Fund I | Fund II, II(A), II(B) | Palisades Funds
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Ryan Payne – Senior Investment Accountant
Prior to joining Westport in the Los Angeles office in 2017, Mr. Payne worked as an Audit Associate with Deloitte LLP. He holds a BBA in Accounting and Business Administration from Western State Colorado University and a Masters of Accountancy from College of William and Mary.
Harry Ramnath – Lead Infrastructure Engineer
Prior to joining Westport in the Connecticut office, Mr. Ramnath was a Technical/Network Support Analyst with ITOCHU Chemicals America Inc., where he provided multi-location support services to a diverse range of managers and users. He holds a B.B.A. in Management Information Systems from Marshall University.
James Starr – Vice President, Investor Relations
Prior to joining Westport in the Connecticut office in 2017, Mr. Starr worked for Great Oak Advisors, LLC, where he was responsible for all aspects of marketing fund managers to potential investors. Mr. Starr previously served as Director of Business Development for Perennial Capital. Mr. Starr holds a B.S./B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Richmond, Robins School of Business.
Justin Reindel – Assistant Vice President
Mr. Reindel joined Westport in the Connecticut office in 2015 after graduating from Amherst College with a B.A. in Economics.
Sean Armstrong – Managing Principal
Mr. Armstrong is the Managing Principal of Westport and member of the Investment Committee based in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Westport in 2006, Mr. Armstrong was a Managing Director and senior real estate professional at Oaktree Capital Management, where his experience included the acquisition and management of numerous property and debt investments, as well as spearheading Oaktree’s real estate investments in Japan and Europe. His previous experience included positions with TCW’s Special Credits real estate group and high yield bond group, as well as serving as a director of Lodgian, Inc., a Delaware corporation listed on the American Stock Exchange. Mr. Armstrong holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering magna cum laude and an M.B.A. in Finance magna cum laude from the University of Southern California, where he also was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Russel S. Bernard – Senior Advisor, WCP Investment Manager II, LLC
Mr. Bernard founded Westport Capital Partners LLC in 2005 to specialize in both disciplined and innovative real estate investing across a broad spectrum of direct and indirect property development, ownership and lending opportunities, as well as public and private real estate securities and financial instruments. He leads the firm’s Investment Committee, and is based in its Connecticut headquarters. Prior to founding Westport, Mr. Bernard was a Principal at Oaktree and the Portfolio Manager for all of Oaktree’s real estate funds. Before joining Oaktree in 1995, Mr. Bernard was a Managing Director at TCW and Portfolio Manager of the TCW Special Credits Distressed Mortgage Fund. His professional experience prior to TCW and Oaktree included positions with Win Properties, Inc., Time Equities, Inc., and Price Waterhouse. Mr. Bernard has served on a number of corporate, university and charity boards. He holds a B.S. in Business Management and Marketing from Cornell University.
Bruce Nuzie – Corporate Accountant
Mr. Nuzie is a principal of the firm based in Connecticut focused on financial reporting and special projects. Prior to joining Westport in 2006, Mr. Nuzie was a Senior Vice President in the real estate group at Oaktree Capital Management, where he was principally responsible for overseeing the group’s property accounting and administration efforts. Previously Mr. Nuzie was with Win Properties, Inc. for nine years, where he was responsible for accounting and reporting for a national real estate portfolio. Mr. Nuzie also was formerly a Senior Manager in the audit department of Ernst and Young in New York for seven years. Mr. Nuzie holds a B.A. in Accounting, cum laude, from the City University of New York at Queens College. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
Sunny Sarkar – Analyst
Mr. Sarkar joined Westport Capital Partners in 2019 after graduating from Cornell University with a Masters in Real Estate. Mr. Sarkar has prior experience at CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd., Colliers International (India) and Shapoorji Pallonji Group. Mr. Sarkar holds a Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering from Biju Patnaik University of Technology and a Post-Graduation in Real Estate & Urban Infrastructure Management from the National Institute of Construction Management and Research.
Peter Morgan – Senior Vice President
Mr. Morgan is an investment professional based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Prior to joining Westport, Mr. Morgan was a Senior Vice President of Asset Management and Acquisitions with Lowe, where he managed all aspects of commercial real estate acquisitions, asset management and financing in the western region. Mr. Morgan also held a prior position as an Executive Vice President with LaeRoc Funds. Mr. Morgan has a B.A. in Economics from the University of the Pacific.
