Ronald D. Mass

Board of Visitors

 

Ronald D. Mass

Managing Partner

Almitas Capital LLC

Ronald Mass, is the founder of Almitas Capital. He was a senior portfolio manager for over 20 years at Western Asset Management, an institutional fixed income manager with over $450 billion in assets under management, and led the Asset Backed Securities (ABS) and Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) portfolio management teams. Mr. Mass chaired the Leveraged Products Committee, was a senior member of the Broad Market Strategy and Risk Management Committees, and was responsible for management of over $100 billion in assets. He initiated the launch and management of the Western Asset Mortgage Capital (WMC) Reit, numerous closed and open end mutual funds, CDO and CLO products, and customized client portfolios. Additional responsibilities included management of Convertible Bonds, Preferred Stock, Aircraft Equipment Financing, and Secured Corporate Bonds. Prior to joining Western Asset, Mr. Mass was a Research Associate at Credit Suisse First Boston. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelors in Economics and Business. Mr. Mass is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute. He currently serves as a board member of Woodside Homes, a leading West Coast homebuilder, is a guest lecturer at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and CFA Society of Los Angeles, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.

Melisa Wilson

Board of Visitors

 

MELISA L. WILSON

Managing Director

Leasing & Asset Finance

Melisa Wilson is a Managing Director of the Leasing & Asset Finance Group (L&AF) of MUFG Union Bank, N.A.  The group provides financing to the Fortune 1000 companies, the renewable power industry, U.S. subsidiaries of Asian companies, and MUFG’s client base.

L&AF’s products span structured financings, leveraged leases, single investor leases, synthetic leases, term loans, construction loans, and partnership investments, among other things. A key member of L&AF team for over twenty years, Ms. Wilson since July 2014 has been the Head of Planning, Operations and Administration (previously Chief Operating Officer) for the group. Before her elevation to this position, Ms. Wilson’s structured financing responsibilities included client management, transaction negotiations and execution, legal contract review, and credit process management for the renewables industry.  In her current role, Ms. Wilson directs and oversees the day-to-day business operations of the group, subsidiary management, operations and accounting, planning, hiring, shared administrative services, and other organization functions.

Previously, Ms. Wilson spent five years as a member of the Project Finance Department in Energy Capital Services within Union Bank where she provided project and corporate financing for power plants. While at Energy Capital Services, Ms. Wilson was promoted to senior vice president. Prior to that, Ms. Wilson served as a lender in the Utilities Department.

Ms. Wilson joined Union Bank, N.A. in 1990 as an assistant vice president in the Marketing Support Department where she performed both marketing and financial analysis.

Ms. Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and business from UCLA, and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She also completed the Kellogg Graduate School of Management Executive Program at Northwestern University.

Martin Hackmann and Michela Giorcelli—Named 2019-2020 Hellman Fellows

Congratulations to Assistant Professors Martin Hackmann and Michela Giorcelli who were both named Hellman Fellows for the 2019-2020 Academic year! The UCLA Hellman Fellows Program supports “research and creative activities that promote career advancement and enhance the individual’s progress towards tenure.” Read below to learn more about their research proposals.

 

“The Effects of the Managerial Practices on Firm Innovation”

Michela Giorcelli

 

While a growing literature has documented a positive effects of managerial practices on firm performance, less is known about their impact on firm innovation. The aim of this research is to study the effects of cross-firm transfer of managerial practices on firms’ propensity to innovate.  Using evidence from a unique historical episode, the United States Technical Assistance and Productivity Program in Italy, we will study whether business training programs changed managers’ attitude towards innovation, measured by the number of patents and investment in R&D in receiving firms.

 

 

“Patient and Provider Incentives in Long Term Care”

Martin Hackmann

Long-term care (LTC) expenditures are high and rising. Since more than 50% of LTC expenditures are covered by Medicaid, developing and expanding cost-effective home and community alternatives to expensive nursing home care is of high policy priority for many state Medicaid programs. This research seeks to understand how financial patient and provider incentives affect the mode and cost of LTC as well as their health consequences. Building on this evidence, this research project intends to evaluate different policy proposals that aim to expand home based care models using patient and provider incentives.

Stanley Fischer to speak at MAE Distinguished Speaker Series

On Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 6:00-7:30 PM, UCLA’s Department of Economics MAE Distinguished Speaker Series will be hosting Former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Stanley Fisher speaking on the topic of “Monetary Policy Challenges Eleven Years After the Great Recession.”

Stanley Fischer is the former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve and served as Governor of the Bank of Israel, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and chief economist at the World Bank. While Professor of Economics at MIT, Dr. Fischer served as thesis advisor to Ben Bernanke, Chair of the Federal Reserve, and Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank.

Please click on this link if you would like to RSVP for the event.

