Golden Pear Funding recently closed a new $60 million senior credit facility with a leading lender to the specialty finance sector. Founded in 2008, Golden Pear has quickly developed into the top pre-settlement funding company in the United States, funding over $230 million dollars in legal advances nationwide. Bryant Park Capital acted as exclusive financial advisor to Golden Pear Funding in connection with this transaction.
Joel Magerman, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer
Joel has been the Chairman and CEO of Bryant Park Capital Securities, Inc. and its parent Bryant Park Capital LLC since 2001 and became the majority shareholder in 2003. During the course of his career he has been involved in closing over 100 transactions as both a principal and an investment banker.
Prior to 2001 Joel was the President of Associated Venture Management where he oversaw a family office that invested and raised approximately $250 million for its portfolio companies. Portfolio investments included Cardio-Life, the inventor of the trans-telephonic cardiac monitor; Cor Solutions, the 2nd largest disease state management Company which was sold to Matria Healthcare for over $500 million; NTN Buzztime (NTN:Amex), a leading entertainment and game developer; Lawcash, a leader in legal finance funding; and Unifund, one of the country’s leading purchasers and sellers of distressed consumer receivables. Joel served as a board member or non-executive Chairman for a number of portfolio investments in the specialty finance, software, technology, and healthcare services sectors.
From 1991 to 1995 Joel was the Senior Vice President for FCA International, LTD (FCA:TSX), one of the top three financial services firms in the receivables management sector, where he headed corporate development, M&A, and US sales, marketing and customer service. In that capacity he founded and was President of Structured Financial Capital, the second largest purchaser of structured settlements issued by the state of NJ. He also was a founding partner of Reliant Partners, a firm that purchased over $1.5 billion of non-performing assets from the Resolution Trust Corporation. During this time Joel also initiated and completed portfolio acquisitions or partnerships with numerous entities including Fleet Bank, National Bank of Detroit, Advanta, Graduate Hospital, Household Credit, and Ernst & Young. Prior to FCA, Joel was one of the founders and board members of Odyssey Golf, the number one putter company in the world that was later sold to Calloway Golf. Earlier in his career, Joel was the Director of Finance and Technology for Citicorp Diners Club.
Joel has his MS from the University of Pennsylvania and his BA from UCLA. He serves on the boards of MD Aligne, Maccabi USA Sports for Israel, the Investment Committee of Germantown Academy, and has been a panelist and speaker on a number of topics. Joel is a FINRA registered securities principal (series 24).
Managing Partner & CEO
Volfi Mizrahi, Managing Director
Volfi is a Managing Director of Bryant Park Capital’s New York office. He brings with him significant transaction experience (over 70 transactions with approximately $50 billion in aggregate value) in multiple products, including buy-side and sell-side M&A engagements, fairness opinions, and equity and debt capital offerings, across multiples industries, representing both public and private clients.
Prior to joining BPC in 2004, Volfi was Founder and Managing Member of VM Advisors, LLC, a financial services consulting firm, where he advised several public middle market technology companies in their respective sales (over $500 million in value) to strategic buyers. From 1993-2001, Volfi held various positions at Robertson Stephens, a pioneering major bracket investment bank servicing emerging growth companies, including senior roles in the firm’s Communications, Life Sciences, Technology, Healthcare IT and M&A groups. His non-transactional responsibilities included integration of BankBoston’s M&A Group into Robertson Stephens upon their merger and the design and implementation of Robertson Stephens’ analyst and associate training programs.
Notable transactions that Volfi has worked on during his career include Ciba-Geigy Ltd’s investment in and strategic alliance with Chiron Corp.; Monsanto Company’s acquisitions of DEKALB Genetics Corporation, Delta & Pine Land Company and Cargill International Seed Operations; Nellcor Inc.’s merger with Puritan-Bennett Corp.; OnHealth Network Company’s sale to WebMd; strategic alternatives advisory work for Monsanto Company, including its subsequently terminated merger American Home Products Corporation; Sonus Networks, Inc.’s acquisition of Telecom Technologies, Inc.; Alias Research Inc.’s sale to Silicon Graphics, Inc.; PictureTel Corp.’s sale to Polycom Inc.; Digidesign Inc.’s sale to Avid Technology, Inc.; E*Trade Group’s acquisitions of E*Trade UK Limited, E*Trade @ NetBourse SA, and E*Trade Nordic; as well as capital raises for Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation, US Office Products Company, Duty Free International, Inc., Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, EPIX Medical, and Ariad Pharmaceuticals among others.