Kasia Pozniak – Associate
Ms. Pozniak is an investment professional based in the firm’s Wilton, CT office. Prior to joining Westport, Ms. Pozniak was an Investment Analyst with PGIM Real Estate, where she was responsible for underwriting, due diligence and portfolio management of investments in a real estate high-yield open-end platform, covering all asset classes. Ms. Pozniak has a Bachelors of Architecture from Cornell University, a Masters of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture and an M.B.A from the Yale School of Management.
Bret Fischer – Assistant Vice President
Mr. Fischer is an investment professional based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Prior to joining Westport, Mr. Fischer was an Asset Manager with Clarion Partners, LLC. Mr. Fischer has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business.
Jessica Sanchez – Administrative Assistant
Ms. Sanchez is based in the firm’s Los Angeles offices. Ms. Sanchez holds a B.A. degree in Communications from California State University and an A.A degree in Communications from El Camino College.
Veronica Torres – Fund Accountant
Ms. Torres is based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Before joining Westport, Ms. Torres worked as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Ms. Torres holds a B.S. in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University.
Kevin McTavish – Investor Relations
Mr. McTavish joined Westport in 2016 as a senior investment professional. Previously, Mr. McTavish spent twelve years as the Managing Partner of Summit Capital, LLC, where he acquired and managed distressed and value-added real estate assets. Prior professional positions include: Principal and Chief Operating Officer of Colony Capital, LLC; and Acquisitions and Portfolio Manager at Brazos Asset Management, later renamed Lone Star Opportunity Fund. Mr. McTavish also served in the United States Navy for seven years. He holds a B.S. from the United States Naval Academy and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.
Carla Carmack – Administrative Assistant
Ms. Carmack is based in the firm’s Los Angeles offices. Ms. Carmack holds an M.S. degree in Finance from University of San Diego and a B.B.A degree in Finance from Loyola Marymount University.
Joshua Bederman, CFA – Managing Director and Portfolio Manager
Mr. Bederman is a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager based in Westport’s Connecticut office. As an investment professional, he focuses on market-driven, liquid securities-oriented real estate investment strategies. Mr. Bederman joined in June of 2018 with 17 years of prior experience in real estate and financial securities analysis and investment management. Prior to joining Westport, Mr. Bederman managed cross capital structure portfolios at Sandelman Partners, Argonaut Capital Management, Structured Portfolio Management, and Pyrrho Capital Management. Mr. Bederman also held positions at J.P. Morgan, where he was chosen to launch the firm’s Mortgage REIT effort, and CIBC World Markets. Mr. Bederman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from McGill University, where he achieved first class honors.
Claire Almestica – Investment Accountant
Prior to joining Westport in the Connecticut office in 2017, Ms. Almestica held senior accounting positions at TLM Realty Corp, Midwood Management and Two Trees Management. Ms. Almestica holds a B.A. in Economics from Lehman College and an M.S. in Economics from Brooklyn College.
Noreen Keegan – Administrative Assistant
Ms. Keegan is based in the firm’s Connecticut offices. Before joining Westport in 2011, she was an Administrative Assistant at Oaktree Capital Management and GBP Capital.
Margaret Ficano – Office Manager
Ms. Ficano is based in the firm’s Connecticut offices. Before joining Westport in 2007, she was an Assistant to the President at Northrop Grumman Norden Systems.
Amy Balogh – Operations Administrator
Prior to joining Westport in the Connecticut office in 2017, Ms. Balogh was an Office Manager with G3 Architecture Interiors Planning. Ms. Balogh holds a B.A. in Psychology from Franklin Pierce College.
Trish Murphy – Administrative Specialist
Mrs. Murphy is based in the firm’s Los Angeles offices. Before joining Westport in 2006, she was an Administrative Assistant at Oaktree. Mrs. Murphy holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from California State University, Fullerton.
Jennifer Albero – Senior Vice President, Fund Controller
Prior to joining Westport in the Connecticut office in 2013, Ms. Albero held positions as Controller with Meadow Partners and Latus Partners (now 40 North Properties), where she led the design and implementation of accounting policies and procedures, accounting systems and investor reporting systems. Previously, Ms. Albero held Controller positions at Stockbridge Real Estate Funds (formerly a division of UBS) and Starwood Capital Group. Ms. Albero holds a B.S. in Accounting from Virginia Tech.
