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Kiril Sokoloff
Chairman & Founder

For decades, Kiril Sokoloff has been an active yet very low-profile global investment strategist, thought leader and visionary. He founded 13D Global Strategy & Research in 1983. Howard Marks, Co-Chairman of Oaktree Capital wrote that “Many professional investors include What I Learned This Week from 13D Research among their highest-priority reading. Kiril Sokoloff seems more likely than most to cover the big market-movers of tomorrow.” Barton Biggs said “Kiril Sokoloff is a breath of pure, fresh investment oxygen. He is invaluable because he is an original thinker and is not afraid to take extreme views.”

Sokoloff foresaw before others the five great secular trends of the last 40 years that have defined investment performance and business opportunity.

He was one of the first “supply-siders”, joining Jack Kemp and others in 1977 to spread the word that cutting tax rates and de-regulating the U.S. economy, would cause an economic boom in the U.S. Kemp’s “supply-side” cut in tax rates was the basis for the Reagan Revolution, which launched the massive 40-year boom that we all benefited from.

As a result of his early involvement in “supply-side” economics, Sokoloff fully understood how big the boom would be and how it was one of the greatest paradigm shifts in world history and the global economy.

In the late 1970s, it became clear to Sokoloff that an inflationary blow-off was coming and that commodities would surge, stagflation would ensue, bond markets would crash and the world would suffer one of the greatest capital losses in history.

Sokoloff then saw that another paradigm shift was coming. All the pundits, money managers and business people in America had come to believe that inflation would last forever. Having studied financial history, Sokoloff understood that a parabolic blow-off usually marks the end of something not the beginning, and the crash in bond prices, the election of Ronald Reagan and the appointment of Paul Volcker as Fed chair would usher in a long-term period of disinflation.

Knowing full well that no one believed disinflation was possible, and given the enormous skepticism in the investment and business community, Sokoloff authored the seminal book in 1982 entitled, Is Inflation Ending? Are You Ready? The book in effect argued that equities would soar, bonds would enter a long-term bull market, commodities would crash, the U.S. dollar would get much stronger and cost-control would be the new order of the day.

By the early 1980s, U.S. equities were selling significantly below break-up value due to the highest interest rates in the history of capitalism, stagflation and poor corporate governance. Sokoloff foresaw a massive takeover boom and became the world’s expert on 13D filings, which was an S.E.C. filing required to disclose an ownership position of 5% or more. Between 1983 and 1986, 175 of his firm’s recommendations were taken over.

In May 1984, 30-year U.S. Treasuries had an ugly retest of their September 1981 low of 15%. Sokoloff saw the 14% yields that were available as one of the greatest investment opportunities in his lifetime and subsequently gave over 500 speeches making the case for buying 30-year Treasuries on margin.

The next opportunity Sokoloff saw was the rise of China. With the Hang Seng at 4,900, his March 31, 1992 article entitled China Awakens: The Premier Investment Opportunity of the 1990s? is one of the classics of investment history. Also, at that time, Sokoloff co-founded the first pure Asian hedge fund. In 1994, with the Hang Seng at 12,000, he resigned, believing the Hang Seng had risen too far too fast, too much capital had flowed into the region and that soon the Asian stock markets and economies would shift from boom to bust.

Sokoloff moved back to the United States and switched his focus to technology. He fully understood how big the coming technology revolution, the rise of the Internet and e-commerce, and the resulting disruption would be to the world. He advised his clients to go big in tech. In 1994, he cofounded one of the first pure technology funds, resigning later that decade as he thought price increases, speculation and complacency had reached a dangerous level.

In the fall of 1996, noting that Malaysia had built the world’s highest building—historically the sign of a major top—and stock markets were breaking down from two-year trading ranges—Sokoloff turned bearish on Asian stock markets. He wrote over 100 memos predicting the crisis would move from emerging Asia to the emerging world to the developed world and would eventually cause a severe bear market and a massive IT bust in America.

Having been bearish on commodities for the entire decade of the 1980s and 1990s, Sokoloff was looking for a change and he noted that commodities were not going down and in some cases were actually rallying despite the global recession. This was where his theory of anomalies—what should be happening and isn’t—came to the fore. On March 14, 2001, he authored a timely work entitled Buy Gold: Before Central Banks Reflate, which was followed by an epic bull market in gold and commodities in the following decade. Gold was selling at $262.8 at the time.

