After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago where he studied under Nobel Prize Winner Eugene Fama. Next, Wes took an academic job in his wife’s hometown of Philadelphia and worked as a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in bridging the research gap between academia and industry led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management firm dedicated to an impact mission of empowering investors through education. He is a contributor to multiple industry publications and regularly speaks to professional investor groups across the country. Wes has published multiple academic papers and four books, including Embedded (Naval Institute Press, 2009), Quantitative Value (Wiley, 2012), DIY Financial Advisor (Wiley, 2015), and Quantitative Momentum (Wiley, 2016). Dr. Gray currently resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his wife and three children.
Dr. Vogel conducts research in empirical asset pricing and behavioral finance. Dr. Vogel is a co-author of DIY FINANCIAL ADVISOR: A Simple Solution to Build and Protect Your Wealth and QUANTITATIVE MOMENTUM: A Practitioner’s Guide to Building a Momentum-Based Stock Selection System. His academic background includes experience as an instructor and research assistant at Drexel University in both the Finance and Mathematics departments, as well as a Finance instructor at Villanova University He has a Ph.D. in Finance and an MS in Mathematics from Drexel University. Dr. Vogel graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Mathematics and Education from The University of Scranton.
Mr. Cleary is currently the Chief Operations Officer / Chief Compliance Officer of Alpha Architect, where he oversees firm operations, compliance, and cybersecurity. Previously, Mr. Cleary served as Director of Strategy and Corporate Development for Algeco Scotsman, a multinational leasing and manufacturing company. Before Algeco Scotsman, he was a Project Leader for the Boston Consulting Group. In that capacity, he advised clients across a variety of industries in the US, Europe, and Africa. Mr. Cleary also served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Ryan Patrick Kirlin is Head of Capital Markets and Sales for Alpha Architect. He works with financial advisors to analyze and create affordable, tax-efficient, investment portfolios in partnership with Alpha Architect and our investment strategies. And, once portfolio decisions are made, assists them in executing fair ETF trades. His previous roles in the New York Stock Exchange’s ETF Group (where he was part of launching about 650 ETFs) and at RevenueShares ETFs help give him a well-rounded view on ETF structure and the opportunities for investors within the industry. When RevenueShares was acquired by the mutual fund behemoth Oppenheimer Funds, Ryan received an inside look at the challenges faced by legacy asset managers in adapting to the future of asset management.
Ryan attended Fordham University for his undergraduate degree. He was a member of the US Rowing Team in 2011 and competed at the Pan American Games. He stills rows and his backtested performance results look great. He’s not as confident in his forward expected returns due to new unaccounted transaction costs in his life (family, age, and golf).
Mr. Pugliese manages the firm’s 1042 ESOP solutions practice. In this role, Doug implements equity indexed Qualified Replacement Property rollovers for clients. Previously, he was at SEI Investments and at Marshall & Stevens, a financial consultancy. Before SEI, Mr. Pugliese was a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. During his twelve years’ tenure there he developed and executed strategic merger & acquisition and financing transactions worth more than $12 billion and was based in the Firm’s New York and London offices. Prior to that, Mr. Pugliese served as an officer and pilot in the United States Navy. Mr. Pugliese received his B.A. in Economics and Spanish Literature (with honors) from the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University, where he was a Dean’s Scholar and a Stern Scholar.
Jess is driven to create a win-win partnership culture for financial advisors in which they can grow efficient practices to scale and build relationship-focused client service models. Her respect for overall portfolio alpha derived through comprehensive financial planning serves as the catalyst for her passion to help RIAs identify opportunistic areas in which they can deliver value for their investors.
Her background in CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, and Nutrition coaching provides a framework for teaching and supporting the long-term effects of a methodical, evidence-based, disciplined approach. Jess has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Berry College, holds a CrossFit-L1 certification, and has Series 7, 65 & 63 licenses. She is a Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) and is currently a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) candidate.
Currently residing in Augusta, GA, Jess and her husband are raising two strong little ladies. When she’s not out looking for adventures and opportunities to make memories with her people, you’ll most likely find her in the gym lifting something heavy.
Ms. Feng serves as Portfolio Management Analyst at Alpha Architect. In this capacity, Ms. Feng supports portfolio management operations for all funds and strategies, to include 1940 Act Exchange Traded Funds, private funds, and separately managed accounts. In addition, Ms. Feng programs and maintains data processes and algorithms in support of the firm’s trading operations. Ms. Feng graduated from the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University in Philadelphia with dual degrees in Finance and Business Analytics. She passed CFA Level I in 2018 and is currently a CFA Level II candidate. Previously, Ms. Feng worked as a Data Analyst intern for the Alibaba Group.
Ms. Zhang is currently the Compliance Data Analyst of Alpha Architect, where she develops and supports the company’s compliance program and operational infrastructure. In addition, Ms. Zhang provides database programming and process design to support the firm. She received her M.S. in Applied Economics from Lehigh University and a BBA in Finance from the Macau University of Science and Technology.
Mr. Koepke is a computer systems analyst and currently leads the technology department and assists with quantitative research. He has fifteen years of experience working with technology ranging from small businesses to large corporations including Disney and Amazon. Mr. Koepke is a CFA® charterholder, has a BSc in Computer Science specializing in Software Engineering at the University of Calgary, and a BComm in Finance from the Haskayne School of Business.
