Broker Village Bios
Stuart J. Speckman, CFA, CFP
Stu is the "math guy" of the group. He created the
algorithms for our products. Also, he is the main writer of our white
papers and promotional pieces.
Stu has a broad finance background. He was an insurance agent, sales
assistant, fund wholesaler, and director at several major financial firms.
Like Mike R. (below), he has a solid understanding of portfolio theory and
the financial sales process. But after too many long commutes to lower
Manhattan, he packed it in. At the height of the dot-com craze, he helped
start a dot-com: Broker Village. The next day, the Nasdaq hit an all-time
high. The "bubble" had burst. Most firms failed, but Broker
Village survived. We are one of the last dot-coms still standing.
From 1997 to 2000, Stu was Director of Fee-Based Programs at Oppenheimer
Funds. From 1990 to 1997, he was at Prudential Securities. He rose to
Director of Marketing, Wrap-Fee Programs, before becoming a top wrap-fee
wholesaler. He also worked at Shearson Lehman Brothers and Met Life, where
he was a producing agent.
Stu received a B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University and an MBA in
Marketing from Syracuse University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst
(CFA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
Tidbit: Stu likes the outdoors, though he looks nothing like Grizzly
Adams. He lived for three days in an igloo, paddled his kayak around the
Statue of Liberty, and endured a 100-hour fast (four days and four hours
without food) while hiking 25 miles out of the Rockies. That was all
years before "Man vs. Wild" or "Survivorman"
hit the airwaves.
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Principal and Chief Information Officer
the Chief Information Officer for Broker Village. He does hardware work,
assesses our technology and information needs, and manages programmers as
the needs arise.
Shash has over 20 years of experience in the
technology arena. His particular experience and expertise is as a CTO in
the alternative assets area. He has the rare ability to understand business
requirements in the context of technological solutions. In the end, technology
is applied successfully to help firms achieve their goals...including our
Shash also is the CEO of a boutique technology
consulting firm. Previously, he was the Chief Information Officer at a
world-class hedge fund and venture capital group. He oversaw network
infrastructure, software development, systems engineering, and information
security. He also worked for a large bank and for U.S. government defense
Mr. Patel taught graduate courses in information security at Fairfield
University. He has a Master of Science degree in software engineering from
Fairfield University and a Bachelor of Science in information systems from
Central Connecticut State University.
Tidbit: We think Shash really is James
Bond. He's our snappiest dresser. He cannot take one step without some
woman complimenting him on his appearance. Sean Connery, beware!
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Steven S. Cohen, CFP,
Senior Business Advisor
Steve is an advisor to Broker Village, focused on business
development and marketing. He's been with us since the early days and was
part of developing our sister firm, Decision Wisdom.
Steve is Founder and CEO of Gold Coast Advisors, a NY-based
Multi-Family Office and Merchant Bank. He has extensive expertise developing
objective, customized investment solutions for clients. With a track record
of building financial services and technology businesses, he provides
strategic advice and brings clients a proven record of revenue generation
through strategic planning, efficient risk management and flawless
execution. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.
Mr. Cohen holds an MBA from New York University and a BS from
the University of Buffalo.
Tidbit: Grab your board! When not at
work, Steve can be found with his family at the beach, practicing for the
surfing senior tour.
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Michael S. Rosen, CFA
Director of Strategic Development
Mike helped found Broker Village in 2000. In the early days,
he headed strategic development and led many of our sales meetings. Today
he helps with high level strategy decisions, research, and securing
resources for us.
Mike may be well known to many advisors, particularly those
who live in the New York tri-state area. From 1983 to 2000, he was
associated with The Rochester Funds, a hugely successful, multi-billion
dollar investment management firm. Their specialty is investing in
municipal bonds. He was a Managing Director and fixed income portfolio
manager for almost that entire time. He was President of Rochester Fund
Distributors and then President of the Rochester Division of Oppenheimer
Funds, as a result of their January 1996 acquisition by Oppenheimer.
Mike has a lot of credentials to his credit, including being named
"Best Bond Fund Manager" by Business Week in 1992. Further, from
Lipper Analytical Services, he received a Performance Achievement
Certificate for his #1 Rank for the five Years ending in 1995 and five
years ending in 1996.
He is now Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Context Capital
Management, a San Diego-based hedge fund that specializes in convertible
arbitrage. He is a board member of a wireless technology firm, the Jewish
Federation of San Diego, and Black Cat Decisions.
Mike has a BA in economics, and an MBA in finance and marketing, from the
University of Rochester. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He is a
member of the CFA Institute and the New York and San Diego Societies of
Tidbit: The first names of everyone in Mike's family start with the
letter "M." There are four kids and two adults. For you baseball
fans, can you make the Vern Law connection?
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Alicia is in charge of all things related to marketing
communications and messaging ?from creating (and enforcing) our elevator
speech, to issuing press releases, focusing our written pieces, and
managing social media. She has been a marketing professional for over 20
years. Her experience spans Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and
even job-seeking individuals.
