Steven Brod- CEO Crystal Capital Partners

Steven Brod

Steven has over 20 years of alternative investing experience, launching and managing multiple low volatility fund of hedge fund vehicles. Having a keen understanding of the industry, he founded Crystal Capital Partners, LLC, providing financial advisors with customized hedge fund portfolio solutions. Steven is primarily responsible for the company’s strategic direction as well as overseeing manager selection and investment support services. He earned his M.B.A. with a specialization in investments from the University of Miami and his B.S. from Bentley College.

C. Thomas Howard, PhD

CEO and Director of Research, AthenaInvest, Inc.

Dr. Howard oversees Athena’s ongoing research which has led to a number of patents, industry publications and conference presentations. Dr. Howard is a Professor Emeritus at the Reiman School of Finance, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver where he taught courses and published articles for over 30 years in the areas of investment management and international finance.

Professor Howard’s thought leadership in Behavioral Portfolio Management has generated significant interest across the country with record downloads of his “Behavioral Portfolio Management” white paper and presentations at the Investment Management Consultants Association® (IMCA®) 2013 Annual Conference and Financial Advisor Magazine’s 4th Annual Innovative Alternatives Conference. Articles by Dr. Howard have been among the most widely read on sites such as, and

Joseph Julian, PhD- Highmore Group Advisors

Dr Joseph Julian is a Managing Director at Highmore.

Prior to joining Highmore he was Director of Investments at Oppenheimer & Co. where he designed and managed investment portfolios for the private client group of Oppenheimer with a specialization in alternative investment asset allocation, manager selection, portfolio construction, monitoring and risk management for the firm’s more sophisticated clients. Joseph provided a broad spectrum of institutional services to family offices, ultrahigh net worth private clients, foundations and endowments.

Prior to joining Oppenheimer Joseph was Head of Absolute Return Strategies for Witenberg Investment Companies where he provided hedge fund of funds portfolio management, due diligence, manager selection, and risk management overseeing $5 billion of institutional assets. At Witenberg he applied a multi-asset and multi-strategy approach to the markets that was top down with a macro overlay. Before joining Witenberg Joseph served as Lead Market Strategist for Thomas White Asset Management where he was responsible for a weekly “market perspective” publication and provided hedging for the firm’s proprietary assets. Joseph also worked on providing customer advice and guidance for traditional and alternative investments and performed analyst level work for general asset allocation of fixed income, US equities, foreign equities, absolute return, commodity, real assets and private equity due diligence for investment. He also executed risk management with an emphasis on risk factor diversification and dynamic rebalancing of investments. Joseph met with advisors and clients to discuss capital market trends and opportunities and contributed to the significant growth and success of the firm.

Joseph received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from California State University, cum laude, areas of study: mathematics, economics, and science and attended UCLA and earned his Doctorate Ph.D. degree from the University of California, San Diego in Theoretical Physics with original research in sound wave technology applied to music and acoustics.  Joseph has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington D.C. and the 2013 Hedge Fund Institutional Advisor Award.

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