This was followed by a six-year deep involvement in oil, which he turned bullish on at $20 in 2002. He remained bullish all the way up to June 2008.

In December 2015, Sokoloff saw another paradigm shift. The extreme deflationary trends of the previous eight years, he believed, had reached such an extreme that they would reverse with a vengeance and he launched his famous investment thesis—“The last will be first”—meaning that all those investment sectors that had been destroyed in the past deflationary period would be the leaders of the next investment paradigm.

He is a big fan of Oriental Wisdom. One of his favorite quotes is from Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu): The best of men is like water; water benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in the lowly places that all disdain, wherein it comes near to the Tao.

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Our Analysts


Woodley B. Preucil, CFA
Senior Managing Director
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Jay A. Sellick, CFA
Senior Managing Director—Out-of-favor Themes and Policy Analysis
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Kate McClure-Sokoloff
Senior Managing Director
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Arvind Sachdeva, CFA
Senior Managing Director - Global Market Strategy
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Lei Yang, CFA
Senior Managing Director - Head of China
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Damaris Colhoun
Managing Director
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Anurag Bansal
Managing Director - Southeast Asia
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Ibrahim Sami
Managing Director
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Peng Zhou
Managing Director - China
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Tamra James
Associate Research Analyst
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Dora Pang
Associate Research Analyst - China
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Sourabh Choudhary
Research Analyst

Shashank Saxena
Research Analyst

Priyanka Seth
Research Analyst

Varsha Maurya
Research Associate

Jincy Jacob
Research Associate

Priyanshu Chibber
Research Associate

Anuj Kumar
Research Associate

Saumya Pandey
Research Associate

Analyst Support


Diana Forbes
Executive Assistant, Chairman

Executive Team & Functions


Travis Smart
Chief Financial Officer
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Matt Oliphant
Finance Director
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Becca Bitler
Associate Accountant
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Carolina Gomez
Associate Accountant
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Joanna Archibald
Finance Associate

Phil Johnson
Senior Security Engineer
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Relationship Management Team


William Davis
VP, Relationship Management
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Michael DeRenzo
Director, Relationship Management
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Gina Mukherjee
Managing Director - Europe & India
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Doyle Rundell
Director, Relationship Management
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Penny Tang
Senior Managing Director, Relationship Management – Asia
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Fion Li
Vice President - Asia
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Jennifer Casto
VP, Relationship Management
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Claire Topalian
VP, Relationship Management
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Peng Zhou
Managing Director - China

Peng Zhou joined 13D Research in June 2015 as an in-house translator and proofreader. He is now the co-Editor- In-Chief of the Chinese version of What I Learned This Week Lite, an abbreviated version of the full English version of What I Learned This Week. He also performs research on healthcare-related themes and other China-related themes.

Peng graduated from Lanzhou University in June 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences. He earned his Master’s degree in Translation and Interpreting from Beijing Foreign Studies University in June 2012.

Before joining 13D, Peng had worked as a freelance translator and gained an extensive experience in translation. He was also a partner for a number of renowned language companies.



Tamra James
Associate Research Analyst

Tamra James currently works with the Content Creation Team at 13D where she directly assists Senior Analyst Assistant Woodley Preucil as well as other Analysts and members of the team.

She was formerly employed at the VI Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) in St. Thomas where she monitored and performed audits on beneficiaries as well as wrote preliminary reports on research findings. Prior to VIEDA, she worked at investment management firm, SPCH, LLC, where she conducted extensive research on potential investments and followed quarterly earnings of 200-plus company holdings.

In May 2011, Tamra graduated from the University of the Virgin Islands where she earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Management.



Dora Pang
Associate Research Analyst - China

Dora Peng joined 13D Research in November 2017, as an Associate Analyst.

Dora graduated from School of Communication of Hong Kong Baptist University, where she won a scholarship in outstanding academic performance. Before she came to Hong Kong for her graduate studies, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at Ocean University of China.

