Brightwood's core focus is to support growing U.S. based small and medium sized companies through flexible capital solutions.
Brightwood invests capital across a range of products including first and second lien term loans, unitranche facilities, mezzanine investments and minority equity positions.
Brightwood is active in five business verticals: Business Services, Franchising, Healthcare Services, Transportation & Logistics, and Technology & Telecommunications.
Small to Medium Enterprises
An experienced investment team active in sourcing, diligence, and driving growth for our portfolio companies.
Brightwood seeks opportunities across our five business verticals.
Transportation & Logistics
Technology & Telecommunications
Founded in 2010, Brightwood has 50 employees with offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
Meet Our Team
Co-CEO and Co-FounderNew York City P. +1-646-957-9527 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Damien Dwin is Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Brightwood. Damien has been involved in all phases of the firm’s development since its founding in 2010. He is a member of the executive committee and serves on the investment committee of all Brightwood funds.
Damien currently participates on the boards of many of Brightwood’s portfolio companies and has managed capital for hundreds of limited partners, including many prominent public, private and corporate pension plans, endowments, family offices, and high net worth individuals.
Prior to founding Brightwood, Damien worked for Credit Suisse from 2004 to 2010 and Goldman Sachs in New York and London from 1998 to 2004. As co-founder and head of North American Special Opportunities at Credit Suisse, he managed a portfolio over $1 billion in assets including companies such as Freeport LNG, Invenergy Wind and Terremark.
Damien serves on the board of NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He is a Trustee of The Boys’ Club of New York. In 2002, he received the Michael P. Mortara Award for Innovation from Goldman Sachs for his work in developing a market to finance and short-sell bank loans.
Education: B.S. and B.A. Georgetown University where he served two terms on the Board of Regents.
Co-CEO and Co-FounderNew York City P. +1-646-957-9534 E. email@example.com
Sengal Selassie is co-CEO and co-Founder of Brightwood. He serves on the Investment, Executive and Valuation Committees of the firm. Sengal has served on a number of portfolio company boards of directors, including: Poco Graphite, Viawest Internet Services, Ricerca Biosciences, MC2 and Five Star Food Services.
Prior to co-founding Brightwood in 2010, Sengal co-founded Cowen Capital Partners (“CCP”) and served as Managing Partner. At CCP, he successfully led the fund’s spinout from Société Générale, forming Trinity Equity Holdings. Sengal joined CCP from SG Capital Partners (“SG Capital”), CCP’s predecessor fund where he worked from 1998 through 2006. At SG Capital he was a Managing Director and served as group head starting in 2002 and served as President and CEO of the fund’s captive small business investment company, SGC Partners II, from 2002 to 2004. Prior to SG Capital, he worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Morgan Stanley, specializing in Media and Telecommunications. He began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 1990.
Education: A.B. in Economics, magna cum laude, Harvard College; M.B.A. and J.D., with honors, Harvard University
Partner and Chief Risk OfficerNew York City P. +1-646-368-8266 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil Daniele is a Partner and Brightwood’s Chief Risk Officer. Phil serves on Brightwood’s Executive and Valuation Committees. He is responsible for creating and enforcing an integrated risk framework for evaluating and monitoring all of Brightwood’s fund investments. In this capacity, he oversees the Finance, Loan Operations and Credit teams.
Prior to joining Brightwood, Phil was the Chief Credit Officer for the Americas at Credit Suisse. He was responsible for approving all credit extensions in the Americas portfolio including corporates, financial institutions, hedge funds and private clients. Prior to that, Phil served as Head of Corporate Credit Americas, which included the Credit Suisse Leveraged Finance business. He began his career at CIT Factoring in 1984.
Education: B.B.A., Accounting, Pace University; M.B.A., Finance, Pace University
Partner, General Counsel and Chief Compliance OfficerNew York City P. +1-646-368-8397 E. email@example.com
Darilyn Olidge is a Partner, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Brightwood. Darilyn also serves on the Executive Committee. Darilyn’s responsibilities at Brightwood include providing strategic legal advice to the firm, setting and monitoring internal governance practices and policies, running the compliance program, overseeing our human resources team, and managing external counsel relationships.
