Education to Employment

The Charter, Society and Future Opportunities

Please note that this event will be through Zoom. Login information will be provided in the reminder email closer to the event
Hosted by: Membership Engagement

Interested in working in finance after you graduate? Have you heard about the CFA designation but don’t know exactly what it is? Learn more about the CFA designation and how it can help you catapult your career in finance. 

Spend the afternoon with CFA Society Chicago learning about becoming a CFA charterholder and how it can help you achieve your career goals. We will be joined by a panel of financial professionals who will provide guidance and advice that will be useful as you embark on your post college journey. We will close out the event with an informative discussion on financial markets with a world renown market strategist. 

This is an interactive event so at the end of each session we will take questions from attendees. Registration is required and space is limited, so save your spot today!

Opening Remarks: 
Melissa Binder, CFA - Vice President, Distribution, PPM America Inc. 
Christopher Vincent, CFA - President and CEO, CFA Society Chicago

Guest Speaker: Brian D. Singer, CFA - Partner, Head of Dynamic Allocation Strategies Team, William Blair

Panel Moderator:
Ashley Peckham - Recruiting Manager, FactSet 


Kweku Obed, CFA, CAIA - Managing Director, Marquette Associates 
Kristan Rowland, CFA - Buy-Side Equity Research, Global Financials, William Blair
Leon Zeng, CFA, PhD - Director of Behavioral Insights, Morningstar

Members - FREE 
Nonmembers - FREE
(member pricing underwritten by CFA Society Chicago)

Registration: Online 
Zoom login information will be provided in the reminder email closer to the event. 
Registration closes at 5:00 PM on April 15, 2021.

1:00 PM Opening Remarks
1:30 PM - Break
1:35 PM - Industry/Career Panel
2:35 PM - Break
2:40 PM - Market Environment
3:30 PM - Closing Remarks
Please log in a few minutes early to test your video and internet connections.

*Distribution of presentation slides is at the discretion of the speaker and may not be available for this event

Speaker Bios:

Melissa Binder is a vice president on the distribution team at PPM America Inc. (PPM). She is responsible for building strategic relationships with institutional prospective clients and consultants.  Prior to joining PPM in 2017, Binder was a portfolio manager at Segal Marco Advisors, where she managed the equity sleeve of the firm’s outsourced CIO platform and was responsible for conducting due diligence and recommending investment managers to institutional clients.

Binder earned a master’s degree in economics, finance, and accounting from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois. She is a CFA® charterholder and holds Series 7 and 63 licenses.

Ashley Peckham is a recruiting manager at FactSet where she leads early career hiring for the Americas region. She has over 7 years of campus recruiting experience in the Banking and Fintech industries, and has spent the past 5 years with FactSet's Talent Acquisition Team hiring interns and recent college graduates. Over the last few years Peckham has become heavily involved FactSet's DE&I efforts and strategy, and recently spearheaded the launch of FactSet's Mesh Program that looks to bring underclassmen with different ideas and backgrounds together for a virtual 2-week externship.

She is passionate about working with students and impacting their careers. Peckham grew up in Massachusetts, received her BS in Business Administration from Bryant University and calls Connecticut home. 

Kweku Obed is a managing director for Marquette Associates and serves on the firm’s board of directors. An owner of the firm, Kweku has been with the company since 2014 and has 22 years of investment experience. He serves as the primary consultant on several client relationships. Kweku chairs the firm’s defined contribution services committee and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

Kweku joined the firm from Mercer Investment Consulting, where he served as a principal and senior investment consultant in their Chicago office. His responsibilities included working with defined benefit and defined contribution clients on asset allocation, performance measurement and analysis, investment manager search, and investment policy development. Prior to Mercer, Kweku worked at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (now part of BlackRock) as an assistant vice president in their tax-exempt fixed income research group.

Kweku holds a B.S. with honors in economics from Queen Mary College, University of London, and an M.S. in development economics from SOAS, University of London. He is a recipient of the Bernard Corry Prize in Economics. Kweku is a CFA charterholder and holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation. He is the author of The Stranded Fish: Decision-Making Through the Lens of a Fiduciary, published in December 2017, and has previously contributed to the official CAIA textbook, CAIA Level I: An Introduction to Core Topics in Alternative Investments, Second Edition. Additionally, he has contributed two chapters on asset allocation and defined contribution plans to the IFEPB’s Trustee Handbook. He is a member of the board of trustees for Everyone Reading Illinois and also sits on the board of trustees for Vibrant Emotional Health. Kweku is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and sits on the investment committee for the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA).

