CAIA 2017 Leadership Awards winners unveiled

November, 2017

The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association held its annual Leadership Awards event on 8th November to honor and celebrate individuals and organizations that have demonstrated remarkable commitment in fostering the pursuit of education in the alternative investment industry.

The 2017 CAIA Award for Academic Excellence in Alternative Investment Research was presented to Steven N. Kaplan, the Neubauer Family Distinguished Services Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Thomas Cole Distinguished Visiting Professor Chair at the University of Chicago Law School. This CAIA Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates vision, commitment, and passion for academic achievement at the highest level in alternative investment education.

Professor Kaplan is one of the world’s foremost experts on private equity, venture capital, corporate governance, executive talent and income inequality, and his papers on private equity and venture capital are the standard references for their fields. Professor Kaplan also co-founded the entrepreneurship program at Booth where, along with his students, he started the New Venture Challenge, Booth’s business plan competition. Companies that grew out of this competition have gone on to raise more than $500 million from investors and include such names as GrubHub, Braintree/Venmo, Base CRM and more.

“Professor Kaplan’s work and track record need no introduction to anyone who has worked in or studied the worlds of private equity and venture capital,” said William Kelly, CEO of CAIA. “A practitioner’s academic in the very best sense of the term, he has written some of the most important research papers on this subject matter. He also excels in teaching his students to become to practitioners, and the very tangible results borne from the New Venture Challenge truly speak for themselves.”

“I'm very pleased to accept this award, and I thank the CAIA team for this recognition," said Professor Kaplan. "The CAIA story is one that began in academia and their ongoing commitment to providing the highest level of education to their Members and the various corners of the alternatives space is admirable. There is much research still to be done, and much creativity still to be unlocked among today's up and coming entrepreneurs, so I'm honored to be recognized for my work thus far while I also look forward to the discoveries still to come."

Professor Kaplan was also the featured speaker during last night’s event, giving a presentation entitled “Past, Present and Future of Private Equity: Is there a bubble brewing?”

There were two recipients of the 2017 CAIA Education Leadership Awards which recognize the exceptional commitment an organization has demonstrated, over an extended period of time and on a consistent basis, in supporting the pursuit of education and building knowledge in the alternative investment space.  SEC University at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), an in-house education program developed to provide a high level of continuing education to their team, was one of the honorees this award.  

“The SEC and their SEC University program have been an excellent provider of alternative investment education for the past several years, and we’re very pleased to be recognizing them,” said Kelly. “It has been our privilege to work closely with them as they have provided seminars for their employees on current topics in alternatives, and to have been involved as they have played a key role in fostering an alts-focused education program that is open not just to SEC employees but all U.S. government employees as well.”

Also receiving a 2017 CAIA Education Leadership Award was Dart Enterprises, Ltd, for their efforts in organizing the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit (CAIS), an annual gathering of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the alternative investment space and one of the most influential forums in the world of its type.

“Now in its fifth year, CAIS has quickly grown to be one of the preeminent global forums for all participants in the alternative investment eco-system,” said Kelly. “The CAIS conference organizers at Dart are also deeply involved in local philanthropic causes, and their strong commitment to both alternative investment education and the betterment of their local community make for a powerful combination.”

“In building CAIS into a world-class forum for alternative investment professionals, we have always strived to make education our foundation,” said Chris Duggan, Vice President at Dart Enterprises Ltd. and Director of CAIS Ltd. “To be recognized for those efforts by a group like CAIA is an important validation for us, and one we’re proud to accept.”