Adela Cepeda: 2013 Diversity MBA Conference Speaker

Adela Cepeda

A finance specialist since 1980, Adela Cepeda, president of A.C. Advisory, Inc., manages the structuring and execution of transactions in the capital markets for corporations and municipalities.  As a corporate finance executive at Smith Barney, Harris Upham for over 10 years, Ms. Cepeda developed a strong expertise in handling public and private debt and equity transactions.  She then left Wall Street to build her own firm, A.C. Advisory, which she has led to a national leadership position in municipal financial advisory services with over $90 billion in completed transactions.  Since 2005, the Firm has been one of the top 10 municipal financial advisors in the nation.

Ms. Cepeda serves on the boards of the UBS Funds, Consulting Group Capital Markets Mutual Funds, and is chair of the Mercer Mutual Funds.  She is also a director of BMO Financial Corporation, the U.S. holding company for BMO Harris Bank.  Ms. Cepeda previously chaired the audit committee of the board of Wyndham International, Inc., a 20,000 employee company that owned and operated hotels and resorts in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.  The Board at Wyndham tapped Ms. Cepeda to chair the committee of independent directors designated to evaluate strategic alternatives leading to the sale of Wyndham to Blackstone Group.

Ms. Cepeda has extensive community involvement and serves on the boards of Window to the World Communications, Inc. (PBS Channel 11—WTTW) and the Chicago Housing Authority.  In 2001, she was appointed to the board of The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago’s community foundation with over $1 billion in assets, as an executive committee member.  Ms. Cepeda chaired the finance committee for five years completing her second term in 2011, and co-founded Nuestro Futuro, an endowment targeting Latino programs in the Chicago area.  For 20 years, Ms. Cepeda served as a commissioner for the Public Building Commission of Chicago, an agency charged with the construction of most public buildings in Chicago, including schools, police and fire stations, libraries and parks.

Ms. Cepeda is an honors graduate of Harvard College with a major in Economics and has an MBA from the University of Chicago School of Business.  She is the widow of Albert Maule and has three adult daughters, Alexis, Alicia and Laura Maule.