Co-Founder + Partner

Dan Ariely

Dan is a Founding Partner of Irrational Capital and a leading behavioral economist, author, entrepreneur and a James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He is also a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight.

Dan’s groundbreaking work in behavioral economics has led to the publication of several New York Times bestselling publications including Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions. He also contributes a regular column to The Wall Street Journal, “Ask Ariely,” and has delivered numerous TED Talks with over 10 million downloads.

Co-Founder + Partner

David van Adelsberg

David is a Founding Partner of Irrational Capital, focusing on the development of investment strategies and business growth.

David was the Founder of the impact investment firm which incubated Irrational Capital and previously co-founded a leading alternative asset sponsorship firm. Earlier in his career, David was MD and CEO of a large financial institution’s private equity and venture group and CEO of the European division of a large training and strategy firm. David began his career in technology, where he held business development roles and helped establish several new, large-scale businesses.

Chief Operating Officer + General Counsel

Ryan Wertman

Ryan serves as Chief Operating Officer, lending his insights to the business operations, legal and compliance aspects of the business. Prior to joining Irrational Capital, Ryan co-founded GrowthCounsel LLC (2010), a boutique law firm providing transactional support and general counsel services to growth companies and started his career as an M&A attorney at an AMLAW 100 firm.

Head of Strategy + Risk

Scott Colson

Scott is Head of Strategy and Risk, covering a range of research and portfolio management activities. He previously served as Vice President at a multibillion-dollar asset management firm, designing equity strategies and leading product and data teams. Scott was also the director of research to a corporate finance consulting firm and began his finance career in venture capital.

Chief of Staff

Katie Daniel

Katie Daniel, Chief of Staff, brings more than a decade of administrative and business development experience to our team. She has served in fundraising and operational leadership roles at mid- to large- sized nonprofits across the country and is thrilled to contribute her social-impact related experience to the financial sector.

Head of Data + Research

Yongshuai (Michael) Chen, PhD

Michael covers a range of advanced data analytics and investment research activities. He previously served as a manager at Ernst & Young’s Quantitative Advisory Services Group, leading a series of Artificial Intelligence research initiatives and providing development and validation services on capital market models for various global financial institutions. Prior to that, he had quantitative research and development experience with trading firms as well as within the aerospace industry. Michael holds a MS in Financial Mathematics from the University of Chicago and a PhD focusing on physics of fluids from the Oregon State University.

Director of Data Science

Pete Melgren

Prior to joining Irrational Capital, Pete founded Melgren Analytics, a boutique Data Science consulting firm that focuses on making Data Science projects accessible to startups and small businesses. Pete has also worked as an analyst for the Cincinnati Reds where he held the unofficial title “Jonah Hill from Moneyball (but in Ohio).” He began his career as an Economist for Moody’s Analytics.

Pete holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Economics and Applied Mathematics

Portfolio Analyst

Max Cooper

As the team’s Portfolio Analyst, Max collaborates with the Risk, Strategy, and Data functions to provide a range of portfolio management and investment research insights. Max also holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, where he specialized in Finance and Management Science. During his tenure, he actively contributed to academic research, with published implications in business media and US securities law.

Before joining the team at Irrational Capital, Max worked at Russell Investments, a specialized outsourced-CIO provider on their FX portfolio management team, to operate and implement currency-based overlay instruments in both passive hedging and active return product categories.

Data Science Advisor

Zachary David

Zachary David advises Irrational Capital on critical research projects relating to model development, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and statistical analysis. Zak is the co-founder and CTO of Urvin Finance where he heads development of a new market data and collaborative research platform for individual investors. He previously co-founded Urvin AI, creating AI software solutions in domains from predicting drug efficacy for FDA trials to product classification for global-scale e-commerce. In addition, he supervises academic research on agent-based modeling of financial markets in a partnership with PSU's Smeal College of Business, and he served as the Machine Learning and Market Microstructure editor of the Journal of Algorithmic Finance.