddad, PhD

Professor of Finance, College of Business and Public Affairs, University of Tennessee at Martin

Dr Mahmoud Haddad.jpgMahmoud Haddad, PhD. is a professor of Finance at the college of Business and Public Affairs, University of Tennessee at Martin. Dr. Haddad has published numerous financial economic refereed journal articles. Dr. Haddad is certified in e-teaching and learning, he has broad experience in Distant and Online teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. 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 Member of the Board of Trustee and research fellow at the Economic Research Forum (ERF). Dr. Haddad Is Managing Director of the UT-Martin TVA Investment Challenge Program and the University of Tennessee Alumni Distinguished Service Professor.

Derek M Horstmeyer, PhD

Co-Founder & Director of the GMU Student Managed Investment Fund, Director of Financial Planning & Wealth Management Concentration

Derek M Horstmeyer, PhD

Derek Horstmeyer is a Professor of Finance at George Mason University's School of Business, specializing in corporate finance. His research focuses on boards, ETF & mutual fund performance, and hedge fund activism. In addition, he also writes a monthly column for the Wall Street Journal on cutting-edge research in finance, and has been cited in Forbes, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fortune, PBS Newshour, NY Post, USA Today, Financial Times, CNN, the Washington Post, the LA Times, and many other outlets. He also serves as co-founder of the Montano Student Managed Investment Fund and as Director of the new Financial Planning & Wealth Management major at Mason.

Madeline Hume, CFA

Senior Research Analyst, Morningstar Research Services LLC

Madeline Hume

Madeline Hume is a NEXT senior research analyst for Morningstar Research Services LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. She covers new and emerging asset classes for Morningstar, including cryptocurrencies.

Before assuming her current role in 2021, Hume was a manager research analyst at Morningstar, covering multi-asset strategies.

Hume holds a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Illinois' Gies College of Business. She also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.

Rodney E. Lake

Vice Dean for Undergraduate Programs; Teaching Instructor of Finance; Director, GW Investment Institute; GW Faculty Member in Residence

Rodney LakeMr. Lake teaches graduate and undergraduate finance courses primarily associated with and developed by the GW Investment Institute. Students enrolled in these courses manage The George Washington University (GWU) endowment capital through the GW Investment Institute’s student investment funds, consisting of multiple funds across different asset classes and with more than $7.6 million of assets under management as of July 2023.

Mr. Lake serves as the director of the GW Investment Institute where, in addition to teaching courses associated with student investment funds, he oversees the portfolios, connects with alumni and industry practitioners, and oversees GW Investment Institute’s day-to-day operations.

Additionally, Mr. Lake serves as vice dean for undergraduate programs. Prior to this leadership position, he served as a co-chair for the Department of Finance at GWU School of Business for several years. Prior to Mr. Lake’s current appointment Mr. Lake worked as a senior investment officer in the George Washington University Investment Office. 

He graduated cum laude from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He received his MBA from George Washington University.

Mr. Lake also serves as GW Faculty Member in Residence. The program is a partnership between Academic Affairs and the Center for Student Engagement. It provides faculty members with unique opportunities to connect with students in a residential setting.

Prior to Mr. Lake’s current appointment, he worked as a senior investment officer in the George Washington University Investment Office. The GW Investment Office was responsible for managing the university’s then $1.5 billion endowment fund. Before joining GW, he was a financial analyst in portfolio management at a mortgage banking subsidiary of California Federal Bank (now part of Citi).

Mr. Lake graduated cum laude from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and went on to receive his MBA from George Washington University.

Matt Moran

Head of Index Insights, Cboe Global Markets

Matt Moran

Matt Moran is Head of Index Insights at Cboe Global Markets. In this role, Moran is focused on the exchange's educational efforts for pension funds, Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), mutual funds, and other institutional investors. He has traveled to more than 100 cities worldwide to educate investors and deliver financial presentations. Prior to joining Cboe, Moran served as Trust Counsel at Harris Bank and Vice President at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He is an associate editor of The Journal of Beta Investment Strategies and has written articles for several financial publications, including The Journal of Trading and The Journal of Alternative Investments. Moran holds MBA and JD degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kathy Nguyen

Director of Product Marketing, Cboe Global Markets

Kathy Nguyen

Kathy Nguyen is Director of Product Marketing for Cboe. Based in Chicago, Kathy is responsible for helping market participants discover, adopt, and increase usage of Cboe’s proprietary derivatives products through innovative marketing programs and campaigns.

