Harry Blount    |    Chairman + CEO    |    Director of Foresight

Investment research industry veteran Harry Blount formed the DISCERN founding team, building on more than 20 years of executive and financial experience on Wall Street, including senior roles at Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse First Boston, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, and CIBC Oppenheimer. Harry has been named an Institutional Investor All-American in both Information Technology Hardware and Internet Infrastructure Services, and The Wall Street Journal has recognized him as an All-Star covering the Computer Hardware sector.  Harry also lent his expertise to the National Academy of Sciences where he served as a member of the Committee for Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies; and to The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, where he chaired the Futures Committee. Harry graduated from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in 1986 with a B.S. in Finance.

 

Michele Dundas Macpherson   |  Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer, Michele Macpherson joined DISCERN in 2015 to accelerate the company’s growth. Previously, she was General Manager of NCR’s Entertainment Division (acquired by Coinstar). At NCR, she acquired The New Release and integrated the start-up into NCR’s existing infrastructure ensuring synergies were realized in sales, marketing, hosting/IT infrastructure, engineering, product management, technical support, customer service, manufacturing and field operations. She was a Senior Vice President of DVDPlay, acquired by NCR, which became part of the Entertainment Division where she drove development and deployment of self-serve kiosks in retail locations, built the consumer-acquisition and customer-value maximization program, creating a $30M business. Previously, she was SVP and CIO of identity management start-up ActivIdentity (acquired by Assa Abloy) and SVP of Encentuate (acquired by IBM). She worked with The Boston Consulting Group and CSC Index consulting to Fortune 100 companies on strategy, mergers and acquisitions and operations. Michele holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. 

 
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Sanjay Agarwal    |    Chief Data Scientist

 Sanjay Agarwal has a broad wealth of experience in machine learning, data science, software engineering and visualization.

Prior to joining DISCERN, led the data science effort in Petzilla where he deployed machine learning tools for logistic regression and real time geo-mapping.  Sanjay was a lead data scientist at Qualcomm Analytics Research Group where he built cluster models (unsupervised learning) and linear models (GLM, Random Forests, Trees, and Classification).  Sanjay also has held a number of principal engineer and manager roles at Cisco, Maxim, Microchip, Texas Instruments, and Philips.  Sanjay has an MS in Electrical Engineering from UT-Austin and MBA from U of New Mexico and and Data Analytics certificate from the UC – Santa Cruz.

 
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James Christie    |    Head of Product

James Christie brings 10+ years of product and business experience to DISCERN.  Prior to joining DISCERN, Jim has led business intelligence and advertising operations at Blinkx Video where he managed geographically distributed AdOps teams and exceeded revenue targets for the video business unit in six consecutive quarters.  Jim also served as the scrum master and team leader at Blinkx desktop where he he oversaw the content team, the overhaul of the firms product and created and maintained the product roadmap.  Prior to Blinkx, Jim was the operations specialist for Shoplocal where he oversaw 30 account relationships, and managed the data entry operations team.  Jim has a BS – Computer & Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

 

Richard Church   |   Consumer Retail Curator

Richard Church’s experience base includes 20+ years in equity investing in both public and private realms.  His strengths revolve around strategy, financial advisory services, business valuation and global consumer/retail fundamental research.  Richard’s background includes senior roles, such as Managing Director at Citi-Smith Barney; Managing Director at Shumway Capital Partners; and Principal/CIO at Quartern Capital Partners.  Among Richard’s honors stand his distinction as a five-time winner of the Institutional Investor All-America Research Team award and the Wall Street Journal Best of the Street Award.

 

Henry "Chip" Dickson, CFA   |  Head of Curation Services

Before co-founding DISCERN, Chip was Chief Equity Strategist and Associate Director of Research at Lehman Brothers. Prior to that, Chip was one of Wall Street’s leading bank analysts. A nine-time Institutional Investor All-American analyst, he is also co-author of the book, The Great Deleveraging.

Chip was also a Bank Analyst at Salomon Smith Barney, Kemper Securities, and McDonald & Company. Before that he was a commercial banker in Cleveland. Chip is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Chip serves on the Cutler Center Advisory Board at Babson College, where he earned a B.S.B.A. and an M.B.A., and was an Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University.

 

Troy Hansen    |    Director Data Integrity & Enhancement

30+ years as a System and Quality Assurance Engineer.  Prior to joining DISCERN, Troy worked for General Dynamics where he was responsible for system level acceptance testing for a  satellite constellation.  Troy has also served in senior engineering positions for a variety of other firms including  Motorola, Xerox, GE Medical, and Fisher Rosemount.  Troy is an avid options and commodity trader specializing in gold securities.

 
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Kerner Smith     |     Chief Revenue Officer

Prior to joining DISCERN, Kerner Smith demonstrated his ample ability to identify and meet the needs of institutional fund managers over the course of ten years in equity sales at KeyBanc Capital Markets. At Key, Kerner was promoted rapidly, becoming the youngest Director in the firm’s history and a Managing Director in early 2010. His client relationship and servicing skills earned him recognition at KeyBanc as the salesperson of the year for 2009. Kerner earned a B.S. in Applied Economics, Management and Marketing at Cornell University.

 

David Wigginton   |   Real Estate Curator

David Wigginton has demonstrated a consistent ability to provide differentiated coverage of the real estate investment trust sector both as a Senior Analyst at Macquarie Capital and in the equity research department of Merrill Lynch.  Prior to commencing his career in research, David worked as a Senior Consultant in the Financial Services Advisory area at Ernst & Young. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he earned an M.S. in Accountancy, and Brigham Young University, where he earned a B.S. in Business Management with a finance emphasis.

 

Gil Yang    |     Energy Curator

Gil Yang brings a broad wealth of expertise to his role as energy analyst, given his understanding of not only the financial analysis, but the science behind this sector.  Prior to joining DISCERN.  Gil was a senior analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch covering Oil and Gas: SMID Cap U.S. E&P, and at Citi Investment Research covering North American E&P.  Gil’s additional work includes coverage of Specialty Chemicals at Citi where he was ranked #3 II in 2002, and coverage of Specialty Chemicals and Ag Biotech at JP Morgan Securities.  Gil holds a BA from Cornell, an MBA in Finance from UCLA and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California – Berkeley.