Gregory J. Corona
Chairman & Founder
Greg is the Chairman and Founder of Lakewood & Company, the successor entity to Lakewood Capital which he founded in 2005. Greg has more than 30 years of operating and investment experience as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director in the areas of manufacturing, technology, financial services, private equity and venture capital. He has been the lead principal or a participant in more than 50 institutional investments and transactions across various industries in the United States, Europe and China. Greg was also an Executive Advisor to DE Shaw where he provided operational and strategic assistance to numerous investments in the Industrials and Special Situations sectors. He was one of the original partners of Paladin Capital Group, a multi-stage private equity firm with over $1 billion under management and currently serves as a member of the Boards of Directors of certain Lakewood investments.
Greg received a Bachelors Degree in Finance from Michigan State University and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Detroit. He has completed Executive Education Programs at the Harvard Business School and the National Association of Corporate Directors where he received the Certificate of Director Education.
Operating Partner – Financial Services
Jim has over 29 years as a senior executive in the electronic payments and financial services industries. He has served as an executive in the Merchant Services Division of Bank of America and subsequently as Senior Vice President of Product, Technology and Marketing for BA Merchant Services, Inc., where he led the IPO and contributed to the creation of more than $1 billion of market value. In 1999, he became a founder of Merchant e-Solutions, Inc. (“MeS”), an electronic payments technology company, which was sold to Cielo S.A. in 2012 for $670 million. Since the sale of MeS, Jim has maintained his engagement in the electronic payments and financial services industries and is active as a member of several Board of Directors. He is also an investor and advisor to several early and middle stage companies in financial services including businesses in both Brazil and the United Kingdom.
Jim graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Dr. Paul A. Conley
Dr. Conley is a Managing Director at Paladin Capital Group, where he leads new investments and serves as an active Director on many of Paladin’s portfolio company Boards. He joined Paladin after more than 15 years of previous R&D and entrepreneurial experience. As founding CEO of BrightScale, Dr. Conley led the commercialization of a patented multi-core microprocessor technology in the HDTV market. As founding CEO of Appfluent Technology, he led the commercialization of patented in-memory distributed database technologies in the enterprise IT market. Prior to taking the entrepreneurial route, he spent nearly a decade in multidisciplinary R&D roles in the areas of high-performance computing, applied physics and biomedical engineering, including postdoctoral positions at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Dr. Conley earned a Ph.D. in Computational Physics and an M.S. in Bioengineering from UC San Diego, as well as an M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Bradley R. Corona
Brad is a Partner at Vertical Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley-based VC firm, where he focuses on the execution of early-stage venture capital investments in enterprise technology companies. He has more than 13 years of investment and corporate advisory experience with institutions and family offices, including roles as an investment banker, entrepreneur and investment professional. Prior to working with VVP and Lakewood, Brad worked with multiple family offices on the execution of early-stage investments in the areas of technology and healthcare. Previously, he was the CEO of an e-commerce business based in New York. He began his career as an investment banker at Jefferies in the New York office, where he spent six years in the Financial Sponsors and Healthcare groups on capital raising, advisory and M&A engagements.
Brad received his BA in Business Economics from Brown University.
Christopher J. Hagan
Outside Counsel, Perkins Coie LLP
Christopher Hagan is a Partner at Perkins Coie, LLP and serves as outside legal counsel and advisor to Lakewood. Mr. Hagan focuses his practice in the areas of private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, growth equity investments and general corporate law, with a specialty in representing portfolio companies of private equity funds. Chris has more than 25 years of experience representing private equity investment funds, hedge funds, family offices, fundless sponsors, mezzanine investors and institutional investors. He works with fund clients embarking on leveraged buyouts and buildups, industry consolidations and related formation documents, debt and equity financings, management equity arrangements, venture financings and divestitures. Mr. Hagan has worked on more than 350 mergers and acquisitions and has represented more 75 portfolio companies of private equity funds in his career.
Mr. Hagan earned a JD from Duke University and a B.A. in Economics and Management from Albion College.
Faustina Lau is Executive Assistant at Lakewood & Company. She brings more than 10 years of administrative experience in a variety of settings to her work. Prior to joining Lakewood, Faustina worked for a technology company specializing in Cyber Security. She also worked for a luxury retail company, and began her career in Human Resources.
Faustina received a BA in Rhetoric from University of California, Berkeley. She also received a MPA from Cal State East Bay.
Strategic Advisor – Life Sciences and Healthcare
Mr. Katz has been President of Steven Katz & Associates, Inc., a management consulting firm, for 35 years. As a result of his extensive experience, he provides a broad range of life science/healthcare-related advisory services, strategic guidance, assists in the development of strategic alliances and licensing transactions, and raises capital. He has also performed thirteen corporate turnaround assignments in the life science/healthcare space as CEO/COO, including U.S. and foreign companies, both public and privately-held. Mr. Katz has completed in excess of 60 strategic alliance and licensing transactions, has been a director of several public and privately-held companies and also participated in three proxy contests. His prior C-suite experience includes Citigroup, National Patent Development Corporation, Revlon, in addition to prior experience at PWC.
