Claudine Aquillon, Managing Partner
Claudine Aquillon serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to co-founding Arboretum Investment Advisors, LLC (“Arboretum IA”), Ms. Aquillon served as Chief Operating Officer for a multinational alternative investment manager with over $1 Billion of capital raised. Ms. Aquillon brings over 25 years of operations experience, in both the public and private sectors. During her career in the financial services industry, Ms. Aquillon has served in multiple senior management and director positions at independent leasing companies, international banks, and financial consulting and due diligence firms where her primary responsibility was to oversee and manage the administrative, financial, legal, operational and risk functions. Ms. Aquillon also brings mergers & acquisition experience, having been part of a team that structured multiple successful acquisitions in the banking and financial services industry. Ms. Aquillon received her B.A. in Business Administration & Finance from Bradford College and has a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma from Villanova University.
Michael Miroshnikov, Managing Partner
Michael Miroshnikov serves as President. Prior to co-founding Arboretum IA, Mr. Miroshnikov began his career in the equipment leasing and finance industry in 2002 and was a founder of a multinational alternative investment manager with over $1 Billion of capital raised, where he played an integral role in a variety of capacities including operations, compliance, acquisitions and executive management. Mr. Miroshnikov has spearheaded the growth and development of Arboretum IA’s acquisition and origination division. Mr. Miroshnikov possesses a specific expertise in technology, manufacturing, medical, marine, energy and aviation assets and the respective industries. He graduated with a B.A. in Investment Finance from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College and received a Juris Doctorate degree from Brooklyn Law School. He also holds Series 7, 24, and 63 licenses.
Michael Ponticello, Managing Partner
Michael C. Ponticello serves as an Executive Vice President. Prior to co-founding Arboretum IA, Mr. Ponticello was a co-founder of multinational alternative investment manager with over $1 Billion of capital raised. Mr. Ponticello has over 17 years’ experience in the asset finance and equipment fund management business specializing in collateralized, non-correlated, income-producing investments. Mr. Ponticello has been involved in the launch of nine alternative investment funds catering to a broad array of investors including institutions, funds of funds, wealth managers, and retail investors in the United States. Mr. Ponticello is also responsible for the establishment and development of American Elm Distribution Partners LLC (“American Elm”), an Independent Broker-Dealer, and serves as its CEO and President. Mr. Ponticello served as a Board member and Director of The Alternative & Direct Investment Securities Association (ADISA), a national trade association of decision makers who influence over 30,000 professionals involved in alternative investments, primarily non-traded alternatives. Mr. Ponticello received his B.A. from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. He also holds Series 7, 24, and 63 licenses.
Robert “Chip” Leas, Chief Executive Officer – Arboretum Commercial Finance, LLC
Mr. Leas serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Arboretum Commercial Finance, LLC. Mr. Leas brings over 35 years of executive management experience, in both the public and private sectors. During his career in the financial services industry, Mr. Leas has been very active in industry associations having served as President of the Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors, Chairman of the independent leasing companies group of Equipment Leasing Association and has held various board seats and directorships in numerous leasing and commercial finance organizations. In addition he was a member of the executive committee of First Liberty Bank, and served in multiple senior management and director positions at independent leasing companies, and financial institutions. His primary responsibility was to oversee and manage lease and loan origination, operations and risk management. In addition, Mr. Leas has provided expert testimony services, mergers & acquisition consulting, and strategic portfolio acquisition advisement.
Josh Yifat, Chief Financial Officer
Joshua Yifat serves as the Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Yifat has over 20 years of business finance, accounting, tax and corporate auditing experience, including positions at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, KPMG LLP, and other regional accounting firms. He has extensive experience in the alternative investments industry including hedge funds and private equity funds. Mr. Yifat served as a consultant Chief Financial Officer with a CFO outsourcing firm, providing CFO strategies and services to various small to mid-sized publicly traded companies and alternative investments funds. Prior to that, Mr. Yifat was the Chief Financial Officer of Infinity Augmented Reality, Inc., a publicly traded company on the OTC, where he provided multi-functional executive leadership on accounting, finances, operations and investor/shareholder relations. Mr. Yifat also served as a Vice President of the Managed Futures Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, where he supervised 40 managed futures funds with assets under management in excess of $6.5 billion. Mr. Yifat holds a B.S. from Touro College.
Doug Drozdowski, Chief Compliance Officer
Douglas Drozdowski serves as the Chief Compliance Officer of Arboretum IA and American Elm Distribution Partners, LLC. Mr. Drozdowski joined Arboretum in 2017. Mr. Drozdowski has worked in the brokerage and registered investment advisor industry for 17 years focusing exclusively in compliance for the past 13 years. Mr. Drozdowski’s direct compliance and supervisory experience includes working at FINRA (formerly NASD); and senior compliance roles at large institutional broker-dealers, investment companies and advisers, a large retail broker-dealer with commercial and retail bank affiliates, and a small high net worth dually registered investment adviser and broker-dealer. Mr. Drozdowski holds a B.S. from Providence College. He also holds Series 7, 24, and 63 licenses.
