PER Live Series
PER’s recurring meeting series invites finance and business thought leaders to discuss the important economic issues of our time.
Fall 2020 Series Talks
“Why Do Tech Companies Hire So Many Economists?”, October 28th
Featuring Talks by:
Senior Manager of Economics in Corporate Development, Amazon
Neal Ghosh is a Senior Manager of Economics at Amazon, where I’ve worked the last five years. During that time he has taken on roles in Hardware & Devices, Real Estate, and now Corporate Development. Prior to Amazon, Neal Ghosh was the head economist for an online marketing start-up in Austin TX that provides patient recruiting and engagement services for clinical trials. He began his career in economic forecasting and policy analysis for Macroeconomic Advisers, a consulting firm in Saint Louis, MO. Mr. Ghosh holds a PhD in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, and MS Finance & BA economics from Washington University in St. Louis. He is also an amateur author, and have self-published multiple novels on Amazon.com.
President, The Versatile Ph.D.; Founder at Edunomix, LLC
“Unbundling Your PhD: Strategies for the Private Sector”
Todd is a seasoned entrepreneur, corporate advisor, analyst and banker with 20+ years of experience across the US and global Emerging Markets. He is President of Versatile PhD, a leading career technology platform for many of the world’s top research universities and graduate students, Founder of Edunomix, LLC, a global advisory firm focused on knowledge industries, a Partner at Educated Ventures.
“Why Do (Systematic) Asset Managers Hire Economists?”, November 11th
Featuring Talks by:
Adam Rej, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Capital Fund Management (CFM)
Adam Rej is an Executive Director at Capital Fund Management. He completed his PhD at Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam and he held postdoctoral positions at Imperial College London, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and École Normal Supérieure in Paris. He joined CFM in 2014 and focuses on systematic global macro research.
Professor David Thesmar
Franco Modigliani Professor of Financial Economics, MIT Sloan School of Management; Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
David Thesmar is the Franco Modigliani Professor of Financial Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research has been published widely in leading academic journals, and focuses on behavioral economics, corporate finance and asset management. He is currently a senior research advisor at Capital Fund Management.
Sophia N. Johnson, Ph.D.
Program for Economic Research (PER), Columbia University
“The Role of Economists in the Art Market”, December 2nd
Featuring Talks by:
Senior Vice President, Art Services at Bank of America Private Bank
Drew Watson is Senior Vice President, Art Services Specialist at Bank of America Private Bank. Based in New York City, Drew has over 15 years of experience in art auction, art finance, and arts and cultural institutions. Drew leads client outreach for Art Services to offer art collectors, their families, and advisors a tailored suite of art banking services, including art lending, art planning, consignment services and arts nonprofit services.
Prior to joining Bank of America Private Bank (formerly U.S. Trust), Drew oversaw business operations, finance, and consignment deal structuring for various sale departments at Christie’s auction house in New York. Before his tenure at Christie’s, Drew managed UHNW client relationships in a boutique wealth management firm. He began his career as a manager and consultant for arts and cultural institutions in North America and Europe. Drew earned a Bachelor of Arts in French and Art History from Columbia University in New York City, where he also participated in a joint program with The Juilliard School. He also holds a Master’s of Business Administration from INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau, France.
Drew speaks regularly on art world-related topics at art fairs, educational institutions, professional associations, and investment conferences nationwide. He is a regular media contributor to national news organizations on the intersection of art, business, and finance, and has been quoted in The New York Times.
Li Jun Xian
Partner, Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance
Li Jun Xian is a Partner at Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance, the specialty financing subsidiary of Emigrant Bank (Member FDIC, founded 1850). Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance focuses on lending secured by art, antiques, classic cars, fine wine, stringed instruments and other passion assets. She regularly advises and structures loans for collectors, dealers and gallery owners, and institutions who are seeking liquidity from their passion assets, and counsels the financial advisors, accountants, lawyers and other professionals on whom they rely.
Prior to joining Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance in 2007, Ms. Xian was a credit analyst at Goldman Sachs, where she was responsible for analyzing and monitoring the firm’s counterparty trading risk, and advising major public and private companies on capital structure decisions and their effects on credit ratings.
Ms. Xian was instrumental in the formation of Emigrant Bank Classic Car Finance in 2015. She began her career in the art world as an intern at Robert Miller Gallery and Christie’s, and is currently Treasurer of the Professional Organization for Women in the Arts (POWarts). Ms. Xian graduated with honors from Dartmouth College with a degree in Economics and Art History.