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Karyn Williams, Ph.D.

Managing Principal

Karyn is the founder of Hightree Advisors, an independent organization committed to helping investors improve investment effectiveness through improved decision information. Hightree’s context-based investment decision technology enables investors to make informed trade-offs among competing objectives using metrics that everyone can understand.


Prior to establishing Hightree, Karyn was the chief investment officer of Farmers Group Inc., head of client solutions at Two Sigma Advisers, and a partner and managing director at Wilshire Associates. Over the course of her career, Karyn has built a demonstrated track record of success in designing and implementing effective investment programs for a wide variety of organizations.


Karyn is an NACD Governance Fellow, and has served as finance chair, treasurer, trustee and advisor for public and private foundations. She is an industry leader, author, innovator and educator. Karyn graduated from Arizona State University, where she earned a B.S. in Economics and a Ph.D. in Finance.

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Henry Denton


Henry Denton joined Hightree Advisors as Principal to focus on client sourcing and education, industry engagement, and research and development. Henry brings to Hightree more than 30 years of experience in institutional relationship building and strategy.

As a strategic business consultant and institutional relations professional, Henry has had the exceptional privilege of building and managing complex institutional relationships which have included asset managers, investment consultants, corporate and public pension funds, endowments, foundations, banks and insurance companies. He has an extensive network of relationships from over 30 years and thousands of personal meetings with financial leaders in the U.S, Canada, Latin America, U.K., Europe and Asia. Relationship management, business development and strategy continue to be focal points with a passion for knowledge-based holistic solutions for success.

Prior to Hightree Advisors, Henry was Director of Strategic Development for Ironwood Investment Management, LLC where he was the leader of business and strategic development initiatives. He also served as Director of Consultant Relations for AlphaSimplex Group, LLC (affiliate of Natixis Global Asset Management) and led their institutional business development efforts. As Managing Partner of Development Associates Ltd., Henry built and managed relationships with financial sector thought-leaders and institutions across the globe, consulting on organizational change, platform development, product strategy, and sales effectiveness. Greenwich Associates was a key client for more than 25 years.  

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Lily Zhang

Quantitative Analyst

Ying (Lily) is the quantitative financial analyst of Hightree Advisors. At Hightree, Lily focuses on researching and developing portfolio risk measurement tools, as well as the design, analytics, and generation of portfolio reports. In addition to validating, refining, and updatingHightree’s models and tools, Lily also develops software to automate analytics, and brings general technical support to the team.


Before joining Hightree, Lily earned her B.S. in Applied Mathematics and B.A. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego, and her Master of Financial Engineering degree from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. 


Kim Derby

Executive Assistant

Kim joined Hightree Advisors as Executive Admin and brings years of expertise working as a C-level Executive Assistant in the finance industry at TCW, Nuveen Investments and Tradewinds Global Investors. Her excellent writing and editing skills as well as her design and website experience are a large part of what Kim adds to the team. Kim wears many hats and provides her versatile style of admin support to the entire Hightree team.

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