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Leadership | Society Board of Directors 2021-2023

Ryder Taff, CFA, CIPM

President, CFA Society Mississippi Board

Advisor and Owner, New Perspectives Inc.

Ryder Taff is an advisor and owner at New Perspectives Inc. where he has worked since 2011. He graduated from the University of Bristol with a B.S. in Mathematics and Philosophy. He became a CFA charterholder in January 2015 and completed the Certificate of Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) Program in December 2015. Along with his advisory partner, Nancy Anderson, PhD., CFA, Ryder hosts Mississippi Public Broadcast's Money Talks radio program. In addition to his role with the CFA Society Mississippi Board, he is also a board member for the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science and the Madison-Ridgeland Rotary Club. Ryder lives with his wife, Blair, in his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi.

Zach Farmer, CFA 

Technology and Program/Events Chair, CFA Society Mississippi Board

Director of Securities Management, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co.

Zach is primarily responsible for management of the bond portfolio at Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company (SFBLI). He and his team manage approximately $10 billion dollars of assets internally – predominantly corporate, municipal, and mortgage-backed bonds. Zach began his career at SFBLI a decade ago and has experience in external manager selection and monitoring, credit and capital structure analysis, and asset allocation decisions. He received a bachelor's degree in Risk Management and an MBA from Mississippi State University and has been a charterholder since 2015. Zach lives in Madison, Mississippi, with his wife, Casey, and two children, James and Alice.

Tony Edwards, CFA, CPA

Treasurer, CFA Society Mississippi Board

Senior Vice President/Wealth Strategies Manager, BankPlus Wealth Mgmt. Group

As a graduate of Harding University with a degree in accounting and economics, Tony brings more than 30 years of investment account management experience to his position at BankPlus Wealth Management Group. He is a CFA charterholder and serves on CFA Society Mississippi's board as treasurer and a former president of the board. Tony is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Mississippi Society of CPAs. Through the AICPA, Tony has earned the designation of Personal Financial Specialist.


Walter P. Neely, CFA, PhD

Candidate Preparation/Scholarship Chair, CFA Society Mississippi Board

Emeritus Professor of Finance, Millsaps College (Else School of Management)

Walter Neely is Emeritus Professor of Finance at Millsaps College's Else School of Management. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from Mississippi State University, and his doctorate in finance from the University of Georgia. In addition to his role in prepping candidates and serving as Scholarship Chair for CFA Society Mississippi, Walter also serves as president of the board of directors for the Mississippi Museum of Art Foundation, Inc. He is also chair of the Bower Foundation's Finance Committee, and serves on the Junior League of Jackson's Keystone Investment Committee. Walter has been active in community organizations, serving as chair of Midtown Finance Committee, chairman of Mississippi Food Network, and treasurer of St. Andrew's Episcopal School.  He and his wife, Frances Jean, reside in Jackson, Mississippi, and are the parents to three children and grandparents to six grandchildren. 

 Paula Nielsen, CFA 

Membership & Ethics Chair, CFA Society Mississippi Board 

Portfolio Manager, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company

Paula Nielsen, CFA, is a Portfolio Manager at Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company. In this role, Paula manages the company’s equity portfolios, provides input to the Investment Committee regarding investment strategy and current market environment, and helps evaluate external managers for the company’s pension fund among other responsibilities. Prior to her current position, Paula was the Chief Investment Officer at the Office of the State Treasurer, where she managed the state’s General Fund, and she also worked as a Portfolio Manager at the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS), overseeing the domestic and more recently international equity managers that made up the state’s pension fund. Paula holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master in Business Administration with a focus in finance, both from Mississippi College. She has also earned the CFA designation and currently volunteers as the Forecast Dinner and Ethics Chair as part of the board for the CFA Society of Mississippi. Paula is a Guatemala native, relocated to the US more than 10 years ago, and currently resides in Clinton, Mississippi, with her husband, Charles, and son, Michael.

Davis Bourne, CFA 

Forecast Dinner Chair, CFA Society Mississippi Board 

Investment Portfolio Associate, Finkelberg Investments of Raymond James

Davis works for Finkelberg Investments of Raymond James as an investment portfolio associate. He assists Arty Finkelberg, CFA, CFP, and senior vice president and managing director of investments at Finkelberg Investments, and manages the stock and bond portfolios as well as trading. Davis also works with clients on their investments and retirement planning. In addition to his service on the board at CFA Society Mississippi, he serves as a board member to the General Louis Wilson Student-Managed Fund and is the industry mentor to Millsaps’s CFA Research Challenge Team. Davis has a bachelors of business administration and mathematics, with a concentration in finance, from Millsaps College. He currently lives in his hometown of Jackson with his wife Olivia.

