James J. Zenni, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Zenni is President and Chief Executive Officer of Z Capital and is responsible for all portfolio management and business operations. Over the last 19 years, Mr. Zenni has had substantial success investing in value-oriented private equity, mergers & acquisitions and related strategies.
Mr. Zenni is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, LLC, RealMex Restaurants, and MSDP Group, LLC, and is a Board member of Affinity Gaming, LLC, Neways Holdings, Ltd., and was previously a member of the Board of Directors of Automotive Aftermarket Group, LLC, Bayou Steel Corporation, Smarte Carte Corporation and Sun World International, LLC, all of which were or are portfolio companies.
Mr. Zenni has managed numerous value-oriented private equity or related transactions including Bayou Steel Corporation, Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, MSDP Group, LLC, Neways Holdings, Ltd., New World Pasta Company, PTC Alliance Corp., Real Mex Restaurants, Smarte Carte Corporation, Sun World International, Inc., and Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Prior to founding Z Capital, Mr. Zenni was President and Managing Partner and fifty percent equity owner of Black Diamond Capital Management, L.L.C. (“BDCM”) which he founded 1995. Mr. Zenni was jointly responsible for all portfolio management and business operations at BDCM. Mr. Zenni divested his interest in BDCM in an employee-led buyout which led to the formation of Z Capital.
Prior to founding BDCM, Mr. Zenni was a Managing Director and senior member of the Capital Markets Department of Kidder, Peabody & Co. Inc. (“Kidder”), formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of GE Capital Corporation. Mr. Zenni had a distinguished career while at Kidder and played a significant role in its growth and success and gained significant experience in financial asset engineering, acquisitions, distressed mortgages and real estate. Mr. Zenni was the only non-management/department head in the firm to hold the title of Managing Director.
Mr. Zenni is a graduate of Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and attended Xavier University Graduate School of Business and University of Vienna (Austria) School of Economics and Business Administration
In addition, Mr. Zenni served on the Board of Trustees and was Chairman of the Investment Committees of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and Lake Forest Country Day School.
Martin J. Auerbach, Esq., Senior Managing Director and General Counsel
Mr. Auerbach is Senior Managing Director and General Counsel of Z Capital. . Mr. Auerbach has a distinguished career spanning over thirty years. He has extensive Private Equity experience, regulatory and compliance expertise in securities and gaming, has successfully led numerous litigations, managed large teams of lawyers and provided highly effective counsel in acquisitions, reorganizations, turnarounds and crisis management situations.
Mr. Auerbach leads Z Capital’s legal team and outside counsel in advising our portfolio companies on a broad range of legal and regulatory matters, from IP protection to litigation to compliance with employment, gaming and other regulations. Mr. Auerbach provides legal advice and counsel to our investment team in matters ranging from legal due diligence and protection of Z Capital’s proprietary confidential information, to auction bidding, acquisitions and retention of key personnel. Working with our CCO and compliance team Mr. Auerbach helps insure Z Capital’s compliance with a broad array of securities and gaming laws, and other domestic and international regulations. Prior to being General Counsel of Z Capital he was consulting General Counsel of BDCM.
Mr. Auerbach holds a Juris Doctor degree with honors from Harvard Law School and a Bachelors degree with high honors from Harvard College. Mr. Auerbach has served as an Assistant United States Attorney responsible for large-scale tax prosecutions, as law clerk for a Senior United States District Judge, and on the Professional Staff of the Energy and Commerce Committee of the United States House of Representatives.
Christopher J. Kipley, CFA, Senior Managing Director
Mr. Kipley is a Senior Managing Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team. Mr. Kipley has substantial experience in value-oriented private equity and mergers & acquisitions. Mr. Kipley is a member of the Board of Directors for Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, LLC and Real Mex Restaurants, and was previously on the boards of Automotive Aftermarket Group, LLC, Smarte Carte Corporation and Sun World International, LLC, all of which were or are portfolio companies.
Mr. Kipley has led the acquisition of portfolio companies, recruited executive management teams to such portfolio companies, instituted appropriate governance and reporting structures, established and approved strategic plans with company management, overseen the execution of value creation initiatives with the assistance of Z Capital’s operating partners and established or executed on exit strategies. Such companies include Mrs. Field’s Famous Brands, LLC; New World Pasta Company; Sleepmaster, L.L.C.; Real Mex Restaurants, Smarte Carte Corporation; Sun World International, LLC.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Kipley was a Managing Director and was a member of the investment team at BDCM, where he lead and managed private equity investments in companies across a number of industries including automotive, consumer products, consumer food, containers & packaging , media and agriculture.
Prior to joining BDCM in May 1998, Mr. Kipley was an Associate in Bank of America NT&SA's corporate finance department, where he was responsible for performing comprehensive credit analysis on existing and prospective borrowers. Prior to joining Bank of America NT&SA in August 1996, Mr. Kipley was a Senior Financial Analyst in The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A.'s corporate finance department.
Mr. Kipley received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan, where he graduated with distinction. Mr. Kipley is a CFA charterholder.
Rahul Sawhney, CFA, Senior Managing Director
Mr. Sawhney is a Senior Managing Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team. Mr. Sawhney has had substantial experience in value-oriented private equity and mergers & acquisitions. Mr. Sawhney is currently a member of the Board of Directors of and/or was actively involved in the restructurings of Focus Products Group, LLC, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Neways Holdings, Ltd, and MSDP Group, LLC.
Mr. Sawhney has led the acquisition of portfolio companies, recruited executive management teams to such portfolio companies, instituted appropriate governance and reporting structures, established and approved strategic plans with company management, overseen the execution of value creation initiatives with the assistance of Z Capital’s operating partners and established or executed on exit strategies.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Sawhney was a member of the investment team at BDCM, where he made and managed investments in companies across a number of industries including automotive, consumer products, containers & packaging, metals & mining and technology.
Mr. Sawhney joined BDCM from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPM”). During his nine-year tenure at JPM and predecessor organizations, Mr. Sawhney worked primarily within capital markets, special asset management and corporate risk management.
Mr. Sawhney received his Bachelor of Technology in Electronics & Communications Engineering degree from the National Institute of Technology, India, and a Master of Business Administration degree with honors from the University of Chicago. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the Turnaround Management Association.
Jonathan Schmugge, C.P.A., Senior Managing Director - Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Schmugge is a Senior Managing Director and the Chief Financial Officer of Z Capital, and is responsible for all aspects of Z Capital’s accounting and financial reporting.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Schmugge was the former Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer of BDCM where he was responsible for all aspects of BDCM’s financial reporting, tax filings and accounting. During his ten-year tenure with BDCM, Mr. Schmugge managed an accounting department of substantial size with responsibility for all of BDCM’s hedge fund and private equity investments. Mr. Schmugge has extensive experience in the accounting, finance and operations of privately-held investment management companies.
Prior to joining BDCM in March 1997, Mr. Schmugge was a fund accountant with Oppenheimer & Co., Inc.’s (“Oppenheimer”) hedge fund accounting department where he was responsible for daily valuation and monthly reporting for several of Oppenheimer’s hedge funds.
