Phoenix Strategy Investments represents family funds as well as the personal capital and talent of numerous business executives, most of whom lead, advise, or serve on the Boards of influential companies, trusts and organizations.
Mike Zani — Founding Partner
Mike is currently the CEO of The Predictive Index. Mike provides overall strategic direction for The Predictive Index with emphasis on global growth and product development to drive outstanding client results.
From 2009 to 2012, Mike was the CEO of ShapeUp, where he guided its corporate direction and vision. While at ShapeUp the company grew revenues by 600% in 3 years. He was also instrumental in raising two rounds of venture capital financing to support the company's continued growth. ShapeUp is a social SaaS wellness platform that sells into the Fortune 500 and health plans.
Before coming to ShapeUp, Mike led the acquisition of Law Enforcement Development Company (LEDCO) and ChargeGuard, manufacturers of rugged computer peripherals. Mike and his team at LEDCO-Chargeguard took sleepy manufacturers of police equipment and turned them into the largest manufacturer of rugged docking stations and periferals, supplying first responders, the military and field agents across the globe. Under Mike's leadership, LEDCO experienced 350% revenue growth in just four years, before it merged with Havis-Shields and industry leader in police radio consoles.
In 2002, he co-founded Phoenix Strategy Investments, a private investment fund, which makes direct control investments high potential companies. Prior to Phoenix Investments, Mike was involved with the building of Vanguard Sailboats, which was the largest manufacturer of sailboats in North America. Prior to his role as a boat builder, Mike was a coach for the 1996 US Olympic Sailing Team, during the Summer Olympiad in Atlanta, GA.
Mike received his B.S. from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard. He and his family live in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where they spend as much time on the water as possible.
Daniel Muzquiz — Founding Partner
Daniel is currently President and Chairman of The Predictive Index. He is responsible for execution of the corporate strategy through oversight of internal operations including technology, finance, business analytics and science. In addition, Daniel is a founding partner at Phoenix Strategy Investments, a private equity firm. Prior to The Predictive Index, Daniel was CEO of ExamSoft and responsible for guiding the company's overall strategy. ExamSoft, a high-growth SaaS platform, is a leader in improving educational outcomes for academic institutions. ExamSoft was purchased by Spectrum Equity in 2014. Before ExamSoft, Daniel was COO of LEDCO-Chargeguard, LLC. — a leading provider of solutions that enable mobile computing (sold in 2009), and Phoenix's first private equity investment. Under Daniel's tenure, LEDCO experienced record year-over-year growth and significantly increased margins. Prior to co-founding Phoenix Strategy Investments in 2002, Daniel was a strategy consultant for The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where he advised Fortune 500 companies. Before BCG, Daniel worked in JP Morgan's Mergers and Acquisitions Group, where he was involved in over $400 million in transactions, primarily in the manufacturing sector. Prior to investment banking, Daniel served as country manager for Nabors Drilling International (the world's largest, land-based drill, rig operator) in Mozambique and later Colombia. He was responsible for all P&L activities, capital expenditures, and union and client relations.
Daniel holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas, where he was selected for Pi Tau Sigma Honor Society, and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
David Schnabel — Partner
David is currently the President of ExamSoft. Mr. Schnabel is also a managing director at Phoenix Strategy Investments, a private equity firm. Prior to joining Phoenix Strategy Investments, David was Chief Executive Officer and a Board member of Gold's Gym International, the largest full-service fitness chain in the nation, with over 600 owned or franchised locations in 27 countries. While at Gold's, David oversaw all business lines, including owned-club operations, franchising, and product licensing. David led a restructure of the business to upgrade the store portfolio, business processes, revenue management systems, staffing systems, and IT infrastructure, while driving overall company and system growth. Before joining Gold's Gym International, David led acquisition efforts for TRT Holdings, a multibillion dollar, private holding company. While there, David led and asset managed investments across a number of industries from consumer/retail to financial services. Prior to joining TRT, David worked as an investment banker for Goldman, Sachs & Co., and a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.
David holds an AB degree in Economics and Political Science, with distinction, from Stanford University and a MBA, with distinction, from the Harvard Business School.
Founded in 1993, Gemini is a Massachusetts based private equity firm that provides capital and strategic resources to lower middle market companies. Since its inception, we have invested approximately $500 million in more than 90 companies throughout the U.S., typically investing $3 — $8 million per transaction in either control or minority positions.
