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Forward-thinking advisors meet to hear from financial industry heavyweights about the state of the markets and the economy, and to discover new and innovative ways they can address the increasingly complex needs of their clients.
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J. Kyle Bass is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Hayman Capital Management, an investment manager of private funds focused on global event-driven opportunities. He is also the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Conservation Equity Management, an environmental sustainability private equity firm founded in 2021.
Mr. Bass is a founding member of the Committee on the Present Danger: China. Mr. Bass was the recipient of the 2019 Foreign Policy Association Medal for his responsible internationalism and is a current member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Bass has testified as an expert witness before the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
In 2015, Bass was recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Global Patent Market as named by Intellectual Asset Management magazine. Mr. Bass has lectured on global economics at various universities, including Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Texas, and the University of Virginia. Mr. Bass is the former Chair of the Risk Committee of the Board of Directors of the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), which manages approximately $50 billion.
Before forming Hayman, Mr. Bass was a Managing Director at Legg Mason and a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns. He graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in finance. Mr. Bass serves on the board of the Texas Department of Public Safety Foundation and Melinda’s Foods.
Barry Sternlicht is Chairman & CEO of Starwood Capital Group, the private alternative investment firm he formed in 1991 that is focused on global real estate, hotel management, oil and gas, and energy infrastructure. Mr. Sternlicht also serves as Chairman of Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), a leading diversified finance company.
For the past 31 years, Mr. Sternlicht has structured investments with an asset value of $235B+. Starwood Capital’s investment vehicles have invested in approximately 285,000 residential units, 4,000 hotels, 103M SF of office properties, 73M SF of Industrial, 56M SF of retail and 70,000 lots of land in residential subdivisions. The Firm currently manages approximately $125B of assets on behalf of its high net worth and institutional partners. Starwood Capital, its affiliates and externally managed public companies encompass over 4,500 employees. The Firm maintains offices in Arlington, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Greenwich, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., and affiliated offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Sydney and Tokyo.
From 1995 through early 2005, Mr. Sternlicht was Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, a company he founded in 1995. During his tenure, he built Starwood Hotels into one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world, employing more than 120,000 people with 895 properties in 100 countries. Mr. Sternlicht created W Hotels, perhaps the world’s most successful “boutique” brand, and built the St. Regis Hotels brand from a single hotel to a global brand.
In 2008, Mr. Sternlicht founded SH Group, his new hotel management company. SH Group is the owner and manager of Baccarat Hotels & Resorts and 1 Hotels brands.
In 2016, Mr. Sternlicht was the recipient of PERE’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015, he was named the Global Industry Figure of the Year by PERE, received the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Hotel Investment Forum. In 2013, Mr. Sternlicht was named the Most Important Person in Commercial Real Estate Finance by The Mortgage Observer. In 2010, Mr. Sternlicht was named Executive of the Year and Investor of the Year by Commercial Property Executive. Mr. Sternlicht was also named America’s Best Lodging CEO by Institutional Investor Magazine. He is a member of the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame. He has received the Preston Robert Tisch Distinguished Industry Leadership Award from New York University, the CEO Diversity Award from Diversity Best Practices/Business Women’s Network, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Travel Marketing Executives, the Hospitality Heritage Award from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the Marketer of the Year Award from Brandweek. Mr. Sternlicht’s humanitarian efforts have garnered prestigious national honors such as JDRF’s Man of the Year, JDRF’s Living and Giving Award and JDRF’s Chairman’s Award.
Mr. Sternlicht serves on the Board of Directors of The Estée Lauder Companies and the Real Estate Roundtable. Additionally, he formerly served as Chairman of the Board and is currently a Board member of The Robin Hood Foundation, and also serves on the Boards of the Dreamland Film & Performing Arts Center, and the Executive Advisory Board of Americans for the Arts. He is a member of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation Trustee Council, the World Presidents Organization and the Urban Land Institute.
Barry Sternlicht received his BA, magna cum laude, with honors from Brown University. He later earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.
U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp served as the first female senator elected from North Dakota from 2013-2019.
Senator Heitkamp grew up in a large family in the small town of Mantador, North Dakota. Alongside her six brothers and sisters, she learned the value of hard work and responsibility, leading her to choose a life of public service.
During her six years in the U.S. Senate, Senator Heitkamp quickly became a proven senator who worked across the aisle to fight for North Dakotans. Senator Heitkamp personally showed that if senators work together, it can lead to real solutions. She also came to work every day fighting for rural America and made sure others in the Senate understood the needs of rural communities.
Former Republican Senator Bob Corker called Senator Heitkamp “stronger than battery acid.” Democratic Senator Jon Tester said “she has been incredibly effective” in the Senate.
Senator Heitkamp courageously voted against Justice Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court after hearing testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanuagh’s response testimony. Following the vote, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said Senator Heitkamp had, “become a bit of a feminist icon.”
