CPWA Faculty Biographies

University of Chicago Booth School of Business Faculty

Merle Erickson, PhD is a professor of accounting at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he teaches graduate level courses in taxes and business strategy. His research focuses on the effect of taxes on pricing and structuring of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures; and the use of accounting information in valuation and contracting. He also studies various aspects of accounting fraud. His research has been published in The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of the American Taxation Association, and the National Tax Journal. He is a co-author of the text Taxes and Business Strategy and author/editor of Cases in Tax Strategy. He is a co-editor of the Journal of Accounting Research. He consults periodically on complex GAAP and tax accounting issues; his clients include the U.S. Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, Fortune 500 companies, investment banks, law firms, accounting firms, and individual taxpayers. Previously he was a manager for the Barrington Consulting Group, and before that he was an auditor for KPMG-Peat Marwick. Among awards for research, writing, and teaching, he has been named one of BusinessWeek’s Outstanding Faculty at the University of Chicago. He earned a PhD in accounting at University of Arizona and an MBA at Arizona State University.

Lubos Pastor, PhD is Charles P. McQuaid Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy and Research. In addition, he is an associate editor of the Journal of Finance and Journal of Financial Economics, the Vice President of the Western Finance Association, a member of the CRSP Indexes Advisory Council, and a former associate editor of the Review of Financial Studies. Professor Pastor’s research focuses mostly on financial markets and asset management. His research has been awarded numerous prizes, such as two Smith Breeden Prizes, two Fama/DFA Prizes, Whitebox Advisors Selected Research Prize, Goldman Sachs Asset Management Prize, Barclays Global Investors Prize, Rothschild Caesarea Center Best Paper Award, two Geewax, Terker & Co. Prizes, Marshall Blume Prize, the NASDAQ Award, and the Q Group Award. Professor Pastor has been teaching at Chicago Booth since 1999 when he obtained a Ph.D. in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 


Stacy Allred, MTAX, CPA/PFS®, CFP® is a managing director and Wealth Strategist in Merrill Lynch’s UHNW Client Solutions Group. Stacy joined Merrill Lynch in 1999 in the San Francisco office and relocated to the Seattle area in 2005.  Previously, she spent nine years with Ernst & Young LLP providing comprehensive financial planning and tax services to multi-generational family groups and executives. Her experience includes planning for income and estate taxes, retirement, philanthropic, investment strategy, insurance, and employee benefits. Stacy has worked extensively in developing tactical diversification strategies for concentrated positions.  Additionally, Stacy reached thousands of individuals through conducting financial planning workshops, empowering individuals to make informed financial decisions and take action to improve their financial well-being. Stacy earned her BS in Accounting and Business. She earned a Masters in Taxation, with distinction, from DePaul University. Stacy is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, Personal Financial Specialist and Certified Public Accountant in the State of California. Additionally, she holds her Series 2, 7, 63, 65 and 66 licenses.

John F. Bergner, JD, MLT is a shareholder in the Dallas, Texas office of Winstead PC.  Mr. Bergner has been with Winstead for more than 30 years and serves as chairman of the wealth preservation practice group.  Mr. Bergner is a specialist in estate planning and probate law certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  His practice involves complex tax, estate and business succession planning as well as administration of estates.  He earned a B.B.A. and J.D. from Washburn University and an M.L.T. from Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Bergner is active in the American Bar Association.  He is a Council Director and is past Chair of the Continuing Education Committee and the Estate and Gift Tax Committee of the ABA's Tax Section.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.  He has lectured at numerous tax and estate planning seminars and is a visiting adjunct professor at the University of Miami Law School.

Benjamin G. Carter, JD is an estate planning attorney at Texas Capital Bank Private Wealth Advisors. For more than fifteen years, Mr. Carter has devoted his practice to complex tax, estate and business succession planning as well as administration of estates.  He earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Washington University.  Mr. Carter is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and board certified in estate planning and probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Mr. Carter is active in the American Bar Association and serves as a vice-chair for the Estate and Gift Taxes Committee of the ABA's Tax Section.  He has lectured at numerous tax and estate planning seminars and has testified before the Department of the Treasury regarding proposed estate tax regulations.

