the human factor

OUR investment team

Thane Ritchie
Thane Ritchie

Founder and Chairman

Thane is a renowned investor and dealmaker with extensive experience in both public and private markets in all phases of company growth including seed capital, growth capital, secondary markets, mergers and acquisitions, trade sales and public exits. Mr. Ritchie also has significant experience in vetting companies for potential M&A opportunities. He has developed several innovative funding models and has more than a decade of experience in the SPAC marketplace with a specific focus in PIPE transactions and the de-SPAC process.

Mr. Ritchie has participated in early stage / venture funding and investing in the pre-IPO stages of companies such as Facebook, Twitter, eHarmony, Spotify, Pinterest, StubHub, Cambridge Quantum Computing, Kraken, and Ledger. He also has provided private capital solutions to Fortune 100 companies like Shell Oil and Allstate.

Mr. Ritchie has served on multiple private company boards and currently is CEO and sits on the board of Global Investment Capital Corp. Mr. Ritchie attended both Fullerton College and Duke University and graduated with a B.A. from Wheaton College.

Andy Lester
Andy Lester

Director

Mr. Lester has over 40 years of experience building and managing businesses and both training and hiring the individuals within the business units. His background is diverse having started in public accounting, working as an analyst then a manager for Fortune 500 companies before moving to Wall Street. He, along with his brother, built a 10 person team at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette that specialized in providing research coverage to hedge funds, family offices, and managing retail capital for 17 years. After DLJ was sold to Credit Suisse, their team moved to ABN-AMRO where he was Managing Director and Co-Head of Hedge Fund sales and research. After, he was COO of Sigma Capital, a division of SAC Capital Advisors and later a Portfolio Manager at the firm, responsible for investing in syndicate deals globally. He was COO of Convector Capital and Co-founder of two hedge funds. He was Co-Head Origination & Investments at ShareNett. He earned a B.S. in Accounting from Brooklyn College, a M.B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany and is a certified public accountant in New York State.

Dr. Mark Mykityshyn
Dr. Mark Mykityshyn

Director

Dr. Mykityshyn is the CEO and Managing Partner of Endeavor Technology Group, LLC, a private investment firm that provides flexible capital solutions and strategic support for middle-market, technology centric businesses in the aerospace, defense, and cybersecurity sectors.

Prior to Endeavor, he co-founded and managed three companies, including two investment firms focused on cybersecurity, sensor / data analytics, command and control technologies, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance-related technologies. He also worked with NASA on the design of a multi-function electronic display system that was implemented into the Space Shuttle fleet. In his various roles, he has served as Managing Partner, CEO, Chairman, Co-Chairman, and Executive Chairman, developing and executing strategies to help orchestrate substantive exits for multiple companies. Dr. Mykityshyn also served in the military as a Marine Corps officer and Naval Aviator.

Dr. Mykityshyn currently serves as a Senior Fellow in the Center for Business and Public Policy at Georgetown University, Chairman of the U.S. Army War College Board of Visitors, and as a member of or advisor to the Naval Research Advisory Committee, the Defense Science Board, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, and NASA’s Advisory Council. He is also a member of The George Washington University’s Research Advisory Board, and a member of the National Advisory Council for its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he earned his Doctorate in Systems Engineering, minor in Aerospace Engineering, from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He also earned a Master’s degree from the Science, Technology & Public Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and the degrees of Engineer of and Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dan Tapiero
Dan Tapiero

Director

Mr. Tapiero is currently the CEO and Managing Partner of 10T Holdings, a fund that invests in mid-to late-stage companies operating in the digital asset ecosystem. He is also the Managing Partner of DTAP Capital Advisors, a global macro investment fund he launched in 2004 that currently holds his personal investments. He is the Co-Founder and current board member of Gold Bullion International, an institutional-grade physical precious metals platform that is integrated with the world’s top wealth managers, custodians, and e-commerce companies. The company has grown to become a large vaulter of gold outside of the banking system. The firm also expanded into the cryptocurrency universe in 2014.

