Our Experts

Michael J. Aitken, AM

Dr Aitken is Professor of ICT Strategy at Macquarie University, as well as the Chief Scientist of the CMCRC and CEO of Lorica Health. He is a specialist in the area of security market design with a particular interest in information systems to automatically detect fraud (e.g. insider trading, market manipulation, broker-client conflict and continuous disclosure breaches). He has overseen the development of fraud detection technologies not only for securities markets, but also accounting and audit markets, and in health insurance and general insurance. He has applied these technologies to assist Courts, regulators and market participants in allegations of insider trading, market manipulation and breaches of disclosure in over 35 cases to date.

Areas of expertise:  Insider Trading, Market Manipulation, Microstructure, Market surveillance.

Michael G. Hains

Dr Hains is Adjunct Professor, School of Law Sydney, University of Notre Dame Australia, building on an established career in securities market compliance as the Head of Compliance and Counsel for a number of global systemically important financial institutions, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Royal Bank of Scotland, and ABN AMRO Group Australia & NZ.

He led the ABN AMRO regional monitoring and surveillance team responsible for the markets in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore and others jurisdictions in Asia. The first external tester of SMARTS Broker, he played an important role in developing and customising SMARTS Broker before its broader roll-out to the broking industry internationally.

Areas of expertise:  Compliance, Derivatives and OTC, Off Market Trading, Stock Broking, AFSL, Investment Banking, Market Manipulation.

Kumar Venkataraman

Professor Venkataraman specialises in the microstructure of equity, fixed-income and energy markets. An award-winning teacher, his research has been published in major international finance and accounting journals and featured in industry publications such as The CFA Digest, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Financial Times, Economist and Bloomberg News. He has provided research and advice to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and acted as an expert witness in litigation involving price manipulation.

Kumar Venkataraman is Professor of Finance and the Maguire Chair in Energy Management at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Finance from Arizona State University. He served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Hedge Fund Association between 2011 and 2015 and on the Investment Committee of the University Endowment . He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Financial Markets, Journal of Financial Research and Journal of Empirical Finance. He was recently appointed as an inaugural member of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee (FIMSAC), which will provide advice to the Commission on the efficiency and resiliency of the fixed income markets and identify opportunities for regulatory improvements.

Areas of expertise:  Trading Strategies, Microstructure, Equity, Fixed-income and Energy Markets.

Stephen Taylor

Stephen Taylor is UTS Distinguished Professor of Accounting at the University of Technology Sydney, a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA). His work has examined how corporations manage their disclosure policies, the effect of accounting and non-accounting data on firms’ value, the economics of auditing, corporate governance issues and initial public offerings. Professor Taylor is an experienced expert witness, including with expert conclaves and court testimony in Australia and overseas.

Areas of expertise:  Valuation, Accounting and Non-Accounting Information, Audits and Accounting Standards

 Vito Mollica

 Dr Mollica is Professor of Finance at Macquarie University Business School and has held a number of senior leadership positions including Associate Dean Higher Degree Research, Head of Market Quality—Finance with the Capital Markets CRC and Co-Director of the Derivatives Markets Research Centre. Professor Mollica’s academic experience compliments his industry experience, which began in a start-up environment driving innovation in residential real estate markets.

Dr Mollica’s areas of expertise cover financial market efficiency and market integrity in equities, foreign exchange, derivatives, real estate and commodities. He has provided expertise and advice in relation to: evaluation of financial benchmarks; high quality assets, market integrity; dark pools; and various trading protocols such as minimum ticks, margin requirements and block trades to the Financial Conduct Authority (UK), the World Gold Council, the Australian Financial Markets Association and the Financial Services Council. Early in his career, Dr Mollica developed a new, alternative asset class for a $350 mln portfolio serving wholesale and retail investors at Rismark International, and in 2018 was awarded  the Australian Councils of Graduate Research for the Outstanding Contribution to Promoting Industry Engagement in Graduate Research.  

Areas of expertise: Equities; Block trading, Alternative Assets, Commodities, OTC markets, Market
Manipulation and other breaches 

R. Scott Peacock

Scott Peacock is a specialist practitioner in breaches of securities market rules with over a decade of experience at the helm of the enforcement division of a Canadian regulator of securities markets. An independent barrister and solicitor, he was most recently the Director of Enforcement at the NSSC in Canada until his retirement in June 2013. In this capacity, he acquired broad experience in regulatory compliance, investigations, litigation, criminal prosecution, criminal defence, administrative and securities law.

Areas of expertise:  Regulation, Insider Trading, Market Manipulation