2012 Spring Symposium: Speaker Bios

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William ("Bill") Falik

Partner  Mortgage Resolution Partners

Mr. Falik is one of the founding partners in Mortgage Resolution Partners, an organization which is working to keep homeowners in their homes and respond to the mortgage crisis. Mr. Falik has practiced land use, real estate, and environmental law and mediation in Northern California for the past 40 years and during this period he has pursued a dual career as attorney and real estate developer. He graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in 1968 and from Harvard Law School in 1971, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. During his legal career, Mr. Falik has been a partner in three San Francisco law firms in which he chaired the environmental and land use law departments. Currently, he is the Managing Partner of Westpark Community Builders which developed 1,500 acres in Roseville, California and planned and entitled 4,300 residential units which were sold to the three largest builders in the United States. Westpark is continuing to develop master planned communities in Roseville consisting of several thousand residential units. In addition, as CEO of Live Oak Enterprises, he has developed the Whitney Oaks master planned community in Rocklin, California with a championship Johnny Miller designed golf course and 2,000 homes. Mr. Falik currently serves on a number of nonprofit Boards and renders real estate development consulting services to diverse clients. In addition, he serves as a mediator and expert witness in complex real estate cases. Mr. Falik has served as a federal district court law clerk in San Francisco and has taught real property law, CEQA, Environmental Law, Land Use Law, Real Estate Development and Real Estate Secured Transactions at the University of San Francisco School of Law where he served as an Assistant Professor. For the past five years, he has taught real estate courses as an Adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley Law and Haas School of Business.  

Dwight M. Jaffee

Booth Professor of Banking and Finance, Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics – Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Professor Dwight Jaffee is the Willis H. Booth Professor of Banking and Finance at the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley, where he is currently the faculty director of the School’s Masters in Financial Engineering (MFE) program and a Co-Chair of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics. He holds a BA degree in Economics from Northwestern University and a Ph.D in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the UC Berkeley Center for the Built Environment and the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE) at the UC Berkeley, School of Law. He also serves as a Public Interest Director for the Contra Fund, a mutual fund managed by Genworth Financial, and for the Global Earthquake Model, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the accuracy of earthquake predictions.   Professor Jaffee teaches and publishes on topics in finance, banking, real estate, and insurance. His current teaching focuses on asset-backed securitization and related topics. His recent research includes the subprime mortgage crisis, energy efficiency in real estate, and catastrophe insurance. In the course of his academic career, Professor Jaffee has consulted with many governmental and research entities including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the World Bank, Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute. His research can be found at: http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/jaffee/research.htm

Paul Leonard

Director of the California Office, Center for Responsible Lending

Mr. Leonard directs the California operations of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), a national policy and research organization working on lending issues affecting low-wealth households.  The Center is a non-profit, non-partisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices.  CRL is affiliated with Self-Help, one of the nation’s largest community development financial institutions.  CRL has offices in Durham NC, Washington, DC and opened its California office in Oakland in 2006.

Prior to joining the Center, Mr. Leonard was an independent policy consultant working on housing, community development and social welfare issues, based in Berkeley, California.  Mr. Leonard’s research topics have included the effectiveness of national housing preservation policies, gentrification in American cities, the impacts of financial modernization legislation on lending under the Community Reinvestment Act, and the impact of welfare reform in urban areas.  His clients have included the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Low Income Investment Fund, the MacArthur Foundation, Bank of America, and PolicyLink. Mr. Leonard also served as an Assistant Agency Director for Workforce and Human Services at the Alameda County, CA Social Services Agency from 2002 – 2004.  He previously served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1994 through 1998. Prior to his appointment at HUD, Mr. Leonard was a senior research analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a non-profit policy and research organization in Washington, DC.

David L. Moskowitz

Deputy General Counsel Law Department, Wells Fargo & Company

Mr. Moskowitz is Deputy General Counsel of Wells Fargo & Company. He leads the Consumer Lending Division of the Wells Fargo Law Department, which provides comprehensive legal support to all Wells Fargo consumer lending businesses, including Wells Fargo’s mortgage banking (WFHM), auto lending, student lending, home equity lending, wealth lending, and other consumer lending activities. The Consumer Lending Division's activities include legal support for loan origination and fulfillment, marketing, servicing, acquisitions, compliance matters, legislative and regulatory analysis, fair and responsible lending modeling and analysis, credit risk, GSE transactions, mortgage insurance, and CRA-related lending and investments. The division is comprised of 100 team members, including attorneys and other professionals located throughout the United States. Mr. Moskowitz also provides corporate-wide leadership on reputation risk and social responsibility matters. He joined Wells Fargo's predecessor, Norwest Corporation, in May 1996 after spending three years as an Associate General Counsel at The Prudential Home Mortgage Company, Inc.  Prior to joining Prudential, Mr. Moskowitz worked as an in-house mortgage banking attorney for a Washington, D.C.-based thrift institution, and spent three years as a litigator in New York City.   A New Jersey native and current Iowa resident, Mr. Moskowitz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and English from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and a Juris Doctor degree from Case Western Reserve School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a member of the New York, District of Columbia, and Iowa bars.  Mr. Moskowitz serves as a member of Wells Fargo’s Consumer Lending executive leadership team, WFHM’s Executive Management Team, the executive committee of the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, Wells Fargo & Company’s (WFC’s) Consumer Council, WFC’s Fair and Responsible Lending Committee, and WFC’s Enterprise Stakeholders Council

