Valerie G. Brown is Executive Chairman of Advisor Group, Inc., one of the nation’s largest networks of independent financial advisors with more than 5,000 independent advisors and approximately $190 billion in total client assets under management. Advisor Group provides comprehensive broker-dealer services, technology, and advisory programs through its four registered broker-dealers and Registered Investment Advisors: FSC Securities, Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial, and Woodbury Financial Services.
Before assuming her current position with Advisor Group, Ms. Brown served as the Chief Executive Officer of Cetera Financial Group from the company’s formation in 2010 until its sale in 2014. In 2009 she led the spin out of the Cetera companies from ING to Lightyear Capital. Prior to Cetera, Ms. Brown was chief executive officer of ING Advisors Network, having previously served as its president for five years.
Ms. Brown currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Financial Services Institute (FSI) and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Board of Directors. Ms. Brown has also served on the Membership and District 7 committees of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) and as a Director on the BlackRock Equity/Bond Funds Board.
Throughout her career, Ms. Brown has been honored with a number of industry awards. She is actively involved in charitable arts organizations and is a member of C200, an invitation-only membership organization of women business leaders from around the world. Ms. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree with high scholarship in chemical engineering from Oregon State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University.
Jim Crowley is the Chief Operating Officer for BNY Mellon | Pershing. Jim ensures that Pershing has the operational controls, reporting procedures, systems and talent in place to support its business. He shares responsibility with the Chief Executive Officer for all Pershing affiliates globally and is a member of Pershing’s Executive Committee.
Prior to his current role, Jim served as the firm’s chief relationship officer, working side-by-side with clients to help them build sustainable and profitable businesses, serve their clients more effectively and deliver an exceptional end-to-end experience.
Jim is a frequent speaker at client and industry events on business trends, strategy and transformation. He is often quoted in the business press for his broad range of industry insights and experience.
During his career at Pershing, Jim has worked in various operating areas, including a stint on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange before leading marketing and business development for the fixed income business. Subsequently, Jim moved into relationship management, taking on increasingly senior roles while building the firm’s relationship management team. Jim began his career in the firm’s Corporate Trainee Program.
Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Florida State University. He is on the Board of Directors of the Financial Services Institute (FSI) and the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI). Jim has completed the Securities Industry Institute® (SII) program, sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He served on the SII Board of Trustees, where he held the role of chairman from 2007-2009, and has been a member of the organization since 1988.
Catherine Keating is the Chief Executive Officer of BNY Mellon Wealth Management and a member of the BNY Mellon Executive Committee, the company’s most senior leadership group. For over two centuries, BNY Mellon has served wealthy families around the world, their businesses and family offices, and endowments and foundations. It was recognized as the Best Private Bank for Customer Service in the United States by Financial Times publications Professional Wealth Management and The Banker in 2017.
Prior to joining BNY Mellon, Catherine was the Chief Executive Officer of Commonfund. Before Commonfund, Catherine held a variety of senior positions at J.P. Morgan over two decades, including Head of Investment Management Americas and CEO of the U.S. Private Bank, as well as being a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
Catherine is a frequent speaker on wealth and investment topics. She has been featured in interviews appearing in The Wall Street Journal, Barron′s, The Financial Times, Businessweek and Institutional Investor, among others. Catherine has also appeared on CNBC, Fox and Bloomberg TV. She has been named one of the Most Powerful Women in Finance and one of the Most Powerful Women in Banking by American Banker. Catherine is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Economic Club of New York. She also serves on the boards of the University of Virginia Law School Foundation and the Inner-City Scholarship Fund. She previously served for eleven years on the board of Villanova University, including two years as Chair. She earned a J.D. from the University of Virginia and a B.A. from Villanova University.
Michael Kitces is a Partner and the Director of Wealth Management for Pinnacle Advisory Group, a private wealth management firm located in Columbia, Maryland that oversees approximately $2.0 billion of client assets.
In addition, he is a co-founder of the XY Planning Network, AdvicePay, and New Planner Recruiting, the former Practitioner Editor of the Journal of Financial Planning, the host of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, and the publisher of the popular financial planning industry blog Nerd’s Eye View through his website Kitces.com, dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning. In 2010, Michael was recognized with one of the FPA’s “Heart of Financial Planning” awards for his dedication and work in advancing the profession.
Throughout his career, Scott Klososky has been on the forefront of technology and industry. He is renowned globally for his ability to recognize and capitalize on future trends regarding the ways technology is shaping business and our world. He is currently invested in guiding leaders through the digital transformation. Scott is the founder and principle of technology consulting firm Future Point of View. Scott regularly advises C-suite executives inside some of the nation’s most recognizable organizations.
Through Future Point of View, he works with organizations of different sizes and industries to assess and improve their digital maturity. Scott has developed the innovative concept of HUMALOGY®, the blending of technology and humanity. Humalogy provides a framework on how leaders can best balance technology and human effort to make processes more efficient and effective.