Her strength is an ability to quickly understand a client’s
industry, unique selling points, and business challenges. Then she solves creatively
to deliver exactly what is needed.
Alicia has a long history of providing strategic marketing
services to clients. Notably, for 13 years, she was a Managing Director and
Vice President at Ryan Partnership -- a big-time sales promotion agency. She
led an account and creative team that delivered strategic planning through
execution services. Over the years, her clients included AIG, The Hartford,
Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Digital Equipment, TCI Cable, GE, Sara Lee
International (Paris), Chanel, the NBA, and Harley-Davidson.
Her broad experience brings a fresh perspective to us “Wall
Street guys.?Alicia helps ground our work in market relevancy and
Alicia also is the owner of Ace the Interview, where she
provides interview coaching services to young professionals and seasoned
executives. She trains motivated job seekers to position themselves as the
perfect fit for the job they are seeking.
Alicia has an MBA from Syracuse University and a BA in
Business from West Liberty State College, Cum Laude.
Tidbit: Growing up an avid Steelers fan, Alicia has sports in her
blood. While she loves to watch and attend many sporting events, she
dances, skis (water and snow), and constantly tries new classes at the gym.
She’s even driven a racecar! In fact, she’s logged so many driving miles
(often to watch sports) that she’s nicknamed Road Warrior.
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Rich is our senior programmer. He joined us to help bring our
trademark tool -- the Share Class Calculator -- to the next level. It's
been a long process and the new version is set to launch in in mid-2018. In
the interim, he's working on our compliance and fiduciary duty suite of
over 20 years of IT experience, Rich is a seasoned professional. He brings
to our table a skill-set that includes infrastructure design,
configuration, deployment, support, and systems administration. Moreover,
he can pull the best ideas from several industries. He's worked for large firms
in the investment (J.P. Morgan), healthcare (Oxford Healthcare), and
Technology fields (Acxiom). This long and broad experience gives him unique
perspective on IT issues...and that benefits our firm.
his background covers client support and managerial duties. He's worked
closely with clients in developmental and servicing roles. He managed teams
of programmers and IT staff, as well. He has a great sense of what works in
the real world, not just in theory-land.
has so many designations and certifications, that we won't list them. The
point is that, since the late-'80s, he's worked with hugely complex
computer systems, servers, databases, and programming tools. He's seen it
all, and suffered through it all...yet lives happily in New Milford, CT.
Tidbit: Don't mess with our man Rich. When not challenging himself
with technology-related projects, he's on the mat training for his 2nd
degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.
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The Rest of the Crew
CPAs, Lots of Lawyers, and a PhD in Statistical Analysis
At Broker Village, we love math. That's no surprise. We also
love tax and law. Almost every day we work with a CPA or lawyer. These
folks are rightfully considered part of the team. They have logged
thousands of hours on our projects, and for those of a sister company,
Decision Wisdom (which handles 529 and housing work).
We work with our CPAs on lots of very tax-intensive issues.
For example, we tackle issues like the state income taxation of a mortgage
refi. We also codified the federal taxation of UGMA accounts (which was
exceptionally complex). On the legal side, our lawyers help us with
everything from contracts to issuing opinion letters. For example, Patricia
issued the legal opinion on the algorithms that underlie our Share Class
Calculator. Then there are all the copyright, trademark, service mark, and
Top CPAs handle the auditing of our code from tax and math
perspectives. Many of our tools are audited. Clients receive an
AICPA-compliant Determination Letter. It states that our code does exactly
what it claims to do. The work is done by Capossela, Cohen, LLC (www.capossela.com ) in Southport, CT.
They're a 30+ person, very high-end CPA and consulting firm. Capossela is
part of one of the biggest accounting and consulting firms in the world: BDO Siedman. BDO is
currently ranked #6.
No less than three law firms represent us. The firms are among
the largest and most respected in the country. For intellectual property
work, formation, and litigation, we use Norton Rose Fulbright: www.nortonrosefulbright.com.
For contracts and investor issues we use Jones Day: www.jonesday.com. For the legal opinion
on the Share Class Tool, we use Patricia Foster of private practice.
We even work with true blue mathematicians. When Stu can't
make heads or tails of complex formulas and/or gigantic databases, then
it's time to call-in the big gun. That's William "Matt" Briggs,
our PhD in statistical analysis. From verifying drug efficacy trials, to
predicting weather patterns, validating the accuracy of sports predictions,
and verifying the math related to 401(k) matches, he's the go-to guy. Check
out his site: www.wmbriggs.com.
Here's his educational background: Ph.D., Statistics, Cornell University,
2004; M.S., Atmospheric Science, Cornell University, 1995; B.S., Summa Cum
Laude, Meteorology and Math, Central Michigan University, 1992.
make our lawyers go gray...really fast. We make our CPAs lose their
hair...well, almost. Every document they write, every opinion they issue,
and every financial statement they create, we review with a fine tooth
comb. If it's written in legalese, we re-write it in English. If a lawyer
makes a typo, we catch it and correct it. If a CPA makes a math error,
we'll find it. And, yes, we all get along swimmingly.
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