Annual CFS Conference

Annual CFS Conference

Held since 2017, this conference has featured panelists who discussed a host of timely financial topics. Panelists have discussed the finer points of financial service reform; asset management challenges; blockchain technologies; environmental, social, and governance investing; special-purpose acquisition companies; and climate change mandates. 

Past speakers such as former SEC Chair Jay Clayton are noted experts and hail from a range of well-known organizations and institutions including Sotheby’s, MIT, CNBC, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Neuberger Berman, BlackRock, and IBM. 

The panel is just one event hosted by the CFS that seeks to bridge theory and practice to promote a collaborative exchange of ideas on critical issues affecting the financial services field. 

CFS leverages Lehigh faculty and alumni as well as industry participants, academics, and regulators to unite research and practice. 


MARCH 19, 2024

Please save-the date. More information is forthcoming.


MARCH 8, 2023

Scholars and professionals from a diverse network of organizations came together in March to discuss alternative investments—specifically collectibles, like watches, wine and spirits, art and cars—at the annual Center for Financial Services' NYC Conference.

The expert moderator and panelists provided an overview of how collectibles are defined as well as discussed the market for collectibles and how to start purchasing them. Areas of discussion included  the advantages and disadvantages of investing in collectibles and how these unusual investments may fit into a broader portfolio strategy.

“Attendees heard about the state of the various collectible markets … and fascinating war stories including how Paul Newman’s watch got on the set of the movie ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ and the provenance of lace used to gussy up George Washington,” said Kathleen Hanley, CFS director and Bolton-Perella Chair in Finance at Lehigh College of Business.

This conference on “Investing in Collectibles” was moderated by Robert Frank, wealth editor, CNBC, and included panelists Yves de Launay, senior vice president and head of wine, Sotheby's; Elizabeth Haynie Wainstein, owner, The Potomack Company, a Washington, D.C., auction house; and Eric Wind, owner, Wind Vintage, which sells vintage watches.

This program was brought to you in cooperation with Lehigh’s Center for Financial Services Advisory Council, Lehigh Wall Street Council, and Neuberger Berman.


APRIL 20, 2022

On March 21, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a much-anticipated rule that would mandate various disclosures related to climate change risks faced by public companies. Disclosures include the risks that climate change presents to their business, plans to lower emissions, and the total level of greenhouse gases they emit both directly and indirectly.

Proponents of mandatory climate risk disclosures believe the proposal will provide investors the relevant information to make prudent financial decisions and will provide consistent and clear reporting obligations for issuers. The proposal has received criticism, however, as to whether specific emissions-related disclosure falls under the purview of the SEC’s jurisdiction. In addition, some suggest that it is unclear whether the benefits of the rule may be outweighed by the costs of disclosure and compliance.

Kathleen Weiss Hanley, Bolton-Perella Chair in Finance, Director of the Center for Financial Services, Lehigh University College of Business, Former Deputy Chief Economist, Securities and Exchange Commission, moderated the discussion among panelists:

  • Jay Clayton, Senior Policy Advisor and Of Counsel at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Non-Executive Chair and Lead Independent Director of Apollo Global Management, Lehigh University Appointed Trustee, Former Chair, Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Dan Hanson, Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager, Neuberger Berman
  • Jon Karpoff, Washington Mutual Endowed Chair in Innovation, Professor of Finance and Business Economics, University of Washington, Foster School of Business
  • Elizabeth Seeger, Managing Director, Sustainable Investing, KKR

Watch the Zoom recording


APRIL 14, 2021

In 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, there were a record number of initial public offerings.  Airbnb, DoorDash, Palentir Technologies, and Snowflake decided to hit the market along with 490 additional IPOs. In fact in 2020 the volume of IPOs more than doubled from 2019, and the IPO market raised $174 billion – an astounding 150% increase from the previous year.  
The dramatic boost in IPO activity is, in part, driven by Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs), sometimes called blank check companies. In 2020, SPACs accounted for half of all IPOs.
Kathleen Weiss Hanley, Bolton-Perella Chair in the Department of Finance, Director of the Center for Financial Services, Lehigh University moderated the discussion among panelists:

  • Paul Galiano Senior Managing Director, Co-Head of US Acquisitions, Dispositions, Capital Markets, Joint-Venture Transactions, Tishman Speyer
  • Gil Ottensoser, Managing Director, Head of SPAC Investment Banking, BTIG
  • David Panton, Managing Partner, SPAC Operations Group, Navigation Capital Partners
  • Jay Ritter, Joseph B. Cordell Eminent Scholar in the Department of Finance, University of Florida
  • Matt Wolpert, Portfolio Manager, Managing Director, Almanac Realty Investors, Neuberger Berman

This event was jointly hosted by the Center for Financial Services and the Goodman Center for Real Estate

View the recorded webinar.