Gemini offers a flexible investment approach. We provide a wide range of financing structures, which include subordinated debt with warrants, preferred stock, and common equity. We have extensive experience leading transactions, as well as co-investing with other private equity firms and independent sponsors.
Currently investing Gemini Investors V, L.P., we seek established businesses and experienced management teams that have a solid operating history and significant growth potential. Our target portfolio company has revenues of $10 to $50 million and EBITDA of at least $1 million. We have a diversified approach to investing, and a proven track record in consumer products and services, healthcare services, manufacturing, distribution, for-profit education, restaurants, waste and recycling, retail, hardware and software technologies, and business services.
In 2009, the U.S. Small Business Administration selected Gemini from among 300 current Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC) funds as the inaugural winner of the SBIC of the Year Award. We received this honor during National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C.
Over the last fourteen years, Gemini has built an experienced and cohesive team of investment professionals. The firm's five general partners have all worked together for more than a decade, and collectively bring 120+ years of experience in management, strategy consulting, investment banking, venture capital, and private equity.
Christopher Heinz is a founding partner of Rosemont Capital, a New York-based, private-equity investment company. Prior to Rosemont, Mr. Heinz worked as a senior advisor for the John Kerry for President 2004 campaign. Before joining the campaign, Mr. Heinz worked as an associate and principal at Jacobson Partners in New York City. The private-equity group focuses on small to medium-sized companies that have enterprise values between $20 million and $150 million, and are in turnaround or restructuring situations.
From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Heinz was employed by Cambridge Associates, a Boston-based investment advisor for investors classified as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. During his tenure at Cambridge, Mr. Heinz focused on private-equity and venture-capital partnership evaluation and portfolio construction. Mr. Heinz currently serves on the board of St. Paul's School and on the Board of Visitors of the Carnegie Mellon School of Public Policy. Mr. Heinz received a Bachelor of Arts in history from Yale University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University.
Bruce Macleod is currently running his own investment & development firm which consults and invests predominantly in real estate opportunities.
He was formerly the Chief Operating Officer at The Palladium Company, a real estate development company which specializes in large-scale mixed-use projects around the country, the most notable of which is CityPlace in West Palm Beach.
Mr. Macleod has extensive experience in all aspects of real estate; previously he was a partner in The O'Connor Group, and was president of a $1.6 billion private REIT it controlled. He was also with Fisher-Macleod, a developer of super-regional malls, Federated Department Stores as head of real estate operations, and Rouse & Associates.
Mr. Macleod received his undergraduate degree from Williams College and his MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Michael O'Connell is currently the managing director of M2O Investments, a family investment fund. He was formerly the managing director and president of Anhalt, O'Connell & Steffanci, Inc., an investment management firm specializing in debt securities with $1 billion under management. Prior to his time in investment management, Mr. O'Connell owned and operated the National Lines Bureau, the ship mooring company for the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors. He is currently an investor in over 20 private companies.
Mr. O'Connell received a BA, with high honors, from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Perla International is the holding company representing the Pereira Family Group of Companies which services the energy industry in South America. Perla's holdings focus on companies servicing oil & gas entities. Portfolio companies include transportation, drilling contracting, construction, oilfield catering, safety consulting and OEM representation. In addition the group is also a developer of energy projects and an investor in oil exploration and field development.
The Principal Managers for the group consists of four brothers all of which are US Citizens and graduates from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo, California.
J. Puckett is the managing partner in the Dallas office of The Boston Consulting Group and leader of the firm's Energy Practice in the Central U.S. He joined the Chicago office of BCG in 1989 and transferred to Dallas in 1994.
Mr. Puckett has worked in a wide variety of industries and functional areas. He has managed projects in strategy development, organization and process redesign, operational effectiveness, and cost reduction for companies in the energy, industrial goods, high technology, and the services sectors. Prior to joining BCG, Mr. Puckett worked for IBM.
Mr. Puckett received a BS in Computer Science and Religion from Duke University, and an MBA in Finance and Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Charles Shumway, a serial entrepreneur, is currently the president of First Plaza Corporation, a real estate development, management and consulting company, the vice president / secretary of Marco Movies and the vice president / treasurer of Infinetwork.
Mr. Shumway has extensive and multi-facetted experience in real estate. His developments include a diverse range of asset types including marinas, yacht clubs, country clubs, multi-unit condominiums and multi-use master planned communities. His roles are similarly diverse and include concept development, financing, coordination of builds and ultimately management.
