Virtual: Alumni Forum (Harvard, Cornell, UPenn, NYU, Columbia)
Online Zoom Conference
This virtual roundtable is part of our University Affinity Groups initiative, aimed at building a network of Young Jewish Alumni from various universities, enabling them to connect with other alumni and business leaders. This particular session is intended for current YJP members and alumni of Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, NYU and UPenn. The forum will consist of breakout rooms with top business leaders, also alumni of these institutions, discussing topics such as combating antisemitism on campus and in the workplace, Israel advocacy, and philanthropy.
Speakers will include:
David Sultan- Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Fir Tree Partners
David Blumberg- Founder & Managing Partner at Blumberg Capital
Paul Levy- Managing Director at JLL Partners
Greg Lippmann- Managing Founding Partner and the Chief Investment Officer of LibreMax
Ken Cooper-Global Head of Human Resources at Bloomberg LP
Ely Bar-Ness- Chief Human Resources Officer at Revlon Inc.
Matthew Baron- President of Baron Property Group, LLC
Marc S. Cooper- Chief Executive Officer at Solomon Partners
Mitchell Kleinhandler- Managing Partner at Differential Ventures
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David is the founder and managing partner of Blumberg Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm that partners with visionary entrepreneurs from Seed stage through their growth journey. The firm was among the first investors in industry leaders including Addepar, Braze, DoubleVerify, Finaro, Fundbox, HootSuite, Katapult, Nutanix, Trulioo and Yotpo. David is based in Miami with team members across Miami, New York, San Francisco and Tel Aviv.
Prior to founding Blumberg Capital in 1991, David managed international investments with the Bronfman Family Office, Adler & Co, APAX Partners and at T. Rowe Price. He also launched business development for Check Point Software Technologies.
David earned an A.B. in Government, cum laude, from Harvard College and a MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and INSEAD. He speaks French and is proficient in Hebrew and Spanish.
David serves as a member or observer on the boards of EasyKnock, Jassby, Lendio, SupplyPike, Trulioo and Wunder Mobility.
David Sultan joined Fir Tree in 1999 and is a Managing Partner. Mr. Sultan is Fir Tree’s Chief Investment Officer and oversees all investment activities of the Firm. Together with Clinton Biondo, Mr. Sultan is responsible for the general management and development of the investment team. Mr. Sultan has been deeply active in corporate and sovereign credit, capital structure arbitrage, distressed strategies and special situation equity investments for over 20 years. Throughout Mr. Sultan’s investment and finance career, he has invested across a diverse range of industries and geographies and through various market cycles. Prior to joining Fir Tree, Mr. Sultan was an analyst at Siegler, Collery & Co., a fundamental value investment firm. Mr. Sultan began his career as an investment banker at advisory firm Wolfensohn & Co. Mr. Sultan received a B.A. in Economics, magna cum laude, from Harvard University.
Ely Bar-Ness is the Chief Human Resources Officer of Revlon and a member of the Company's Executive Leadership Team. He is responsible for developing and executing global human resources strategy in support of the Company's business plan.
Mr. Bar-Ness joined Revlon with over 30 years of global human resources experience across various industries including chemical, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Prior to Revlon, he served as the Global Human Resources Leader for Ashland Ingredients, a $4.5 billion division of Ashland, Inc.
Mr. Bar-Ness received his B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Rutgers University in Management and Labor Relations.
Mr. Lippmann is the Managing Founding Partner and the Chief Investment Officer (“CIO”) of LibreMax. He is chairman of LibreMax’s Investment Committee, a non-voting member of its Risk Management and Valuation Committees, and a member of its ESG Committee. Prior to founding LibreMax, Mr. Lippmann was head of all non-agency RMBS, ABS and CDO trading globally at Deutsche Bank, where he led a team of 30 senior professionals in New York and London. Mr. Lippmann began his career at Deutsche Bank as a trader of non-investment grade ABS and RMBS securities. In 2003, he became Global Head of ABS and CDO trading, adding non-agency MBS to his business in late 2008. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in 2000, Mr. Lippmann was a Director and head of ABS/MBS Subordinate and CDO trading at Credit Suisse, which he joined in 1991. Mr. Lippmann graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in English. Mr. Lippmann serves on the board of New 42nd Street and the South Fork Natural History Museum. He is also on the Advisory Council of the American Museum of Natural History.
A Bloomberg employee for 30+ years, Ken Cooper currently leads HR at the firm, where he’s guided by the following motto: drive business through Bloomberg’s people. In this capacity, Ken
and the team are committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce capable of building differentiated products and delivering dedicated customer service.
