Zacks Analysts Biographies

Steven Ralston, CFA - Director of Research , , , Senior Special Situations Analyst

Steven Ralston, CFA, is the Senior Special Situations Analyst and Director of Research with Zacks Small-Cap Research, with over 30 years of experience in the securities and investment industry. He has covered companies within the Basic/Precious Materials, Industrials, Energy, Biotechnology, Real Estate, Cannabis, Packaged Foods, Consumer and Financial sectors since joining Zacks in 2004. Steven has been quoted in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's and Forbes, among others.

Prior to joining Zacks, Steven was the Director of Research at First National Bank of Maryland, portfolio manager of General Accident's domestic and Canadian equity pension portfolios, and co-manager of Blackrock's $2.3 billion Large Cap Growth Fund. Steven was a senior analyst at BlackRock from 1998-2003 and at First National Bank of Maryland from 1983-1995. He received his initial investment training at Merrill Lynch.

Steven graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Science from M.I.T and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) charterholder.

Brian Marckx, CFA , , , Senior Med-Tech Analyst

Brian Marckx, CFA, is the Senior Med-Tech Analyst with Zacks Small-Cap Research. He has nearly 25 years’ experience as an analyst in both buy and sell-side roles and in fixed-income, structured finance and equity asset classes. Subsequent to joining Zacks in 2007 as a large cap pharma and biotechnology analyst, Brian has gained more than a decade’s worth of experience covering over 100 small and micro-cap companies in the medical technology space. The focus of his coverage has included every sub-industry within med-tech and spanned a wide range of biologics, chemicals, devices, diagnostics, equipment, labs, products, services, software, supplies and more.

Prior to joining Zacks, Brian worked as a high-yield bond analyst on Wachovia Securities' institutional trading desks where he specialized in the healthcare and industrials industries. Prior to that he was an analyst in corporate finance at First Union National Bank. Brian has been quoted in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Bloomberg-Businessweek and Kilpinger and his work has been cited in various market studies and working papers including those from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Deloitte & Touche and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing. Brian graduated with a B.S. in Finance from St. John Fisher College and received his MBA from Wake Forest University. He is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

David Bautz, PhD , , , Senior Biotechnology Analyst

David Bautz, PhD, Senior Biotechnology Analyst for Zacks Small-Cap Research, with 6 years of direct experience in the securities and investment industry. His focus at Zacks has been on Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Neurology, Specialty Pharma, Cell Therapy, and Metabolic Disorders. David’s research articles have been posted extensively on Yahoo Finance News and throughout life sciences social media circles.

Prior to joining Zacks in 2014, David was an NRSA postdoctoral fellow investigating the genetics of colorectal cancer morphology. During his tenure as a postdoctoral fellow, David also conducted research developing active immunotherapies and monoclonal antibodies as potential treatments for colorectal cancer. He has published in journals such as Oncoimmunology, G3, The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and Kidney International.

David obtained his PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008. His dissertation research focused on the characterization of autoantibodies in patients suffering from an orphan autoimmune disease. Prior to obtaining his PhD, David worked for two years as a research associate at Human Genome Sciences, Inc., a biotechnology company that was eventually acquired by GlaxoSmithKline. David obtained his BS and MS degrees in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech.

John Vandermosten, CFA , , , Senior Biotechnology Analyst

John Vandermosten is currently a senior biotechnology research analyst for Zacks Investment Research where he covers a portfolio of small cap biotechnology names. His background includes 19 years of experience in a variety of investment management and research roles across all market cap ranges and throughout the capital structure. John is a frequent moderator of life sciences industry panels and his research articles have been posted extensively on Yahoo Finance News and throughout life sciences social media circles.

Formerly, John was a research analyst for Singular Research covering the health care space and a consultant with Coker Group, a national healthcare services firm providing financial advisory, investment banking, healthcare IT and other services to hospitals and other health care organizations. At Coker Group he consulted with clients in a variety of strategic and financial areas, including asset valuations, due diligence and transactions. Prior to his role as sell-side analyst and consultant, John was a portfolio manager at Westwood Holdings Group and covered health care and other spaces as research analyst. John also worked at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas as investment analyst on the agency’s large cap call overwriting fund.

John has an MBA from Texas A&M University, an MA from Tulane University and a BA from San Diego State University. He has also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the CFA Society of Dallas.

