Our Team

Founded on the notion that volatility and risk can be harnessed as tools, our multi-talented team comes from a variety of different industries and backgrounds. We seek to deliver above average investment returns for our clients

Gershie Vann
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Gershie Vann

CEO & Founder

Ryan Hajen
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Ryan Hajen

CFO/CCO

Katie Franks
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Katie Franks

COO/CMO

Peter Peluso
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Peter Peluso

Director of Algorithmic Development

Liza Callis
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Liza Callis

Director of Process Innovation

Richard Hunter
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Richard Hunter

Director of Business Development

Brooke Stratman
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Brooke Stratman

Director of People and Culture

Wendy Gao
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Wendy Gao

Quantitative Researcher

Stanley Zhang
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Stanley Zhang

Quantitative Researcher

Jenna Niedzwiedz
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Jenna Niedzwiedz

Marketing Manager

Jillian Hall
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Jillian Hall

Product Marketing Lead

Kevin OKeefe
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Kevin O’Keefe

Director of Business Development

What We Value

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Empathy

Our team believes in treating all stakeholders with cognitive and emotional empathy. We are committed to learning through dialogue.

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Abundance

Our team believes that all relational interactions should be driven by a strategy of win/win. We will not pursue a strategy that benefits exclusively one party over another party.

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Agency

Our team is empowered to work together to deliver and carry out our mission. We do more than coexist with our teammates; We share goals. We complement each other’s weaknesses, and we are more than the sum of our parts.

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Harmony

We believe individuals should be granted ownership and autonomy in their positions of responsibility. Our team is empowered to think, speak, and act. We believe in the free sharing of ideas, and we recognize that perfection is iterative and communal.

Gershie Vann

CEO & Founder

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Gershie is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Magma Capital Funds. Gershie provides vision to the broader organization and implements strategic investment decisions in accordance with Magma’s investment approach and philosophy.

Gershie has previous professional experience utilizing data analytics and process design. Gershie holds a BS in Finance from Touro College and can be found running, reading The Economist, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.

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Katie Franks

Katie Franks

COO/CMO

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Katie is the Chief Operations Officer & Chief Marketing Officer at Magma Capital Funds. Katie leads Magma’s daily operations by ensuring a smooth end-to-end investor onboarding experience and influencing the Magma brand through ongoing outreach initiatives.

Katie has previous professional experience assisting in early marketing efforts for startups, building client-facing teams, and working on large-scale ad campaigns. Katie holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, a Juris Doctor from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, and often can be found jogging with her dog and working on home improvement projects.

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Ryan Hajen

Ryan Hajen

Director of Risk and Compliance

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Ryan is the Director of Risk and Compliance at Magma Capital Funds. Ryan leads Magma’s risk management activities and implements the regulatory compliance program.

Ryan has previous professional experience working in numerous financial services risk management and compliance in both the public and private sectors. Ryan holds a BS and MS in Economics from the University of Delaware, an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the George Washington University, and can be found reading good books and watching sub-par movies.

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Peter Peluso

Peter Peluso

Director of Algorithmic Development

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Peter is the Director of Algorithmic Development at Magma Capital Funds. Peter leads a team of three quantitative researchers responsible for implementing Magma’s quantitative models.

Peter has previous professional experience developing and executing algorithms for commodity and index options and serving as an options market maker. Peter holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from the University of Rochester and often can be found running, reading, cooking, and walking his dog, Nash.

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Liza Callis

Liza Callis

Director of Process Innovation

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Liza is the Director of Process Innovation at Magma Capital Funds. Liza is primarily responsible for implementing the investor onboarding process and working closely with investors to address any issues.

Liza has previous professional experience managing multiple complex cross-functional projects and streamlining operations. Liza holds a BS degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Cincinnati and can be found rock climbing or perfecting her Thai cooking skills.

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Ashley Bell

Ashley Bell

Systems Architect

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Ashley is the Systems Architect at Magma Capital Funds. Ashley is responsible for integrating Magma’s internal systems and implementing IT security.

