Board of Directors
Ceria is the author of many articles and has been featured regularly in a variety of publications including Management Science, Mathematical Programming, Optima and Operations Research. He has also been an editor for Optima, and a regular referee for a number of publications in the area. Past speaking engagements include international corporate and academic conferences. Ceria completed his PhD in Operations Research at Carnegie Mellon University’s Graduate School of Industrial Administration.
Mr. Appen was previously a senior vice president at the D. E. Shaw group, a New York-based investment firm focusing on quantitative trading and technology venture capital activities. During his seven-year tenure, he co-founded and managed the firm’s fund of funds business. In this role, he oversaw the evaluation of investment strategies, manager selection, and quantitative research. Mr. Appen also managed the D. E. Shaw group’s venture capital investments, he served on the board of directors of Schrödinger, Inc., a computational chemistry software pioneer.
Immediately before joining Magnitude Capital, Mr. Appen was the chief executive officer of Alkindi, Inc., based in New York City. He was responsible for overseeing the development of a collaborative filtering application based on n-dimensional clustering algorithms. Alkindi’s improvements to this technology led to the company’s software being rated highest in user tests.
Mr. Appen has been invited to speak about hedge funds as a guest lecturer at Columbia University and New York University. Mr. Appen is also on the board of directors for Innovations for Poverty Action, which administers rigorous evaluations of development work around the world. He is a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission.
In 1992, Mr. Appen graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science from Columbia University.
Prior to that, Franco built a statistical arbitrage strategy at PCM, a hedge fund, and co-headed the fund-of-funds group at Commerzbank. Franco started his career with a 6 year stint at D. E. Shaw & Co. in a variety of programming, quant, and investing roles.
Franco received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Harvard.
When he gets the chance he likes to play tournament bridge, where he has one major national victory.
Matt previously managed RK Ventures and served as acting CFO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals and has been a member of its board of directors since its founding. In addition to being a member of the board of directors of Neighborhood Trust, he is on the boards of Duke University’s Graduate School, Ada Investment Management, a process driven hedge fund that uses long-run economic signals, and Correlation Ventures, a quantitatively-based venture fund.
Matt was formerly an Associate Professor at the Harvard School of Business and the Daniel W. Stanton Associate Professor of Business at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, where he received the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence. A graduate of Duke University, he holds a B.A. in computer science and economics and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics.
Justine joined Neighborhood Trust (formerly Credit Where Credit Is Due) in 2002 in order to support its mission of financial empowerment in the Washington Heights community. Neighborhood Trust’s signature Financial Empowerment Integration Model is now applied in over 40 locations around New York City, and its technical assistance arm has provided services in major cities nationally. In 2013, the New York City Mayor’s Office named Neighborhood Trust one of New York City’s ten most innovative nonprofits. In 2015 alone, the organization served over 6,000 low-income New Yorkers.
Prior to leading Neighborhood Trust, Justine served as Director of Economic Independence Programs at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development from 1999 to 2000, and as Director of Workforce Development at Common Ground Community HDFC from 1995 to 1999.
Justine was recently selected as a 2016 New Profit Accelerator Entrepreneur, a one-year program designed to accelerate the potential of extraordinary female social entrepreneurs and the impact of their organizations. She has been honored as a Hidden Hero by the Andrew Goodman Foundation and has been a featured speaker at various financial services innovation and asset development convenings, including the Center for American Progress, Center for Financial Services Innovation, Corporate for Enterprise Development, PopTech, and TEDx.
Justine holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, an M.S. in Population Studies from Harvard University’s School of Public Health, and a B.A. from Brown University.
Justine is a six-time New York City marathon runner.
He was most recently a Senior Managing Director and Global Head of the Private Equity Business Development and Investor Relations Groups. He also served as a member of Blackstone’s Private Equity Investment and Valuation Committees. Since 2009, Mr. Dionne led global fundraising efforts of over $20 billion for three new private equity investment vehicles.
Mr. Dionne originally joined Blackstone in 2004 as the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of the Blackstone Distressed Securities Fund, the firm’s initial entry into the single- manager hedge fund business, with peak assets under management of over $2 billion. During this period, he also served on the Investment Committees of Blackstone’s GSO and Kalix investment businesses.
Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Dionne was for several years a Partner and Portfolio Manager for Bennett Restructuring Funds, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund specializing in investments of the debt securities of financially troubled companies.
Prior to Bennett Restructuring Funds, Mr. Dionne was also a Partner at Saugatuck Capital where he invested in middle-market buyouts and restructured troubled portfolio companies. From 1991 through 1996, he was Director of Corporate Development for Fisher Scientific International, Inc. Mr. Dionne began his career at Price Waterhouse as a public accountant.
Mr. Dionne has served on the board of directors of many companies and not-for-profit institutions. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Public Accountant (inactive).
Mr. Dionne is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and the University of Scranton, where he is a past Chair of its’ Board of Trustees.