Prior to joining Brightwood, Darilyn was a Managing Director in the General Counsel Division of Credit Suisse, serving as Lead Advisory Counsel to the Prime Services Group, Co-Manager of GCD’s Center of Excellence Documentation Team and a member of the GC Americas Management Operating Committee. Darilyn joined Credit Suisse from Morgan Stanley, where she last served as Executive Director, advising on various legal and regulatory matters in its fixed income and institutional equities businesses. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, she was an Associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York and clerked for the late Hon. Constance Baker Motley, United States District Court, Southern District of New York. She began her career as a Certified Public Accountant in the Tax Division of Arthur Andersen.
Education: B.B.A., Accounting, Loyola University; J.D., New York University Law School; member of the Law Review
Partner and Head of Client Service and Business DevelopmentNew York City P. +1-212-259-6612 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Melody Rollins, CFA, CAIA, is a Partner and Head of Client Service and Business Development and is based in New York. She also serves on Brightwood’s Executive Committee. In her role, Melody oversees all of Brightwood’s existing and prospective client and consultant relationships and leads the development, marketing and distribution of our products.
Prior to Brightwood, Melody spent 15 years at PIMCO most recently as Head of U.S. Institutional Client Management. In that capacity, she oversaw the team of professionals who deliver customized client service and investment solutions to the firm’s institutional clients, including corporate and public pensions, endowments and foundations. Prior to 2001, Melody held positions in debt capital markets and liability management at Salomon Brothers and Deutsche Bank.
Education: B.S., Foreign Service, Edmund J Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; M.B.A. concentration in Financial Engineering, MIT Sloan School of Management
Partner and Head of InvestmentsNew York City P. +1-646-368-8227 E. email@example.com
Marla Willner is a Partner, Head of Investments, and member of Brightwood’s Executive Committee. She is based in New York. In her role, Marla manages all aspects of the investment process, including the activities and strategies of the deal originators and the quantitative and qualitative processes of the execution and diligence teams. Her oversight ensures the efficacy and consistency of the 22 member investment team.
Prior to joining Brightwood, Marla was at TD Bank Group (“TD”) for 15 years, most recently as Head of Credit Management, Corporate Banking TD Bank, N.A. In this role, she built a team, implemented a national strategy and managed what grew to be a $20 billion portfolio. Prior to TD, Marla worked in high yield at CIBC.
Education: B.A., Wesleyan University; Master in Public Policy, Harvard University
Managing DirectorNew York City P. +1-646-368-8264 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sachin Goel is a Managing Director on the Investment Team and leads our capital markets activities. Prior to joining Brightwood, Sachin was a Managing Director in Macquarie Capital USA’s credit trading division, where he was responsible for a portfolio of distressed and high-yield corporate credits. His duties included risk management, trading and investing in bonds and bank debt in various sectors, with a focus on energy, power, infrastructure and transportation in the U.S. and Australia. Previously, Sachin was a Vice President at Credit Suisse in the fixed income division of the investment bank, first in the U.S. credit trading group, where he was responsible for formulating and executing trades, and subsequently as a member of the special opportunities group, conducting principal investing in illiquid credit opportunities, primarily in middle market private lending.
Education: BA from the University of Chicago
Russell J. Herakovich
Managing DirectorAtlanta P. +1-404-902-5069 E. email@example.com
Russell Herakovich is a Managing Director on the Investment Team and leads our Healthcare and Southeast origination efforts. Russ has over 20 years of experience structuring and syndicating leveraged credit facilities, over 17 years of experience covering the healthcare industry and he has worked in the southeast for over 20 years. Prior to joining Brightwood, he headed up the Healthcare Finance team for Citizens Bank (formerly RBS Citizens) and prior to Citizens, he spent 12 years originating leveraged debt transactions for GE Capital Healthcare Financial Services (subsequently sold to Capital One) where he ran the southeast and central region. Russ holds a B.S. in Finance from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the University of Virginia.
