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Our Faculty

UpperMark is proud of the dedicated professionals who contribute to developing and delivering our top quality CAIA exam materials. Our faculty members are not only subject matter experts, but they have years of experience working with the CAIA curriculum and on the CAIA exams. In addition to being experts in their subject areas, they are outstanding educators. They know how to clearly present material, demystify complex concepts, and make the learning process interesting. Our team genuinely cares about your success and will go the extra mile to ensure that you have what you need to succeed on your CAIA exams.

Please meet some of our lead faculty members.

Padideh Jalali, Ph.D., CAIA
President and CEO
UpperMark, Inc.

As CEO and President of UpperMark, Padideh (Pady) sets the strategic goals and objectives of the company, and oversees the operations of the organization. Her passion to develop and deliver the most effective and complete study materials for the CAIA exams and to attend to even the smallest of client needs permeates the entire organization. In every respect, Pady goes the extra mile, renowned for her tireless devotion to our clients and her commitment to continuous improvement. Under her direction, the team at UpperMark is motivated to give their all for our clients - a unique competitive advantage for our company.

    "In every respect,
   Pady goes
the extra mile."

Pady's experience with the CAIA exam began in 2003 when the first exam was administered. Since then, she has directed development of extensive products and services for the CAIA community. In addition to her expertise in alternative investments, Pady brings to UpperMark professional experience from the educational testing industry, as well as teaching graduate and undergraduate university and professional courses. While on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts, she was the recipient of the University's
prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award.

During her doctoral tenure at the University of Massachusetts, Pady received a national award for her dissertation proposal from the American Association of Individual Investors and Financial Management Association International. She also served as assistant to the Editor of the Journal of Alternative Investments.

Padideh Jalali
Ph.D. in Finance, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
M.S. in Applied Mathematics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
B.Sc. Hons. in Mathematics and Computer Science, Keele University, England.
Natalia (Natasha) Beliaeva, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Sawyer Business School
Suffolk University

As Assistant Professor at Suffolk University, Natasha both teaches courses and conducts research. Her teaching portfolio includes teaching in the areas of derivatives, corporate finance, and economics. Her areas of research interest are in hedge funds, asset pricing, credit risk modeling, and term structure modeling. Her expertise includes financial derivatives, asset pricing, and term structure modeling. For her doctoral dissertation, Natasha developed efficient lattice procedures for pricing American options under stochastic volatility models, and stochastic volatility models extended with jumps in asset returns.

"Natasha is
meticulous about
  her work."

Natasha has presented several research papers at conferences held by the Financial Management Association. She also actively participates in the American Finance Association. Natasha has coauthored two books, and has published in such journals as Journal of Derivatives and Journal of Alternative Investments. She currently has several research papers under review for inclusion at prestigious academic journals. Prior to joining Suffolk University, Natasha worked as a research associate at the Isenberg School of Management.

Natasha's expertise is applied at UpperMark in the development of study materials. One of her invaluable qualities is that she is meticulous about her work. Natasha also contributes significantly to the delivery of our review courses, online and in New York, San Francisco, and other locations.

Natalia Beliaeva
Ph.D. in Finance, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
M.S. in Computer Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
B.S. in Economics and Engineering, St. Petersburg Technical University, Russia.
Georgi Georgiev, Ph.D.
Research Analyst
SSARIS Advisors, LLC.

Georgi's primary role as Research Analyst at SSARIS Advisors involves developing and testing systematic trading strategies in diversified futures, as well as providing research support to fund of funds portfolio managers. He is an expert in financial econometrics, volatility measurement and forecasting, high frequency data analysis, asset allocation, and systematic trading strategies. His doctoral thesis focused on the use of high frequency data in the estimation and forecasting of volatility.

"Georgi provides
real-life examples to solidify

Prior to beginning his work at SSARIS, Georgi worked as a research associate at the Center for International Securities and Derivatives Markets (CISDM). His work there involved original research on the performance of alternative investment classes and the construction of passive benchmarks for managed futures advisors. In 2002, Georgi was part of the team that initiated the Charter Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) program. He played a fundamental role in the design of the original CAIA curriculum and the
Level I and Level II exams.

Georgi's expertise is applied at UpperMark as a
subject matter expert. He contributes to the development
of study materials, teaches courses, and addresses client content questions. Georgi is always able to provide real-life examples to solidify understanding and ensure full comprehension of concepts.

Georgi Georgiev
Ph.D. in Finance, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
MBA, Clark University, Worcester.
B.A. in Business Administration, American University, Bulgaria.
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