Raphael (Raffi) Amit, PhD
Chairman, Wharton GFA Executive Committee
Raphael (“Raffi”) Amit is the Marie and Joseph Melone Professor and a Professor of Management at the Wharton School. Dr. Amit founded and leads the Wharton Global Family Alliance (WGFA), a unique academic-family business partnership established to enhance the marketplace advantage and the social wealth creation contributions of global families through thought leadership, knowledge transfer and the sharing of ideas and best practices among influential global families. He served as the Academic Director of Wharton Entrepreneurship which encompasses all of Wharton’s entrepreneurial programs between 1999 and 2015.
Dr. Amit holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics, and received his Ph.D. in Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Dr. Amit’s current research and teaching interests center on family business management, governance, and finance, on Family wealth management, on venture capital and private equity investments, on entrepreneurship, on the design of innovative business models and on business strategy. He has published extensively in leading academic journals and is frequently quoted in a broad range of practitioner outlets.
Dr. Amit’s award winning research on family firms, which centers on issues that relate to ownership, management, control and governance of family businesses, on wealth management, and on family offices is widely cited. He has been working with substantial families around the world on such issues as creating governance systems for families and their businesses, succession, valuation, wealth management, the formation of a family office, and more. Overall, the work of Dr. Amit with families integrates the behavioral and emotional issues that characterize the life of each family, with the economic and financial issues that must be addressed to sustain family harmony and happiness alongside with the long-term prosperity of the family enterprises.
Professor Amit has held a range of management and Board of Directors positions in various companies. He served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Creo Products Inc. for 6 years. (NASDAQ: CREO until May 2005 when it was acquired by Kodak.) Professor Amit has helped form the Korean Global IT Fund, a $100 million VC fund and has served as the first Chairman of the KGIF Advisory Board. He has also served as the only external director of a private family owned and controlled firm in Hong Kong. Dr. Amit advises numerous private and publicly held family businesses, on a broad range of strategic, governance and financial issues.
Laird Pendleton, MBA
Chairman, Wharton GFA Advisory Board
Mr. Pendleton is the co-founder and Principal of the Cairnwood Cooperative Corporation, a family office that manages the affairs of a branch of the Pitcairn family, with offices in Boston and Philadelphia. Together with Dwight Corning, Mr. Pendleton created and leads CCC Alliance, a consortium of wealthy families. He is also active in the family’s global venture capital activities. He is active on various corporate and charitable boards and is the President of The Glencairn Foundation, the family’s charitable giving arm. He is a graduate of Lehigh University and the Babson Graduate School of Business, where he was a Sorenson Merit Scholar.