Advisory Board

The ULISSES Project Advisory Board is meant to represent the various interest groups serving the asset owner community and is comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds with years of experience. At the core of the groups represented on the Advisory Board are the asset owners themselves. In addition to the asset owners, the Board has members representing asset managers, consultancies, universities, vendors and law firms all chosen for their ability to aid the mission of the ULISSES Project of empowering asset owners.

Edward N.W. Aw is an experienced investment research professional with a proven track record in designing, implementing and streamlining a disciplined investment process. Decision maker on asset allocation, stock selection and portfolio management. Extensive breadth of knowledge and expertise in expected return signal research with hands on knowledge in back-testing, constructing and implementing robust stock selection models. Creative thinker and communicator, who can effectively deliver investment objectives and philosophy to Management, Portfolio Managers, and Analysts, as well as to Private and Institutional Clients. Collaborative quantitative research work with academia has been published in the Applied Financial Economics journal. Adjunct Professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business and Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University.

Edward N.W. Aw

Barbara Bagnasacco is a member of the Corporate Transactions and Securities Practice group at Parsons Behle & Latimer and she also advises Parsons Behle Lab ( on GDPR compliance issues. Barbara works with clients on the establishment, structuring and compliance in their international operations, including the development of international distribution networks and data privacy regulations. She is licensed in the state of Utah and Italy. Barbara received degrees in law from the University of Turin College of Law and the University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law, where she serves on the Board of Trustees.

Barbara Bagnasacco

Jeremy Baskin is Head of Buy Side Client Segments including asset managers, asset owners, hedge funds and wealth around the globe. He also sits on MSCI’s Executive Committee.

From 2017 to 2022, Jeremy led MSCI’s America’s Client Coverage team, the firm’s largest region, where he focused on client segmentation, commercial innovations and integrated solutions. Before joining MSCI, Jeremy was Global CEO and Global CIO of Rosenberg Equities (previously known as AXA Rosenberg). He served on the Management Board and Executive Committee of AXA Investment Managers and was Chair of AXA Investment Managers NA. Jeremy also served on the boards of AXA Investment Managers Asia and AXA Investment Managers UK. He was with AXA seven years until March 2017.

Prior to joining AXA Investment Managers, Jeremy was Senior Vice President and Head of Active Equity Management for The Northern Trust Company. During his 21-year tenure at Northern Trust, he was responsible for the global passive business, as well as building the research and investment infrastructure for risk taking, value added quantitative equity strategies. Jeremy left Northern Trust for a brief period to help develop the Equity Derivatives Group at First Union Securities, re-joining Northern Trust in 2000 as Director of Structured Equity.

Jeremy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a CFA® Charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago, the Chicago Quantitative Alliance and the CFA Institute.

Jeremy Baskin

James Claus has worked on the cutting edge of large-scale financial and economic computing projects starting with early work at Brigham Young University. At BYU, James worked in of the NeXT Computer labs set up by Steve Jobs to bring the tools of object-oriented computing to modern finance. James then served as lead programmer for projects at Columbia with some of the largest banks. The Columbia projects resulted in numerous developments in the industry, including a lead article in the Journal of Finance and an asset allocation model still in use in the world’s largest asset manager. Head-hunted into industry, James was the lead architect for the technological rebuild of the system initially developed by Barr Rosenberg implemented at Barclays Global Investors (now Blackrock Scientific). Following his time at Barclays, James continued pushing the bounds of computational finance, working with many of the world’s elite financial firms, addressing their most complex processing tasks.

James is the Founder and Chairman of the ULISSES Project at the University of Utah, a research initiative began at the University of California at Berkeley. The ULISSES Project is a series of technological Initiatives to resolve the Pension Funding Crisis by providing access to hardware, software, and data that act as "model systems" for asset owners looking to insource investment tasks. These systems are based on the same live data that the world’s top investors are currently using to manage trillions of dollars. Over the last decade, James has worked via Rand Labs, a Salt Lake City consultancy he co-founded with Heather Claus.

James received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. His dissertation work was supervised by the Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley and computer science department faculty. It was subsequently implemented in industry where it is still running at Blackrock Scientific. This research was awarded the I/B/E/S International Award in Research, and was published in a Smith Breeden nominated, lead article in the Journal of Finance.

James Claus

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Rich Eggett is a portfolio manager at Utah Retirement Systems (URS) covering the areas of equity and alternative strategies. Rich also works with the University of Utah and the ULISSES Project designing curriculum the area of portfolio construction and management. Rich has designations as a CFA and CAIA and received his master’s degree from Brigham Young University where he worked managing the Silver Fund.

Rich Eggett

Rayne Gaisford is the Chief Product Officer and Head of Data Strategy at Vertical Knowledge (VK). Rayne and his team are focused on scalable publicly-available data collections supporting financial services, commercial clients, and the nation's highest prior units and agencies. As Chief Product Officer Rayne oversees the roadmap, development, and deployment of the VK product offering while also managing the Data Science, QA, and Business Intelligence teams.

