Keynote Speaker and Panelists


Maya co-leads the San Francisco office of Alesco Advisors, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm servicing the investment needs of institutions, foundations and high net worth individuals. Previously, she led BlackRock’s U.S. Institutional Index Asset Allocation business, responsible for over $200B across all asset classes, investment styles and vehicles. Over the last 20 years, Maya has held senior risk management roles at firms such as BlackRock, Barclays Global Investors, Visa, and GE Capital. Additionally she has coached hundreds of men and women at all levels of corporate and non-profit organizations to achieve personal and professional success and satisfaction. She is a graduate of Pomona College and holds an MBA in international finance from the University of Washington.


Vanessa Hartigan


Vanessa was a Relationship Manager for Merrill Lynch’s Institutional business which includes coverage of both mutual fund and hedge fund buy-side clients.  She was responsible for working across Merrill Lynch product teams to strategically identify and grow revenues for the West Coast client base.  Prior to relationship management, Vanessa was a Prime Brokerages sales person and relationship manager for the West Coast.  Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Vanessa was a business development officer and product manager for Finaplex, a San Francisco based software company, which provided client relationship management applications for financial advisors.  Vanessa also previously worked in New York as a Financial Analyst in Corporate Finance at Goldman Sachs & Co. 

Lulu Curiel 


Lulu is the founder and Managing Director of Ivy Advisors, an elite education consulting firm that helps people prepare for and apply to business schools. She has a passion for mentoring others and for developing talent. Lulu and her team have helped hundreds of people transform their careers and be admitted to the country’s most eminent MBA programs. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Business School Latino Alumni Association. Prior to Ivy Advisors, Lulu led business operations at Apple, where she negotiated multi-million dollar deals with suppliers and allocated billion dollar quotas to Apple’s the sales force. Before Apple, Lulu was a consultant at Deloitte Consulting, where she led the Hispanic Employee Network of the Boston office and multiple nation-wide initiatives to promote diversity. Lulu has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a bachelor of science in Computer Systems Engineering from Boston University.

Claudia Rivas 


Claudia is a Senior Financial Advisor in the San Francisco, Merrill Lynch office. She has been in the financial services industry since 2005. She has been able to work on high profile stock options plans such as, Facebook and other San Francisco and Silicon Valley clients. Her niche is high net worth individuals and businesses who require sophisticated financial strategies, detailed attention and care. She grew up living in San Francisco, Mexico, and was born in El Salvador. Claudia is a graduate of Mills College, where she attained her B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A. She currently resides in San Francisco with her husband and two boys. In her spare time, she loves salsa dancing, running and reading self-improvement books.


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