MEET VADIM KHAVINSON OF CAPITAL FORENSICS, INC.
We are speaking today with Vadim Khavinson of Capital Forensics, Inc.
Vadim, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a native of Belarus and came to the United States with my family when I was in my teens. I worked as a physical trainer and tennis coach to put myself through the University of Illinois, where I earned my undergraduate degree in Finance. Based on my strong interest in data analytics, I began my career with CFI as an analyst after graduating in 2002. Jay Rosen had built a very successful firm based primarily on expert witness testimony in financial services, and he had plans to expand the firm’s consulting capabilities. I knew that the ability to analyze large data sets would play an important role in the growth of the Firm. I was excited to be part of the team that would help make that happen. I also realized that the more experience I obtained, the more I wanted to learn. I then enrolled in the MBA program at Northwestern’s Kellogg School and received my Executive MBA.
How long have your served as Chairman and CEO of Capital Forensics, Inc?
I’ve been with CFI for 17 years. I never felt the desire to work anywhere else. After 2 years of working as an analyst and immersing myself in all aspects of the business, I was promoted to Vice President and served in that role for nearly 5 years. At that time, I became CFI’s President where I served for more than 8 years before assuming the role of Chairman and CEO in 2016. Since coming on-board in 2002, CFI has grown, from 7 people to a team of 50 full-time employees, and 27 subject matter experts. Our firm’s capabilities have expanded far beyond expert witness testimony, and now include a broad range of services covering regulatory and compliance consulting, forensic accounting and litigation support. We’ve also become recognized as the securities industry leader in arbitration-related data and services. I expect CFI to continue to expand over the next few years, both in terms of professional depth and the scope of our expertise.
Due to how the firm has grown over the years, both with the number of people and the range of capabilities we now possess, I spend most of my time on management and strategic planning issues to ensure that we’re delivering value to all our clients. But on those occasions where I’m asked to be more involved in a specific matter, I’m able to dig in and remember why I became so captivated by this, so many years ago.
Why is it important for CFI to be a member of the FSDA?
CFI has always sought to be associated with professional organizations that share our institutional values and are respected throughout the industry. FSDA has established a reputation as one of the securities industry’s most respected trade associations, and CFI is proud to be a member. From a business perspective, Florida remains a growing, vibrant economy. As that market continues to expand, many of our clients will need to address the demand for specialized expertise they may either not possess internally, or not require on a full-time basis. CFI intends to provide those firms with the outside resources they will need to serve the Florida market in the most professional, time-efficient manner. The FSDA has a commitment to bringing positive changes to the financial services sector in the State, and we are committed to assisting them.
Tell us more about CFI’s decision to focus on solutions leveraging data analytics.
As Regulators have incorporated their use of data analytics, firms must be armed with similar capabilities. Data analytics is the basis for everything that CFI does, whether it’s a single customer’s account analysis or a firmwide regulatory review.
More than 8 years ago, FSDA’s former President, Trish Cowart, asked us to create a system that would assist her with arbitrator rankings. Building on nearly twenty years of expert witness work in arbitrations, CFI recognized that the industry required a more sophisticated tool kit to apply arbitration tactics effectively, so we set out to raise the bar, in terms of the quality of information and how that data could be leveraged. We created the ArbSelector®, which now incorporates more than 35 years of arbitration awards, in addition to other data points collected. We also developed a MockArb® process, that enables firms to prepare more effectively for high stakes arbitrations.
Vadim, thanks for taking time to speak with us today.