DECEMBER 1, 2020

The Lehigh CFS Advisory Council in cooperation with the Lehigh Wall Street Council presented a post-election panel discussion on the impact of the pandemic on the financial services.

Experts from the financial services field shared insights about today’s operating environment. Discussions included topics such as the acceleration of digital transformations, the creation of non-traditional partnerships, the importance and relevance of embedding social responsibility into business models, how companies have improved agility and risk management, and the development of new customer value propositions.

Daniel Pietrzak, Partner/Co-Head of Private Credit, KKR, Member and CFS Advisory Council member, moderated the discussion among panelists:

  • Doug Borkowski, Managing Director, Global Equities, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Member, Lehigh CFS Advisory Council
  • Robert Cortright, Founder & CEO, DriveWealth Holdings, Inc.
  • Katie Kolchin, CFA, Director of Research, SIFMA, Member, Lehigh Wall Street Council Executive Committee
  • Mickey Levy, Chief Economist for Americas and Asia at Berenberg Capital Markets, LLC, Member, Shadow Open Market Committee


NOVEMBER 18, 2019

Lehigh’s CFS hosted its annual New York City conference in November at Refinitiv. The expert panel discussed Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing and shared their insights and knowledge on topics such as ESG’s rapid growth, ESG data analysis and scoring, sustainable funds’ performance over ordinary ones, arbitrage opportunities for non-ESG investors, and the future of ESG funds.

Keynote Henry McVey, Head of Global Macro & Asset Allocation & CIO at KKR, shared his macro insights with the engaged audience.

John Melvin ‘91, Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer at HIMCO and CFS Advisory Council member, moderated the discussion among panelists:

  • Ingrid Dyott, Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager at Neuberger Berman
  • Laura Kunkemueller, ESG Officer at Mellon
  • Noelle-Claire LeCann, Managing Principal at AlphaSource Advisors 
  • Henry Shilling, Director of Research at Sustainable Research and Analysis 

Please enjoy a photo gallery of the November 18 event. 

The conference was brought to you by the CFS in cooperation with the CFS Advisory CouncilKKRLehigh Wall Street Council, and Refinitiv.


DECEMBER 4, 2018

Lehigh’s CFS hosted its third annual New York City conference in December at Refinitiv (formerly the Financial and Risk business of Thomson Reuters). The panel discussion focused on one of the biggest trends in the Fintech space – Blockchain Technologies. The expert panel provided thoughtful comments and an insider’s view into the exciting, fast-paced sector of finance and technology.

Julian Sluyters '82, Advisor at GECKO Governance and CFS Advisory Council member, moderated the discussion among panelists:

  • Dan DiSano, CEO, AxisPoint
  • Eileen Lowry, global program director, IBM Blockchain Garage
  • Mike Orcutt, associate editor, MIT Technology Review
  • Kevin Worth '91, CEO, CoinDesk

The conference was brought to you by the CFS in cooperation with the CFS Advisory CouncilLehigh Wall Street Council, and Refinitiv.


DECEMBER 5, 2017

Lehigh’s CFS hosted its second annual New York City conference in December that brought together a panel of experts to explore the robust topic of “Challenges Facing Asset Management.” The panel discussed various areas in asset management such active vs. passive investing, ETFs, the increasing role of technology, and MiFID II.

Bob Doll ’76, chief equity strategist and senior portfolio manager at Nuveen Asset Management, moderated the discussion among panelists:

  • Charles Kantor, managing director and senior portfolio manager, Neuberger Berman
  • Dorothy Lariviere, director, BlackRock
  • Pedro Matos, academic director, Mayo Center, The University of Virginia
  • Niraj Patel '21P, CIO, Lending Platforms, IBM
  • Rebecca Patterson, managing director and CIO, Bessemer Trust
  • Christof Stahel, assistant director, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, Securities and Exchange Commission

The conference was co-sponsored by Thomson Reuters, Lehigh Wall Street Council, and the Lehigh CFS Advisory Council.


FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Lehigh’s CFS hosted its first conference in New York in February that brought together financial experts to explore the timely topic of “Unintended Consequences of Financial Services Reform.” The conference was co-sponsored by Thomson Reuters, The Lehigh Wall Street Council, and the Lehigh CFS Advisory Council.

Seth Finkel ’80, managing director of Neuberger Berman Wealth Management and CFS Advisory Council member, moderated the discussion among panelists:

  • Mark Flannery, Bank of America Eminent Scholar Chair in Finance, University of Florida
  • Hester Peirce, senior research fellow, Mercatus Center of George Mason University
  • Jay Baris, partner Morrison & Foerster
  • Mark Winer, senior advisor to The Oakleaf Group