Our Team

Cem Karsan

CIO, Managing Principal

Cem is the Founder and Senior Managing Partner of Kai Volatility Advisors. He is responsible for firm-wide management, as well as the Head of Research and Risk Management. Cem triple majored in Economics, Policy Studies, and English at Rice University and holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Eric Elvambuena

CTO

Eric is responsible for overseeing the design, development, and maintenance of the firm’s technology, including front-end analytics, research engines, network infrastructure, as well as back-office, and middle office applications across the organization. He’s a senior engineer with a storied career of leadership within the trading world, having built one of the leading algorithmic trading firms from the ground up. In 2006 as the seventh employee of Eagle Seven, he scaled the IT infrastructure of the organization and steered the ship for the development team and technological vision of the firm, including leading the build-out of their Asia office and expanding their international presence. As a partner at Eagle Seven he reported directly to the executive team and lead a team of developers, architecting, designing, and implementing cutting-edge trading engines and applications for over 13 years, overseeing the firm’s growth from 7 to well over 100 employees. Eric attended Purdue University, where he graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

Thomas Bird

Senior Quantitative Research Analyst

Tom studied Nuclear Engineering and Physics at the University of Wisconsin and was a Ph.D. Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany. Before coming to Kai, Tom was a lead Quantitative Researcher at Centurion Investment Management.

Matt Marneris

Trader

Matt studied Economics and Finance at the University of Illinois and holds an MBA from DePaul University's Kellstadt School of Business. Before Kai Matt was Head Risk Manager at Geneva Capital Investments, an equity index market-making group primarily focused on SPX options. 

Richard Mordini

Head of Operations

Richard majored in both Mathematics and Accounting at the University of Notre Dame and holds an MBA from the University of California - Berkeley, where he focused on Strategy, Finance, and the Venture Ecosystem. He worked in Chicago in a Big 4 accounting firm as a CPA in its audit and valuation divisions, as an early stage investor at a $300M VC fund in San Francisco, and ran finance for a venture-backed foodtech startup during revenue growth from $50M to $150M.

Patrick Duffy

Head of Marketing

Patrick studied Economics and Finance at Georgia State University. After college, he spent 9 years building a visual content marketing agency in Atlanta before moving to Chicago in the summer of 2021. Patrick loves sports and photography, serving as the team photographer and visual content creator for the Atlanta Braves for 7 seasons.

Ana Beck

Project Management Lead & Executive Assistant

Ana supports the entire team across many verticals and is also responsible for firmwide project management. Prior to joining Kai, Ana worked at the financial advisory firm, Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, where she helped oversee compliance and comptroller functions at the firm, as well as supported its principals administratively with CRM coordination, investor communication, scheduling, and expense coordination. Ana attended New York University, where she graduated with honors in 3 years.

Chris Lambrou

Head of Investor Relations

Chris is responsible for all investor communications, public relations, and business development. Chris majored in Economics at the University of Wisconsin. He previously ran his own digital marketing agency.

Cosmo

Office Pup

Good boy.

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