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National webcast: Hedge fund managers take center stage in 2021

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Start date: 6/16/2021
Start time: 12:00 PM EDT
Duration: 90 minutes


Christopher Mears

Partner National Emerging Manager Practice Leader


Chris is an audit partner as well as KPMG’s Emerging Manager National Leader. Chris is responsible for setting the strategy for the practice and overseeing execution. He focuses the Firm’s advisory, tax and audit solutions for the alternative investment market, including all activities for business and practice development, professional development, and technical support.

Katherine Ladd

Vice President

Morgan Stanley

Katherine Ladd is part of the Prime Brokerage Business Consulting team within Morgan Stanley. In this role, Katherine runs the series of global Business Management Studies and creates customized peer benchmarking reports for clients. She is a subject matter expert for hedge fund staffing, expense best practices, counterparty concentration, business insurance, compensation and human capital matters. Katherine joined Morgan Stanley in June 2014 after graduating from Georgetown University, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with degrees in Finance and Marketing.

Richard Gannalo

Chief Operating Officer & CFO

1543 Capital Fund LP

Richard Gannalo is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of 1543 Capital LP, a private credit focused asset management firm. Prior to 1543 Capital, Richard was the US COO & CFO of Cross Ocean Partners where he assembled and managed the financial, operational and business affairs of the $1.5bn AUM registered investment adviser, within a $3.3bn AUM global firm. Prior to Cross Ocean, Richard served as Controller at Monarch Alternative Capital and Vice President at Blackstone/GSO. Richard started his career at Rothstein Kass where he provided attestation and tax services for many types of investment management firms. Richard graduated from Villanova University with a BSc in Accounting, and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York.

John Budzyna

Managing Director


John M. Budzyna is a Managing Director at KPMG LLP and is a National Leader responsible for Market Development for Alternative Investments. Prior to joining KPMG, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Cutting Hedge Consulting Co. LLC, an organization dedicated to providing professional advisory and consulting services to the hedge fund industry. His thirty eight year career in financial services has encompassed delivering professional services to an extensive range of financial market companies, including hedge funds, commodity pool operators and funds, private equity organizations and venture capital funds.

Joseph Fisher

Senior Lead Partner, Alternative Investments Management Practice


Joe is a Senior Lead Partner in KPMG’s Alternative Investments Management Practice. He has over 26 years of experience in serving clients in the capital markets, with a particular emphasis on the alternative asset management industry focusing on hedge funds, private equity funds, and asset management companies. Joe frequently assists clients in understanding the various regulatory and operational frameworks and in structuring their alternative investment organizations. Joe is a subject matter resource for alternative investments and, in that role, he frequently consults with audit engagement teams in a variety of industries to assist them with respect to planning and performing auditing procedures on their portfolios of complex alternative investments. Joe is considered an audit transition specialist and during his career he as transitioned audits of clients with over US$100B in assets under management to new audit platforms. Joe frequently speaks at industry conferences and has been quoted in numerous asset management industry publications. Joe serves on the Board of Directors and is the Audit Committee Chairman for Hedge Funds Care; a charity whose sole mission is the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Joe served as the New York Gala Co-Chair for the 2012, 2013, 2015 to 2019, “Open Your Heart to the Children” bene ts and has raised over $9 million for the cause.

Michael Pierog

Managing Director, Hedge Fund Solutions


Michael Pierog is a Managing Director and Head of the Strategic Alliance Fund (“SAF”) Group, Blackstone’s hedge fund seeding business, for Blackstone Alternative Asset Management (BAAM). Prior to joining the SAF Group, Mr. Pierog was head of Credit Strategies in BAAM, where he was involved in hedge fund manager evaluation, selection, and monitoring as well as structured and corporate credit investments. Before joining Blackstone in 2013, Mr. Pierog was a Vice President in the Distressed and Special Situations group at Barclays Capital. Prior to working at Barclays, Mr. Pierog was an associate at Davidson Kempner Capital Management. Mr. Pierog received a BA in Economics from Amherst College where he graduated cum laude and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Seth Factor

Tax Partner


Seth Factor is a tax partner based in the New York office. Seth provides tax services to the Firm's Financial Services clientele. For the past 20 years, he has been specializing in the securities area with emphasis on tax planning for investment partnerships, investment advisors, hedge funds and their investors, venture capital companies, investment partnership management companies and general partner entities. He also assists high-net-worth individuals with investment, trust, estate and charitable contribution planning. Seth has serviced some of the largest investment partnerships in the country. He oversees tax issues and consults on a variety of trading strategies, including straddles, constructive sales, wash sales, swaps and mark to market. On many of his engagements, he assists clients with tax planning strategies, the preparation of technical reports and the tax implications of securities transactions. Seth is a certified public accountant in New York. He graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and earned his Master’s degree in taxation from Pace University. Seth is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants AICPA and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants NYSSCPA. Seth is also an active instructor for the Firm’s internal training program.

Eileen Overbaugh

Partner, Investment Management, Fund Formation & Structuring

Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Eileen advises hedge funds, venture capital funds and other pooled investment vehicles in connection with capital raising, structuring, formation, investor negotiations, and ongoing operations. Offering the benefit of extensive experience, Eileen negotiates seed and strategic investments, funds-of-one, managed account arrangements, and other alternative investment relationships. She also regularly advises asset managers and institutional investors with respect to co-investments. Her practice is focused particularly on the business arrangements between the principals of asset management firms, including governance of the investment manager and general partner entities. She also structures and negotiates employee compensation and employee separation arrangements for both asset managers and their most senior employees. Eileen works closely with clients to understand their business goals and commercial needs. She provides efficient, practical legal advice to a variety of clients, from family-owned enterprises to multinational asset managers.

Owen Schmidt


Shulte Roth & Zabel

Owen Schmidt Partner focuses his practice on private fund formation and compliance as well as growth equity and venture capital investment transactions. He advises on the formation and operation of hedge, credit and private equity funds and co-investment vehicles, among many other types of investment management matters. He assists private fund managers on all aspects and stages of their operations, from initial fund and management company structuring for emerging managers to ongoing compliance and investment transaction support to large institutional managers. Owen also has experience advising on legal negotiations for venture, early stage and late stage growth equity investment transactions (both control and non-control) in private companies around the world. Owen spent almost seven years as a partner, general counsel and chief compliance officer at two large investment fund managers, where he was responsible for all legal matters as well as the firms’ compliance programs. In addition to legal and compliance matters, he advised on all aspects of the firms’ operations and served on numerous firm committees, including valuation, conflicts, risk and cybersecurity. Owen holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and a B.S. from University of Arizona.

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