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Firm of the Future: Designing the Modern Investment Management Firm

Watch our on-demand webinar to learn more about how investment managers need to adjust to new client expectations, technology, and skills to overcome the fee pressures and competition in the industry, moderated by Lynne Funk, innovation editor at The Bond Buyer.

Panelists include

  • Melissa Pendergrass-Hoots, CEO & COO at Falcon Square Capital
  • Steve Liberatore, fixed income portfolio manager at Nuveen
  • Chris White, CEO at ViableMkts & BondCliq

Asset and wealth managers are exploring new technology. Now.

As we’re settling into a new normal way of working, investment management firms are looking forward in order to cultivate a stronger performing team.  Increased competition and volatility mean what has succeeded in the past will no longer suffice in the future; as data and technology have leveled the playing field in managing assets, clients are demanding higher returns, more transparency and customization…at lower fees.  For firms who want to retain a competitive edge, transformation is a necessity.

Watch our webinar to hear what a modern investment management firm will look like and how to succeed in this new reality.

Discussion topics include
  • Client expectations are driving the need to provide increased transparency, communication, and customized investing guidelines (e.g., ESG)
  • New technologies are bringing innovation to firms and how designing a digital ecosystem for the future is a necessity to drive efficiencies and workflow improvements
  • Team dynamics are shifting as technology transformation and hybrid teams mean firms are prioritizing a new set of skills for team members


Below, find our esteemed panelist lineup, all of whom have a background in finance, specifically fixed income. Click on headshots to view panelists’ bios.

lynne funk headshot

Lynne Funk

Innovation editor, The Bond Buyer

melissa pendergrass-hoots headshot

Melissa Pendergrass-Hoots

CEO & COO, Falcon Square Capital

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Steve Liberatore

Fixed income portfolio manager, Nuveen

chris white headshot

Chris White

CEO, ViableMkts & BondCliQ

Lynne Funk

Lynne Funk is the innovation editor at The Bond Buyer whose focus is on reporting, editing, and curating content, bringing to the fore the ideas of the community and the changes coming that are likely to dramatically alter the municipal industry.

Prior to The Bond Buyer, Lynne was on the practitioner side of the municipal market as a director at Municipal Market Analytics where she covered the market in a daily Insight report and contributed to the firm’s Outlook and Advisor reports. Lynne was the lead municipal policy analyst at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association where she covered Dodd-Frank regulatory reform and tax policy efforts for SIFMA’s Municipal Division. 

Lynne earned her B.A. in Journalism at Penn State University.

Melissa Pendergrass-Hoots

Melissa Pendergrass-Hoots serves as the chief executive officer and chief compliance officer for Falcon Square Capital.  She oversees all aspects of the broker/dealer including compliance, operations, and sales.  She also provides institutional sales and trading services to asset managers, municipalities, banks, insurance companies and corporations.

Prior to founding Falcon Square Capital in 2013, Melissa worked in institutional fixed income sales & trading at Carolina Capital Markets from 2007 to 2013, where she supervised the Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ) for the firm’s New York City branch office. 

Melissa received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2002 and an MBA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as well in 2008.  She holds Series 7, 24, 27, 63, and 79 licenses.

Steve Liberatore, CFA

Steve is the lead portfolio manager for Nuveen’s fixed income strategies that incorporate ESG criteria and impact investments. He is a member of the Investment Committee and lead architect of the public markets impact investing framework.

Steve was a member of the initial executive committee of the International Capital Markets Association Green Bond Principles.  He is a part of the UN Capital Development Fund and Joint Sustainable Development Goals Fund’s Advisory Group.  Steve also serves on S&P’s Global Ratings ESG Leadership Council.  He frequently speaks at conferences and across media, including Bloomberg, CNBC, The Economist, FT, Kiplinger’s, and WSJ. His team were highly commended at Environment Finance’s 2020 Bond Awards as Investor of the Year. Prior to joining the firm in 2004, Steve was at Nationwide Mutual Insurance and Protective Life Corp.

Steve has a B.S. from SUNY Buffalo, M.B.A. in Finance & Operations from Wake Forest, and holds the CFA designation.

Chris White

Chris White is the founder and CEO of ViableMkts & BondCliQ. Mr. White’s 20-year career in finance has been dedicated to fixed income market evolution and has included roles at MarketAxess, Barclays Capital, and most recently, Goldman Sachs.

While at Goldman, Mr. White developed the first client-to-dealer dark pool for corporate bond trading (GSessions) and the first corporate bond indication of interest (IOI) system. Mr. White is a regular contributor to Bloomberg TV, a prolific author of articles covering financial market structure and technology.

Mr. White earned his B.A. in Psychology and Organizational Behavior Management from Brown University.