Education: BS in Finance from Virginia Tech; MBA from the University of Virginia
Managing DirectorChicago P. +1-312-219-6310 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Jordan is a Managing Director in Brightwood’s Investment Group and leads the Midwest business. Most recently he was a Principal with H.I.G. Whitehorse (a credit affiliate of H.I.G. Capital) where he sourced and executed flexible debt financings for sponsored and non-sponsored middle market transactions. Michael brings 17 years of investment to Brightwood.
Education: BA in Business Administration, Finance from James Madison University; MBA from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
DirectorNew York City P. +1-646-368-8091 E. email@example.com
Colin Keenan is a Director on the Investment Team.
Prior to Brightwood, Colin was V.P. of Lazard Freres’ restructuring group, focusing on the execution of restructuring, distressed M&A, and rescue financing transactions in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to this, he was with Alix Partners in turnaround and restructuring services, providing financial and operational assistance to companies and their stakeholders. Earlier, he served as a U.S. Marine Corps Captain.
Education: BS, Naval Academy; MBA, Columbia University
Managing DirectorNew York City P. +1-646-957-9531 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Porter is a Managing Director on the Investment Team with a focus on two core verticals — Transportation & Logistics and Franchising. Prior to joining Brightwood, Scott was a Partner at Uni-World Capital, a lower-middle market buyout fund, where he spent over five years sourcing, executing and managing private equity investments. Prior to Uni-World, Scott worked with Brightwood co-Founder Sengal Selassie as a Partner at CCP, where he spent nine years in a similar capacity to his role at Uni-World. While at Cowen, he was instrumental in assisting the company in a number of business development activities that included the company’s spin-out from Société Générale and subsequent IPO, the creation of a $500 million healthcare-focused private equity fund and the acquisition of an Asian boutique investment bank. Scott started his career working as part of Chase Securities High Yield Corporate Finance Group, where he executed over $3.5 billion in lead managed and $7.0 billion in co-managed transactions in the media, telecommunication, healthcare, chemical, consumer products, manufacturing and service industries.
Education: BA, magna cum laude from SUNY Binghamton University
DirectorNew York City P. +1-646-368-8114 E. email@example.com
Kunal Shah is a Director on the Investment Team.
Prior to joining Brightwood, Kunal was an investment professional at Solar Capital, a credit-focused investment firm, where he was responsible for evaluating, executing and managing middle market secured and mezzanine loans. Prior to joining Solar Capital, he was an analyst in the Leveraged Finance Group at Merrill Lynch.
Education: BS, University of Southern California
Partner, Managing DirectorNew York City P. +1-646-368-8759 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Simpson is Managing Director on the Investment Team with a focus on Media, Telecom and Technology investing. Prior to joining Brightwood, Scott was a Managing Director at Citigroup, and led the enterprise and internet infrastructure coverage within the Global Technology Investment Banking Group and served as a Member of the firm’s Global Technology Council. Prior to joining Citigroup, he was a Managing Director in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Group at Credit Suisse. Prior to Credit Suisse, he was Vice President in DLJ’s Media & Telecom Group, and a consultant with Booz-Allen.
Education: BS from the University of Maryland; MBA from Columbia University
Managing DirectorLos Angeles P. +1-310-504-6543 E. email@example.com
Rich Thomson is a Managing Director on the Investment Team and leads our West Coast origination effort. Most recently, he was a Senior Vice President – Western Region at Citigroup where he headed the western region’s ABL business responsible for originating, structuring and closing ABL loans from $10 million to $400 million to domestic and international companies.
Education: BS in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College of California
Director of Strategic MarketingNew York City P. +1-646-368-8487 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Finer is Director of Strategic Marketing at Brightwood Capital Advisors. Partnering with the executive committee and senior investment team, Jennifer focuses on expanding business relationships globally. She develops strategic initiatives for the firm engaging portfolio companies, LPs, and advisers.