Sang Kim – Senior Vice President, Fund Controller
Before joining Westport in the Los Angeles office in 2006, Mr. Kim was a Supervising Senior in the accounting firm of Rothstein, Kass & Company, P.C., where he led the external audit engagements for a number of domestic and offshore hedge funds. Previously he worked for over three years as a Senior Investment Accountant at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P., a Los Angeles based private equity fund manager. He holds a B.A. in Economics from UCLA and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Lizette Cervantes – Accounts Payable Specialist
Prior to joining Westport in the Connecticut office in 2016, Ms. Cervantes managed various treasury functions for The Trayner Group, Ltd. Ms. Cervantes holds a BA from John Jay College.
Kinga Czwartosz – Assistant Vice President
Prior to joining Westport in 2012 in the Connecticut office, Ms. Czwartosz was a Property Accountant with Urstadt Biddle Properties. Ms. Czwartosz holds a Bachelor of General Studies from the University of Connecticut and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Steven Russell – Principal and Chief Administrative Officer
Mr. Russell is a principal of Westport based in Connecticut and is responsible for the firm’s operational and administrative functions. Prior to joining Westport in 2005, Mr. Russell spent seven years as the Global Chief Information Officer for Christie’s International, where he was responsible for all aspects of information technology across Christie’s operations in 35 countries. Previously he was Vice President of Information Services with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), where he was responsible for information technology and corporate re-engineering initiatives. Mr. Russell also was formerly with Bankers Trust Company, managing a variety of systems providing cash management services to corporate customers. Mr. Russell holds a B.S. in Computing and Information Science and an M.S. in Information Science from Lehigh University.
Sophie Melniker, Esq. – Asst. Vice President, Compliance & Legal Officer
Ms. Melniker is based in Connecticut and serves as Westport’s Compliance and Legal Officer. Before joining Westport in 2012, Ms. Melniker was an associate at the law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf, LLP for two and a half years, where she represented fund sponsors, investment advisers and institutional investors in a variety of real estate funds and private equity funds. Ms. Melniker holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and a J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law. Ms. Melniker is admitted to the New York State Bar and is registered as Authorized House Counsel in Connecticut.
Marian V. Curtis, Esq. – Senior Vice President, Legal
Ms. Curtis is based in Connecticut and serves as an in-house transactional attorney. Before joining Westport in 2011, Ms. Curtis was an associate at the law firm of Goodwin Procter, LLP for over four years, where she represented domestic and foreign investors, fund sponsors, institutional investment advisors and investment banks in a variety of real estate transactions. Previously she was an associate at the law firm of Herrick Feinstein, LLP for two years. Ms. Curtis holds a B.A. in Sociology magna cum laude from Bowdoin College and a J.D. cum laude from Brooklyn Law School. Ms. Curtis is admitted to the New York State Bar and is registered as Authorized House Counsel in Connecticut.
Marc Porosoff, Esq. – Principal and General Counsel
Mr. Porosoff is a principal of the firm and member of the Investment Committee based in Connecticut. Before joining Westport in 2006, Mr. Porosoff was a Senior Vice President, Legal in the real estate group at Oaktree Capital Management LLC., where he was primarily responsible for legal aspects of due diligence, acquisition, management, financing and disposition of the real estate group’s domestic and international property and debt investments. Previously he was with the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton for five years, specializing in real estate and corporate matters. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Mr. Porosoff is admitted to the New York State Bar and is registered as Authorized House Counsel in Connecticut.
Hy Adelman – Investor Relations
Mr. Adelman joined Westport in 2010 and is a Senior Vice President based in Bozeman, Montana. He has over 19 years of experience in the marketing and development of hospitality, resort, agricultural, golf, and ranch properties. Prior positions include: Project Director of Kuilima Resort Co., where he oversaw the redevelopment and renovation of the Turtle Bay Resort; and sales and marketing professional positions with Xerox Corporation. Mr. Adelman holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Maine.
Jane Ding – Senior Associate
Prior to joining Westport in the Connecticut office in 2017, Ms. Ding was an Investment Associate at Colony NorthStar, Inc., where she analyzed and closed healthcare investments and secondary real estate private equity fund interests as well as joint-venture investments and dispositions. Previously she was an Acquisitions Analyst at Castellan Real Estate Partners. Ms. Ding holds an Honors Business Administration Degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and a Masters of Science in Real Estate from New York University.