Mr. Tapiero was also a co-founder along with Stan Druckenmiller and Goldman Sachs of the Agricultural Company of America, one of the largest private farmland REITs in the United States. In his 28-year career, Mr. Tapiero has worked as a Global Macro Portfolio Manager and Analyst with a number of well-known investors, such as Stan Druckenmiller (Duquesne Capital), Michael Steinhardt (Steinhardt Capital), Julian Robertson (Tiger Management), Steve Cohen (SAC Capital), and Lord Rothschild (RIT Capital). Mr. Tapiero graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University, where he also earned his master’s degree in European History. He has been on the board of trustees of the Lawrenceville School for the past 11 years and currently chairs the investment committee.

Ray Conley
Ray Conley

Director

Mr. Conley is the CEO of Benetic Inc., a financial services technology company serving the retirement market. Over the past 25 years, Mr. Conley has led technology companies across multiple industry sectors including financial services, enterprise software, and aerospace. Previously, Mr. Conley led a specialty finance firm, Finance Technology Leverage LLC and Creekstone Capital Management, a registered investment advisor. Prior to Creekstone, Mr. Conley was a fund manager at Palo Alto Investors and a private equity and venture capital partner at Oak Hill Capital. He has led over two dozen venture capital and leveraged buyout investments creating over $6 billion in market value, including Financial Engines (NASDAQ: FNGN), Telephia (NASDAQ: NLSN), and Limelight Networks (NASDAQ: LLNW). Mr. Conley began his career as a satellite propulsion engineer at Hughes Aircraft Company and later joined McKinsey & Company. Mr. Conley currently serves on the board of directors of Reciprocity, Inc., the leading software provider of governance, risk, and compliance for information security. Ray received his B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering with a concentration in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the inventor of the air-breathing ion rocket engine and has published research on the cause of aortic aneurysms.

Dan Webb
Dan Webb

Director

Dan Webb is a trial attorney and co-executive chairman of Winston & Strawn LLP. Prior to joining the firm in 1985, Mr. Webb served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. His practice concentrates in the areas of major commercial, civil, regulatory and white-collar criminal cases. Mr. Webb has been appointed by courts to act as a Special Prosecutor or in a similar capacity on five occasions. Mr. Webb has received numerous awards and recognitions, including BTI Client Service All-Star in 2017, and he was a 2010 recipient of the Inns of Court Professionalism Award. Mr. Webb is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Webb previously served on the board of directors from Equal Justice Works from 2011 to 2017 and in 2008 he chaired the Chicago Bar Association’s Campaign for Justice. Mr. Webb is also on the board of directors of The Shirley Ryan Rehabilitation Institute since 2018. Mr. Webb earned his JD from Loyola University, Chicago.

Randy Brinkley
Randy Brinkley

CEO

Randy is a luminary in aerospace who formerly served as the President of Boeing Satellites and Senior Vice President of Programs for Hughes Space and Communications Company. Mr. Brinkley was the Program Director at NASA responsible for the design, launch, and on-orbit assembly of the International Space Station, as well as the integration of Russia’s participation in the ISS Program. He was also the Mission Director of the Space Shuttle mission to rescue the Hubble telescope. Previously, Mr. Brinkley managed research and development activities for Advanced Aircraft systems and technologies at the McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company.

Mr. Brinkley served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 25 years before retiring as a Colonel, where he flew more than 4,000 hours in 42 types of aircraft, including the F-18 Hornet, the AV-8B Harrier, and the F-4 Phantom. As a Marine Aviator, Mr. Brinkley commanded an F-4 fighter squadron as well as the prestigious Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron, and later an air group of seven F-18 squadrons. Mr. Brinkley was selected as the Navy’s Flight instructor of the Year and also earned the designation of Marine Corps Aviator of the Year.

