Who's Vele?


I may not update this regularly, but you can read my blog to find out what's happening.

I am currently an MBA student at The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania where I major in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management. At Wharton, I'm most active in the Technology Club and the Wharton Technology Conference where I recently managed the Open Source Panel. My primary interest is in the tech industry where I hope to continue my career.

Prior to Wharton, I was a Vice President in equity research at Smith Barney (formerly Salomon Smith Barney, even more formerly Salomon Brothers), a major Wall Street investment bank, part of Citigroup. As one of the top senior analysts in quantitative research, my responsibilities were in developing and marketing quantitative products to help institutional portfolio managers manage risk and implement investment strategies.

Some of my major accomplishments have been in modeling equity risk and creating various tools and analytical capabilities for portfolio construction and stock selection. I have written and co-authored numerous research reports with distribution to some of the largest global institutional fund managers. Some of the work has been published in the Financial Analysts journal.  Our team has been consistently ranked as First Place, Second Place, Third Place and Runner-up by the annual Institutional Investor All America and Global Research Teams surveys.

I have extensive knowledge and interest in information technology. This interest has long history dating back to my pre-high-school days competing in national programming events. Few of years ago, I co-founded an ASP (application service provider) startup for collaboration and e-commerce solution using highly modularized and scalable database-backed web applications. We delivered a great product but ultimately failed to capitalize on the trend: the market for such businesses bubbled over and killed all hope of turning this startup into a viable business. This startup nonetheless taught me a lot of skills from website development and deployment, to marketing, negotiation and selling of ASP-style services.

I’ve been very active in Macedonian affairs in the US. I have advised many potential Macedonian college students on the US colleges and preparation requirements. I have also networked with other Macedonians in broadening awareness of Macedonian culture through meetings and discussions on current affairs, politics and the Macedonian economy. I have also advised Macedonian businesses on technology transfer and facilitated awareness of Macedonia and its developing economy by broadening relationships among the Macedonian Stock Exchange, Macedonian Government and Wall Street banks.

One of the venues for my activities has been the Macedonian Arts Council, an organization that was formed in 1990 to promote Macedonia arts and culture in the US. I have helped in fund-raising and marketing its activities to Macedonians and Americans alike.

Another venue has been the Macedonian American Friendship Association – an organization created in early 2001 to promote the development of friendly relationship between the US and Macedonia, and also to raise awareness of the terrorist activities that threatened Macedonia’s young democracy.


I hold a BA with General Honors in economics from the University of Chicago, where I graduated in 1996. Chicago is a great school and considered by many as one of the hardest Ivy League colleges in the US. The tough academic environment is not an understatement. It is said many times that applying and attending Chicago is really a self-selection process. This was certainly true for me because its academic reputation coupled with an excellent Economics department made it my first choice, despite the treacherous neighborhood and the Chicago weather that changes like the songs on the radio.

At Chicago I was a transfer student from Santa Monica College. SMC is great community college with a strong reputation for preparing transfer students for regular 4-year colleges and universities. At SMC I stayed about 1 and a half year where I earned AA with Honors in liberal arts. I also attended 3 years of high-school or Gymnasium in Prilep, Macedonia.


I have been a resident of US since the 1992 and I am currently married to Roxanne and have one daughter, Kalina Anastasija Samak, born in June 2000.