Institutional Research Group

The Institutional Research Group (IRG), an affiliate of PCS Research Services, was formed in January of 2008 to produce investment research focused on "special situation" investments, with a focus on spin-off transactions. IRG collaborates with Murray Stahl and Steven Bregman of Horizon Kinetics in the production of The Spin-Off Report.

Senior Staff:

Michael Wolleben - Director of Research

Prior to joining IRG in 2011, Michael spent five years at Sidoti & Co. serving as a lead analyst. His responsibilities included the authoring of research reports and the identification of time sensitive investment opportunities within the food services industry. In 2009, The Wall Street Journal ranked Michael as #2 (of 33) in the restaurant sector in their "Best on the Street" column. Prior to Sidoti, Michael held positions as a Software Engineer at IntraSphere Technologies and as Software Developer at StageBuilder. He holds an MBA from Boston University and a BA in Computer Science from Villanova University.

Joanna Makris - Senior Analyst

Ms. Makris leverages over a decade of equity research and consulting experience, spanning private start ups and large multinational firms. She has built a reputation for differentiated, fundamental research around disruptive and emerging communications technologies. Most recently, she served as Executive Director and Senior Technology Analyst at Mizuho Securities USA, where she managed the firm's research coverage of the telecom equipment sector. Previously she held equity research positions at Brigantine Advisors, Brean Murray, Carret & Co. and Canaccord Genuity. Ms. Makris also served as Program Manager of industry research and consulting firm The Yankee Group, where she managed the firm's telecommunications services practice. Ms. Makris began her career as a journalist covering wide area network technologies, data services, and communications policy for Data Communications magazine. She has received several awards as a top stock-picker in the telecom equipment sector, most recently in 2013 from Forbes/Starmine, and was named #1 stock picker in the Telecom Equipment sector in 2006. Ms. Makris earned an M.A. in English Literature from Columbia University and a Bachelor's degree from Bucknell University, and has also studied at Boston University's School of Medicine.

Robert Dunn - Senior Analyst

Prior to joining IRG in 2014, Robert spent twelve years at Sidoti & Co., LLC as a lead analyst providing expertise on a wide range of industrially-focused equities with market capitalizations between $250 million and $5 billion. In 2008 and 2012, Robert was named in the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” survey among Industrial Transportation analysts. Robert holds a BA from Cornell University.