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Meet The Team Behind ITE Management.

Leading industrial transport across investment and operations.

ITE’s firm leaders combine expertise in investment management, entrepreneurship, and private equity across assets, portfolio-construction, and risk. The team is built to blend operating skills across asset verticals with cross-functional financial and strategic support.

Executive Leadership
Jason Koenig
Managing Partner
David Smilow
Founding Partner
Senior Investment Professionals and Operating Partners
Adam Alpert
Head of Risk Management, Research, and Trading, Managing Director
Peter Appel
Head of Rail, Managing Director
Jennifer Polli
Head of Intermodal, Senior Operating Partner, Managing Director
Steve Mason
Head of Aviation, Managing Director
James Unger
Chairman Emeritus, Senior Operating Partner, Rail
Joel Biran
Head of Strategic Transactions, Managing Director
Eric Eng
Portfolio Management, Vice President, Rail
Seve Franceschelli
Intermodal, Director
Josh Glikin
Strategic Transactions, Vice President
Kurt Higginbotham
Senior Operating Partner, Rail
Ryan Jasinski
Head of Aviation Origination, Director
Peter O’Malley
Fleet Operations, Vice President, Rail
Chris Rieman
Capital Markets, Director
John Shavinsky
Operating Partner, Aviation
Gokce Tezel
Operating Partner, Rail
Steven Unger
Operating Partner, Rail
Business Management Leadership
Peter Andresén
Chief Technology Officer & Chief Data Scientist, Managing Director
Deirdre Brady
General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer, Managing Director
Matthew Brand
Chief Operating Officer, Managing Director
Lisette Farah
Chief Financial Officer, Managing Director
Rachel Lemberg
Head of Business Development and Investor Relations (BDIR), Managing Director
Elliot Becker
Tax, Director
Evan Carter
Head of Financial Planning and Analysis, Vice President
Shenhui Fang
Accounting Manager, Vice President
Morgan Garcia
Engineering Mgr, Data Management, Vice President
Meredith Gano
Investor Relations, Vice President
Joseph Gervasi
Head of Information Technology, Director
Blair Hecht
Head of Organizational Management, Director
Daniel Lee
Controller, Director
Stephanie Leichter
Head of Human Capital, Director
Konstantinos Vamvourellis
Data Scientist, Director

Jason Koenig

Managing Partner

Jason Koenig has spent his career working in private equity and asset management as both a principal investor and an advisor. As a principal investor at Hale Capital Partners, Avenue Capital, and Versa Capital Partners, Jason led investments targeting undervalued or distressed companies and assets where he took an active role in working with management to execute on their operating and growth plans. His investments ranged across a variety of industries including industrial, manufacturing, metals, mining, financial, telecommunications, robotics, and consumer and retail. Prior to his investment career, Jason worked at Kirkland & Ellis and Cooley Godward, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, bankruptcy acquisitions, and general corporate law.

Education

Jason earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton Business School, a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He has served on and advised both profit and not-for-profit boards and lectured at the Wharton Business School.

 

David Smilow

Founding Partner

David Smilow throughout his career has successfully built companies and investment management businesses and managed portfolios of alternative fixed income assets and secured investments, including railcars, real estate securities, and distressed assets. David founded and served as Chairman of Jefferson National Financial (“JNF”), an insurance company with over USD $2 billion of assets, which was sold to Citibank in 2011. In addition, David co-founded, and served as Chairman, CEO and CIO of TeleBanc (now E*Trade Bank), which became the largest Internet bank worldwide before its sale to E*Trade in 1999. Prior to founding TeleBanc, he began his career as a fixed income portfolio manager and trader at Goldman Sachs and Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Education

David received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He serves on numerous non-profit and corporate boards and lectures at Harvard Business School.

Adam Alpert

Head of Risk Management, Research, and Trading, Managing Director

Adam Alpert has 25 years of wide-ranging experience in the financial industry. Previous to joining ITE, Adam founded the trading firm Synergy Capital Holdings, which specialized in trading options, equities, commodities, and futures. As sole Managing Partner for eleven years, he was responsible for risk management and originating trading strategies. He recruited, trained, and managed traders at all levels. He oversaw the firm’s governance, led the compliance team, as well as managing the relationships with investors. Adam started the foundation of his career at Susquehanna International Group where he was the head trader for the West Coast branch. He also taught the Susquehanna education program while in San Francisco. After leaving Susquehanna, he became the Portfolio Manager for Evolution Capital Management.