She now works as one of the editors of the Chinese Lite version of What I Learned This Week. She also works on China-related thematic research projects, such as education, mass media and fashion industry.



Travis Smart
Chief Financial Officer

Travis has over 14 years of accounting and finance experience. His association with 13D Research began in 2008. His areas of expertise include tax, international strategy and compliance, financial analysis, modeling and family office services.

Prior to 13D Research, Travis was a tax professional at Deloitte. He was also an analyst at Atlantic Trust Company where he provided finance and investment planning for high value legacy clients.

Travis earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting from Idaho State University and a Masters in Taxation from the University of Denver. He is a practicing Certified Public Accountant (CPA).



Matt Oliphant
Finance Director

Matt has over 15 years of accounting and financial leadership experience. He joined the 13D team in February 2008. His areas of expertise include treasury and investment account management, international banking, financial analysis and reporting, compliance and risk management, as well as strategic planning and implementation.

Prior to 13D, Matt worked as the controller of a startup company, where he implemented and directed the company’s accounting department, offering fiduciary control and cash flow management. While there, he structured new business development and corporate finance deals, was instrumental in funding rounds, and liaised with the board of directors and company shareholders. He began his career in finance working as an investment professional with Fidelity Investments.

Matt earned a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Utah.



Becca Bitler
Associate Accountant

Becca is a recent college graduate. She joined the 13D team in May of 2018, where she is currently building on her areas of expertise in financial reporting and analysis, cash flow management, and international banking.

Prior to 13D Research, Becca started her career at Sturtevants sporting outfitter, in their accounting department. She later began work as a tax accountant at Lallman, Felton, Peterson & Pierce, P.A.

Becca holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Millersville University of Pennsylvania.



Carolina Gomez
Associate Accountant

I have lived in Blaine County for about 19 years. I’m happily married and have two boys, 11 and 5. In 2012, I decided to pursue my career as an accountant. I went to Boise State University and graduated with an Accountancy BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) degree on May of 2017. After graduation, I worked as a bookkeeper managing the daily financial operations of local businesses. I’m currently enrolled in the Accounting MSA (Master of Science in Accountancy) program at Boise State University, while also studying to pass the CPA exam.



Phil Johnson
Senior Security Engineer

Phil has been associated with 13D for over 20 years. In the 1970s, he grew up building computers in his garage in Silicon Valley, where he studied electronics under John McCollum at Homestead High School, the same teacher of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak a few years earlier. Aside from computers, his other passion is art. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Boise State University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors. He is a lifetime member of the honors society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Johnson is fascinated by the “unknown unknowns,” and he believes that understanding the boundary conditions of knowledge is vital to security and threat analysis as technology rapidly accelerates the expansion of our socioeconomic universe. He feels that the geometric relationship of our knowledge to our ignorance was best expressed by the physicist J. A. Wheeler, who wrote: “We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.” Johnson believes it is extremely important to try and chart the evolving perimeters of our ignorance because those are the shores on which Black Swans arrive.



William Davis
VP, Relationship Management

Will joined 13D as part of the Finance team in April 2018. After fulfilling a variety of roles in Finance & Accounting, he is now a key member of the 13D Relationship Management team.

Will’s passion for client engagement seeks to provide long lasting & meaningful connections with 13D’s readers. Combined with his affinity for research, Will serves as an important resource for 13D’s partners.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of New York at Buffalo.



Michael DeRenzo
Director, Relationship Management

Michael joined 13D in March 2018. Michael focuses on client-relationship management and works alongside 13D’s analysts to help bridge the gap between 13D’s thought content creation and our clients’ specific investment needs.

Prior to 13D, Michael worked at Neuberger Berman as a Client Portfolio Analytics Associate, supporting the Non-Investment Grade Credit teams with AUM over $40 billion. Within this role, Michael oversaw a team of two others and was responsible for providing direct support to the Senior Portfolio Managers of NB’s high yield and bank loans portfolios.

