Ativo Capital

Meet Our People


The financial and research professionals at Ativo  all share an unwavering commitment to serving every client with a high degree of integrity and a single-minded dedication to excellence. Our professionals are highly educated, have deep industry experience and many are leaders in their respective fields.

Staff

Principals

Ricardo Bekin


Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer

Ricardo Bekin


Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer

Ricardo founded Ativo in 2001 and has been managing global equity portfolios since then. He oversees all of the firm’s research and investment activities, as well as our business strategy. In the decade before founding Ativo, Ricardo was with our predecessor organization, Callard Madden & Associates, Inc., working closely with Charles Callard to develop and refine the CFROI/Cost-of-Capital security valuation framework. Earlier in his career, Ricardo held numerous finance and accounting positions at FMC Corporation. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business from the Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Brazil and earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Dennis N. Aust


Director of Research

Dennis N. Aust


Director of Research

Dennis has had a deep association with our valuation framework for over 30 years. Prior to assuming his current role in 2013, he spent more than a decade running Ativo’s former corporate consulting partner, ChartMast Partners LLC. Before that, Dennis was with our predecessor organization, Callard, Madden & Associates, Inc., extending and implementing our approach with investment research and corporate operating clients. He first used our valuation framework for corporate development at FMC Corporation in the early 1980s. Dennis has written and spoken extensively on valuation and other financial topics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business and an MBA in Management Science from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Ram G. Gandikota


Senior Portfolio Manager & Associate Director of Research

Ram G. Gandikota


Senior Portfolio Manager & Associate Director of Research

Ram is Co-Portfolio Manager of Ativo’s international strategies. He joined the firm in 2005 as a research analyst and remains an active member of our research team, working to continuously enhance the firm’s proprietary valuation framework. Ram is also involved in quantitative modeling, factor research, and overseeing our risk management framework. He holds a master’s degree in Financial Markets from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering from JNTU, India. Ram is on the Board of Advisors of the investment club at IIT’s Stuart School of Business and co-chairs the school’s alumni organization.

Michael S. Brooks


Director of Marketing & Investor Relations

Michael S. Brooks


Director of Marketing & Investor Relations

Mike is responsible for client relations with all public plans and their advisors. Prior to joining Ativo in September 2005, he was Assistant Vice President at Bank of Ireland Asset Management and responsible for institutional client service. From 2000 to 2003 he was a Portfolio Analyst at Concord Asset Management and responsible for AIMR Performance and Presentation Standards compliance. From 1990 to 2000 he worked at Northern Trust and held a number of positions in their Large Corporate and Institutional Services division. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance From Loyola University and an MBA and a Masters in Finance from St. Xavier University – Chicago.

Adan Galvan, CFA, FRM


Senior Portfolio Manager & Head Trader

Adan Galvan, CFA, FRM


Senior Portfolio Manager & Head Trader

Adan is the co-portfolio manager for all domestic strategies at Ativo. He joined the firm in 2006 as an operations analyst.  Adan oversees stock selection, portfolio construction and risk management for micro, small, smid, mid, and large cap portfolios.  In addition, Adan is our head trader and as such has responsibility for all trading activity for the firm. Adan is a member of the CFA Society of Chicago’s Social Advisory Group. He has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Rice University and an MBA in Finance from Loyola University.  Adan is a CFA® charterholder and Certified FRM®.

HuanKiat Tang


Senior IT Manager

HuanKiat Tang


Senior IT Manager

With Ativo since 2005, Kiat develops and manages the firm’s business applications based on the securities research methodologies created by the analysts. He is also responsible for our computer systems. Prior to joining Ativo, Kiat was a software developer at a process automation company, working with pharmaceutical companies to design control system software used to increase the efficiency of their production plants. He received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a master’s degree in Finance from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Eric T. Pucek, CPA, CFE, IACCP


Chief Compliance Officer & Chief Operating Officer

Eric T. Pucek, CPA, CFE, IACCP


Chief Compliance Officer & Chief Operating Officer

Eric has been with Ativo since 2014. He manages our compliance activity and oversees operations. Prior to joining the firm, Eric was Director and Senior Compliance Officer of UBS Global Asset Management (Americas). He also served as Securities Compliance Examiner and Staff Accountant for the broker-dealer examination program in the Chicago regional office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Eric is an Illinois-registered CPA, a CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), and has completed Level I of the CFA® program, and is an IACCP® (Investment Advisor Certified Compliance Professional). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy and a master’s degree in Accounting Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Investments

Ricardo Bekin


Principal

Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer

Ricardo Bekin


Principal

Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer

Ricardo founded Ativo in 2001 and has been managing global equity portfolios since then. He oversees all of the firm’s research and investment activities, as well as our business strategy. In the decade before founding Ativo, Ricardo was with our predecessor organization, Callard Madden & Associates, Inc., working closely with Charles Callard to develop and refine the CFROI/Cost-of-Capital security valuation framework. Earlier in his career, Ricardo held numerous finance and accounting positions at FMC Corporation. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business from the Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Brazil and earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Ram G. Gandikota


Principal

Senior Portfolio Manager & Associate Director of Research

Ram G. Gandikota


Principal

Senior Portfolio Manager & Associate Director of Research

Ram is Co-Portfolio Manager of Ativo’s international strategies. He joined the firm in 2005 as a research analyst and remains an active member of our research team, working to continuously enhance the firm’s proprietary valuation framework. Ram is also involved in quantitative modeling, factor research, and overseeing our risk management framework. He holds a master’s degree in Financial Markets from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering from JNTU, India. Ram is on the Board of Advisors of the investment club at IIT’s Stuart School of Business and co-chairs the school’s alumni organization.

