Gary Townsend - Founding member and Chairman, GBT Capital Management, LLC, a macro long/short fund based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Also, 2007-2013, a founding partner, CEO and Portfolio Manager of Hill-Townsend Capital LLC, a long/short equity financial sector fund. Mr. Townsend has 35 years banking, regulatory, and investment experience. He started his business career in 1978, as a consultant and advisor on anti-dumping trade issues primarily to foreign manufacturers based in Asia. In 1982, he began a 15 year career as a U.S. government banking regulator. In 1990, he was recruited to build out a new, independent federal regulatory agency, the Federal Housing Finance Board, regulator of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. As Chief Examiner and Director of Supervision and Examination, Mr. Townsend organized and implemented supervisory examinations of the 12 FHLBanks and Office of Finance with particular emphasis on their funding activities, use of derivatives, safety and soundness and regulatory compliance. In 1998, Townsend joined FBR Capital Markets as a sell-side analyst, applying his banking and regulatory experience to the investment analysis of commercial banks of all market capitalizations. In 2007, Forbes.com named him as "Best Brokerage Analyst" for commercial banks; also Starmine ranked him the #2 earnings estimator (out of 109 analysts) and in the top 10% of analysts for stock picking and earnings accuracy. Townsend left FBR in November 2007 to launch Hill-Townsend Capital LLC. He holds a CPA designation (1999) and a MBA from George Washington University (1979).
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Christopher (Chris) Versace is widely referred to as The Thematic Investor because of the unique way he examines the intersection of economics, demographics, psychographics, technology and regulatory mandates on the global stage. Mr. Versace uses those intersections to identify key themes and structural shifts, as well as those companies best positioned to benefit from them, which provides a differentiated clarity and understanding to investors and executives. His insights are the culmination of more than 20 years analyzing industries and companies in a variety of roles as an equity analyst, portfolio manager, investment banker and strategic consultant.
The Thematic Investor moniker originated as an institutional investment newsletter that Mr. Versace developed to showcase his research insights and investment acumen. His firm, Versace Management, created thematic based investing portfolios for Agile Capital Management and the VZN Group, as well as advised on mergers and capital raises for many other firms. Mr. Versace now is the editor of the newsletter The Growth & Dividend Report, which brings his industry insights and investment recommendations to the investment community. Versace is also the editor of the PowerTrader and PowerOptions Trader services that utilize his thematic framework to trade options, stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs). In addition, each week, Versace shares his latest thoughts on the stock market, economy and latest financial news in his PowerTrend Bulletin e-letter with more than 115,000 investors.
The Growth & Divided Report, The Thematic Investor and Versace Management as well as his written columns all leverage his more than 13 years experience in the equity research departments of Salomon Brothers; Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Friedman Billings Ramsey (FBR). At these institutions, Mr. Versace analyzed the wireless, display and machinery/ capital goods as well as home building/building product industries to bring clarity, understanding and returns for both domestic and foreign mutual funds, hedge funds and other institutional investors.
His fresh insights on investing led to his August 2014 appointment an Assistant Professor at the New Jersey City University School of Business, as well as the faculty advisor to the school’s award winning Student Investment Management Group.
Mr. Versace is a featured columnist at The Street.com, as well as a contributor to FoxBusiness.com, Forbes.com and Newsmax. He is a frequent guest on radio and TV programs including Making Money with Charles Payne and Cavuto on the FOX Business Network, TheStreetTV, One American News Network, The Sam Sorbo Show, America’s Morning News each Friday and several others. He is a frequent speaker and panel facilitator at The Money Show, Freedom Fest, and the American Association of Individual Investors. He has also been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Investors Business Daily and other publications, and has also appeared on CNBC, CNBC Europe and CNNfn, and being given an honorable mention in Institutional Investor Magazine. He also previously authored the weekly Corner of Wall & Main for The Washington Times.
Mr. Versace also hosted PowerTalk, a weekly podcast that looked at key issues across a range of industries and in the economy with guests such as Steve Forbes, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Stephen Moore, former Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez and others. On the program, he also conducted long format interviews with executives from General Motors, Visa, Qualcomm, IBM, Cisco Systems and scores of others to inform and enlighten investors as well as corporate America.
Mr. Versace earned a B.S. in Economics, a B.A. in Mathematics and an MBA in Finance from Fordham. University. He currently holds the Series 65 designation.
In 2008, Derek Pilecki founded Gator Capital Management (http://www.gatorcapital.com). At Gator, Derek is a Portfolio Manager and is the firm's Managing Member. Gator Capital Management serves as the advisor to the Gator Focus Fund. He can be reached at email@example.com.
From 2003 through 2008, Derek was a co-Chair of the Investment Committee and a Portfolio Manager for Goldman Sach’s Growth Equity Team, where he helped to manage $30 billion in high quality growth stocks. Derek was also a member of the portfolio management team responsible for the Goldman Sachs Capital Growth Fund, and provided primary coverage of the financial sector for the Growth Team.
Prior to Goldman, Derek was an Analyst at Clover Capital Management in Rochester, New York and Burridge Growth Partners (now part of Essex Investments) in Chicago, Illinois. Before entering graduate school, Derek worked at Fannie Mae providing risk analysis for the company’s mortgage investment portfolio.
Derek holds an MBA with honors in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago and a BA in Economics from Duke University.
Vernon W. Hill writes to us as co-Chairman of Bankstocks.com (http://www.bankstocks.com/) (together with Tom Brown (http://seekingalpha.com/author/tom-brown)). Hill is the founder and former Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Commerce Bancorp. Beginning with a single branch in Marlton, New Jersey, Hill proceeded to turn the U.S. banking industry on its head over the ensuing 34 years. Using such innovations as first-class customer service, free coin counting, and seven-day-a-week banking, Commerce went on a growth tear unheard of in retail banking—or just about any other industry, for that matter. By the end of 2007, the company had grown—almost entirely organically--to a 470-branch, $49 billion institution. Many of the innovations Hill pioneered, such as evening and weekend hours, are now standard practice in many parts of the banking business.