Board Of Directors


Vice Chairman (Acting Chair)

Philip J. Taylor, CFA

Fiscal Liaison

Philip J. Taylor, CFA, is a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Group at Lazard. In this role he is responsible for structuring and distributing exchanges in corporate convertible securities. Prior to this role, he managed a $1bn portfolio at RBC Capital Markets, and has a successful nineteen-year track record in portfolio management. He has served as Chair of both the Market Integrity Committee and Alternative Investments Committee at NYSSA, and has contributed to high-level discussions at the SEC regarding changes in trading regulations. Taylor has also published several articles in major hedge-fund research sites. Prior to RBC, he worked at three major hedge funds after starting his career at Bankers Trust. He holds a Masters degree in Mathematics and Management Studies from the University of Cambridge, and has held his CFA designation since 1998.


Drianne Benner, CFA 

Communication Liaison

Drianne Benner, CFA, is a Managing Director for Appomattox. She is responsible for business development and client service. Previously, she was Global Marketing Director at Cadogan Management LLC, where she was responsible for overseeing firm-wide marketing and client communications for institutional and family office clients. Prior to joining Cadogan, she spent the ten years, most recently as a Managing Director, at U.S. Trust Company, where she developed and led client and marketing initiatives focused on investment communications, initiated an institutional consultant relations program and serviced large institutional clients. Earlier she worked at Paribas Asset Management, a global asset management firm, in a variety of roles including institutional and consultant relations to some of the largest U.S. pension funds and as a manager of portfolios in an enhanced quantitative strategy. She earned a BA from Pennsylvania State University and attended graduate studies in regional planning in international development at Cornell University.  She is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts. She serves on the Board of Peconic Green Growth as well as on the Philanthropy Committee of the Peconic Land Trust.


Patrick Holert, CFA, CAIA
BBVA Securities

Membership Liaison 

Patrick Holert, CFA, CAIA, is Vice President and Research Principal for BBVA Securities, where he oversees compliance with U.S. securities rules for the company’s research activities in the U.S., Latin America and Europe. In the past, Mr. Holert lived in Asia for many years and has served as an equities analyst for Nomura Securities in Thailand and Korea, an investment manager for a frontier private equity fund covering the Mekong region, and a consultant on projects in the Middle East, India and across Southeast Asia. He specialized in finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has a BA in economics and mathematics from Claremont McKenna College. Mr. Holert served as Chair of the Global Investing Committee at NYSSA over 2013-2015 and as Chair of the Asia Pacific Community of Interest at the CFA Society of Los Angeles over 2010-2011.


Christopher Cutler, CFA
Manager Analysis Services, LLC

Christopher Cutler, CFA, founded Manager Analysis Services, LLC [MAS] in March 2003 to provide outsourced due diligence services on investment managers. MAS covers all types of investment managers, with a focus on managers with alternative investment strategies: hedge funds, private equity, real estate, and venture capital. Consequently, MAS has built relationships with many of the most prominent managers in the hedge fund industry. Clients include foundations, family offices/HNW, FOFs, and others. Cumulatively MAS has reviewed over 1,500 hedge funds since its founding 12 years ago. Prior to founding MAS, Chris worked at Deutsche Bank from 1994 for 2003. He managed risk for specialized fixed income derivatives products, marketed OTC interest rate derivatives, and developed structured financial products. Chris conducted due diligence calls as early as 1995, when managing risk for the stable value Wraps business, where he reviewed the trading strategies of the largest US fixed income managers, and of hedge funds involved in structured product vehicles. Chris was an economist and bank regulator at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 1988 to 1994. He co-authored the Federal Reserve System's original Trading Activities Manual, the comprehensive guide to the Federal Reserve System's examiners when they examine banks' trading floors. Chris has an MBA in Finance from NYU's Stern School of Business Executive Program, a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago, and became a CFA Charterholder in 1998. He is also active in the NY Chapter of the CFA Institute, NYSSA, where he co-led a successful governance reform effort in 2014, which led to the creation of competitive elections for Board candidates. He also chaired its “Alternative Investments Committee” from 2005 to 2007 and again in 2014, and was Vice Chair of the Advocacy effort in 2012.

Maria Shtrapenina, CFA
TAG Associates LLC

Maria Shtrapenina, CFA, is Director, Portfolio Management at TAG Associates LLC, a leading multi-client family office and portfolio management services firm with more than $8 billion of assets under management. Maria is responsible for analyzing and recommending publicly-traded equity and fixed-income strategies and is a member of TAG's Investment Committee. Prior to joining TAG, Maria spent over eight years at Asset Alliance Corporation, most recently as Director, Research and Investments, focusing on manager research and due diligence across various strategies and asset classes. Prior to Asset Alliance, Maria was at Deutsche Bank where she performed risk management and monitoring functions for Deutsche Bank's managed account platform. Prior to Deutsche Bank, she was an auditor at the Financial Services division of KPMG LLP. Maria received her B.A in Accounting and Management from Hartwick College. She was awarded her CFA charter in 2006 and holds FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses.