Mr. Brinkley has received many awards for his outstanding achievement in aerospace, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, the Aviation Week and Space Technology Laurels Award, two Robert J. Collier Trophies from the National Aviation Association, and was inducted into the Smithsonian’s Aviation Hall of Fame. Mr. Brinkley has also received the Space Achievement Award from the U.S. Space Foundation and the Nelson P. Jackson Aerospace Award from the National Space Club.

Paul Wolfe
Paul Wolfe

COO

Mr. Wolfe has deep experience in both public and private markets and in all phases of company growth including seed capital, growth capital, secondary markets, M&A, trade sales, PIPE transactions, warrants, and public exits. As a Principal for over a decade at Ritchie Capital Management, a global multi-strategy alternative investment platform, Mr. Wolfe managed its private equity / venture capital, real estate, energy, and insurance teams. Additionally, Mr. Wolfe is the former COO of Mission Measurement, a leading strategy advisory firm recognized globally for its leadership in the design, measurement, and evaluation of the investments of corporations, foundations, and governments targeting a social impact. Mr. Wolfe also worked at GE Capital, where he served as Deal Manager for several GE investments in telecommunications in Latin America and Europe. Post-transaction service included appointment as Board Director and the Integration Manager (Interim COO) for several GE investments in the region. At Bain & Company, Mr. Wolfe served as a strategy consultant in the U.S. and Brazil. He holds a B.A. from Williams College and a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Josh Lewis
Josh Lewis

CIO

Josh has extensive experience evaluating, implementing, designing and building software, data analytics, and machine learning systems for leading organizations in several industries around the world, including financial services, health care, oil and gas, natural resources, utilities, government, and construction. As CEO of Level49, a consulting group, he advises investment funds on software, AI, and analytics companies, testifies as an expert witness in technology litigation, and provides technology services. He also teaches graduate students at the Center for Technology Management at Columbia University, where he is a mentor.

Prior to Level49, he was the Chief Technology Officer at a global technology consulting firm serving the capital projects industry. Responsible for technology strategy, product development and project delivery, he led the firm’s growth from its inception to become a leading technical integrator in its space.

Previously, he led data engineering and analytics at Davidson Kempner Capital Management, an alternative asset management firm, and was a Director in the Investment Banking and Leveraged Finance division at CIBC World Markets, a global investment bank. Mr. Lewis received a B.A. in Psychology from UC San Diego and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Nate Smith
Nate Smith

CFO

Mr. Smith brings extensive leadership experience in operations, fund management, financial analysis, and strategic consulting across a number of industries. Mr. Smith serves as the Managing Director and CFO of 60 Degrees, a provider of strategic financial capital and human resources to alternative investment funds, family offices, and their underlying portfolio companies. 60 Degrees Group has operations in the United States, Cayman Islands, Canada and Malta. Mr. Smith serves on the board of a number of the portfolio companies, both public and private, including those specializing in technology, real estate and financial sectors.

Mr. Smith also runs a successful real estate development operation specializing in residential and multi-use sites within the Cayman Islands and midwestern United States. Prior to 60 Degrees Group, Mr. Smith was the Managing Director of a private fiduciary company providing independent directorships and trustee services to alternative investment funds and portfolio companies. He was also the Senior Vice President of a privately held, full-service bank overseeing analysis and allocation. Prior to his time at the private bank, Mr. Smith was a manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, focusing on providing strategic services to alternative investment funds. He also spent four years as an Active Duty Airman in the United States Air Force where he specialized in deploying information technology in forward locations and intrusion detection / penetration testing.

Mr. Smith is involved with several charitable organizations, notably serving on the board of the Cayman Islands chapter of 100 Men Who Give a Damn. Mr. Smith is a licensed CPA in the State of New Jersey, holds the TEP designation from the Society of Trust and Estate Professionals and received an M.B.A. in Finance from Monmouth University.