Kevin Chase, CFA®, Chief Credit Officer
Kevin Chase serves as the Chief Credit Officer. Mr. Chase joined Arboretum IA in 2016 and brings over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. During his career, Mr. Chase has held several underwriting and credit portfolio risk management roles at large financial institutions and independent leasing companies in the Boston area. His primary focus has been underwriting and managing complex credit transactions across numerous industries. Mr. Chase received his B.S. in Business Administration from Northeastern University and received a Master’s of Science in Finance degree from Bentley University. He is a CFA® Charter holder and is a member of the CFA Institute and the Boston Securities Analysts Society.
Matthew Cowan, General Counsel
Matthew Cowan serves as the General Counsel and Secretary. Mr. Cowan joined the founders of Arboretum IA in 2014 as a senior staff attorney, and in 2016 became the General Counsel. Prior to joining Arboretum IA, Mr. Cowan spent several years working for small law firms with diversified areas of practice. During this time, Mr. Cowan specialized in real estate and corporate transactions, working with a wide array of corporate and individual clients both as a transactional attorney and a litigator. Mr. Cowan received a J.D from New York Law School and a B.S. from the New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is an attorney licensed in New York and New Hampshire.
Carmine Cozelino, Senior Vice President – Product Development
Carmine Cozelino serves as Senior Vice President. Mr. Cozelino joined American Elm Distribution Partners, LLC in 2014 and serves as Senior Vice President for that entity as well. Mr. Cozelino specializes in equipment finance and real estate, his key attribute is an in-depth knowledge of sales and marketing with a focus on product structuring and working with non-traded investments including asset-backed financing. Prior to joining Arboretum IA and American Elm Distribution Partners, LLC, Mr. Cozelino most recently served as Vice President Product Specialist with ICON Investments focusing on non-traded equipment funds. He also served as Vice President and National Sales Desk Manager with ICON Investments where he held multiple sales leadership roles since 2008. Prior to that time, he was a Senior Regional Consultant with Alliance Bernstein charged with mutual fund and separately managed account distribution across the Midwest, working with Registered Investment Advisors, wire houses, and independent Broker-Dealer representatives. Mr. Cozelino received his B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs from Hofstra University and holds Series 7, 39 and 63 Licenses.
Christina Oakes, Senior Vice President – Investor Relations
Christina Oakes serves as the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. Ms. Oakes joined the team in 2013 and has held various positions in the investment industry since 2002. She has a unique professional background, combining experience from both buy and sell-side firms spanning private equity and venture capital, retail stocks, municipal bonds, family office, and alternative investments. Prior to joining the company, she most recently held the position of Vice President of Investor Relations at Berkeley Advisors, a real estate investment firm that managed private REITs and limited partnerships. Ms. Oakes also previously served as a Project Manager for the investments team at Capricorn Management, a Silicon Valley-based family office. Ms. Oakes received her B.S. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance and Economics from Saint Mary’s College of California.
Kyle Manez, Senior Vice President – Operations
Kyle Manez serves as the Senior Vice President of Operations. Mr. Manez joined the team in January of 2015 as an operations analyst before moving into a Vice President role. He has been a key contributor in re-engineering the company’s systems and procedures in order to help drive revenue growth as well as improve the client experience. His primary functions include overseeing the day to day management of all Arboretum IA and 3rd party funds. Mr. Manez has worked in the financial service industry since 2011. Prior to joining Arboretum IA he has most recently worked as a registered representative for JPMorgan Securities, LLC in the Private Client/wealth management division while holding series 6 and 63 licenses. Mr. Manez received his B.A. in Business Management from Gettysburg College and is a CFA Level II Candidate.
William D. Ford, CFP®, Vice President – Strategic Accounts
Bill Ford is Vice President, Strategic Accounts for American Elm Distribution Partners, LLC. He is responsible for initiating and developing strategic business alliances with financial intermediaries and American Elm’s distribution partnerships with third-party asset managers. Bill has more than twenty years of experience in the financial services industry as both a business development executive and Financial Advisor. His areas of expertise include traditional and alternative investment management, retirement planning and insurance solutions. Prior to joining American Elm, Bill was Vice President, National Accounts for American Century Investments. He has developed and managed account relationship efforts for Guardian Investor Services, MetLife and Putnam Investments. Bill has also held positions as Executive Director, Advisory Services for a Retirement Plan Administrator and Financial Advisor with a legacy organization of Ameriprise Financial. Bill is Series 24, 7 and 63 licensed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) and holds the designation of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM (CFP) and Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC). He attended the University of New Hampshire where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Minor in Business Administration.