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Applied Finance is an investment management firm dedicated to delivering superior equity research and constructing equity portfolios that outperform their benchmarks through its Valuation Driven™ process.

Dedication To Superior Research 

Applied Finance developed the Economic Margin framework to measure a firm’s economic, rather than as-reported accounting performance, and directly link corporate performance to valuation.  Since launching its Valuation Driven™ database in 1995, Applied Finance has systematically performed and archived for research purposes over 20,000,000 individual company intrinsic value estimates.

Each valuation is performed utilizing Applied Finance’s proprietary research into: corporate performance, risk, growth and competition.

Applied Finance’s ongoing research database provides the foundation to link valuation research to portfolio construction and ongoing market research to expand our knowledge into how markets reward and punish firms.   To our knowledge, only Applied Finance has a live database of individual firm valuations constructed in the same manner with the same valuation framework for an extended period of time. This constitutes Applied Finance’s core Analytic Advantage.

Research has always been a critical part of Applied Finance’s culture. The Applied Finance team includes a mix of financial analysts, quantitative analysts, database engineers, and programmers.  The firm is 100% employee owned, consisting of 10 key partners from every department.  Its two co-founders Rafael Resendes and Daniel Obrycki met while obtaining their MBA at the University of Chicago, and both are still at the helm of Applied Finance.


Applied Finance Investment Team

Research Team Bios:

Rafael Resendes, MBA – Founding Partner

Rafael Resendes, MBA – Applied Finance Partner 
Co-founder of Applied Finance.  BA from University of California, MBA from the University of Chicago.

In 1995, together with Daniel Obrycki, Mr. Resendes developed the Economic Margin framework to measure a firm’s economic, rather than as-reported accounting performance, and directly link corporate performance to valuation.

Resendes graduated from The University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economic Analysis. Resendes went on to earn his MBA from the University of Chicago. Resendes is also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Prior to co-founding Applied Finance, Mr. Resendes was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and served as director of research for HOLT Value Associates.

In 2003 Resendes began serving on the CFA Institute’s Speaker Retainer Program speaking to over 45 Financial Analyst Societies in 12 countries. Resendes has also served as a guest speaker for various equity valuation seminars, National Investor Relations Institute and served as a Professor at DePaul University in Chicago.

Daniel J. Obrycki, MBA – Founding Partner

Daniel J. Obrycki, MBA – Applied Finance Partner
Co-founder of Applied Finance. BS University of Missouri-Rolla, MBA from the University of Chicago.

In 1995, Mr. Obrycki and Rafael Resendes together created the Economic Margin framework to measure a firm’s economic, rather than as-reported accounting performance, and directly link corporate performance to valuation.

Mr. Obrycki directs Applied Finance research efforts and also serves as the head of the investment committee.

Mr. Obrycki graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Missouri-Rolla with a BS in Geological Engineering and obtained his MBA with a finance specialization from the University of Chicago. Obrycki has also taught finance at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.

Prior to co-founding Applied Finance, Mr. Obrycki was the Manager of Research for HOLT Value Associates. In addition, he worked as a Senior Economic Analyst for Amoco Production Company in their domestic and international business units. There he provided extensive economic analyses and valuations on numerous investment opportunities, acquisitions, divestitures, funding arrangements, and tax issues.

Jun Wang, MBA, CFA – Partner 

Jun Wang, MBA, CFA – Applied Finance Partner 
Portfolio Manager and Fundamental Research Analyst. BA Southwest University China, MBA from California State University, Fresno.

Jun Wang, CFA, joined Applied Finance in 2002 and has actively participated in numerous  fundamental research initiatives, including company models, industry recommendations, and sector reviews, in early years. Ms. Wang now directs the analyst team which is responsible for maintaining structured portfolio products.

Wang received a B.A. degree from Southwest University in English Literature in China, and holds an MBA degree from The California State University of Fresno. She obtained her CFA charter in 2006.