Robert A.J. Patton

CEO and Founder, 548 Enterprise

Robert A.J. Patton

Robert ’A.J.’ Patton is an accomplished finance, sales, and capital markets expert with more than 15 years experience in investment banking, endowment management, real estate analysis and development.

A.J. got his start with Duke Realty, analyzing leases and preparing valuations for the company’s real estate portfolio. Then at Equities First, a $500 million-dollar investment fund, he led the Investment and Underwriting Departments along with managing all U.S. business development initiatives.

After Equities First, A.J. branched out on his own, founding 548 Capital, LLC and 548 Development, LLC, to combine his expertise and track record of creating consistent returns with a personal passion for helping transform communities and their impact on the planet, developing solutions for the housing, environmental, and economic issues facing inner cities. In 2022, A.J. combined these companies under the 548 Enterprise umbrella, creating a full-service entity that provides solutions for all aspects of the development process.

A.J. currently resides in Chicago where he is an avid sports fan, golfer, workout enthusiast, and father. He has been named Midwest Energy “ 40 under 40”, American Council on Renewable Energy -Accelerate member, Chicago Business Leadership Council Banking & Finance Co-chair, World Leaders Forum Board Member, Lowe's Green Community Partner, Chicago INVEST South/West Winner, and Chicago Community Trust Grant recipient. He holds a BS in Finance from Indiana State University

Grant Podolski, CFA, CAIA

Client Investment Strategist, LGIM America

Grant Podolski

Grant is a Client Strategist at LGIM America, a part of Legal & General Group, one of the top ten asset managers in the world by size. He is a CFA charterholder, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) charterholder, and holds a Series 3 license registered with the NFA. He is involved in the CFA Society of Chicago and Out in Finance.

Grant’s role and career has focused on large institutional client engagement and ensuring custom investment solutions successfully achieve clients’ long-term objectives. Alongside clients, Grant designs, implements, and ensures the success of these custom investment solutions for some of the largest asset owners in the world. He primarily focuses on investment grade fixed income and a variety of derivatives-based strategies, with a focus on liability driven investing, exposure management, and interest rate hedging.

Grant joined LGIM America in 2020. Prior to LGIM America, Grant spent seven years in various positions at NISA Investment Advisors in St. Louis, focusing on Liability Driven Investment portfolio management and derivatives solutions. Grant earned a BS in Business Administration: Concentrations in Finance and Accounting, from Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO.

Oscar D. Pulido, CFA

Managing Director of Product Strategy for Multi-Asset Strategies & Solutions (MASS), BlackRock

Oscar Pulido

Oscar D. Pulido, CFA, Managing Director, is the Global Head of Product Strategy for the Multi-Asset Strategies & Solutions (MASS) group. In this role, he is responsible for commercial strategy, product development, and business activities to drive growth across the MASS platform. He is also a frequent host of The BID, BlackRock’s investment podcast series.

Oscar’s service with the firm dates back to 1999, including his years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), which merged with BlackRock in 2006. From 2006 - 2017, Oscar served as a senior product strategist on BlackRock’s Global Allocation team, responsible for representing the investment team on a global basis to both retail and institutional clients.

Oscar earned a BBA degree with a concentration in Finance and International Business from The George Washington University in 2001 and his MBA degree from New York University's Stern School of Business in 2012. He is a CFA charter holder and is fluent in Spanish.

Oscar’s interests include product innovation, engaging with clients, and building diverse teams. Outside of work he enjoys traveling, learning about different cultures, and spending time with his wife and two children.

Blake Shaffer, CFA

Director, Capital Markets, Jones Lang Lasalle

Blake Shaffer

Blake is a Director in the Corporate Capital Markets practice group advising corporate clients on capital strategies to optimize their financial alternatives regarding their real estate portfolios. Blake’s clientele ranges from Fortune 10 companies to lower-middle-market private equity sponsored portfolio companies. With a strong corporate finance acumen and background, Blake’s expertise includes in-depth knowledge of capital structuring, financial impact analyses, and financial reporting analysis for certain real estate transactions. Blake advises clients on executing sale-leasebacks, net lease sales, lease monetization transactions, acquisition sale leasebacks, build-to-suits, and other esoteric structured financing including synthetic lease and credit tenant lease transactions. Blake’s single-tenant expertise spans all major real estate asset classes including industrial, office, retail and data centers.

