|Based in Ocean Ridge, Florida, Benchmark was founded by Edward Siedle in 1999. The media has referred to Siedle as "the Sam Spade of Money Management," “the Financial Watchdog” and "the Pension Detective." He was born Edward Ahmed Hamilton Siedle in Trinidad, British West Indies. He has lived in Trinidad, Venezuela, Panama, Peru, England, Uganda, Egypt and the United States.
Siedle, who attended Simon's Rock Early College, the nation's first "early college" for high school aged students, later graduated Summa Cum Laude from Franklin Pierce College and received his Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School. He began his career in law with the SEC's Division of Investment Management, which regulates money managers and mutual funds; he later served as Legal Counsel and Director of Compliance to Putnam Investments, one of the largest international money management firms. Since 1989, Siedle has founded and managed firms offering specialized services to municipalities, pension funds and money managers. Former and current clients of the firm include the State of Alabama Personnel Board; Fairfield County, Connecticut; Cities of Nashville, Chattanooga and Burlington, Vermont; and Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
He is nationally recognized as an authority on investment management and securities matters. He has testified before the Senate Banking Committee regarding the mutual fund scandals and the Louisiana State Legislature regarding pension consultant conflicts of interest. He was a testifying expert in various Madoff litigations. Articles about him have appeared in publications including Time, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Barron's, Forbes, USA Today, Boston Globe, and Institutional Investor. He widely lectures and has appeared on CNBC, Wall Street Week, and Bloomberg News. He recently appeared in a Bloomberg special on "Hidden 401k Fees" which earned Bloomberg its first Emmy Award. He writes a “Financial Watchdog” column for forbes.com.
For over 20 years he was a licensed General Securities Principal (Series 24); Financial and Operations Principal (Series 28); Municipal Securities Principal (Series 53); General Securities Representative (Series 7); State Securities Agent (Series 63) and Combined State (Series 66). He is also the author of a critically acclaimed guide to the criminal and disciplinary history of the securities industry, The Siedle Directory of Securities Dealers. The findings of the Directory were reported in publications ranging from Fortune to The New York Law Journal. Siedle is an active member of the Florida Bar and a retired member of the Massachusetts Bar.