Marshall Sonenshine is Managing Partner and Founder of Sonenshine Partners. Prior to Founding Sonenshine Partners, Mr. Sonenshine was the head of Media and Aerospace M&A at BT Wolfensohn (the M&A division of Bankers Trust) and Deutsche Bank, where he was asked to serve as the Co-Head of global M&A. Prior to Bankers Trust, Mr. Sonenshine was one of nine partners at Wolfensohn & Company, a boutique investment bank whose partners included former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker and former World Bank President James Wolfensohn. Mr. Sonenshine was part of the leadership team that sold Wolfensohn & Co. to Bankers Trust. For the past 30 years, Mr. Sonenshine has counseled numerous corporations globally on complex mergers, restructuring and strategic issues.
Mr. Sonenshine holds a BA magna cum laude from Brown University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a JD from Harvard Law School, where he served as an Editor of the Harvard Law Review. He studied at L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques and The Sorbonne in Paris and, served as Teaching Fellow in International Relations at Harvard University’s Government Department, Instructor in Legal Writing and in the International Tax Program at Harvard Law School.
Mr. Sonenshine is also a Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia University and a frequent Global Finance Commentator on financial, legal and public affairs. Mr. Sonenshine serves as Chairman of RosettaBooks and the Harvard Law School Fund, a Trustee of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the International Center of Photography and Mass General’s Center for Law, Brain and Behavior and an Emmy award winning Executive Producer of The Loving Story, the HBO civil rights film. Mr. Sonenshine has served on the New York Finance Committee for the Democratic Party and is a lifelong member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He and his wife, Dr. Therese Rosenblatt, have three sons and live in New York.
Neil P. Benedict
Senior Managing Director
Neil P. Benedict is a Senior Managing Director at Sonenshine Partners. Mr. Benedict was previously a Managing Director at Salomon Brothers where he served as founder and head of the Worldwide Currency Swap Group, head of Investment Banking for the Asian Pacific Rim, and head of International Capital Markets. Mr. Benedict has extensive experience in international transactions, having worked in investment banking in New York and Tokyo. Mr. Benedict was also a Managing Director at Dillon, Read & Company, where he focused on International and Media clients. Mr. Benedict has broad experience in a variety of sectors including Media and Telecom, Consumer Products, Publishing, Real Estate, Retail, and Financial Services – both domestically in the US and internationally. These include both M&A and Capital Markets transactions.
Mr. Benedict is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
He is a non-executive Board Director of the Qatar Investment Fund, a Senior Advisor to the London-based Europa Partners, and also a Senior Advisor to the Beijing/Shanghai based Vermilion Partners.
Mr. Benedict is a past New York Board Member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and is a Trustee of the Birch Wathen Lenox School in Manhattan.
Elliott K. Slade III
Senior Managing Director
Elliott K. Slade III is a Senior Managing Director at Sonenshine Partners. He was formerly the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Imperator Capital, a hedge fund that invested in a relatively concentrated portfolio of small / mid-capitalization public companies, and he was responsible for portfolio strategy, management, and analytics. Mr. Slade has extensive professional experience in investment banking and corporate finance, both domestic and international. Prior to the founding of Imperator Capital, he spent over 20 years as an adviser to some of the world’s largest and most prestigious corporations in mergers and acquisitions, financial advisory, restructurings and reorganizations, defensive and value enhancement assignments and special committee work.
Mr. Slade was a Senior Partner at Wolfensohn & Co., a private investment bank founded by James D. Wolfensohn in 1981. He became a Founding Partner in BT Wolfensohn, the mergers and acquisitions department of Bankers Trust established by the Bank’s acquisition of Wolfensohn in 1996. At Bankers Trust, Mr. Slade served as a Partner and Senior Managing Director of BT Wolfensohn, and headed the firm’s consumer and retail merger and acquisition practices as part of the Bank’s global investment banking arm, BT Alex. Brown, and its successor organization, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. Mr. Slade has broad experience in a variety of sectors, including aviation, consumer products, manufacturing, publishing, real estate and shopping centers, retail, shipping and financial services. Mr. Slade has advised on leading M&A transactions globally, having consummated transactions in over a dozen countries. Mr. Slade was a member of the advisory board of Sandy Alexander, Inc., one of the nation’s largest and most respected high-end commercial printing companies. Mr. Slade served as a director to Westfield America Trust’s predecessor entity, currently the second largest shopping center owner and developer in the United States.
Mr. Slade received an M.B.A. from The Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College and a B.A. from Colgate University.
Mr. Slade’s public interest and volunteer efforts include his work as a Trustee and member of the Finance and Investment Committees of the New York City Opera and Chairman of the National Dance Institute. Prior affiliations include the Economic Club of New York, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Business Council for International Understanding, the American Australian Association, the former Chairman of the New York chapter of Teach for America and the corporate council of the Central Park Conservancy.