A widely sought after speaker, Scott speaks to audiences around the world on a range of topics including cybersecurity, leadership, data intelligence, trendspotting, digital marketing and finding the Humalogy balance. He has developed a reputation for delivering informative, thought-provoking, and entertaining presentations. For much of his career, Scott has been devoted to helping organizations protect their digital assets and pilot what is becoming an increasingly critical area for the health and survival of all: cybersecurity. He is an owner in TriCorps Security which provides a host of cybersecurity services including internal and external assessments, vulnerability testing, forensics, remediation, and team member training. He has spoken in front of the FBI’s Cyber Warfare Conference and the Federal Government for Financial Accountants. He is driven to ensure that all organizations can effectively protect themselves from cyberattack.
Alan Mulally served as president and chief executive officer of The Ford Motor Company and as a member of Ford's board of directors from 2006-2014.
Alan led Ford's transformation into one of the world's leading automobile companies and the #1 automobile brand in the United States. He guided Ford in working together on a compelling vision, comprehensive strategy and implementation of the One Ford plan to deliver profitable growth for all ofthe company's stakeholders.
Prior to joining Ford, Alan served The Boeing Company for 37 years as executive vice president, and president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and of Boeing Information, Space and Defense Systems. Alan led the transformation of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Information and Defense Systems to the #1 commercial airplane company and aerospace company in the world.
Throughout his career, Alan has been recognized for his contributions, industry leadership, and service, including being named #3 on FORTUNE's "World's Greatest Leaders", one of the 30 "World's Best CEO's" by Barrons' magazine, one of "The World's Most Influential People" by TIME magazine and "Chief Executive of the Year" by Chief Executive magazine. He was also honored with the American Society for Quality's medal for excellence in executive leadership, and the “Thomas Edison Achievement Award”. Alan is a Museum of Flight Pathfinder and a member of the Automobile Hall of Fame.
Alan previously served on President Obama's United States Export Council. He served as co-chairman of the Washington Competitiveness Council, and has served on the advisory boards of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the University of Washington, the University of Kansas, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. Alan has also served as president of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Aerospace Industries Association.
Alan is a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of England's Royal Academy of Engineering.
Alan currently serves on the board of directors of Google, Carbon 3D, and the Mayo Clinic.
Alan holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Kansas, and a master’s in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.
Ramaswamy (Ram) Nagappan is the Chief Information Officer for BNY Mellon | Pershing. With more than 30 years of information technology experience, Ram oversees the firm’s technology product management and digital experience delivery for wealth management solutions. As a member of Pershing’s Executive Committee and BNY Mellon’s Technology Executive Council, he is closely involved in setting the firm’s strategic direction.
A spokesperson on technology trends and issues, Ram has been featured in a number of technology and financial publications and on Bloomberg Radio. He is a regular keynote speaker and panelist at industry events and conferences. Ram has been instrumental in developing many award-winning solutions. Most recently, Ram was recognized by ComputerWorld as a Premier 100 IT Leader and by the New Jersey Technology Council as “CIO of the Year.”
Prior to assuming his current role, Ram served as managing director and chief technology officer at DLJdirect and CSFBdirect, pioneers in online internet brokerage. He also played a significant role in establishing iNautix Technologies India Private Limited at Chennai, India, a technology affiliate of BNY Mellon that provides an array of technology development service. In these roles, Ram’s work was focused on business areas including clearance, settlement and trading order management, as well as market making. Before joining Pershing, he was a technology consultant to Guardian Life Insurance, Bakst International and Data Software Research Corp.
Ram is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Operations & Technology Advisory Committee and has served on technology advisory committees for various national securities exchanges.
A graduate of Anna University Chennai (India), Ram earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Communication. He has also completed the Securities Industry Institute® (SII) program, sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Born in South Africa to British and Welsh parents and raised in British Columbia, Canada, Stephen John Nash is a two-time NBA MVP and 8-time NBA All-Star, and a first-ballot inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2018 class. A recipient of the Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award and member of the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor, Steve retired from the NBA in 2015 as the oldest player to lead the league in assists, its all-time free-throw percentage leader, and an unprecedented four-time member of the 50/40/90 Club, having shot at least 50% from the field, 40% from the 3-point stripe, and 90% from the line for more seasons than any other NBA player in history. He now serves as a player development consultant to the Golden State Warriors, analyst for B/R Football, and as General Manager of Canada Basketball’s Men’s National Team.
Off the court, Steve continues to deliver assists every day as President of the Steve Nash Foundation , a U.S. and Canadian charity dedicated to assisting underserved children in their health and education, with innovative new platforms addressing early childhood neurodevelopment and health-focused athlete development for children and adolescents. He has been named to the Order of Canada and Order of BC and awarded numerous honors for his humanitarianism and dedication to service. Steve is an engaged investor, including ownership stakes in the Vancouver Whitecaps and Real Mallorca football clubs, and a film production company, Control Media . Steve lives in California with his wife, Lilla, and their family.
