Mr. Swain is the founder and CEO of GeorgeSwain Investments. GSI is an independent global investment bank that assists small and middle-market companies in completing special situation transactions. Mr. Swain oversees all investments, investor relations, and operations at GSI. He is a seasoned investment banker with more than 25 years’ experience and has advised on more than $800 million of transactions. Throughout his career, George has leveraged his deep industry knowledge to take a strategic approach to deal making rather than chase transactions. The best compliment people say is that he is a visionary strategist. He has a broad range of experience in mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing and strategic partnerships. Early in his career he served as Executive Vice President at American Savings Bank, (ASB) NY, where he led and managed the corporate and institutional client group. From ASB he progressed to the private investment banking arena providing corporate and institutional clients with strategic and financial advisory services, including restructuring, recapitalization, capital raising, and researched based investment analysis. Mr. Swain graduated from the State University of New York at Sullivan County where he holds a degree in Business Administration/Finance.
Mr. Swain has been named by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the city’s most influential Investment Bankers and most influential Private Equity Advisor.
As a trusted adviser, Al maintains a robust public and project finance practice. His clients rely on his significant experience in public policy, public and project finance, and private equity and alternative investments to develop innovative solutions that address their individual finance objectives.
Al focuses his finance practice on state and states’ authority level issues, particularly on the development and implementation of state programs created for the benefit of local municipalities.
His experience extends to serving as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, and special tax counsel to state and local governments and public authorities across the country, including the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.
For over 30 years, Al has served as bond counsel to the State of Connecticut in connection with its general obligation bonds, working with several State Treasurers in the process.
In representing the State of Connecticut as private investment counsel and real estate investment counsel to the Treasurer of the State of Connecticut for the approximately $40 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds (CRPTF), Al assists the Connecticut Treasurer, General Counsel, and Pension Funds Management Division in the negotiation, documentation and closing of a wide array of investments and agreements for the CRPTF, including the state’s Private Investment Fund.
Al served as investment counsel to the New York State Office of the State Comptroller ("OSDC") for the $154.5 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund (“CRF”), which is the third largest pension plan in the United States. Al assisted the OSDC in the negotiation, documentation, and closing on hundreds of millions of dollars in CRF equity investments.
As investment counsel to the Comptroller of The City of New York for the New York City Pension Funds investment portfolio, Al assisted the New York City Comptroller from 2005 to 2007 in the negotiation, documentation, and closing of hundreds of millions of dollars in a wide array of investments and agreements for the respective funds, including liquid assets, as well as commitments to and investments in domestic and international venture capital, buyout, special situation, and fund of funds.
Al’s experience extends to issuances relating to sovereign debt offerings and establishing joint ventures relating to construction, real estate projects, and franchise projects in Benin, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Trinidad & Tobago. He has also represented developers and financiers of power plants and bio fuel producers in Africa.
For more than 12 years, Al served as co-bond counsel to the City of St. Louis in connection with its financings for Lambert-St. Louis International Airport that were used to fund improvements to Airport facilities as well as refunding outstanding debt. Al has also acted as special bond consultant for the City of St. Louis, providing ongoing advice with respect to various questions that arise from time to time under applicable state and federal law, the Airport’s trust agreement, rating agency issues, responses to the economic turn down, and with respect to tax compliance matters. He also serves as disclosure counsel to the City of St. Louis for all of its financings as well as serving as disclosure counsel on airport transactions.
Al has served as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, underwriters’ counsel, or special counsel to major cities including Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Hartford, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, New Haven, New York, Oakland, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington D.C.
More of Al's notable experience includes:
Al is frequently invited to speak regarding including finance panels for NASP, Mayors Conference, private equity conferences, and various federal, state, and local finance conferences.
He was also featured in 2017 New York Metro Super Lawyers for his work in Government Finance.