Jordan Socaransky – Principal and Portfolio Manager
Mr. Socaransky is a principal of Westport and member of the Investment Committee based in Connecticut. His experience includes the acquisition, management and disposition of a broad range of property and debt investments, and he leads the firm’s innovative cold storage platform investment initiatives. Prior to joining Westport in 2006, Mr. Socaransky held professional positions in the real estate group at Oaktree Capital Management and Salomon Smith Barney’s Global Real Estate and Lodging Investment Banking Group. Mr. Socaransky holds an Honors Business Administration Degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.
W. Gregory Geiger – Principal and Portfolio Manager
Mr. Geiger is a principal of Westport and member of the Investment Committee based in Los Angeles. Before joining Westport in 2006, Mr. Geiger was a Managing Director and senior real estate professional at Oaktree Capital Management, where he was responsible for making property investments, negotiating large development and entitlement projects, and executing complex debt restructurings. Previously, Mr. Geiger held professional positions with the Special Credits real estate group at TCW, the national real estate consulting and brokerage firm of Julien J. Studley, Inc., and Langdon Rieder Corporation, a Los Angeles-based consulting firm. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and an M.B.A. in Real Estate Finance from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Mr. Geiger is a licensed Professional Engineer.
Reggie Kronstadt – Analyst
Mr. Kronstadt joined Westport in the Connecticut office in 2016 after earning a Bachelor of Business Administration from Emory University with concentrations in Finance and Real Estate.
Stephen Woodard – Senior Vice President
Mr. Woodard joined Westport in 2011 and is an investment professional based in Connecticut. Previously he was a Vice President in the Commercial Real Estate Department at CIT Group, Inc., focusing on acquisitions, joint-venture investments, and dispositions. Prior to that, Mr. Woodard was an Acquisitions Associate at Lexington Realty Trust. Mr. Woodard holds a B.A. in Economics from Union College and an M.P.S. in Real Estate Finance and Investment from Cornell University.
Howard Fife – Principal
Mr. Fife joined Westport in 2006 and is a principal of the firm based in Connecticut. As an investment professional he focuses on market-driven, liquid securities-oriented real estate investment strategies. Mr. Fife previously worked in the institutional high yield and distressed debt department at Jefferies & Co., where he focused on developing trade ideas and investment strategies for leading hedge funds. Prior to that he held professional positions focusing on distressed and corporate debt at Lazard, Freres & Co., Prudential Securities, and DLJ. Mr. Fife holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Finance.
Ryan Huning, Analyst
Prior to joining Westport in the Los Angeles office in 2017, Mr. Huning was an Analyst at Douglas Emmett. Mr. Huning holds a B.B.A. with a concentration in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Denver.
Noam Sheps – Senior Vice President
Mr. Sheps joined Westport in 2006 and is an investment professional based in Connecticut. Previously he was an Analyst with Racebrook Capital, LLC, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company focused on distressed real estate and non-performing real estate loans. Prior to that he was a Senior Analyst at Shattuck Hammond Partners LLC, a healthcare investment bank. Mr. Sheps holds a B.S. in Finance and B.A. in Economics with honors from Rutgers University.
Peter Aronson – Principal
Mr. Aronson is a principal of the firm based in Los Angeles. Before joining Westport in 2006, Mr. Aronson was a Managing Director with Oaktree Capital Management’s Japanese and German affiliates, where he focused on establishing and leading the firm’s real estate efforts in those regions. Mr. Aronson also was an associate for five years at the law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, where his practice focused on general real estate transactions. Mr. Aronson holds a B.A. degree magna cum laude from The American University and a J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the State Bar of California.
Mathieu Durand – Analyst
Mr. Durand joined Westport in the Los Angeles office in 2016 after graduating from Claremont McKenna College with a Masters in Finance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Waseda University.
Chad Goodman – Senior Vice President
Mr. Goodman joined Westport in 2008 and is an investment professional based in Connecticut. Previously Mr. Goodman was an Associate Director in Mortgage Sales with Bear Stearns, where he also held positions in the Financial Analytics and Structured Transactions group and the Internal Audit Department. Mr. Goodman began his career in the Technology Risk Consulting group at Arthur Andersen LLP. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Binghamton University.
Eric Clapp – Managing Director
Mr. Clapp joined Westport in 2006 and is an investment professional based in the Los Angeles office. His prior experience includes seven years of investment banking and real estate finance positions with Salomon Smith Barney and Bank of America Securities in New York, Los Angeles and Sydney. Mr. Clapp holds a B.S. in Commerce with a concentration in Finance from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, as well as an M.B.A. and Master of Real Estate Development (M.R.E.D.) from the University of Southern California.