Laura Merlini, CAIA, CIFD, is Managing Director, EMEA, for the CAIA Association since March 2012. She is a senior alternative investment professional with experience in strategic leadership, management skills and alternative investment knowledge in market outreach, brand development, reputation and member engagement. She formerly worked at Fortis Bank in Milan, Madrid, and Geneva. Since obtaining her CAIA Charter Certification in 2007, she has been an active member-volunteer, not only as the Co-founder of the CAIA Iberia Chapter in Madrid in 2008, but also as the Co-head of the CAIA Switzerland Chapter in Geneva as of 2010. Additionally, she chaired the 100 Women in Finance Educational Committee in Geneva between 2016 and 2018. Laura earned a BA in Business Administration at Bocconi University in Milan, received the CEMS MIM (Community of European Management Schools) MSc in International Management in 2002, and is a member of the Inaugural Class (2014) of the Executive Master in Positive Psychology, Leadership and Strategy from IE in Madrid. She strongly believes that governance is the core of a healthy financial industry, and this conviction led her to become a Certified Investment Fund Director accredited by the CIFD Institute in Ireland in 2015. Laura is also currently a member of the UN PRI HF Advisory Committee and a NED at Agave Advisors, an independent wealth manager firm based in Geneva. She is often invited to speak at conferences, roundtables and webinars on alternative investments. Having earned a Sommelier diploma, in her free time, she enjoys wine tasting as well as opera and art.