Rayne is also the Chief Data Officer of the ANDECO institute, where he and the team manage the Advanced Data Consortium (ADC) to facilitate data sourcing and utilization for the USG. Rayne is also a member of the BattleFin advisory board and regularly speaks about the data ecosystem.

Before joining VK, Rayne originated the Data Strategy function with Jefferies Research and was the Global Head of Data Strategy. Prior to his time on the sell side Rayne spent fifteen years on the buy side as a CRO, risk manager, data researcher, and member of the management team of several multi-manager hedge funds. Rayne began his career on the equity options research team at Goldman Sachs after having graduated from the University of Oregon. He lives in Bend, Oregon with his wife and two children.

Rayne Gaisford

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Sean Lee is the Chief Technology Officer at Columbia Investment Management Company which manages Columbia University’s endowment.

Prior to joining Columbia, he was Chief Technology Officer at PointState Capital and spent a decade as Co-Chief Technology Officer at Coatue Management where he delivered alpha generating technology platforms. Before working in the investment management industry, Sean was a Senior Solutions Architect at IBM. He is currently a board advisor for Equity Data Science and Covey.

Sean Lee

Matthew Loesch is the senior equity analyst covering the healthcare sector with portfolio recommendation responsibilities across long-only strategies at Rockefeller Asset Management, which has $12B in AUM. Additionally, he is the portfolio manager on two dedicated healthcare strategies, one of which is a thematic fund focused on health and wellness. The firm has a strong history of ESG investing and is in the process of expanding its product offering to include more thematic and quantitative elements.

With 20+ years as a long-term, fundamentals driven investor Matthew‘s analytical process involves applying various valuation methods and scenario analysis to a detailed company model to characterize an asset’s risk/reward profile. Prior to joining Rockefeller Capital Management in 2021, he spent 12 years at Tocqueville Asset Management, a value oriented firm, as a generalist with a concentration in healthcare and technology. And he spent the first six years of his career as part of the growth oriented, large cap equity research team at AllianceBernstein covering healthcare.

Matthew holds an MBA from Columbia University, a BS in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Albany and the CFA designation.

Matthew Loesch

Tracy-Pesanelli, with more than 35 years of sales and sales management experience in the high tech industry, Ms. Pesanelli is responsible for driving Gurobi’s sales execution. Ms. Pesanelli has been with Gurobi since the beginning and has been a key contributor to the company’s outstanding growth.

Before Gurobi, she was Sales Director at Permabit Technology Corporation, a manufacturer of disk-based enterprise archive solutions. Prior to Permabit, Ms. Pesanelli held various sales and sales management positions at ILOG, Inc. from January 2000 to September 2008. Selling ILOG’s Business Rule Management System and CPLEX Optimization product lines, Ms. Pesanelli consistently exceeded sales expectations and was a top performer worldwide. Ms. Pesanelli holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She lives in Boston and enjoys spending time on Cape Cod.

Tracy Pesanelli

Frank Vallario is the Chief Investment Officer for ETF Managers Group (ETFMG). He is responsible for the portfolio construction, trading, risk management and portfolio analysis processes associated with ETF strategies. Before his current role at ETFMG, Frank has had a variety of senior roles over his 25-year career in financial services.

Before joining ETF Managers Group, Frank was with OppenheimerFunds where he was Head of Equity Portfolio Management for the Firm’s Smart Beta ETFs (Invesco acquired OppenheimerFunds in May 2019). His role before joining OppenheimerFunds in 2017 was a Senior Portfolio Manager at ColumbiaThreadneedle where he was responsible for the day to day management of the firm’s ETF business, which was acquired from his previous firm, Emerging Global Advisors (EGA). Prior to that, he was relationship manager at MSCI responsible for providing investment solutions to complex problems using MSCI Barra’s fundamental models and portfolio construction tools. Previously, Frank was a partner in a start-up asset management firm where he served as the director of portfolio management. Frank began his career at UBS Global Asset Management where he spent over a decade in various quantitative portfolio management equity roles including equity market neutral, tactical asset allocation, structured active equities, enhanced index, passive management and factor research.

Frank serves on the Investment Committee for the Girl Scouts of Connecticut and is an University Affiliate at the University of Utah – David Eccles School of Business. He received a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University and a M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from Rutgers University.

Frank Vallario

Darren Wettig is responsible for managing North American systematic equity strategies for the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) in Edmonton, Alberta. Darren joined AIMCo in 2007 as a Manager within AIMCo’s client relationship team where he consulted with clients on their liquidity needs, risk tolerances and asset-liability management (ALM) studies. Darren has held a number of positions within AIMCo prior to joining the Systematic Equity Strategies team in 2014. Prior to joining AIMCo, Darren worked for the Government of the Northwest Territories in Northern Canada where he held roles managing a money market investment pool, working on economic development and consulting on community funding strategies.

Darren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of Calgary; in addition to the CFA and CAIA designations and he is a CPA, CGA.

Darren Wettig