Prior to joining Oppenheimer in May 1996, Mr. Schmugge was a fund accountant for Appaloosa Management, L.P. (“Appaloosa”), where he was also responsible for accounting for Appaloosa’s management company.
Mr. Schmugge received his B.B.A. in Public Accounting from Hofstra University. Mr. Schmugge received his CPA in 1995.
Mr. Schmugge holds a gaming license in Nevada, Iowa, Colorado and Missouri.
William J. Monagle, Jr., C.P.A., Managing Director - Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Monagle is a Managing Director and the Chief Operating Officer of Z Capital, and is responsible for the coordination of the firms operating units including; finance, accounting, reporting, investment structuring, systems and investor relations. Mr. Monagle has twenty years of leadership and experience analyzing private markets , private equity as well as tax and accounting related issues.
Prior to joining Z Capital Mr. Monagle was a Partner and Senior Strategist with NEPC and led the firm’s private markets research, due diligence activities. Mr. Monagle was also a member of the Partners Research Committee, Alternative Due Diligence Committee and the Real Assets Advisory Group. The Private Markets Team constructed global private markets (private equity, real estate, infrastructure and illiquid real assets) investment programs for basic to complex mandates and made investments in excess of $8 billion during 2004 – 2011 with substantial success.
Prior to joining in 2004 NEPC, Mr. Monagle was the Managing Director-Private Equity Research at Rogerscasey. He developed private equity investment structures for the firm’s clients and was responsible for the firm’s monitoring of approximately 150 private equity funds. Mr. Monagle authored the firm’s quarterly private equity market reviews and developed the firm’s private equity educational presentation.
Prior to joining Rogerscasey, Mr. Monagle was a Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors for the Hannah Consulting Group, Inc., responsible for private equity and real estate investment strategies. He conducted alternative investment searches, developed an alternative investments database, and monitored ongoing client performance.
Mr. Monagle earned an M.S. degree in Taxation from Bentley College and earned a B.S.B.A. degree majoring in Accounting from Northeastern University. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the AICPA and the MSCPA.
Salim Belkaid, Managing Director
Mr. Belkaid is a Managing Director of Z Capital and is responsible for investor development.
Mr. Belkaid was previously a Principal at Triago where he was involved in the origination and execution of primary fundraising in the Middle East and Europe. Mr. Belkaid has also played a role in Triago’s strategic missions for clients.
Prior to Triago, Mr. Belkaid was an analyst in the Alternative Investment Group at JP Morgan in Geneva. At JP Morgan, Mr. Belkaid was responsible for raising capital for private equity and hedge funds. Earlier, Mr. Belkaid was an institutional salesman for Morgan Stanley Investment Management in Paris.
Mr. Belkaid earned an MS in Management from ESSEC Business School, a Bachelor in Economics from Sorbonne University, and an MS in law from René Descartes University.
Catherine Chiavetta, Managing Director
Ms. Chiavetta is a Managing Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team and is responsible for sourcing / analyzing transactions through proprietary information. Ms. Chiavetta has substantial experience in sourcing value-oriented private equity transactions.
Prior to joining Z Capital Ms. Chiavetta was with Guggenheim Securities where she was a Director in their High Yield, Loan Sales and Trading Group. Ms. Chiavetta was an integral professional in their loan / bond trading and syndications operations. Ms. Chiavetta held similar positions at Chapdelaine Credit Partners and Maxim Group, L.L.C. for several years.
Prior to Maxim, L.L.C. Ms. Chiavetta was a Principal in the Global Special Situations Group at Bank of America Securities (“BOA”). While at BOA Ms. Chiavetta had responsibility for analysis and sourcing/trading of senior/unsecured bank debt. Prior to BOA Ms. Chiavetta was a Senior Director of the Capital Markets Group of The CIT Group (“CIT”).
Prior to CIT, Ms. Chiavetta was an associate in the Investment Banking - Media and Communications Group at TD Securities ("TD"), where she contributed to the origination, structuring, and execution of senior secured transactions for companies in the cable, programming and publishing industries.
Ms. Chiavetta was formerly a Senior Accountant, Accounting and Auditing Services for Deloitte & Touche, LLP.
Ms. Chiavetta received a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Lehigh University. Ms. Chiavetta formerly was a Certified Public Accountant.
Andrew C. Curtis, Managing Director
Mr. Curtis is a Managing Director of Z Capital and a member of the Investment Team for Z Capital Credit Partners. Mr. Curtis has extensive experience in leveraged credit and is responsible for the management of portfolio leveraged finance investments.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Curtis was a Portfolio Manager at Mercer Park LP (“Mercer Park”), where he managed all aspects of the Sandelman Finance 2006-2 CLO. Mr. Curtis also served as Mercer Park’s Head of Research, conducting and overseeing fundamental credit research for the firm’s relative value, distressed, and CDO investing strategies. Before joining Mercer Park, Mr. Curtis worked at Sandelman Partners as a senior credit analyst for the firm’s capital structure arbitrage, CLO and distressed investing efforts.
Mr. Curtis joined Sandelman Partners from Lazard Frères’ Restructuring Group (“Lazard”) where he advised corporations and creditors in connection with out-of-court restructurings, chapter 11 bankruptcies and distressed mergers and acquisitions. In addition, Mr. Curtis advised companies on corporate M&A transactions, including the buyout of TXU Corp. Before joining Lazard, Mr. Curtis worked in Merrill Lynch’s Global Energy and Power group, advising utilities and merchant energy companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions.
Mr. Curtis graduated with honors from Brown University and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and an MA from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Melonie C. Danford, Managing Director
Ms. Danford is a Managing Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team. Ms. Danford is responsible for all middle office investment operations including, financial modeling, compliance reporting, investor reporting, portfolio valuations, as well as systems integration projects.
Ms. Danford has been with Z Capital since its inception and has an extensive experience in investment operations, TRS structuring, and treasury & finance, as well as varied experience in trading and credit underwriting.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Ms. Danford was a member of the bank debt team at Citadel Investment Group where she supported both the US and London trade desks in all aspects of settlements, debt financing, and loan administration.
Ms. Danford was previously with BDCM where she was a Senior Operations Associate specializing in distressed debt and equity settlements. Ms. Danford has extensive industry knowledge and over her 17 year career has held positions in fixed income at Strong Capital Management, and various management roles within Treasury and Settlements at ING Investments.
Ms. Danford received her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.
Sandeep Dhuper, CFA, C.P.A., Managing Director – Chief Accounting Officer
Mr. Dhuper is a Managing Director and the Chief Accounting Officer at Z Capital and is responsible for all aspects of Z Capital’s accounting, tax and financial reporting.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Dhuper was the Controller of CTC Alternative Strategies, Ltd., where he oversaw the fund financial and tax reporting and gained substantial experience in accounting, reporting, tax and operations for asset management firms.
