Meet the Leadership Team
During the mid-1990’s Neil was an investment banker at Dillon, Read & Co., Inc. and Prudential Securities Inc. He provided M&A advisory as well as debt and equity underwritings to corporations operating in the financial services sector.
In the late-1990’s Neil was recruited by CIT’s Merchant Banking Division. At CIT, Neil provided factoring loans, bank loans, mezzanine loans with warrants, and equity investments to private equity-owned corporations.
Starting in 2002 Neil joined the hedge fund industry as a portfolio manager of corporate credit, fixed income and distressed debt. He managed credit-based funds for Ramius Capital Group, an affiliate of Paloma Partners, and M.D. Sass.
Neil holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School (1994) and a BA in Political Science from Emory University (1989).
Bill previously taught management science and computer programming in the James Madison University College of Business and has lectured as an adjunct professor in Computer Science at his alma mater, University of Maryland Baltimore County. While working on his doctorate, he founded two companies—HoustonCycling.com and W Christian Consulting. The latter being a technology consulting practice that he’s maintained for the last two decades.
Bill earned a Ph.D. from Rice University with a specialization in Combinatorial Optimization or, as he says, figuring out the best combinations among thousands or millions of options. He also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).
Masa first started his career in the Investment Banking Division of Merrill Lynch Japan where he was involved with primarily underwriting equity and debt for financial institutions (FIG). He then went on to join a small boutique that specialized in advising middle market cross-border M&A transactions. After getting his MBA, Masa joined The Carlyle Group’s buyout fund in Japan where he was involved in four investments; all of which made great returns for the fund. Masa then co-founded a “friendly activist” hedge fund, VARECS Partners with two other partners, one of whom still runs the fund today. After a few years with the hedge fund, Masa was asked to join a Japanese Government sponsored turnaround fund (at the time, the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan – ETIC, now called REVIC) to turnaround companies such as Japan Airlines. After successfully turning around Japan Airlines and being involved in another turnaround investment, Masa returned to Kito Corporation (Tokyo Stock Exchange 1st Section; 6409), the company which he invested in at both The Carlyle Group and at VARECS Partners. Masa initially returned to help the CEO make acquisitions in line with the growth strategy of the company. After making strategic acquisitions in the US, Italy and Australia, Masa became the Chief Strategy Officer looking after all aspects of the business globally.
Masa was born in Tokyo, Japan and was raised in Tokyo, Toronto, Pittsburgh and New York, where he spent much of his youth outside of Japan. He received his B.A. in Social Science from International Christian University in Tokyo and MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jeff Hunt has had a long career in large consumer packaged goods (CPG) and entrepreneurial companies delivering increased sales and profits through strategic plan development, brand building, and transformational leadership in rapidly changing markets. He has demonstrated success driving business growth for complex B2C and B2B businesses across multiple sales and distribution channels.
Jeff is a classically trained brand marketer with entrepreneurial drive, creating and executing marketing/business plans for over 20 years. He is skilled in projecting and delivering annual sales volume, margin imperatives, and profit objectives. In addition, he has expertise in brand management, new product development, supply chain management, consumer insights, and trade marketing.
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from University of Illinois Champaign.
Gerrit is a Harvard Business School graduate through the elite Program for Leadership Development. He holds a Ph.D degree in clinical medicine from Maastricht University, a general surgery qualification from Nijmegen University, and a medical doctor degree from Erasmus University. His pre-medical studies were in theoretical physics at Valparaiso University.