Mr. Baxter is currently a Director of Portfolio Services at Alpha Architect, where he assists with operations, compliance, and accounting. He graduated with an MS in Finance from Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in NYC and a BS in Chemistry from the University of Maryland. In addition, Mr. Baxter is a CFA® charterholder. He previously served as Assistant Director of Operations for Baxter Properties, a family real estate business, managing several commercial and residential buildings.
Rich Shaner, CFA is a fundamental stock analyst that manages a value portfolio within a family fund and trades equity options as a valuation and hedging strategy. He graduated from The University of Colorado in 2001 with a degree in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology. Shortly thereafter he went to the floor of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and spent several years as a market maker in equity options. In an effort to expand his knowledge of financial markets he sat for and earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Mike Spector works with financial advisors to develop ETF-based solutions that help clients reach their financial goals. Mike currently serves as an ETF consultant for Alpha Architect.
Mike’s experience with ETF’s began in 2008 while working for RevenueShares ETFs. In this role, he worked extensively with money managers and asset modelers. His experience eventually led him to an opportunity to serve as a sales desk manager for Pacer ETFs. Pacer ETFs blossomed into a multi-billion dollar ETF complex during Mike’s tenure, which afforded Mike the opportunity to explore exciting opportunities outside of Pacer. Mike wanted to leverage his sales skills and simultaneously quench his thirst to learn as much as he could about investing — Alpha Architect was the perfect fit!
Mike attended The Hill School, an international boarding school located in nearby Chester County, as his secondary school, as well as The Johns Hopkins University for his BA in International Studies and Minor in Russian Studies.
Ms. Leighty is currently the Chief Compliance Officer of Alpha Architect where she oversees the firm’s compliance program. Previously, Ms. Leighty served as the Chief Compliance Officer & Director of Operations for Snow Capital Management, L.P. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota and an M.S. in Business Ethics and Compliance from New England College of Business.
Dr. Tommi Johnsen, until retirement in 2017, was the Director of the Reiman School of Finance and a tenured faculty at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.She has worked extensively as a consultant and investment advisor in the areas of quantitative methods and portfolio construction. She taught at the graduate and undergraduate level and published research in several areas including: capital markets, portfolio management and performance analysis, financial applications of econometrics and the analysis of equity securities. Her publications have appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals. See our consulting page for more information.
Dr. Pagano is The Robert J. and Mary Ellen Darretta Endowed Chair in Finance at Villanova University where he has received awards for both teaching excellence and academic scholarship. Prof. Pagano is also involved with various professional organizations such as FINRA’s Market Regulation Committee and Citadel FCU’s board of directors. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation and has experience both in commercial lending activities at Citibank and in investment valuation analysis at a financial consulting firm, International Capital Markets Corp., as well as Reuters PLC. Professor Pagano has also been interviewed by various media sources such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Associated Press, CNBC, Bloomberg.
Daniel Dorn is an Associate Professor of Finance at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. His research, which focuses on investments and behavioral finance, has been supported by the BSI Gamma Foundation and the European Central Bank’s Lamfalussy Fellowship program, and published in leading finance journals such as the Journal of Finance and Management Science, and discussed in media outlets such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Prior to his academic appointment, Daniel worked at J.P. Morgan in London and the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. He holds business degrees from WHU Koblenz (Germany) and EM Lyon (France), and earned a Ph.D. in Finance with distinction from Columbia University.
Dave Babulak is a Palo Alto-based independent investor and advisor to innovative financial firms including Robinhood, a zero commission, mobile-based brokerage firm and Alpha Architect, an asset manager, RIA and ETF issuer. Previously, Mr. Babulak spent ten years at Getco, LLC, (now KCG) where he was a Member of the Board and held a variety of roles including Chief Strategy Officer, Global Head of Fixed Income and Co-Head of Chicago Trading. Prior experience includes co-founding Blink Trading, an electronic trading firm later purchased by Getco, work as a quant at Hull Trading (now part of Goldman Sachs) and time as an assistant trader on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Mr. Babulak served as an Engineer Officer in the United States Army and holds engineering degrees from the University of Michigan and Stanford University. Outside of work Mr. Babulak competes in powerlifting and serves on the board of Second Harvest Food Bank.
Emeka Oguh is the founder & CEO of PeopleJoy. PeopleJoy is an online student loan repayment platform, designed to help employees receive student loan assistance from their employers. Emeka previously built and successfully exited Apptempo, a mobile app studio that published over 500 apps and was the first business hire at DataMinr, a Fintech startup currently valued at $700M. Prior, Emeka was a fund of funds analyst at Merrill Lynch, providing due diligence on $317B in assets. He is a Huffington Post contributor, providing articles related to financial wellness and managing student debt. He holds an MBA from Harvard and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers.
Dr. Elisabetta Basilico is a seasoned investment professional with an expertise in “turning academic insights into investment strategies.” Research is her life’s work and by combining her scientific grounding in quantitative investment management with a pragmatic approach to business challenges, she’s helped several institutional investors achieve stable returns from their global wealth portfolios. Her expertise spans from asset allocation to active quantitative investment strategies. Holder of the Charter Financial Analyst since 2007 and a PhD from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, she has experience in teaching and research at various international universities and co-author of articles published in peer-reviewed journals. She and co-author Tommi Johnsen are currently writing a book on research-backed investment ideas. You can find additional information at Academic Insights on Investing.