Jerome Chazen

In Memoriam
Jerome A. Chazen, ’50
Founder, The Jerome A Chazen Institute for Global Business
Founder and Chairman, Chazen Capital Partners, LLC
Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Liz Claiborne, Inc.
Board, Columbia Business School
New York

Jerome A. Chazen bio

Jerome Chazen was the Chair of The  Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business, which he founded through an endowment to the Columbia Business School in 2006 and through an additional $10MM gift in 2016, and which serves as the focal point for all global programs at Columbia Business School. He was founder and chairman of Chazen Capital Partners, a private investment firm. He was also chairman emeritus and one of four founding partners of Liz Claiborne, Inc. where he was largely responsible for the innovative sales, marketing, distribution, and licensing programs that were an integral part of Liz Claiborne's success.

To Mr. Chazen, thinking globally and remaining abreast of worldwide issues and events was the only way for a consumer-driven company to exist in today's environment. Thus, he believed that a company's greatest challenge is the preservation and perpetuation of its philosophy and ideals both within America and abroad as expansion into international markets continues in the future.

Prior to joining the venture that would become Liz Claiborne, he worked as an analyst on Wall Street and spent 16 years in retailing.

He was a Trustee Emeritus of Columbia University and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Columbia Business School, as well as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Additionally, Mr. Chazen was a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the New York City Investment Fund.  He was a long-time director of the 92nd Street Y, the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund, and was a Partner of the New York City Partnership. He was a Trustee of the National Jewish Center of Immunology and Respiratory Medicine. Mr. Chazen was also Chairman of the Louis Armstrong House & Archives at Queens College in Flushing, New York. He was previously on the Board of Directors of Taubman Centers, Inc.

Mr. Chazen and his wife, Simona, have three children and seven grandchildren. He was an avid art collector and jazz enthusiast.

Lulu Chow Wang

Lulu C. Wang ’83, Chair
Founder and CEO, Tupelo Capital Management, LLC
Board, Columbia Business School
New York
Previous: Jennison Associates; Equitable Capital Management

Lulu C. Wang bio

Lulu C. Wang is the CEO and Chair of Tupelo Capital Management, which she founded in 1998 for hedge fund partnerships, and transitioned into a family office in 2008. Prior to that, Ms. Wang was a director and executive vice president of Jennison Associates Capital Corporation for 10 years. While at Jennison, she managed billion dollar funds for pension, endowment, and mutual funds. She joined Jennison Associates in 1988, after serving as senior vice president and managing director at Equitable Capital Management for 10 years.

Ms. Wang serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rockefeller University, the Asia Society, and Columbia Business School, where she endowed the Lulu C. Wang Senior Asian Scholar program under the Chazen Institute for Global Business, which she co-chairs. She also serves on the advisory council for Bank of America Private Bank, is a retired director of MetLife Insurance, a former board member of The Committee of 100 and  a trustee emerita of Wellesley College, where she was the commencement speaker in 2016.

Ms. Wang has been honored for her professional achievements by New York Public Radio, Columbia Women in Business, China Institute, Girls Inc., the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rockefeller University, the Asia Society, the Women’s Economic Round Table, and Ernst and Young. Ms. Wang earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in English literature from Wellesley College.

In her free time, she and her husband collect and race vintage cars. They also collect American paintings, furniture, and folk art.

Mary Ann Casati

Mary Ann Casati ’82, Chair, Nominating & Governance Committee
Co-Founder, Circle Financial Group
New York
Previous: Goldman Sachs Group – Partner Investment Banking

Mary Ann Casati bio

Mary Ann Casati’s professional business leadership experience spans more than 35 years across multiple sectors within the financial services industry. During her 20-year career at Goldman Sachs, she was one of a group of four to launch Wall Street’s first Equity Capital Markets Group; she subsequently developed and ran the first Retailing Industry Investment Banking Group on Wall Street, building it into a leading global business for Goldman Sachs; she became Partner and Managing Director; and developed and led numerous diversity initiatives. Thereafter, she co-founded Circle Financial Group, a private wealth management membership practice she continues to co-manage; and subsequently has become a Certified Private Wealth Advisor ® and Chartered Financial Consultant ® to assist individuals in more confidently, comprehensively, and effectively managing their financial affairs across an increasingly complex financial services industry.