Laurence Platt

Practice Area Leader –  K&L Gates

Mr. Platt is a Practice Area Leader of K&L Gates and serves on the law firm's Management Committee. He concentrates in real estate and consumer finance, as well as mortgage banking in both the primary and secondary markets. His areas of practice include negotiating agreements concerning mergers and acquisitions of companies, loan broker, whole loan purchase agreements, servicing rights purchase, sale agreements, and servicing agreements. He also has experience defending companies in connection with federal and state governmental audits, assisting in litigation involving consumer class action lawsuits and commercial claims, as well as advising clients on public policy issues related to housing finance issues. Mr. Platt was listed in the 2012 Best Lawyers in America in the area of banking and finance law and Lending Intelligence magazine named Mr. Platt as one of Washington's ten most influential people on lending issues. He is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Metropolitan Washington, Inc. and helped found The Unitarian Universalists Affordable Housing Corporation.

James Rhyne

Consultant and Partner – Thematix Partners

Mr. Rhyne is an independent consultant and partner at Thematix Partners, LLC. Thematix (www.thematix.com) specializes in applications of semantic technology to business problems. Mr. Rhyne engaged with the Enterprise Data Management Council (http://edmcouncil.org) several years ago to help develop an ontology of financial instruments, subsequently becoming involved in the Open Financial Data Group and efforts at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to create data standards for derivatives trading. Mr. Rhyne worked with large, global financial institutions, helping them define business/IT solutions to transform and modernize their business operations. In particular, he crafted Master Data Management solutions for financial products at banks in the US, Europe, China and Australia. He was the CIO for IBM’s Worldwide Banking Center of Excellence, leaving IBM in 2009 to found a consulting practice. Mr. Rhyne has a broad technical background that includes web application servers, relational database management systems, application development methods and tools, artificial intelligence and human factors. He has a number of software patents and has published original research. Mr. Rhyne holds a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University.

Ken Taymor

Executive Director, Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy, Lecturer in Residence – University of California, School of Law

Prior to joining Berkeley Law, Mr. Taymor practiced law for over 20 years in San Francisco. His professional experience included organizing, structuring and financing private companies, mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, intellectual property licensing and telecommunications. He has also represented non-profit and for-profit developers of mixed use community redevelopment projects. From 1988 - 1993, Mr. Taymor was Special Assistant for Business, Finance and Real Estate to the San Francisco City Attorney. Mr. Taymor has been a Lecturer at the Stanford Law School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a Visiting Professor of Law at UCLA Law School. He is currently Chair of the Dean's Policy Advisory Council at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

Nancy Wallace

Professor and Chair of Real Estate and Urban Economics – Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Nancy Wallace is a Full Professor and holds the Lisle and Roslyn Payne Chair in Real Estate and Capital Markets at the Haas School of Business, the University of California, Berkeley.  She is Chair of the Real Estate Group, Co-Chair of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, a member of the Haas Finance Faculty, and is a Faculty Co-Director of the Berkeley Center for Law, Business & the Economy, the UC Berkeley School of Law. She teaches asset-backed securitization, real estate investment analysis, real estate strategy, and real estate finance at Haas.Her research focus includes residential house price dynamics, mortgage contract design and pricing, mortgage backed security pricing and hedging, lease contract design and pricing, methods to underwrite energy efficiency in commercial mortgages, and valuation models for executive stock options.

She has served as a visiting scholar at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, the Université de Cergy Pointoise, Centre de Recherche THEMA (Théorie Economique, Modélisation, et Applications), and the Stockholm School of Economics. Professor Wallace is a past President of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association and a past member of the AREUEA Board of Directors. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Computational Finance.Professor Wallace just completed a grant from the Society of Actuaries to develop metrics for the accounting life of executive stock options and a grant from the Department of Energy, joint with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to develop underwriting tools that account for the energy risk of commercial real estate mortgages.

Benjamin Weber

Senior Administrative Analyst – Office of San Francisco Assessor-Recorder

Mr. Weber’s primary focus at the Office of the Assessor-Recorder has been real estate taxation, green certification, foreclosures, and real property recording. For the past two years, he has worked to improve and clarify California law regarding county land records and the mechanics of the non-judicial foreclosure process. He was the project lead for the recently released “Foreclosure in California: A Crisis of Compliance,” report and continues to support legislative efforts to improve California’s property recording system.
Prior to joining the Office of the San Francisco Assessor-Recorder, Mr. Weber worked in business and economic development, policy consulting, and as a director at an educational non-profit based in Oakland, California. His experience also includes traffic safety and education administration in Vietnam.