The Ascend Financial Education team brings decades of experience in the financial and marketing industries to form courses, seminar events, and materials which provide our training programs. We cultivate a team approach with close and continuous collaboration -- an approach which leverages synergies between team members to form a better product.
Read more about our specializations below and please contact us to learn more.
Co-Founder & Director
Howard Tannenbaum brings over 25 years of management experience in finance, technology, and business information, as well as strong knowledge and experience in financial training and education. His multi-disciplinary approach to investing stems from a well-rounded expertise in the financial field, with direct experience and in-depth insight into trading, sales, management, and financial education.
Starting as a commodities broker, Howard gained proprietary trading expertise in multiple markets including equities, commodities futures, and currencies. After taking courses in fundamental and technical analyses under the mentorship of seasoned traders, he observed his own trading skill improvements and became a strong proponent of formal training for traders.
Howard worked for over 20 years as a financial sales manager in New York and Chicago at Blue Chip institutions Dun & Bradstreet and Cisco Systems, and later at companies such as DF King and ActForex. Responsible for building and growing departments ranging from 10 to 80 salespersons, Howard was recognized as a strong leader and motivator who achieved peak productivity levels amongst his teams. He frequently exceeded 130% of sales goals and increased revenues and consistently grew the departments he headed.
Leveraging his managerial and trading expertise, he then worked as a corporate trainer to financial institutions, educating asset managers on white label trading platforms. Drawing upon his own training, and interacting with hundreds of traders and investors worldwide, he received tremendous positive feedback, further demonstrating the importance of financial education to successful trading and asset allocation.
Howard holds an MBA degree from the University of South Florida, where he also received his BA in marketing. He is a member of the Graduate Business Association and holds a Series 3 License to sell Commodities and Futures contracts.
DAVID KAPLAN,J.D., MBA
Director of Training & Instructor
David Kaplan is a seasoned analyst, investor, and trader with a keen expertise and knowledge of capital markets as well as over 20 years of investing and trading experience.
Mr. Kaplan relies on fundamental and technical analysis in trading and investing, including advanced principles of behavioral science. He has experience across all time frames of investing and trading and prides himself for his discipline and consistency of positive results in all market conditions.
Starting at Morgan Stanley as a Research Associate, Mr. Kaplan worked for over 6 years in the Institutional Equity Division at Morgan’s Global Headquarters in New York City. During the last four years, his team was ranked #1 in its market performance by the prestigious Institutional Investor All America Poll rankings, an honor which means asset management analysts and portfolio managers voted the research as the best on the Street.
Following Morgan Stanley, Mr. Kaplan worked at UBS and several boutique buy-side and sell-side firms in an institutional capacity focusing on small cap, special situations, and event driven strategies.
With his passion for investment and ability to convey complex financial principles to a diverse audience, Mr. Kaplan has also taught fundamental and technical investing in classroom and consulting settings.
Most recently, Mr. Kaplan worked at Invest Academy, a classroom and investment training center based in New York, where he taught classes on technical analysis in investment strategies. His classes received a very high number of positive and enthusiastic reviews from students, who credited him for breaking down complex technical concepts to teach practical investment and shorter term investment entry and risk management skills.
Mr. Kaplan holds an MBA in Finance and a Juris Doctor from Hofstra University and has earned his BA degree magna cum laude from the University at Albany. He holds Series 6, 7, 63, 86, 87 licenses.
RON IDRA, J.D.
Ron Idra is a digital branding / marketing strategist and producer. He has 10 years experience producing creative and engaging digital media for law firms, financial practices, and industrial companies through his agency Media For Professionals.
Combining marketing and legal expertise together with a passion for creativity and the arts, Ron has designed and project managed over two dozen websites and has directed corporate photoshoots and web-based videos.
His clients include prestigious law firms in Manhattan, New Jersey, and White Plains such as Fleischman Law Firm, Morgan & Melhuish Abrutyn, The Alcott Law Group, and Denlea & Carton. He has also produced websites and photo/video media for financial companies such as Asset Based Lending, LLC in New Jersey and manufacturer Zober Industries, a 150 employee factory in Croydon, Pennsylvania.
As an attorney, Ron was an associate at Dewey Ballantine and Pennie & Edmonds, LLP, practicing in intellectual property. He consulted as in-house counsel at Fortune 500 companies such as J.P. Morgan & Co. and MetLife Insurance, drafting and negotiating enterprise software and data agreements, and protecting the copyright, trademark, and patent rights of businesses and inventors.
He is the author of two editions of a book on intellectual property licensing for the layperson: The Complete Licensing Kit, published by Sourcebooks in 2005, available on Amazon.com and bookstores nationwide. Most recently, he co-presented a CLE at the New York County Lawyers Association (April, 2013) on recent trends in social media and the law.
Ron holds a JD from New York University School of Law where he was an editor on the N.Y.U. Law Review. He has a BA in philosophy from Brooklyn College, where he graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors.
Rasim Sozen works at Ascend Financial Education as part of the equity research team, focusing on micro-cap companies.
Rasim brings a passion for the financial industry together with a research-oriented skill set and an international background and perspective. He worked for four years in the retail and logistics space in finance research, honing his skills on a variety of workstations and platforms, including Bloomberg and Money.Net.
After studying economics at Anadolu University in Turkey, Rasim emigrated to the U.S., enrolling in Hofstra University in Long Island. He is currently pursuing an MBA with a concentration in Accounting & Finance. He is Vice President of the Hofstra Investment Banking Association and the Hofstra coordinator of the Institute of Management Accountants.
Rasim is passionate about community involvement, and has been active in such outreach through a number of government and academic groups. He has taught financial literacy to 4th grade students at elementary schools in Long Island and processed tax returns for lower income individuals in Long Island through the IRS’s VITA (Voluntary Income Tax Assistance) program.
Ginamarie Licata has over five years of customer service and retail management experience. After graduation Gina plans to pursue her Masters of Science in Finance as well as obtain her MBA. Gina’s driven work ethic and desire to lead has geared her toward a career within the business world. She hopes her experience at Ascend will help further her goal of becoming an institutional financial professional.
Ginamarie Licata is a college senior attending Binghamton Universities’ School of Management. Before Binghamton, she graduated from Suffolk County Community College’s Honors College with her Associates in General Studies. She will graduate May 2017 with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. She is a part of Phi Mu Fraternity holding the position of Assistant treasurer as well as being involved in Binghamton’s Finance Society.
As well as being a student of business Gina has been a dedicated patron of the arts. She was a dancer for fifteen years practicing various styles such as ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary, etc. She has won multiple Long Island and National championships. She also performed in multiple performances of the nutcracker with the Long Island Ballet Academy. Gina hopes to help contribute to, and continue to enjoy this passion alongside her growing career.