From 2006 to 2007, Mr. Dhuper worked in the Accounting Advisory Group at KPMG as a Manager, where he was responsible for providing technical accounting consulting. From 2000 to 2006, Mr. Dhuper worked as an Experienced Senior in the Assurance and Advisory Business Services Group at Ernst & Young, LLP, where he was responsible for performing financial statement audits for banking and investment management companies.
Mr. Dhuper received his B.A. in Finance from Michigan State University in 2000 and his M.S. in Accounting from University of Notre Dame in 2001. Mr. Dhuper is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the CFA Institute, CFA Society of Chicago, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Illinois CPA Society.
Irene K. Hong, Managing Director
Ms. Hong is a Managing Director of Z Capital and responsible for investor development.
Prior to Z Capital, Ms. Hong was a Vice President of Investor Relations for KPS Capital Partners, L.P. (“KPS”).
Prior to KPS, Ms. Hong was with the placement agent arm of Jefferies & Co, Inc. (“Jefferies”) where she was responsible for capital raising and fund marketing for private equity funds.
Prior to Jefferies, Ms. Hong was a Senior Associate with Lexington Partners (“Lexington”). While at Lexington, Ms. Hong evaluated, executed and monitored secondary transactions.
Prior to Lexington Ms. Hong was a Financial Analyst in the Merchant Banking Group of Lehman Brothers, where she analyzed and monitored leverage buyout and growth capital investments.
Ms. Hong received a Masters in Business Administration degree from Columbia University and a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University. She also attended The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Colin McClary, Managing Director
Mr. McClary is a Managing Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team and is responsible for sourcing / analyzing transactions through proprietary information.
Prior to joining Z Capital in March 2014, Mr. McClary served in the Special Assets/Risk Management (“SAG”), Debt Private Placement (“PP Group”) and Corporate Banking Groups at Bank of America/Banc of America Merrill Lynch (“BOA”), beginning in 1993. Starting in 2009, Mr. McClary was a Senior Vice President in SAG where he managed a portfolio of various credit exposures to middle market companies and regional/community banks, primarily located in the Midwest U.S. and has extensive experience in restructuring sole and syndicated loans for Borrowers operating in challenging environments, within and outside court proceedings.
From 1999 to 2009, Mr. McClary was a Vice President in the PP Group structuring and distributing private placement bonds to U.S. based insurance companies and pension funds for Issuers primarily located in U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, Australia, Ireland and Italy. In addition, Mr. McClary developed a credit default swap contract that provided for the delivery of private placement bonds. Lastly, from 1993 to 1999, Mr. McClary served as a Credit Officer in a Corporate Banking group that specialized in providing credit to companies involved in the leasing, finance, and transportation industries.
Mr. McClary received a Masters of Science in Finance with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and a Bachelor in Economics from DePauw University.
Andrei A. Scrivens, C.P.A., Managing Director
Mr. Scrivens is a Managing Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team. Mr. Scrivens has substantial experience in value-oriented private equity and mergers & acquisitions. Mr. Scrivens is a member of the Board of Directors for Affinity Gaming, LLC.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Scrivens was a Director with Chilmark Partners, ("Chilmark") where he was responsible for leading financial advisory, mergers & acquisitions, as well as providing interim financial management to portfolio companies. During his tenure with Chilmark, Mr. Scrivens participated in the investments of International Knife and Saw, Simonds Industries, Sheffield Steel, and Nutramax, Inc.
Prior to joining Chilmark in 2001, Mr. Scrivens was a Senior Manager in Arthur Andersen’s Restructuring Group, where he led advisory teams and performed due diligence for mergers & acquisitions.
Mr. Scrivens received his Bachelors of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois and is a certified public accountant.
Yevgeniy Spivak, Managing Director
Mr. Spivak is a Managing Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team and is responsible for investment sourcing/analyzing transactions through proprietary information.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Spivak had a decade of progressive career with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Having substantial experience as a senior credit professional, he completed his tenure at BofA as a Senior Vice President. In conjunction with sourcing, structuring, and approving new credit relationships, Mr. Spivak was responsible for managing and growing an existing client base across the western U.S. Prior to serving in that capacity, Mr. Spivak was part of the Credit Products organization within the Middle Market/Mid-Corporate group, where he negotiated and structured sole bank and senior syndicated debt and managed a portfolio of companies, both private and publicly traded.
Prior to joining Bank of America in 2004, Mr. Spivak was at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its predecessor Bank One as part of the Special Assets Group for five years. At JPMorgan, he was responsible for managing a portfolio of various credit exposures to middle market companies. He played an integral role in restructurings of sole and syndicated credit facilities for borrowers in financial distress. He valuated and led note offerings to the secondary market.
Mr. Spivak has lived in Europe and Asia where had an array of work experiences ranging from serving in the military to founding and managing a successful business venture.
Mr. Spivak received a Master of Business Administration with concentration in Finance and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Finance from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
Hang Yuan, Managing Director, Chief Information Officer
Mr. Yuan is a Managing Director and Chief Information Officer of Z Capital and is responsible for the creation and implementation of proprietary systems to support portfolio and risk management. Mr. Yuan has over 10 years of experience in developing distributed client-server applications to solve complex business problems primarily within the financial services industry. Mr. Yuan's experience spans an array of technologies including object-oriented technologies, .NET, C#, C++, Java, CORBA, SQL, Sybase, UML, TIBCO, UNIX.
Mr. Yuan's prior experience includes several years at Goldman Sachs, Magic Trade, and Progeny Incorporated as a software engineer. At Goldman Sachs, Mr. Yuan was responsible for business requirement evaluation and design, development and testing of systems for various proprietary trading desks primarily utilizing C++. At Magic Trade, Mr. Yuan was responsible for trading system design, implementation, configuration, and testing and developed multi-thread trading components.
Mr. Yuan has a Bachelor's degree in Nuclear Physics from Fudan University, a Masters degree in Distributed Systems from DePaul University and a Masters degree in Engineering Physics from South Dakota State University.
Z Capital has a team of Operations that have substantial experience within various industries including buildings and real estate, consumer products, industrial, automotive, gaming and leisure, retail stores, textile, banking and financial and restructuring services. The Operations assist Z Capital in conducting operational due diligence and other value-creation initiatives.
David Barr, Managing Director and Operating Partner
Mr. Barr is a Managing Director and Operating Partner of Z Capital. Mr. Barr is integrated into the Investment Team and assists in the management and oversight of portfolio company initiatives including, but not limited to, consumer products, retail, and food & beverage industries. Mr. Barr serves as a director of Mrs. Fields Famous Brands and Real Mex, both Z Capital Partners portfolio investments. Mr. Barr has extensive experience in consumer goods, retail, restaurants and operations. Currently, he is Chairman of privately held PMTD Restaurants LLC (a franchisee of KFC) and The Jewellery Group (the third largest jewelry retailer in Australia). In addition, he sits on the Board of Directors of Del Frisco Restaurant Group, Inc., Charles and Colvard, Inc., and Wornick, Inc.