Mary Ann also has substantial Governance, Audit, and Investment Committee experience as a board member in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. With ten years of Corporate Board experience (including J. Crew Group and Williams Sonoma), she has served on Audit, Compensation, and Special Committees. She has 12 years of Endowment Investment Committee experience. In Higher Education, she has worked with each of her alma maters. As Chair of the Investment Committee for Miami University (of Ohio) Foundation, she initiated and led a review of the investment model, resulting in a conversion to an Out-Sourced Chief Investment Officer structure, of which she oversaw the OCIO implementation, portfolio restructuring, and governance alignment. For Columbia Business School, she is a member of the Global Advisory Board for The Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee. She is a Centennial Society Member of the Economic Club of New York, member of the New York Public Library Financial Services Leadership Forum, member of the Women’s Forum of New York, and has served in various capacities on numerous nonprofit boards over the last 20 years.

Mary Ann graduated from Columbia Business School in 1982 with an MBA degree in Finance, Beta Gamma Sigma and Dean’s List. She received her B.A. in Sociology, Cum Laude, from Miami University of Ohio in 1977. She was inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers in 1996. 

Michel Brogard

Michel Brogard ’86
Founder and Managing Partner, Lalaye Investments, LLC
New York
Previous: CQS; Co-Founder Amber Capital; Credit Suisse First Boston

Michel Brogard bio

Michel is the Managing Partner of Lalaye Investments, LLC., a private investment partnership, which he founded in 2012. Since 2021, Michel is a co-founder and the Chief Development Officer of World Quantum Growth Acquisition Corp., a Special Purpose Acquisition Company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. During 2019-2020 Michel was also the CEO, Americas for $15BN London-based hedge fund CQS. From 2005 to 2015, Michel was a Managing Partner, COO, CFO and Head of Business Development at Amber Capital, a New York and London-based hedge fund he co-founded in 2005 and which grew to $7BN.

Prior to 2005, Michel was a Managing Director with Credit Suisse First Boston in New York. Before this, he held senior positions with Paribas, HSBC Securities, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers.

Since 2003, Michel has served as a Trustee, Executive Committee member and chair of both the Finance Committee and the Endowment Committee of the Lycee Francais de New York. Michel also chairs the Investment Committee of the NY French American Chamber of Commerce and is a Trustee of the French American Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Michel is also a member of the Investment Committee of the French American Aid for Children charity. He is a member of the Global Advisory Board for The Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business at Columbia Business School.  From 2007 to 2011, and again in 2019-2020, Michel served as an elected Board Member of the Washington, DC-based MFA-Managed Funds Association, the advocate for the global hedge fund industry.

Michel earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering at INSA Strasbourg, France in 1984 and his MBA at Columbia University in 1986. In 2008 the French Minister of Education awarded Michel the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques.

David Chazen

David F. Chazen ’86
Managing Director, Chazen Capital Partners, LLC
Founding Partner, Strategic Government Properties
Chicago
Previous: Goldman Sachs Group

David F. Chazen bio

David F. Chazen is managing director of Chazen Capital Partners, a private investment partnership founded in 1997. Chazen Capital provides equity capital and management support to consumer-oriented companies. He began his career at Goldman Sachs in New York and later went on to start, build, and sell several companies in the consumer products industry. Mr. Chazen is also a founding partner at Strategic Government Properties, a real estate firm that specializes in the ownership of U.S. government mission-critical security facilities.

Mr. Chazen is on the board and Advancement Committee of High Jump, an educational not-for-profit based in Chicago. He is a founding member of the Young Presidents Organization, Aspen Chapter, and serves as membership chair. He serves on the Board of Theatre Aspen is on the National Council of Jazz Aspen, is a member of the Socrates Society of the Aspen Institute.

Mr. Chazen received his B.S. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1982 and his MBA from Columbia Business School in 1986. He has run 26 New York City Marathons and counting.

Wei Sun Christianson

Wei Sun Christianson
CEO for China and Co-CEO of Asia Pacific
Morgan Stanley
Beijing
Previous: Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Wei Sun Christianson bio

Wei Sun Christianson is a Managing Director, and Co-CEO of Asia Pacific and CEO of China for Morgan Stanley. She is also a member of the Firm’s Management Committee.

She first joined Morgan Stanley in 1998 working in the Firm’s investment banking division. Between 2002 and 2005 she served as Chairman for China for Credit Suisse and subsequently for Citigroup Global Markets. She rejoined Morgan Stanley at the beginning of 2006 as the Firm’s CEO for China.