Pablo Fajgelbaum’s research featured in national news

UCLA Department Economics Associate Professor Pablo Fajgelbaum is featured in a variety of national news stories of late.  Along with co-authors Pinelopi Goldberg (Yale (leave) and World Bank), Patrick Kennedy (UC Berkeley), and Amit Khandelwal (Columbia), their paper “The Return to Protectionism” has been cited by The Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, The Washington Post,  TIME, and Slate, among other outlets. The paper analyzes the aggregate and regional impacts of the 2018 trade war on the U.S. economy.  Update: 05/16/2019: the paper has also been cited by The Washington Post, The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, CBS News, Bloomberg, Rolling Stone, Fortune, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, and Financial Times.

 

 

 

 

The NBER Digest highlights research by Pablo Fajgelbaum

The May 2019 Edition of the National Bureau of Economic Research The NBER Digest highlights a paper by Pablo Fajgelbaum.  Along with co-authors Pinelopi Goldberg (Yale (leave) and World Bank), Patrick Kennedy (UC Berkeley), and Amit Khandelwal (Columbia), their paper “The Return to Protectionism” has been cited for its analysis of the welfare effects of tariffs during the recent trade war, and of the impact across U.S. regions with different voting patterns in the last presidential election

Quantifying the Cost of Caregiving

Kathleen McGarryThe aging of the population brings with it a host of pressing economic issues. Chief among these is the rising cost of health care and the need to provide care for our elderly population.  While health care costs are high across the age distribution, they are far larger among the elderly.  And among those 65 or older, costs are highest among the oldest old.  For example, in 2014 per capita health care spending for the population ages 19-64 was $7,153, while it was $19,098 for the population ages 65 or old, and $32,903 for those 85 or older.  (Data available at here.)

Much of this cost at older ages stems from the cost of long term care, particularly care for the cognitively impaired. In 2016 the cost of nursing homes and home health care totaled $255 billion. Medicare does not cover most long-term care and few individuals have private insurance to cover the expense. Thus, in contrast to other types of medical care, much long-term care is paid for out-of-pocket. In work with Amy Kelly (MSHS, UCLA) and Jon Skinner (PhD, UCLA), Professor Kathleen McGarry shows that average out-of-pocket spending in the last 5 years of life for those who die from Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias is more than twice that for those who die from cancer. Furthermore, among those with dementia as a cause of death, 56 percent of the out-of-pocket spending was on long-term care.

While the cost of this formal long term care is indeed large, these numbers provide only part of the picture. Missing from these costs is the cost of informal care. Back of the envelope calculations put this number at $565 billion (in 2017 dollars), more than twice the cost of formal care.  These imputed costs are calculated by multiplying the average hourly wage of formal home health providers by the number of hours of informal care provided.  However, we know little about the extent to which informal caregivers reduce their efforts in the labor market because of caregiving responsibilities and how costly any reduction may be.

In a second project, Professor McGarry’s investigates the economic impact of caregiving on working age women. Because women provide the majority of care and often care for elderly parents while the women themselves are still in their prime working years, this group is especially at risk for negative consequences.

In joint work with Sean Fahle (PhD, UCLA), McGarry follows a cohort from their 50s through their 70s to assess both the immediate and long-term effects of caregiving.  The authors find that approximately one-third of these women provide care to an elderly parent at some point during this time and the number approaches 45 percent if care for a spouse is included.  Caregiving is associated with a significant decline in working, in hours worked, and in annual earnings. However, the largest effects are when examining changes over a longer period of time.  Those who provide care to an elderly parent at some point start off in a stronger economic position than non-caregivers—they have greater earnings, more labor market experience, and greater household wealth–but by the end of the window of observation, caregivers have lost wealth relative to non-caregivers, are less likely to be employed and work fewer hours.  They are also significantly more likely to report being in poor health.

These results suggest serious long-term effects of caregiving that likely have negative consequences that affect the quality of life throughout retirement, and potentially lead to the dramatically higher poverty rates observed for elderly women relative to men.

Key to any policy analysis is the potential impact going forward. The lower rates of fertility for the coming cohorts of elderly mean fewer children to care for an elderly parent and the greater the burden on any particular child, while higher rates of labor force participation for working-aged women signal a greater opportunity cost for caregiving. Finally, improvements in the treatment of heart disease and cancer have increased life expectancy and the probability that an individual lives long enough to develop a cognitive impairment—suggesting a great demand for long term care.

Greg Buonaccorsi

Greg Buonaccorsi

Greg Buonaccorsi

There’s a lot more that goes on at a Dodgers game than Clayton Kershaw striking out batters or employees serving hot dogs to spectators. Behind the scenes lies an intricate operation comprised of hard-working, innovative individuals collaborating to put on the experience millions of fans adore. Greg Buonaccorsi lives out this dream by merging his love for sports with his interest in business, a marriage of passions that began long ago.

