James Ware, CFA, is the founder of Focus Consulting Group, a firm dedicated to helping investment leaders leverage their talent. James is also a highly acclaimed industry author and international speaker on the subjects of investment leadership, culture and building high performing teams. A frequent keynote speaker at CFA Institute, Mutual Fund Educational Alliance, Investment Adviser Association, U.S. Institute and other major industry conferences, James is recognized for his insightful, inspiring and entertaining presentations. His most recent books are Type, Talent and Teams (2018), Lessons on Leadership (LOL) (2018), and Money, Meaning and Mindsets (2017). Prior books include Investment Leadership: Building a Winning Culture for Long-Term Success (Wiley, 2003) and High Performing Investment Teams (Wiley, 2006). They identify elements of leadership and teamwork that lead to sustainable success for investment firms. His articles have been published in the FAJ and JPM. James has 20 years experience as a research analyst, portfolio manager, and director of buy-side investment operations. He has been a guest lecturer on the topic of investment firm management at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. His educational background includes a Masters in Business from the University of Chicago and a degree in philosophy from Williams College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
To learn more about Jim, click here for his personal bio.
Keith Robinson is the Managing Partner of Focus Consulting Group and brings over 27 years of global investment experience to his consulting and coaching work at FCG. As an expert in human resource and talent management at Allstate Investments, UBS, and Marsh & McLennan, he was selected to develop a cutting edge leadership development program for Northern Illinois University. His specialties include: Management and Leadership Development, Education and Training, Organizational Design and Performance, and Business Strategy. He is the co-author of the highly acclaimed white paper, “Investment Tribes” co-written with Jim Ware, and was recently published in Harvard Business Review and Smart Biz magazine for his work on “High Performing Investment Teams” and “Managing the Human Portfolio.” Keith holds an MBA from University of Illinois and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a business degree from Western Connecticut.
To learn more about Keith, click here for his personal bio.
Michael Falk, CFA, CRC and FCG partner helps investment teams improve their investment philosophy, process and execution, and firms with their strategic planning. Prior to FCG, he has been Chief Strategist on a global macro hedge fund, and CIO for a multi-billion-dollar advisory. His background includes extensive asset allocation research, portfolio development expertise and a multi-faceted understanding of behavioral finance and retirement issues.
Michael is also the author of the CFA Institute Research Foundation Monograph “Let’s All Learn How to Fish… to Sustain Long-term Economic Growth” (www.letsalllearnhowtofish.com), and part of the CFA Institute’s Approved Speaker List. He teaches for the CFA Society of Chicago in their Claritas program, and has taught at DePaul University in their Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Certificate Program. He is a sought-after presenter and frequently quoted in the financial press.
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Elizabeth (Liz) Severyns, LCSW, has been working with individuals and groups for over 20 years. An expert in psychology, she manages all FCG diagnostics tools and is certified in Enneagram Personality tool. She has a natural genius for reading people and situations. These natural talents combined with her training in the area of assessment allow her to quickly identify developmental issues and problem areas for leaders and managers at all levels in organizations. In addition, her specialized skills in crisis intervention enable her to get dramatic results in short periods of time. Liz uses her specialty in helping clients focus on key development areas, leverage strengths in their organization and themselves. Prior to joining Focus Consulting Group, she held various management roles in both the public and private sectors, focused on crisis intervention and counseling. Liz has a BA in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MSW from Loyola University-Chicago.
To learn more about Liz, click here for her personal bio.
Jamie Ziegler is an experienced executive coach for business leaders and their teams. She has over 30 years combined coaching, consulting and business leadership experience, including 17 years as a senior executive at Northern Trust Global Investments and Stein Roe & Farnham in Chicago. She started her career as a mutual fund analyst and adviser. Jamie is the co-author of Type, Talent and Teams: Using the Enneagram for Investment Firm Success (2018) and High Performing Investment Teams (Wiley, 2006) and a guest lecturer on firm management at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She is a frequent speaker at industry events and has presented to more than 30 CFA societies around the world on the topics of teamwork and communications. She holds an MBA in finance from De Paul University and a BA in English from the University of Notre Dame. She is also certified in a broad range of developmental instruments, including the Enneagram of personality (Wagner program), the Center for Creative Leadership’s 360 degree feedback assessments, the Strengths Deployment Inventory (conflict management), the Harrison Assessment (job suitability) and mediation (Cook County Law Division).