Claire Santaniello is a Managing Director for BNY Mellon | Pershing and a member of its Executive Committee. Claire serves as Head of Operations and leads Pershing’s Client Service Delivery, Prime Services and Trading Services groups in the U.S. She previously served as chief administrative officer, chief risk officer and chief compliance officer.
Claire is a former member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Membership Committee, the Adjudicatory Council (NAC), former chair and current member of the FINRA Statutory Disqualification Committee of the NAC, former member of FINRA Market Regulation Committee and previously served as co-chair of the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Compliance and Regulatory Policy Committee.
Claire earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Muhlenberg College. She also completed the Securities Industry Institute® program, sponsored by SIFMA, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Thomas Sholes is the Chief Strategy Officer, Managing Director and a member of the Executive Committee for BNY Mellon | Pershing. Tom is Head of Global Strategy and Product Management, chairs Pershing’s Technology Priorities Committee and is the Chairman and President of Lockwood Advisors, Inc.
Prior to joining Pershing and before the company’s acquisition by BNY Mellon in July 2010, Tom was an executive vice president and senior managing director for PNC Global Investment Servicing. During this time, he was in charge of the financial advisor services division, which encompassed three lines of business: Albridge Solutions, Coates Analytics and PNC Managed Investment Services, Inc. Tom was also head of its strategic planning, corporate development and product management activities and a member of its Operating Committee. He served on PNC Financial’s Management Committee, as well as the firm’s Administrative Pension Committee.
Before joining PNC, Tom was employed by Federated Investors, where he led Edgewood Services, a broker-dealer subsidiary of the firm. Prior to this, he managed product development and marketing teams serving the broker-dealer, bank and institutional markets.
Tom serves on the Board of Governors for the Money Management Institute, the Board of Directors for Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia and is a member of the Investment Committee for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” Simon teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single day feeling inspired, feel safe at work, and feel fulfilled at the end of the day, he is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them.
Simon is the author of multiple best-selling books:
- The global best seller (with over a 1 million books sold in the U.S. alone):
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
- The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller, Leaders Eat Last:
Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t
- The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller, Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration
- Find Your Why: A Practical Guide to Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team
- And his latest book, The Infinite Game, due out Early 2019.
A trained ethnographer, Simon is fascinated by the people and organizations that make the greatest, lasting impact in their organizations and in the world. Over the years, he has discovered some remarkable patterns about how they think, act and communicate and the environments in which people operate at their natural best. He has devoted his life to sharing his thinking in order to help other leaders and organizations inspire action.
Simon may be best known for popularizing the concept of Why in his first Ted Talk in 2009. It rose to become the third most watched talk of all time on TED.com, with over 35 million views and subtitled in 45 languages. His interview on Millennials in the Workplace broke the internet in 2016 and garnered over 200 million views in the first month. This led to Simon being YouTube’s fifth most searched term in 2017.
His unconventional and innovative views on business and leadership have attracted international attention. From American Airlines to Disney and MARS, from big business to entrepreneurs to police forces, Simon has been invited to meet with an array of leaders and organizations in nearly every industry. He has also had the honor of sharing his ideas at the United Nations, the United States Congress and with the senior most leaders of the United States Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Army and Coast Guard.
With a vision to change the way business’s think, act and operate, Simon has partnered with Ernst & Young to develop products and services to help many companies transform their businesses. He is an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world. He is also active in the arts and in the non-for-profit world (Simon prefers to call it the for-impact world).
Megan Smith is an award-winning tech entrepreneur, engineer, and evangelist. As the third U.S. chief technology officer, Smith helped the President harness the power of technology, data, and innovation to advance the future of our nation and the world. She recruited top tech talent to serve across government and to collaborate on the most pressing issues of the day, from data science and open source, to inclusive economic growth and criminal justice reform. She focused on broad capacity building by cocreating all-hands-on-deck initiatives, including the public-private program TechHire, the Computer Science for All initiative, and the Image of STEM campaign.
Prior to her role as U.S. CTO, Smith served as vice president of new business development at Google, managing early-stage partnerships across the company's global engineering and product teams. She led acquisitions of Google Earth, Maps, and Picasa, steered the shift of Google.org to include more direct engineering impact, such as Google Crisis Response, and later served on the leadership team of GoogleX, where she co-created SolveForX and Women Techmakers.
As CEO of PlanetOut, Smith was a leader of the online LGBT community in the early days of the Internet. She drove engagement and revenue by partnering closely with top Internet companies, including AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, Netscape, RealNetworks, and others. She also worked as an engineer at General Magic on teams designing early smartphone technologies and at Apple Japan in Tokyo.
Today, Smith is CEO of shift7, which focuses ontech-forward networked innovation for impact and economic inclusion. She is also an advisor to the MIT Media Lab, Vital Voices, and the Malala Fund, which she co-founded. Over the years, she has contributed to a wide range of engineering projects, including an award-winning bicycle lock, space station construction program, and solar cook stoves. Smith holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she now serves on the board. She was a member of the MIT student team that designed, built, and raced a solar car 2,000 miles across the Australian outback. She has recently been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering.