Practitioner Speaker Series

Throughout the year, the Fink Center hosts finance industry experts to speak to students about their areas of work and teach them how they look at deals and investments.


David Katz

Chief Operating Officer, Legion Partners

DATE: February 26, 2018

Prior to joining Legion Partners as COO, Mr. Katz was co-founder and COO of Compass North Advisors and the sole founder and managing partner of K&P Capital, both long/short equity hedge funds.

Previous to founding K&P, Mr. Katz was CFO and VP Finance & Administration at WaterHealth International, a socially conscience, for-profit water purification company focused on developing countries. Prior to WaterHealth, he was a senior analyst at Ivory Capital, a $2 billion long/short equity hedge fund. Previous to Ivory, Mr. Katz was Vice President Mergers and Acquisitions in the Technology Group at Montgomery and Co. Previously, he was a Senior Associate Consultant for Bain & Company before being appointed Director of Financial Planning and Analysis with Jostens Learning Corporation, a Bain Capital portfolio company focused on educational software development. Mr. Katz graduated magna cum laude with a BA in economics and mathematics from Dartmouth College, with Phi Beta Kappa honors. He later received an MBA from the Anderson School of Business as a Carter Fellow. He serves as Treasurer on the Board of the Venice, California Boys and Girls Club.

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Fred Liu, CFA

Founder, Portfolio Manager, Hayden Capital

DATE: November 16, 2017

Founder and Portfolio Manager at Hayden Capital. Fred holds a B.S. in finance and international business from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.

Prior to founding Hayden Capital, Fred was a research analyst at New Street Research responsible for covering the cable and satellite industries. Before this, he was the industrials analyst on J.P. Morgan’s Small Cap Equity fund, a five-star Morningstar ranked strategy that invested in securities under $2BN in market cap. Fred purchased his first stock at the age of 11, and has been an avid value investor ever since. He currently resides in New York City.

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Jess Ravich

Executive Chairman and Senior Executive Officer, ALJ Regional Holdings

Group Managing Director & Head of Alternative Products, TCW

DATE: Spring 2017, TBA

Jess Ravich is the Executive Chairman and senior executive officer of ALJ Regional Holdings (Nasdaq: ALJJ). He joined the company in 2006 and is the largest shareholder. Mr. Ravich also serves as Group Managing Director and Head of Alternative Products at TCW Investment Management Company since 2012.

Prior to joining TCW, Mr. Ravich was a Managing Director and Head of the Capital Markets Group at Houlihan Lokey, an international investment bank. Prior to that, he founded Libra Securities LLC, an investment banking firm serving the middle market, where he served as CEO for 18 years and was also co-founder and a member of the investment committee of Caltius Capital Management, a Los Angeles-based mezzanine and private equity fund manager with over $1 billion in capital under management. Prior to founding Libra Securities in 1991, Mr. Ravich was an Executive Vice President at Jefferies & Co., Inc. and a Senior Vice President at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Mr. Ravich has served on the board of directors of Cherokee Inc. (Nasdaq GS: CHKE) since May 1995 and as Chairman of the board of directors of Cherokee Inc. since January 2011. Mr. Ravich has also served on the board of directors of A-Mark International since 2014 and Unwired Planet since November 2015. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Mr. Ravich has also served on the Undergraduate Executive Board of the Wharton School and the Board of Trustees of the Archer School for Girls. Mr. Ravich has both a B.S and M.S. from the Wharton School and a J.D. from Harvard University.

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Chantel Le Bonneau

Financial Advisor, Northwestern Mutual

DATE: April 18, 2016

As a wealth management advisor, Chantel knows that financial planning must be catered to each individual's specific needs and goals. Not only does she help her clients by managing and building upon their current situations and needs, she allows them to see their visions fulfilled by effectively planning for their future.

Her extensive knowledge and experience paired with her passion and fervor to see her clients achieve financial prosperity and beyond, positions her as one of the top wealth management advisors with Northwestern Mutual in the Western Region. She has been featured in Forbes and Mint Grad Org, as well as on FOX News and USA Today, continuously striving to impact people across the country. Chantel Le Bonneau, CFP is a 2010 graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

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Adam Epstein

Founder and Portfolio Manager, Maze Investments

DATE: February 22, 2016

Adam Epstein has worked in the investment industry since 2002 as an equity analyst and portfolio analyst at firms including J.P. Morgan, Wellington Management and Poplar Forest Capital (lineage to the Capital Group). At J.P. Morgan, his team was ranked among “the best on the Street” by both Institutional Investor and Greenwich Associates.

Epstein received a B.A. in economics from the University of Michigan followed by an M.A. with distinction in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Epstein earned an MBA from UCLA Anderson and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

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Mark Levin (B.S. ’82, ’87)

Managing Director and Head of Research, Odeon Capital Group

DATE: November 16, 2015

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Mark Levin was most recently a managing director and head of research for Odeon Capital Group, a New York-based broker dealer focused on trading high-yield and distressed securities. Prior to that, he was the founder and managing partner of Summation Capital LLC, a Los Angeles-based hedge fund focused on investing in distressed situations.

He was formerly a founding partner and managing director of Imperial Capital LLC, where over a 14-year period, he was director of research and then initiated and led the desk research effort. As director of research, he was responsible for developing investment ideas for both institutional and high-net-worth investors. Levin’s work on the desk also included a sales role and a capital markets component, but mostly focused on developing real-time investment ideas for Imperial’s account base. Prior to Imperial, he was the director of research for Canyon Partners in Los Angeles, and a high-yield analyst at Drexel Burnham Lambert. He started his finance career as a high-yield bond analyst at First Capital Holdings, an $8 billion insurance holding company. Over his career, he has been an active investor, sitting on many creditors committees, as well as acting as a financial advisor to both creditors and debtors. Levin has an MBA in finance from UCLA and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from UCLA. He worked as a mechanical engineer at Rockwell International, building thermodynamics systems for the B-1B bomber and next-generation military aircraft, and holds U.S. Patent #4,776,536 for an integrated aircraft fuel thermal management system.

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Gil Luria

Managing Director, Wedbush Securities

DATE: October 7, 2015

Gil Luria is a managing director at Wedbush Securities who covers financial technology stocks. He joined Wedbush in 2005 and was previously at Sanford C. Bernstein covering large U.S. telecommunications companies. 

Prior to that, he was a manager with Deloitte Consulting, focused on telecommunications companies. Luria holds a B.A. in economics from Hebrew University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He makes frequent appearances at payments and Bitcoin conferences and in the media, including CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and NPR.

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