James Smith
Senior Managing Director

Financial, Economic, & Market Analysis; Investigations & Disputes; Emerging Technology

James Smith is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura with over 18 years of experience conducting financial, economic, market, and risk analyses to address business strategy and valuation questions and assist clients with disputes and investigations. He is based in New York.

  • Experience

    Jim’s securities and financial sector assignments involve products across the investment spectrum: private equity, foreign exchange, mutual funds, hedge funds, real estate, and insurance. They often relate to business planning, internal reviews, investigations, disputes, and securities fraud. He also works on cross-border and international tax-related matters related to inversions and other corporate actions.

    He often works in the electric utility sector where he advises public and private sector clients on competition, privatization, and market design and strategy, including contract, rate and transition analysis, asset valuation, stranded cost, and new capacity development. His analytics background includes the development of locational marginal pricing models. He had an extensive role in the reform and sale of the South Australian government’s electricity and gas assets, including work as the interim-CEO of the electricity reliability council, a public-private partnership.

    He frequently works at the intersection of emerging technology and business, helping manage the risks and opportunities posed by technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. He recently served at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as an analytic exchange program fellow developing recommendations for managing the change associated with disruptive technologies.

    He has conducted trade secret and other intellectual property valuations in a range of industries including health sciences, financial services, consumer products, and technology.

    Prior to Ankura, he worked in the finance and intellectual property practices at Charles River Associates, and the energy practice at Putnam, Hayes & Bartlett (later Hagler-Bailly and PA Consulting).

    Jim is a member of Business Executives for National Security. In this capacity, he helps government partners on a range of topics in the US national security problem set, including cyber risk, emerging technology, public-private partnership development, and business planning and efficiency.

    Jim’s professional experience includes:

    • Foreign Account Taxation. Assisting European financial services company in an internal investigation related to the taxation of US customers.
    • Cyber and Trade Secrets. Assisted defense and insurance counsel for a hotel chain accused of utilizing a competitor’s business data. Developed estimates of lost profits and unjust enrichment.
    • Electricity Market Reform. Economic advisor to the South Australian government for the $5 billion sale of the state’s generation, transmission, distribution, and gas assets. Assisted in the transition to the National Electricity Market. Disaggregated the vertically integrated entity into seven companies (four generating companies including a new-capacity ‘new co’, transmission and distribution companies, and a gas retailer). Assisted in the sale/lease of the companies. Developed programs to attract new entrants— including potential private transmission, renewable energy— and mitigate market power through the use of vesting contracts.
    • Intellectual Property Rights. Served as team lead in a program with the Department of Homeland Security focused on preventing counterfeiting and other forms of intellectual property theft.
    • Electricity Market Strategy. Conducted analytical modeling, and regulatory and risk analysis for the National Electricity Market Management Company in Australia. Analysis included inter-regional electricity spot price modeling for the development of hedge instruments.
    • Tax and Credit Rating Disputes. Assisted foreign and US tax authorities in matters related to the deductibility of interest on intercompany loans and tax inversions by large corporate taxpayers.
    • Cybersecurity Risk Management. Assisted the Republic of Moldova, in cooperation with US European Command and the US Embassy, develop strategies for enhancing cybersecurity and the development of public private partnerships (P3).
    • Misappropriation of Corporate Assets. Retained as an expert by a private equity owner in dispute with management. Submitted an expert report that led to a successful settlement before trial.
    • Electricity Market Reform. Assisted Government of Queensland, Australia with strategy and reform of state-owned power assets, a transition to retail competition, power purchase agreements, and evaluation of gas pipeline and transmission opportunities.
    • Company Valuation. Retained by a major US investor in a Chinese company publicly listed in the US that had “gone dark,” or stopped making appropriate disclosures.
    • Trade Secret Theft and Employee Lift-Outs. Assisted counsel for several financial institutions in disputes over issues arising from key-man departures and theft of company trade secrets.
    • Bankruptcy Litigation. Assisted a custodian and lender in a liquidation trust litigation. Analysis included valuation of securities, asset segregation, and leverage strategy. Testified at trial.
    • Cost Benefit Analysis. Helped a large consumer products company evaluate the economic and competitive effects of a proposed regulatory change.

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  • Insights & innovation
  • In the community

    • Business Executives for National Security (BENS): Member, Member of Cyber & Tech Council, and Member Energy Council
    • Travis Manion Foundation
    • Connected Warrior Foundation