ValSol International LLC (“VSI”), an arm of DMA, is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), ESG, and Corporate Conduct consultancy. Our primary focus is on reputational risk management through prevention and governance. Our clients desire to operate safe, profitable, sustainable, and responsible organizations, and we help them to do that in a cost-effective way. ESG scores have become impactful to profitability in a very meaningful way, and they have a direct impact on firm valuations (measured with reference to market capitalization). We bring more than fifty years of business experience in risk management, compliance, and organizational ethics to all engagements. Our approach is both quantitative and qualitative, which we describe more fully, below. While our primary focus is the global financial services industry, we offer and provide services to all industries and all types of organization, whether for profit or not-for-profit.
The Need in Financial Services – And Beyond
The financial services industry has, over the past 100 years, become the poster child for what can go wrong in business, whether that reputation is fully deserved or not. One of the goals of our firm is to help undo that reputation. We do this by designing top-to-bottom risk evaluations, by redesigning compliance and ethics programimplementation, by designing new corporate governance mechanisms, through internal education initiatives, and by means of organizational diagnoses through ”deep dive” interviews and document and process reviews. Every firm, whether large or small, whether high-functioning or suffering dysfunctions of various types, will benefit from our evaluations and proposals for organizational change.
Unlike those firms in the cottage industry of new consultants (from compliance to risk) that have sprouted over the past few decades, we have the intellectual bandwidth to take into consideration and address all of the following, without choking on the range of issues that many organizations must face. These include:
Corporate Social Responsibility
Enterprise Risk Management
Portfolio Risk Management
Cyber Risk/Information Security
Corporate Culture and Corporate Citizenship
Business and Professional Ethics
Socially Responsible Investing
Climate Change Impact Analysis (CCIA)
Financial Costs of Ignoring Threats and Opportunities
Our Deep Well of Experience
Drawing from rich and hands-on experience in business management, financial markets, regulation, professional ethics, and academic fields that range from mathematics to philosophy, we help firms assess what their real risk exposures are, what their real interests are, and how best to keep before firm management the necessary components for long-term growth that are most important. To put it most bluntly, we help managements expose irrational short-term decision making and help managements reorient thinking toward long-term growth with stability, which is not always easy when boards and managements are focused on short-term goals because of such psychological phenomena as loss-aversion.
VSI Philosophy and Perspective
We are not merely compliance consultants, organizational consultants, or risk consultants. We partner with firms to help them implement our recommendations, and stick with them every step of the way. We go way beyond “check-the-box” approaches, employed by many consultants to justify to themselves that they have earned their fees. We guide our thinking and so our approach to engagements with reference to both nuts-and-bolts business concerns and the aspirational resolves of such guiding principles as those contained in the United Nations Global Compact and other generally accepted ethical benchmarks for organizational conduct.
VSI’s Principal Consultants
Dr. David E. McClean
David E. McClean has been Principal of the DMA Consulting Group, a regulatory and business consultancy to the financial services industry (asset managers, hedge funds, mutual funds, and broker-dealers), since 1992. As part of his consulting, he serves as officer or director for certain client firms. He serves or has served in such capacities at Sailfish Capital Partners (CT), Canaras Capital Management (NY), Aladdin Capital Management LLC (CT), Topos (CT.), Capital Dynamics (Switzerland, New York), Panda Global Advisors (NY), Coherence Capital Partners (NY), Nuku Asset Inc. (Seattle, WA.), among many others. All of these firms are in the investment advisory or securities industry. Prior to DMA, Dr. McClean served as a legal compliance officer at Van Eck Global, BV Capital Management (a subsidiary of Bayerische Vereinsbank AG) and National Securities and Research Corporation. He has served on several securities industry panels over the years, published articles on securities regulation and business ethics, conducted continuing professional education in mutual funds for the NASD Institute, and served as invited speaker on panels, including at The Conference Board, discussing enterprise risk.
Dr. McClean received a Ph.D. and M.A. from The New School for Social Research, with research interests in social ethics and business ethics. He also received an M.A. (Liberal Studies/Philosophy) from New York University (1996), and a B.A. (summa cum laude) from Hunter College (1986). He also studied at NYU’s Wagner School for Public Service (1987-1989), focusing on financial management and public finance. In addition to his work with investment firms, David is Lecturer in Philosophy and Business Ethics at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, where he conceived and designed courses for a first of its kind program in advanced business ethics. He holds FINRA's Series 7, 24, 27, 63, 79 and 82 licenses. He has lectured at universities across the country and in Europe, and has served on a number of boards. Currently, he is a member of both the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees of The New School for Social Research.
His most recent books are Wall Street, Reforming the Unreformable: An Ethical Perspective, and Richard Rorty, Liberalism and Cosmopolitanism. He is currently working on a book on the politics of climate change, due out in early 2018.
Marc M. Groz
Inventor, author, and business executive, Marc Groz has a unique experience profile with a triple focus on innovation, risk, and investment management. As Managing Member of Right Risk LLC, he helps organizations and individuals understand and manage their most challenging risks and associated opportunities, ranging from cyber risk to the challenges of creating a truly diversified investment portfolio. Mr. Groz is the owner/inventor of TransIDEA® intellectual property, a portfolio that includes issued and pending patents in finance, gaming, digital privacy, cybersecurity, and complex problem solving, as well as related trademarks including "The Idea's The Thing"®. He is the author ofForbes® Guide to the Markets (Wiley, 1999 & 2009) as well as numerous articles on risk, investment strategy, and financial markets. Mr. Groz has lectured worldwide, including a keynote speech at the 2009 Fulbright Association Symposium at Yale University and an invited talk at the 2012 Alan Turing Centennial Conference at King’s College (Cambridge University). He has moderated industry panels on financial innovation (with Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller), regulatory reform (with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal), and cybersecurity (with Kevin Brock and Peter Neumann). His views on markets have been quoted in many publications, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He has appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg (radio and TV) and BBC-TV Worldwide.
During his career he has served as:
• CEO/CIO of a new hedge fund manager • CRO for two $billion+ hedge fund managers • CTO for a $multi-billion dollar investment manager
Mr. Groz began studying advanced (graduate-level) mathematics at Columbia when he was sixteen while also receiving honors in the Westinghouse (Intel) Science Talent Search. Admitted by Harvard, Columbia, and M.I.T., he attended Columbia as a John Jay Scholar, graduating with honors (A.B., Math/Psych) and winning the Psychology Prize.