The BlueStar Business Advisory Board (“BBAB”) is a forum for experienced professionals to provide BlueStar with high-level advice and perspective, assisting us in executing our mission: to develop investment research and strategies that provide global investors with efficient access to the full range of Israeli asset classes. Members provide insight on our strategic alternatives, financial decisions, and tactical options. The Advisory Board also serves as a consultation group for the discussion of new product development and the marketing and positioning of BlueStar’s products and capabilities. Members include investment product innovators, experienced asset management professionals, current and former fiduciaries/investment committee members, legal experts and academics, industry-specific experts, and seasoned exchange/trading community executives. The Board meets semi-annually.
Prof. Stephen Wallenstein (Chairman)
Steve Wallenstein is a Professor of the Practice at the Robert H. Smith School of Business and he is also director of the Directors’ Institute at the Smith School, an ongoing series to address the corporate governance failures of diligence, ethics and controls in corporate America. Wallenstein is a recognized expert in corporate governance and best practices for publicly traded companies in the US and abroad. From 1998 to 2009 he was a faculty member at the Fuqua School of Business and Duke Law School, founded the Duke Directors’ Education Institute (DEI) in 2002, and established the Duke Global Capital Markets Center (GCMC) in 1998, a collaborative venture between Fuqua and Duke Law.
Wallenstein is also an expert on emerging markets, having spent fifteen years as Senior Counsel and Senior Investment Officer at the International Finance Corporation in Washington D.C. He was responsible for structuring and negotiating international project finance, privatizations and capital markets transactions in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Wallenstein, who speaks fluent Portuguese, maintains close ties with Brazil, where he taught law and development at the Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro, as well as a course on the Global Financial Crisis at Fundacao Getulio Vargas. He was a member of the Board of Directors of CVRD – INCO (Canada) and a member of the Audit Committee from 2006-2007, and a corporate governance advisor to the Management Committee of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (VALE) from 2007-2009.
Wallenstein has taught several interdisciplinary courses on corporate governance, venture capital and private equity, and international finance.
Wallenstein has a BA with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from Cornell University, an MA in government from Harvard University and a JD from Yale Law School.
Salo Aizenberg is the President of Downtown Investment Advisory (DIA), a Registered Investment Advisory firm that provides customized investment solutions to individuals and institutions, with a focus on private foundations. DIA was founded by Mr. Aizenberg in October 2013 after a 19-year career in institutional finance and investing.
Prior to DIA, Mr. Aizenberg was a Managing Director and Head of Business Development for RLJ Credit Opportunity Fund, an investment fund with over $100 million in assets that provides mezzanine loans and equity investments to middle market companies. RLJ Credit is part of the RLJ Companies, which is led by Robert L. Johnson, the founder and former Chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET). From 2010-2012, Salo was a Managing Director at Westbury Partners, where he was responsible for originating and executing senior debt, mezzanine, and equity investments for Westbury’s $200 million hybrid debt and private equity fund. From 2005-2010, Mr. Aizenberg was a Managing Director at Global Leveraged Capital (GLC), managing a wide range of fixed income investments for GLC’s $500 million CLO. Mr. Aizenberg began his career in finance with the Media & Telecom Finance Group at Paribas in 1995. He later acted as Team Leader for the Acquisition Finance Group at BNP Paribas. Earlier in his career, Mr. Aizenberg was a Consultant with Ernst & Young in the Information Technology Group, serving clients in the utilities and publishing industries.
Mr. Aizenberg received a B.S. in Management Information Systems from the State University of New York at Binghamton and an MBA from Columbia Business School in 1994. Mr. Aizenberg currently serves as Director and investment advisor for a multi-million dollar private foundation and serves on the Board of Trustees and the Investment Committee of the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester. Mr. Aizenberg recently authored Hatemail: Anti-Semitism on Picture Postcards which was published by the Jewish Publication Society in November 2013.
Shmuel Ben-Tovim is the Director of Ben-Tovim Consultants Ltd., an Israeli business development, and investment banking firm, which he founded in 1991. Mr. Ben-Tovim’s career has encompassed both the private and public sectors. From 1983 to 1987 he was Assistant Director General of the Bank Leumi Group and Chief Executive of its subsidiary Bartrade Ltd. In 1998 he was directly elected as the Mayor of Kfar Shmaryahu. In 2005 Mr. Ben-Tovim was seconded to the Embassy of Israel in London to serve as the Minister for Economic Affairs for a 5-year term. His brief included, among others, the City of London and inter-governmental financial issues. Mr. Ben-Tovim started his career with the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Tourism, 1974 – 1983. His positions included Israel’s Consul & Trade Commissioner to the USA, based in New York, and the Chief Economic Adviser to the Minister.
