Board of Directors

Mark Hoffman, Chairman

Mark was the CEO and co-founder of Upstream Technologies, a leading portfolio manufacturing and trading solutions provider, which was purchased by CheckFree Investment Services, now Fiserv in 2007, to deliver highly scalable and complementary capabilities to its industry leading separately managed account portfolio accounting platform. Before Upstream, Mark co-founded Lattice Trading, a highly scalable advanced Alternative Trading System that integrates order-matching with order-routing. Upon Lattice’s acquisition by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) in 1996, Mark became the Director of Electronic Trading for SSGA where he increased the Lattice Division client base to over 100 asset management institutions and led a financial engineering team that built trading algorithms for its clients. Prior to co-founding Lattice, Mark developed equity trading, financial analysis, stock selection and fund management systems for Colonial Management and EDS, among others. Mark has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin.

Paul Samuelson

Paul was Chief Investment Officer and co-founder of Upstream Technologies, responsible for architecting the investment processes and algorithms for the firm’s asset management software. Upon the sale of Upstream in May 2007 to CheckFree Investment Services, now Fiserv, Paul was a consultant to CheckFree and a Principal for its broker dealer subsidiary. Prior to Upstream, Paul founded Samuelson Portfolio Strategies, which was acquired by Upstream in March 2002. From 1993 to 1998, Paul was Chief Investment Officer at PanAgora Investment Management, Boston and London. Paul was also a Partner, Fixed Income Securities, at Hagler, Mastrovita and Hewitt, Boston from 1991 to 1993; Vice President, Colonial Management Associates, Boston, 1986 to 1991; Consultant at Acadian Financial Management, Boston, 1981 to 1986; and Director of Portfolio Analysis at The Ford Foundation, New York. Paul graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Cum Laude from Williams College with a B.A., and holds a Ph.D. and an M.S.M. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Michael Benedek

Michael was the Chief Financial Officer at Upstream Technologies, starting in 2002. Upon the sale of Upstream in May 2007 to CheckFree Investment Services, now Fiserv, Michael was Vice President of Advanced Trading Solutions at CheckFree and Chief Financial Officer of CheckFree Securities, CheckFree’s broker dealer subsidiary. Prior to Upstream, Michael was CFO of Collectsafe, a developer of web-based anti-fraud technology. Before Collectsafe, Michael was Vice President and Co-founder of the Private Equity Group at Wit Capital Corporation (now part of UBS), a pioneer in investment banking technology, and was an associate in Cowen & Company’s Private Transactions Group. Michael has a B.A. from Vassar College, a J.D. from Boston College School of Law, and is a member of the New York and Massachusetts State Bars.

Ian Sheridan

Ian Sheridan is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vestigo Ventures. He has more than 25 years of experience in business startup, turnaround, growth, and innovation. Ian started his career on the NYSE, is Goldman Sachs trained and his experience spans the landscape of Wealth and Retirement. He served as CEO and Chairman of a National Trust company, a Chief Marketing Officer, and Chief Strategist for two fortune 100 companies and has managed multiple lines of business for DST, Mass Mutual, ADP, and SunGard. Ian also invented the retirement industry’s first mobile enrollment technology, named Invention of the Year by InformationWeek. As a venture capitalist and financial services operator, Ian focuses on finding innovative and disruptive technologies where consumer behavior, technology, and asset management intersect.

John Thiel

John began his career as a CPA, transitioned from accounting to insurance and ultimately landed in financial services with Merrill Lynch. During his time at Merrill, as Head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, he led the company’s shift into goals-based wealth management, focusing on client outcomes. He also became a thought leader in the financial services industry. Devoted to mentoring and caring for the individuals on his teams and clients, John cultivated a culture that fostered a powerful relationship of trust. Out of concern for his colleagues’ stressful jobs, he aligned the leadership team and resources to offer wellness programs addressing nutrition, mindfulness, and movement. He also continued Merrill’s long-term commitment of giving back, supporting hands-on service opportunities that created lasting connections between employees and communities. John stepped away from Merrill in 2018 and now leverages his experience across a portfolio of executive engagements.

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