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Investment Team

Christian Zugel

Mr. Zugel serves as Founder and CIO of ZAIS and is also Chairman of the company’s Management Advisory Committee.  Mr. Zugel also serves as CIO and Chairman of the Board of ZAIS Group Holdings, Inc. Prior to founding ZAIS in 1997, Mr. Zugel was a senior executive with J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., where he led J.P. Morgan’s entry into many new trading initiatives.  At J.P. Morgan, Mr. Zugel also served on the Asia Pacific management-wide and firm wide market risk committees.  Mr. Zugel received a Masters in Economics from the University of Mannheim, Germany.

Daniel Curry

Mr. Curry serves as the President of ZAIS and is a member of ZAIS's Management Advisory Committee. Mr. Curry also serves as President and Chief Executive Officer and is a director of ZAIS Group Holdings, Inc. Prior to joining ZAIS, Mr. Curry served as the Chief Executive Officer of DBRS Limited and DBRS, Inc. from December 2013 to August 2016. Mr. Curry served as Global President of DBRS from May 2012 to December 2013 and held the role of President of DBRS, Inc. beginning in December 2008 when he joined DBRS. Prior to joining DBRS, Mr. Curry was a Group Managing Director at Moody’s, where he co-managed the corporate finance group for the Americas, overseeing the ratings and research on over 2,500 non-financial companies, spanning both investment-grade and high-yield areas. At Moody’s, Mr. Curry also managed the Structured Finance rating groups for Europe and Asia. Mr. Curry holds an MBA from Columbia University Graduate Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University.

Denise Crowley

Ms. Crowley serves as Head of Securitized Credit and Head of Business Development and Client Relations at ZAIS. As Head of ZAIS’s Securitized Credit Business, Ms. Crowley  is responsible for mortgage investments, including Non-Agency RMBS, CMBS, Commercial Real Estate debt and equity, ABS investments and CLO investments across our separately managed accounts and co-mingled funds. She is also a member of ZAIS’s Management Advisory Committee. Since joining ZAIS, Ms. Crowley has been actively involved in the MBS, CLO and CDO security markets since 1999. Previously, Ms. Crowley managed a HY credit fund for ZAIS. Before joining ZAIS in August of 1997, Ms. Crowley worked at J.P. Morgan in the High Yield Trading Group. Before J.P. Morgan, she worked for Hon. Daniel P. Moynihan as an economic research analyst. Ms. Crowley received a B.A. from Boston College and an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Ahrash Daneshvar

Mr. Daneshvar joined ZAIS Group (UK) Limited in London in July 2016 and serves as a Managing Director with a focus on credit derivatives and quantitative trading strategies. Before joining ZAIS, Mr. Daneshvar worked at Morgan Stanley for approximately ten years, where he rose to lead the structured credit business.  Mr. Daneshvar began his career at Commerzbank, before moving to UBS in 2004. He holds a B.A. in physics from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in physics from Cambridge University.

Vincent Ingato

Mr. Ingato serves as Head of Leveraged Finance and a Portfolio Manager and Managing Director. He is responsible for managing ZAIS CLOs and investing in the underlying leveraged loans. Mr. Ingato is the Chairman of the Leveraged Loan Investment Committee and is a member of ZAIS’s Management Advisory Committee and Investment Committee. .  Prior to joining ZAIS in June of 2013 and establishing the leveraged finance business, Mr. Ingato was a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at CVC Credit Partners, CVC Capital’s credit business (formerly known as Apidos Capital).  He joined CVC in May 2008 in connection with the sale of ACA to CVC.  Mr. Ingato established ACA’s leveraged finance business in 2004 and was responsible for the firm's Corporate and Leveraged Loan CDOs.  Prior to joining ACA Capital, Mr. Ingato was Senior Vice President and Head of the Leveraged Finance Group at Fuji Bank, which he started in 1992.  After the bank merged to form Mizuho Financial Group, he served as Deputy General Manager.  Prior to joining Fuji Bank, Mr. Ingato was Vice President and Area Manager of the Corporate Banking Group at Wells Fargo Bank where he was responsible for originating LBOs with the bank’s private equity firms.  Mr. Ingato holds his B.S., magna cum laude, in Marketing from Fairfield University, and an M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary.

Sourav Kar

Mr. Kar serves as a Director within the Portfolio Management Team and is responsible for consumer and mortgage-backed credit investments including securities and asset-based lending opportunities. Mr. Kar has 14 years of experience in structured finance. Prior to joining ZAIS in August of 2009, Mr. Kar worked at Lehman Brothers, where he focused on the financing and securitization of various Consumer and Esoteric assets and at Capital One Financial where he worked in the Prime credit card origination business.  Mr. Kar received an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Kharagpur.

Rick Nicklas

Mr. Nicklas serves as a Portfolio Manager and Managing Director and is responsible for securitized credit. Mr. Nicklas has over 20 years of experience in the U.S. Structured Securities market. Prior to joining ZAIS in August of 2008, Mr. Nicklas spent eight years with Lehman Brothers where he was a Senior Vice President trading non-agency mortgage backed securities with a particular focus on credit. Prior to Lehman, Mr. Nicklas spent seven years at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette trading both the senior and subordinate parts of the capital structure in the Residential Mortgage space. Mr. Nicklas has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. from the University of Virginia.

Cara Roche

Ms. Roche serves as Portfolio Manager and Managing Director and is responsible for securitized corporate credit.  Ms. Roche joined ZAIS in September of 2004 and since has had significant involvement in the investment analysis of corporate backed CDO tranches, credit derivatives and synthetic securitizations and the management of the funds holding these securities.  She also contributed to the development of analytical systems and the group’s quantitative modeling capabilities.  Prior to joining ZAIS, Ms. Roche attended New York University and Trinity College Dublin. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry from NYU in 2004 and an M.A. in Mathematics of Finance from Columbia University in 2009. 

David Stehnacs

Mr. Stehnacs serves as Portfolio Manager and Managing Director and is responsible for securitized corporate credit.  Mr. Stehnacs joined ZAIS in June of 2001 and since has had significant involvement in the structuring and investment analysis of CDO2, corporate backed CDO tranches and synthetic securitizations and the management of the funds holding these securities.  Mr. Stehnacs has a B.S. in Finance from Monmouth University.

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