Ashley has previous professional experience assisting in the implementing Salesforce solutions for varying business types. Ashley holds an AA from Brookhaven Community College, a Salesforce Administrator Certification, and often can be found running or making jokes with her improv team.

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Richard Hunter

Richard Hunter

Director of Business Development

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Richard is the Director of Business Development at Magma Capital Funds. Richard leads business development opportunities at Magma and is one of the key points of contact for current and potential future investors.

Richard has previous professional experience in sales, including managing, coaching, and training sales teams. Richard holds a BA in International Business from the University of Otterbein, and is always busy juggling dance class, gymnastics, and other activities with his three daughters.

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Brooke Stratman

Brooke Stratman

Director of People and Culture

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Brooke is the Director of People and Culture at Magma Capital Funds. Brooke is responsible for implementing Magma’s core values across the organization and creating processes to measure success.

Brooke has previous professional experience working for real estate start-ups and overseeing the management and sales of various assets. Brooke holds a BS in Finance and Commercial Real Estate from Marquette University and can be found spending time with family and friends or exploring the local sites in her neighborhood.

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Wendy Gao

Wendy Gao

Quantitative Researcher

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Wendy is a Quantitative Researcher at Magma Capital Funds. Wendy works on a team of quantitative researchers and is responsible for managing Magma’s neural network.

Wendy has previous professional experience interning for financial services companies in both the United States and China. Wendy holds a BS in Economics from Peking University, an MS in Financial Mathematics from the University of Chicago, and often can be found jogging in the gym and watching K-pop music on the internet.

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Cenchen Wu

Cenchen Wu

Quantitative Researcher

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Eric is a Quantitative Researcher at Magma Capital Funds. Eric works on a team of quantitative researchers and assists in Magma’s algorithmic model development.

Eric has previous professional experience serving in short-term research roles for financial services companies in both the United States and China. Eric holds a BS in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Peking University, an MS in Financial Engineering from Columbia University, and often can be found swimming in the pool and reading novels on the internet.

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Stanley Zhang

Stanley Zhang

Data Scientist

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Stanley is a Quantitative Researcher at Magma Capital Funds. Stanley works on a team of quantitative researchers and assists in managing Magma’s neural network.

Stanley has previous professional experience interning for financial services companies in both the United States and China. Stanley holds a BS in Mathematical Finance and Mathematical Economics, an MS in Financial Engineering from Columbia University, and often can be found jogging in parks, watching movies, and playing board games with his friends.

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Jenna Niedzwiedz

Marketing Manager

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Jenna is the Marketing Manager at Magma Capital Funds. Jenna leads initiatives that support the capital introduction team’s efforts and overall Magma brand.

Jenna has previous professional experience building marketing programs in the insurance and software industries, as well as in public relations. Jenna holds a BA in Public Relations and Marketing from Bradley University and can often be found reading, painting, and playing with her dog.

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Jillian Hall

Jillian Hall

Product Marketing Lead

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Jillian is the Product Marketing Lead at Magma Capital Funds. She is responsible for the development and implementation of marketing campaigns that support the launch of new financial products for the company. Prior to joining Magma, Jillian led marketing initiatives for cloud-based SaaS companies in the real estate investment and mobility industries and holds a degree in Global Studies from The University of California, Santa Barbara. In her free time, Jillian can be found running at the lakefront or exploring local restaurants in her neighborhood with friends.

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Kevin OKeefe

Kevin O’Keefe

Director of Business Development

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Kevin is the Director of Business Development for Float Management at Magma Capital Funds. Kevin spent the last 5 years as a strategy consultant focused on helping fortune 100 companies rapidly lift revenue through pricing changes. Prior to that, Kevin worked in construction doing everything from working as a laborer, project manager, and structural engineering. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. When not working, Kevin can be found spoiling his puppy or training for his next triathlon.

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