Arta Advisors’ consulting team comprises experienced and recognized industry leaders with domain expertise in a wide range of key areas: business solutions and process services; risk assessment, measurement and management; strategic planning; financial technology; best-practices; asset manager and fund assessments; corporate governance; and regulatory compliance programs.
Our senior consultants combined have more than 140 years of applied knowledge and expertise in the financial services and consulting industries spanning traditional and alternative asset management advisory, registered and closed-end funds, family offices, banking products and services, broker-dealer operations, quasi-operating entities, derivative products, structured transactions, corporate finance, commercial real estate, financial insurance products and financial industry regulation.
Soody Nelson is the founder and managing partner of Arta Advisors. She has more than 25 years of leadership and global experience in many key areas of the financial services industry, including strategic planning, product innovation, business development and management, corporate finance, structured transactions, risk assessment and management, and incorporation and implementation of Basel capital frameworks. Her expertise extends to asset management, where she has provided best-practices guidelines; evaluation and advice on credit, market, liquidity, counterparty and operating risk management; and portfolio manager selection to investors and managers of registered, alternative and structured funds.
Previously, as managing director at Standard & Poor’s, Soody led the global evaluation of real estate equity funds, their management teams, investment processes, governance and risk management. Soody also initiated, developed and managed the industry-leading group which developed risk assessment, measurement and management criteria for rating the first fund of private equity funds and fund of hedge funds, market value CDOs, portfolios of derivatives, traditional and alternative assets, and closed-end and registered funds. Soody has performed reviews of more than 100 U.S. and European portfolio managers. She has evaluated quasi-operating entities, derivative products companies, and esoteric and new assets. Additionally, she provided guidance for new products and businesses relating to alternative, structured and Sharia-compliant investments. Soody served as a member of Standard & Poor’s Diversity Council and was a frequent guest speaker at various industry events.
Soody’s prior relationships include: Advent International, Apax Partners, Apollo Management, AXA Real Estate Investments Managers, Bain Capital, Bank of America, Bear Stearns, Bridgepoint, Calyon, Capital Dynamics, The Carlyle Group, Cinven, Citibank, CSFB, Deutsche Bank, Doughty Hanson & Co., FSA, Goldman Sachs, Grosvenor Capital Management, Hines, HM Capital Partners, IXIS AEW, J.P. Morgan, KKR, Lehman Brothers, MacFarlane Partners, The Man Group, MBIA, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Oak Hill Advisors, Partners Group, The RMF Investment Group, Tannenbaum, TCW, 3i Group, UBS O’Conner, and Warburg Pincus.
As the principal consultant of Global Resources Group, which she founded, Soody provided management and business consulting to a number of U.S. and international companies. She advised on the launch of the first all-female, multi-manager, multi-strategy, Bermuda-based global hedge fund. She also advised on the formation of the first educational and business development incubators in Russia, promoting entrepreneurship in conjunction with the United Nations.
Soody devised marketing strategy for finite risk investment products for M&A candidates as a vice president at AIG Risk Management Inc.
In her earlier role as vice president at BNP Paribas, Soody developed strong working relationships with her portfolio companies, made significant contributions to their global growth and originated innovative financing arrangements for such Fortune 500 clients as GE, IBM, Xerox and United Technologies.
Having earned a B.A. in cost accounting and an M.B.A. in management, Soody joined Deutsche Bank, where she marketed commercial-banking products and services to major U.S. and European companies and managed trade-financing programs.
Damien Georges is globally recognized for his expertise in providing strategic advice and business intelligence solutions for private equity and real estate investors. He is a technology focused, strategic leader with extensive financial services experience specifically in real estate, mortgages and private equity. His specialties span management, commercial mortgages, commercial real estate, investment performance, strategic planning, decision support reporting, client reporting, budgeting, technology planning, selection and implementation.
Prior to founding Hipercept, Inc. in 2009, he was the real estate practice lead at EMC where he advised clients on maximizing the performance of their alternative investment portfolios.
Damien has also served in management roles at Resolve Technology, Summit Partners and the Nova Group in Japan. He has led significant engagements at the world’s largest investment management and private equity firms.
He is a graduate of Deakin University.