Education

Adam attended the University of Michigan, where he earned his Business Degree from the Michigan BBA program. He currently sits on the board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Peter Appel

Head of Rail, Managing Director

Peter Appel has worked in financial services for 20 years, the majority of which involved in banking and fixed income securities. Most recently, Peter served as a Director of Credit for E*TRADE bank’s $20B Securities portfolio. Prior to that, Peter was Director of Secondary Marketing for E*TRADE bank, which involved managing an origination platform of first and second lien mortgages. Prior to that, Peter served as VP of Business Development for Jefferson National Financial. Peter began his career as a portfolio manager for TeleBanc’s $5B bank portfolio, the first and largest internet bank until its sale to E*TRADE in 1999.

Education

Peter earned his B.A. from Franklin Pierce College.

Jennifer Polli

Head of Intermodal, Senior Operating Partner, Managing Director

Jennifer Polli has spent the last twenty years of her career in various investment and operating roles in the intermodal transportation sector. Prior to joining ITE, Jennifer led TRAC Intermodal, North America’s leading intermodal marine chassis leasing and management company, as President and CEO. Prior to serving as CEO, she was a key member of TRAC’s executive team leading a multitude of asset acquisitions as well as key commercial and operating business functions. Prior to TRAC, Jennifer was a Vice President in Fortress Investment Group’s transportation and infrastructure private equity practice, where she focused on intermodal investments. Prior to Fortress, Jennifer was a Managing Director in the corporate finance/restructuring practice at FTI Consulting providing financial and operational advisory services to companies in the transportation and retail sectors.

Education

Jennifer earned an MBA in finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business and a B.A. from Tufts University.

Steve Mason

Head of Aviation, Managing Director

Steve Mason has 20+ years of aviation experience in aircraft investing, business operations, portfolio strategy, and asset valuations. Most recently, he served as Head of OEM for Avolon, one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing firms, where he managed a $14B diversified aircraft order book across aircraft and airframe and engine equipment. Prior to Avolon, Steve was Head of Asset Strategy and Aircraft Evaluation for CIT Group’s aircraft leasing business responsible for asset strategy, investment, and aircraft valuations. Prior to CIT, Steve spent over ten years at Rolls-Royce expanding their aviation engines business including their JV partnership, International Aero Engines, building relationships with major Western European airlines and the world’s largest aircraft leasing firms.

Education

Steve received his Bachelor in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Limerick in Ireland and completed executive management courses at INSEAD and Cranfield.

James Unger

Chairman Emeritus, Senior Operating Partner, Rail

James Unger has over 40 years of diverse business experience in the construction of facilities, manufacturing, selling, financing and full service leasing of rail transportation equipment. James co-founded American Railcar Industries, Inc. and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of American Railcar Industries, Inc. from 1995 to 2009. At ACF Industries Inc. he served as its President from 1988 to 1995 and as its Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer from 1984 to 1988 and on its board of directors from August 1993 to March 2005. He managed the railcar leasing and fleet services division and expanded ACF’s lease fleet division to one of the industry’s most diverse and profitable companies. James previously worked for Price Waterhouse and Co. from 1970 to 1973 and is a CPA (retired status) licensed in the state of Missouri. He is one of the founders of Ohio Castings LLC, a partnership between Greenbrier Companies and Amsted Industries. The partnership owns and operates manufacturing facilities that produces cast undercarriage equipment for the railcar building industries.

Education

James received an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University Of Missouri (Columbia).

Joel Biran

Head of Strategic Transactions, Managing Director

Joel Biran has over 25 years of experience as a principal investor in private equity, restructuring and operations. Most recently, Joel was co-head of middle market special situations at DW Partners, where he co-managed the firm’s illiquid special situations investments. Prior to DW Partners, Joel was Managing Director at Versa Capital Management, originating, leading, underwriting, structuring and managing special situations investments across different sectors.

Education

Joel received a B.A. in Accounting and Economics from the University of Tel Aviv and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Eric Eng

Portfolio Management, Vice President, Rail

Eric has been working in the financial services industry for over 3 years. Starting his career at J.P. Morgan in a rotational program focusing on process improvement, project management, business analytics and risk & control. After completing the program, Eric joined a team supporting the commercial bank and was responsible for management reporting & data/financial analysis.