Adan Galvan, CFA, FRM


Principal

Senior Portfolio Manager & Head Trader

Adan Galvan, CFA, FRM


Principal

Senior Portfolio Manager & Head Trader

Adan is the co-portfolio manager for all domestic strategies at Ativo. He joined the firm in 2006 as an operations analyst.  Adan oversees stock selection, portfolio construction and risk management for micro, small, smid, mid, and large cap portfolios.  In addition, Adan is our head trader and as such has responsibility for all trading activity for the firm. Adan is a member of the CFA Society of Chicago’s Social Advisory Group. He has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Rice University and an MBA in Finance from Loyola University.  Adan is a CFA® charterholder and Certified FRM®.

Athang K. Mistry


Financial Database Analyst

Athang K. Mistry


Financial Database Analyst

Athang joined Ativo in 2015.  He works within our investments team providing attribution and performance reporting for clients as well as overseeing the data integrity of our financial databases.  Athang has a bachelor’s degree in Business  and a MBA from Dominican University.

Marketing

Michael S. Brooks


Principal

Director of Marketing & Investor Relations

Michael S. Brooks


Principal

Director of Marketing & Investor Relations

Mike is responsible for client relations with all public plans and their advisors. Prior to joining Ativo in September 2005, he was Assistant Vice President at Bank of Ireland Asset Management and responsible for institutional client service. From 2000 to 2003 he was a Portfolio Analyst at Concord Asset Management and responsible for AIMR Performance and Presentation Standards compliance. From 1990 to 2000 he worked at Northern Trust and held a number of positions in their Large Corporate and Institutional Services division. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance From Loyola University and an MBA and a Masters in Finance from St. Xavier University – Chicago.

Kelly O'Malley, CFA


Relationship Manager / Sales

Kelly O'Malley, CFA


Relationship Manager / Sales

Kelly joined Ativo in 2015 and contributes to Ativo’s client and new business development efforts for various regions of the United States. Previously, she was with UBS Global Asset Management, where she covered institutional clients and prospects, within the Asset Allocation Advisory and Outsourced-CIO space. Earlier in her career, Kelly worked at Chicago Equity Partners, focusing on quantitative equity strategies. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics from University of Illinois at Chicago. Kelly is a regular member of the CFA Institute, CFA Society of Chicago, and Women Investment Professionals. She also serves on the Corporate Advisory Board for La Rabida Children’s Hospital.

Operations & Compliance

Maria E. Saldana


Senior Operations Analyst

Maria E. Saldana


Senior Operations Analyst

Maria has been with Ativo since 2012. In her role on the firm’s operation team, she is responsible for trade operations, portfolio administration, and commission-sharing arrangements. Prior to joining Ativo, she spent four years as Senior Portfolio Accounting Analyst within Northern Trust’s Operations & Technology division. Maria has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting with a minor in Economics from DePaul University.

Eric T. Pucek, CPA, CFE, IACCP


Principal

Chief Compliance Officer & Chief Operating Officer

Eric T. Pucek, CPA, CFE, IACCP


Principal

Chief Compliance Officer & Chief Operating Officer

Eric has been with Ativo since 2014. He manages our compliance activity and oversees operations. Prior to joining the firm, Eric was Director and Senior Compliance Officer of UBS Global Asset Management (Americas). He also served as Securities Compliance Examiner and Staff Accountant for the broker-dealer examination program in the Chicago regional office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Eric is an Illinois-registered CPA, a CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), and has completed Level I of the CFA® program, and is an IACCP® (Investment Advisor Certified Compliance Professional). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy and a master’s degree in Accounting Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Shirley Huang, CPA


Director of Finance

Shirley Huang, CPA


Director of Finance

Shirley, who has been with Ativo since 2014, manages the firm’s accounting and finance functions. She has more than 20 years of accounting and finance experience within the banking, investment, and education industries. Shirley earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Xiamen University, China and a master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her CPA designation in 1997.

Maria A. Rosales


Office Manager

Maria A. Rosales


Office Manager

Maria has been with Ativo since 2013 and oversees the daily office operations of our company. Her responsibilities encompass many aspects of the firm, including accounts payable and receivable, customer service, organization and filing, and facilities management. Before joining Ativo, Maria worked in property management as a bookkeeper and in printing as an office manager.