Robert Discolo, CFA, CAIA, CPA
Permal Group

Robert Discolo, CFA, CAIA, CPA, is Executive Vice President, Investments, at Permal Group, a role that encompasses the asset management team and investment processes, working alongside the Chief Investment Officers, as well as proprietary research capabilities. He is also a member of the Group’s Global Investment Committee. Mr. Discolo joined in 2015, having previously spent 14 years working at PineBridge, where he was Managing Director and Head of Hedge Fund Solutions Group, ultimately responsible for managing proprietary and client assets in hedge funds and other alternative asset classes. Prior to joining PineBridge, Mr. Discolo spent seven years at Bank Julius Baer where he was head of the Public/Private Funds Group, and before that was at Merrill Lynch in Partnership Financing, having started at Drexel Burnham Lambert in their Fund Services Group. He has authored and co-authored several papers on alternative investing and is a frequent speaker at alternative investment conferences. Mr. Discolo is a CFA® Charterholder and holds an M.B.A. from Pace University, Lubin School of Business, New York, and a B.S. from St John’s University, Jamaica, New York.

Antonella Puca, CFA, CIPM, CPA

Content Liaison

Antonella Puca, CFA, CIPM, CPA, is Treasurer on the Board of Directors at the New York Society of Security Analysts and a senior manager with the Financial Services practice of RSM US LLP in New York, where she provides auditing and advisory services to private equity funds, hedge funds and registered alternative funds and where she is leading the firm’s GIPS verification practice. Prior to joining RSM, Antonella was at KPMG/Rothstein Kass, where she helped launch RK’s Bay Area practice, and in the global hedge fund practice of EY in San Francisco and in New York. Antonella has worked on a variety of alternative investment funds, ranging from start-up funds to some of the largest players in the industry. Her areas of expertise include GIPS verification, financial reporting and auditing, investment performance measurement and reporting, investment valuation and regulatory compliance for alternative investment funds. Antonella has conducted GIPS verification for a broad range of asset management firms, including global firms as well as private equity and hedge fund managers. Antonella is a co-founder and treasurer of SnehaCares, Inc, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assist children with HIV in Bangalore, India. Antonella has collaborated with the CFA Institute as a Volunteer in the Future of Finance campaign and in a number of initiatives related to the CFA, CIPM and Claritas examination process. She is a member of the GIPS Verification Subcommittee of the CFA Institute and of the GIPS Advisory Committee for Pooled Funds. Antonella is a member of AIMA’s research committee, and the co-chair of AIMA’s recently released Sound Practice Guide to Liquid Alternative Funds. She has been a member of AIMA’s Working Group for the recently published DDQ on Fund Directors and is currently collaborating on AIMA’s Guide to Investor Relations and Fundraising. She has been an adjunct faculty member at New York University and is a frequent speaker at conferences on alternative investments. Antonella is licensed as a CPA in California and in New York, a Certified Valuation Analyst with NACVA, and a member of the Italian Professional Association of Journalists. She holds a degree in Economics with honors from the University “Federico II” of Naples, Italy, and an M.A. from New York University. She has been a research fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a member of the 420 Italian National Sailing Team.

Deepika Sharma, CFA
Astor Investment Management LLC

Deepika Sharma, CFA, is a Portfolio Manager and Managing Director of Investments at Astor Investment Management LLC, a nearly $2bn quantitative global macro asset manager, which was previously a subsidiary of Knight Capital Group. As a member of the Investment Committee, she assists with the management of Astor’s multi-asset and global macro strategies and reports directly to the Chief Investment Officer. She previously worked on the Fixed Income Proprietary Trading Desk at Nomura, as well as in macro-strategy at Roubini Global Economics. Ms. Sharma began her career as an Analyst on the Structured Credit desk at Lehman Brothers. Ms. Sharma is an active volunteer at the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) and was recognized with the NYSSA Young Investment Professional Award 2015, Volunteer of the Year Award 2016 and the Asset Owner Series Award 2016. Ms. Sharma holds a Masters in International Finance at Columbia University, is a CFA charterholder and holds FINRA Series 3 and 65 licenses.

Sandra LaBaugh, CFA             

Sandra LaBaugh, CFA, was most recently a Senior Director and Portfolio Manager for the TIAA-CREF organization and a member of the Global Private Markets Investment team which includes direct private equity investments in natural resources, energy and infrastructure. From 2004 to 2010, she was a member of TIAA-CREF’s Alternative Investments team where, in addition to managing a global timberland portfolio, her responsibilities included mezzanine debt and private equity co-investments with sponsor private equity funds. Ms. LaBaugh joined TIAA-CREF in 1998 and worked in several of its investment teams including direct private equity, private placements, lease finance and corporate public bond investment teams. Prior to joining TIAA-CREF, Sandy worked as a Senior Loan Developer for a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development small business lending program in Moscow, Russia and was a Commercial Banker at Old Kent Bank in Chicago. She holds a BA in Business from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and an MBA in Finance, International Business and Economics from the University of Chicago.

