FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
Mr. Bortz co-founded CREO and leads its investment management business. With over 19 years of experience in developing and managing investments for high-net-worth individuals, families and institutions, Mr. Bortz has generated sizeable returns for private equity and hedge fund investors focusing on distressed, asset–intensive companies in the middle market and public companies trading at a discount to their intrinsic value. Prior to CREO, Mr. Bortz served as a Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers focused on business and professional services investment banking. During his tenure at Lehman Brothers, Mr. Bortz led transactions in a multitude of business and professional services sub-sectors, including the security, staffing, human capital management, facilities services, consulting services, marketing services and business process outsourcing sectors. Previously, Mr. Bortz served as a Vice President in investment banking at Credit Suisse, focusing on providing a full suite of investment banking services to mid- and large-cap companies in the Western United States. Prior to that, Mr. Bortz served as a senior manager in the business assurance practice at Ernst and Young. Mr. Bortz graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Business Science degree. He is qualified as a chartered accountant in South Africa as well as in England & Wales.
President & Managing Director
Mr. Montminy co-founded CREO Capital Advisors and leads CREO's investment banking business. For over 17 years, Mr. Montminy has led professional service firms and initiated cross-border and domestic mergers & acquisitions, leveraged and management buyouts, and private placements of equity securities, restructurings, business valuations, fairness opinions and strategic advisory assignments. He has advised founders, CEO's and boards in a wide range of industries including consumer products, retail, distribution, financial services and digital media. Prior to CREO, Mr. Montminy was Managing Director of Los Angeles-based investment bank Greif & Co., leading a broad range of middle market transactions. He was previously Director of Business Development for multinational law firm Arter&Hadden, LLP and served on its Management Committee. He frequently speaks on various corporate finance topics and is quoted by the financial press. Mr. Montminy has received several finance industry awards for transactional success, including winning M&A Advisor Magazine's "40 Under 40" award. Mr. Montminy is a founding member of Young Presidents Organization, Las Virgenes Chapter. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California, and attended Case Western Reserve School of Law. Mr. Montminy holds a B.A. Summa Cum Laude from Mercyhurst College, where he was an Academic All-American in hockey. Mr. Montminy is registered with FINRA and holds the Series 24, 7, 79 and 63 licenses.
Mr. Holland co-founded CREO, and has over 10 years of experience in operations, investment banking, and distressed investing. He has extensive transaction experience in the food, transportation, and manufacturing industries, including cross border mergers & acquisitions and leveraged buyouts. Previously, Mr. Holland was Associate at Trust Company of the West, a $110 billion Los Angeles-based asset management firm. Prior to that, Mr. Holland was an Associate at Lehman Brothers where he focused on M&A and capital raising transactions in the business services, engineering and construction, and real estate industries. Mr. Holland graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy at Wake Forest University where he attended as a Presidential Scholar.
Mr. Sternberg has over 16 years of experience in accounting, investment banking, and private equity investing. He has focused on transactions in food, contract manufacturing and financial services, with specific expertise in mergers & acquisitions and leveraged buyouts. Previously, Mr. Sternberg was a Vice President in the Financial Institutions Investment Banking group at Morgan Stanley, where was responsible for capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic advice to a large number of private and publicly-held companies. Prior to that, Mr. Sternberg was Vice President at National Financial Partners, an Apollo Group-backed venture involved in the consolidation of financial service companies. Prior to that, Mr. Sternberg was an Associate in the Investment Banking division of Goldman Sachs and an auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co. Mr. Sternberg holds a Master of Business Administration, with Honors from Columbia University. He holds a Bachelors of Commerce degree with Honors from the University of Cape Town and his post graduate diploma in Accounting from the University of Cape Town, where he is registered as a Chartered Accountant.
Mr. Bratter has over 20 years of diversified financial experience in the areas of investment banking and commercial banking. He has completed a wide variety of corporate finance transactions including cross-border and domestic mergers and acquisitions, leveraged and management buyouts, underwriting initial and secondary public offerings, private placements of debt and equity securities. Prior to joining CREO, Mr. Bratter founded Bratter Enterprises, LLC, an advisory firm providing financial market expertise to middle-market growth companies. Previously, Mr. Bratter was a Senior Vice President with Greif & Co., where he was involved in many of the firms' most notable transactions. Prior to that, he was Vice President in the Corporate Finance Group with Van Kasper & Co., and Vice President with Bank of California in the Commercial Lending Group. Mr. Bratter holds an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California where he graduated with Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma business honors and a B.S. in Finance from San Diego State University.
