Staff Directory

Dennis Kelleher

Dennis M. Kelleher is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, Inc. After more than three decades of experience in the public, private, political, charitable and non-profit sectors, Mr. Kelleher started Better Markets on October 1, 2010.

Mr. Kelleher has held several senior staff positions in the United States Senate, most recently as the Chief Counsel and Senior Leadership Advisor to the Chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. Previously, he was a Deputy Staff Director and General Counsel to a Senate Committee as well as a Legislative Director for a senior member of the Senate. 

Mr. Kelleher was a litigation partner with the international law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he had a U.S. and European practice specializing in securities and financial markets as well as corporate conduct/misconduct. 

These activities followed four years of active duty enlisted service in the Air Force as a crash/rescue firefighter/medic, which preceded his graduation, with honors, from Brandeis University and Harvard Law School.  

 

Michael Masters

Michael W. Masters is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Better Markets, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to policy and financial reform in the public interest. Mr. Masters’ growing concern for the far-reaching harmful effects of unregulated derivatives markets inspired him to establish Better Markets in 2010 to promote transparency, accountability and oversight in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. With deep expertise in US policymaking, legislative processes, economic research and analysis and financial management, Better Markets board members and staff consult and advise regulators in the US, the UK and Asia on financial reform issues. As a highly regarded expert on commodities and financial regulation, Mr. Masters has testified before many congressional committees and government agencies, addressed consumer, corporate, investor and academic groups, and appeared in media outlets around the world. Mr. Masters is founder and managing member of Atlanta-based investment firm Masters Capital Management.

 

Robert W. Jenkins, FSIP

Robert Jenkins is a nonresident London-based Senior Fellow at Better Markets.  He is a former banker, fund manager and regulator. He is currently a teacher, board director and public policy advocate. Mr. Jenkins was a senior executive at CitiGroup where he ran the bank’s trading and sales activities in Dubai, Bahrain, Switzerland and Japan. He followed these 16 years on the “sell side” with a further 18 on the “buy side.” He headed the asset management activities of Credit Suisse in Japan and served as CEO and then Chair of F&C Asset Management. Prior to his appointment at the Bank of England, he was CEO and Partner of Combinatorics Capital, a NY-based hedge fund.

Mr. Jenkins Chaired the Investment Management Association of the UK, the trade body for the investment industry. He co-Chaired the Chancellor’s task force on the “Future of the UK investment Industry” and served on the UK’s Takeover Panel. From 2011-13 he served as a founding member of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Finance at London Business School, Senior Advisor to CVC Capital Partners, a Governor of the CFA Institute, and a non-executive Director of the Aberdeen All Asia Investment Trust. He attended university in the US, France and Italy.

 

Caitlin Kline

Caitlin Kline is the Derivatives Specialist at Better Markets, Inc.

Before joining Better Markets, Ms. Kline worked for Credit Suisse where she spent 5 years as a flow and structured credit derivatives trader in the Emerging Markets Group. Prior to her work on the trading desk, Ms. Kline was an analyst with Credit Suisse's Fixed Income Index and Analytics group. Since leaving Credit Suisse in 2011, she dedicated her time to financial regulatory reform, providing advisory services and expert guidance to Congressional Committees on issues of derivatives regulation and market practice, and drafting numerous comment letters in response to proposed rulemakings by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and banking regulators.

Notably, Ms. Kline acted as a leading voice in advocacy for a strong Volcker Rule, her work on which was featured in Frontline’s award-winning documentary on the global financial crisis (“Money, Power and Wall Street”), among other places.

 

Stephen W. Hall

Stephen W. Hall is the Securities Specialist for Better Markets. He has extensive experience in securities and commodities regulation in the federal government, private practice, and the nonprofit sector.

In 2010, Mr. Hall served as Senior Counsel to the Committee on Financial Services of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he helped draft the securities and derivatives regulations in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. 

From 2001 through 2009, Mr. Hall was counsel to the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. (NASAA), the association of state securities regulators. He supported all aspects of NASAA’s mission, including regulatory analysis, appellate advocacy and enforcement. His work included more than 15 amicus briefs addressing a wide range of investor protection issues arising under state and federal securities laws, including four briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Prior to joining NASAA, Mr. Hall worked in private practice, handling civil litigation in the areas of real estate, banking and insurance. He also represented local banks in documenting and closing commercial real estate loans. He began his legal career at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he became Senior Trial Attorney and Associate Director of Enforcement.

Mr. Hall is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received his law degree from Georgetown University. 

 

Katelynn Bradley

Katelynn Bradley is a securities attorney at Better Markets, Inc.

Prior to joining Better Markets, Ms. Bradley worked for a Washington, D.C., law firm, where she supported a securities litigation practice. During law school, she completed a full-year externship at the Division of Trading and Markets of the SEC, assisting with the rulemaking process under Titles VII and VIII of the Dodd-Frank Act. She also served as an extern to the Office of the Attorney General for the State of North Carolina, representing state agencies such as the Commissioner of Banks.

Ms. Bradley graduated from the University of North Carolina and received her law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

 

Kimberly Thomas

Kimberly Thomas is the Office Manager of Better Markets Inc. Ms. Thomas has more than 15 years of experience in the executive level administrative field.

Before joining Better Markets, Ms. Thomas worked at the National Quality Forum, where she served at the Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Performance Measures. While there, Ms. Thomas collaborated in writing an article for a peer review publication and performed literature reviews of clinical and social research publications. 

She also served as the Office Manager of a consulting firm in Greenbelt, MD. In this role, Ms. Thomas oversaw daily operations of the office, supervised staff and trained office personnel.

Ms. Thomas graduated from the University of Maryland University College with a degree in Communications and a minor in Business Management.

 

James Heidbreder

Jim Heidbreder is the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of Better Markets, Inc.

Mr. Heidbreder joined Better Markets from The Pew Charitable Trusts, where he served as a Contracts Coordinator, managing grants and agreements for the Pew Environment Group.

He gained experience as an executive assistant working for Paul Begala during the 2010 midterm elections and 2012 general election. Previously, Mr. Heidbreder was the Special Assistant for the Think Progress War Room at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Mr. Heidbreder graduated magna cum laude from Washington and Lee University with a dual major in Politics and European History, and was also a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society.

 

Jessica Ault

Jessica Ault is the Researcher of Better Markets, Inc.

Ms. Ault previously served in Senator Byron Dorgan’s office as a legislative correspondent covering banking and budget issues, among other areas.  Prior to working in Senator Dorgan’s office, Ms. Ault attended the University of Jamestown in North Dakota, where she graduated with honors in 2008 with majors in English, History-Political Science and Communication. 

From 2006 to 2008, Ms. Ault served as the Assistant Editor and Staff Writer of The Collegian, the college newspaper.  She was also a member of Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society and Alpha Mu Gamma – Foreign Language Honor Society.

 

Vanessa Vaquerano

Vanessa Vaquerano is the Staff Assistant of Better Markets, Inc.

Before coming to Better Markets, Ms. Vaquerano was the Temporary Editor Assistant at the Pan American Health Organization.  While there, her main tasks included editing documents for web publication and official use during meetings.

Ms. Vaquerano is a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with a concentration in Public Policy and Administration.