Volfi has an MBA from Harvard Business School with honors, and an MS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Volfi is a graduate of the Jerome Fisher Management & Technology Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with honors with a BS Economics from the Wharton School of Business and a BS in Bioengineering from the School of Engineering. Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Volfi is fluent in English, Turkish, German and French. Volfi is a FINRA registered securities principal (series 24).
Daniel N. Pickens, Managing Director
Dan is a Managing Director in the firm’s Philadelphia office, and brings to the firm over 20 years of corporate finance and mergers and acquisition experience at several large regional investment banks. Dan has originated and executed numerous debt and equity financings, both public and private, ranging in size from under $5 million to over $200 million, and has advised many public and private clients regarding merger and acquisition transactions, ranging in size from under $15 million to over $300 million. Among the industries that Dan has been active in are transportation, manufacturing, software, consumer products, retail, energy and business services. Dan has also served on the Boards of various corporations, both public and private.
Prior to joining Bryant Park in 2009, Dan spent 13 years at Janney Montgomery Scott, a Philadelphia-based based investment bank and brokerage with approximately $400 million in annualized revenue, where he was a Senior Vice President responsible for originating and executing middle-market financings and mergers and acquisitions. While at Janney, Dan assumed various responsibilities, including Managing Director of the Basic Industries Group and Managing Director of the Mergers and Acquisitions Group, while also assuming a number of internal functions, such as Chair of the firm’s Fairness Opinion Committee.
Prior to joining Janney in 1996, Dan was a First Vice President at Wheat First Butcher Singer, an employee-owned investment bank and brokerage firm with 126 offices headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. At Wheat First, Dan held various positions of increasing responsibility, and served as Managing Director responsible for several sector groups, including the Transportation Group. At the same time, he was active in both financings and mergers and acquisitions across many industries, providing strategic advice, negotiating terms, directing due diligence and arranging financing, both public and private.
Dan received a Bachelors of Science degree from Kenyon College, a Juris Doctor degree from Temple University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
John R. Poeta, Managing Director
John is a Managing Director in the firm’s Philadelphia office. During the course of his professional career John has managed over 40 transactions. Prior to joining Bryant Park in 2008, John managed his own financial consulting firm; was a founding member of two regional investment banks (Griffin Financial and PM Securities);and a partner in two regional law firms (Mesirov Gelman and Stevens & Lee).
During his career John has handled numerous transactions ranging in value from $5 million to $200 million. John’s experience includes, acting as financial advisor to a privately held, $60 million specialty chemical manufacturer facing financial difficulties. He raised $26 million consisting of a revolver and term loan, a mezzanine facility and equity. He served as financial and strategic advisor to a start-up digital television network seeking growth capital to expand its offerings across new media platforms – IPTV and mobile distribution. He also sold a minority interest in Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc. to Chartwell Investments II LLC. (See Buyouts, vol. 16, No. 9, April 28, 2003.) In addition, John has extensive experience in a variety of commercial finance transactions as he served as East coast counsel to FINOVA Capital Corporation, one of the nation’s largest commercial lenders, representing nine of 13 lending divisions in a variety of situations over an eight-year period (1993-2001); negotiating multiple financing facilities, workouts and restructurings and managing the sale of numerous businesses.
John also held numerous positions of responsibility with a variety of professional and community organizations, including, but not limited to: Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association (2003-2005); Adjunct Professor of Management, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University (2007).
John earned his BS from Gettysburg College; J.D. from the Rutgers University School of Law – Camden; and LL.M (Tax) from Temple University School of Law. John is a member of the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and is a FINRA -registered securities principal.