Mr. Barr was previously the Chairman of Rita Restaurants Corp (dba Don Pablo’s Mexican Restaurants and Hops Grill & Brewery) from 2007 to 2014. In addition, he was the Chairman of Samuels Jewelers, Inc. from 2000 to 2006 at which time he led the sale of the company to Gitanjali Gems. He began his career in Atlanta with Price Waterhouse (1986-1991) and then joined Pizza Hut, Inc. within its finance department (1991-1994). From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Barr was the CFO and then the CEO of Great American Cookies, a franchisor and operator of 367 mall based cookie stores. In 1998, Mr. Barr, on behalf of the shareholders, sold the Great American Cookies Company to Mrs. Fields.
Mr. Barr resides in the Atlanta metropolitan area and sits on the Board of the International Franchise Association and the Advisory Board of the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, where he is also a guest lecturer. Mr. Barr received a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree from University of Virginia.
Timothy Clayton, Managing Director and Operating Partner
Mr. Clayton is a Managing Director and Operating Partner of Z Capital. Mr. Clayton is integrated into the Investment Team and assists in the management and oversight of portfolio company initiatives including, but not limited to, financial analysis, financial reporting, mergers & acquisitions, tax, and audit across all portfolio companies. Mr. Clayton serves on the board of Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, LLC, a Z Capital portfolio company. Mr. Clayton’s nearly 40 years of business experience represents a unique blend of financial, operational and strategic leadership activities across a wide variety of industries. Mr. Clayton has gained this experience working as a member of, or as a trusted advisor to, senior management teams. While this experience has included both large, multi-national corporations and smaller enterprises, Mr. Clayton has primarily focused on middle market companies in the business services, retail/consumer products, distribution and financial services sectors. His experience includes addressing the unique challenges that face both rapidly growing companies as well as companies that are in need of turnaround or transformational management.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Clayton held positions of CFO of Tile Shop Holdings, Inc, a rapidly growing specialty retailer, sponsored by J.W. Childs Associates, and Vice President and CFO of Sajan, Inc., a multi-national provider of business oriented language translation services. Previously, Mr. Clayton was founder and managing principle of Emerging Capital, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in financial, operational, and strategic planning, and merger and acquisition advisory services. In that capacity, Mr. Clayton acted as Vice President and CFO for ADESA Inc., a $1 billion automotive remarketing and financial services company, overseeing all financial activities, a variety of operational enhancements and acquisitions. In addition, Mr. Clayton provided internal leadership of a $3 billion going-private transaction involving private equity sponsors Kelso & Company, GS Capital Partners, ValueAct Capital, and Parthenon Capital.
Before forming Emerging Capital, Mr. Clayton co-founded and was Executive Vice President, CFO and Treasurer of Building One Services Corp. Mr. Clayton was instrumental in building the company from a concept into a $1.6 billion national provider of facility services. In his role, Mr. Clayton was responsible for raising $550 million of equity capital, developing the acquisition and operational strategy and driving the acquisition and post-merger integration process for over 50 companies. Mr. Clayton also led a $350 million recapitalization plan (which involved a $100 million strategic investment by Apollo Management, establishment of a $200 million credit facility and a $350 million stock repurchase) and was an integral part of the management team that negotiated and completed the merger between Building One Services Corp. and Group Maintenance America Corp. to form Encompass Services Corp., a $3.0 billion national facility services company.
Mr. Clayton began his career at Price Waterhouse (1976-1997) where he served as an audit and business advisory services partner for nine years, working closely with the senior management teams of a wide variety of clients, as well as building a national practice in “roll-up” business combination services.
Mr. Clayton has served on the Board of Directors of Agribank, FCB, an $80 billion wholesale lender, and he currently serves as Chairman of the Farm Credit System Audit Committee. Mr. Clayton received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Michigan State University.
John Dupuy, Managing Director and Operating Partner
Mr. Dupuy is a Managing Director and Operating Partner of Z Capital. Mr. Dupuy is integrated into the Investment Team and assists in the management and oversight of portfolio company initiatives including, but not limited to procurement, cost controls, logistic, and operations. Mr. Dupuy serves on the boards of Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, LLC, MSDP Group, LLC and Neways Holdings, Ltd., all of which are Z Capital portfolio companies. Mr. Dupuy has substantial experience in executing operational turnarounds and business transformations as well as devising growth strategies for middle market industrial, business services and consumer products companies in North America, Europe, Asia and South America.
Prior to Z Capital, Mr. Dupuy was an Operating Partner at H.I.G. Bayside Capital and as CEO, led the restructuring of AirNet, a cargo airline and Bayside Capital portfolio company. Prior to Bayside Capital, Mr. Dupuy was an Operating Partner at Arsenal Capital Partners where he led transportation, logistics and supply chain investment efforts. In addition, Mr. Dupuy was President of North American and Allied Van Lines and North American Logistics which were owned by SIRVA, a Clayton, Dubilier & Rice portfolio company. At SIRVA, Mr. Dupuy led several successful restructuring and turnaround efforts in North America and Europe.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Dupuy was Vice President of Strategic Planning and Chief Information Officer at Maytag, and a member of the senior team that helped transform Maytag into the industry leader in product innovation. Prior to Maytag, Mr. Dupuy was a consultant with Booz, Allen & Hamilton and A.T. Kearney where he led projects in post-merger integration, manufacturing and product line strategy, lean manufacturing, competitive analysis, turnaround management and privatization of state owned enterprises.
Mr. Dupuy received his MBA from Southern Methodist University and his BS in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth and PEOPEN, a forum for private equity operating partners.
Joyce Hrinya, Managing Director and Operating Partner
Ms. Hrinya is a Managing Director and Operating Partner of Z Capital. Ms. Hrinya is integrated into the Investment Team and assists in the management and oversight of portfolio company initiatives including, but not limited to marketing, branding, and operations in the consumer product industries.. Ms. Hrinya serves on the board of Mrs. Fields Famous Brands a Z Capital portfolio company. Ms. Hrinya has 25 years of experience helping companies build profitable brands. She has held key executive positions in marketing, strategic planning, business development and customer satisfaction.
Prior to joining Z Capital Ms. Hrinya assisted Owners, Boards and CEOs of small to mid-size consumer businesses with customer-centric marketing approaches to profitable sales improvement. She focused on strategy, efficient tactics and driving organic revenue growth. Clients included See’s Candies and Fechheimer, both wholly owned subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway.
Ms. Hrinya has extensive expertise in retail and consumer markets, particularly in fine jewelry, apparel, accessories, gifting and specialty food companies.
Ms. Hrinya was Senior Vice President, Marketing and Customer Satisfaction for Helzberg Diamonds, (North Kansas City, MO – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway). She was responsible for leading the entire marketing function of this 240 store chain of specialty jewelry stores for over five years. She was a member of the Corporate Executive Board.
Ms. Hrinya previously served as SVP, Marketing for Danskin, VP of Business Development for Liz Claiborne, VP of Marketing for Aris Isotoner, and Director of Business Development for Coach, all in New York.