Mr. Gordon has over 20 years of representing high net worth individuals and families in the financial services and legal industry. Prior to CREO, Mr. Gordon was the President and founder of Stealth Capital Management, an open architecture multi-family office boutique advisory firm. Prior to that Mr. Gordon was a Principal at East Avenue Capital Partners, a global hedge fund. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President in the wealth management group at Morgan Stanley and UBS. Before entering the financial services sector, Mr. Gordon practiced entertainment law at Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro. Mr. Gordon graduated with a Masters of Law from the Harvard Law School where he was Fulbright Scholar. He received the Sir Abe Bailey Scholarship to the London School of Economics and graduated Cum Laude with both his B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Witwatersand in Johannesburg.
Mr. Coonrod has over nine years experience in operations and investment banking. He has participated in numerous corporate finance and capital market transactions, including domestic mergers & acquisitions, follow-on equity offerings, initial public offering, leveraged buyouts and private placements of equity securities. He has expertise in a wide range of industries, including business services, consumer products, energy and gaming. Prior to joining CREO, Mr. Coonrod worked in the alternative energy practice at Stern Brothers & Co. focusing on the issuance of public and private bonds used to finance biomass, wind and solar projects. Prior to that, Mr. Coonrod was an Associate at The Mercanti Group and an Analyst on the Equity Capital Markets Desk for Deutsche Bank Securities. Mr. Coonrod graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor's degree in Finance.
Mr. Froidevaux has over four years diversified experience in finance and operations within the financial services and healthcare industries. Prior to CREO, he served as the Financial Director for Preciado Cardiology, Inc., a Los Angeles based medical practice. Mr. Froidevaux has also served as a Financial Analyst for Panamera Capital, a hedge fund primarily focused on investment opportunities located outside of the United States. He holds an M.B.A from Pepperdine University, where he graduated with Beta Gamma Sigma business honors and a B.A. in Economics from the University of California Irvine.
Ms. Bayne has over 18 years of experience in consumer banking, investment banking, venture capital and private equity. Prior to CREO, Ms. Bayne was at Anthem Venture Partners, a Santa Monica-based venture capital firm. Prior to that, Ms. Bayne was at investment bank Dillon Read (subsequently merged with SBC Warburg and UBS) in their Mergers & Acquisitions Department, a significant portion of which was spent working directly with the UBS Vice Chairman of Corporate Finance/Global Head of the Consumer Products Group. Ms. Bayne's career began working with the CMO in Corporate Marketing of Dime Savings Bank (now Chase).
Mr. Gardner joined CREO with over 30 years of experience in consumer packaged goods sales, marketing and general management at both the manufacturer and wholesale/distribution levels. He has successfully managed four turnarounds of both U.S. and Mexican owned operations in the public and private arenas. He was previously a senior executive at Unified Grocers and DESC, where he took perennial profit challenged operations and turned them into record EBITDA contributors while increasing sales. Previously, Mr. Gardner served in senior marketing, sales and general management roles at General Mills, Heinz, Con-Agra and Herdez. Mr. Gardner earned his MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia and his ScB in Applied Mathematics and Economics at Brown University.
Mr. Hawks joined CREO with over 35 years of experience in all aspects of the wholesale, retail and sales and marketing services arenas of the grocery industry. He has successfully started and led distribution centers, as well as sales and marketing agencies. Mr. Hawks previously founded Western Sales & Marketing, and served as President and part owner of Pasarow Foods Inc. which was sold to Acosta Sales & Marketing, the largest organization of its kind in the U.S.. Prior to that, he had senior management roles Unified Western Grocers and Westpac/Super Store Industries and Fleming Foods, and has consulted for a number of west coast's leading distributors and independent retailers.
Mr. Diamond brings to CREO over 20 years of experience in financial services in senior positions across asset management and banking, including founding, building and exiting several companies. He has particular experience in guiding rapidly expanding wholesalers in various sectors. He is currently President and CEO of Nova Potash Corporation, a mining company with property in Ethiopia. He was previously the President & COO of Basis Medical Technologies, Inc., an international medical device business. Before that, Mr. Diamond was Managing Partner of Spara Capital Partners, a Canadian-based merchant bank focused on the lower middle market, where he led several principal investments including Street Capital Financial Corporation, a Canadian mortgage wholesaler, sold in 2011. Previously, he founded and led the sale of Triax Capital Corp., Skylon Capital Corp. and VentureLink Capital Corp., all Canadian-based mutual fund wholesalers. Mr. Diamond holds a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario.