Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Darren began his career at Foothill Capital in New York. From 1996-2010, he managed Originations in four national offices and Canada as an Executive Vice President helping to build the Asset Based and Specialty Finance loan portfolios.
Between 2010 and 2015, he led the acquisition of Gibraltar Financial Corporation, a small portfolio of collateralized loans. While at Gibraltar Capital Holdings, he built the company into a diversified commercial finance business comprised of an Asset based lender, Factor, and Merchant Cash Advance platform. As CEO and co-founder of Gibraltar, he developed the growth and product strategy, and built an experienced Credit Team, Operational Group, and a Direct Originations team producing a significant amount of originations across the three business lines.
Darren graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1996 and lives with his wife and three daughters outside of Chicago.
Tim Gottfried, CFA
Co-Founder & Senior Managing Director
Tim Gottfried is Senior Managing Director and co-founder of Stonegate Capital. Prior to forming Stonegate, Tim was an Officer and Director at CDW Corporation, where he orchestrated a rapid balance sheet de-leveraging and cost of capital reduction strategy, which drove significant earnings growth over 5 years. Tim structured and issued over $15 billion of debt and equity; including CDW's initial public offering and listing on NASDAQ. Tim's 20+ years of finance experience, including Stonegate and CDW, encompasses senior originations, structuring, and underwriting of cashflow, asset-based, and growth credit with such market-leading firms as Cerberus Capital Management, JP Morgan Chase, and William Blair.
A CFA charter holder, Tim has a BS in engineering from Georgia Tech (Honors) and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Prior to Ross, Tim served in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Cryptology Officer.
Managing Director & Head of Underwriting
Tony began his career at Wells Fargo Capital Finance in 2008 as a collateral examiner focused on a wide array of industries and loan structures. While there, he worked on more than 120 loans representing over $5B of credit. In 2013, Tony joined Gibraltar Business Capital as a senior underwriter in their asset based lending group. During his tenure, he worked on a number of specialty finance transactions including technology, software, and re-discount loans.
In 2014, Tony became a senior underwriter at First Midwest Bank and enrolled at the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business where he’ll earn his MBA in 2017. As a Managing Director – Head of Underwriting at Stonegate Capital Holdings, Tony is responsible for loan execution, on-boarding of customers, and legal documentation, as well as strategy around growth of the loan portfolio, industry focus, and credit policy.
Tony graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007 and is active in TMA, CFA, and ACG.
Head of Originations
Andrea is a 15-year investment industry veteran having started her career at Prudential Capital Group in 2001 where she focused on the origination and management of the MidWest region's portfolio comprised of senior unsecured and mezzanine investments. She joined Wells Fargo Capital Finance in 2005 where she was responsible for originating and executing senior secured loans into private equity backed, public, and private owned companies. Her experience spans a significant range of end markets and industries, including manufacturing, consumer products, automotive, technology, and industrials.
As a Managing Director, Originations at Stonegate Capital, she is responsible for originating opportunistic collateral backed credit to primarily private equity backed businesses across the country. Andrea holds a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan, where she also served as captain of the nationally ranked Division I swim team. Outside of the office, she loves staying active by biking, running, and swimming in order to keep up with her son and twin daughters.
Heather La Freniere
Managing Director, Head of Emerging Growth and Technology
Heather began her career in financial services at Wells Fargo Bank (fka Norwest Bank) in 1992 as part of the credit and sales training program. Following five years working with Latin America at Wells and subsequently, ABN Amro, Heather transitioned to investment banking focused on capital raising for companies ranging from lower middle market through investment grade. After ten years in investment banking, Heather moved into origination roles at Wells Fargo Capital Finance (WFCF) and later Castle Pines Capital (IT finance company ultimately acquired by WFCF). In 2012, Heather joined Gibraltar Business Capital to lead the Sales & Marketing team; as part of the management team she helped build the company into a well-known national commercial finance company. Prior to joining Stonegate, Heather led the Corporate Finance practice in the Midwest region for Silicon Valley Bank.
At Stonegate, Heather is responsible for development of investment strategy, branding, as well as origination of new lending relationships with emerging growth companies in both the food & beverage and software space.
Heather graduated with a BS in International Business and Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received an MBA in Finance from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. When not chasing her three kids and two dogs around the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Mike, she is usually feverishly training for some kind of road race or triathlon, having completed 5 Ironman Triathlons and 8 marathons during her racing career.
Managing Director, Credit and Operations
Ryan is responsible for managing credit, collateral monitoring, loan accounting, and treasury. Ryan began his commercial lending career in 2002 at GE Capital. He has also held various credit and operational roles at Wintrust, Bridge Finance Group, Gibraltar Business Capital, and Wells Fargo. Ryan has extensive credit and operational experience spanning a broad range of commercial debt products including asset based, cash flow, health care, factoring, and rediscount.
Ryan holds a BA in Finance from Michigan State University and an MBA from DePaul University. He lives in Glenview, Illinois with his wife and two children.
