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Management

William L. Guttman
William L. Guttman
Chairman
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Dr. William Guttman is Special Advisor to the Provost of Carnegie Mellon University, and Chairman of iCarnegie, Carnegie Mellon's for-profit education company; he previously co-founded Cylab, one of the world's largest University-based research initiatives focused on dependability and security in software and networked systems. Bill has been instrumental in a variety of University tech transfers; most recently he co-founded the video search software company, Panopto, whose board he also chairs.

Guttman is also Investment Partner and leads the financial technology practice at Philadelphia-based TL Ventures. In addition to his investing activities on behalf of TL, he has founded, co-founded, or held other leadership roles in more than a dozen institutionally-backed ventures – serving as chief executive at several of these, including Printcafe (NASDAQ: PCAF), a 500-person software developer acquired by Electronics for Imaging (NASDAQ: EFII).

Earlier in his career, Dr. Guttman served in advisory capacities for the United States, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the OECD. He is the author of Pacific-Asian Capital Markets (OECD/Oxford & IBH), Between Bailout and Breakdown: A Modular Approach to the Latin American Debt Crisis (Center for Strategic and International Studies), US Telecommunications Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa (U.S. Agency for International Development), along with other publications and patents. Bill completed his Masters and Doctoral degrees at Balliol College, Oxford University, where he was a British Council Scholar.

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Sebastián Ceria
Sebastián Ceria
Chief Executive Officer
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Dr. Sebastián Ceria is Chief Executive Officer of Axioma. Before founding Axioma, Ceria was an Associate Professor of Decision, Risk and Operations at Columbia Business School from 1993 to 1998.

Ceria has worked extensively in the area of optimization and its application to portfolio management. He is the author of many articles in publications including Management Science, Mathematical Programming, Optima and Operations Research. Most recently, Ceria's work has focused on the area of robust optimization in portfolio management. He has co-authored numerous papers on the topic, including, "Incorporating Estimation Errors into Portfolio Selection: Robust Portfolio Construction," published in The Journal of Asset Management, “To Optimize or Not to Optimize: Is That the Question?” published in the Oxford Handbook of Quantitative Management, and “Factor Alignment Problems and Quantitative Portfolio Management”, published in the Journal of Portfolio Management. He is a recipient of the Career Award for Operations Research from the National Science Foundation.

Ceria completed his PhD in Operations Research at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, and his undergraduate degree in Applied Math at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Robert Bender
Robert Bender
Vice President &
Chief Financial Officer
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Robert Bender is Axioma's Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, responsible for operations and finance. He joined Axioma in November 2000. Rob has years of experience in developing strategic alliances and equity partnerships, mergers & acquisitions, management consulting, and product development. Before joining Axioma he served as Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development at Primedia Inc., (NYSE:PRM) where he was responsible for managing corporate development activities for a $350 million business unit. Prior to Primedia, Rob served as a Manager at Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group focusing on strategic and tactical redesign of operations at client organizations. He also spent five years at W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., where he directed a team responsible for managing the technical development and market launch of new product.

Mr. Bender holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from North Carolina State University.

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Chris Canova, CFA
Chris Canova, CFA
Vice President Sales, Americas
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Chris Canova oversees the efforts of the US and Americas sales team.

Chris has over 12 years of experience consulting, training, and relationship management in the portfolio analytics space. His expertise spans the use of portfolio construction tools, risk analytics for superior risk control, and leveraging performance attribution analysis to identify ways to systematically improve portfolio management processes with clients. He has helped numerous clients, including leading asset managers, consultants, hedge funds and plan sponsors, to successfully implement new ideas. Prior to joining Axioma, Chris held a number of positions in the client support and sales organizations of Barra, subsequently MSCI Barra, from 2000 through 2006.

Chris joined Axioma in July 2006 as Director of Sales and Account Management, US West, before being promoted to vice president in early 2012. Chris successfully established Axioma’s west coast client facing team, leading efforts resulting in significant business expansion for Axioma in the western US, while managing four of Axioma’s strategic global accounts.

Chris earned a B.A. in finance from California Polytechnic State University, with a minor in economics, and was awarded the CFA charter in 2003. He is a member of the Chicago Quantitative Alliance.

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Olivier d'Assier
Olivier d'Assier
Managing Director, Asia
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Olivier d'Assier is President of Axioma in Asia and the Chief Marketing Officer for Axioma, Inc. He is responsible for the firm's strategic and commercial success in the region, as well as being guardian of Axioma's brand and client experience globally. He joined Axioma in 2006.

Prior to joining Axioma, Olivier spent seven years as the Asia Pacific Head for risk management vendor Barra. Prior to managing quantitative solutions providers, Olivier spent nine years in investment banking as a sales trader in Europe and Asia and as a heavy user of quantitative technology.

Mr. d'Assier has been in Asia since 1996 and has lived in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.

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Oren Israeli
Oren Israeli
Vice President, Content Services
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Oren Israeli joined Axioma in 2006. Israeli was previously Vice President in the Content Group at MSCI Barra, Inc. He was responsible for MSCI Barra’s overall content agenda for the North American and Australian capital equity markets, as part of the risk analytics offering of the firm. He oversaw the ongoing rebalancing and maintenance of the S&P/Barra Growth and Value indices. Israeli joined Barra as an analyst in 1998 and held positions of increasing responsibility before being named Vice President in 2004. He began his career in information technology in Tel Aviv, Israel. Mr. Israeli holds an MBA in finance from Golden Gate University and a BBA from the Tel Aviv College of Business Administration.

