Carolyn Burke is a Director for XA Investments, the registered fund division of XMS Capital Partners. Carolyn has spent her entire career in the financial services industry. She has held a variety of positions across multiple business lines which has led to a deep understanding of the asset management, mutual fund and hedge fund industries as well as the challenges and risks inherent in them. Her broad experience and investment management expertise means that she brings in a well-rounded and seasoned perspective to business initiatives. For 26 years, she has served in key financial and operational leadership roles, most recently as Chief Financial Officer of Mesirow Advanced Strategies. She spent ten years as an Independent Trustee of the Grant Park Futures Fund Limited Partnership, and served as an Interested Director on the Board of fourteen Mesirow funds.
From 2009 to 2015, at Mesirow Advanced Strategies, an international fund of hedge fund firm with $14B AUM and $115M in annual revenue, Carolyn led finance and operations management teams of up to thirty-five, improving efficiencies and reducing risk. As Chief Financial Officer, Executive Committee member and Internal Board Director, she guided strategy and built business value. Carolyn was the first and only woman named to the Executive Committee, jointly setting and executing firm strategy. She was a founding member of the Operating Committee, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the firm and driving systems and process improvements. As Senior Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, Carolyn managed the following teams: Fund Accounting, Information Technology, Treasury, Trade Administration, Performance Reporting and Client Administration. She initiated and managed financial reporting, client administration and process improvement initiatives, driving cost and operational efficiencies, risk controls and compliance. She managed the selection, negotiated the contracts and was responsible for operational oversight of key service provider relationships, including audit, tax, third party administrators, FX counterparties and credit facility providers, ensuring top-quality service delivery at the best price. She led the effort for Advanced Strategies to become GIPS complaint in 2014.
Before joining Mesirow, Carolyn spent 14 years with UBS Global Asset Management and Brinson Partners, an asset management company acquired by Swiss Bank Corporation (now UBS), in 1994. She progressed to Managing Director with UBS Global Asset Management, guiding business operations teams for Global Fixed Income, comprised of 170 investment professionals worldwide, managing approximately $200B in assets. Carolyn resolved all compliance issues that arose within the Fixed Income team and represented the team in global risk assessment reviews, including Sarbanes Oxley. She served on six cross-functional committees: Global Valuation, Operational Risk, Americas Operating and three Information Technology steering committees. Prior joining Fixed Income, she successfully managed the business and Board issues for Brinson Partners’ three families of mutual funds. While a Partner with Brinson Partners she served as Secretary, Treasurer and ultimately, Vice President of The Brinson Funds. Carolyn planned and conducted the quarterly Board meetings, participated in setting strategy for development of new product delivery channels, and was responsible for the compliance of the mutual funds with IRS and SEC rules and regulations. During her tenure, a unique fund structure was established which utilized fund of funds, asset allocation and significant partnership tax and securities law issues requiring SEC exemptive orders.
Carolyn started her career with KPMG in Chicago after graduating cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Business Administration, concentration in Accounting. She became a CPA. Then, she went on to complete a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, concentration in Finance and Strategy. She subsequently secured her Series 7, 63 and 24 licenses and she also was a Registered Director with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.