Rob Cooper is a Director at Sonenshine Partners. While at Sonenshine Partners, Mr. Cooper has worked on advisory assignments for both large cap and middle market companies in the retail and e-commerce, media and telecommunications, consumer health care, manufacturing and specialty finance sectors.
Mr. Cooper previously worked in business development at TRKC, Inc., an online media organization based in Washington DC.
Mr. Cooper holds a BS in Economics with a Dual Concentration in Finance and Management and a Minor in Political Science from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Christopher Reenock is an Associate at Sonenshine Partners. Prior to joining Sonenshine Partners, Mr. Reenock was an equity research analyst at Citigroup, where he was part of the firm’s Institutional Investor-ranked Autos & Auto Parts team. In addition to his work in the auto sector, Mr. Reenock’s experience spans various industries, including industrials, conglomerates, aerospace & defense, consumer and technology.
Mr. Reenock holds a B.A. in Government and English from Georgetown University and holds an MBA in Finance and Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Reenock is a native of New York City and sits on the finance committee board of Sokol New York, a non-profit organization dedicated to childhood physical education.
Ali Nuri Bayar
Ali Nuri Bayar is an Analyst at Sonenshine Partners. Mr. Bayar holds an A.B. in History from Harvard University with a secondary field in Economics.
David Mazza is an Analyst at Sonenshine Partners. Mr. Mazza holds an A.B. cum laude in Economics from Harvard College with a secondary field in Government.
Samuel Mehrberg is an Analyst at Sonenshine Partners. Mr. Mehrberg holds a BS in Economics with Concentrations in Finance and Marketing from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Daniel Ryu is an analyst at Sonenshine Partners. Mr. Ryu holds an A.B. in History and Literature from Harvard University with a secondary field in Economics.
Director of Administration
Janis Inzillo is Director of Administration at Sonenshine Partners. Ms. Inzillo oversees all administration for the firm including financial, information technology, operations, compliance reporting and human resources. Prior to joining Sonenshine Partners, she held the position of Global Cash Manager for Hollinger International. Prior to Hollinger she was in Development for 6 years at the International Center of Photography and has nearly two decades of experience in managing operational and administrative activities in the non-for-profit arts, finance, and television production sectors.
Harry Durity is a Senior Advisor at New Mountain Capital. From 1994 to 2005, Mr. Durity was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Business Development, Head of Merger and Acquisitions group, and a Member of Executive Committee at Automatic Data Processing (NYSE: ADP).
Prior to ADP, Mr. Durity worked for Revlon Consumer Products Company as a Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, where he also served as a Member of the Executive Committee at the company. From January 1990 to January 1993, Mr. Durity was president of the Highlands Group, a boutique mergers and acquisitions advisory firm. Prior thereto, he served as a Vice President/Corporate Development for RJR Nabisco, a consumer products company, from October 1980 to December 1989. He also served as a Senior Consultant at Arthur D. Little in their Managerial Economics department and started his career at Firestone Tire & Rubber Company as the Chief Economist.
Mr. Durity was a Director of National Medical Health Card Systems (NASDAQ: NMHC) and is a Director of OrthAlliance Inc. (NYSE: OCA). Mr. Durity holds a B.A. from Western Maryland College with additional studies in Merger and Acquisition at the Darden School, University of Virginia and obtained a Master’s degree from Washington State University.
Kay Koplovitz is currently a principal of Koplovitz & Co. LLC, a media investment firm. Ms. Koplovitz was the founder of USA Networks, an international cable television programming company, and served as its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman from 1977 to 1998. Ms. Koplovitz also created Springboard Enterprises, a national organization that promotes venture capital investments in women-led high growth businesses.
Among the non-profit boards on which she serves are the Partnership for New York City, the Central Park Conservancy, the Museum of Television and Radio, Springboard Enterprises and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Ms. Koplovitz was previously the Chairman of Liz Claiborne. Ms. Koplovitz is a founding board member of Boldcap Ventures, a managed fund, and is a Senior Managing Director at Brock Capital Group.
Ms. Koplovitz is also a Director of Broadway Television Network, a producer and multi-media distributor of recordings of Broadway shows. Ms. Koplovitz serves as a Director of Instinet Group, an electronic brokerage services provider, and serves as a Member of Audit Committee. Ms. Koplovitz is also the Independent Non Executive Chairman of Liz Claiborne (NYSE:LIZ). She serves as Director of CA, Inc. (NasdaqGS:CA) and served as Director of Oracle (NasdaqGS:ORCL). Ms. Koplovitz is a Graduate of the University of Wisconsin and holds a Master’s Degree from Michigan State University.
Mr. Levin is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JW Levin Partners LLC, a management and investment firm organized in February 2005. Mr. Levin is an experienced CEO, turnaround expert and mergers & acquisitions specialist. He has been growing the sales and profits of branded consumer products companies for the past 30 years via internal product development programs, restructurings, acquisitions, and cultural improvements.