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V.S. Mani
V.S. Mani
Vice-President, Data Development
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Mani is responsible for managing content infrastructure within Axioma. Mani has several years of experience in many aspects of software development and has built and managed numerous systems and projects. Before joining Axioma, he served as Senior Vice-President of Software Development at United Online (NASDAQ:UNTD) where he was responsible for managing the development of billing, CRM and reporting systems. Prior to that, Mani was Senior Vice-President of Software Development at Juno Online Services, a subsidiary of D.E. Shaw & Co., where he managed a team of developers responsible for advertising system and database technologies. He also spent over eight years as a software developer at Panasonic Technologies and Digital Equipment Corporation where he was part of teams building relational database engines.

V.S. Mani holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

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Stefan Schmieta, PhD
Stefan Schmieta, PhD
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
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Stefan Schmieta is Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Axioma.  He has been with the company since 2000.

Schmieta joined Axioma from the Computational Optimization Research Center at Columbia University. While at CORC, he focused on the development of a portable implementation of high-quality branch and cut strategies suitable for parallel computing. This framework is successfully deployed in research projects at several universities. Schmieta also focused on researching integer programming and symmetric cone programming algorithms.

This work has been recognized internationally and published in Mathematical Programming, Discrete Optimization and Optima.

The results of Schmieta’s extensive research are also deployed in Axioma technology. The company’s flagship portfolio optimization software, Axioma Portfolio™, is based on his powerful symmetric cone solver.  Schmieta also lead the design and implementation of Axioma's unique risk model infrastructure that allows Axioma to publish its full suite of risk models on a daily basis.

Schmieta is a member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and SIAM. He holds an MS degree in Economic and Industrial Engineering from Technische Universität Karlsruhe in Germany and earned his Ph.D. in Operations Research from Rutgers University.

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Ron Stubbs
Rob Stubbs
Vice President, Strategic Innovation
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Dr. Robert Stubbs is Vice President, Strategic Innovation at Axioma, Inc. Stubbs joined Axioma in 2000 and is currently the head of the recently launched Innovation Lab at Axioma.

Dr. Stubbs has extensive optimization research and experience, with a focus on developing algorithms for solving large-scale network, linear, and integer programs. Stubbs developed our robust portfolio optimization technology and has made numerous contributions to classical portfolio optimization techniques such as developing a highly effective, specialized algorithm for solving portfolio rebalancing problems with a limit on the number of assets in the portfolio. In addition to improving portfolio optimization methodologies, Stubbs continues to develop new techniques and software in other areas of financial optimization such as crossing networks, asset-liability management, and cash management.

Before joining Axioma, Stubbs was an Optimization Software Developer for LINDO Systems, Inc., where he worked on developing and maintaining the algorithmic components of LINDO products. Prior to that, Stubbs worked for First National Bank of Chicago and AT&T. At First National Bank of Chicago, he developed a simulation model for computing the expected distribution of the loss in the corporate credit portfolio. The efficiency of this model enabled simulation of the entire credit portfolio. At AT&T, he developed an automated scheduling system that dramatically reduced the number of machine changes needed to color fiber optic cable.

Dr. Stubbs earned a PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management Science and a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Science from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from Auburn University. In his dissertation, Stubbs designed new algorithms for solving large-scale non-linear integer programming problems.

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Pamela Vance
Pamela Vance, Ph.D.
Vice President, Product Management
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As Vice President of Product Management, Dr. Pamela Vance is responsible for future development of Axioma’s software products. Pam acts as liaison between clients and the development team, to ensure that the direction of product development coincides with market demands. Before joining Product Management, Pam ran Axioma’s Client Services team.

Prior to joining Axioma, Pam was Assistant Professor of Decision and Information Analysis at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Her research program focused on the application of optimization technology to large-scale decision problems. One main theme in Pam’s work was the use of optimization to improve operations in the transportation industries. American Airlines, United Airlines, and CSX Transportation supported this work with research grants. In 1995 she received the prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. This award is given annually to the two best researchers and teachers in Operations Research.

Pam holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering, a Master of Science in Operations Research, and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, all from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Ian Webster
Ian Webster
Managing Director, Europe
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The most recent addition to Axioma’s Management Team, Ian Webster joined Axioma in September 2011. Ian has overall responsibility for Axioma’s business in Europe. In addition, Ian oversees Axioma’s growing global indexing initiatives.

Prior to joining Axioma, Ian was the VP of Data Strategy at Barra from 2000-2005, with Senior Management responsibility for global operations. After Barra, Ian pursued a career on the “client side”, first at BGI, as the Global Head of Market Data, where he held responsibility for data governance, global data operations, technical support, and project development, and most recently at UBS Global Asset Management, as the Global Head of Data Management and Corporate Actions, with overall responsibility for data and corporate actions across the development lifecycle, including policy development, quality assurance, standards, as well as day-to-day operations.

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