Tama Huang’s expertise in business intelligence, financial processing, portfolio analysis, business-process optimization, change management, and budgeting and forecasting is reflected in her 15 years of experience in managing numerous process-improvement projects across Asia, Europe and North America. As the founder and executive director of NOI Strategies, Tama is leading proven methodologies blended with innovative business process services to maximize asset valuation for global real estate owners, operators and investors.
Tama also has led cross-functional teams in multiple operational and financial back-office process improvement projects at Fortune 1000 companies; designed and deployed comprehensive business intelligence solutions for large real estate companies; managed development and enterprise-wide implementation of accounting applications for a large real estate services firm; and participated in a large-scale data warehouse implementation at the leading international supplier of facilities maintenance products.
Fluent in German, Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese as well as English, Tama holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago.
David Lifchitz possesses extensive quantitative expertise in risk management and systematic trading. As the founder and principal of Lifel, LLC, he provides risk management advice to hedge funds and funds of funds. Using his multi-disciplinary skill sets in financial markets, mathematics and technology, David has implemented an innovative approach to risk management, allowing investors to build portfolios of hedge funds that not only show significantly lower risks than the underlying funds, but also achieve higher returns, while keeping risks within an acceptable range. His proprietary risk analysis is utilized in investment strategies ranging from global multi-strategy fund of funds to niche players in emerging markets.
David began leveraging technology solutions to optimize performance in the financial markets while advising the Paris office of Bulltick, a U.S.-based broker. His achievements include creating equities scanners for arbitrage trading strategies, providing a new line of business and additional revenue to the broker, and automating mutual funds trading compliance checks, which enhanced Bulltick’s and its clients’ bottom lines.
While still in graduate school, David founded Oxydian in 1996, for which he secured $3 million of venture capital and developed a proprietary technology to automatically diagnose failures in information systems for financial institutions. Oxydian was recognized by the French Ministry of Research as 1999’s “Most Innovative High-Tech Startup.”
David holds a Post-Graduate degree (D.E.S.S.) in Network and Systems Engineering from Versailles University along with two Master’s, in Applied Mathematics and Information Technology, from Dauphine University in Paris.
S. Jane Rose serves as legal counsel to Arta Advisors. She has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and in government. Her focus has been the investment management industry and her clients have included investment companies, broker-dealers and hedge funds, among others. Prior to establishing her private practice in 2004, she spent 20 years at Prudential Financial, including its subsidiaries and predecessor firms, where she provided legal advice on product development, distribution, corporate governance and compliance issues with respect to U.S.-registered and offshore investment funds. Having worked on a number of foreign joint ventures and international asset management programs, Jane has developed extensive experience with a broad range of investment products, including UCITS.
Jane has served as corporate secretary to U.S.-registered investment companies, advising on a wide range of legal and regulatory issues involving the U.S. federal securities laws and, more particularly, the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
Prior to joining Prudential Financial, she spent seven years with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission where she was a branch chief with responsibility for regulation and enforcement of the two 1940 Acts.
Jane graduated from Mills College, Oakland, Calif., holds an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. She is admitted to practice in the states of New York, Massachusetts and Florida.
Shery Saeed is a principal at Arta Advisors. She has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, with demonstrated leadership and management capabilities, skilled in working effectively with businesses to identify new opportunities, formulate creative solutions and implement strategic initiatives. She has a proven track record of managing relationships, cross-functional teams, negotiating change and enhancing results on time and on budget.
Previously, Shery was the head of U.S. business for the Women’s Leadership Fund for the Swiss firm Naissance Capital, where she spearheaded the U.S. launch of the newly formed socially responsible investment fund.
Until 2008, she was a managing director at Bear Stearns leading special projects. She worked with a number of different departments identifying opportunities to enhance revenue generation and improve operational efficiency.
As a senior director at American Express, she managed a cross-functional team of 30 people, planned and implemented the strategic design and launch of a three-year process redesign/cost saving effort, and co-managed the ‘Employee Optima Card’ project from inception to implementation.
Prior to joining American Express, as an independent management consultant to Fortune 100 companies, Shery worked with Johnson & Johnson and Ford on projects ranging from designing the master plan for the reengineering program office to coordinating benchmarking efforts. Also, she worked with start-up companies preparing business plans, setting marketing and sales strategies and negotiating strategic partnerships.
Before attending business school, Shery was the marketing director for a start-up company importing cables from China, a legal assistant specialist at Pillsbury, as well as Madison & Sutro in their banking and anti-trust practices.