Before starting her investment banking career, Wei Sun Christianson was an Associate Director at the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) where she helped formulate the regulations in preparation for the Hong Kong public listings of the first group of Mainland Chinese companies in 1993. Prior to this, she was a lawyer in New York with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Ms. Christianson has been named in Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women (MPW) “International List” for eleven consecutive years since 2008. She was one of the Financial Times’ twelve “Women of 2013”. She has also been on Fortune’s “China Powerful Women” and Forbes’ “Businesswomen in China” lists since 2009.

Ms. Christianson serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Estée Lauder Companies Inc. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York.

Ms. Christianson graduated cum laude from Amherst College, Massachusetts. In 1989 she received her J.D. degree from the Columbia University School of Law and is admitted to practice law in the State of New York. She is married with three children.

Wafaa El-Sadr

Wafaa El-Sadr
University Professor, Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health Epidemiology (In ICAP)
Director, ICAP
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Wafaa El-Sadr bio

Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr is the founder and director of ICAP and an international expert in infectious diseases and public health with extensive experience in epidemiology and research on the prevention and management of HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and emerging infections, among others. She is also the director of Columbia World Projects and director of the Mailman School's Global Health Initiative (GHI), which mobilizes the university community to address critical challenges in global health.

For over four decades, she has advocated for families and communities most impacted by health challenges and championed a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to confronting the global epidemic. Based at Columbia University, she leads ICAP's portfolio of projects in more than 30 countries and manages a global team of over 2,000 staff. Under her leadership, ICAP has become a global leader in addressing global health challenges and health systems strengthening.

Dr. El-Sadr began her career as the HIV epidemic took hold in the United States. As chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Harlem Hospital, she developed successful methods for responding to HIV/AIDS through groundbreaking research and innovative models of care in her own community. Dr. El-Sadr became a leader in the global fight against HIV by arming health care systems around the world with effective strategies for confronting the impact of various health challenges and leveraging investment to strengthen health systems. She is the principal investigator for numerous ICAP-led research initiatives and a principal investigator of the NIH-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN).

Dr. El-Sadr received her medical degree at Cairo University, a master's in public health (epidemiology) from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and a master's in public administration from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. She joined the faculty of Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1988 and became a professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Mailman School of Public Health. In 2013, she was appointed University Professor, Columbia's highest academic title. She also holds the Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair in Global. She is a MacArthur fellow, as well as a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Council for Foreign Relations, and the African Academy of Sciences.

Marie Ffolkes

Marie Ffolkes ’01
Former President & CEO
Trimark USA, Mansfield, Mass.
Board Member, Masco (NYSE:MAS)
Previous: Air Products; Tenneco, Inc.

Marie Ffolkes bio

Ms. Ffolkes is an accomplished business leader bringing 25 years of operational, financial, and global experience across various industrial sectors. Since 2015, she served as President, Americas for Air Products (NYSE: APD), a global leader in industrial gases for 80 years with $8.9 billion in revenue and market capitalization of $65 billion, where she executed the strategy to achieve the company's largest and currently the most profitable region. In her role at Air Products, Ms. Ffolkes had P&L responsibility for both North and South American of approximately $4 billion in revenue and $1.625 billion EBITDA, and was responsible for leading a dedicated team of over 7,000 employees at 275 facilities. Ffolkes was instrumental in increasing shareholder value by improving margins nearly 1,600 basis points by improving safety, transparency, optimizing resources, developing commercial excellence, improving reliability, distribution and supply chain, strengthening customer relationships, while developing a pipeline of innovative new products.

Prior to joining Air Products, Ms. Ffolkes held senior executive positions with increasing responsibilities. She served as Vice President and General Manager of North America Ride Performance Division and Global Elastomers at Tenneco Inc., where she served on the Executive Management Team for fours years. Prior to Tenneco, Ms. Ffolkes spent 9 years with Johnson Controls, Inc., where she held key leadership roles, serving as Vice President and General Manager of South America, based on Sao Bernardo, Brazil, and as Vice President and General Manager for JCI's Customer Business Unit in North America. Also at JCI, she was based in Japan in the role or Vice President, Global Japanese Electronics, in addition to the regional responsibility for Japan. From 1995 to 2003, Ms. Ffolkes held positions of increasing responsibility at General Electric, where she worked in Europe, including Manager, Global Mergers and Acquisitions and Manager, Strategic Pricing. She graduated GE's Financial Management Program and is a Certified Black Belt from GE. Ms. Ffolkes brings international experience from living and working in Europe (UK, Brussels, France), South America, Japan, Korea, and China.