Jay Fabian, CFA
Jay began his career at Wells Fargo in 2007 as an internal auditor, a role in which his focus was operational risk consulting and mitigation. He then transitioned to the wholesale banking world in 2011, where he focused on treasury management sales and financial analysis within the middle market banking group covering a portfolio of loans with credit commitments totaling over $1.5 billion. After graduating from the bank’s associate program in 2014, Jay joined Wells Fargo Capital Finance to originate middle market asset-based loans with credit commitments ranging from $5-35 million.
As a Director of Originations at Stonegate Capital, Jay is responsible for covering the national third party referral network to originate opportunistic collateral-backed credits.
Jay is a CFA charterholder, and holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from University of Iowa. Outside of work, Jay is an avid sports fan, and enjoys traveling and dining out with his wife Megan.
Vice President, Originations
Garett began his career in PNC’s Asset Based Lending group, leading due diligence engagements of prospective middle market and large corporate borrowers. From 2014 through 2016, Garett was on assignment as a Business Analyst in PNC’s London office, conducting business reviews of middle market clients in PNC’s UK portfolio. Upon returning in the United States in 2016, Garett joined PNC Business Credit’s Upper Midwest Private Equity Originations team, where he provided support originating, structuring, and closing senior debt facilities to finance private equity sponsor initiated mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, and recapitalizations.
At Stonegate Capital, Garett is responsible for new business development within the Private Equity community across Stonegate’s nationwide footprint. Garett holds a BS in Business Administration & Management from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.
Mike Hare, CFA, CPA
Director & Controller
Mike began his career at Ernst & Young in 2011 as an auditor where he provided assurance services to clients in various industries around the Chicagoland area. Prior to joining Stonegate Capital Holdings, Mike was the treasury supervisor at CDW where he focused on matters pertaining to capital structure and cash management. At Stonegate, Mike is responsible for managing financial operations and investor relations.
Mike is a CFA charterholder, registered CPA, and holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he also competed on their Division I swim team.
Dan began his career in 2011 as a credit analyst in MB Financial Bank’s Leadership Development Program where he rotated through various commercial and industrial lending groups underwriting new loan opportunities for prospects and renewals for existing clients. Upon completion of the LDP program, Dan was placed in the bank’s workout group and managed a portfolio of distressed loans. In 2015, he joined Gibraltar Business Capital’s asset based lending originations team, where he worked collaboratively with the business development officers to review new opportunities and creatively structure loan packages for prospects.
At Stonegate Capital, Dan is responsible for reviewing, underwriting and executing new transactions as well as managing client relationships. Dan graduated with a BS in Business from Miami University, where he competed on the club golf team. Outside of the office, Dan is an avid sports fan and enjoys traveling and being outdoors.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS & ADVISORS
Founding Partner, Virgo Investments
Mack McNair is a Founding Partner at Virgo, managing the Firm’s Specialty Finance business. Mack has over twenty-five years of experience in the private credit markets and special situations investing. Prior to joining Virgo, Mack was responsible for investment activities ranging from senior debt through equity for the Principal Finance Group at Silver Point Capital, where he worked with several Virgo team members. At Silver Point, Mack led the private-side investing business for the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions and focused on financial services and investment themes. Prior to joining Silver Point, he was a Senior Managing Director at CIT, leading the firm's national Special Situations coverage team. Mack previously worked in Wachovia's Corporate Banking Group, where he originated, underwrote and managed middle-market bank debt and related products. Mack earned his BS in finance from Florida State University and is a Board Member of the Atlanta chapter of the Turnaround Management Association. Mack is a member of the Virgo investment committee.
Founding Partner, Virgo Investments
Chris MacDonald is a Founding Partner at Virgo, leading the Firm’s Risk Management, and Portfolio Review Committee. Chris has over twenty-five years of experience in the private credit markets and special situations investing. Prior to joining Virgo, Chris was a Co-Head of the Principal Finance Group at Silver Point Capital, where he worked with several Virgo team members. Over a five-year period with Silver Point, Chris helped build an investment portfolio of over $3.5 billion and managed over fifty people in five offices across the United States. Chris headed the firm's Originations team and served on the firm’s deal review committee. Prior to joining Silver Point, Chris spent eight years at Wells Fargo Foothill, where he started their New York office in 1996 and ran originations offices in Chicago and Boston. Prior to Wells Fargo, Chris held various roles over a six-year period with the Financial Restructuring Group of CIT Business Credit in New York. Chris earned his BS from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Former Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo Capital Finance
A 40-year veteran of the lending industry, Mr. Schwab retired in 2011 as Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo Capital Finance, a leading provider of traditional asset-based lending and other specialized senior secured financing vehicles to companies nationwide. While at Wells Fargo, he grew the asset base from $100 million to $30 billion. Mr. Schwab was also a member of the Wells Fargo Bank Management Committee. During his 28-year tenure with the organization he served in various senior roles with Wells Fargo Capital Finance and predecessor entities (including Foothill Capital Corporation).
Mr. Schwab currently serves on the Board of Directors of TCP Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: TCPC), a public registered investment company, Rexford Industrial Realty (NYSE: REXR), as well as the boards of several private companies. He additionally serves on the boards of many not-for-profit organizations, which support education, health, and the arts. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from California State University, Northridge and his master’s degree in education administration from California State University, Los Angeles.
