Festival Booth Hosts
Scott Abrams is an Associate Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics. He specializes in corporate finance, financial analysis and valuation, and portfolio management. Professor Abrams teaches these subjects in the MBA, MS Finance, and Undergraduate programs. He is a two-time winner of the Golden Apple Teaching Award for the Full-Time MBA Core Program (2016 and 2021). Prior to joining the faculty at USC Marshall, he worked in the corporate finance groups at Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. and is an alumnus of Deloitte. He is a CFA Charterholder and is a licensed CPA.
Ayca Altintig received her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 2005. She started her academic career as an assistant professor at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business before moving to Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Management in 2012.
Her research follows two major paths: one in corporate finance and agency theory and the second in the interaction between finance and strategy/marketing, focusing on the effects of industry structure on financial performance. She has published extensively in a variety of finance, economics and marketing journals, including the Journal of Business, Financial Management, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Industrial Economics, and the Journal of Marketing. While joining the Marshall School in primarily a teaching capacity, Altintig remains active in research, with four papers under review and four more under development. Altintig has taught a wide variety of finance classes, as well as travel classes for undergraduate students at Chapman University to New York City and Executive MBA classes to China and Vietnam. She has also taught internationally in many locations, including Prague, Linz and Istanbul. She received the Faculty of the Year Award at the Drucker School in 2014, 2018, and 2019.
Robert Groag, CFP
Robert Groag is a Wealth Management Advisor at TIAA (tiaa.org), a Fortune 100 financial services organization and leading provider of asset management and retirement services for the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.
In his role as a Wealth Management Advisor at TIAA, Robert is focused on helping participants plan for their financial well-being and retirement readiness. He meets with employees one-on-one and provides personalized advice and holistic financial wellness planning, including specific asset allocation and fund selection recommendations based on the plan’s investment options.
Robert began his financial services career in 2005 and has been with TIAA since 2007. He serves our institutional clients in the State of California from the local Pasadena TIAA office.
Robert holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from California State University Fullerton. He holds FINRA Series 7, 63, and 66 registrations while maintaining Life, Health and Variable Annuity licenses from the State of California. Additionally, Robert has obtained the CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) designation.
Zachary Stein is a Wealth Management Advisor at TIAA (tiaa.org), a Fortune 100 financial services organization and leading provider of asset management and retirement services for the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.
In his role as a Wealth Management Advisor at TIAA, Zack is focused on helping participants plan for their financial well-being and retirement readiness. He meets with employees one-on-one and provides personalized advice and holistic financial wellness planning, including specific asset allocation and fund selection recommendations based on the plan’s investment options.
Zack began his financial services career in 2017 when he joined TIAA. HeservesourinstitutionalclientsintheStatesofCaliforniaand ArizonafromthelocalLosAngelesTIAAoffice.
Zack holds FINRA Series 7, 6, 63 and 66 registrations while maintaining Life, Health and Variable Annuity licenses from the States of CA, AZ and WA.
Lori Shreve Blake
Marina Mesin Zagar
Marina Mesin Zagar, Ph.D., is an Associate Director and Global Sector Lead and is responsible for developing and managing corporate relationships across Financial Services and Real Estate industries as well as FinTech. She is the career staff advisor for the American Finance Association (AFA) and the Graduate Real Estate Association (GREA).
Previously, Marina was the Associate Director of the MS Finance program. She join the program shortly after its inception and played an integral role in building the program structure. Marina joined USC Marshall as a Visiting Scholar, and subsequently was the Director of the USC Corporate Governance Summit. Prior to joining USC, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business. She is the founding member of the Croatian Institute of Directors, where she served as the first female President, and is currently a member of the Institute's Board of Directors.
Marina received her Ph.D. in Business Economics with an emphasis in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance, an MS in Strategy and Corporate Governance, and a BS in Management and Organization from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business. Married to a double Trojan she had no choice but to embrace everything cardinal and gold. She is a big supporter of Trojan Water Polo, and looks forward to each college football season. She recently welcomed her Wheaten Terrier puppy, Bo, and enjoys horseback riding and equestrian sport.
Professor Shepherd is the instructor for the MBA Student Investment Fund class. After receiving his Ph.D. in finance from UCLA in 2007, he joined Research Affiliates LLC, a quantitative investment management firm. Starting as a senior researcher, he served as head of Strategy Management, head of Fixed Income Research and head of Macro Research, before becoming a partner and director of research. During this time, he continued to publish in practitioner journals while teaching part-time at UCLA Anderson and California State University, Long Beach.
Finance for Women
Nadia Allaudin, BS '98
Nadia Allaudin is a Managing Director and Wealth Management Advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Century City. She earned the Certified Investment Management Analyst® designation.* Nadia has been named to the Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” list in 2020.* Nadia was named to Working Mother/SHOOK Research’s “Top Wealth Advisor Moms” list in 2019.*
With more than 20 years of in-depth experience in the financial services industry, Nadia and her partner, Bill focus on empowering women and the LBGTQI community to better understand their wealth management needs. They enjoy exploring their clients’ relationship to money and assisting them with their financial concerns.
Having founded the annual Women, Wealth & Wisdom Conference in Los Angeles that brings together hundreds of professional women, Nadia works to foster deeper relationships and participate in discussions with renowned speakers on health/wellness, leadership and spiritual best practices. In appreciation of her efforts, she was awarded the prestigious Bank of America Diversity & Inclusion Recognition award.
Nadia plays an active role in the community through her involvement as a Board Member of Marymount High School and MADRE. She completed her yoga teacher training program at Yogaworks and is a certified yoga instructor.
Nadia earned her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration with a dual emphasis in Finance and Business Communication from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.
Leslie Chang, MBA ‘05
Leslie Chang is the Executive Director and Branch Manager of the Seal Beach and Manhattan Beach branches at UBS. She has worked in the wealth management industry since 2000 and in that time, had extensive experience in several roles as an Assistant Market Head, Market Administrative Manager, Operations Manager, Private Wealth Advisor and Client Service Associate. Before joining UBS in 2012, she worked at Morgan Stanley and at Merrill Lynch Private Banking & Investment Group.
Leslie obtained the Certified Financial Planner designation in 2010, the Certified Financial Analyst designation in 2019, and the Certified Private Wealth Advisor designation in 2020. She also holds the FINRA Series 3, 7, 9, 10, 66 and Life & Health Insurance license. Leslie received her Bachelors in Psychobiology from UCLA and obtained her MBA with a concentration in Finance from the USC Marshall School of Business. She enjoys teaching and has taught Accounting and Finance at UCLA Extension as well as occasionally guest lectures in Economics undergraduate courses at UCLA.
Leslie lives in La Canada Flintridge with her husband and their two daughters. She is passionate about education and volunteers her time on the Executive Committee Board of the La Canada Flintridge Educational Foundation. At UBS, she serves as Field Connector Co-Chair of All Bar None, which is an internal organization with the purpose of supporting the professional advancement of women at UBS. Leslie also sits on the UBS Americas Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council helping drive meaningful change within the organization.