Mr. Shumway received Bachelors of Art and a Masters of Arts degrees from Brown University.
Howard H. Stevenson is the Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration at The Harvard Business School. He is also a Senior Associate Dean and Director of External Relations.
Professor Stevenson was a founder and first president of the Baupost Group, Inc. which manages partnerships investing in liquid securities for wealthy families. When he resigned from active management, Baupost assets had grown to over $400 million. He is now co-chairman of the Advisory Board of Baupost LLC, a registered investment company. From 1978 to 1982, Professor Stevenson was Vice President of Finance and Administration and a Director of Preco Corporation, a large privately held manufacturing company.
Professor Stevenson has authored, edited or co-authored six books and forty-one articles. He is currently a director of Camp Dresser & McKee and Landmark Communications, as well as a trustee for several private trusts and foundations. He is a director of Sudbury Valley Trustees where he served as president from 1996 to 2000. He is a trustee of the Boston Ballet and a member of the Harvard Club of New York City.
He received his B.S. in mathematics, with distinction, from Stanford and his M.B.A., with high distinction, and D.B.A. degrees from Harvard University. He was a Thomas Watson National Merit Scholar and a recipient of the ALCOA and Ford Foundation Fellowships for graduate study.
Advisors / Venture Partners
Richard Breeden — Policy & Strategy Advisor
Richard Breeden is Chairman of Richard C. Breeden & Co. located in Greenwich, Ct., Richard C. Breeden & Co. provides turnaround and restructuring management or advisory services to companies in distress situations. It also works as an advisor to investment funds in private equity and distress situations, and provides strategic consulting on issues of corporate governance, SEC compliance, disclosure or capital markets issues.
Mr. Breeden currently serves as Corporate Monitor of WorldCom, Inc., having been appointed to oversee the Company's activities by the Hon. Jed S. Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Breeden recently finished a six-year assignment as Trustee in bankruptcy of a company that was the scene of the largest ponzi scheme in U.S. history, where he recovered over $700 million for defrauded creditors. He also previously served as Chairman and CEO of a small publicly traded specialty finance company, where he expanded revenues more than ten fold over a five year period and sold the company with a return to shareholders during Mr. Breeden's tenure of approximately 2,000%.
Mr. Breeden served as Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, from 1989-1993 where he was deeply involved in overhauling U.S. proxy rules, including disclosure requirements for executive compensation, as well as directing overall SEC disclosure, accounting and enforcement programs. Prior to the SEC, Mr. Breeden served in the White House under President (and Vice President) George Bush, where he was a senior adviser on economic, financial and regulatory issues, including having primary responsibility for designing the program to resolve the savings and loan crisis. Mr. Breeden began his career practicing corporate finance law in New York City, and spent three years from 1993-1996 as chairman of the international financial services practice of Coopers & Lybrand.
Mr. Breeden is a director of W.P.Stewart & Co., Ltd., a NYSE listed company that is a major equity investment manager, where he chairs the audit committee. He is also a director of eSpeed, Inc., a NASDAQ listed company, the world's largest electronic trading network for fixed income securities, where he serves on the audit committee and chairs the compensation committee. He is a director of AudioVisual Services Corporation, a privately held company, which is among the largest firms in the U.S. market for a/v rental services where he chairs the audit committee. He also currently chairs or serves on various advisory boards, including Corporate Governance Advisors (a joint venture of Richard C. Breeden & Co. and Edelman Financial) and several private equity and hedge funds, as well as previously serving as a member of the advisory board of Daimler Benz, A.G., capital markets advisory commissions in Italy, Russia and China, and the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.
Mr. Breeden is a graduate of Stanford University and the Harvard Law School.
Advisors / Venture Partners
David Millet — Private Equity Advisor
David has been a Managing Director of Gemini Investors since 1997 and an active participant in the private equity market since 1988. David has represented Gemini on the Board of Directors of 15 portfolio companies. Prior to joining Gemini, from 1988 to 1996, David was President of Chatham Venture Corp. a high technology venture capital firm. Chatham held investments in 22 high tech firms and David sat on the Board of Directors of 7 of these companies. Chatham returned a top quartile return for 1982 vintage funds. From 1983 to 1988, David was the CEO of a publicly traded home healthcare company. From 1975 to 1983 David was a group executive at NEC Electronics, USA, a US subsidiary of NEC Corp. of Tokyo, Japan, which manufactured and distributed semiconductor and microcomputer integrated circuits. From 1966 to 1975, David was Senior Consultant at Arthur D. Little, Inc. focusing on a wide range of development projects for government and commercial clients. David holds a B.A. from the Harvard University in Physical Sciences.