Michael’s experience working alongside asset owners and on the buy side equip him with knowledge about markets and the skills to think like investment managers think, which is invaluable in managing 13D’s client relationships. Michael’s passion for macro investment research and the desire to connect the seemingly unconnectable is what led him to join 13D.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in both Finance and Accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



Gina Mukherjee
Managing Director - Europe & India

Gina, who currently resides in London, UK, has worked in Business Development in the Financial Services industry for over 15 years primarily covering European, Middle Eastern regions and prior to that Asia when she was based in India. Prior to joining 13D, Gina worked in companies like Fathom Financial Consulting, Roubini Global Economics, William O' Neil and Euromoney Institutional Investor Group. She has mostly interacted with the buy side, sell side in the financial services sector, corporates and government agencies during her career.

Gina has a bachelors degree with honours in Commerce and Business Management and is also FCA certified.



Doyle Rundell
Director, Relationship Management

Doyle joined 13D in January 2018 after a successful career in managing overall operations for a private family office for nearly 10 years.

Born and raised in Palo Alto, California, Doyle gained extensive experience in coordinating and managing teams across different projects. His experience ranges from managing complex logistics to liaising with the United States Secret Service and Japanese Special Police during Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s Silicon Valley visit in 2015.

Doyle’s exceptional communication skills, attention to detail, strategic eye and versatile personality make him a seasoned client relationship management professional. His solid work ethic and intrinsic drive to succeed makes him invaluable for 13D and our clients.

Doyle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.



Penny Tang
Senior Managing Director, Relationship Management – Asia

Penny Tang joined 13D in January 2019 as Managing Director - Asia, and is responsible for client accounts in the region. At 13D, she focuses on relationship management, serving as the interface between our cutting edge research and clients. Penny was formerly with the Asia Society Hong Kong Center for over 11 years, most recently as Head of Programs and Initiatives where she oversaw all programs to provide insight, address current challenges and create a shared future. Prior to that, she was a frontline reporter, spending a decade at media organizations in Hong Kong, including the dominant television station, TVB, and the public broadcaster, Radio Television Hong Kong. Penny graduated from the University of Leeds in England in Modern Chinese Studies.



Fion Li
Vice President - Asia

Fion joined 13D Global Strategy and Research in 2019. Serving as the Vice President, her role is focused on nurturing client relationships and expanding 13D coverage across the Asia-Pacific region.

Prior to joining 13D, Fion worked in account management in the Corporate Training industry, where she provided talent development solutions to corporates from all sectors and drove new paradigms in the Learning & Development landscape. A language preservation and acquisition evangelist, she is passionate about implementing effective language science in the business world. With her advanced experience in academic Linguistics and practical language education, she was the appointed trainer and speaker for many top-tier corporations. At 13D, she is committed to serve clients with the most exclusive insights delivered to door, so that their investment decisions are made to optimality.

Fion graduated from SOAS, University of London with a B.A. in Linguistics.



Jennifer Casto
VP, Relationship Management

Jennifer joined 13D in August 2020 bringing 25 years of experience in strategic initiatives, business operations and technology. As part of the Relationship Management team, she helps clients experience the full value of 13D's cutting edge research and successful track record.

Jennifer has traveled globally working with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies across diverse industries ensuring that programs were delivered on time, within budget and most importantly, meeting clients’ success expectations. She has had the privilege to work with incredible companies including Starbucks, Microsoft, Smithsonian Institution, Capital One, McDonalds and Pfizer. Jennifer's success comes from her meticulous approach to understanding a client's needs and developing a plan to deliver while always maintaining her poise, sense of humor and authenticity.

She earned a Bachelors of Science in Management Information Systems from Penn State University and a Masters of Science in Environmental, Safety and Health Management from the University of Findlay.



Claire Topalian
VP, Relationship Management

Claire brings over 10 years of experience in client services to the 13D team. She began her career leading Communications for a global non-profit based in Seattle, Washington. As Communications Director, she had the opportunity to work on projects with international communities, the White House, and with economic development officials across the country. 

Claire has had the privilege of working with exceptional companies and organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 3M, Nordstrom, and Microsoft. In 2015, Claire founded her own consulting firm to continue her work with clients, focusing primarily on technology startups.  

She is passionate about understanding how to bring the greatest possible value to each client and aims to prioritize personal connection in each interaction.

Claire graduated from Gonzaga University in 2011 with a degree in Poetry and English Language. 


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