Education

Eric earned a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Seve Franceschelli

Intermodal, Director

Seve Franceschelli has over a decade of investing and transaction experience, both as a principal investor and as an advisor. He began his career at J.P. Morgan Asset Management where he was a fundamental long-only investment analyst for a Large Cap Value and Multi Cap Growth Equity Fund. Seve was responsible for originating equity investment theses for portfolios in the Industrials (Transports, Railroads, Airlines, Building Products), and Materials (Chemicals, Construction Materials, Agriculture, Metals & Mining) sectors. More recently, he was an investment banker at Goldin Capital Advisors (acquired by Teneo) where he worked on a variety of creditor and debtor restructuring transactions, distressed M&A, and valuation advisories.

Education

Seve received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.

Josh Glikin

Strategic Transactions, Vice President

Josh Glikin has nearly a decade of experience in private equity and investment banking. Most recently, Josh was a Principal at US InfraVest, an investment manager that spun out of Related with a focus on companies that develop, service, operate and/or manage infrastructure assets. In this role, his responsibilities included originating, performing diligence on, executing and managing investments in both operating companies and assets. Josh began his career in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs where he was an Analyst in the Financial Institutions Group and later an Associate in the Real Estate, Gaming and Lodging Group.

Education

Josh received a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College, summa cum laude.

Kurt Higginbotham

Senior Operating Partner, Rail

Kurt has more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, innovator and owner of railcars and railcar services. Prior to ITE, Kurt was CEO and President of AITX, ITE’s rail portfolio company. Before AITX, he served as Founder, President and CEO of Appalachian Railcar Services (“ARS”), a pioneering solution-provider across repair networks, railroad operations, transloading and logistics. Through Kurt’s leadership, ARS and its business entities scaled its offering to more than 30 locations, an average of 25% year-over-year growth.

Ryan Jasinski

Head of Aviation Origination, Director

Ryan has over 16 years of experience in the commercial aircraft industry, focused on leasing and financing. Before ITE, Ryan was Senior Vice President of Originations for AV AirFinance, a joint venture between KKR and Altavair Aviation Leasing. Previously, he spent 14 years at CIT as Vice President for the Financial Institutions Group. After the sale of CIT Aerospace in 2017, Ryan rejoined CIT Bank to expand its commercial aircraft lending business, responsible for originating the aviation lending business and expanding CIT’s global footprint in the aviation industry. At CIT, Ryan received the “Airline Economics’ 40 Under 40 Award.”

Education

Ryan earned a B.A. in Economics and a Minor in Business Management from St. Peter’s University.

Peter O’Malley

Fleet Operations, Vice President, Rail

Peter O’Malley has been focused on railcar maintenance operations and efficiency since 2015 and has over a decade of experience developing and improving processes through the lenses of safety, quality, delivery, and cost. Most recently, he was a Continuous Improvement Manager at GATX where he worked with leadership to develop operational strategy and deployed that strategy across the maintenance function by working hand-in-hand with front-line workers both in the office and on the shop floor. Prior to GATX, Peter held roles in quality assurance, process engineering, and project management in the automotive manufacturing industry.

Education

Peter holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering form the University of Notre Dame.

Chris Rieman

Capital Markets, Director

Chris has nearly a decade of structured finance experience that has been primarily focused in the transportation sector. Chris worked on the Treasury and Capital Markets team at The Cronos Group where he issued multiple asset-backed securitizations and managed a sizable debt platform for the San Francisco based container lessor. Most recently, he was a Vice President within the Structured Finance Group at ABN AMRO where he covered transportation clients across North America, Europe, and Asia. Throughout his career, Chris has structured and executed over $6B of non-recourse debt transactions in the container and railcar leasing markets.

Education

Chris received his B.S. from the University of Arizona.

John Shavinsky

Operating Partner, Aviation

John Shavinsky brings over thirty years of aviation industry experience to ITE Management. Previously, John was the Chief Operating Officer of Intrepid Aviation and Senior Vice President in charge of New Aircraft Acquisitions, Project Management and Technical Services at CIT Aerospace. During his time at CIT and Intrepid Aviation, John was responsible for a fleet of over 300 aircraft, managed over 400 aircraft deliveries, and negotiated the purchase of over $33 Billion of aircraft. John began his career as an engineer with Boeing Commercial Aircraft, with assignments in Flight Test, Customer Training, Flight Crew Operations and Customer Engineering. He then moved to International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), where he was Assistant Vice President responsible for aircraft configuration and purchasing.

Education

John holds a Law Degree from the Seattle University School of Law and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University. He serves on the Penn State University College of Engineering advisory board, and is a licensed commercial pilot.

