Our management team and other affiliates of our sponsor have operated and invested in leading Israeli, global technology companies across their corporate life cycles and have developed deep relationships with organizations and investors operating within our focus area of technology-based opportunities in Israel. We believe that these relationships and our management team’s experience present a significant opportunity to help identify attractive Israel related technology-based businesses that can benefit from access to the public markets and execute complex business combination transactions, thereby enhancing shareholder value.
Chairman of the Board and CEO
Professor Gershon was appointed as a professor at the business school of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2017. In 2018, Prof. Gershon founded the Gershon Fintech Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Gershon serves as a director of Gershon Capital Ltd. (since 2010). Prof. Gershon was the founder and served as the Chief Executive Officer of SuperDerivatives Inc., a cloud-based real time market data company that provides derivatives technology and valuation services for the financial and commodity markets, from 1999 until 2014 when it was sold to the Intercontinental Exchange. Prior to that, from 1998 to 2000, Prof. Gershon served as Global Head of Exotic Options at Barclays Capital at their London headquarters. Early in his career, Prof. Gershon worked at Barclays Capital New York from 1997 to 1998 and at Deutsche Bank New York from 1994 to 1996. Prof. Gershon has received numerous awards, including CEO of the Year by Acquisition International in 2016. He was also ranked among the top 50 most influential people in financial technology by the Institutional Investor magazine in each year from 2004 to 2015.
Director and CFO
Mr. Golan has more than twenty years of experience in investment banking and capital markets. From 1997 to 2012, Mr. Golan worked for Morgan Stanley as a member of the Morgan Stanley real estate funds and private equity investment teams before serving as the head of investment banking and capital markets at Morgan Stanley for Israel, Central and Eastern Europe, and Africa. Following that from 2013 to 2015, Mr. Golan was global co-head of investment banking at Renaissance Capital, based in London, where he helped develop the firm’s international business. Mr. Golan earned his MBA from the Harvard Business School, is an avid cyclist, and serves as a Trustee of the British Friends of Kishorit, a UK charity.
Chief Investment Officer
Mr. Ophir is a seasoned investment professional, with more than sixteen years of international experience in investment management, mergers and acquisitions, finance and law. Mr. Ophir is currently the CEO of Finova Capital, a hedge fund he founded in 2019 that specializes in digital assets and blockchain technology investments. Prior to founding Finova Capital, Mr. Ophir served in a variety of positions, at Altshuler Shaham Investment House, a leading $75 billion Israeli asset manager, from February 2013 until March 2019, including head of the credit division, investment committee member, credit committee member and board member. Mr. Ophir also served as Executive Vice President at the U.S. real estate group of Kushner Companies from January 2020 until June 2021, as VP of Investments at Origo Investments G.P. an Israeli private equity/debt fund from March 2010 until January 2013, as an investment banker for Raymond James Financial, a publicly traded company on the NYSE (NYSE: RJF), from September 2008 until October 2009, and as a lawyer for Paul Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York City from September 2005 until August 2008. Mr. Ophir holds an M.B.A. and a LL.M. in law from New York University, and an LL.B. in law and B.A. in economics from Tel-Aviv University.
Mr. Chaitchik is an entrepreneur and investor with twenty-five years of experience in the high-tech, real estate, shipping and the upscale art markets. Mr. Chaitchik has served as Chief Executive Officer of Netivim ASP Ltd., a real estate company listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, since 1999. Mr. Chaitchik is currently the chairman of the board of directors of TrafficPoint. Mr. Chaitchik also serves as a director of Aiola, a virtual advisor for sales teams utilizing dialogue systems (WhatsApp/Teams/Slack) focused on obtaining AI driven insights to improve key performance indicators.
Board of Directors
Our board of directors is comprised of individuals with deep experience in and knowledge of the Israeli technology industry. Biographical information with respect to the members of the board (besides Professor Gershon, and Mr. Golan whose biographical information appears above) is provided below:
Mr. Garber was CEO of Paysafe (formerly Optimal Payments) from 2003 to 2006, PartyGaming Plc / PartyBwin from 2006 to 2008 and Caesars Interactive Entertainment and Caesars Acquisition Company from 2009 to 2017. Under his leadership at Caesars Mr. Garber purchased, developed and ultimately sold Playtika, an Israeli-based mobile games business. Mr. Garber is currently the Chairman of Invest in Canada (since 2018), the Canadian agency responsible for foreign investment in Canada. Mr. Garber also serves as a director of Rackspace Technology (since 2016), Aiola (since 2020), Shutterfly (since 2019), Fosun Fashion Group (since 2019), and Apollo Strategic Growth Capital (since 2021). He is also a director of Artisan Acquisition Corp. (since 2021) a blank check company. From 2015 to 2020, Mr. Garber was the non-executive Chairman of Cirque du Soleil. Mr. Garber is a minority owner and executive committee member of the NHL Seattle Kraken. Mr. Garber was awarded the prestigious Order of Canada in 2019.
Mr. Schwed is a professor of management practice at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University and a visiting professor at Princeton University. Mr. Schwed currently serves on the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College, where he is a member of the Finance, Development and Communications, Audit, and Investment Committees. Mr. Schwed is the Chairman of the Venture Capital and Private Equity Committee of Swarthmore’s Investment Committee, in charge of selection of private equity and venture capital managers for the College’s endowment. He also serves on the board of Oliver Scholars, a provider of educational and support services to Black and Latino students from underserved New York City communities, where he is Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. Prior to his academic career, Mr. Schwed had a 24-year career in the venture capital and private equity industries. From 2004 to 2012 Mr. Schwed was a partner and Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners, the world’s largest private equity firm specializing in media and telecommunications, where he , with over $40 billion of assets under management. Working in the London office of Providence Equity Partners, he was one of the partners responsible for the firm’s European business. While at Providence Equity Partners, Mr. Schwed led, among other deals, one of the largest leveraged buyouts in European history at the time. Mr. Schwed sat on the committee responsible for the oversight of the firm’s portfolio of over fifty companies. From 1998 to 2004, Mr. Schwed was a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Private Equity, where he launched and ran the firm’s Latin American private equity business and became the Chairman of the firm’s Global Emerging Markets Fund, Morgan Stanley’s vehicle for private equity investing in Latin America, Asia, and Central Europe. Mr. Schwed subsequently became one of three partners running Morgan Stanley’s European private equity business and a member of the investment committee. From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Schwed was an Executive Director at Bassini, Playfair + Associates (BPA). He began his post MBA career at the New York office of Sprout Group, the venture capital affiliate of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) where he developed the firm’s practice in medical devices venture investing.