Michael W. Masters is the founder of Better Markets, Inc. and Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Masters is the founder and managing member of Masters Capital Management, a global investment management firm. Mr. Masters, an expert on the topic of commodities speculation and financial reform, has testified before many Congressional committees and government agencies. He has detailed his views in a series of white papers addressing the far-reaching harmful effects of unregulated commodities speculation and the need for financial reform, Mr. Masters has made numerous appearances in media outlets around the world, including 60 Minutes, CBS News, CNBC, BBC, BBC Korea, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Der Spiegel, and The Nikkei Veritas. He has addressed consumer and corporate groups, and has served as an expert panelist before domestic and international investor groups.
The 2004 winner of the “Open Your Heart” award from Hedge Funds Care, Mr. Masters has founded several foundations, including the St. Croix (US Virgin Islands) Mission Outreach and The Atlanta Men’s Enterprise Network.
Mr. Masters is a 1989 graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he was an All-American swimmer.
Dennis M. Kelleher is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, Inc.
He joined Better Markets after three decades of experience in the public, private, political, charitable and non-profit sectors. He has been profiled in the New York Times (“Facing Down the Bankers”) and on PBS (“Braking the Banks”), among other places. He was also featured in Frontline’s award-winning inside story of the global financial crisis (“Money, Power and Wall Street”), as well as in the German and French public television documentaries on the global collapse.
He 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 also 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 the securities and financial markets as well as corporate conduct/misconduct.
Mr. Kelleher also served four years of active duty enlisted service in the Air Force as a crash/rescue firefighter/medic, which preceded his graduation with highest honors from Brandeis University and with honors from Harvard Law School.
David desJardins is a mathematician and software engineer. He was among the first 20 employees at Google, where he worked from 1999 to 2005. Since leaving Google, Mr. desJardins continues to engage with mathematical research and has been a private investor, an active philanthropist, and a supporter of many progressive groups and organizations.
Mr. desJardins and his wife Nancy Blachman are founders of the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival, a program of math education and enrichment for middle and high school students. He is also a trustee of the University of California Berkeley Foundation, and a member of the MIT Corporation, the Institute’s board of trustees, and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network board. He has also been a member of the Democracy Alliance, an organization of progressive donors and movement leaders, since 2005, and currently serves on the organization’s Board of Directors. Mr. desJardins is a graduate of MIT, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, and the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned his PhD in Mathematics. His dissertation involved the analysis of a mathematical game, with applications to information theory.
Jennifer Taub is professor at Vermont Law School, where she teaches courses in Contracts, Corporations, Securities Regulation, and White Collar Crime. Formerly an associate general counsel at Fidelity Investments, she is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. Professor Taub's research focuses on corporate governance and financial market regulation.
Professor Taub is the author of the financial crisis book Other People's Houses (published in 2014 by Yale Press). Nobel Laureate, Robert Shiller praised OPH in the 3rd edition of Irrational Exuberance. And, Professor Lawrence Cunningham, author of Berkshire Beyond Buffett, described it as "A page-turner that reads like a Michael Lewis financial thriller, this bracing account of the roots of financial crises debunks stubborn myths with insight that would make Louis Brandeis proud."
Professor Taub has written extensively on financial reform, attracting speaking engagements at conferences, colloquia, and lectures in the U.S. and abroad. In 2016, she testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs concerning bank capital and liquidity requirements and before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services concerning capital formation, transparency, and regulatory accountability. She is also the co-author of Corporate and White Collar Crime, Cases and Materials, 6th ed. (forthcoming in 2017 with Wolters Kluwer).
In addition to scholarly publications, her writing has been featured on a variety of blogs including the New York Times Dealbook and the Baseline Scenario. She has been interviewed for print, radio and video media including by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal/MarketWatch, Bloomberg, ABC News, CBSMoneyWatch, MarketPlace Radio, Vermont Public Radio, and WCAXTV
Mike Schell retired from Alcoa at the end of 2010, where he was the Chief Compliance Officer, oversaw Alcoa's business development and legal departments, and was a member of the Alcoa Executive Council that provides strategic direction for the company. Prior to Alcoa, Mr. Schell was Vice Chairman of Global Banking at Citigroup. Mr. Schell was an M&A lawyer with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP from 1979 until 2005. He became a Skadden partner in 1984 and was a key contributor to the development of Skadden's market leadership in M&A through the 1980's and 90's.
Mike is active in a variety of charitable, educational and civic activities. He is a current serving trustee, Chair of the Board and a life trustee of Lake Forest Academy and a member of the Boston University School of Law Board of Visitors and the Board of Directors of the Gordon A. Rich Memorial Foundation. He is a former trustee of Boston University, the William James College of Graduate Psychology, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies and the National Down Syndrome Society, a former member of Columbia University’s College Board of Visitors, the Georgetown University Board of Visitors and the German American Partnership Program Board of Directors and a former Senior Professional Fellow at New York University’s Center for Law and Business. Mr. Schell graduated from Columbia University in 1969 with a B.A. and received his law degree from Boston University in 1976.
Adam White is currently the Director of Research at Masters Capital Management. Prior to returning to Masters Capital, Mr. White was the Director of Research at White Knight Research and Trading, an independent research consulting firm. Before White Knight Research and Trading, Mr. White was a successful research analyst with Masters Capital Management. In his 6-year tenure with Masters Capital, he had primary research coverage for financial services stocks and was also head of derivatives strategy.
Previously, he worked for 3 years at The Coca-Cola Company in their treasury department where he was responsible for managing their billion-dollar emerging market currency portfolio. He was also head of the "portfolio project" at Coke treasury and built many of the options pricing systems they use today. Coming out of graduate school, Mr. White worked for Swiss Bank Corporation as a Risk Management Advisor responsible for marketing, pricing and hedging interest rate swaps and options.
Mr. White holds a B.S. in Accounting from the Fisher School of Accounting at the University of Florida as well as an M.B.A. in Finance and Economics from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago. Mr. White also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.