From 1974-1989, Mr. Levin worked for the Pillsbury Company (“Pillsbury”). In his initial capacity as head of corporate development, Mr. Levin completed hundreds of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Some of the transactions Mr. Levin led included Haagen-Dazs, Green Giant, Totino’s Pizza, Steak & Ale, Chart House, and American Beauty Macaroni. Mr. Levin also became the Chief Executive Officer of several operating units within Pillsbury, including Haagen-Dazs and the second largest restaurant group in the U.S. (comprised of Burger King, Steak &Ale;, Bennigan’s, Chart House, and Godfather’s Pizza). From 1989 until 1991, Mr. Levin was the Chief Executive Officer of The Coleman Company, Inc. (“Coleman”), a company controlled by MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. (“MacAndrews & Forbes”). During his tenure as Coleman’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Levin divested non-strategic businesses and devoted resources to growing the core camping business.
From 1991 until 1997, Mr. Levin was the Chief Executive Officer of Revlon, Inc., another company controlled by MacAndrews & Forbes. When Mr. Levin joined Revlon, it was suffering from significant losses and debt load, and had a number three, and declining, market share in the United States mass market for color cosmetics. By the end of Mr. Levin’s tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Revlon, Revlon was restructured with its debt load significantly reduced and the number one market share in the United States mass market for color cosmetics. Mr. Levin became Chief Executive Officer of Coleman again from early 1997 to the sale of Coleman to Sunbeam Corporation (‘Sunbeam”) in March 1998.
Arthur B. Laffer
Arthur B. Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an economic research and consulting firm that provides global investment-research services to institutional asset managers, pension funds, financial institutions, and corporations.
Dr. Laffer is also a founding member of the Congressional Policy Advisory Board, a select group of advisors who assist in shaping legislative policies for the 105th, 106th and 107th United States Congress. He was a member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board for both of his two terms, a member of the executive committee of the Reagan/Bush Finance Committee, and a founding member of the Reagan executive advisory committee for the presidential race of 1980.From 1972 to 1977, Dr. Laffer was a consultant to Secretary of the Treasury William Simon, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Secretary of the Treasury George Shultz. He was the first to hold the title of Chief Economist at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Mr. Shultz from October 1970 to July 1972.
Dr. Laffer has received two Graham and Dodd Awards from the Financial Analyst Federation for outstanding feature articles published in the Financial Analysts Journal; the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Investment Clubs; the Adam Smith Award for his insights and contributions to the Wealth of Nations; and the Daniel Webster Award for public speaking by the International Platform Association. Dr. Laffer received a B.A. in Economics from Yale University in 1963. He received a MBA and a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University in 1965 and 1971 respectively.
Since 2004, Rafael Pastor has been Chairman & CEO of Vistage International, the world’s largest for-profit chief executive membership organization. Established in 1957, headquartered near San Diego, and dedicated to executive development and education, Vistage helps more than 14,000 senior executives in 16 countries to become better leaders, making better decisions and achieving better results. The companies of Vistage’s members collectively employ more than two million people and generate approximately $300 billion in revenues.
Previously, Mr. Pastor lived in New York City and had an extensive background in both leading and advising business enterprises. He held senior executive positions at global media companies, including CEO of Hoyts Cinemas Corporation; President of USA Networks International; Executive Vice President, International, of News Corporation and Fox Television; and President of CBS/Fox Video International. He dealt with all aspects of the film, television, news and publishing businesses in the United States and throughout the world. Subsequently, he and his partner founded the Sonenshine Pastor investment banking and private equity firm, now Sonenshine Partners.
Mr. Pastor started his career as an attorney, first at the Wall Street law firm of Hawkins, Delafield and Wood and then as Associate General Counsel at CBS Inc. He earned his BA degree from Columbia University and JD degree from NYU School of Law
Gerald M. Ostrov
Mr. Gerald M. Ostrov, also known as Jerry, currently serves as an Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs in the Specialty Care Business Unit at Pfizer, Inc., the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company. Mr. Ostrov also serves as an Advisor of Cozi Group, Inc. and is a Consultant of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated where he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from January 2008 to March 2010.
Mr. Ostrov serves as the Chairman of the Board of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and of the Board of Trustees of Middlesex County College (NJ). He served as Group Chairman of Worldwide Vision Care at Johnson & Johnson from 1998 to 2006 and served as its Director, where he led its global Vision Care businesses from 1998 through 2006. He has been Director of Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. since September 24, 2012, NuLens Ltd. since February 2007. He serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees at the Garden State Arts Foundation (NJ). He served as a Director of PixelOptics, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson. He served as a Director of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated from January 2008 to March 2010 and OraSure Technologies Inc. from November 10, 2011 to November 11, 2014. He served as a Member of the Cornell University Council, and he has served as Board Member of the Non-Prescription Drug Manufacturers Association.
Mr. Ostrov earned a B.S., in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, from Cornell University and holds an M.B.A from Harvard University.