Who is who

Rob Jakacki

Partner/CEO/Chief Investment Officer

Rob is the CEO and oversees all investment activities for Kudu, encompassing portfolio strategy, deal sourcing, analysis, transaction structuring, due diligence and monitoring. He was previously a co-founder and CIO of Asset Management Finance, LLC, where he oversaw new investments. Before AMF, he was a Vice President in the structured finance unit at Putnam Lovell NBF Securities and was an associate at First Union National Bank. He holds a masters in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA from Dickinson College.

Charlie Ruffel

Managing Partner / Chairman

Charlie is responsible for external activities at Kudu including marketing, deal sourcing, and capital raising. He was previously a co-founder and managing partner of Kudu Advisors, LLC, an asset management M&A advisor where he oversaw transactions in the target date fund, investment outsourcing, and defined contribution spaces. Before that he was co-founder and CEO of Asset International, Inc., a publisher and information service provider to the retirement, asset management, alternative investments, and securities services industries. There he founded PLANSPONSOR, PLANADVISER, Global Custodian, and Chief Investment Officer magazines and various websites, data businesses, and conferences. He holds an MA from Cambridge University and an MS from Columbia University.

Lee Beck

Managing Partner

Lee leads Kudu’s strategy, positioning and partner growth efforts. Before  Kudu, Lee led distribution strategy or strategic partnerships at three of the world’s most successful investment management firms, while holding roles on the executive, operating and global investment committees at BlackRock, JP Morgan and PIMCO. Lee was also a PhD candidate at the University of Colorado. He holds an MA from the University of Albany and an MBA from the University of Denver.

Gavin McLeod

Partner/ Chief Financial Officer

At Kudu, Gavin oversees finance and transaction support, which encompasses investment analysis, due diligence, and ongoing monitoring. Previously, he was a Principal at Asset Management Finance, LLC where he managed financial due diligence and operations. He was also CFO at Aligned Asset Managers, a GTCR-backed investment firm and was also a Director in KPMG’s Transaction Services Group where he led M&A due diligence engagements for strategic and private equity investors. Gavin is a Certified Public Accountant (U.S.) and Chartered Accountant (Australia). He holds a Commerce degree with Honors from Monash University, Australia.

Nick Platt, Jr.

Partner/ Chief Operating Officer/ Chief Compliance Officer

Nick is responsible for operations, deal support and compliance at Kudu. He was previously a co-founder and managing partner of Kudu Advisors, LLC, an asset management M&A advisor where he was involved in transactions in the target date fund, investment outsourcing, and defined contribution areas. Before that he was Chief Operating Officer of Asset International, Inc., a publisher and information service provider to the retirement, asset management, alternative investments, and securities services industries. Previously, Nick was a financial correspondent at Reuters in New York. He holds a BA from Vassar College.

Chris Shin

Vice President

Chris is responsible for in-depth investment review and monitoring of Kudu’s portfolio partners. In addition, Chris has overseen the due diligence and evaluation process for approximately 195 potential portfolio firms. He holds Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees in Finance and Economics from Emory University.

Quinn Keeler

Director of Client Experience

Quinn is responsible for client support, including marketing and public relations, at Kudu. She was previously Senior Vice President, Research & Surveys at Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and its former iterations, Strategic Insight, and Asset International, Inc., where she launched the survey and research product line in 1996. She holds a BA from Colgate University.

Catherine Huynh

Finance Manager

Catherine is responsible for valuation of portfolio companies, portfolio monitoring, investment review and due diligence analysis at Kudu. She was previously a Senior Associate at Duff & Phelps, where she performed valuations of illiquid debt and equity securities held by hedge funds and private equity funds. Catherine is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an MS in Accountancy and a BBA in Accounting from the University of Houston.

Sophie Akoundi

Analyst

Sophie is an analyst and supports the investment review, due diligence and monitoring process at Kudu. She holds a BA from Trinity College, Hartford, CT.

James Baynard

Associate

James is an associate, supporting portfolio and investment review processes at Kudu. Before joining Kudu, James was in an asset and wealth management program at J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank and a global leadership development program at GE Capital. James is a CPA and holds a BS in Economics and an MS in Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lindsay Hanig

Office Manager

Lindsay is Kudu’s office manager. Before joining Kudu, Lindsay worked as a personal assistant and tutor in New York City and as production coordinator for the New York WILD Film Festival. She holds a BA from Trinity College, Hartford, CT.