2012 Financial Executives Forum Speakers


Heather Asher, Family Office Exchange

Heather provides a variety of member services and works to increase membership within the business-owning market. Recently, she took on a new role in member development and is responsible for generating new member acquisitions by engaging prospective family office and advisor members to determine their needs and priorities. She also works on FOX’s NextGen Network by engaging younger family members with education and networking.

Jeff Cook, Policy and Taxation Group

As president and CEO of the Policy and Taxation Group in Washington D.C., Jeff Cook advocates on behalf of family enterprises in their efforts to decrease the maximum federal estate tax rate and ultimately eliminate federal estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes. Mr. Cook led successful efforts to secure a lower 35 percent rate, higher $5 million exemption, and spousal portability and reunification; preserve repeal of the estate and generation-skipping taxes for 2010; and prevent the elimination of valuation discounts and limitations on grantor-retained annuity trusts. Currently, he is working to mobilize the estate tax relief coalition and lobby members of Congress to fight proposed tax increases and ensure family businesses have the best chance for sustainable tax relief. Mr. Cook received his undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University and his law degree from NYU School of Law.

Bonnie Gauger, Johnson Keland Management, Inc.

Bonnie Gauger is human resources director at Johnson Keland Management, Inc.; the Racine, Wisconsin-based family office for members of the Samuel C. Johnson and Karen Johnson Boyd families. She has 27 years of HR experience, seven in the family office industry, including vice president of human resources and learning and development at BNY Clearing, a securities-clearing subsidiary of the Bank of New York. Bonnie is an active member of the local and national chapters of the Society of Human Resources Management. She holds an MBA degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.  

Jeremy Kahn, Hartz Mountain Industries

Jeremy Kahn’s 20 year career in information technology has included the successful creation and staffing of IT business units in large and midsize organizations. He has a proven track record of bringing new ideas and innovation to meet corporate business goals while remaining sensitive to the need for a strong ROI. His broad experience with innovative technologies ensures the organizations he manages are agile and cost effective.

Mike Madigan, Advent Software

Mike Madigan joined Advent in 2004 and is the Director of Product Management for the Portfolio Management & Reporting team.  With a particular focus on the strategic direction of Advent Portfolio Exchange, Mike and his team work closely with Advent’s Product Development and Services teams to deliver high quality solutions to our investment management customers.  Mike holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from University of Notre Dame and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.

W. Jackson Parham Jr., Eton Advisors, L.P.

 Jack has 25 years of experience in finance and oversees Eton Advisors' investment group. He works closely with family clients, where he is responsible for the overall integrated investment process. Prior to co-founding Eton Advisors, he served as CIO of the UBS Multi-Family Office Group. Before that, Jack was CIO and founding principal of the US Trust MFO Group, where he was a member of the U.S. Trust Investment Strategy Committee, U.S. Trust Open Architecture Investment Committee, and the Investment Committee of CTC Consulting. Before that, Jack served as Partner at Dixon Odom Financial Advisors, and earlier he was the Director of Investment Services at Regions Financial Corporation. 

Karen Rush, Family Office Exchange

Karen Rush is a relationship manager for Family Office Exchange (FOX). She is part of the advisor team that works to increase membership and provide member services. Formerly events manager, she was responsible for planning all external FOX events, including forums, workshops and regional events. Prior to joining FOX in 2005, Ms. Rush spent 10 years at a large, multi-generational family office as the communications coordinator. She worked directly with the family office and family members to develop a family meeting process and younger generation education program.

Susan von Herrmann, Schiff Hardin

Susan von Herrmann, a partner in Schiff Hardin’s private clients and trusts and estates group, advises clients on strategies to minimize estate and gift tax liability and charitable planned giving. She assists clients with the formation of such entities as family limited liability companies, family limited partnerships, and private foundations, and advises family-owned businesses on succession planning. In addition to counseling traditional families, she has a significant breadth of experience in assisting non-traditional and blended families in estate planning matters. Ms. Von Herrmann received a B.A. from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, San Francisco Estate Planning Council, and State Bar of California.

Shannon Zur, Vogel Consulting

Shannon Zur is client service director and director of practice operations for Vogel Consulting. For more than 15 years, she has worked as a certified public accountant and investment advisory representative. As a client service director, Shannon customizes comprehensive wealth management solutions for her clients, integrating her process‐oriented approach with her client’s goals and implementing the necessary tax, investment, and estate planning solutions. She co‐chairs the firm’s investment committee and is responsible for analyzing market performance and trends, providing tactical recommendations, overseeing existing managers, and reviewing and approving new managers and benchmarks. In her role as director of practice operations, Shannon oversees the staffing and training schedules of the client service teams. She also chairs the strategic operations committee. Shannon graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin‐Oshkosh and holds a B.S. in both accounting and finance.

FOX Facilitators

Nazanin Hassanein, Managing Director, Membership

Nazanin “Naz” Hassanein is managing director of family office and wealth advisor markets for Family Office Exchange (FOX). Naz is responsible for relationship management across the family office and advisor base, and assists in the development of new and enhanced service offerings to FOX members. Naz is an alumna of the Corporate Executive Board, where she specialized in working in and later leading the Financial Services membership renewal effort. Her performance there and contribution to the significant growth in membership was a major part of the firm's overall growth. She graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College with a bachelor of arts degree.

Mariann Mihailidis, Managing Director, Family Office Market

Mariann Mihailidis serves as managing director and consultant to family office members of the Family Office Exchange. In her role she oversees the management of all domestic family office relationships. As a practicing tax and estate-planning attorney, she develops strategies in wealth transfer issues, taxes, and corporate structures. Ms. Mihailidis has served as an executor and trustee, and her fiduciary responsibilities included administrative, legal, and accounting duties of various trusts and estates.

Alexandre Monnier, President

Alexandre, who has extensive experience in creating, marketing, and delivering premium services in the private aviation and healthcare industries, plays a significant role in the next phase of growth for FOX, which includes the launch of the FOX Wealth Center website, introduction of three new advisor directories, expansion of the successful workshop program, and development of appropriate local membership models outside the U.S. He has executive-level experience at PinnacleCare and Bombardier Skyjet and served 10 years as a management consultant for firms in the U.S. and Europe.

Jo Wellman, Senior Relationship Manager

Jo Wellman is a relationship manager for Family Office Exchange. She is part of the family office team that works to increase membership and provide member services. When Ms. Wellman joined FOX in 2001, she brought with her 10 years of marketing and client relationship management experience. She was the co-owner and manager of Wellman Equipment Inc., her family’s business, and she has worked for Capstone Financial Advisors and West Suburban Hospital. In addition, she has 15 years of experience teaching business education courses at the high school and community college levels. Ms. Wellman has a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University. She has completed insurance and investment courses through the College of Financial Planning.

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