Ascent helps its customers follow laws and regulations. We are a new type of company, a “RegTech” organization that combines a SaaS platform with intelligent content to provide customized tools and targeted advice for our customers. We’re using modern techniques like machine learning and predictive analytics to stay on the cutting edge of our industry.
The Ascent platform makes it easy for compliance officers in regulated industries to see exactly what is expected of their companies, then track and report on the steps they’re taking to stay compliant. The efficient intelligence we provide helps our customers fulfill the spirit (and letter) of their obligations in a way that lets them breathe easy and focus on creating value for their own customers through their core business.
We’re a team of compliance officers, lawyers, data scientists, and technologists united by the goal of helping you know your business so well that you not only comply with your obligations, but anticipate your future exposure. We combine decades of experience for actionable insights that are built into the platform.
Brian has a wide breadth of regulatory compliance experience including derivatives exchanges, market investigations, clearinghouse compliance, and registered brokerage businesses. He earned an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Illinois and a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University, and is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Aaron has deep experience in marketplaces, working both as a floor and electronic trader in multiple asset classes at each of the major Chicago exchanges. Aaron earned an undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Chris has spent more than a decade in software development and management in both startups and large companies. His work at Ascent is a natural extension of his experience creating workflow tools, gracefully combining human and machine operations, and building beautiful, intuitive, user-oriented experiences. He earned a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Olin College.
Mark Fields is a Partner at Alsop Louie Partners. Prior to joining ALP, Mark was CEO, President, and member of the Board of Directors of Wickr, Inc., an end-to end encrypted communications platform enabling enterprises and consumers in more than 190 countries to safeguard proprietary information and sensitive communications.
Prior to Wickr, Fields was the Founder and Managing Director of CME Ventures, CME Group’s corporate venture capital group. At its inception, CME Ventures focused primarily on cyber security, payments, next generation computing technologies, and curated big data technologies. Fields spent 15 years at CME Group, serving as a leader in the mergers & acquisitions, business and strategic development teams.
Fields was recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50 in 2015. Fields holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University and an MBA from Pepperdine University. Fields serves as a mentor to young professionals and organizations. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Council of the Brennan School of Business at Dominican University, and the Board of Lauren’s Hope, a local social services organization.
James Gray is the Co-founder and Chairman of optionsXpress Holdings, Inc., the online options, futures and stock brokerage that fundamentally changed how retail investors use exchange-traded derivatives for investing and strategic portfolio management. Charles Schwab acquired optionsXpress in 2011. Currently, Jim is CEO of G-Bar LP, one of the nation’s largest independent options, and futures trading firms. Jim is an investor in Ascent Technologies.
Gray is active in many civic and professional organizations, serving on the boards of the Shedd Aquarium, Children’s Memorial and the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization, the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, the Commercial Club and the Economic Club of Chicago. Through the Avrum Gray Family Fund and the G-Bar Foundation, Gray is also a supporter of the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Chicago Symphony, Jewish United Fund, Lyric Opera House, Gene Siskel Film Center, Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, the Ravinia Festival and Cubs Charities. Gray holds a B.S. in Finance and Economics from the University of Iowa. He has following NASD registrations: Series 4, 7, 24 and 63.
Paul Wood is a co-founder and former Managing Director of Madison Dearborn Partners. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Madison Dearborn is one of the largest and most successful private equity investment firms in the nation. From the firm’s founding in 1993 and prior to his retirement in 2006, Madison Dearborn raised and successfully invested four separate private equity funds totaling over $10 billion. From 1985 through 1992, Mr. Wood was a Vice President and partner at First Chicago Venture Capital, the private equity investment arm of First National Bank of Chicago. Mr. Wood began his business career in 1978 at Continental Illinois Venture Corporation of Chicago.
He has been a board member of the Children’s Home and Aid Society of Illinois for over 25 years and currently serves on the executive committee and as Chairman of the Society’s Foundation. He also serves on the board of Trustees of the National Naval Aviation Museum Foundation and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Mr. Wood graduated with honors from the University of Illinois and received his MBA from Columbia University in New York. He resides in North Palm Beach, Florida with his wife Corinne (the former Lieutenant Governor of Illinois).
Waverly Deutsch teaches Building the New Venture (a unique course on entrepreneurial execution), and is a full-time coach for the annual New Venture Challenge competition at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business since 2002. In 2015, Deutsch was honored with the Phoenix Faculty award for her contributions to the Booth student community beyond the classroom. Deutsch is an active angel investor and advisor to start ups including Stylisted, PrettyQuick (acquired by Groupon), InterApt, and SwingByte. She served on the board of directors for InContext Solutions, a leading 3D virtual store market research company from 2009 to 2011. She is an advisor to OCA Ventures, a leading technology VC in Chicago, and serves on the board of SmartBet Charities. In her year as managing director of NetFuel Ventures, an internet incubator, Deutsch helped raise seed capital and launch three technology companies before the firm merged with ARCH Development Partners.
As executive vice president of marketing and strategy for internet exchange company fob.com, she increased their media visibility by 500 percent. She spent seven years with Forrester Research, helping to grow the company from a 20-person boutique market research firm to a publicly traded, global brand with a market cap of over $600 million and offices worldwide. Deutsch earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1985. She received a master's degree in 1989 and a PhD in theater history in 1992 from Tufts University.
Douglas is Chairman of the Board of Hyde Park Angels (HPA), the largest and most active angel group in the Midwest. He has board responsibilities for two of HPA’s portfolio companies: UICO, a touch-screen manufacturing company, and Group Gift, a crowd-sourced B2B group gifting site. He also led the successful exit of Gradebeam, which was purchased by Textura in 2011. He serves on the Board of Directors of Modern Asset Group, an alternative investment management firm with an expertise in managed futures.
Douglas has been involved in the financial trading community for more than twenty years. He has been an active member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) since 1994, is a founding member of the NASDAQ100 futures pit, and worked closely with the CME Board of Directors and staff to help launch the e-mini NASDAQ contract in 2001. He has served on the CME Group’s Political Action Committee since 2007 and is currently running for election for CME’s Board of Directors. He has made regular appearances as a financial commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, CNNFN, and Canada’s Report on Business TV. Douglas graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with a BA in Economics and received his MBA in finance from the University of Chicago in 1989.