Greg did not originally envision himself being admitted to UCLA, much less attending. But as an avid sports fan and enthused student, he couldn’t resist the possibility of contributing to the university’s athletic program while simultaneously learning from influential professors teeming with insights. The school’s pallet of prestigious athletics coupled with its academic reputation made Westwood the perfect fit for him.

For Greg, reinforcing his passion for business stemmed from interacting with a variety of different fields, as he dabbled with architecture and engineering before concentrating on his aptitude for business. He then enrolled at UCLA as a business economics major, an area of study that he felt “had a perfect marriage between the practicality on the business side, and the critical thinking on the economics side.”

Coming from a small hometown, Greg sought out numerous avenues of support to adjust to the vastness of UCLA, and found a home in the basketball program built by Coach John Wooden.  Having arrived in Westwood after supervising his high school basketball team’s operations, he marketed his managerial experience to obtain a position in college basketball’s most storied program. He acted as a manager for all four of his years at UCLA, and served as head student manager in the 1994-1995 season, the same year the Bruins emerged victorious to claim their record-setting 11th national title.

“Being part of a program that Coach Wooden created was an absolutely phenomenal opportunity. A few months before season, I’m in my hometown. The next thing I know, I’m in Pauley Pavilion looking up at national championship banners.”

In addition to the unforgettable experiences Greg accumulated through the basketball program, he also absorbed valuable skills in the classroom that would serve him for the rest of his life. One of Greg’s most memorable teachers, Professor David Ravetch, not only taught him the complexities of accounting, but also inculcated a dynamic approach to learning. Greg quickly discovered that his key to success did not lie merely in his propensity to comprehend the material. He understood the necessity of learning to apply the material to new and challenging situations he had never seen before, a skill that transcended his academic performances at UCLA and permeated into a key tool in his professional endeavors.

Upon graduating from UCLA in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in business economics, Buonaccorsi integrated his education with his passion for sports and sought out a position at accounting firm Ernst & Young, who at the time audited professional sports organizations such as the Los Angeles Clippers. Working on the Clippers engagement allowed Greg to thrive under the mentorship of Anderson alumnus Dan Beckerman, whose guidance influenced Buonaccorsi to pursue a graduate education before returning to industry.

Following his graduation from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, Buonaccorsi held positions at venerable institutions such as the New York Times and Warner Brothers. While financial planning for journalists might not have been a perfect marriage of his two passions, he gained valuable experience that proved vital in his return to a competitive sports industry. Greg understood that jobs in sports management have little turnover, and individuals who work such positions generally reap the benefits for as long as they deem reasonable. His largest piece of advice to a prospective sports businessman? “If you’re not able to get into sports immediately, find the best job you can find within your functional area (such as finance), and do the best you can at it.” Buonaccorsi made his return to sports by assuming the position of Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at the Charlotte Bobcats.

After delving back into industry, Greg faced no shortage of challenging professional experiences, but a sense of obligation to his family encouraged him to geographically transition back to the West Coast. In 2014, Buonaccorsi utilized his networking skills to promote himself for a position with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was subsequently hired to fill an opening in the franchise’s Finance Department. His breadth of work might not be the face of the organization in the same way Clayton Kershaw’s statistics captivate the Dodger faithful, but his collaboration with a vast group of high-achieving individuals proves fundamental to operating a professional sports club that generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Now serving as a Senior Director, Greg and his team look for ways to expand their operations beyond baseball and often explore worthwhile startup investments, a practice not all franchises undertake.

“We’re always stretching and reaching for those new opportunities,” Greg said. “To be at an organization that doesn’t just think of themselves solely as an MLB franchise, is really interesting.”

Communication skills serve as one of the hallmarks of Greg’s occupation, as a mere understanding of financial analysis does not suffice when conveying complex proposals to employees from the nearly fifty departments he partners with. He says his “soft skills’’ are imperative in assuring that the meticulously-crafted plans of his department are optimally implemented to improve the operations of the franchise.

Now fully immersed in his professional ventures, Buonaccorsi still fondly reflects on his time at UCLA and the gratifying sensation of graduating from an institution he never imagined attending. “If you told me when I was in high school that I would graduate from UCLA…I would have been extremely shocked. Graduating from UCLA was my biggest accomplishment.”

Greg still remains an active Bruin, administering guidance to undergraduate students through the UCLA One program, as he hopes to inspire the next generation of leaders in business and finance. Buonaccorsi notes that the most invaluable piece of wisdom he can express to an aspiring young leader is to “utilize the four years of college to experiment with different ideas and to discover what is most authentic to yourself.” Once that happens, he remarks, it is essential to become a sponge for knowledge, to hone your craft, and become an expert in that field. Doing so, he concludes, will ease the decisions that an individual will come across as she explores her professional path.

By Andreas Papoutsis