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 and focuses on illiquid and complex securities valuation. She has more than two decades 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. Dr. Ma is also a member of the firm’s Technical Standards Committee and is based in the New York office.

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. Dr. Ma has qualified and testified as an expert witness in U.S. District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and arbitration and deposition proceedings.

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. Dr. Ma 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 more than five years, she traded derivatives and designed new risk management products for a global commodity firm. 

Most recently, Dr. Ma was selected as one of the “2021 Notable Women in Accounting and Consulting” by Crain’s New York Business for her career achievements and involvement in industry and community organizations. She was also featured in The Hedge Fund Journal’s “50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds 2020,” which recognizes investment professionals as well as those in noninvestment roles doing exceptional work and making a mark within the hedge fund industry. The report highlights a number of her accomplishments, including her role as a consulting and testifying expert for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and her involvement in the Financial Instruments Board of the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC). Dr. Ma is a member of the board of directors of MFA (Managed Funds Association). She was also recognized for her position as a board member of PENCIL, a nonprofit that connects public school students to success.

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

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