Kristan Rowland, CFA, is a member of the Global Equity investment team at William Blair covering the financials sector. Prior to joining William Blair in 2011 as a financial advisor working with high net worth individuals, she was a buy-side research analyst at Mesirow Financial where she had primary coverage of the financials sector and supported three institutional value equity strategies. Earlier, Rowland was a generalist equity analyst at Morningstar and published research reports on companies in a variety of industries. She earned a BA from the University of Notre Dame in economics and French and an MBA from the University of Chicago in finance, accounting and economics. Rowland has served as a member of the steering committee for William Blair’s Women’s Alliance, and currently leads William Blair’s internal network of CFA charterholders ambassador group. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of CFA Institute and CFA Society Chicago. Rowland currently serves as chair of CFA Society Chicago’s Board of Directors and previously served as a co-chair of the Society’s Annual Dinner Committee (2015-2017).

Brian Singer, CFA, partner, is the head of William Blair’s Dynamic Allocation Strategies (DAS) team, on which he also serves as portfolio manager. He is also a member of the Investment Management leadership team. Before joining William Blair in 2011, Singer was the head of investment strategies at Singer Partners, LLC. Before that, Singer was the head of global investment solutions and the Americas chief investment officer for UBS Global Asset Management, where he was a member of the UBS Group’s managing board and global asset management executive committee.

Singer is extensively involved with the CFA Institute. He formerly served as a board member and chair of the CFA Institute board of governors. He is a member of CFA Society Chicago and a former chair and member of the CFA Institute Research Foundation board of trustees, and in 2015, he received the CFA Institute’s Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes CFA members who have made a significant contribution to the CFA Institute through their leadership, exceptional stewardship, and outstanding service. 

Singer has written extensively on global portfolio, currency, and performance issues, and co-wrote the seminal Determinants of Portfolio Performance II: An Update with Gary Brinson and Gilbert Beebower. In 2009 Singer was the lead author of Investment Leadership and Portfolio Management from Wiley Publishing. In 2018 CFA Society Chicago awarded Singer the Hortense Friedman Award for Excellence, and in 2015 The Spaulding Group inducted Singer into the Performance and Risk Management Hall of Fame. Brian serves on the endowment investment committee for Exeter College at Oxford University; he is chairman of the “Free to Choose Network,” which is inspired by the ideas of economist Milton Friedman; and he serves as a member of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Keystone board. Singer received a B.A. in economics from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Chris Vincent, CFA, joined CFA Society Chicago as chief executive officer in May of 2020. The majority of his investment career was spent as a fixed income portfolio manager in Chicago with two firms, William Blair and Zurich Scudder. He was head of fixed income and a partner at William Blair Investment Management (2002-2019) where he managed bond mutual funds and separate accounts. At Zurich Scudder (the successor firm to Kemper Financial), Vincent was a managing director and senior portfolio manager for institutional clients (1988-2002). His roots in the money management industry are as a corporate plan sponsor with Nestle Purina in St. Louis (1983-1988).

Vincent has been a volunteer for CFA Society Chicago and CFA Institute since 2006. He previously served as chair of the Board of Directors for CFA Society Chicago (2014-2015) and has also volunteered for various CFA Institute groups and committees, notably as a member of the Annual Conference Advisory Committee (2012-2018).

Vincent earned his CFA charter in 1990, received his undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Missouri and holds an M.B.A. from Saint Louis University.

Leon Zeng is currently director of behavioral insights at Morningstar. In his role, he leads the behavioral marketing and behavioral analytics team to better connect prospective clients with Morningstar’s investment products/services, best serve their needs, and ultimately empower investor success. Zeng received his master’s and PhD from Purdue University with a focus on Human Factors and Management Science. He also finished an Executive Education program at Yale School of Management. Zeng has twenty academic publications and has recently coauthored a chapter in the upcoming American Psychological Association (APA) Handbook of Consumer Psychology.

*Special Notes Regarding Fees:
This event is complimentary for both members and nonmembers. Registration online is required and closes at 5:00 PM on April 15, 2021.

4/16/2021 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

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