Andrea Feirstein is Managing Director of AKF Consulting Group. She founded AKF Consulting Group in 2002 to address the growing need in the college savings marketplace for unbiased, expert advice on all aspects of 529 plan design and administration.
Bringing a multi-dimensional perspective to the college savings industry, Ms. Feirstein has worked with 32 states that administer college savings plans, advising on a wide range of program operation and development issues, including investment choices, administrative policy, marketing strategies and analysis, and consumer outreach. These engagements have included the re-bid of every major program management agreement, including, among others, those in New York, Colorado, Wisconsin, Missouri, California, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Texas, Massachusetts, Alabama, South Carolina and New Mexico. Ms. Feirstein has also been integrally involved in the program termination and subsequent partnership between Wyoming and Colorado, and has more recently advised several clients on performance monitoring and evaluations, resulting in fee and structuring enhancements for approximately $10 billion in 529 assets.
Prior to starting AKF Consulting Group, Ms. Feirstein was Director of College Savings at Citigroup Asset Management, where she developed and managed the firm’s proprietary 529 business. In this role she implemented the State of Colorado’s multi-manager, multiple-share- class Scholars Choice as well as Bright Start College Savings, then a single-share class product for the State of Illinois. Prior to her College Savings role, Ms. Feirstein was a senior investment banker with Salomon Smith Barney’s Municipal Securities Division (now a part of Citigroup).
As an active industry expert, Ms. Feirstein currently chairs the Corporate Affiliate Advisory Board of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) and previously served as Chairman of the Corporate Affiliate Committee of the College Savings Plans Network. She also currently serves on the Steering Committee of the National Institute for Public Finance, a joint educational program between the NAST Foundation and Pepperdine University. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and is often quoted in national business publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Investment News, USA Today, US News and World Report, and SmartMoney, among others. She has also appeared on CNN and CNBC to talk about the challenges in saving for college.
Ms. Feirstein is a Municipal Advisor licensed by the SEC and the MSRB, and previously was a FINRA-licensed registered representative (Series 7), a municipal principal (Series 53), and a uniform securities agent (Series 63). She is also a member of the New York Bar (retired). Additionally, Ms. Feirstein serves on the Boards of Directors of the New York City Industrial Development Agency and Build New York City, for which she chairs each entity’s Finance Committee, and the Board of Trustees of the Randall’s Island Park Alliance, for which she is Treasurer and chairs the Finance Committee. She graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Tax Review, and from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.