Board Of Directors

Our Board of Directors work passionately after hours and on weekends to build Scholars of Finance as diligently, prudently, and effectively as possible.

Carla Freitas Renfield-Miller

Citi Board Director, Diversity Lead

Carla is a Vice President in the Financial Markets Infrastructure (FMI) group based in New York, focused on managing key FMI initiatives across Citi’s business globally. Born and raised in Brazil, Carla came to the USA in 2009 to earn her MBA at the University of Michigan. In 2011, Carla joined Citi as a member of their global Leadership Development program. Since then she held multiple roles across Citi’s Corporate and Consumer Bank. Carla is engaged in various mentorship and recruiting initiatives at the firm and is the Co-Chair of Citi's Hispanic & Latino Heritage Network, NYC.

Board Director, Diversity Lead

Nico Suarez

Prudential Capital Group Board Director, Chicago Advisor

Nico, a Minnesota native trapped in Chicago by career, helps market, underwrite, execute, and manage a portfolio of private placement investments. Previously Nico served as an elected director on the board of his national fraternity where he helped develop policy objectives and represented over a thousand undergraduates across Midwestern chapters. In his free time Nico enjoys escaping the city and traveling across hemispheres, skiing, playing soccer and tennis, studying behavioral psychology and for the CFA.

Prudential Capital Group
Board Director, Chicago Advisor

Ross Overline

Social Finance, Co-founder, Chairman, San Francisco Advisor

Ross co-founded Scholars of Finance while working in the Equity Research division of Piper Sandler. His experience ranges from building a boutique strategy consulting firm, Impactt Consulting, to developing, leading, and executing global go-to-market strategies for Twitter as an early-career manager. Today, he lives in Silicon Valley, building tech companies and studying the venture capital landscape. His free time is devoted to Scholars of Finance, studying, and investing in relationships, health, and wellness.

Scholars of Finance
Co-founder, Chairman, CEO

Ryan Quinlivan

Piper Sandler Companies Co-founder, Vice-Chairman, New York Advisor

Ryan is a Minneapolis, MN native, and after stints in Boston & London, returned to Minneapolis to start his career & help co-found Scholars of Finance. Since 2016 Ryan has called midtown New York home. During the day Ryan works with hedge, mutual, and sovereign wealth fund clients to source & execute their investments in U.S. public equities. After market hours Ryan enjoys running, exploring the city with his wife, and as many trips to the mountains & back to the lakes in MN as his schedule allows.

Piper Sandler Companies 
Co-founder, Vice-Chairman, New York Advisor

Advisory Board

Ralph Acampora

Instructor, New York Institute of Finance

One of Wall Street's most respected technical analysts, Ralph has been consistently ranked by Institutional Investor for more than 10 years. With 47 years of experience, he is a pioneer in the development of market analytics and has a global reputation as a technical analyst and market historian.

Ralph is a Senior Managing Director at Altaira Ltd., which offers wealth management services to family offices and high net worth individuals. He is regularly consulted for his market opinion by CNBC, Fox Business, Barron’s, and others. Ralph is a trustee on the board of the Security Industry Institute and is involved in the establishment of the Securities Traders Association University. He is also the founder of the Chartered Market Technicians Association, which today has more than 80 chapters and 5,000 members globally. He also founded and was the first chairman of the International Federation of Technical Analysts.

A former director of technical research at Knight Equity Markets, Ralph worked for 15 years at Prudential Equity Groups as director of technical analysis. He worked at several of the financial industry's top firms, including Kidder Peabody & Co. and Smith Barney

He is the Co-author of the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) examination and author of The Fourth Mega-Market, Now Through 2011: How Three Earlier Bull Markets Explain the Present and Predict the Future.

New York Institute of Finance

Andrew Duff

Chairman and Former CEO, Piper Sandler Companies

Andrew S. Duff has served as the chairman of Piper Sandler Companies since 2003 and was previously the firm's chief executive officer from 2000 through 2017.

Duff joined Piper Sandler in 1980 in the institutional fixed income sales group. He was later promoted to manager of institutional sales and trading in 1994, and then served as president of the individual investor services and capital markets areas until 1996. During the time period that Piper Sandler was owned by U.S. Bancorp (1996 through 2003), Duff served as president of Piper Sandler and vice chair of U.S. Bancorp for the wealth management group.

Duff currently serves on the board of directors of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the University of St. Thomas board of trustees and the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business strategic board of governors. He is a longstanding member of the Walker Art Center board of trustees, and an advisor to the board of directors of Great Clips, Inc. He is a former board member of Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

Chairman and Former CEO
Piper Sandler Companies

John Taft

Vice Chairman, Baird

John Taft is Vice Chairman of Baird and a member of the firm's Executive Committee. Prior to joining Baird, he served as CEO of RBC Wealth Management, a full-service brokerage firm with nearly 2,000 financial advisors and over $280 billion in assets, for more than 10 years (2005-2016). He is a past chairman of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), where he advocated for responsible financial reform.

John's other past roles include president and CEO of Voyageur Asset Management; president and CEO of Dougherty Summit Securities; a member of the board of directors of Segall Bryant & Hamill, The Clifton Group and Columbia Threadneedle Funds; and a managing director at Piper, Sandler & Hopwood. Investment Advisor magazine named him to its 2013 IA 25 list of the most influential people in the financial industry and he made the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business list by Trust Across America in 2014 and 2015.

John is a frequent public speaker and media contributor, and has authored two books, ``Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street`` and ``A Force for Good: How Enlightened Finance Can Restore Faith in Capitalism.``

Deeply committed to community involvement, inclusion and diversity and many other important issues, John credits his family, including his great grandfather, 27th U.S. President William Howard Taft, for instilling strong core values that shape his definition of business success and belief in the importance of treating all people with dignity.

Vice Chairman

Past Speakers

US Bank 
CEO & Chairman

US Bank
Former CEO & Chairman

US Bank
CFO & Vice Chairman

Best Buy
Former CFO

Piper Sandler


Our team is growing and we’re hiring our first full-time staff. If you’re interested in building this organization, we’d love to hear from you.