Economic Luncheon – 2019

February 11, 2019 @ 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM America/Chicago Timezone
London House Chicago
85 East Wacker Drive
Melissa Binder


Heather Gardner, CIMA, AIF, is responsible for financial institution business development and relationship management at William Blair Investment Management, focusing on product placement for insurance firms, defined-contribution investment-only platforms, and sub-advisory relationships. Before joining William Blair in 2001, Heather was an institutional equity-research sales executive with Stephens Inc. She is member of the Investment and Wealth Institute (IWI) and Money Management Institute (MMI). She serves on the board of the Civic Leadership Foundation, the Sustaining Fellows program committee of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is a former board member of Women Investment Professionals (WIP) of Chicago. Designations: Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA); Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF). Certifications: CAIA Association Fundamentals of Alternative Investments; CFA Institute Investment Foundations; University of Chicago, Booth Executive Education, Chicago Management Institute; Northwestern University, Kellogg Executive Education, Corporate Governance Program. Education: Hendrix College, B.A. in business/economics.


Gina Martin Adams, CFA, CMT, is the Chief Equity Strategist for Bloomberg Intelligence, a unique research platform that provides context on markets, industries, companies, and government policy, available on the Bloomberg Professional Service at BI .

Gina provides top-down perspective on the equity market, sectors and industries with a multi-disciplined approach that utilizes fundamental, quantitative and technical analysis. She frequently presents her views at industry conferences, professional associations and investment organizations, and has been recognized for portfolio strategy, technical strategy and economics in Institutional Investors’ All-America Research survey.

Prior to joining Bloomberg, she was the head of U.S. Equity Strategy for Wells Fargo Securities, where she provided analysis and investment allocation recommendations for Wells Fargo Securities’ institutional clients. Previously, she was an economist for Wachovia Bank, and an investment strategy analyst for Evergreen Asset Management.

Mrs. Adams has a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration with concentrations in Finance and Marketing from the University of Florida. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Market Technician designations, and is a member of the CFA Institute, the CMT Association, the CFA Society of New York, the American Association of Professional Technical Analysts, the Financial Women’s Association, and 100 Women in Finance.


Gargi Pal Chaudhuri, Managing Director, Global Macro Strategist, is a member of the Fixed Income Product Strategy team for Global Fixed Income (GFI) based in New York. Ms. Chaudhuri focuses primarily on global macro thought leadership and applies them to platform conversations with institutional and retail clients of the firm.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Chaudhuri was a portfolio manager for BlackRock’s Global Inflation-linked bond team from 2013 to 2016, where she focused on alpha generation, risk management and portfolio positioning for inflation-linked bond portfolios. Ms. Chaudhuri joined Blackrock in 2010 as a sector specialist within the Global Rates Investment Team, focusing on real and nominal rate relative value and trading.

From 2009 to 2010, Ms. Chaudhuri was a Vice President at Jefferies & Co. where she ran the US inflation trading desk. In this role, she was responsible for building the Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) franchise and providing liquidity in TIPS to institutional clients. She began her career in 2001 with Merrill Lynch, where she held various roles, most recently on the government bond trading desk.

Ms. Chaudhuri earned a BA degree, magna cum laude, in accounting from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2001. She is an avid runner and a triathlete and has completed multiple marathons, ultra marathons, half Ironmans and  the New York Ironman.


Ivana Ruffini is a senior policy specialist in the financial markets group at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, where she contributes to the Federal Reserve’s position on public policy issues involving financial markets. Her work focuses on analyzing impact and efficacy of regulatory changes and customer protections in derivatives markets, supervisory oversight of exchange-traded and privately negotiated financial instruments, international competitiveness, financial market infrastructure and systemic risk.

Prior to joining the financial markets group in 2013, Ruffini was a risk specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Before joining the Federal Reserve, Ruffini was active in the alternative investment space as a private equity investment professional, a derivatives trader and a credit specialist. Her prior employers include Baird Capital Partners, One Equity Partners, JP Morgan and Bank One.

Ruffini received a B.A. in mathematics from Denison University and an M.B.A. in finance and marketing from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.