Board of Advisors


Klaas P. Baks, PhD

Klaas P. Baks, PhD is a recognized thought-leader in alternative investments and entrepreneurial finance. Dr. Baks is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Emory Center for Alternative Investments, whose international board consists of Chief Executive Officers of pension and sovereign wealth funds with over $1 trillion in assets under management. Dr. Baks has been a Finance Professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School since 2002.

Dr. Baks’s research and teaching focuses on issues in alternative investments, entrepreneurial finance and investment management, and he has published papers in numerous academic and business journals, including the Wall Street Journal. He teaches courses in private equity, venture capital and entrepreneurial finance at Emory and has been recognized by students and alumni with six teaching awards, including Emory University's highest award for teaching excellence, the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Marc F. Adler Prize for Teaching Excellence awarded by alumni. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Luxembourg School of Finance, where he teaches a course in private equity in their Executive Program in Wealth Management.

Dr. Baks is the Atlanta Chair with TIGER 21, North America's premier peer-to-peer learning network for high-net-worth investors. TIGER 21's approximately 430 members collectively manage more than $40 billion and are entrepreneurs, inventors and top executives focused on improving investment acumen, as well as exploring common issues of wealth preservation, estate planning and family dynamics.

In addition to Diligent Investment Group, Dr. Baks serves as director or advisor for over 13 companies and investment funds with over $3 billion in assets under management, including Brightwood Capital Advisors (fixed income), Kruger Capital (private equity), Peachtree Hotel Group (real estate), Transcardiac Therapeutics (health care), Triton Value Partners (strategic consulting) and TWO Capital Partners (real estate). He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Michael C. Carlos Museum.

Dr. Baks has previously held positions at Fuji Bank in Tokyo, Japan, Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC.

Dr. Baks studied at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (PhD in Finance), Brown University (Master’s Degree in Economics), Groningen University (Master’s Degree in Econometrics, cum laude) and Leiden University (Diploma in Japanese Language and Business Studies). He spent two years at Harvard University as part of his doctoral research at Wharton on the performance of actively managed mutual funds.

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Dr. Baks resides with his wife and son in Atlanta, Georgia.

Matt O’Sullivan

Matt O’Sullivan is an accomplished commercial real estate investor and developer. O’Sullivan spent over 20 years with Industrial Developments International (“IDI”), where he was instrumental in the construction of over 100,000,000 square feet of commercial properties and thousands of acres of land acquisitions spanning the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.

O’Sullivan served as Chief Development Officer for IDI until the company was acquired by Brookfield Property Partners for over $1 billion. 

O’Sullivan received a Bachelor’s Degree from California State University – Chico. He and his wife currently split their time between Atlanta, Georgia and the British Virgin Islands. 

Charles Goetz

Charles Goetz has served as a Senior Lecturer in Organization & Management at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School since 2001. Prior to his foray into academia, he had over fifteen years of experience in developing, implementing and growing entrepreneurial ventures. Goetz has been responsible for starting and building nine new ventures to date, employing more than 1,000 employees and delivering returns to investors in many cases far exceeding initial investment expectations. These companies operated in six unique industries including: banking, healthcare, radio broadcasting, sports, real estate and advertising. He has been awarded three patents and numerous copyrights. Goetz sits on several both private business and not-for-profit boards.

Goetz has written three books, The Great Entrepreneurial Divide – The Winning Tactics of Successful Entrepreneurs and Why Everyone Else Fails! and So You Want to Start a Business? - 8 Steps to Take Before Making the Leap. His third book is his first novel, a political thriller. It is titled Angels of Conspiracy and will be released soon.

In addition, Goetz is responsible for the development of “Marketnomics,” a mathematical model based on calculus that quantifies perceived customer value by product features resulting in product offerings with substantially greater value propositions at lower costs and higher demand.

Goetz is regularly interviewed by both local and national media on small business and entrepreneurship topics.  Examples of recent interviews include:  CNN: Small businesses that do well in recessions; NPR: What small businesses need to do to be successful in difficult times; Fox News: The implications on small business of the health care legislation. 

Goetz received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and History from Emory University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Scott D. Hawkins

Scott D. Hawkins is CEO of The Hawkins Companies, a real estate development and investment firm headquartered in Atlanta.  Mr. Hawkins is a graduate of LaGrange College (B.A.), the University of Georgia School of Law (J.D.) and The Harvard Business School (M.B.A.) and has been active in commercial real estate development and management in Atlanta and the Southeast for more than 35 years. Since 1982, Mr. Hawkins has successfully purchased and developed over $1 billion of commercial real estate. 

Mr. Hawkins serves on the Board of Directors of Watkins Associated Industries, Inc. and on the Advisory Board of new Market Properties.  He also serves on the Boards of Trustees of The Westminster Schools, LaGrange College and Trinity School and is a member of the Alabama and Georgia State Bar Associations.