Throughout her career, Ms. Hrinya has focused on growing discretionary consumer product businesses through new categories, channels and customers. Her experience spans ground-floor website development to initiating an entirely new business structure in Japan and Italy. She has manufacturing oversight experience in China for apparel and accessories.
Ms. Hrinya is a member of the Board of Directors at Famous Brands International, Denver, CO and Great Plains Communications, Blair, NE.
Ms. Hrinya has a MBA from The Harvard Business School and a BS in Finance from Penn State.
R. Brad Oates, Managing Director and Operating Partner
Mr. Oates is a Managing Director and Operating Partner of Z Capital. Mr. Oates is integrated into the Investment Team and assists in the management and oversight of portfolio company initiatives including, but not limited to, the financial services industry. Mr. Oates is a member of the Board of Directors of Neways International, a Z Capital Partners portfolio company.
Mr. Oates has had a distinguished career spanning over twenty years leading several transactions in his capacity at Stone Advisors including: Former President / COO of Bluebonnet Savings Bank, a financial institution created in partnership with the federal government to acquire and merge fifteen insolvent banks in Texas during the savings and loan crisis. Mr. Oates successfully merged over $3 billion in assets across 150 systems and 1,000 employees and implemented aggressive cost control and asset/liability strategies that resulted in annual return on equity of approximately 30% during his tenure; Former Chairman of Universal Hardwood Flooring, a manufacturer and global distributor of engineered hardwood flooring products acquired from Lifestyle Furnishings International. Mr. Oates pursued substantial value creation initiatives that ultimately resulted in a 2x investment multiple; Chairman of NFC Global, a global due diligence, investigative and risk consulting company acquired from LexisNexis.
Prior to Stone Advisors, Mr. Oates had a successful career in the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. He is also a member of the board of directors of CIT Group (NYSE: CIT) a middle-market commercial bank and finance company www.cit.com.
Mr. Oates is a member of the Utah State Bar and received a J.D. with honors from Brigham Young University.
Dennis L. Roberts, Managing Director and Operating Partner
Mr. Roberts is a Managing Director and Operating Partner of Z Capital. Mr. Roberts is integrated into the Investment Team and assists in the management and oversight of portfolio company human capital initiatives. Mr. Roberts has over 30 years of extensive human capital experience in workforce transformation, talent acquisition, talent management, and due diligence and integration activities. He has been successful in recruiting and deploying C-suite executives in a number of industries including consumer goods, durables, energy and chemicals. Since 1999, he has held both Senior Professional of Human Resources and Global Professional of Human Resources certifications, is currently an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Human Resources Management at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY. In 2009, he was a member of the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) team that wrote the new GPHR certification test for international HR practitioners.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Roberts founded and operated Human Capital Strategies, LLC, a consulting practice focusing on workforce transformation and turnaround activities. Prior to that, he was an EVP Human Capital for Bush Industries, a private equity portfolio company where he helped build the executive management team, established sourcing operations in China, and recruited and deployed senior executives in China and Germany.
Mr. Roberts holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from University at Albany, State University of New York, a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College and studied Human Resource Development at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Jeffrey P. Werner, Managing Director and Operating Partner
Mr. Werner is a Managing Director and Operating Partner of Z Capital. Mr. Werner is integrated into the Investment Team and assists in the management and oversight of portfolio company initiatives including, but not limited to the manufacturing, distribution, and services industries. Mr. Werner’s 30 years of global business experience includes CEO roles at both private equity portfolio companies and privately held firms, as well as senior executive roles at two Fortune 500 firms.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Werner was the CEO of two Sun Capital Partners portfolio companies with operations throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. Most recently, Mr. Werner was the CEO of Perfect Timing Brands, a supplier and retailer of licensed stationery, gift and home décor products marketed by the Lang and Turner Licensing companies.
Prior to these roles, Mr. Werner was the President & CEO of Senator USA. Mr. Werner was also President of Spilo Brands, a distributor of health and beauty products.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Werner was the Vice President of Marketing for Sanford, a division of Newell Rubbermaid and Sr. Director/General Manager for ACCO Brands, a division of the Fortune Brands consumer products conglomerate. While at Newell Rubbermaid, Mr. Werner was responsible for all aspects of brand marketing/channel marketing/new product development/sponsorships & creative services.
Mr. Werner received his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his Masters of Business Administration degree in International Business from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.
Thomas P. Wicky, Managing Director and Operating Partner
Mr. Wicky is a Managing Director and Operating Partner of Z Capital. Mr. Wicky is integrated into the Investment Team and assists in the management and oversight of portfolio company initiatives including, but not limited to, leisure, hospitality and real estate industries. Mr. Wicky has extensive global experience in these industries including the management of hotels, real estate development, repositioning and turnaround of assets.
Mr. Wicky has a forty year history in the leisure industry. Educated at several Swiss hotel management schools, Mr. Wicky’s career began in Europe where he gained valuable experience training at many premier resorts and luxury urban hotels.
Mr. Wicky has had a successful career in repositioning and turning around assets including four separate properties where he was presented with the challenge of earning the coveted Mobil 5-Star or AAA 5-Diamond awards. Through his leadership, each of the assets, including The Boca Raton Hotel & Club, The Breakers Palm Beach, The Cloister at Sea Island, Georgia and Hotel Intercontinental in Hilton Head, South Carolina, successfully gained or regained the prestigious awards.
In addition to his work in the hotel and leisure industry, Mr. Wicky has served on the boards of privately owned, corporate and equity member ownership properties. He has represented extensive real estate assets on behalf of his properties including single family homes, condominiums, hotel accommodations and membership sales. In addition to his real estate responsibilities, he has spearheaded operational aspects of recreational facilities such as golf, tennis, spas, marinas and retail outlets.
As the president or board member of many local civic organizations and cultural societies, Mr. Wicky has successfully integrated his properties with the resort’s community. His interaction with government entities at both local and state levels has been a vital part of his role as administrator. He has shared his considerable knowledge as a guest speaker at Cornell University and a lecturer at both Florida State University and Florida Atlantic College. He has continued to expand his own base of knowledge by furthering his education at Cornell University, School of Hotel Management and the University of Miami. Mr. Wicky holds a Certified Hotel Administrator degree from Michigan State University.
Nicole M. Brock, Director
Ms. Brock is a Director of Z Capital and head of investor relations and communications.
Prior to joining Z Capital Ms. Brock was a member of the management team at BDCM where she was responsible for the financial management of various funds as a senior member of the financial management team. During her eleven-year tenure with BDCM, Ms. Brock led various initiatives including fund liability management, financial modeling valuation of investments, cash management, and the closing and settlement of par and distressed investments.
Prior to her tenure at BDCM, Ms. Brock was in a senior business development role within the hospitality industry.
Rolando A. Capinpin, Jr., Director
Mr. Capinpin is a Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team. Mr. Capinpin has substantial experience in value-oriented private equity and mergers & acquisitions. Mr. Capinpin is responsible for research and analysis of existing and prospective portfolio company investments.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Capinpin was with Chilmark where he was a Vice President. At Chilmark, Mr. Capinpin provided valuations, business plans, and mergers and acquisitions analyses for both debtor and creditor assignments. Mr. Capinpin was also a member of the investment team of Chilmark Fund II and participated in the analysis and sourcing of Chilmark’s portfolio companies including International Knife & Saw, Sheffield Steel Corporation, and Simonds Industries.