Jack Skeen, Ph.D. has been studying and working in the area of human potential and coaching for the past thirty-five years. He has served as mentor and coach for many CEOs and senior executives of Fortune 500 companies. He is exceptionally talented at identifying obstacles that create a “ceiling effect” to success for individuals, relationships and teams. He is skilled at communicating that which people need to know but often seek to overlook, in ways that make the information highly useful. Prior to entering the world of coaching, Jack founded a private psychotherapy practice where he worked for ten years. He holds advanced degrees in theology from Westminster Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in psychology from Biola University.
Bryan is a senior strategy professional with more than 15 years of experience helping senior financial services executives to identify and solve critical business issues. He has a strong background in developing actionable business growth, market entry, product development and human capital and compensation strategies for leading organizations. Additionally, Bryan has worked closely with a number of growth-stage companies to develop growth and financial plans in support of equity and debt financings. Bryan has held a number of senior strategy and operations roles including leading Greenwich Associates’ Investment Management Strategic Advisory practice and serving as COO of McLagan’s Infrastructure Services team. He was also a senior member of management consultancy Casey Quirk, where he worked with asset management executives on marketing, investment platform and business strategy engagements. Prior to his time at Casey Quirk, Bryan was a Vice President in Morgan Stanley’s Competitive Strategies Group where he focused on the strategic initiatives of the firm’s asset and wealth management businesses. He has also served as an affiliate of private equity firm Broadline Capital where he was COO of one of the firm’s portfolio holdings. Bryan earned a B.A. in Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross and an M.B.A in Finance, Marketing and Strategy from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Hank draws on his 25 year career as an attorney, litigator, mediator, teacher and trainer in his work with leaders, team, and culture. He was chosen by the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers (2011) to coach and develop their leadership team. His expertise includes resolving conflict and helping organizations navigate intentional change management. He is passionate about coaching leaders and high performing teams. Hank holds a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Loyola University and a Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He also is a certified mediator.
Chuck Heisinger has an extensive track-record as an executive in a wide-variety of businesses. He has consulted to officers and senior teams of Fortune 50 company executives on team performance, leadership, strategic planning, change management, turnaround consulting and cultural transformation. Chuck worked in the investor relations field and helped companies to attract active buy-side investors as shareholders through peer company analysis and investor segmentation. He successfully adapted Stern-Stewart’s EVA model as a method
for investor targeting. He concentrated in Finance as an MBA student at the University of Michigan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.
David Ellzey is skilled in helping investment professionals achieve high performance through clear decision making, dissolving stress, and mastering effective communication. His consultancy within the United Nations organization illustrates his high competency for working with leaders of numerous styles. In addition to individual coaching of executives and CEOs, he excels in facilitating team cohesion and teaching candor, curiosity and constructive debate. As a coach, trainer, and global presenter David has been working in the field of human potential and emotional intelligence for over twenty years.
Laura brings a variety of skills to her role of organizing engagements for Focus Consulting Group. She worked for 12 years at Allstate Insurance Company where she held responsibilities as an administrative assistant, benefit expert, human resource professional and trainer. She also served for 10 years as a housing coordinator, connecting visiting international guests to U.S. host families. Laura is often commended for her attention to detail, excellent listening skills, creative problem solving ability and cooperative demeanor. She is passionate about personal /professional development and excited to be part of an organization which holds that value as well. Laura earned a BA in Psychology from Roosevelt University.
Robert Chender is a partnering consultant with Focus Consulting Group. He served as chief operating officer and general counsel for both major investment management companies and hedge fund groups for over 18 years. Robert is also a certified mindfulness teacher, and frequently teaches companies and teams about the role of mindfulness in the workplace and the scientifically proven benefits of mindfulness including better performance, greater leadership skills and increased individual and company well-being. As an executive coach, his deep knowledge of the investment management industry allows him to appreciate and understand his clients’ particular professional issues, and his coaching focuses on helping clients mindfully improve decision making, clarify goals and strategies and achieve higher levels of concentration and performance. Robert has a B.A. from Vassar College and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.