Managing Director, Kavanah & HPF Service, Virgo Affiliates
Chris Coutu has nearly twenty five years of middle market lending experience. Most recently he was a Senior Vice President and Team Leader in charge of the Special Assets Group at Textron Financial and responsible for the disposition of in excess of $2 Billion of real estate, ABL, factoring, rediscount, and healthcare loans. Prior to joining Textron, Chris was employed as a Vice President at Cerberus Capital Management where he originated, underwrote, and managed middle market loans. Prior to this position he was a founding member of Cratos Capital Partners and member of its senior management team. Before joining Cratos, Mr. Coutu was employed at Wells Fargo Foothill for nearly twelve years, most recently serving as a Senior Vice President and Business Development Officer. In his previous seven years at WFF, Chris held various portfolio management positions, with increasing responsibility. In his last position as Vice President, Assistant Loan Portfolio Management he led a team of three account executives where he was responsible for a $350 million middle market loan portfolio. Chris began his career at KPMG in Providence, RI where he worked in the Audit and Tax Departments for two years. Subsequently, Chris transitioned to Fleet Bank’s – ABL Division, where he worked in the Field Exam group for two years providing collateral audits for existing and prospective borrowers. Chris is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of Bryant University.
Charles C. Reardon
Mr. Reardon is an experienced investment banker, business executive, former New York lawyer and multiple company board member who has more than 25 years of expertise in directing operational and financial restructurings, healthy and distressed M&A, debt and equity capital financing and real estate development. His extensive experience includes conceptualizing and executing complex commercial, legal and financial transactions with multiple stakeholders and changes in control and capital structures. He has advised public and private companies across a broad spectrum of industries including defense, financial services, hospitality, manufacturing, mining, technology, telecommunications, real estate and retail.
Mr. Reardon is currently a Managing Director and Head of Restructuring at Cypress Associates, a New York
investment bank. He is also the founder and CEO of Asgaard Capital, LLC, which provides special situations fiduciary and consulting services.
Prior to founding Asgaard Capital, Mr. Reardon was a Partner in the investment banking division of Carl Marks & Co., the middle-market merchant bank headquartered in New York. Before that, he was a Director with Houlihan Lokey and a member of their globally recognized Financial Restructuring Group. He led Houlihan’s Distressed Mergers & Acquisitions Practice in the mid-Atlantic region.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Reardon also regularly served as interim CEO or COO for portfolio companies on behalf of two privately held investment entities active in M&A and real estate development.
Mr. Reardon began his career on Wall Street with the legal firm of Lane & Mittendorf (now Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf) specializing in corporate finance, general corporate and real estate law.
Mr. Reardon has been named among the nation’s top debtor investment bankers by Bankruptcy Insider. Recognition for his transactions includes Retail Products & Services Turnaround of the Year (Turnaround Atlas Awards), Professional Services Deal of the Year (M&A Advisor) and Middle Market Financing of the Year (M&A Advisor).
A frequent industry speaker and expert panelist, Mr. Reardon holds Series 7, Series 79 and Series 63 licenses with FINRA. He has served on the boards of a number of public and privately held companies, including most recently with WCI Communities Inc. (NYSE: WCIC), a Florida based homebuilder, where he also served on the audit and corporate governance committees until WCI was sold to Lennar in February of 2016 at a 37% premium.
Mr. Reardon holds a B.A. with highest distinction from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Founding Partner of Goldberg Kohn
Principal at Bridge Investments—a Chicago-based private equity and venture capital firm. Bob has served as a board director and advisor to various Bridge portfolio companies, including currently as a board director to QDiscovery and formerly for FreightWatch and PV Media Group. Prior to Bridge, Bob was a founding partner of Goldberg Kohn, one of Chicago’s premier law firms, and, one of the top asset based lending practices in the US. He received a B.A. cum laude from Cornell University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
President of Lakewest, Inc., Founder of Belgravia Group, Ltd.
and a Principal of Ruttenberg, Gilmartin & Reis LLC.
Mr. Ruttenberg completed his undergraduate course work at Cornell University and received a J.D., cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law. He also pursued post-graduate studies in economics at London University, School of Economics. For more than 40 years, The Ruttenberg family has been actively involved in investing across many industries, serving on an array of boards. Buzz is the President of Belgravia Group, one of Chicago’s leading real estate development companies.
Principal at Bridge Investments
As Principal of Bridge Investments, a Chicago-based private equity and venture capital firm, Daniel has served or currently serves as a Board Director to Stonegate Capital, QDiscovery, Prime Visibility Media Group, FreightWatch International and as a managing member to other Bridge portfolio companies. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan.
Principal at Bridge Investments
As Principal at Bridge Investments, Jason currently serves as a Board Director to Stonegate Capital and QDiscovery.
Prior to joining Bridge, Jason was a Vice President at Red Barn Investments, a Chicago-based private equity/venture capital firm where he served as a Board Director for SCO Logistics, Inc. and CoreXchange, Inc. He holds a BA in Economics and Management from Albion College.