Mr. Capinpin graduated from the University of Chicago with Honors, S.B. (Mathematics), A.B. (Economics), A.B. (Statistics); the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with High Honors (Graduated #1 in class), M.B.A.; Active Member of the Turnaround Management Association, the Association for Corporate Growth, and Beta Gamma Sigma.
Sean Colligan, Director
Mr. Colligan is a Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team for the Z Capital Credit Partners. Mr. Colligan has substantial experience in leveraged finance. Mr. Colligan is responsible for research and analysis of existing and prospective portfolio company investments.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Colligan spent over eight years at Denali Capital, LLC (“Denali”) where he was responsible for underwriting middle market and broadly syndicated leveraged loan investments and ongoing portfolio management.
Prior to his tenure at Denali, Mr. Colligan held an internal audit role in the insurance industry and began his career as a middle market commercial credit specialist at Bank One.
Mr. Colligan holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Business Economics from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Business Administration with concentrations in Finance, Real Estate Investment and Entrepreneurship from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
Todd Gray, Director and Senior Manager of Infrastructure
Mr. Gray is a Director and Senior Manager of Infrastructure of Z Capital and is responsible for all aspects of IT infrastructure for the firm.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Gray was a Senior IT Manager with Tenneco Automotive responsible for global infrastructure. Mr. Gray has over twenty years of experience managing IT in several industries including automotive, banking, healthcare, manufacturing, publishing, oil & gas and telecommunications.
Mr. Gray received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Psychology from Illinois State University and his Master’s degree in Applied Economics from Roosevelt University.
Ying Hu, CFA, Director and Senior Software Engineer
Ms. Hu is a Director and Sr. Software Engineer of Z Capital and is involved in all facets of software design, development, testing and documentation.
Ms. Hu was previously a software engineer at ASAP where she was involved in the design and implementation of e-commerce websites and window's desktop application with .NET technology. Prior to joining ASAP, Ms. Hu was with Deloitte & Touche LLP where she was a software developer for web applications.
Ms. Hu has a Masters degree in Mathematical Computer Science from University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from TianJin University. Ms. Hu has Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) and Java certification and is a CFA charterholder.
June M. Johnson, C.P.A., C.T.P., Director of Finance & Treasurer
Ms. Johnson is Director of Finance & Treasurer of Z Capital and is responsible for Z Capital’s accounting and financial reporting.
Prior to joining Z Capital in December 2012, Ms. Johnson was Director of Treasury at HMX Group, where she was responsible for treasury operations, credit financing and risk management, including disbursement analysis, banking operations, cash management, cash forecasting, asset based lending and other debt financing. She also assisted in the consolidation process of the accounting function. She joined privately-held HMX Group in August 2009.
Prior to HMX Group, Ms. Johnson was Assistant Treasurer and Director of Financial Services at Hartmarx Corporation. She was responsible for all aspects of domestic and foreign treasury operations, including corporate finance, capital markets, cash management, lending relations, mergers and acquisitions, budgeting and forecasting, and pension and 401(k) investments. She was also responsible for consolidation, monthly, quarterly and annual reporting, SEC reporting and assisting with the accounting of the parent company. She joined publicly-held Hartmarx in July 1986.
Ms. Johnson received her Masters in Business Administration in Finance from DePaul University and her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Illinois State University. Ms. Johnson received her CPA in 1988 and her CTP in 1993.
Matthew D. Kane, Esq., Director and Deputy General Counsel
Mr. Kane is a Director and Deputy General Counsel and a member of Investment Team of Z Capital. Mr. Kane is responsible for advising on and executing value-oriented private equity transactions in due diligence, legal oversight of portfolio companies, mergers & acquisitions, and litigation.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Kane was an Associate with Storch Amini & Munves PC, a litigation boutique in New York, where he advised clients in complex commercial disputes arising in the financial services industry. Mr. Kane began his career as an Associate with Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York, where he gained experience advising clients in various types of civil matters, including complex commercial, regulatory and corporate investigations, and white collar defense.
Mr. Kane holds a Juris Doctor degree with honors from the Duke University School of Law and a Bachelors degree with honors from Hamilton College. He is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia.
Neal N. Nath, Director
Mr. Nath is a Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team. Mr. Nath has substantial experience in value-oriented private equity and mergers & acquisitions Mr. Nath is responsible for research and analysis of existing and prospective portfolio company investments
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Nath was with Houlihan Lokey (“Houlihan”) where he was a Senior Associate. At Houlihan, Mr. Nath was responsible for research, analysis, and financial modeling for both debtor and creditor engagements, including financing, mergers & acquisitions and restructuring transactions.
Prior to his time with Houlihan, Mr. Nath was with The Keystone Group (“Keystone”) where he was an Associate. At Keystone, Mr. Nath was responsible for developing and implementing turnaround plans and advising companies on mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Nath received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Mr. Nath is a member of the Turnaround Management Association.
Conor O’Grady, C.P.A., Director and Senior Controller
Mr. O’Grady is a Director and Senior Controller for Z Capital and is responsible for accounting and financial reporting of Z Capital and its’ managed funds.
Prior to joining Z Capital in July 2011, Mr. O’Grady was the Hedge Fund Controller at Black Diamond Capital Management, L.L.C. where he was responsible for the review and preparation of monthly financial information. This included fund allocations, financial statements; investor capital accounts/reporting packages, investment valuation and determination of NAV, as well as several other responsibilities.
Mr. O’Grady was previously a Senior Auditor at Deloitte & Touche LLP from 2003 to 2008 specializing in the Insurance and Investment Management industries.
Mr. O’Grady received his Bachelors of Science degree in Accountancy from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (College of Business).
Nicholas M. Petrakakos, Director
Mr. Petrakakos is a Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team and has substantial experience in shipping finance, marine transportation and maritime investments. Mr. Petrakakos is responsible for researching and analyzing prospective portfolio companies and direct asset investments.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Petrakakos served as Director of the Asset Management group at Heidmar Inc. (“Heidmar”), a leading Commercial Ship Manager. At this role, he was managing investments in Crude Tankers, Product and Chemical Carriers, and was responsible for liaising with Shipyards, Technical Managers and Banks. He focused on demand and supply forecasting for all shipping sectors - including dry bulk, oil & products, as well as containerships, LPG and LNG carriers. Mr. Petrakakos was also a member of the Derivatives Trading group, engaging in commodities and freight trading.
Prior to Heidmar, Mr. Petrakakos worked for Marsoft Inc, a leading Shipping Consultancy, developing investment and portfolio management solutions, and advising ship finance institutions and shipping investors, in aspects including investment evaluation, debt risk assessment and pricing, and strategy.
