CRA welcomes back Gopal Das Varma and Christopher Pleatsikas

05 December 2016

Charles River Associates welcomes back Gopal Das Varma and Christopher Pleatsikas, who both take on Vice President roles in the firm’s Antitrust & Competition Economics Practice. Varma, who was previously at the US Department of Justice, brings more than 15 years of experience to the role, while Pleatsikas, formerly at LECG, joins the firm’s Oakland, California, office.

Prior to re-joining Charles River Associates (CRA), Gopal Das Varma spent four years at the US Department of Justice as an Economist in its Antitrust Division. He was primarily responsible for the investigation of proposed mergers and potential anti-competitive conduct across a range of industries – including DOJ and US Airways’ acquisition of American Airlines, Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and Flakeboard’s proposed acquisition of Sierra Pine. Earlier in his career he worked at CRA Charles River Associates as a Principal, where, over a five year period, he provided antitrust litigation and merger reviews. He joined the firm in 2005 following almost seven years as an Assistant Professor at Duke University.

Varma holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Telecommunications from Jadavpur University, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management and a PhD in Economics from the Northwestern University.

Varma has re-joined CRA, taking on the role of Vice President in the firm’s Antitrust & Competition Economics Practice. He boosts the practices’ capabilities with more than 15 years of experience in the field, including in the private, government and academic sectors. He joins the firm’s Washington DC office.

CRA's President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Maleh, says, “We are pleased to welcome Gopal Das Varma back to Charles River Associates. His regulatory work on acquisition matters while at the US Department of Justice make him a strong addition to our antitrust and competition economics team.”

CRA welcomes back Gopal Das Varma and Christopher Pleatsikas

The firm also welcomes back Christopher Pleatsikas, who takes up the role of Vice President in the Antitrust & Competition Economics Practice based in Oakland, California. He brings in extensive experience in competition analysis and antitrust issues involving mergers and acquisitions, economic impact assessment analysis, intellectual property, class action certification and damages, and regulatory consulting. He previously worked in the firm’s Antitrust & Competition Economics Practice focused on Asia-Pacific projects.

Earlier in his career Pleatsikas worked as a Managing Director at LECG, in charge of its Australian litigation practice; a Principal at Putnam, Hayes & Bartlett; a Manager of the Economic Analysis Unit, Management Advisory Services at PwC; and a Managing Associate at Urban Systems Research and Engineering. He also spent time as a lecturer in the economics department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and taught at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Maryland.

Pleatsikas holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont and a PhD in Regional Economic Analysis from the University of Pennsylvania.

CRA’s President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Maleh says that the firm is “excited” to welcome back Christopher Pleatsikas. He adds, “His antitrust experience and testifying expertise in courts and before administrative agencies in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the Republic of Singapore is valuable as clients frequently require assistance in several jurisdictions.”

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Rapid growth sees Quantum Advisory promote trio of partners

18 April 2019

Three senior level consultants have been boosted to the rank of Partner at Quantum Advisory, as the firm works to meet heightened levels of client demand. Aled Edwards, Amanda Burdge and Chris Heirene become Partners as long-time Quantum member Rob Davies retires in May after 15 years as a Partner at the firm.

Founded in 2000, Quantum Advisory provides pension and employee benefits services to employers, scheme trustees and members, with five offices across the UK. The firm has enjoyed exponential growth in recent years, following a number of major client wins and booming demand for its services. It opened a new office in Bristol in 2016 to service the South West and in 2017 relocated its Cardiff office to a larger site within the Welsh capital to house the increased workforce. More recently, Quantum relocated its Amersham, Birmingham and London offices to more spacious premises in the centre of both cities to cope with demand.

The financial services consultancy, which employs 115 people across the UK, has promoted three senior team members to Partner, as part of its wider growth plans. The firm has moved Aled Edwards from Principal Consultant & Actuary, while Amanda Burdge has ascended from Principal Investment Consultant. Chris Heirene, former IT Manager, has also joined the ten current Partners at Quantum.

Aled Edwards most recently managed the actuarial team within Quantum’s Cardiff office as well as providing technical training for all staff. He boasts more than 17 years of pensions experience. He started his career as an Actuary at Jardine Lloyd Thompson’s Bristol wing, before joining Quantum in 2011. Edwards is also the President of the Welsh Actuarial Society (WAS), which supports actuaries and actuarial students living or working in Wales.

Rapid growth sees Quantum Advisory promote trio of Partners

Amanda Burdge joined Quantum’s team in 2001, as one of the fledgling firm’s first employees. Most recently she was a Principal Investment Consultant with the firm, and with more than a quarter of a century’s experience in the sector, she is responsible for providing investment advice to many of Quantum’s key clients with both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes. Prior to her time with Quantum, Burdge spent two years as a consultant with SBJ Benefit Consultants (now Capita), and three years with Tesco Pension Trustees. She currently sits on the Regulation Committee for the Pensions Management Institute.

Chris Heirene initially worked with Quantum as an IT Consultant with Teamwork Technology Services and then UES for over five years, before finally joining the firm itself in 2011. He is now responsible for Quantum’s IT systems across all of its offices, including the network and core server infrastructure which supports the business. Heirene is heavily involved in utilising IT to improve and build upon the processes in place throughout Quantum.

David Deidun, Partner at Quantum Advisory, said of the promotions, “This is a very exciting time for Quantum. The recent round of promotions fully recognise the hard work and dedication shown by the three, all of whom go above and beyond for the company. I’ve no doubt that Aled, Amanda and Chris will settle into their new roles with ease and look forward to working together to grow Quantum even further.”

The news comes as Rob Davies retires in May, after spending fifteen years as a Partner at Quantum. A qualified actuary, Davies was instrumental in setting up Quantum’s Investment Division, specialising in aiding clients with their investment strategies. He will remain with the company on a part-time consultancy basis, while working with several clients in the Fiduciary Manager area.