Peter Nesvold, CFA
Silver Lane Advisors

Education & Professional Development Liaison

Peter Nesvold, CFA, is a multi-disciplinary investment professional with 18 years of Wall Street experience. A CFA charterholder, lawyer and CPA by background, Peter is a Managing Director and Head of Strategic Initiatives at Silver Lane Advisors—a prominent investment banking boutique serving the financial services industry. Peter cut his teeth as a sell-side analyst, rising to Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns in less than six years. In this role, he proved unafraid to challenge the consensus view—for instance, sharply and publicly criticizing GM’s balance sheet and financial prospects in the year leading up to the 2008 crisis. Over the course of his sell-side career, Peter covered approximately 50 companies and ranked in StarMine’s “Best Analysts” poll in three different industries: Autos, Machinery and Airfreight & Logistics. This versatility carried over to Peter’s role as a portfolio manager/analyst at Lazard Asset Management, where he was one of three managers of the firm’s SMid-cap product. During his tenure, the team grew AUM more than 10x and earned a coveted “five-star” rating from Morningstar. Peter has co-authored three books for McGraw-Hill, including The Art of M&A: A Merger, Acquisition and Buyout Guide. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Fordham Law School (cum laude, Order of the Coif), where he was elected Editor-in-Chief of his law journal. In his spare time, Peter is an avid long-distance runner, completing 36 full- and half-marathons.

Christine Phillpotts, CFA

Christine Phillpotts, CFA, is a Senior Vice President and Senior Equity Research Analyst covering Africa for AllianceBernstein’s Emerging and Frontier Markets portfolios, including the Next 50 Emerging Markets Fund. Prior to joining the firm in 2013, she was the Global Portfolio Manager for the Grassroots Business Fund (GBF), which was established by the International Finance Corporation. While at GBF, Phillpotts sourced, structured and supervised investments in privately held companies across several countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana, Rwanda and Mozambique. As a member of the fund’s internal investment committee, she also evaluated and approved transactions in Latin America and Asia. Before that, Phillpotts was an Equity Research Associate at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Phillpotts holds a BA in economics from Columbia University, where she graduated summa cum laude, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she received first-year honors. She is also a Robert Toigo Foundation Fellow, the Co-Chair of AllianceBernstein's Black Employee Resource Group, and a CFA charterholder.

Jonathan Prin, CFA
Greylock Capital

Jonathan Prin, CFA, is a Managing Director and Head of Research at Greylock Capital, a hedge fund focused on emerging markets distressed debt. Prior to joining Greylock, he was a portfolio manager and member of the Global Fixed Income Group at JP Morgan Asset Management. At JP Morgan, Mr. Prin was responsible for managing and trading emerging market high yield corporate debt portfolios. Prior to joining JP Morgan, he was a credit analyst at Bear Stearns Asset Management. Previously, Mr. Prin was a research analyst in the Leveraged Finance Department of Credit Suisse First Boston, as part of an Institutional Investor-ranked group. Mr. Prin has a B.A. in from the University of Pennsylvania, and received his CFA charter holder designation in 2009.


Daniel Dagen, CFA 
Chief Executive Officer, NYSSA

Daniel Dagen, CFA, most recently was a Senior Financial Consultant in the Global Private Client Group at Laidlaw & Co. Ltd. In this role, he provided investment banking, portfolio management and risk management solutions to high and ultra-high net worth clients.  He served clients across six of the world’s seven continents.  At Laidlaw, he was responsible for launching a platform which makes insurance and advisory products available to the firm’s client base. Previously he was a Wealth Management Advisor with MassMutual Financial Group and Northwestern Mutual, where he was one of the leading producers in the country. He previously worked with Sands Brothers & Co., Inc., Axiom Capital Management, Gruntal & Co., and Lehman Brothers.  He graduated from Bowdoin College with a BA in economics.  He has been a NYSSA Board Director since December 2012 and has served on the Executive Committee as Secretary since September 2013. Dagen served as Charter President of the NYSSA Toastmasters club, was an Area and Regional Governor of Toastmasters International, has chaired events for the Wealth Management Committee, and been Chair and Vice Chair of the NYSSA Membership Committee. Dagen is a recipient of the 2011 NYSSA Volunteer of the Year award.

Harumi Urata-Thompson, CFA
Chief Operating Officer, NYSSA

Harumi Urata-Thompson, CFA, Chief Operating Officer of the New York Society of Security Analysts, was previously a Director at Thomson Reuters, managing a portfolio of innovation best practices as well as their mobile products. Thomson Reuters has six business units which consist of 55,000 employees and over $12B revenue. Prior to this position, she served as Chief of Staff to the CEO of the Healthcare and Science business. This role included overseeing all management activities of 5 sub business units including acquisitions, business and product management, and planning of $900M budget and 4,300 employees. She began her career in investment banking with Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. During these years she worked as a fixed income sales professional and M&A banker in three financial capitals. On assignment in London, she opened the Japan Desk, creating a new business line. Ms. Urata-Thompson earned her MBA from Institute Européen D’administration Des Affaires (INSEAD) in France. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Business magna cum laude from Sophia University in Japan. She is a CFA charterholder, PMP certified, and bilingual in English and Japanese.

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