Ms. Ffolkes earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Science from City University of New York, graduating magna cum laude, with distinction and honors.

She has served on Masco Corporation's Board of Directors (MAS $8.3B) for the past four years as a member of the Audit & Compensation Committees and is a member of the National Association of Manufacturers Board of Directors since May 2015.

Laurent Ganem

Laurent Ganem ’86
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, G Square Healthcare Private Equity LLP
London
Previous: Apax Partners

Laurent Ganem bio

Laurent Ganem is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of G Square Healthcare Private Equity LLP, a London-based Private Equity firm entirely dedicated to investing in pan-European mid-cap Healthcare services and products companies.

Between 1994 and 2007, Laurent was a Partner at Apax Partners in Paris in charge of the Healthcare investment practice: he realized investments in Biotech, MedTech and Healthcare Services companies from startup and early stage to mature buy-outs, in Europe and the United States.

G Square which has over €1 billion under management through three private equity fonds (the latest raised in 2019 of €500 million) has invested in companies located in Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, the UK, Benelux, France, Norway, Israel, with subsidiaries in Sweden, Italy and even Latin America.

Laurent is a Member of the Advisory Board of CW Innovation of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust (which runs one of the largest and best performing hospital in the UK), whose mission is to identifies and test new ideas and innovations that improve patient care, patient experience and operational efficiency with a view to scaling and replicating high-impact initiatives across the NHS.

Laurent graduated as Medical Doctor from the University of Paris (1983) and holds an MBA’86 from Columbia Business School.

Fred Hu

Fred Zuliu Hu
Founder and Chairman, Primavera Capital Group
Hong Kong
Previous: Goldman Sachs Group — Chair of Greater China and Partner; International Monetary Fund

Fred Zuliu Hu bio

Fred is Chairman of Primavera Capital Group, a China-based global investment firm focusing on innovative industries.

Prior to founding Primavera Capital, Fred was Chairman of Greater China and a Partner at Goldman Sachs Group, where he was instrumental in building the firm's franchise in the Asia Pacific region. 

As an economist, his main areas of research include entrepreneurship, technological innovation, and international finance. He served at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC and has advised the Chinese government on financial reform and macroeconomic policies. Fred also served on the Hong Kong Government's Strategic Development Committee and the Advisory Committee for the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. 

Fred is currently the non-executive chairman of Yum China Holdings Inc. and is a member of several corporate boards including Ant Group, ICBC, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited and UBS Group AG. In addition, Fred is the co-chair of the Nature Conservancy’s Asia Pacific Council, a Trustee of the China Medical Board, and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board.

His leadership roles in higher education include serving on edX Global Leadership Board, Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council, the Advisory Committees of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School, and the Stanford Center for International Development. He is also a member of the Global Advisory Board for The Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business at Columbia Business School. Fred serves as the co-director of the National Center for Economic Research and a professor at Tsinghua University.  He is also an adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and at Peking University. 

Fred holds a Master’s in Engineering Science from Tsinghua University, and a Master’s and PhD in Economics from Harvard University. 

Glenn Hubbard

Glenn Hubbard
Director, Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business; Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, and Board of Columbia Business School
New York
Previous: Dean, Columbia Business School; Chair, US Council of Economic Advisors

Glenn Hubbard bio

Glenn Hubbard was dean of Columbia Business School from 2004-2019, is Director of The Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business, and is the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School.

Under his leadership as dean, Hubbard oversaw the enhancement and expansion of nearly every aspect of Columbia Business School. He launched countless initiatives to bridge academic theory with the practice of business; and reignited engagement of the School’s 46,000 global alumni community. He guided the expansion of three new extensions of the School’s Executive MBA program; launched four new master’s degrees; and supported the development of curricular innovations in real time, such as the launch of the School’s flagship Immersion Seminars and Master Classes. A prolific fundraiser, Hubbard raised more than $1 billion for Columbia Business School, including more than $500 million for the School’s future home on Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus.