Ken graduated from Cornell with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and joined Bloomberg's Engineering department in 1987. Here, he worked to develop advanced software, including
Bloomberg's inventory management system, technical support tools and the first streaming video prior to the Internet's popularization.
After 14 years in Engineering, Ken ran Technical Operations and then Trading Systems. This five-year period included two years spent living and working in London. Upon returning to New
York, he ran HR for two years before returning to Technical Operations for another seven. Now back in HR, Ken leads the team with an unwavering commitment to driving collaboration,
creativity, innovation and inclusivity. A father of three, he lives in New York with his wife, and when not at work you’ll likely find him
on a morning run, at a Yankee game or at a Grateful Dead concert.
Marc S. Cooper is Chief Executive Officer of Solomon Partners, a position he has held since 2016. He was previously Vice Chairman from 2013 to 2016 and joined the firm in 1999 as a Partner and Managing Director.
In 2016, Mr. Cooper led the transaction in which Natixis, the international corporate and investment banking arm of Groupe BPCE, made a strategic investment in Solomon Partners. Under Mr. Cooper’s leadership, Solomon Partners has significantly expanded and diversified its sector coverage. As the former head of Solomon Partners’ Consumer Retail Group, Mr. Cooper has advised a long roster of high-profile retailers and brands. Over the past three decades, Mr. Cooper has advised on hundreds of transactions globally, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, recapitalizations and restructurings, financings and shareholder activism. Prior to joining Solomon Partners, Mr. Cooper co-founded and served as Vice Chairman of Barington Capital Group where he oversaw its investment banking operations. He began his career in investment banking at Kidder Peabody. Mr. Cooper serves on the board of the Partnership for New York City and is a Trustee of The Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board.
Mr. Cooper holds an MBA, magna cum laude, and a BS from New York University.
Matthew M. Baron is the President and Founder of Baron Property Group (BPG). As CEO, Mr. Baron manages all aspects of investments, asset management, financial structuring and corporate strategy for BPG.
Mr. Baron has over 23 years of experience, comprising real estate, finance and development. Previously he was co-founder of Simon Baron Development where from 2005 he oversaw the acquisition, financing and development of over $1.8 billion of assets.
Mr. Baron is a well versed visionary in real estate transactions and investment strategies including land entitlement/rezoning, ground up development and substantial renovation/repositioning. His experience spans multiple markets including NYC, Miami and Los Angeles.
Mr. Baron was previously an Adjunct Lecturer at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate where he taught a course on Real Estate Development.
Mr. Baron earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from NYU Stern with a concentration in Finance, as well as a Master of Business Administration from Columbia Business School, also with a concentration in Finance.
Mitchell Kleinhandler is a Partner at Differential Ventures.
Mitchell is also a Board Partner and former Venture Partner at Scout Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm. He is an investor, adviser, and consultant to startups and has extensive expertise in the financing, development, and management of early stage and growth companies across diverse industry verticals.
Prior to venture capital Mitchell was a serial entrepreneur with a record of success as a founding partner and senior level executive of numerous startup and growth businesses in both the United States and Europe.
Mitchell's expertise also extends to acquisitions, financing, management, marketing, consolidation, restructuring, integration, reorganization, and the sale of existing operating businesses. His primary focus remains in subscription-based recurring revenue business models, building off of an expertise in the telecom, media, and digital sectors.
Paul Levy founded JLL in 1988 and serves on JLL’s Investment Committee and Management Committee. Before founding JLL, Paul was a Managing Director at Drexel Burnham Lambert, where he was responsible for the firm’s restructuring and exchange offer business in New York. Previously, he was CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, Inc., New York; Vice President of Administration and General Counsel of Quality Care, Inc.; and an attorney with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. Paul earned a B.A. from Lehigh University, where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also received a certificate from the Sorbonne Institute of Political Science in Paris, France.
My name is Anna Feldman, I am originally from Toronto, Canada. I moved to New York to attend List College, the joint-program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. I studied Financial Economics at Columbia and Jewish Thought and Theology at JTS, having graduated in 2021. I have worked in the Fixed Income Sales and Trading Division at Morgan Stanley since then.
