Our Executive Committee calls on the insights and analysis of experienced investment professionals. Our Members have over 150 years combined experience in corporate finance and business operations in private and public companies. Our specific expertise includes corporate finance, M&A, commercial real estate, strategic planning, product sourcing, project finance, sales and marketing, corporate reorganizations and divestitures.
Geoffrey Hawkins has been a professional investor for over 30 years. He started as an accountant/programmer for a family office specializing in commercial real estate, and shifted to residential housing when he was a portfolio manager and trader for the Freddie Mac proprietary CMO desk. From there he worked as a mutual fund analyst and portfolio manager at the Capital Group Companies in Los Angeles, covering a wide spectrum of sectors, including the global structured product markets (ABS, CMBS, RMBS, CLO’s and CDS), REITs, banks, and specialty finance companies. Mr. Hawkins shifted into the world of private equity and hedge fund investing shortly after the 2008 recession, where he bought and managed commercial real estate properties for the KBS Opportunistic REITs. Mr. Hawkins currently invests in opportunistic real estate and CRE Tech initiatives, including seeding a residential loan platform, and an affordable housing renovation and construction fund. Mr. Hawkins has undergraduate degrees in finance and accounting from the University of Iowa, and an MBA in Finance from DePaul University.
"Ollie" was born in Germany, but grew up in the U.S. Undergraduate studies were at the University of Vermont, balancing schoolwork with a variety of winter sports. A subsequent MBA from Duke University in 1994 set the stage for him to meet and work with many of the great people who are now involved with Ajia Holdings. After 3 years in New York and London post-graduation, Ollie's initial "2-year assignment" in Tokyo is inexplicably coming up on 13 years, which has opened up an exciting world of Asian work and travel from Nepal to Fiji. He's held a variety of fixed-income derivatives risk and marketing roles over the years at Wall Street firms, including managing a desk and being tasked with translating for Japanese colleagues. Married with two small children, Ollie can usually be found kicking the soccer ball around with them in his free time, when not chasing the perfect untouched powder run up in the mountains of Hokkaido.
Christine Villaluz is currently a research analyst for Franklin Templeton Investments, a global investment manager that provides advisory services to mutual fund, retirement, and institutional investors. As a sector analyst for Franklin, Christine follows the cable, satellite, telecommunications, homebuilding, building materials and product sectors worldwide. Her recommendations support investments in high yield, global credit, emerging markets, convertible and other income strategies. Christine received a B.S. degree in economics from the University of California, at Berkeley and an M.B.A. from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
Mr. Sheffield has been a principal investor for over 15 years. Mr. Sheffield co-founded Carthage Capital Group, a New York-based private investment company. Mr. Sheffield was an Associate at Chase Manhattan Bank in its Structured Finance Group. Mr. Sheffield also worked as a Senior Consultant with Mitchell & Titus, LLP and Andersen Consulting (Accenture). Mr. Sheffield received an M.B.A. in Finance and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business (1994) and earned a B.S. in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1989). Mr. Sheffield is a founder and former board member of the Council of Urban Professionals and is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the Twenty First Century Foundation and founder and former Treasurer of Brooklyn Excelsior Charter School.