Our Team

Allan Timmermann


Allan Timmermann is a founding partner of Parala and the Atkinson/Epstein professor of Finance at the University of California San Diego. Professor Timmermann uses a mix of theory, data and econometric techniques to understand the behaviour of prices and expectations in financial markets. Professor Timmermann’s papers are extensively cited by leading researchers and financial economists, and he serves as an associate editor on leading journals in financial economics and econometrics, including the Journal of Financial Econometrics and The Journal of Business and Econometric Statistics.  He served as a member and Chair of the Model Validation Council for the US Federal Reserve between 2012-2015.  He has also been recognised by his peers through many awards:  he is the recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation, he received Best Paper and Outstanding Paper Awards from the International Journal of Forecasting and he received the Distinguished Referee Award from the International Journal of Forecasting, to name just a few. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. 

Ben Gillen


Ben Gillen is a partner at Parala and Assistant Professor in Economics at Claremont McKenna College.  He studies fields ranging from Bayesian and financial econometrics to structural industrial organization and behavioural game theory.  His work includes numerous applications for forecasting returns, estimating covariance matrices with large numbers of securities, and designing optimal portfolio strategies. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego and previously was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Leila Ghorashi


Leila Ghorashi is director of marketing at Parala.  She has 15 years of experience in best practice and quantitative research for the wealth management, retail banking and insurance industries.  Prior to joining Parala, she was Head of the Wealth Management Leadership Council at CEB (acquired by Gartner in 2017).  She managed all research, advisory and marketing operations for the Wealth Management Leadership Council, a membership-based forum comprising 50% of the world’s wealth management companies across North America, Europe and Asia.  The Wealth Management Leadership Council equips senior wealth management executives with insights and tools to transform their businesses.  As head of the Council, Leila advised executives on strategic issues impacting their businesses, including advisor productivity, branding, sales and marketing, client experience and global industry trends. She holds a B.A. from Brown University, an MSc with Distinction from The London School of Economics and Political Science and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.  

Reza Vishkai


Reza Vishkai is a founding partner of Parala.  He has over thirty years of experience in the finance sector across a range of investment strategies including derivative-based solutions, absolute return strategies and private equity investments. He started his career at Salomon Brothers as a fixed income analyst. He subsequently joined Rogers, Casey & Associates, one of the largest investment consultancies in the US. While there he advised major corporate and public pension funds on investment strategy and asset allocation. He also headed the firm’s Fund of Funds activities and worked as a strategic consultant to major asset management firms. In 1997 Reza moved to London to join one of his clients, the global asset manager, Schroders. While at Schroders, he was responsible for setting up and managing the firm’s Structured Investment team that oversaw all derivatives-based solutions for the firm’s clients. In addition, in 2000, he developed and was responsible for the Schroders's single-strategy and fund of hedge fund businesses. Reza joined Insight investment in 2003 as Head of Alternative Investments. At Insight and over the years, he was responsible for the Private Equity, Multi-Asset, Equity, Absolute Insight and Real Asset businesses, and chaired Insight’s Absolute Return Investment Committee. He graduated from Columbia University with degrees in Liberal Arts and Operations Research.

Russ Wermers


Russ Wermers is a founding partner of Parala and Bank of America Professor of Finance and Director, Center for Financial Policy at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland at College Park where he also serves as the chairman of the Finance Department. In October of 2019, Professor Wermers was invited to join the SEC’s inaugural Asset Management Advisory Committee. His main research interests include the efficiency of securities markets and the role of institutional investors in setting stock prices.  Most notably, his past research has played a fundamental role in developing new approaches to measuring and attributing the performance of mutual funds, pension funds, and hedge funds, and devising winning investment strategies. He also studies the investment behaviour of asset managers and impact of their trades on stock markets.  Professor Wermers is recognized as leader in the field of financial market behaviour as evident in the papers he has published in leading scholarly journals, including The American Economic Review, The Review of Financial Studies, The Journal of Financial Economics, and The Journal of Finance.  His article on mutual fund “herding” and stock prices (Journal of Finance, 1999) won the NYSE Award for the Best Paper on Equity Trading in 1995. His co-authored article on mutual fund performance was a finalist for the Smith-Breeden Award for the Best Paper in the Journal of Finance during 2006/2007. He is co-author of a book on the latest scientific approaches to performance evaluation and attribution of professional fund managers, written for academics and practitioners (published in December 2012). He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Steven Goldin


Steven Goldin is a founding partner of Parala.  He has over 25 years of experience in the finance sector.  He is a recognised expert in asset allocation, portfolio construction, investment product design and distribution and is frequently quoted in the press and is a requested speaker.   Prior to founding Parala, Steven was Global Head of Strategy Indices with S&P where under his leadership over 50 new indices across smart beta strategies, alternatives and themes were launched resulting in $25 billion in new index linked assets.  Prior to joining S&P, Steven worked for Enterprise Capital Management, a subsidiary of AXA Financial in London as the Managing Director of their European fund business.  He started his career with Prudential Investments holding a variety of investment and client- facing roles including head of quantitative analytics and managed asset products to head of European distribution. Steven holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, and a BS in Finance with Distinction from the Pennsylvania State University’s Scholar’s Program.

Davide Pettenuzzo


Davide Pettenuzzo is a technical advisor with Parala and an Associate Professor of Financial Econometrics at Brandeis International Business school, where he has taught since 2011. His research interests include time-series econometrics, Bayesian econometrics, asset allocation, portfolio optimization, and econometric methods in finance. He serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics and the Journal of Financial Econometrics. His latest research projects include work on machine learning econometrics and studying time-varying risk premia and volatility dynamics for multi-asset class portfolios. Davide received his Ph.D. from Bocconi University in Milan.