Benjamin Friedman has extensive experience in public and private financial markets, specializing in high yield and distressed investments across sectors and products. He is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer at The Avery Companies, a privately held investment manager. The Firm currently runs a strategy focused on rolling-up internet service providers across the United States under a single branded entity. They also provide tailored financial solutions to independent wireless service providers to obtain government subsidy funding. Additionally, he is a Partner at Friedman Capital, a family-owned investment firm, where he leads all aspects of private and public corporate investing. The firm specializes in own-to-control investments, joint ventures, and special purpose vehicles across energy, healthcare, hospitality, telecom/infrastructure, real estate and venture capital. He recently served as the President, Chief Financial Officer, and Member of the Board of BOA Acquisition Corp., a $230MM SPAC (NYSE: BOAS) leading all efforts of the IPO raise, subsequent capital raises, target identification and a successful de-SPAC with Selina for $1.2bn (NASDAQ: SLNA). During this process, he raised over $450mm between IPO proceeds, bespoke bridge loan securities, a common equity PIPE, and a $147.5mm convertible note. Previously, he served as a Portfolio Manager at CQS, UK LLP, a $20bn+ alternative asset manager where he led a US credit hedge fund investment team and served on the investment committee for the $10bn multi-asset strategic credit fund. He began his career at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and was named to Forbes "30 under 30" as well as Young Jewish Professionals "40 under 40". Mr. Friedman received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating Magna Cum Laude. In his spare time, he volunteers at Detroit Country Day School as the Alumni Association Finance and Fundraising Committee Chair and is an active member of the Distinguished Clown Corps in America's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He enjoys Michigan Football, historical novels, and spending time with his nieces and nephews.
Brittany is a Penn alum who’s a product manager by day and a Jewish community builder by night. She has led the strategy and execution of key product improvements at Resy and American Express, including notify and maps on Resy and the integration of banking products into the Amex membership website.
Last year, she pursued a passion project to host a series of Jewish-themed events, coined “Produced by Britt,” with the mission of creating a community for unengaged Jews and showing others that engaging in Jewish practices can be an empowering choice rather than an obligation. Since October 7, she has hosted several fundraiser events and has harnessed her network of Jewish young professionals, serving as a connector to provide them with key resources for active involvement in the war efforts.
Joshua Brenner graduated from Columbia University's School of General Studies with a bachelor's degree in Financial Economics in 2016. Prior to that he served as a SONAR Technician in the US Navy and deployed to Iraq in 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has spent his post-college career in real estate finance and is currently a mortgage banker with FM Home Loans. He lives in Bergen County of New Jersey with his amazing wife and they share two fantastic sons. In his free time, Joshua enjoys weight lifting, oil painting, and krav maga.
Josh is an investment associate at Clarion Capital Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm, which primarily makes control investments across a variety of industries. Prior to joining the firm in 2021, Josh worked in the Financial Sponsors and Leveraged Finance groups of Guggenheim Securities’ Investment Banking Division. Josh graduated from New York University’s Stern School of Business with a BS in Finance and Economics with a minor in the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. Josh’s personal interests include playing basketball, cooking, and supporting the New York Yankees.
Rebecca Bendetson is an Associate at FVLCRUM Funds (www.fvlcrum.com), a lower-middle-market
private equity firm dedicated to solving complex societal issues while delivering above market returns.
In this role, Rebecca supports across all aspects of investment and portfolio management, serves as a
member of FVLCRUM's Communications Committee, and participates across various portfolio boards.
Rebecca joined FVLCRUM in 2021 after completing her MBA at Columbia Business School. During
business school, Rebecca also served as an Associate at Beacon Capital Partners where she focused on
acquisitions and portfolio management. Prior to business school, Rebecca was a Senior Consultant at C
Space where she advised Fortune 500 companies across multiple sectors on marketing and consumer-
centric strategies. Rebecca attributes her passion for business to her family’s 4th generation enterprise,
Cabot House Furniture & Design, where she formally interned in 2019, focusing her time on marketing
and real estate.
Rebecca is actively involved in the community and serves on various committees for the UJA-Federation
of New York, including the Executive Leadership Team for the Young Wall Street Division. She also serves
on the Tufts Financial Network Advisory Committee of New York and Phillips Academy Andover’s
Regional Leadership Team of New York.
Rebecca holds a BA in Economics with minors in Chinese and Entrepreneurial Leadership from Tufts
University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Stephanie Nass is a chef, influencer, model, designer, and founder of homegoods brand Chefanie. She started her career catering, but her business has grown to encompass many facets and hundreds of products. Today, Stephanie does regular TV segments, and her products can be found all over the world.
Walter is an Investment Professional at Monarch Alternative Capital. Prior to joining Monarch in 2020, Walter worked at Starwood Property Trust and Onex Real Estate Partners. Walter graduated from New York University, cum laude, with a B.S. in Real Estate Finance.