the 51 fund

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lois a. scott

Lois Scott, President, Epoch Advisors, is a senior finance executive, entrepreneur and civic leader. She serves on the board of MBIA Inc. (MBI - NYSE) where she is a member of the Audit Committee, Chicago Stock Exchange and the advisory board of other privately held financial services companies.

Lois’ functional experience includes financial and business strategy, driving revenue growth and profitability, investor relations, financial turnarounds, and asset and liability management.

From 2011-2015, Lois served as the Chief Financial Officer for the City of Chicago, the first woman to ever serve in that capacity. Lois and the City’s finance team were responsible for an annual budget of $7.5 billion and assets of $32 billion. Lois brought corporate-style investor relations and enhanced disclosure to municipal government, launching the City’s annual investor conference in 2011. Lois oversaw bank relationships with the largest banks in the world, worked with 67 investment banking firms, was  keynote speaker for conferences internationally and served as special adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative on infrastructure and finance.

In 2011, Lois co-founded and chaired the Municipal CFO Forum with the Harris School of the University of Chicago.  The Forum convenes the CFO’s of America’s 30 largest cities semi-annually and provides a powerful springboard for introduction of new ideas and adoption of best practices.

From 2002-2011, Lois was CEO of a financial advisory firm with offices throughout the US that served large corporate and governmental clients.  Prior to that, she served as President and Vice Chair of a technology company that provided services to schools in 26 states.  In that role, she recruited the management team, led its efforts to raise $23 million in equity.  Lois also helped launch Homeboyz Interactive in Chicago, a pioneering social enterprise that worked with gang-influenced youth, translating their street experiences into career success in the technology industry.  

Lois is well known as one of the founders of Women in Public Finance, a professional organization started in 1995 that now serves 1,500 people in the finance industry through 12 chapters across the country.  She was also a driving force behind creation of the “Women of the Year” event honoring the accomplishments of women in the public finance field.

Lois started her career at First Chicago (now JPMorgan) and quickly rose in the investment banking field to become one of the youngest Principals at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, (now Credit Suisse).  She helped relaunch Bank of America’s public finance efforts in the Midwest, gaining national attention and awards for her work.  In 1997, Lois was selected to serve as one of 15 White House Fellows under President Clinton’s administration. She later chaired the Management Committee of the Export-Import Bank.

Throughout her career, Lois has helped those in need and been active in her community. She has served on the board and/or been involved with dozens of organizations, including Children’s Memorial Hospital (policy committee), Chicago Development Fund, Free the Children/We Day, IFF, Leadership Greater Chicago, National Louis University, Better Government Association, Retirement  Security Initiative, among others.

Lois’ work has been recognized by many, including Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40”, “Women in Black” for top women in technology, Today’s Chicago Woman’s list of “Most Influential Women in Chicago” and as a leading entrepreneur in National Journal, Forbes Small Business and BusinessWeek websites.  In 2011, she won lifetime achievement honors from the public finance industry and won the 2015 “Freda Johnson” award for trailblazing women in finance.

At 17, Lois enrolled at Cornell University to study Labor Economics and completed her MBA in Finance from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Business at the age of 22.  

Today, Lois divides her time between Epoch Advisors, corporate boards and leadership on key civic initiatives, philanthropic causes and social investments.


When The 51 Fund launches publicly later this year, it will offer investors the chance to participate in the film industry while making a significant social impact by playing a key part in bringing gender equality to cinema.

The 51 Fund will provide an usual level of risk diversification by investing in a diverse pool of assets.

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Once The 51 Fund launches publicly later this year, filmmakers will be able to apply for financing for films written, directed, and produced by women in the $1-5 million budget range. The 51 Fund will bring added value to these investments by helping connect selected filmmakers with mentors and resources for marketing and distributing their films. The 51 Fund will additionally offer a new ecosystem in which each generation of female filmmakers becomes responsible for ushering in and elevating the generation below them.

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