Ed Wu, Managing Director
Ed brings over 15 years of finance and investment expertise to bear for his clients, having garnered significant experience in leadership roles from a range of top investment banks and hedge funds. Prior to joining BPC, he served as Managing Director of the Capital Structure and Convertible Arbitrage Fund at Harbert Management Corp., a $20 billion alternative asset management firm consisting of private equity, real estate and hedge fund strategies. Ed had previously managed risk arbitrage and distressed credit hedge fund portfolios at Reservoir Capital Group LLC (a $6 billion private equity, hedge fund seeder and special situation strategies hedge fund), where he also served on numerous Ad Hoc and Official Creditor/Bondholder and Equityholder Committees for Chapter 11 reorganizations.
Prior to hedge fund portfolio management, Ed served as an M&A investment banker and restructuring advisor for a total of approximately seven years at Salomon Smith Barney Inc., CRT Capital Group and Merrill Lynch & Co. During his tenure, he helped advise on over 20 completed transactions for companies with a total enterprise value of greater than $15 billion in aggregate. He completed transactions as a generalist investment banker in a range of industries and transaction types, including cash and stock mergers, divestitures, LBO’s for private equity sponsors, distressed restructurings, Section 363 asset sales, Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganizations, IPO’s and follow-on offerings.
Ed graduated magna cum laude from Duke University with an A.B. in English Literature and received a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He also holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 79 & 63 Licenses.
Dan J. Avnir
Dan is a Managing Director at Bryant Park Capital’s New York Office and has 10 years of investment banking, sales, and international business experience. Dan joined Bryant Park Capital in August 2010 and is focused on assisting the firm’s managing directors identify, manage and execute corporate finance and M&A engagements across a variety of industries.
Prior to joining BPC, Dan was the founder of WDG Capital Management, a boutique advisory group focused on project finance. At WDG, Dan completed a wide range of assignments in Latin America and other emerging markets. Dan began his career as an associate at Parker Boston, a boutique investment bank focused on small cap and lower middle market transactions. There, Dan was responsible for new business development, investment analysis, and execution.
Prior to Parker Boston, Dan was the co-founder of DC Pet, a manufacturing company focused on novelty pet items. DC Pet invented several items, and was successfully able to penetrate numerous domestic markets in their first year of operations. Dan started his career at Affiliated Computer Services as a consultant in their Financial Securities and Services group. As part of Dan’s notable experience, he participated in a Habitat For Humanity global village program and helped build a 200 home community in Guarai, Brazil. He also studied abroad in Seville, Spain.
Dan received his undergraduate degree in International Business from the University of Buffalo and earned an MBA from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. Dan sits on the board of the Jeffrey Alan Goldstein Memorial Fund and is very active in several charities. Dan is conversant in Spanish and Hebrew.
Ksenia Elistratova, Vice President
Ksenia is a Vice President at Bryant Park Capital’s New York Office and has over 10 years of experience in investment banking, accounting, and corporate law. Ksenia joined Bryant Park Capital in October 2011 and is focused on assisting the firm’s managing directors identify, manage and execute M&A and capital raising transactions.
Prior to joining BPC, Ksenia was a partner at Veriticus Inc., an investment firm focused on equity and distressed consumer debt investments. Prior to that, Ksenia was an associate at JPMorgan’s Energy Investment Banking group in New York where she represented corporate clients and financial sponsors in a number of buy-side and sell-side M&A engagements, equity and debt capital offerings. Prior to JPMorgan, Ksenia was an audit consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ksenia started her career as a corporate attorney in Russia.
Ksenia earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and received her undergraduate degree from the International Academy of Business and Banking, Russia. Ksenia is a native Russian speaker.
William Miner, Senior Associate
Bill joined Bryant Park Capital as an Analyst in June 2011 and is based in the firm’s New York office. He brings extensive early and venture stage experience to the firm.
Prior to joining Bryant Park, Bill worked for Cape Venture Partners in Cape Town, South Africa and Mekong Ventures in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. While there, he worked on a variety of venture assignments, performing due diligence for potential opportunities, as well as developing current portfolio companies. In Vietnam, he was also involved in a bid to establish the Domino’s Pizza master franchise in the country. Bill has also worked as a research analyst at First Fax, an events-driven daily investment newsletter in New York.
Bill has a BA from Emory University with a major in Economics and minors in Music and Sociology. Bill is a FINRA registered representative (Series 79 and 63).