Mr. Petrakakos holds an MBA with Distinction from The Wharton School, an MSc from MIT with a focus in Shipping, and a BSc in Computer Science from Patras University in Greece.
Elias G. Silverman, Director
Mr. Silverman is a Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team. Mr. Silverman has experience in value-oriented private equity and mergers & acquisitions Mr. Silverman is responsible for research and analysis of existing and prospective portfolio company investments.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Silverman was with The Blackstone Group (“Blackstone”) where he was an Associate in the Restructuring & Reorganization group. Mr. Silverman provided financial advice to both debtors and creditors involved in bankruptcies and distressed situations. Mr. Silverman’s transaction experience at Blackstone includes the restructuring of OGX (a Brazilian E&P company), Edison Mission Energy, and work on several consumer retail companies.
Prior to his time with Blackstone, Mr. Silverman was with Colony Capital, a global real estate private equity firm, focused on hospitality, gaming, and property investments.
Mr. Silverman received his Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Duke University.
Toby G. Stoops, C.P.A., CFA, Director
Mr. Stoops is a Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team and is responsible for sourcing / analyzing transactions through proprietary information.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Stoops served in various roles in financial services since 2000, including special assets, underwriting, and portfolio management at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey, US Bank, GMAC and other institutions. Mr. Stoops has extensive experience in underwriting and restructuring cash flow and asset-based loans for borrowers operating in challenging environments.
Mr. Stoops received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and his Master of Administration degree from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. In addition, he is a CFA and a CPA as well as a member of the Turnaround Management Association and the Association for Corporate Growth.
Pascale M. Thomas, Esq., Director and Assistant General Counsel
Ms. Thomas is a Director and Assistant General Counsel and a member of Investment Team of Z Capital. Ms. Thomas assists the Investment Team in due diligence, legal oversight of portfolio companies as well as compliance and fund creation.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Ms. Thomas was an Associate in the Investment Products and Derivatives Group with Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago, where she advised clients in securities, derivatives and futures related regulatory and corporate matters, including organization and operation of private investment funds and commodity pools, organization and operation of investment advisers, structured products and derivatives documentation and regulation.
Ms. Thomas holds a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Duke University. She is a member of the Illinois State Bar.
Anthony C. Wai, C.P.A., CFA, Director
Mr. Wai is Director of Z Capital and is a member of the investment / operations team and is responsible for forensic due diligence, merger and acquisitions financial analysis, portfolio company strategic analysis and reporting.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Wai was with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he was a Director in the M & A Transaction Services group. While at PWC, Mr. Wai participated in over 50 domestic and international transactions, values ranging from $50 million to $1 billion, in the industrial manufacturing, consumer products, construction, healthcare, for-profit education, services, and technology industries. Mr. Wai also led transaction teams to execute on-site financial due diligence, and coordinated with other cross functional subject matter experts in tax, human resources and operations.
From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Wai worked as a Senior Associate in the Dispute Analysis and Investigations – Intellectual Asset Management group at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he performed intellectual property and business valuations and damage calculations for both litigation and tax purposes. While in the Dispute Analysis group at PWC, Mr. Wai determined the fair market value of several specialty chemical formulation materials utilized in the paint and coatings industry, resulting in values ranging from $2 million to $70 million for charitable tax deduction purposes, and quantified the fair value of an aerospace/defense company involved in a dissenting shareholders suit, resulting in a settlement that was 80 percent less than the plaintiff’s original damage claim.
Mr. Wai received his Masters of Accounting degree and his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Mr. Wai is a Certified Public Accountant and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Maxine Wang, Director and Senior Software Engineer
Ms. Wang is a Director and Sr. Software Engineer of Z Capital with 16 years of experience and is proficient in ASP.NET, C#.NET, VisualBasic.NET and SQL Server Database as well as others.
Ms. Wang comes to us from Ansira Inc and was a member of their software developer team. Prior to this position Ms. Wang was in various software developer positions in consulting, telecom and financial services.
Ms. Wang has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. Xiangtan Univestity -Hunan, China and a M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. She is fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese.
Stephen G. Wrobel, Director
Mr. Wrobel is a Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team and is responsible for investment sourcing/analyzing transactions through proprietary information.
For 15 years prior to Z Capital Mr. Wrobel worked for several international and super regional commercial banks including Inland Bank & Trust, Associated Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Fifth Third Bank, where he developed new business relationships, served on loan and risk management committees, performed credit underwriting, integrated bank acquisitions, and managed sales teams.
Prior to commercial banking Mr. Wrobel spend four years working on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade for Merrill Lynch, Aubrey Lanston.
Mr. Wrobel received his Bachelors of Science degree in Economics from Northern Illinois University and a Masters of Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Sergio Zepeda, Director
Mr. Zepeda is a Director of Z Capital and a member of the Investment Team. Mr. Zepeda is responsible for research and analysis of existing and prospective portfolio company investments.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Zepeda was with Prospect Capital Management where he participated in all aspects of deal execution including business and financial due-diligence, industry analysis, transaction structuring, and investment committee presentations to effectuate debt and control equity investments with cumulative transaction value of over $1.2 billion.
Prior to Prospect Capital, Mr. Zepeda was with TPG Credit Management (“TPG”) where he was responsible for the analysis of distressed investments. He worked closely with asset management and acquisition teams to underwrite and execute transactions in various industries including, airlines and commercial real estate.
Prior to joining TPG, Mr. Zepeda spent twelve years serving in the United States Navy.
Mr. Zepeda received a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Finance, summa cum laude, from DePaul University.
Jingsheng Zhang, Ph.D., Director and Senior Software Engineer
Mr. Zhang is a Director and Sr. Software Engineer of Z Capital with responsibilities of all aspects of software development life cycle (SDLC) including the requirement analysis, architecture design, implementation, testing, deployment and maintenance for all .NET applications and services.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Zhang has worked in both payment card on-demand printing and online retail industries. Mr. Zhang has over 10 years of experience in design and development of commercial quality, enterprise and e-Commerce applications, including Customer Service System (CSS), Content Management and Delivery System (CMS/CDS), and Shopping Cart, etc. Besides .Net and web technologies, Mr. Zhang is proficient in Object-Oriented Design (OOD), Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Object Relationship Modeling (ORM).
Mr. Zhang received a Ph.D. degree in Human Computer Interaction and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Iowa State University.
Quentin Z. Auerbach, Associate
Mr. Auerbach is an Associate at Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team. Mr. Auerbach is responsible for research and analysis of existing and prospective portfolio leveraged finance investments.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Auerbach was a paralegal at Zuckerman Spaeder, LLP (“Zuckerman”). At Zuckerman, Mr. Auerbach analyzed corporate bankruptcy proceedings, SEC regulatory proceedings, intellectual property disputes, and contract litigation.
Mr. Auerbach received a Bachelor of Arts in Government degree from Harvard College.
Tammy D. Lee, Esq., Associate and Corporate Counsel
Ms. Lee is an Associate and Corporate Counsel and a member of the Investment Team of Z Capital. Ms. Lee assists the Investment Team in due diligence, legal oversight of portfolio companies and compliance.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Ms. Lee was an associate with Mayer Brown in their Corporate & Securities group where she represented companies in a variety of corporate and transactional matters, including mergers & acquisitions, capital markets and general corporate governance.