Prior to coming to the United States, Ms. Wang taught English at Sichuan University in Sichuan, China.

Dhaval Sanghavi, CFA, CPA – Partner

Dhaval Sanghavi, CFA, CPA – Applied Finance Partner
Portfolio Manager and Fundamental Research Analyst

Dhaval Sanghavi, CFA®, CPA® joined Applied Finance in 2004 and has actively participated in numerous fundamental research initiatives, including the development of Applied Finance’s International database system, company models, industry recommendations, and sector reviews. Mr. Sanghavi covers the Technology and Telecommunications sector for Applied Finance analyst driven portfolios. In addition to covering the Technology sector, Mr. Sanghavi is responsible for managing the data vendor relationships and for the quality control of Applied Finance’s international database.

Prior to AFCM, Mr. Sanghavi worked as a Senior Financial Analyst at Sears Holdings in their Corporate Planning department and prior to that position, as a Senior Analyst at Arthur Andersen in their Shareholder Value Services practice.

Mr. Sanghavi received dual B.S. degrees in Accounting and Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He obtained his CFA charter in 2004.

Derek Bergen, CFA -Partner 

Derek Bergen, Applied Finance Partner 
Portfolio Manager and Quantitative Research Analyst

Derek Bergen, CFA joined Applied Finance in 2005 and focuses on the development of quantitative metrics and strategies. Mr. Bergen also leads curriculum development efforts for Applied Finance’s support center to train research clients on best practice application of Applied Finance research tools. Mr. Bergen also works with the development team to design product enhancements that improve portfolio management and due diligence workflows. Mr. Bergen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Finance and Real Estate. He obtained his CFA charter in 2016.

John Holt, MBA, CFA – Partner 

John Holt, MBA, CFA – Applied Finance Partner 
Portfolio Manager and Quantitative Research Analyst

John Holt joined Applied Finance in 2014 and is involved in the management of both quantitative strategies and analyst driven strategies. Additionally, Mr. Holt works with Applied Finance clients on portfolio implementation solutions and research initiatives.

Mr. Holt graduated Magna Cum Laude from George Mason University with a B.S. in Economics and a Minor in Math. He then went on to earn an MBA from George Mason. Mr. Holt obtained his CFA Charter in 2019.

Alex Plascencia, MBA

Alex Plascencia, MBA
Fundamental Research Analyst

Alex Plascencia joined Applied Finance in 2005 and participates in Applied Finance research initiatives as an equity research analyst. Mr. Plascencia develops financial models, provides industry recommendations and sector overview updates. In addition to his contribution to the analyst team, Mr. Plascencia also provides support to the quality control of the domestic database.

Mr. Plascencia received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from University of California, Riverside and earned an MBA degree from University of California, Irvine.

Mark Everette, MBA, CPA

Mark Everette, MBA, CPA – Consultant to Applied Finance 
Utility Sector Consultant and Fundamental Research Analyst. BA and MBA from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Mark has over 25 years of consulting experience serving utility sector clients and brings deep experience covering such areas as: strategic business planning and business intelligence systems design, enterprise and business unit economic modeling, shared service organization design and process implementation, activity-based cost and performance management systems, business process re-engineering, management audit preparation, and due diligence reviews related to acquisition and divestiture transactions.

Through his combination of both operational and financial expertise, he has developed system and process business requirements and built economic decision models for a wide variety of utility strategic initiatives, including distribution Smart Grid implementations, generation performance management, transmission business unit planning, and business intelligence / ERP systems design.

Regulatory experience includes preparing studies and expert testimony concerning the appropriate determination of working capital requirements, performing reviews of forecast information included in filings to support tariff changes, and directing the filing information required for FERC-RTO transmission rate applications and SEC Public Utility Holding Company Act submittals. He has implemented shared service organizational designs and developed cost allocation requirements for several clients in support of regulatory filings.