Three URI business college alumni to discuss credit crisis April 29

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KINGSTON, R.I. – April 20, 2010 – “Perspectives on the Credit Crisis and Thoughts on the Future” is the topic of this year’s Vangermeersch Endowed Lecture Thursday, April 29 at the University of Rhode Island.

Sponsored by the University of Rhode Island’s College of Business Administration, the panel discussion will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Lippitt Hall, 5 Lippitt Road, Room 402. The program is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the discussion.

News Note: Watch panelist Barry Knapp on CNBC’s Squawk Box

Mark Higgins, dean of the College of Business Administration, will serve as moderator for the three panelists: Margo L. Cook, executive vice president for investment services at Nuveen Investments Inc.; Barry Knapp, managing director, equity research at Barclays Capital in New York; and Christopher J. Wolfe, chief investment officer, managing director of private banking and investment group at Merrill Lynch.

The University community will be given an opportunity to meet three of its most successful alumni and hear discussions on the causes of the economic crisis, its effect on regulation and its impact on career opportunities in finance.
Those who can’t get to campus can watch a live cast of the program at

Cook serves as the key liaison with Nuveen’s affiliate managers, including eight asset management companies and five sub-advisors. Cook’s responsibilities include investment oversight, policy and risk management for all investment teams. She oversees investment issues on behalf of the Nuveen Mutual Fund Board. She is a member of the firm’s capital markets committee, investment products committee and works closely with product development on new and existing products.

Prior to joining Noveen, she served as global head of Bearn Stearns Asset Management Institutional Business, and before that she held a number of positions during her more than 20-year-career with The Bank of New York Mellon’s asset management business.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Rhode Island and her executive master of business administration from Columbia University. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Knapp joined Barclays Capital in September 2008 after working for Lehman Brothers for 19 years, most recently as head of U.S. Portfolio Strategy. Prior to that, he was in the Principal Trading & Strategy group for four years. He also held roles as head of hedge fund derivative sales, head of flow derivative sales and head of index product sales.

Knapp received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Rhode Island and master of business administration from Fordham University.

At Merrill Lynch, Wolfe provides investment leadership and guidance on asset allocation and portfolio construction to Private Wealth Advisors and Financial Advisors that serve Global Wealth Management’s ultra high net worth clients. In this capacity, Wolfe leads an experienced team that works closely with the firm’s research, product groups, and investment managers to deliver customized investment advice and implementation strategies to clients, prospects and recruits.

Wolfe earned his bachelor’s degree from URI and his master of business administration from Columbia University. He holds his Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Financial Professional designations and is a member of the CFA Institute, the New York Society of Security Analysts and the Financial Planning Association.

The Vangermeersch Endowed Lecture was established in 2008 with a gift from Deborah Ciolfi in honor of her former accounting professor, Richard Vangermeersch, who retired in 2004 after 34 years of teaching at URI. Ciolfi is the founder and chief executive officer of Providence Investors, LLC, a privately held business advisory and asset management firm with offices in Boston and Providence.

For more information about the lecture or to RSVP for the reception, call 401-874-4377 or email