Mr. Katz graduated from the City College of New York with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting.
Strategic Advisor – Industrials & Software
Anil S. Menawat is President and COO of Menawat & Co., a provider of People Centric Industry 4.0 software and business advisory services to improve performance and profitability. He has 35 years of experience in manufacturing, chemical, pharmaceutical, software and consulting industries. Anil was an Assistant Professor at Tulane University with joint appointments in Chemical Engineering and Molecular & Cellular Biology, a Senior Manager, Advanced Manufacturing Technology and New Business Development at Aeroquip Corp., where he successfully applied the ProFIT-MAP™ concepts that played a key role in creating new businesses and a new division for Advanced Computer Technologies.
Anil received a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Systems Theory. He has co-authored two and has published over 25 articles in scientific and trade journals. He was profiled by Business Week magazine for his pioneering work on nonlinear systems theory and is listed in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. Anil has chaired several national and international symposiums and conferences and has served on National Science Foundation technology panel.
An Associate at Lakewood & Company in the firm’s Atlanta office is an integral part of investment underwriting, financial analysis and portfolio company support. Previously a Senior Investment Analyst at Songy Highroads, an Atlanta real estate investment company where he was responsible for underwriting and structuring real estate projects. Graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Finance and a Juris Doctor, with an emphasis on securities and corporate law.
Strategic Advisor – Financial Systems & Capital Markets
Brandon Stanford is a seasoned finance executive known for driving operational efficiencies and creating shareholder value. He brings a diverse industry perspective from holding senior finance positions in both public and private companies as well as a variety of industries including manufacturing, hospitality and human capital management. Brandon’s portfolio of companies include Callaway Golf Company, Marriott International, American Capital and Eastridge Workforce Solutions.
Brandon received a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management with a focus on International Finance from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
Strategic Advisor – Automotive and Industrials
Sanjeev Varma is a professional Investment Banker and currently a Senior Advisor to the Chicago-based Investment Bank Lincoln International. Previously he was a Managing Director with Teneo Capital in New York, a Senior Advisor with Duff & Phelps in Detroit and Senior Advisor to Chanin Capital Partners in Los Angeles. He has 35 years of experience; 20 years in Corporate and 15 years in Consulting and Investment Banking. Sanjeev has provided analysis/evaluation of companies to Bond Holders, Private Equity and Hedge Funds and consulting services to numerous industrial companies. During his two decades in the auto industry he has worked in senior positions at Magna Corporation, New Venture Gear and Chrysler Corp and visited more than 300 Engineering Design and Manufacturing facilities worldwide. He started his professional working career with Chrysler Corporation in 1984.
Sanjeev has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in India, and a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University. He has completed Executive Education Programs in Finance & Marketing at Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania.
Strategic Advisor – Software and Infrastructure
Chetan is CEO and President of Macrometa Corp. and a repeat entrepreneur and executive focused on building enterprise data center, cloud infrastructure and software products & companies. He brings a strong competency in helping early stage teams identify and exploit product-market fit, develop early customer wins, develop strong channel and enterprise direct sales motions for scaling startups from pre-revenue to growth stage and profitability. Chetan is very experienced in building strong and productive teams in sales, product development, product management, stage centric positioning with customers and partners, venture scaling and capital raising.
Prior to founding and managing Macrometa, Chetan was founder, CTO and then CEO of Atlantis Computing – a pioneering software defined storage company that won international acclaim for its use of smart data virtualization to accelerate and deliver data tor mission critical applications to the Fortune 1000.
Operating Partner, Fin Tech, Money Transfers, BPO
Nabil is a growth-oriented and multi-disciplinary CEO with a career built on leveraging strategy, technology and people to transform and scale businesses. He spent twelve years at Western Union, helping it grow it to a multi-billion dollar public company working from locations in the U.S., Beirut, Dubai, Paris and Brussels. He was the General Manager of several WU businesses including Vigo and Orlandi Valuta.
Nabil became the CEO of Omnex, a venture capital funded Money Transfer startup which grew through nine acquisitions to become a major player in the money remittance industry. He launched a suite of products on the Omnex platform including prepay, wallets, C2B and B2B payments. He became the CEO of CommerceGate, a payment processing company with a differentiated e-commerce offering that significantly improved conversions and sales while lowering risk. Nabil was then recruited to ACT Holdings as the CEO, a $30MM student loan Account Receivable Management company which he led to become an industry-leading $400M+ diversified BPO. He later joined QLess, a SaaS software management company as President and led two rounds of capital raising while doubling revenue in two years.
A U.S. citizen of Lebanese and Russian heritage, Kabbani studied economics and holds an MBA in finance from the American University of Beirut.