Robert Genise has over 35 years of aircraft financing and leasing experience. He has served as CEO of companies that have managed over $23 billion of aviation assets across multiple successful leasing platforms. Mr. Genise was one of the founders of Boullion Aviation Services in 1988 and served as the company’s CEO in Seattle, Washington. Boullion was sold to Pacific Life in 2005 with ~$10 billion of total assets. Mr. Genise was also a founder and board member of Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE). SALE was established in 1993 and sold to Bank of China Aviation in 2006 with ~$10 billion of aviation assets. In 2007, Mr. Genise established DAE Capital in Dubai. DAE grew to over $3 billion in aviation assets during Mr. Genise’s tenure. In 2014, Mr. Genise established Aergen, a Dublin-based aircraft leasing platform with over $200 million of initial equity investment from Greenbriar Equity Group and Southwest Airlines (the largest global operator of Boeing Aircraft) as well as co-investment from several family offices and the Aergen management team. Aergen focused on building a portfolio comprised of high quality mid- to late-life aircraft, exclusively focused on in-production narrow-body aircraft with an attractive and diverse group of lessees. Aergen successfully disposed of its leased aircraft fleet via an ABS securitisation transaction that was positively received by global financial markets.
Currently, Mr. Genise serves as chairman of White Oak Commercial Aviation, a new Dublin-based aviation finance platform that focuses on both aircraft leasing and the financing of aviation-related assets including aircraft engines, spare parts inventories etc. Mr. Genise also serves on the board of directors of Aloft Aero Architects, Frontier Airlines, and the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Mr. Genise completed his B.A. at New York University, his MBA at the University of Connecticut, and a J.D. degree at Pace University.
Mr. Genise has been a successful early stage equity investor in multiple companies including F5 Networks, a Seattle-based transnational company that specializes in application services and application delivery networking. F5 is now a publicly traded company with 2018 revenues of ~$2.2 billion. Mr. Genise resides in Seattle, Washington.
Richard is the founder and Managing Director of Viridis Capital & Advisory, a boutique advisory firm providing C –suite advice in the transportation sector with a focus on sustainability.
Richard has over 25 years of global financial leadership experience in investment banking organisations. He was previously Global Head of Transportation Finance at Deutsche Bank (DB) overseeing a team of professionals covering the aviation, shipping and rail sectors involved in both private and capital markets financings including EETCs, ABS and high yield. Prior to this role, Richard was DB’s Head of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy financing for the EMEA region.
Prior to DB, Richard served as Head of Transport Infrastructure at RBC Capital Markets, financing toll roads, ports, airports and rail infrastructure.
Richard has a B.A in Business Studies and a M.A. in International Business and Economics from the University of Reading in the UK and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers
RIchard is also currently advising the board of a hydrogen aviation company on strategic investments, corporate finance, capital raising and investor relations activities.
Claude Franco is a skilled aircraft and engine leasing executive with airline restructuring and aircraft manufacturing experience (commercial and business jets). He previously served as Founder of Global Jet Capital, a company that provides leasing/financing solutions to the global business aircraft industry. This company was taken over by Carlyle Group and GSO Capital in 2015.
Currently, Mr. Franco is a Senior Managing Director and Co-Founder of White Oak Aviation and serves on the board of Goldenbridge Acquisition Limited (NASDAQ: GBRBU).
During his career, Mr. Franco has held leadership positions at United Technologies Corporation (Sikorsky Aircraft - helicopter design), GE Capital (GECAS - commercial aircraft/commercial engine leasing/airline restructuring worldwide), Gulfstream Aerospace, Guggenheim Partners and White Oak Aviation. Mr. Franco has also started and successfully sold two aviation finance/leasing investment funds. White Oak is his third aviation financing platform.
Over the past 25 years, Mr. Franco has securitized and bought and sold portfolios of commercial aircraft and engines. He has also established relationships with many of the large leasing companies, aviation parts companies as well as global airlines and aircraft and engine manufacturers worldwide. Mr. Franco has strong experience managing through downturns (SARS, MERS, 9-11, COVID) as well as capitalizing on the aviation asset opportunities these downturns create.
Mr. Franco has closed aircraft and engine transactions with US and foreign governments and carriers around the globe. He possesses a solid understanding of aircraft manufacturing (operational process, sales, progress payments, etc.) and has negotiated contracts from most all major aircraft manufacturers worldwide. He has held securities and exchange licenses (Series 7 and 63), and has a deep understanding of the aviation fixed income markets (bonds, EETCs, ABS, etc.).
Mr. Franco holds degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Emory University (MBA). He is married and lives in Connecticut.
Chris Dias is an experienced business advisor and risk practitioner with over 30 years of international of experience helping global institutions transform and profit from turmoil and uncertainty. A Senior Partner at KPMG, Mr. Dias has adeptly pivoted through multiple leadership roles. Mr. Dias led the Model and Valuation Business providing modeling, predictive analytics, and complex financial instrument valuation to clients globally; he was also the Client Account Lead Partner at two diverse financial services companies with large leasing businesses where he connected KPMG services with client needs. As a KPMG Partner Mr. Dias was also sought after by clients for his expertise in capital, liquidity, and regulatory risk. Prior to joining KPMG Mr. Dias spent time at a technology start-up where helped co-create a patented trading platform.
Mr. Dias has a B.A. in Political Science and History from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada and M.B.A. in Finance from New York University.
Nick Rau is an engineer and entrepreneur who has spent more than two decades building data products and software platforms that operate successfully at very large scale, along with the development and operations teams those platforms require. Particular focus areas of Nick's career have been in digital media measurement, user interfaces/experiences, big data pipelines/platforms, and cloud infrastructure.
Nick has worked in a wide range of companies from startups to large corporations. Most recently Nick spent seven years at the Nielsen Company as SVP Engineering where he led the digital audience measurement engineering and operations divisions that measured billions of daily ad exposures across the Web, mobile apps, and Connected TVs. Prior to Nielsen Nick co-founded and was the CTO of Vizu Corporation, an advertising analytics company that pioneered real-time advertising measurement for digital brand campaigns. Vizu was acquired by Nielsen in 2012. Prior to Vizu Nick led the West technology practice for Modem Media / Digitas, an advertising and marketing agency, and was responsible for the launch of many Fortune 500 brands first marketing efforts on the Internet.
Nick is an active angel investor and advisor to more than a dozen startups.
Nick holds a MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.