Advisors / Venture Partners
Edwin Datson — Finance Advisor
Edwin Datson currently runs a risk consultancy advising corporate clients on managing market risk. He is also an advisor to Arts Alliance, a European Venture Capital Fund specializing in digital media. Prior to this, he founded and was the portfolio manager of Wolf Rock Capital, a European equity long-short fund. Prior to Wolf Rock, he worked in public equity at Cycladic Capital. He spent three years in private equity as a Principal at Bain Capital Europe where he worked on leveraged transactions in several industries. Before Bain Capital, Edwin ran a group at Morgan Stanley responsible for generating and executing leveraged buyouts. Prior to that, he spent five years in strategy consulting with Monitor Company in Europe and the US.
He holds an MBA with High Distinction as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School and has a Double First MA from Oxford University.
Advisors / Venture Partners
Chip Johns — Manufacturing Advisor
Chip is an entrepreneur with proven management and leadership experience. Chip is currently the President/COO at Butler Automatic , a manufacturer of automatic splicing machines primarily used in the packaging market.
Prior to Butler, Chip was the founder of White Oak Investment Partners, a private equity sponsor targeting middle market manufacturing companies. Chip also served as a strategic advisor to several established manufacturing and start-up companies.
From 1986 until 2007 Chip built Vanguard Sailboats from start up into an industry leader through new product development, growing existing products, and executing three acquisitions. In order to support the revenue growth Chip developed a highly motivated and dedicated management team. Chip managed the sale of Vanguard to a European competitor in 2007 and retired from the business. Over this time Vanguard Sailboats averaged 26% CAGR.
Prior to running Vanguard, Chip worked in the Defense Electronics industry as an Engineer and a Program Manager for a small company involved in the Anti-Submarine Warfare business. Chip lead various teams in development and production projects and during his time as an engineer was granted a patent for conceiving and developing a plastic, blow molded housing for electronics to be used in an ASW system.
Chip has served and currently serves in a variety of community and industry volunteer board level positions including a community based program for at risk youth, the sailing industry association, and the national and international governing bodies for the sport of sailing. Chip was awarded the Sailing Industry Leadership award in 2006.
Chip is married with three almost grown up children and lives in Mattapoisett, Mass.
Advisors / Venture Partners
Scott Requadt — Legal Advisor
Scott has over 10 years of operating and investment experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Clarus in 2005, Scott was Director, Business Development of TransForm Pharmaceuticals, Inc until it was acquired in 2005 by Johnson & Johnson. At TransForm, Scott had broad responsibility for business development, corporate development and legal activities, including managing the company's intellectual property group.
Prior to TransForm, Scott practiced for several years as an M&A attorney at the NYC-based law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he represented numerous private equity, pharma and technology clients. Before that, Scott was a law clerk for a senior judge at the Supreme Court of Canada. Scott holds a B.Com (Economics & Finance) from McGill University (First Class Honors), a J.D. from University of Toronto and most recently an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.
Mr. Requadt represents Clarus Ventures on the Board of Directors of Edev andTyRx, and is also a Board Observer for Catabasis, Oxford and Variation.
Advisors / Venture Partners
Mike Mills — Distribution Advisor
Michael Mills is the President of Jamestown Distributors. Headquartered in Bristol, RI, Jamestown Distributors is recognized as a leader in marine and building supplies, and has been “helping people with their boats and boat building needs since 1977.” With a crew of 50 employees, Jamestown Distributors maintains customers throughout the world.
Under Mike's guidance, Jamestown Distributors has evolved from a small marine hardware store in Jamestown Rhode Island, to the leading marine ecommerce / web distributor in the world. Jamestown distributors hosts over 100k skus, with more than 500 different brands. Utilizing technology like EDI, barcoding, warehouse handhelds, web search optimization, Amazon cloud services, and a giant google adword inventory, JD has revolutionized distribution for boaters at a retail level and the whole boating industry.
Mike graduated from Princeton University in 1994 as an All-American sailor with a degree in Geology. He now lives in Tiverton RI, with 3 daughters and wife, Nina, who is “even more competitive than him.” Mike enjoys sailing, surfing, fishing and skiing with “the four blondes”.