Recognizing the benefits that can come from being a part of an interconnected, research-oriented University, Hubbard also bolstered strategic partnerships and programs across the University. Under his leadership, Columbia Business School helped launched numerous joint initiatives, including The Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy; The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise; and Entrepreneurship at Columbia, including initiatives such as the Columbia Startup Lab and Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Columbia.

In addition to his prodigious career in academia, Hubbard has worked at the intersection of the private, government and nonprofit sectors and has been actively engaged in national and international economic policy issues. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Hubbard as chairman of the the Economic Policy Committee, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international economic and trade organization where he served from 2001 until 2003. He is co-chair of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, and previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, United States Treasury. He is a past chair and current Centennial Society Member of the Economic Club of New York.

In the corporate sector, Hubbard serves as Chairman of the Board for MetLife, Inc. He serves on the boards of Automatic Data Processing, where he serves on the Nominating/Corporate Governance, and Compensation Committees, and BlackRock Fixed Income Funds and previously served on the board of KKR Financial Holdings Inc. He a past co-chair of the Study Group on Corporate Boards.

Hubbard received his AM and PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1983 and has held faculty or visiting faculty positions at Northwestern, Harvard, and the University of Chicago, in addition to Columbia. Hubbard received his BA and BS degrees summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida. He has written more than 100 scholarly articles in economics and finance, He is the author of three popular textbooks, as well as co-author of “The Aid Trap: Hard Truths About Ending Poverty,” “Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America,” and “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Five Steps to a Better Health Care System.” His commentaries appear in Business Week, the Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington PostNikkei, and the Daily Yomiuri, as well as on television and radio.

Merit Janow

Merit Janow
Dean Emerita, School of International and Public Affairs; Professor of Practice in International Economic Law and International Affairs
Previous: World Trade Organization, U.S. Trade Representative

Merit Janow bio

Merit E. Janow is an internationally recognized expert in international trade and investment. She has extensive experience in academia, government and business, and has been involved with the Asia-Pacific region for her entire life.

Janow served as Dean of the faculty of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) from July 2013 through December 2021.  As Dean, she strengthened the school by launching new programs and initiatives, for example in technology and public policy – with a focus on cyber security and the digital economy – entrepreneurship and policy, and central banking and financial policy, among other areas. She also has grown SIPA’s faculty in numerous areas; supported the creation of new research centers; and completed two capital campaigns. 

For the past 27 years, Janow has been a professor at both SIPA and Columbia Law School. She teaches graduate courses in the digital economy, international trade and investment law and policy, comparative antitrust law and policy, and China in the global economy.  She has held a number of leadership positions at the University.  She is co-director of the APEC Study Center at Columbia Business School and previously served as Chair of the Committee for Socially Responsible Investing which oversees the proxy voting of shares owned by the Columbia University endowment.  Janow has written three books and numerous articles and frequently speaks before business, policy, and academic audiences around the world.

Professor Janow has had three periods of government service. In December 2003, while at Columbia University, she was elected by the WTO Membership as one of the seven Members of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body, which is the court of final appeal for adjudicating trade disputes between the 164 member nations of the WTO. She was the only North American member and the first female to serve on the Appellate Body. In the course of her four years of service, she reviewed more than 30 appeals covering a diverse range of trade disputes, including technology, subsidies, agriculture, investment and trade remedies. From 1997-2000, Janow served as the Executive Director of the first international antitrust advisory committee to the Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust of the US Justice Department. The key recommendations were implemented on an international basis and led to the establishment of the International Competition Network (ICN).  From 1989 to 1993, prior to joining Columbia University, Janow served as Deputy Assistant USTR for Japan and China in the Executive Office of the President. In this capacity she was responsible for developing and implementing U.S. trade policies towards Japan and China; and leading the negotiations for a dozen bilateral trade agreements.

Janow has had extensive corporate and nonprofit board experience and currently serves on several corporate boards along with Japan Society and the National Committee on US China Relations. She was recently appointed in December 2021 as a member of a World Bank High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable and Inclusive Growth. Janow is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. She previously served as a member of the international advisory council of China’s sovereign fund, the China Investment Corporation (CIC).  Early in her career, Janow was a corporate lawyer specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York. She grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and speaks Japanese. She has a JD from Columbia Law School where she was a Stone Scholar and a BA in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan.

Michelle Kurian

Michelle Kurian ’10
Co-founder and Executive Director, The Harvest Fund
San Francisco
Previous: Gates Ventures

Michelle Kurian bio

Michelle leverages her finance, startup, international development and management consulting experience to shift the African finance and agriculture landscape.

