Laura T. Starks
George Kozmetsky Centennial Distinguished University Chair and Professor of Finance,
McCombs School of Business,
University of Texas at Austin
Laura Starks is an expert on capital markets; financial institutions; investment management; corporate finance; and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Her research covers a range of topics related to asset pricing, mutual funds, retirement plans, and corporate finance. Professor Starks’s ESG expertise includes ESG measurement, climate risk, board diversity, and impact investing. She was one of the first professors to develop courses on ESG investing, which she has been teaching for the past ten years to undergraduate and graduate students.
In her expert testimony, Professor Starks has addressed a variety of allegations. These issues have included retirement plan fees, institutional investing, mutual fund management and fees, employee stock options, spin-offs, investment prudence, board prudence, ESG-related issues including corporate governance, securities lending, and information effects on financial markets.
Professor Starks currently serves on the Academic Advisory Board of FTSE-Russell, the Academic Network Advisory Committee for Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the Academic Advisory Board for AIF Global, the Academic Advisory Council for the Pacific Center for Asset Management, and the Advisory Board of Texas Wall Street Women.
For many years, Professor Starks was an independent director for CREF Retirement Accounts and TIAA-CREF Mutual Funds. She served on the Investment Advisory Committee for the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the Board of Governors of the Investment Company Institute, and the Governing Council of the Independent Directors Council. In addition, she has been a member of the Strategy Council and the Expert Panel for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund (the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world).
Professor Starks is the current president of the American Finance Association, and has also served on its board of directors. In addition, she has been president and a member of the boards of directors for the Financial Management Association, the Society for Financial Studies, and the Western Finance Association. Professor Starks previously edited the Review of Financial Studies, and has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Finance, Financial Management, and the Journal of Financial Services Research, among others.
Professor Starks has published her research in leading journals. She has received numerous awards for her research, including the 2021 Moskowitz Prize, the premier global prize for research in sustainable finance. Professor Starks is also an award-winning educator, and has taught courses in corporate finance and investments, among other topics. She presents her research at academic and practitioner events all over the world.
Eric L. Talley
Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law,
Columbia Law School,
Eric Talley is an authority on corporate governance, business ethics, and the fiduciary duties of officers and directors. He consults and provides expert testimony on breach of contract matters and internal investigations, as well as corporate transactions and mergers and acquisitions. The issues he addresses include allegations of corporate opportunity appropriation, misappropriation of assets, and insider trading.
In addition, Professor Talley analyzes organizational structures, as well as issues relating to the corporate form, alter ego, limited liability, and piercing the corporate veil. He also conducts damages estimates for property and contractual losses.
He has provided testimony in U.S. district, superior, and bankruptcy courts. The venues where he has submitted testimony include the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom and both U.S. and international arbitrations. Professor Talley’s consulting and expert testimony involves several industries, including banking and other financial institutions, healthcare, high technology, insurance, utilities, and life sciences.
He speaks regularly to corporate boards and regulators on issues pertaining to fiduciary duty, governance, and finance. Professor Talley is also a frequent commentator in the national media on topics related to corporate management, mergers and acquisitions, and securities. A former senior economist at the RAND Corporation, his research has been published in numerous law and economics journals. Professor Talley also coedited the volume Experimental Law and Economics on human behavior and its interaction with legal and regulatory environments.
Former President and CEO,
Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB)
A recognized expert on municipal finance and governance, Lynnette Kelly has more than thirty years of legal, regulatory, governance, and technology experience in the fixed income markets.
Ms. Kelly’s expertise covers a range of municipal finance topics, including infrastructure finance, broker-dealer regulation, disclosures and investor protections, pricing and issuance of municipal debt, market practices, and FinTech. She has testified before Congress about market regulation and policies, and submitted written testimony to congressional committees.
Ms. Kelly has served on multiple boards of directors. In these roles, she has developed substantial expertise with ESG issues, FinTech, and regulatory and external audits and investigations. She holds Directorship Certification from the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and is an NACD Governance Fellow.
Ms. Kelly served as president and CEO of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) for over a decade. In that role, she developed strategic initiatives to respond to Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, and to advance the MSRB’s mission as the principal regulator of the municipal securities market. In particular, Ms. Kelly launched the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website, the official source of trade data and disclosure documents for the municipal securities market.
Prior to her tenure at the MSRB, Ms. Kelly served as senior vice president and associate general counsel at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). At both the MSRB and SIFMA, she worked on issues involving banks, broker-dealers, investment advisors, and other participants in the municipal market. Earlier in her career, Ms. Kelly served as general counsel of the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of New York.