Patrick Cunningham, CFA, CAIA


Operations Manager

Patrick Cunningham, CFA, CAIA


Operations Manager

Patrick oversees all aspects of operations at Ativo, including account reconciliation and performance measurement. He has over 20 years of Investment Operations experience, having worked with Keeley Asset Management, Gardner Lewis Asset Management, Advent Software, Morgan Stanley, Bankers Trust and The Vanguard Group. Patrick received his BA in Finance from the University of Dayton and a master’s degree from Eastern University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA).

Research & Technology

Dennis N. Aust


Principal

Director of Research

Dennis N. Aust


Principal

Director of Research

Dennis has had a deep association with our valuation framework for over 30 years. Prior to assuming his current role in 2013, he spent more than a decade running Ativo’s former corporate consulting partner, ChartMast Partners LLC. Before that, Dennis was with our predecessor organization, Callard, Madden & Associates, Inc., extending and implementing our approach with investment research and corporate operating clients. He first used our valuation framework for corporate development at FMC Corporation in the early 1980s. Dennis has written and spoken extensively on valuation and other financial topics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business and an MBA in Management Science from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Ram G. Gandikota


Principal

Senior Portfolio Manager & Associate Director of Research

Ram G. Gandikota


Principal

Senior Portfolio Manager & Associate Director of Research

Ram is Co-Portfolio Manager of Ativo’s international strategies. He joined the firm in 2005 as a research analyst and remains an active member of our research team, working to continuously enhance the firm’s proprietary valuation framework. Ram is also involved in quantitative modeling, factor research, and overseeing our risk management framework. He holds a master’s degree in Financial Markets from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering from JNTU, India. Ram is on the Board of Advisors of the investment club at IIT’s Stuart School of Business and co-chairs the school’s alumni organization.

HuanKiat Tang


Principal

Senior IT Manager

HuanKiat Tang


Principal

Senior IT Manager

With Ativo since 2005, Kiat develops and manages the firm’s business applications based on the securities research methodologies created by the analysts. He is also responsible for our computer systems. Prior to joining Ativo, Kiat was a software developer at a process automation company, working with pharmaceutical companies to design control system software used to increase the efficiency of their production plants. He received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a master’s degree in Finance from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

ADVISORY BOARD

Professor Robert Z. Aliber


Board of Advisors

Professor Robert Z. Aliber


Board of Advisors

Professor Aliber received his Ph.D. degree from Yale University in 1962 and undergraduate degrees from Williams College and Cambridge University. He joined the faculty of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago in 1965 and retired in 2004 as Professor of International Economics and Finance. Prior to joining the Chicago faculty, Professor Aliber was Senior Economic Advisor, Agency for International Development, Department of State.

Professor Aliber has written extensively about international financial issues, including changes in cross-border capital flows, changes in currency values, and the efficiency of the currency market. His publications include The New International Money Game; The Multinational Paradigm; and Manias, Panics, and Crashes (Fifth Edition, with the previous editions authored by Charles P. Kindleberger). He recently published Your Money and Your Life, a book on personal finance, and is co-editor of a collection of papers and reports about Iceland’s financial crisis.

Kristine L. Ford


Board of Advisors

Kristine L. Ford


Board of Advisors

Ms. Ford has more than 35 years of experience in investment consulting, investment management, and financial services. Ms. Ford has been a frequent speaker at many investment industry conferences and a university guest lecturer.

In 2010, Ms. Ford retired as a principal of Ennis Knupp and Associates, Inc. (Ennis Knupp, currently known as Hewitt EnnisKnupp, Inc., an affiliate of the Aon Company), where she served as a senior consultant managing numerous engagements. She also served as the leader of Ennis Knupp’s Emerging Manager Advisory Council, was a member of the global equity research group, and assisted the private equity, real estate, and asset/liability research groups for the firm.

Ms. Ford received a B.S. degree in psychology from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. She is a Charter Financial Analyst charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Chicago. She has also been Series 7, 63, and 3 licensed.

Philip Halpern


Board of Advisors

Philip Halpern


Board of Advisors

Philip Halpern had been engaged as Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of large institutional portfolios for over twenty years  — including for the pension plans of J.C. Penney Co. and The Washington State Investment Board, and for the endowments of Caltech and The University of Chicago.   Since taking early retirement from Chicago’s Investment Office, he has committed to working with a select number of organizations to achieve a diverse set of strategic investment and governance objectives.   Mr. Halpern currently or recently has served as a board trustee for several investment advisors, including:  Boston Advisors, Duet India Hotels (Lead Independent Director), Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management RREEF America REIT II (ChairmanAudit Committee), and M Funds (Board Chairman).

Mr. Halpern has consulted extensively to institutions and families on investment topics, and has served as an expert witness on pension matters and fiduciary responsibility.   He has written numerous articles and has published one book, Marketing Institutional Money Management Services: Meeting the Needs of Today’s Plan Sponsors and Corporate Treasurers.  He has consulted on financial policy for the governments of Egypt and Kazakhstan, and currently is studying for his cybersecurity certification at Carnegie Mellon University.   Mr. Halpern holds an M.B.A. in Finance from UCLA and an A.B. in Anthropology from Grinnell College, and completed doctoral coursework in Strategic Planning at Northwestern University.