Throughout her time in public service, Senator Heitkamp has stood up for tribal communities and worked to improve outcomes for Native American children, women, and families. The first bill she introduced in the Senate, which became law in 2016, created a Commission on Native Children. Her bill with former Senator John McCain became law to create Amber Alerts in Indian Country. She introduced Savanna’s Act to help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women. And she worked to help address the detrimental impact exposure to trauma can have on children and families – particularly those in Native communities.
Senator Heitkamp also worked to combat human trafficking in North Dakota, across the country, and around the world. She helped write legislation, which was signed into law, to crack down on human trafficking online, which led to the closure of Backpage.com.
A strong advocate for working families, Senator Heitkamp has fought to support North Dakotans throughout their lives. She helped introduce legislation to create a federal paid family and medical leave policy. She led the effort to get the Export-Import Bank up and running to boost American manufacturing and support American workers and businesses. She strongly backed legislation to prevent discrimination in the workplace against LGBTQ individuals. And she fought for retirement security for families and seniors by working to solve the pension crisis facing many retirees.
Senator Heitkamp has pushed to make health care more affordable and accessible. She fought back against efforts to repeal the health reform law and tried to make the law work better for families and businesses. She halted attempts to slash Medicaid and Medicare or privatize Social Security. She voted against the Republican tax bill and has called for a fairer tax system that doesn’t drastically increase the nation’s debt and deficit.
As a former director of the one-of-a-kind Dakota Gasification synfuels plant,Senator Heitkamp has a long record with energy development in North Dakota. She continued those efforts in the Senate, working to responsibly harness North Dakota’s energy resources, and successfully pushed to lift the 40-year old ban on exporting U.S. crude oil while expanding support for renewable energies, like wind and solar energy development.
Senator Heitkamp sat on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, where she fought for North Dakota’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities to make sure they got the resources and support they need to continue to feed North Dakota, the country, and the world. She helped write, negotiate, and pass two long-term, comprehensive Farm Bills which Congress passed.
Through her leadership on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senator Heitkamp pushed to reform the nation’s housing finance system, make housing more affordable, and provide relief to small financial institutions.
On the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Senator Heitkamp pushed to provide training and resources for first responders to keep North Dakota’s communities strong and safe, improve mail delivery and service in rural communities, help recruit and retain a strong federal workforce, and cut red tape to make the federal government more efficient and effective for North Dakota families and small businesses.
Senator Heitkamp previously served as North Dakota’s Attorney General, and prior to that as the state’s Tax Commissioner. She serves on numerous boards including the McCain Institute and the Howard Buffett Foundation. She is the founder and Chair of the One Country Project, an organization focused on addressing the needs and concerns of rural America.
Senator Heitkamp received a B.A. from the University of North Dakota and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.She lives in Mandan, North Dakota with her husband, Dr. Darwin Lange, a family practitioner. They have two children, Ali and Nathan.
Cathie registered ARK Investment Management LLC (“ARK”) as an investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2014. With over 40 years of experience identifying and investing in innovation, Cathie founded ARK to focus solely on disruptive innovation while adding new dimensions to research. Through an open approach that cuts across sectors, market capitalizations, and geographies, Cathie believes that ARK can identify large-scale investment opportunities in the public markets resulting from technological innovations centered around DNA sequencing, robotics, artificial intelligence, energy storage, and blockchain technology. As Chief Investment Officer (“CIO”) and Portfolio Manager, Cathie led the development of ARK’s philosophy and investment approach and has ultimate responsibility for investment decisions.
Prior to ARK, Cathie spent twelve years at AllianceBernstein as CIO of Global Thematic Strategies where she managed over $5 billion. Cathie joined Alliance Capital from Tupelo Capital Management, a hedge fund she co-founded, which in 2000, managed approximately $800 million in global thematic strategies. Prior to her tenure at Tupelo Capital, she worked for 18 years with Jennison Associates LLC as Chief Economist, Equity Research Analyst, Portfolio Manager and Director. She started her career in Los Angeles, California at The Capital Group as an Assistant Economist. Cathie received her Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, in Finance and Economics from the University of Southern California in 1981.
Cathie has been recognized as an influential fund manager across various outlets. In 2018, editors at Bloomberg acknowledged Cathie by selecting her to its second annual Bloomberg 50 list of people across business, entertainment, finance, politics, technology, and science who have defined global business. Additionally, Fortune named Cathie to its exclusive roundtable of experts in the annual Fortune Investors Guide: The Best Investing Advice for 2019 From Fortune’s Experts. In 2016, Cathie received the “Women in Finance – Outstanding Contribution Award” from Market Media. Cathie also has been a featured speaker at the World Economic Forum (China) in 2016 & 2017, the World Strategic Forum (Miami) in 2017, The Sohn Hearts and Minds Investment Leaders Conference (Australia) in 2018 and 2019, and Singularity University’s Exponential Finance in 2017 and Global Summit in 2019.
In 2018, Cathie launched the Duddy Innovation Institute at her alma mater, Notre Dame Academy in Los Angeles. The institute offers a challenging educational experience for young women eager to stretch their learning beyond the boundaries of traditional acquisition of knowledge, while influencing a new way of thinking and learning throughout campus.