He has served as non-executive director of major Israeli companies, including Bezeq Ltd., Israel Chemicals Ltd., and the Jerusalem Economic Corporation Ltd. Currently, he is Chairman of Asquith Israel, a start-up merchant bank. He was a board member of the Tel-Aviv Chamber of Commerce and the Israel Export Institute. He has a special passion for Israel-Diaspora relations and was Chairman of the Israeli Forum, The Israeli Amuta of the San Francisco Jewish Federation and the Mayors’ Committee on Israel-Diaspora Relations He is the author of Destination America, published 1986.
Mr. Ben-Tovim holds an MBA from the Hebrew University. He was a Senior Lecturer at Open University and at the Israeli campus of the University of Derby. He was born in Tel Aviv in 1950 and lives in Kfar Shmaryahu with his wife Judith, an interior designer. Together they have 3 married children and 3 grandchildren. He has served in the Israel Defense Forces and is a Major in the reserves.
Clive Lipshitz has extensive experience in alternative investments strategy, marketing, product and business development. He has been involved in the launch of more than 30 new businesses and funds that in aggregate account for more than $10bn in AuM and are in such diverse asset classes as infrastructure, commodities, real estate, credit, and various emerging market strategies. He has been responsible for launching new funds offered to institutional, private bank, and retail investors in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and for establishing strategic distribution relationships and joint ventures.
Clive spent the past nine years at Credit Suisse – initially reporting to the CFO of CSFB and then for seven years he was in the alternative investments and then emerging markets groups in the bank’s asset management business. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Clive was a deal professional at TDA Capital Partners (an emerging markets private equity manager) and PaineWebber (where he was part of a team in the Chairman’s Office that invested balance sheet capital in venture investments). He was previously a sell-side technology analyst at Salomon Smith Barney and a CPA at Price Waterhouse.
Clive has lived and/or worked in the U.S., South Africa, Israel, and Hong Kong. Clive received his BA in Economics and MBA from Tel Aviv University. He is active in several local and national non-profit organizations.
Christina Polischuk is a senior executive in financial services with years of experience at various organizations working in both business and legal capacities and has established a proven record as a seasoned leader.
Christina’s career has included over thirteen years with BlackRock and its predecessor firm, Barclays Global Investors (BGI), initially as General Counsel and subsequently as Head of its US Institutional Client Sales & Service Group, as Global Head of the Strategic Relationship Management Group and as Global Head of the Product Engagement Group.
She has also served as Chief Operating Officer for an investment management technology company and as advisor or director to a number of asset management firms, start-up companies and non-profit organizations including Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo & Marin Counties from 2004-2012, The Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Enterprise, and board member of Fitness Anywhere, Inc. maker of the TRX.
Her experience also includes fifteen years of experience as corporate counsel with leading financial services firms, including Charles Schwab & Co, Greenwich Capital Markets, and Citibank, NA.
Christina earned an LLM in taxation from New York University School of Law, a JD from Villanova University School of Law, and a BA cum laude from the University of Delaware.
Robert Saffer is the COO of Ophir Partners LLC. He has experience working with many of the nation’s largest pension funds and consultants. For the previous 6 years, Robert was a Managing Director and head of the transition management business at JP Morgan within the World Wide Security Services Group. An employee since 2006, Robert managed the effort that serves the needs of Institutional Investors when implementing changes to their investment manager lineups. The Transition Management group focuses on pension funds – both defined benefit and defined contribution, as well as variable annuity funds in the United States. Abroad, Robert’s focus extended to sovereign wealth funds as they further diversify their asset mix. Robert’s experience with asset owners guided him in providing solutions for equities as well as fixed income and currency risk management.