Gokce Tezel

Operating Partner, Rail

Gokce has over 25 years of experience as a corporate executive, investor, and entrepreneur that extends across five continents. Prior to joining ITE, his most recent role was the President of GATX Rail International, leading GATX Corporation’s rail businesses outside the North American market and the global tank container leasing operations. During his 22-year tenure at GATX, Gokce served in various management roles, including Corporate Finance, M&A, Corporate Strategy, and Business Development responsibilities. 

Education

Gokce completed the Wharton Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Marmara in Istanbul and a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Florida. In addition, he is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has been an active member of the CFA Institute since 2002.

Steven Unger

Operating Partner, Rail

Steven Unger has over 25 years of experience ranging across corporate finance and accounting and rail business management, including operations, portfolio construction, and transactions. Most recently, Steven was President and Chief Commercial Officer at American Industrial Transport, Inc. (“AITX”) overseeing their leasing and repair business. Prior to AITX, Steven was CFO of American Railcar Leasing, a private railcar leasing company owned by Icahn Enterprises, where he was directly responsible for the execution of over $2.5B in securitized railcar financing and involved in the active management of over a 45k car fleet. Steven began his career as a Supervising Accountant at KPMG.

Education

Steven holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School and a BA in Accounting and Finance from Miami (Ohio) University and is a CPA.

Peter Andresén

Chief Technology Officer & Chief Data Scientist, Managing Director

Peter Andresén has over fifteen years of experience developing and deploying IT and data science solutions to facilitate improved investment processes and decisions for real assets.  Most recently, Peter served as Director of Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at CrowdStreet where he led the build of a tech and data science platform to support its CRE investment and B2C strategies. Prior to CrowdStreet, Peter was Head of Methodology at Risk Integrated where he led tech, data and quantitative model development for global CRE and infrastructure investment managers.

Education

Peter earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the Technical University of Denmark and the Free University of Brussels, and his M.S. in Physics from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.  He has furthermore conducted research as a Post Doc at Northwestern University.

Deirdre Brady

General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer, Managing Director

Deirdre Brady is the Firm’s General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer and has over 14 years of experience practicing law in the alternative asset management space. Prior to ITE, Deidre spent over seven years at Sculptor Capital Management, where she served as a Managing Director and General Counsel and advised on and managed all legal aspects of Sculptor Capital’s Institutional Credit Strategies platform and the formation, organization and operation of its private investment funds. Prior to that, Deirdre represented financial institutions, corporations and alternative asset managers on a variety of matters as a Senior Associate at Ashurst LLP and as an Associate with law firms Bingham McCutchen LLP and McKee Nelson LLP.

Education

Deirdre holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Matthew Brand

Chief Operating Officer, Managing Director

Matthew Brand is the Chief Operating Officer of ITE and oversees a majority of ITE’s support and operational functions. Matthew joined ITE in 2018, focusing on Transaction Execution and Capital Markets. Prior to ITE, Matthew was a Director within Credit Suisse’s Securitized Products Finance Group, providing securitization solutions to clients with esoteric and non-traditional asset portfolios. Over his career, Matthew has structured and executed non-recourse financings from various industries, including renewable & sustainable energy, hotel/lodging, insurance-related, franchise restaurants and rental car. Matthew received his B.S. from Cornell University.

Education

Matthew received his B.S. from Cornell University.

Lisette Farah

Chief Financial Officer, Managing Director

Lisette Farah has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry as an accountant and Chief Financial Officer. She managed the financial reporting, compliance and tax administration of partnerships and private equity funds for the past thirteen years. Prior to that, Lisette served as Assistant Controller for MG Metals & Commodity Corp. in New York and as a financial analyst for Alliance Bernstein.

Education

Lisette received a B.S. in Accounting from Long Island University in New York.

Rachel Lemberg

Head of Business Development and Investor Relations (BDIR), Managing Director

Rachel Lemberg has over 20 years of investment and business experience in alternatives. She joins ITE Management from Piney Lake where she was Head of LP Relations and Business Strategy. Prior to Piney Lake, Rachel was the President and Director of Investor Relations for Crestwood Capital Management, a global equity hedge fund. While there, she oversaw fundraising and investor relationships, risk management, and street relationships. Rachel spent a decade at Goldman Sachs & Co. in the Alternative Investment Manager Selection group within the Asset Management division. At Goldman Sachs, she was responsible for institutional client portfolios and manager selection across several asset classes within the alternatives landscape. Rachel started her career as an investment analyst at Centurion Investment Group, a global equity hedge fund.

Education

Rachel received her M.B.A. from New York University Stern School of Business and a B.S. from Emory University. She is also a CFA charterholder.