Ken Rosenblum
Ken Rosenblum

General Counsel

Mr. Rosenblum has been our General Counsel and Secretary since January 2021. Mr. Rosenblum is a New York City-based corporate and securities attorney with over 25 years of broad experience in mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity capital markets, senior lending, venture capital, private equity, private investment funds and SEC regulatory and compliance matters. Mr. Rosenblum currently advises a family office on their venture capital and private equity investments. Previously, he served as the General Counsel of Ritchie Capital Management, a global multi-strategy alternative investment platform, and was a partner at Sonnenschein in New York City, where he advised public and private companies and completed transactions in numerous industries including media, telecom, technology, energy, healthcare and insurance. Mr. Rosenblum began his legal career as a corporate lawyer at the New York and London offices of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. He has also worked in Silicon Valley representing tech and biotech start-up companies. Mr. Rosenblum is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. Mr. Rosenblum received a B.A. from Lehigh University and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. He is an active supporter of several local institutions and organizations, including The Horace Mann School.

Petros Kitsos
Petros Kitsos

Advisor

Mr. Kitsos is widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent strategy and merger experts in the aerospace, alternative energy, and diversified industrial sectors, and his advisory and transactional involvement has contributed to the significant and successful growth of a variety of companies in those sectors in the past thirty years.

Mr. Kitsos is currently the Managing Principal of TBL Strategy, a strategic advisory firm, and Co-Founder and Principal of The KT Family Trust, a private investment trust. Mr. Kitsos enjoyed a distinguished 16-year career in investment banking with Citigroup, Salomon Smith Barney, and Salomon Brothers where, among other responsibilities, he served as Head of the Global Defense & Aerospace Group, Head of Western Region Mergers & Acquisitions, and Co-Head of the Los Angeles office.

The KT Family Trust is a private investment entity that undertakes minority investments in businesses focused on industrial manufacturing and energy independence. TBL Strategy provides strategic advisory services to C-level executives across a broad array of industries since its establishment 13 years ago.  Mr. Kitsos presently serves as Independent Director of Sonnedix Power Holdings Ltd. and NGFCU, a federally chartered credit union.

Mr. Kitsos’s involvement in the space access and exploration industry spans more than twenty-five years with projects and investments in the following companies and / or transactions: Galaxy Latin America, Kistler Aerospace, Hughes Aircraft Company, Boeing / Hughes Space, DirecTV, Rocketplane, Resource21, ULA, GenCorp / Aerojet / ARC, Spacehab/Astrotech, Northrop Grumman / TRW, ATK / Thiokol / Orbital Sciences, Scaled Composites, PR Spaceport, Jacobs, URS/EG&G, Wyle Labs and Aerojet Rocketdyne, as well as several emerging space exploration companies under NDAs.

Mr. Kitsos is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hamilton College and holds an M.B.A. with honors from Harvard Business School. He also attended St. Antony’s College, Oxford.

Chis Perry
Chis Perry

Advisor

Mr. Perry is an internet pioneer, experienced CEO, digital entrepreneur and marketer. Currently, he is Co-Founder of Machine Capital, a new breed of investment and incubation company focused on building the leading quantum and artificial intelligence ventures that apply advanced technologies to solve previously intractable human and business challenges.  

Mr. Perry founded one of the first UK digital marketing agencies in 1996 and built it into one of the largest UK specialists, which was acquired by Razorfish. When Razorfish was ultimately sold to Microsoft, Mr. Perry was retained to provide leadership to Microsoft’s enterprise sales team across their key clients.

Subsequently, he created one of the first joint venture startups with WPP and Fabric, which built digital marketing automation platforms and data unification capabilities for WPP’s top ten clients. He also led the UK office of Wunderman. He is also an active investor and advisor to early-stage companies in the data, machine learning and tech space.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones

Advisor

Ben has spent his entire career at the bleeding edge of technology. As Global CTO at AKQA he led a 700 strong engineering team to establish AKQA as the world‘s most influential and awarded innovation agency with a successful exit to the WPP. 

Ben personally became globally recognized as a pioneer blending creativity and technology and only seeing the possible, where others only saw the obstacles. 

He recently was on the global executive team for Primer.ai, the worlds leader in NLP. 

He is an active investor across Quantum, AI and recently VR/Mixed Reality whilst holding board advisory positions.