Jim Carolan heads the US real estate practice for Withers Bergman LLP (www.withersworldwide.com), a firm with offices throughout Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and the US. His practice focuses on property investment, as well as financing, leasing, disposition, and development for clients including private clients, family offices, equity investors, business owners, universities, charities, art galleries, fashion brands and museums. Examples of the work he does for families include acquisition of equity stakes in retail, office and hospitality investments; direct acquisition of properties; sorting out complicated co-ownership problems; advising on the creation of real estate investment companies; construction and design issues; structuring the deployment of money to charitable organizations for construction of facilities; his team also advises on luxury residential, in and outside the US.
Before joining Withers, Jim spent 14 years in Yale University’s Office of General Counsel, advising the university’s endowment and central offices on real estate investment and development and on a wide range of business issues.
He is active with various bar and charitable activities, and is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to his practice. Among other boards he serves, Jim is President of the Friends of FAI-The Foundation for the Italian Environment, Inc., which supports the restoration and public enjoyment of Italy’s abundant cultural and natural assets. Educated at Cornell (AB), Stanford (ABD) and UCONN (JD), Jim has taught on real estate topics in the graduate and/or law programs at Yale, Cornell and Columbia Universities, and actively participates in bar and other associations including the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, New York City Bar Association, the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the Higher Education Real Estate Lawyers group.
Credit Capital Investments
Varkki Chacko is the Chief Investment Officer and the Managing Principal of Credit Capital Investments (CCI). CCI seeks investment opportunities across the capital structure with a focus on the publicly traded markets in the US and India.
He has extensive experience in the global credit markets. Prior to moving to the buy-side in 2003, he spent approximately 16 years, initially at Salomon Brothers and then at Goldman Sachs. While at Goldman Sachs, Varkki was a Managing Director serving in various roles including Co-Head of Global High Yield Research, Head of European and Asian Credit Research and Head of Global Credit Strategy. Varkki was a top-ranked analyst in the Institutional Investor All-America Fixed Income Research Team from 1994 to 1998 and again in 2000. The 2000 and 2002 Euro money Credit Research Polls named the teams led by Varkki as top-ranked in Credit Research and in High-Grade and High-Yield Credit Strategy respectively.
Varkki was significantly involved in proprietary credit trading activities both at Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers. Varkki’s work in the real time index area has been awarded U.S. and European patents and is the basis of one of the $36 billion Ishares $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond Fund ETF. His research work in the polymer science industry, upon completing his graduate studies in engineering, also resulted in eight industrial patents being awarded.
Varkki completed his M.B.A. in Finance from New York University in 1987, a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1982, and a B.E. (Hons) and M.S. (Hons) in 1978 from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India. Varkki is an Advisory Board member of the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Jenny Chan is the senior investment officer for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The investment team at the foundation manages a $1.8 billion portfolio, investing in all asset classes, while the foundation also holds three operating properties in Hillsborough, New Jersey; Newport, Rhode Island; and Honolulu, Hawaii, with an estimated market value of $200 million.
Prior to joining the foundation in 2007, Jenny led the research effort covering hedge funds and funds of funds at Canterbury Consulting in Newport, CA. Prior to that she was a vice president of a quantitative focused fund of funds also in CA. In New York, she began her career at Salomon Brothers Inc. in fixed income research; followed by Deutsche Bank and later Moore Capital Management. She has over 14 years of experience covering alternative assets.
She earned a BS in finance and accounting from New York University. She has been a CAIA Charter Holder since 2004.
Clark Cheng, CFA, FRM, CAIA joined Merrimac at the end of 2014 and is the Chief Investment Officer. Merrimac is a large single family office with investments in hedge funds, private equity, real estate and mutual funds.
Prior to Merrimac, he was responsible for managing alternative investment research in the Americas for HSBC’s Alternative Investment Group which had $39B in hedge fund investments across both discretionary and advisory mandates. Before joining HSBC, Clark performed hedge fund research at Guggenheim Partners and Morgan Stanley between 2002 and 2005. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he worked at Credit Suisse First Boston’s equity research department in 2001. Prior to that, he spent six years building and establishing West Coast Economics.
Clark holds the Chartered Financial Analyst, Financial Risk Manager and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations.
He holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Duke University and a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Business/Economics and Psychology from UCLA. He has also completed his coursework towards his Masters Degree in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles.
Dr. Chuback is a Board Certified Cardiovascular Surgeon who has been collecting art, along with his wife Diane Chuback, PhD for nearly 15 years. John had the good fortune of being exposed to a surgical professor, early in his training, who was a serious collector of fine art and subsequently became an enthusiast himself. He and his wife later had a very special encounter with Roy and Ann Boyd at their gallery and home in Chicago, which further solidified the couple’s passion for visual art and collecting. After purchasing their first significant work in the course of that interaction, they have never stopped.
Dr. Chuback’s education in collecting contemporary art has been gratifying, perplexing, exciting, and unstructured. He now possesses a private collection from which he, his friends, and his family, derive tremendous satisfaction and pleasure. He hopes to share some of what he has learned along the way with anyone interested in getting involved in this extremely rewarding paradigm and lifestyle.