Prior to Mayer Brown, Ms. Lee was an analyst with Citi Capital Strategies, a division of Citigroup Global Markets, where she prepared financial valuation, industry research, buyer research, and marketing materials for middle market businesses in a wide range of industries, including consumer, industrial, building products, healthcare, and technology.
Ms. Lee holds a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, having graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Zach Nobis-Olson, Associate
Mr. Nobis-Olson is an Associate of Z Capital and a member of the Investment Team for Z Capital Credit Partners. Mr. Nobis-Olson is responsible for research and analysis of existing and prospective portfolio leveraged finance investments.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Nobis-Olson was a Vice President with Bank of America where he was responsible for underwriting, structuring, and syndicating leveraged cash flow and asset-based senior credit facility transactions.
Prior to Bank of America, Mr. Nobis-Olson was a Product Manager with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com.
Mr. Nobis-Olson received his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University.
Nirav R. Patel, C.P.A., Associate and Controller
Mr. Patel is an Associate and Controller for Z Capital and is responsible for Z Capital’s accounting and financial reporting. Mr. Patel joined Z Capital in November 2013 with an extensive background in Investment Management from both a back office and audit perspective.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Patel began his career as an auditor with Deloitte & Touche, focusing on financial statement testing and preparation for a wide range of Hedge Funds and Mutual Funds. Mr. Patel subsequently transitioned into the Investment Management industry as the Senior Accountant at Guggenheim Funds, charged with administering all aspects of the monthly close cycle as well as implementing a variety of process efficiencies. Mr. Patel then progressed on to the Senior Accountant role at Citadel LLC, where he managed the cost allocation and month-end close processes, emphasizing analytical review of the P&L and related allocation methodologies.
Mr. Patel received two Bachelor of Science degrees in both Finance and Accountancy from the University of Illinois in 2006. Mr. Patel obtained his CPA in 2008.
Marko Punda, Associate
Mr. Punda is an Associate of Z Capital and a member of the Investment Team for Z Capital Credit Partners. Mr. Punda is responsible for daily middle office credit operations.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Punda was a 2nd Vice President and Bank Debt Team Leader at Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services (fka Omnium LLC). Mr. Punda was responsible for processing all aspects of trade activity on bank debt, trade claim and private fixed income positions for third party clients as well as the daily monitoring of these positions.
Prior to Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services, Mr. Punda worked at BDCM as an Asset Servicing Team Leader where he was responsible for the data management of over 600 credit securities including bank loans, fixed and floating rate bonds, asset backed securities, interest rate swaps and currency swaps across multiple investment vehicles including TRS facilities, CLOs and Private Equity funds.
Prior to BDCM, Mr. Punda was a Data Analyst with Citadel Investment Group where he researched and reviewed over 30,000 corporate actions announcements, resolved financial data discrepancies, and implemented protocols for accurate database management.
Mr. Punda received his Bachelor of Arts in International Economics and Cultural Affairs from Valparaiso University.
Kyle Putzstuck, C.P.A., Associate and Jr. Controller
Mr. Putzstuck is an Associate and Junior Controller at Z Capital and is responsible for investment accounting and financial reporting.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Putzstuck was a senior at Ernst & Young (“EY”), where he gained extensive experience in the asset management industry. At EY, he was instrumental in providing assurance services to its hedge fund, mutual fund, and private equity fund clients by acting as the primary liaison for the timely completion of financial statement testing.
Mr. Putzstuck received his Masters of Accounting Science and his Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, from Northern Illinois University. Mr. Putzstuck obtained his CPA in 2012.
Sowmya D. Sama, Associate
Ms. Sama is an Associate at Z Capital Partners with responsibilities in all facets of software design, development, testing, maintenance and documentation.
Prior to Z Capital Partners, Ms. Sama was a software developer for Novitas Business Technology LLC, Digital Info Bytes Limited, and Tata Consultancy Services Limited. Ms. Sama was responsible for all phases of the software development life cycle, to include development of website design, windows and mobile applications along with database programming.
Ms. Sama received her Bachelors of Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India and a Masters of Science in Software Engineering from Loyola University Chicago.
Christel Sanchez, Associate and Tax Manager
Ms. Sanchez is an Associate and the Tax Manager at Z Capital and is responsible for coordinating all aspects of tax reporting.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Ms. Sanchez was the Tax Manager at Sawdust Investment Management Corp. where she was responsible for facilitating the tax compliance process.
Ms. Sanchez was previously an associate at Deloitte Tax, LLP from 2005 to 2007 specializing in the Financial Services industry.
Ms. Sanchez received both her Masters of Science with a Specialization in Taxation and her Bachelors of Science in Accountancy from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (College of Business).
Yury Sandovich, Associate
Mr. Sandovich is an Associate of Z Capital and a member of the Investment Team. Mr. Sandovich is responsible for research and analysis of existing and prospective portfolio company investments.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Sandovich was with Houlihan Lokey in their Financial Advisory Group and was responsible for analyzing opportunities through the comprehensive review of industry reports, financial performance, and credit metrics of individual prospects, as well as estimated creditor recoveries and negotiating positions of involved constituents.
Mr. Sandovich received his Bachelor of Science in Business from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business.
Top Sen, Associate and Senior Accountant
Ms. Sen is an Associate and Senior Accountant for Z Capital and is responsible for Z Capital’s accounts payable processing and financial reporting.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Ms. Sen was with Deerfield Capital Management and Liberty Hampshire. Ms. Sen was responsible for the monthly reporting close process. Ms. Sen has extensive experience in various back office accounting environments within the investment management industry.
Ms. Sen received her Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Kevin Spriggel, C.P.A., Associate and Controller
Mr. Spriggel is an Associate and Controller at Z Capital and is responsible for investment accounting and financial reporting.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Spriggel was a senior accountant at Rock Creek Group, where he oversaw fund accounting and reporting, and gained extensive experience in accounting for investments in emerging markets.
From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Spriggel worked at Custom House Fund Administration, as the MLRO of the Chicago office, overseeing investor reporting for money laundering and due diligence. He also worked as a fund accountant and had a short stint on the shareholder services team. From 2006 to 2007 he worked as a fund accountant at Trident Financials Services.
Mr. Spriggel received his B.S. in Accountancy from Western Michigan University in 2006.
Taylor S. Webb, Esq., Associate and Corporate Counsel
Mr. Webb is an Associate and Corporate Counsel and a member of the Investment Team of Z Capital. Mr. Webb assists the Investment Team in due diligence, legal oversight of portfolio companies and compliance.
Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Webb was an associate with Chapman and Cutler LLP in their Banking Department where he worked with foreign and domestic credit providers in municipal, non-profit, higher education and healthcare financings.
Mr. Webb holds a Juris Doctor degree with honors from the University of Michigan Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Business: Finance and Economics, summa cum laude, from Liberty University.