Prior to joining JLL, Blake worked at MB Financial Bank, a Chicago-based regional bank (now Fifth-Third Bank), as a commercial credit analyst supporting the Commercial Real Estate lending groups at the bank. Blake was responsible for gathering and analyzing due diligence, financial and quantitative analysis, and credit underwriting for $100M+ of commercial real estate loans in multiple markets in his first year.

Blake received his B.B.A. in Finance from the Tippie College of Business as well as a Certificate of Leadership Studies at the University of Iowa. Blake earned his Charter from the CFA Institute in September 2019. Blake is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois (Lic. No. 475.184604). Blake is a member of the CFA Society of Chicago, the CFA Society of Chicago Member Engagement Advisory Group, and the Tippie College of Business Young Alumni Mentor Program.

Neha Shah, CFA

Associate Director, Federal Reserve Bank of New York (in Chicago)

Neha Shah

Neha Shah is an Associate Director of the Mortgage Market staff within the Markets Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She is responsible for thought leadership related to mortgage markets and for managing staff who conduct MBS market analysis and execute monetary policy operations within the agency MBS market.

Prior to starting in her current role in November 2021, over the course of 10 years with the New York Fed, she has held positions with the Money Markets and Treasury Markets staffs and was selected for a nine-month detail at the Department of Treasury within the Office of Capital Markets.

Neha holds a BA in Economics from New York University and an MA in International Affairs with a specialization in International Finance and Economic Policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Tyler Wood, CMT

Managing Director, CMT Association

Tyler Wood

Tyler Wood serves as Managing Director of CMT Association with the aim of elevating investors’ mastery and skill in mitigating market risk and maximizing return in capital markets through a rigorous credentialing process, professional ethics, and continuous education. He is a seasoned business executive focused on educational technology for the financial services industry. Since 2011, Tyler has presented the tools of technical analysis around the world to investment firms, regulators, exchanges, and broker-dealers.

Tyler is a familiar voice to many as the co-host of Fill the Gap: the official podcast of the CMT Association and a regular guest in University classrooms through the Academic Partner Program. Tyler is also the co-founder of GoNoGo Charts, a data visualization tool that simplifies market analysis to remove emotional bias from investment decisions.

Prior to joining the CMT Association, Tyler worked in management consulting and publishing. As an executive manager over the past 20 years, he has managed product, brand communications, and sales teams to drive top-line revenue growth for public, private, and non-profit entities.

When he is not immersed in markets, Tyler is hiking the Adirondacks with his family or playing percussion for various bands along the east coast. Tyler graduated from Macalester College and received his MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.


Dr. Terry Daugherty

Dean, Scott College of Business, Indiana State University

Terry Daugherty

Daugherty earned his B.A. at Western Kentucky University, his M.A. at the University of Alabama, and his Ph.D. at Michigan State University.

He was a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. After that, he went to the University of Texas at Austin as an assistant professor in the Department of Advertising. He started at the University of Akron in 2009 where he served on the faculty and in various administrative capacities, including department chair and assistant dean.

Daugherty’s scholarship is focused on examining consumer psychology and persuasion within digital marketing and advertising. He theorizes and empirically tests how individual characteristics and media properties influence cognitive processing and consumer behavior.

Dr. Jin Park

Chairperson - Accounting, Finance, and Insurance and Risk Management (AFIRM), Scott College of Business, Indiana State University

Jin Park

Dr. Jin Park joined the Scott College of Business in fall 2009 and has been the chair of Accounting, Finance, Insurance and Risk Management Department since March 2019. He teaches classes relating to risk management, property and liability insurance, and employee benefits. His research areas of interest include asset-liability management, performance, and organizational efficiency. He has awarded Best in Track Award three years in a row (2007 – 2009) at Academy of Finance. He earned his Ph.D. from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA in 2003, and was an assistant professor (2003-2009) at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL.

Dr. Tarek Zaher

Professor of Finance, Scott College of Business, Indiana State University

Tarek Zaher

Tarek Zaher has 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 SMIFC Managing Director and Co-founder and Co-Advisor 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)