Previously, Robert served as Managing Director at Lehman Brothers for 8 years in a number of capacities within the Delta One business. Robert originally joined Lehman Brothers to grow their international program trading and derivatives effort and later managed program trading and derivatives for institutional investors, as well as the firm’s original expansion into electronic connectivity. During Robert’s last 18 months at Lehman, he managed the trading side of portfolio business. Robert’s previous experience includes time at BZW, the predecessor to Barclays Capital, in both New York and London, and time with Baring Securities where he focused on serving the needs of quantitative managers and hedge funds marketing derivative strategies, yield enhancement, and program trading for non-U.S. markets. Robert began his Wall Street career at Merrill Lynch where he worked in both the economics research and equities research groups in New York and London. Upon returning from London, he oversaw risk management on the Corporate Bond trading desk. Robert is a member of the Russell Index Advisory Board and holds FINRA registrations 7, 24, 9, 10 and 63. He graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton with a B.S. in Finance (1984).
(same bio as the executive team page)
Ken is the General Counsel and a Principal of BlueStar Global Investors, LLC. Ken is also the founder and Managing Partner of SHERMAN IP LLP as well as a principal in several other ventures. Ken has been admitted to the Bars of the States of New York (1988), New Jersey (1988), and California (1991) and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (1989). Ken received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1985. Ken received his Juris Doctorate from The George Washington University’s National Law Center.Ken is a specialist in intellectual property including patent prosecution, trademark prosecution, litigation and controversy matters surrounding intellectual property protection, negotiation and drafting contracts for corporate technology transactions and creating strategies for developing new technologies. Ken’s experience includes representing Fortune 500 companies developing the highest technology products and systems, as well as individuals and small businesses. Ken is himself an inventor listed on several patents and patent applications. He is an experienced litigator in patent, trademark, trade secret, unfair competition, entertainment and other matters. Administratively, Ken regularly litigates matters before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the US Trademark Office, and has represented clients at the United States International Trade Commission. Ken also has extensive experience in business transactional matters, including business formations, structuring and financing, asset transfers, real estate transactions and negotiations, high technology acquisitions, and due diligence, and entertainment transactions and financing.
Ken has been an instructor at the University of Southern California, Viterbi School of Engineering where he has taught intellectual property and law related issues. Ken also spends time as a political activist where he undertakes fact-finding and works with Members of the United States Congress to develop policies on legislation surrounding US national security.
Louis Wolfson III
Louis Wolfson III is a Partner of Pinnacle Housing Group and PHG Builders, Incorporated. Pinnacle develops, builds, and owns 6,000 completed and occupied affordable multi-family apartment units thru-out the state of Florida, Mississippi and Texas. This track record ranks Pinnacle as one of the leading Affordable Housing Experts, currently ranked #7 in the USA and #2 in the Southeast.
Louis serves on four Endowment Investment Committees investing over $800 million for local Miami institutions. He is the Co-Founder of the Jewish Federation of North American’s Investment Institute, which brings together over $26 billion dollars worth of endowment monies from Jewish Federations throughout North America.
Previously, Louis founded, brought public, controlled and sold “The Video Jukebox Network”. This 14-year-old Miami-based company had over 50 million subscribers worldwide and was sold to MTV in 1998 as an interactive internet company.
Louis was trained in business by his grandfather, Col. Mitchell Wolfson who was the Founder, President, and CEO of Wometco Enterprises. Wometco had over 8,000 employees and was a NYSE top 400 company when the family sold it to KKR in 1985. Louis is a fifth-generation Floridian, thus his ancestors go back to Florida Alligators!
Michael S. Yavner
Michael S. Yavner is the owner and President of The Yavner Group, and Director of Lifespring Financial, Inc., a national life insurance brokerage, and risk management firm, serving ultra high-net-worth clients, family offices, and institutional fiduciaries. Based in Aventura, Florida, the firm focuses on generational wealth transfer, large case life insurance underwriting, income tax, estate tax, business succession, and family wealth preservation for clients.
Michael’s background and over 17 years of experience in the Wealth Management and Private Banking sector give him an added advantage when evaluating options for clients. He was a Wealth Strategist at Northern Trust and Senior Director at BNY Mellon Wealth Management prior to starting his entrepreneurial endeavors.
Michael serves on the board of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, and Campaign Chair for North Dade. He is also Vice-Chair and serves on the board for The Victory School, a school for children with Autism and related disabilities. He is a club member of AIPAC and an active member of the Aventura Marketing Council and previously served as Chair of the Aventura Young Professionals group.
Michael has served on the board of Mount Sinai Founders, has chaired several events for the Anti-Defamation League, and has been involved with the Reach for the Stars Foundation, for individuals with Cystic Fibrosis. Michael is a graduate of the University of Florida Business School.