Christine L. Courtnage, CPA/PFS®, CFP®, ADPASM is a managing director in U.S. Trust, Bank of America’s Private Wealth Management group in Chicago, Illinois. In this role, Christine consults with clients to develop planning solutions in a variety of areas including tax and estate matters, and coordinates the involvement of other professionals from investment, fiduciary and banking disciplines as needed to address the unique needs of each client.  Multi-generational aspects of each plan are considered, with special attention given to financial education for younger family members. Christine joined U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management in 1994 with prior experience of 15 years as a CPA/financial planner, including as the practice leader of Price Waterhouse’s Personal Financial Services group in Houston, Texas. Christine received her B.S. in journalism and marketing research from Southern Illinois University, and her M.S. in accounting from the University of Houston.  In addition, she is a Certified Public Accountant, Personal Financial Specialist®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and Accredited Domestic Partnership AdvisorSM.

Jim Dobbs, CIMA®, CFP®, CPWA® is the founder of Dobbs Wealth Management Group, LLC, a fee-only financial planning and investment advisory practice. He also manages Dobbs Education, LLC, a financial education consulting business through which he serves as program director for the CPWA® education program at Chicago Booth. Jim founded and managed the financial planning certificate programs and served as program director at the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Later he served IMCA and CFP Board as director of education. Prior to founding Dobbs Wealth, he worked for several financial services firms including Mercer, Ameriprise Financial, and the investment banking firm of Sanders, Morris & Harris. Dobbs earned MBA degrees in asset and wealth management from Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business and the University of Lausanne in partnership with the Swiss Finance Institute. He earned a post-baccalaureate award in taxation at the University of California, Los Angeles Extension and completed the Management Development for Entrepreneurs (MDE) Program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. He earned a BBA in financial services and planning at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business.

James M. Duggan, JD, MBA is a principal of Duggan Bertsch, LLC, a Chicago-based business, tax, estate and wealth planning firm where his practice focuses on business and corporate law and estate and wealth planning related to closely held businesses and high-net-worth families, including structuring and implementation of family offices, sophisticated tax planning, and asset protection planning strategies. He frequently lectures and writes about his areas of concentration, and he serves as a director with numerous for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He earned a BS in marketing magna cum laude at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, an MBA in finance summa cum laude at DePaul University, and a JD also at DePaul University, where he was awarded positions on the DePaul Law Review and DePaul Business Law Journal

Michael Gallmeyer, PhD is a professor of finance in the McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia, where he specializes in studying how market imperfections influence security prices and trade. Previously he was on the faculty at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He has published in leading academic journals such as the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Review of Finance, Mathematical Finance, and Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control; and he has presented his research at numerous universities and conferences. He serves as a faculty advisor for the CIMA certification education program delivered through the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He earned PhD and MA degrees in finance, both from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and a BS in applied mathematics and industrial management from Carnegie Mellon University.

J. Richard Joyner, CIMA®, CPWA®. CPA, CFP®, PFS is president of Tolleson Wealth Management’s private wealth management group, where he focuses on identifying and implementing strategies to help clients preserve, protect, and increase after-tax wealth. He previously was partner and director at Ernst & Young, LLP. His experience includes investment management for taxable clients, hedging strategies for concentrated stock positions, complex multiyear income tax planning, and strategies for maximizing stock options and retirement benefits. He has been honored three times by Worth magazine as a Top Financial Advisor. He is a past president of the IMCA board of directors, a member of the board of directors of the University of North Texas Professional Development Institute, and chairman of the professional advisory council of the United Way Foundation in Dallas. He is quoted widely in the popular press and is a regular speaker to professional groups and investors. He earned a BS in accounting from Wake Forest University.

Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, RHU, REBC, CASL, CWPPTM is director of research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, a private wealth management firm, and publisher of the e-newsletter The Kitces Report and the blog Nerd’s Eye View at www.kitces.com, which is dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning. He is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Financial Planning, Journal of Financial Planning, Journal of Retirement Planning, Practical Tax Strategies, the Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek. He co-authored The Annuity Advisor with John Olsen and Tools & Techniques of Retirement Income Planning with Steve Leimberg. He was recognized as one of five financial planning “Movers and Shakers” for 2006 by Financial Planning magazine and one of 20 “Rising Stars in Wealth Management” by Institutional Investor News for 2007. He serves on the editorial review board for Journal of Financial Planning and on numerous boards and committees for the Financial Planning Association and the Society of Financial Services Professionals. He is a co-founder of NexGen, which aims to ensure the transfer of wisdom, tradition, and integrity from the pioneers of financial planning to the next generation of the profession. Michael earned a master’s degree in taxation from the University of Tulsa, a master’s degree in financial services from the American College and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bates College.

