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In May, Columbia Business School welcomed six new members to its esteemed Board of Overseers.
The board advises the School’s senior leadership; participates in events, programs, centers, and initiatives; and enriches the School community by providing students and faculty members with access to unique industry insights. Board members also support and champion the School’s most ambitious endeavors, including its much-anticipated move to Manhattanville.
The new board members are: Hugh R. Frater ’85; Edward J. “Ed” Heffernan ’86; Paul C. Hilal ’92; Ian C. Read; Robert F. Smith ’94; and Tony Tamer.
Hugh R. Frater ’85 currently serves as Chairman of American Realty Capital Properties, a publicly traded REIT in Phoenix, AZ. He is also the chairman and former CEO of Berkadia, a joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corporation and a leading commercial real estate company. Frater was a founding partner and managing director of BlackRock, Inc., the world’s largest global investment manager. He serves as vice chair of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBa) Multifamily Task Force, chairman of the MBa Affordable Housing Task Force, and member of the MBa Audit Committee.
Edward J. Heffernan ’86 is currently President and CEO of Alliance Data Systems, global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions in Plano, TX. Heffernan joined the company in 1998 as vice president of mergers and acquisitions and became executive vice president and chief financial officer in 2000. Under Heffernan’s leadership, Alliance Data has ranked in the top 1 percent of companies in terms of shareholder return. Heffernan serves on the board of directors of Children’s Medical Center and on the board of the Shelton School, a private school for children with learning differences in Dallas.
Paul C. Hilal ’92 is a Partner at Pershing Square Capital Management, a $20 billion hedge fund, in New York City. Hilal is also a director of Canadian Pacific Railway Limited and is chairman of its Management Resources and Compensation Committee. He serves on the board of directors of the Grameen Foundation, an organization that assists global microfinance institutions through micro-lending and microfranchise opportunities, and is a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society, which collects and preserves the history of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Ian C. Read is Chairman and CEO of Pfizer Inc., one of the world’s most well known biopharmaceutical companies, in New York City. Read originally joined Pfizer in 1978 as an operational auditor, working in Latin America through 1995. In 1996 he was appointed president of Pfizer’s International Pharmaceuticals Group, with responsibility for Latin America and Canada. He later became accountable for operations in both the Africa/Middle East region and Latin America. He holds his Chartered Accountants certification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.
Robert F. Smith ’94 is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners in Austin, TX. Vista, founded in 2000, is a private equity fund that oversees a portfolio of more than 30 software companies worldwide, focusing exclusively on enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled solutions. In 2014, it was named the world’s top-performing private equity firm by the HEC-Dow Jones Private Equity Performance Ranking. Smith is the chairman of the board of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, a member of the Cornell Engineering College Council, a trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco, and a trustee of Carnegie Hall. He is also an avid fly fisherman.
Tony Tamer is Founder and Co-CEO of HIG Capital LLC, an $18 billion global private equity and alternative assets investment firm, in Miami. Founded in 1993, HIG Capital is the largest alternative investment firm in the lower-middle market and operates a family of private equity, growth equity, real estate, credit/special situations, and lending and syndicated credit funds. Prior to HIG, Tamer was a partner at Bain & Company in Boston. He is a member of the Dean’s Council of the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and a member of the Dean’s Council of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.