She serves as a board member of the Financial Women’s Association, a board advisor for Women’s Venture Fund and a board director at the Horizon Condominiums.
Shery has an M.B.A. with an emphasis on management and an undergraduate degree in physics.
Matthias Sainz is in charge of hedge-fund investments and serves as chief risk officer of a multi-family office managing over $500 million in asset. In this role, he sources investment ideas, performs due diligence, provides qualitative and quantitative risk assessment and recommends portfolio allocations. He also implements a sophisticated risk platform and reporting system for the families. Matthias regularly advises companies developing risk management software.
Previously, Matthias was the principal quantitative analyst and risk manager for Société Générale Asset Management’s fund of funds, where he designed and implemented a new risk management platform along with quantitative tools for portfolio allocation, and developed new investment products for clients.
Matthias holds a master’s degree in finance and economics from London School of Economics, where he graduated with distinction, an engineering degree from the National School of Statistics and Information Analysis (ENSAI), and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Université de Rennes.
Dr. Samanta provides guidance and advice on enterprise risk management strategy and assessments to corporate boards and senior management. He is the founder and the CEO of ThirdEye RiskInsights.
Previously, Prodyot was a director and ERM specialist with Standard & Poor’s Financial Services Ratings Group. He was the chief architect in designing and shaping the framework and analytical methodology which Standard & Poor’s currently employs in assessing the ERM practices of financial institutions. He has assessed the ERM practices of several companies, including financial institutions and energy-trading firms in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Prodyot also served as the chair of Standard & Poor’s risk-adjusted capital-modeling committee for financial institutions.
Earlier, Prodyot led the Solutions and Financial Engineering division of Algorithmics Inc. in North America. In this role, he designed comprehensive ERM solutions for banks, asset managers, hedge funds and energy companies, encompassing market, credit, counterparty, portfolio and operational risk. He also guided the implementation of these solutions for several clients.
Prodyot also served for five years as an associate professor at Manhattan College in N.Y., where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in economics and finance and designed, structured and implemented a risk-management program for the business school. He currently serves as an advisory board member for North Carolina State University’s ERM initiative program.
Prodyot has been a guest speaker at various industry conferences, and has consulted on a number of risk management projects, including those with AIMR and Treasury Management Association. He has also served on the Advisory Examination Council for GARP.
In June 2007, Prodyot was recognized by Treasury and Risk Management magazine as “one of the 100 most influential individuals in finance,” and is a Charter Member of Risk Who’s Who. He holds a Ph.D. in financial econometrics from Fordham University and a master’s degree in economics and statistics from the Delhi School of Economics.
Paul M. Toldalagi is a senior advisor on strategic development, financial technology, operations and risk services with over 25 years of leadership and consulting experience in the financial, insurance and asset management industries globally. Paul M. Toldalagi is the president and co-founder of HedgeSpan, Inc. He is a co-founder and managing director of Business Technology Associates, LLC (BTA) and a senior advisory partner at Grail Partners, LLC.
Before launching BTA in March 2005, Paul was chief business technology officer for Azimuth Alternative Assets, a fund of hedge funds, where he served as a member of the operating and risk committees. Previously, Paul had responsibility for fund administration and risk reporting services as well as global technology and operations for Zurich Global Assets (ZGA), the $450 billion AUM investment division of global insurance giant Zurich Financial Services (ZFS). At the group level, Paul chaired the E-Business & Technology board, overseeing all global insurance divisions of ZFS in addition to ZGA.
Prior to ZFS, Paul was a managing director at Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Securities Group where he held a number of senior global technology and operations roles, including chairman of the IT Operating Committee, delegate of the firm to the GSTPA, and member of the advisory board of Morgan Stanley Venture Capital group. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Paul held senior executive, business development and technology management positions for a dozen years in the Boston area and Silicon Valley.
Early in his career, Paul taught at Boston University and served as a foreign diplomat in New England, accredited by the U.S. State Department. Paul attended business school at Boston University, holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as physics and engineering degrees from the École Normale Supérieure (ENS), Paris. Paul was a co-founder of Hungary.Network Informatics Inc. (HNI) in 1995. He is also a board member of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra, the Hungarian Scout Fund and a former advisory board member of 3Com, Niksun and Thrupoint Inc.