At the end of 1991, following 25 years of service, Leon Cooperman retired from his positions as a General Partner of Goldman Sachs & Co. and as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs Asset Management to organize and launch an investment-management business, Omega Advisors, Inc.
At Goldman Sachs, Cooperman spent 15 years as a Partner and one year (1990-1991) as of-counsel to the Management Committee. In 1989, he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Chief Investment Officer of the firm's equity product line, managing the GS Capital Growth Fund, an open-end mutual fund, for one-and-a-half years. Prior to those appointments, Cooperman had spent 22 years in the Investment Research Department as Partner-in-charge, Co-Chairman of the Investment Policy Committee and Chairman of the Stock Selection Committee. For nine consecutive years, he was voted the number- one portfolio strategist in Institutional Investor Magazine's annual "All-America Research Team" survey.
As a designated Chartered Financial Analyst, Cooperman is a senior member and past President of the New York Society of Security Analysts. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Saint Barnabas Development Foundation, a member of the Board of Overseers of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, a member of the Board of Directors of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a member of the Investment Committee of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Board Chairman of Green Spaces, a committee organized to rebuild 13 parks in Newark, NJ.
Cooperman received his MBA from Columbia Business School and his undergraduate degree from Hunter College. He is a recipient of Roger Williams University's Honorary Doctor of Finance; a recipient of Hunter College's Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters; an inductee into Hunter College's Hall of Fame; and a recipient of the 2003 American Jewish Committee (AJC) Wall Street Human Relations Award, the 2006 Seton Hall Humanitarian of the Year Award, the 2009 Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark Award for Caring, and the 2009 UJA-Federation of New York's Wall Street and Financial Services Division Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013, Cooperman was inducted into Alpha Magazine's Hedge Fund Hall of Fame and was honored by the AJC at their 50th anniversary with the Herbert H. Lehman Award for his professional achievements, philanthropic efforts, and longstanding support for AJC. In 2014, Columbia Business School awarded Lee its Distinguished Leadership in Business Award, and Bloomberg Markets named him to its fourth annual "50 Most Influential" list (one of only ten money managers globally to be so honored, selected "based on what they're doing now, rather than past achievements"). He was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association in April 2015.
Cooperman and his wife, Toby, have two sons and three grandchildren.
Jeffrey Smith is a Managing Member, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Starboard Value LP. Prior to founding Starboard Value LP, Mr. Smith was a Partner Managing Director of Ramius LLC, a subsidiary of the Cowen Group, Inc., and the Chief Investment Officer for the funds that comprised the Value and Opportunity investment platform. Mr. Smith was also a member of Cowen’s Operating Committee and Cowen’s Investment Committee. Prior to joining Ramius in January 1998, he served as Vice President of Strategic Development and a member of the Board of Directors of The Fresh Juice Company, Inc. Mr. Smith began his career in the Mergers and Acquisitions department at Société Générale. Mr. Smith is currently on the Board of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated. Mr. Smith was formerly Chair of the Board of Papa John’s International, Inc., Starboard Value Acquisition Corp., Advance Auto Parts, Inc., Darden Restaurants, Inc. and Phoenix Technologies Ltd. and formerly on the Boards of Cyxtera Technologies, Inc., Perrigo Company plc., Yahoo! Inc., Quantum Corporation, Office Depot, Inc., Regis Corporation, Surmodics, Inc., Zoran Corporation, Actel Corporation, Kensey Nash Corp., S1 Corp and the Fresh Juice Company. Mr. Smith graduated from The Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania, where he received a B.S. in Economics.
Jay Clayton, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission from May 2017 to December 2020, is a Senior Policy Advisor and Of Counsel to Sullivan & Cromwell. Mr. Clayton’s practice centers on corporate governance and financial regulatory matters, economic policy and government relations, and investigations.
Helima Croft is a Managing Director and the Head of Global Commodity Strategy and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Research at RBC Capital Markets. She specializes in geopolitics and energy, leading a team of commodity strategists that cover energy, metals and cross-commodity investor activity, as well as policy analysis and both Washington and global political insights.
Helima is a member of the National Petroleum Council, a select group of individuals who advise, inform and make recommendations to the Secretary of Energy with respect to any matter relating to oil and natural gas.
She also is a CNBC contributor, a member of the channel’s exclusive family of experts, is on the Board of Directors for the Atlantic Council, is a member of the Trilateral Commission, and is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is on the Board of Directors of Reservoir Media, Inc., the first female-founded and led publicly traded independent music company in the U.S.
Helima joined RBC Capital Markets from Barclays, where she was a Managing Director and Head of North American Commodities Research. Prior to that, she worked in Lehman’s Business Intelligence group, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Central Intelligence Agency, where she focused on geopolitics and commodities.
Helima has received many industry accolades throughout her career and received her PhD in economic history from Princeton in 2001.
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