She is the co-founder of The Harvest Fund, a social business in the southern African nation of Zambia that provides flexible financing options and agricultural services to thousands of farmers. Prior to The Harvest Fund, she worked at a number of agricultural innovation firms, including Gates Ventures. She has led projects and technology development across Central America, South Asia, and Africa. Before transitioning her career to agriculture in the Global South, Michelle worked as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, DC, focused on data analytics and finance. She launched her career in tech in the early 2000s, working in her family’s IT firm. She brings a true breadth of sectoral, functional, and geographical experience to any business problem.

The Harvest Fund takes a culturally and socioeconomically appropriate approach to agricultural finance, particularly for farmers at the bottom of the pyramid. It embraces a unique, integrated business model and collaborates with the Zambian Government to improve national economic productivity via the agricultural sector. It will soon expand to neighboring southern African nations and diversify its portfolio to include a separate early stage venture capital fund for African startups.

She received an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Economics from Duke University.

Michelle leverages her finance, startup, international development and management consulting experience to shift the African finance and agriculture landscape.

She is the co-founder of The Harvest Fund, a social business in the southern African nation of Zambia that provides flexible financing options and agricultural services to thousands of farmers. Prior to The Harvest Fund, she worked at a number of agricultural innovation firms, including Gates Ventures. She has led projects and technology development across Central America, South Asia, and Africa. Before transitioning her career to agriculture in the Global South, Michelle worked as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, DC, focused on data analytics and finance. She launched her career in tech in the early 2000s, working in her family’s IT firm. She brings a true breadth of sectoral, functional, and geographical experience to any business problem.

The Harvest Fund takes a culturally and socioeconomically appropriate approach to agricultural finance, particularly for farmers at the bottom of the pyramid. It embraces a unique, integrated business model and collaborates with the Zambian Government to improve national economic productivity via the agricultural sector. It will soon expand to neighboring southern African nations and diversify its portfolio to include a separate early stage venture capital fund for African startups.

She received an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Economics from Duke University.

Meera Mayer

Meera K. Mayer ’86
Executive Director, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
New York
Previous: Founder, Zedd Capital Management; Goldman Sachs Capital Management

Meera K. Mayer bio

Meera Mayer is Executive Director for Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. Prior to that she was a general partner of Zedd Capital LLC, a managed long/short equity hedge fund. Before founding Zedd Capital in 2002, Ms. Mayer was a senior portfolio manager and vice president at Goldman Sachs Asset Management where she co-managed large-cap value portfolios for mutual fund, institutional, and high-net-worth clients. In addition to portfolio management she also had primary research responsibility for technology, healthcare, telecommunications, and media.

Ms. Mayer began her career in investment research and management at Oppenheimer and Company in 1990 as an equity research analyst. In 1992, she moved to Oppenheimer capital as a research analyst where she researched and recommended a broad array of stocks emphasizing undervalued, improving earnings and cash-flow situations with near-term catalysts. In 1995, Ms. Mayer joined Key Asset Management (Spears, Benzak, Salomon and Farrell) as a portfolio manager and managing director. She was a member of the investment strategy and policy group that formulated investment decisions affecting all equity portfolios. In that role she was also responsible for client communications for institutional investors, endowments, foundations, family offices, and high-net-worth individuals.

Beth Michelson

Beth Michelson ’97
Partner, Cartesian Capital
New York
Previous: AIG Capital Markets; Wasserstein Perella Emerging Markets

Beth Michelson bio

Beth Michelson is a seasoned emerging markets private equity executive, having spent 20 years sourcing and managing investments in several emerging markets and serving on the boards of various portfolio companies. She is currently a partner at Cartesian Capital Partners, a global private equity firm.

Prior to the formation of Cartesian in 2006, Beth had been working with AIG Capital Partners since 1999. Prior to AIGCP, Beth was an Associate at Wasserstein Perella Emerging Markets focusing on private equity investments and structured products. Previously, Beth worked in financing for media and entertainment at Dresdner Bank AG, as a financial journalist in Prague and in the U.S. House of Representatives.

She holds a BA with distinction from the University of Michigan, an MBA from Columbia Business School, and an MIA from Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. Beth is a CFA charterholder. Ms. Michelson currently serves on the boards of Arlington Industries (UK), BTS Torres (Latin America), and Brilia (Brazil).