As Managing Director and Founder of Vnesto Capital, Ricardo is responsible for overseeing operations of US Los Angeles offices, South Korea’s Seoul office, and Cuenca Ecuador office. Vnesto Capital is a financial services firm arranging debt and equity funding for projects in emerging markets. Throughout, he brings a disciplined and analytic real-world perspective to all deals and projects.
Ricardo was a Business Development Officer for CHARO Community Development Corporation and oversaw the Business Financial Center, which was funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
BS, Business Administration
University of Southern California
Hampton N. Cantrell is an Attorney and legal consultant on risk management issues, ranging from policy, compliance, training, and accountability. He also provides advice on digital asset protection and the protection of creative works. Prior to his current legal work, Hampton enjoyed a ten-year executive career at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), where he was the Associate Vice President and Chief of Public Safety. Prior to joining LMU, Hampton served in municipal law enforcement (City of Inglewood) for more than 26 years, where he served as captain for nearly a decade.
Hampton earned his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, his B.A. in political science from UC Irvine and his A.A. in criminal justice from Long Beach City College. Of great importance to Hampton throughout his career has been service to the community. He is a current member of the executive board for the Westchester YMCA, a current board member and president-elect (2021-22) for the Westchester Rotary Club, and current President of the California College and University Police Chief’s Association, a training and legislative advocacy organization dedicated to promoting safety best practices on college and university campuses. Hampton has two children, a daughter Kelly who attended Marymount High School and graduated from LMU in 2014 and a son Evan who graduated in 2020 from Loyola High School and is now a proud University of Washington Husky. Hampton is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mr. Paul Roberts is a veteran Wall Street professional with a 20-year career in providing strategic advice, corporate financings and principal investing. At GeorgeSwain Investments, Mr. Roberts expertise is focused on working closely with direct and indirect portfolio investments to develop and structure add-on acquisition opportunities and strategic investments as well as helping to maximize value at exit. In addition, Mr. Roberts will work closely with privately owned companies and institutional investors to develop proprietary investment opportunities that benefit from GeorgeSwain Investments unique business model and network of relationships.
Mr. Roberts has an extensive career developing and executing transactions for private equity firms and corporations based on relationships and deal experience. Mr. Roberts is skilled in capital raising, fund and direct deal diligence and financial analysis . Prior to joining GeorgeSwain Investments, Mr. Roberts was a Director at GoldPoint Partners, a private equity firm with $12 billion in assets under management. Mr. Roberts responsibilities included marketing GoldPoint’s investment funds, managing the investment due diligence process and making investment recommendations for the firm’s mezzanine and equity co-investments, and private equity fund commitments. Prior to joining GoldPoint, Mr. Roberts was a Principal at J.P. Morgan Partners where he was responsible for originating, structuring and executing private equity investments. Mr. Roberts has an MBA degree from the University of Michigan, Ross school of Business and a BS degree from California State University-Los Angeles.
Michael Zyda is the Founding Director of the USC GamePipe Laboratory, and a Professor of Engineering Practice in the USC Department of Computer Science. At USC, he founded the B.S. in Computer Science (Games), the M.S. in Computer Science (Game Development), and the USC Games joint Advanced Games course and took that program from no program to the #1 Games program in the world. That program has been rated #1 by the Princeton Review for seven of the last eight years. His alums have shipped games played by over 2.5 billion players, about $100B in revenue. From Fall 2000 to Fall 2004, he was the Founding Director of the MOVES (modeling, virtual environments, and simulation) Institute located at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, and a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at NPS as well. At NPS, Zyda’s NPSNET Research Group built the first networked virtual environment with fully instrumented body suits that played across the Internet. His work on the networking of virtual environments contributed to the development of the IEEE 1278.1 standard for distributed interactive simulation. He was a member of the National Research Council Committee that put out the report “Virtual Reality - Scientific and Technological Challenges”. He chaired the NRC Committee that put out the study “Modeling and Simulation - Linking Entertainment and Defense”. That NRC report changed the entire Department of Defense towards the usage of games and entertainment technology for its future modeling and simulation systems. From that report, Zyda wrote the operating plan and research agenda that founded USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies.
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