Ms. Kelly has written articles for business and academic publications, and also serves as contributing editor to the Municipal Finance Journal. She speaks frequently at industry, business, and academic conferences and has been a guest lecturer at Georgetown University and the University of Chicago. A variety of mainstream media outlets have cited her as an expert. Ms. Kelly has received several honors for her industry contributions, including the Municipal Forum of New York’s Public Service Award for leadership in the municipal market.
Ms. Kelly serves on the board of trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation, which oversees the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). She was also a member of the audit committee of Common Securitization Solutions, a FinTech joint venture of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Ms. Kelly’s other board experience includes the Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets Excellence and Equity in Public Finance Advisory Council, and the University of Chicago Center for Municipal Finance.
She has completed executive education programs at Harvard Business School; The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Lecturer in Law,
Stanford Law School
Paul Zurek is a financial economist specializing in securities, valuation, financial markets, risk management, and statistical analysis. Dr. Zurek consults to clients at all stages of litigation across a range of industries. He is also an experienced expert witness and provides expert testimony in large, complex matters.
As a consultant, Dr. Zurek leads teams and supports clients and experts in civil litigation, government and regulatory investigations, and international arbitration. He has significant trial experience, in the U.S. (including in state and federal courts and the Delaware Court of Chancery) and internationally (including the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands and the U.K. High Court of Justice). Dr. Zurek also has substantial expertise with shareholder litigation matters involving billions of dollars of claimed damages, including in shareholder matters outside the U.S.
As an expert witness, Dr. Zurek provides testimony on Rule 10b-5, Section 11/12, and Section 14 claims at the class certification and merits stages. He has also opined on security and business valuation. Dr. Zurek has submitted expert reports and declarations that address trading and trade execution, market efficiency, price impact, loss causation, valuation, and damages. He has testified in numerous depositions and arbitrations and presented in mediations and regulatory proceedings.
Dr. Zurek teaches corporate finance and valuation courses at Stanford Law School, and previously taught finance and economics to undergraduates, M.B.A. students, and executives at The Wharton School. He researches, publishes, and presents on securities, investments, and valuation topics. Dr. Zurek coauthored “Market Approach or Comparables”, which appears in multiple editions of the Guide to Damages in International Arbitration, published by the Global Arbitration Review. He contributed a chapter on mutual fund returns and strategies to Commodities: Markets, Performance, and Strategies (Oxford University Press).
Dr. Zurek’s representative experience includes:
- Addressing issues involving both S. and international securities, including control person and insider trading (Section 20A) claims, and federal Rule 10b-5, Section 11/12, and Section 14 matters
- Analyzing market efficiency, price impact, loss causation, and damages to class members
- Supporting multiple experts in In re BP p.l.c. Securities Litigation, in which the court twice denied class certification on Comcast grounds
- Providing expert testimony in Indiana Public Retirement System v. AAC Holdings, in which class certification was denied for one claim in the securities class action
- Valuing companies and financial institutions (including hedge funds and private equity managers, FinTech, medical and pharmaceutical, and other businesses) in commercial disputes, appraisal and bankruptcy proceedings, and arbitrations; experience spans federal and state courts, including the Delaware Court of Chancery, and appraisal matters in the Cayman Islands
- Valuing securities, such as a large portfolio of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives in an International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) close-out
- Analyzing equity, fixed income, and foreign exchange (FX) markets, both exchanges and OTC markets
- Evaluating alleged fraudulent trading, including developing algorithms to identify unauthorized trading and computing damages
- Assessing high-frequency trading models and examining trading patterns related to alleged market manipulation and short squeezes
- Analyzing transaction execution and issues related to best execution in various instruments
- Analyzing transactions in antitrust matters alleging collusive and manipulative behavior
Risk management and derivatives
- Evaluating market, operational, and compliance risk management procedures at financial institutions
- Quantitatively analyzing risks embedded in financial portfolios using Value-at-Risk (VAR) and simulation methods
- Evaluating risks and returns of hedge fund, private equity, and mutual fund investment strategies
- Assessing rating agency models of default in collateralized debt obligation (CDO) portfolios
Dr. Zurek coheads Cornerstone Research’s M&A, valuation, and bankruptcy focus area and has led the firm’s fixed income and derivatives initiatives. He serves on the firm’s risk management and capital funding committees.
Before joining Cornerstone Research, Dr. Zurek worked in M&A at a global investment bank and a consulting company offering business and banking simulations. He also served as a director and on the asset and liability committee of a credit union.
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