Cindy Ma

Dr. Cindy Ma

Managing Director
Global Head of Portfolio Valuation and Fund Advisory Services

Dr. Ma is a Managing Director and Global Head of Houlihan Lokey’s Portfolio Valuation and Fund Advisory Services practice, focusing on illiquid and complex securities valuation. She has over 20 years of extensive training, academic expertise, and hands-on experience in commodities, derivatives, securities, foreign exchange, fixed incomes, structured transactions, hedging strategies, and risk management issues. She is a member of the firm’s Technical Standards Committee and is also a member of the Standards Board of the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC).

Since the start of the global credit crisis that began in July 2007, Dr. Ma has been focused on valuing illiquid securities, including asset-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, collateralized loan obligations, mortgage derivatives, auction rate securities, distressed debt instruments, and private equity investments for financial reporting, transaction advisory, restructuring alternatives, and litigation support purposes. 

On October 29, 2008, she served as a panelist in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s roundtable concerning mark-to-market accounting. Dr. Ma participated as the valuation expert, focusing on potential improvements to the current accounting model and implications of possible changes.  

Dr. Ma joined Houlihan Lokey from NERA Economic Consulting, where she established and led the Employee Stock Options Valuation practice. Before that, she was a partner at Ernst & Young. She directed a number of significant litigation and dispute resolution projects related to derivatives valuation, securities trading, hedging, and risk management. She also advised the boards of directors of energy and financial companies on risk management, valuation, and corporate governance issues. For over five years, she traded derivatives and designed new risk management products for a global commodity firm.

Dr. Ma served as an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where she taught an MBA-level course in futures and options. She also developed several corporate training programs on the complex aspects of capital markets. Dr. Ma has qualified and testified as an expert witness in U.S. District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and arbitration and deposition proceedings. She has also worked as a consulting and testifying expert for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  

Dr. Ma graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business with a Ph.D. in Finance and from Indiana University with highest distinction with a B.S. in Accounting. She holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst. She obtained her CPA license (now inactive) in the State of Colorado. She was also a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Option Valuation Group. Dr. Ma has published numerous articles on energy, derivatives, risk management, valuation, and corporate governance, and she is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and on academic panels. Her Ph.D. thesis addressed energy futures and options markets. She also co-authored a college textbook on futures and options.

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