Thomas H. Arthur, CFA

Society Board Member, CFA Society Mississippi Board

Vice President of Investments, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company 

Thomas is responsible for guiding the tactical and strategic investment decisions for Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance and its affiliates. He currently manages over $3 billion in discretionary fixed-income assets and oversees equity investment operations. Thomas has 20 years of combined experience in various capacities within the investment industry. He has a B.S. in Accounting from Mississippi State University and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Thomas lives in Brandon, Mississippi, with his wife, Jackie, and two young sons.



 Steven Langley, CFA

Society Board Member, CFA Society Mississippi Board

Senior Vice President/Portfolio Manager, Regions Asset Management 

As senior vice president and a portfolio manager at Regions Asset Management, Steven is responsible for developing individualized investment strategy and management investment portfolios on behalf of private clients. He is also responsible for overseeing a team of portfolio managers operating out of Mississippi and Alabama. He has served in formal advisory roles pertaining to firm portfolio tax optimization strategy as well as portfolio construction processes. Steven received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Risk Management from Mississippi State University in 2005 and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Millsaps College in 2006. He lives in Brandon, Mississippi, with his wife and young son.

 Jonathan Pace, CFA 

Society Board Member, CFA Society Mississippi Board 

Portfolio Manager (Securities Management), Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company

Biographical information and photo coming soon!

Andrew Hoeniges, CFA 

Society Board Member, CFA Society Mississippi Board 

First Vice President and Wealth Strategist, BankPlus

Andrew is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in Banking and Finance. He earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. Andrew has over 14 years of experience in investment management serving both personal and institutional clients. He has earned the privilege to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Mississippi.

Society Staff

Mary Margaret Pritchard

Society Administrator, CFA Society Mississippi

In her role as society administrator for CFA Society Mississippi, Mary Margaret works closely with the Society board to coordinate regular events, serve as board administrator, and help to guide the board through CFA Institute reporting and growth requirements. She also handles and maintains email correspondence on behalf of the Society, all Society social media channels, the Society's website, and event management for the Society. These communications generally relate to society membership and renewal, luncheons, networking events, and the Annual Forecast Dinner and registrations. In addition to this role, Mary Margaret also works as a Communications Specialist for the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi. She lives in Brandon, Mississippi, with her husband, Hal, and two daughters, Abigail and Josephine.

For general questions about CFA Society Mississippi, feel free to reach out to Mary Margaret or any of the above-listed board members via email to i[email protected]

Past Presidents

Walter P. Neely, CFA  |  1984-1986 & 1990-1991
Charles N. Dennis, CFA  |  1986-1987
William A. Whitney, CFA  |  1987-1988
Charles D. Wilkinson, CFA  |  1988-1989
Julia P. Ogden, CFA  |  1989-1990
Douglas Sevier Folk, CFA  |  1991-1992
Patrick W. Farnsley, CFA  |  1992-1994
Judith B. Howard  |  1994-1995
Robert R. Burke, CFA  |  1995-1996
W. Bruce Trusty  |  1996-1997
F. Joseph Rein Jr.  |  1997-1998
Tom Bertaut   |  1998-1999
Douglas H. Ralston, CFA  |  1999-2000
Nancy Lottridge Anderson, CFA  |  2000-2001
Zachariah L. Wasson, CFA  |  2001-2002
J. David Coker, CFA  |  2002-2003
James S. Clark, CFA  |  2003-2004
Arthur Finkelberg, CFA  |  2004-2005
Tony D. Edwards, CFA  |  2005-2006
Roger E. Muns, CFA  |  2006-2007
Lenard Alan Smith, CFA  |  2007-2008
Heath R. Jordan, CFA  |  2008-2009
Eugene Richard Morse, CFA  |  2009-2011
Warwick Alley  |  2011-2013 
Jerry Hoeniges, CFA  |  2013-2015
Frank Smith, III, CFA  |  2015 - 2017
Steven Langley, CFA  |  2017-2019
Thomas Arthur, CFA   |  2019-2021
Ryder Taff, CFA  |  2021-2023

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