Elliot Becker

Tax, Director

Elliot Becker has over 20 years of experience as a tax professional within the alternative asset management industry. Most recently he was Director of Tax at Resource Capital Funds (RCF), a multi-billion private equity fund specializing in the mining space. Prior to joining RCF, he was a Director of Tax at Apollo Management, LP where he focused on all aspects of tax of the firm and its private equity funds. Elliot started his career in public accounting most recently with Deloitte.

Education

Elliot received a M.S. in Taxation at Baruch College and a B.S. in Accounting from Touro College.

Evan Carter

Head of Financial Planning and Analysis, Vice President

Evan has over 10 years of experience in finance and accounting for public and private companies. Prior to joining ITE, he spent the previous 6 years in the commercial real estate industry, working on the Corporate Finance team within CBRE and the Fund and Property Accounting teams within Tishman Speyer. Evan began his career in public accounting, working for Friedman LLP.

Education

Evan earned a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from the University of Delaware and is a licensed CPA.

Shenhui Fang

Accounting Manager, Vice President

Shenhui Fang started her career as a Business Analyst in Louis Dreyfus (an international commodities trading company) in Connecticut, and then moved to a startup real estate hedge fund in New York City, where she was responsible for reviewing NAV calculation, investor statements, year-end audit, and tax preparation.

Education

Shenhui earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Renmin University of China and a Master’s degree in Accounting from Boston College. She is a licensed CPA.

Morgan Garcia

Engineering Mgr, Data Management, Vice President

Morgan Garcia has over five years of software engineering experience, working extensively on cloud based data systems. Morgan began his career with contract work for Microsoft, joining an overburdened cloud engineering team to design custom automation, eventually eliminating over 90% of manual effort and allowing the team to downsize significantly. Afterwards, Morgan moved on to play a key role in designing, implementing, and maintaining a number of different data management systems across several high profile teams within Microsoft with a heavy focus on automation and ensuring data quality and reliability.

Education

Morgan received an A.S. in engineering from Santa Fe College.

Meredith Gano

Investor Relations, Vice President

Meredith Gano has five years of experience working in client service and investor relations. Meredith began her career at Cambridge Associates on its transaction services team. At Cambridge Associates, she primarily provided client support for all investment related matters and helped clients navigate the alternative investment space.

Education

Meredith earned a B.A. in Economics from Kenyon College.

Joseph Gervasi

Head of Information Technology, Director

Joseph Gervasi has a decade of operational experience in Information Technology & Facilities Management. He manages the Firm’s IT infrastructure and Cybersecurity initiatives.

Blair Hecht

Head of Organizational Management, Director

Blair is an accomplished executive with over 30 years of experience in marketing and communications. Prior to joining ITE, Blair held executive leadership roles at Hearst and Conde Nast, building and managing some of media’s most iconic and successful brands. 

Education

Blair received a B.A. in Political Science and Government from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Daniel Lee

Controller, Director

Daniel Lee has over ten years of public and private accounting experience in the financial services industry specifically relating to hedge funds (including offshore entities). Most recently, Daniel was a NAV Manager at State Street Corporation where he was responsible for month end reporting and financial statement preparation. Prior to State Street, he was an audit manager at CohnReznick L.L.P. responsible for auditing year-end financial statements and assessing internal control procedures.

Education

Daniel earned his B.A. in Economics and Communications from Rutgers University and his M.B.A. in Accounting from Rutgers Business School.

Stephanie Leichter

Head of Human Capital, Director

Stephanie Leichter has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. She began her career in Investment Banking as an analyst at Merrill Lynch in the Real Estate Investment Banking group. She then worked in both Equity and Fixed Income Research across a variety of industries including E-Commerce, Retail & Consumer, Railroads and Basic Industries (Paper, Chemicals, Metals) at Lehman Brothers, where she was a VP and Senior Analyst. Stephanie joined ITE in 2016 as Head of Credit Research and subsequently moved into the role of Chief Administrative officer, managing the firm’s recruiting and hiring, human resources, and internal policies and processes.

Education

Stephanie holds a B.S. from Cornell University.

Konstantinos Vamvourellis

Data Scientist, Director

Konstantinos Vamvourellis has a background in mathematics and computer science and has extensive research and analytical experience. At both Microsoft and Vencore Labs, he analyzed large global scale datasets to extract user-driven trends. Konstantinos focuses on applied research of unstructured data, data exploration, anomaly detection and algorithms.

Education

Konstantinos earned his B.S. in Mathematics from Imperial College London (2011), a M.A. from the Courant Institute at NYU (2013), and a Ph.D. in Statistics from the London School of Economics.