 

Carlos Abellan Ossenbach

Carlos Abellán Ossenbach ’14
Data Analytics and Transformation Director, TENDAM
Madrid
Previous: McKinsey & Co.

Carlos Abellán Ossenbach bio

Carlos Abellán Ossenbach is the Director of Data Analytics and Transformation at TENDAM; one of Europe’s leading fashion retailers operated in the specialized chain segment. It is made up of six brands: Springfield, Women'Secret, Cortefiel, Pedro del Hierro, Hoss Intropia and an outlet chain: Fifty. The Group is present in 89 countries with 1,982 points of sale; 1.299 direct operate stores and 683 franchises.  At Tendam, Carlos is responsible of enabling business decisions based on data.

 Prior to TENDAM, Carlos was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Co., where he was co-leader of the Advanced Analytics hub in Madrid focused on developing Machine Learning models and supporting clients in their analytics transformations. He also worked as a generalist consultant serving clients across different countries and industries (consumer, telco, banking, utilities, logistics, among others).

Carlos graduated from Columbia Business School in 2014 with an MBA degree in the top 10% of the class.  He received his bachelor in business administration from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 2009. Prior to that, Carlos was a professional cyclist for the Liberty Seguros Professional Cycling Team. Among his achievements, he was Spanish National Champion in Time Trial and member of the Spanish National Team at the 2001 World Championships. 

James Prusky

James Prusky ’96
Partner, Latam Trade Capital
New York
Previous: Citigroup; US Department of Commerce — International Trade Administration

James Prusky bio

James Prusky is a partner and co-founder in Latam Trade Capital, a specialty finance investment company established to support small and medium sized (SME) firms in Latin America, the US and Europe.  He has helped build the firm from inception and is responsible for developing strategy, new business, and capital sources for the firm.  Latam Trade Capital is backed by some of the world’s largest global investors and receives funding from institutions in the US, Europe and Latin America.  The firm provides critical trade finance and other funding to Latin American agricultural, industrial and raw materials producers.  Its facilities support over 150,000 farming, fishing and industrial jobs throughout Latin America.

He was previously Vice President of Global Market Development at Citigroup where he developed new corporate banking products and spent several years in Citibank’s corporate bank in the emerging markets, working in Europe (London, Budapest), Asia (Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore) and Latin America (Bogota, Buenos Aires).  He spent four years at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, where he worked on U.S. international trade policy, and coordinated U.S. Fortune 100 business involvement in Presidential summit meetings between the U.S., Russia and Eastern European countries. 

Mr. Prusky serves on the Board of the Jerome Chazen Institute for Global Business at Columbia Business School and has in the past served on the Board of HIAS, the oldest international immigration refugee and resettlement agency in the U.S as well as the Northside Center for Early Childhood Development.  He received an MBA from Columbia Business School, a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BS from the University of Vermont.  He lives with his family in New York City.

Fuad Sawaya

Fuad Sawaya ’86
Managing Director, Vice Chairman — Consumer, Global
Group Head of Consumer Investment Banking
Canaccord Genuity LLC
New York
Previous: JP Morgan; Paine Webber

Fuad Sawaya bio

For over three decades, Fuad has invested his passion, energy and experience helping to guide many of the most respected consumer companies in the US and Europe with strategic advice, portfolio maximization and value-creating solutions.

Prior to founding Sawaya Partners, Fuad led JP Morgan’s Middle Market Consumer Products Group. He began his career at PaineWebber, Inc. (now part of UBS), spending 14 years first in the Mergers & Acquisitions department and later, heading up its Consumer Products Banking Group.

Sawaya Partners, now in its 18th year, is rigorously client-centric, not deal-centric, driven by a deep, emphatic understanding of what drives its clients’ businesses and what drives them as people.  Fuad and his consumer healthcare team have completed more than 40 transactions in the space representing leading industry players such as Bayer AG, Johnson & Johnson, Church & Dwight and Prestige Brands, among others.  Recent successes have included transactions involving Coppertone, Dr. Scholl’s, RoC, Moberg Pharma, Nizoral and Compeed, among others.

Fuad is an active speaker at conferences in the consumer healthcare space in the US and Europe.

Sawaya Partners is based in New York City. Its website can be found at www.SawayaPartners.com.

Fuad earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the American University of Beirut in 1983 and an M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from Columbia Graduate School of Business in 1986.