Lisa Thompson , , , Senior Technology Analyst

Lisa Thompson is a Senior Technology Analyst with over two decades of experience in the technology and TMT space, specializing in small cap technology research. Lisa was the first Internet analyst on Wall Street and has always sought the next big thing in the tech space with a specialty in consumers. She has worked extensively on both the buy-side at The Evergreen Funds, and sell-side at firms including Prudential Securities, Unterberg Harris, and EF Hutton. Her expertise includes valuing public and private companies in the technology arena, with a strong focus recently on TMT, telecom, media, Internet, consumer electronics, digital media and streaming services, semiconductors, software, and Augment Reality. Lisa holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a BSChE from Tufts University.

M. Marin , , , Senior Technology Analyst

M. Marin has over 15 years of sell-side research experience, having begun her financial research career at Oppenheimer and Morgan Stanley. She has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal's "Best on the Street" and Institutional Investor's analyst ranking survey. In partnership with Soleil Securities, M. founded and ran her own independent research boutique where she focused on the digital media sector. Prior to that, she held senior research positions at Salomon Brothers, ING Barings and Bear Stearns. Marla holds a B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College and has completed the coursework for a Masters of Business Administration candidate at New York University.

Ann Heffron, CFA, CPA , , , Senior Bank & Finance Analyst

Ann H. Heffron, CFA, CPA is the Senior Bank and Finance Analyst at Zacks Investment Research. Ann has over 25 years of investment research experience, primarily working as a securities analyst following banks and other financial institutions for a number of firms in the Chicago area.

Prior to joining Zacks, Ann was a Senior Vice President at Zurich Scudder Investments, First Vice President at ABN AMRO Asset Management, Vice President at First Chicago Investment Management Company, and also worked as an analyst at Stein Roe & Farnham and Duff & Phelps.

Ann graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, California in 1975 with a degree in economics and accounting and became a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1984 and Certified Public Accountant in 1981.

Ann Heffron is a member of the CFA Institute, The Investment Analysts Society of Chicago, and the Illinois CPA Society.

Ian Gilson, PhD, CFA , , , Senior Special Situations Analyst

Ian Gilson, PhD, CFA, is a Senior Special Situations Analyst with Zacks Small-Cap Research. Ian joined Zacks in 2006 as a senior analyst covering the graphics display industry, as well as some special situations, and was Director of Research for the Small Cap Investment Research Group. His current coverage includes several micro-cap companies in clean-tech, energy, technology and agricultural biotechnology.

Ian has 35 years of experience as a sell side analyst covering small and micro-cap companies, having started on the sell side with Seidler AMDEC in Los Angeles and then with Roth Capital Partners. He also has 15 years of buy side experience, including as a money manager with Manning & Napier, Rochester NY, and as an analyst and money manager with The Harris Trust and Savings Bank in Chicago. Ian has been featured in the Wall Street Transcript on several occasions and has many mentions in Barron's, Business Week-Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.

Ian achieved his PhD in Physical Chemistry at Southampton University, England and has a MBA with a double major, Finance and Industrial Psychology, from the University of Chicago. Ian is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and had the NASD series 7, 63 and 87 licenses.

Beth Senko, CFA , , , Senior Healthcare Analyst

Beth Senko, CFA is a Senior Healthcare Analyst at Zacks Investment Research

Beth joined Zacks Small-Cap Research in early 2018 and has 35 years of equity research experience. She started her career as small cap growth analyst for Forstmann-Leff Associates, a $4 billion money manager in New York. She moved to the sell-side to cover the medical device and service space for Robinson-Humphrey Company in Atlanta. While at Morgan Stanley, the Wall Street Journal ranked her #2 in their annual “Best on the Street” survey in the healthcare services space and Institutional Investor named her “Best Up-and-Comer” in their first survey of young analysts.

She was part of Lehman’s healthcare research team before moving to Bain & Company as a consultant and part of the original team in Bain’s New York office. She returned to Wall Street in 2002 to cover U.S. healthcare and pharmaceuticals for ABN-AMRO and the broad healthcare space for Williams Capital, L.P. In 2009 she again was named to the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” survey for her work in medical devices and technology, ranking third out of more than 40 eligible analysts.

She graduated from Rice University with a degree in Materials Science and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

 
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