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

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

Ashley Bell
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Ashley Bell

Systems Architect

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

Cenchen Wu
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Cenchen Wu

Quantitative Researcher

Stanley Zhang
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Stanley Zhang

Data Scientist

Jenna Niedzwiedz
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Jenna Niedzwiedz

Marketing Manager

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

Gershie Vann

CEO & Founder

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Gershie Vann is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Magma Capital Funds. Previously, Gershie was a Business Intelligence Manager at Concerto Renal Services. Gershie began his career in the healthcare space working in analytics and process design. Gershie holds a BS in Finance from Touro College. He can often 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 and Chief Marketing Officer at Magma Capital Funds. Previously, Katie was one of the early employees at a flexible workspace start-up, helping with early marketing efforts and building the client relations team. Katie began her career in advertising, where she spent several years working on large-scale ad campaigns. Katie holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a Juris Doctor from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. Katie can often be found jogging with her dog and working on home improvement projects.

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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. Previously, Peter was an Options Market Maker where he focused on developing and executing algorithms for commodity and index options. Peter holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Rochester. Peter can often 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 Callis is the Director of Process Innovation at Magma Capital Funds. Previously, Liza coordinated the launch of new sites for the nation’s largest flexible workspace provider. She began her career in marketing and hospitality, where she spent several years working on brand awareness and event planning. Liza holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and can often 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 Bell is the Systems Architect at Magma Capital Funds. Previously, Ashley was the sole Salesforce Administrator for the nation’s largest rebar manufacturer. She began her career in Salesforce at a boutique investment bank, then moved to a financial services firm. Ashley holds a Salesforce Administrator Certification and can often 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. Previously, Richard was one of the first employees at a co-working/real estate start-up, where he helped launch locations, new markets, and managed teams across a defined area. Richard started his career in sales in the Enterprise Management Trainee program. After that, he found himself in a few start-ups, training, coaching, and managing sales teams. Richard holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Otterbein. Richard stays busy with his family of five. With three daughters, you can find him at a dance class, gymnastics, enjoying bike rides and cheering on The Buckeyes with his family.

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Brooke Stratman

Brooke Stratman

Director of People and Culture

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Brooke Stratman is the Director of People and Culture at Magma Capital Funds. Prior to joining the team, Brooke spent her career with Real Estate start-ups, overseeing the management and sales of various assets. Brooke holds a Bachelor’s in Finance and Commercial Real Estate from Marquette University. In her free time, she 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 the Quantitative Researcher at Magma Capital Funds. Previously, Wendy graduated from the University of Chicago, and majored in Financial Mathematics. Wendy began her career in quantitative analysis, where she researched on volatility surface and machine learning models. Wendy holds a bachelor’s degree from Peking University which is one of the top 2 universities in China, and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. Wendy can often be found jogging in the gym and watching K-pop music stages on the internet.

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Cenchen Wu

Cenchen Wu

Quantitative Researcher

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Cenchen is the Quantitative Researcher at Magma Capital Funds. Previously, Cenchen graduated from Columbia University and majored in Financial Engineering. Cenchen has experience in systematic trading hedge funds where he focused on Statistical Learning & Algorithmic Trading. Cenchen double majored in Finance and Mathematics at Peking University. Then he got a master’s degree in Columbia University. He can often 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 the Data Scientist at Magma Capital Funds. Previously, Stanley graduated from Columbia University, and majored in Financial Engineering. Stanley researched on strategic asset allocation and applied machine learning techniques to analyze equities before he joined Magma. In his leisure time, Stanley can often be found jogging in parks, watching movies, and playing board games with his friends.

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