Michael Liersch, PhD is head of behavioral finance and goals-based development at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, where he leads the behavioral finance initiative. He has been a visiting professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, and his research has been published in top psychology journals, including Psychological Science and Journal of Marketing Research. He earned his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and his A.B. in economics from Harvard University.

Elizabeth Morgan, JD is a partner in the law firm of Schurig Jetel Beckett & Tackett, LLP, where she represents high-net- worth individuals and families. She is board certified in estate planning and probate law and was named a Texas Super Lawyer in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 by Law & Politics and Texas Monthly magazines. She was listed in The Best Lawyers in America and named in Worth magazine’s Top 100 Attorneys list for 2006 and 2007. She has written for Practical Accountant and Bloomberg Wealth Manager, and has lectured on domestic and international estate planning, trust and estate administration, and probate. She is an author and editor of the four-volume treatise, Asset Protection: Domestic and International Law and Tactics. Previously she was an estate planning attorney with Jenkens & Gilchrist, and before that with Osborne, Lowe, Helman & Smith, LLP. She earned a law degree at the University of Texas Law School and an undergraduate degree at Baylor University.

John A. Nersesian, CIMA®, CPWA®, CIS, CFP® is managing director of wealth management services at Nuveen Investments, where his group provides wealth management and practice development education and consulting support to advisors. Previously he was a first vice president at Merrill Lynch Private Client Group, where he was also a leader of advanced training for financial consultants. He is a frequent contributor in the areas of investment consulting and financial planning for the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and CNN. He earned a BS in business and economics from Lehigh University.

Courtney Pullen, MA, LPC is the President of the Pullen Consulting Group.  He has more than 25 years of experience in individual and family coaching, business and management consulting, leadership development, communication training and team building.  He has extensive experience in small and large group facilitation covering the continuum from corporations to family meetings. Courtney received his graduate degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado in 1983. He was a Clinical Associate at the School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado at Denver.  He was a full-time practicing psychotherapist for ten years and maintained a part-time practice for six years during his transition to a coaching model. Pullen has frequently lectured, conducted numerous workshops and been published in the areas of individual and organizational change, behavioral finance and family wealth dynamics.  He is a contributing editor to the Journal of Financial Planning and the Journal of Practical Estate Planning and is on the board of advisors of the Sudden Money Institute. He is a graduate of the Newfield coaching program and is a Professional Certified Coach.

Steven G. Siegel, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation) is president of The Siegel Group, a Morristown, New Jersey-based national consulting firm specializing in tax consulting, estate planning and advising family business owners and entrepreneurs. Mr. Siegel holds a B.S. from Georgetown University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University. He is the author of several books, including: The Grantor Trust Answer Book (2013 CCH); CPA’s Guide to Financial and Estate Planning (AICPA 2013); and Federal Fiduciary Income Taxation (Foxmoor 2013). He is a nationally-recognized writer and speaker who has lectured extensively throughout the United States on tax, business and estate planning topics. Mr. Siegel is presently serving as an adjunct professor of law in the Graduate Tax Program (LLM) of the University of Alabama, and has served as an adjunct professor of law at Seton Hall and Rutgers University law schools.

Tim Steffen, CPA/PFS®, CFP®, CPWA® joined Baird in 1999. His areas of expertise include meeting with clients and prospects to discuss their financial and estate planning needs and serving as an income tax specialist for Baird’s Financial Advisors. Tim also supports Financial Advisors in a marketing and training capacity, helping them understand the benefits of using financial planning in their business and educating them on planning techniques. Prior to joining Baird, Tim worked in Arthur Anderson’s Private Client Services group where he specialized in tax and financial planning. Tim earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois in 1991. He is a Certified Public Accountant/Personal Financial Specialist, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, a Certified Private Wealth Advisor® and a member of the American and Wisconsin Institutes of CPAs, Investment Management Consultants Association and the Financial Planning Association. Commentary from Tim on a wide range of financial planning topics has been featured in national, regional and trade media such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Barron’s, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, MarketWatch, Forbes, and InvestmentNews