Prior to Brightwood, Jennifer was Director of Event Marketing at Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) where she was responsible for event marketing and communication strategies across GLG’s key businesses.
She has spent over 13 years in strategic marketing roles. Jennifer is a member of Youth Renewal Fund’s Ambassador Circle as well as the Milken Institute Young Leaders Circle.
Education: BA in Communication from The University of Delaware
Director of Client ServiceChicago P. +1-312-219-6309 E. email@example.com
Nathan Harnetiaux is a Director of Client Service at Brightwood. Nathan’s role includes working existing and prospective institutional client and consultant relationships.
Nathan was a Portfolio Manager at Kemper Corporation where he managed the $700 million alternative investments portfolio, including fund commitments and a direct co-investment program with a primary focus on private credit strategies such as direct lending, mezzanine, and special situations. He served on the advisory board of a number of funds and as a board observer on certain portfolio companies. Prior to Kemper he was an Investment Analyst at State Farm Insurance.
Education: BS, University of Illinois; MBA, University of Chicago
Dr. Reena Aggarwal is the Robert E. McDonough Professor of Finance, and Director of the Georgetown Center for Financial Markets and Policy at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where she was formerly the Interim Dean and Deputy Dean. She has written extensively on capital raising, IPOs, institutional investors, private equity, valuation, global financial markets, securities market regulation, stock exchange structure, and corporate governance. During her career, Dr. Aggarwal has worked on major projects sponsored by stock exchanges, securities commissions, the World Bank, IMF, United Nations, U.S. SBA, and financial institutions/governments in India, China, Vietnam, Mexico, Peru, among others. She serves on the boards of FBR & Co., IndexIQ (NYLIM), and REAN Cloud. Dr. Aggarwal received a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Maryland and M.M.S. from BITS, India.
Mr. Bayone is currently the chair of the undergraduate business program, Earle W. Kazis Professor of the Practice of Finance and International Real Estate and curriculum director of the International Business School at Brandeis University. Mr. Bayone is additionally a Director at IAP Worldwide Services, Inc., where he chairs the Audit Committee. Prior to this, Mr. Bayone worked for more than 20 years at Fleet Bank and its predecessor institution, BankBoston, in various senior capacities including executive vice president and chief credit officer, responsible for overseeing U.S. and international lending. He has served on the board of directors of numerous companies and organizations, including SuperMedia, Churchill Financial, and Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Mr. Bayone holds an M.I.A. degree from Columbia University, an M.A. from the University of Rochester and a B.A. from Queens College, City University of New York.
Raudline is the Founder and Managing Partner of Daraja Capital, an advisory firm providing strategic advice to start up and early stage boutique asset managers.
Ms. Etienne is a Senior Advisor of the global strategy firm Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG). Her focus is on developing business strategies and expanding opportunities in the investment sector for ASG. Ms. Etienne is a trustee of the Janus Funds Board of Trustees where she represents the interests of fund investors in all matters related to the mutual fund complex.
From 2008 through 2011, Ms. Etienne served as Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), the third largest public pension fund in the United States with assets of $145 billion. As CIO, she oversaw all aspects of CRF’s investment strategy, including asset allocation, policy and governance, investment structure, partner selection, and risk management. Her responsibilities included oversight of 60 professionals and management of a global portfolio of equity, fixed income, hedge funds, real estate, private equity and opportunistic investments. She also was responsible for CRF investment operations, including internal portfolio management, custodial services, and securities lending, as well as management of external investment advisors and consultants.
Previously, Ms. Etienne was a Managing Director, and Co-Head of Non-Traditional Investment Group at Rogerscasey in Darien, Connecticut. She headed consulting relationships for public and corporate retirement systems on issues of investment policy and governance, asset-liability management and asset allocation, and investment manager selection and monitoring. During her 11+ year tenure with Rogerscasey, she developed wide expertise in asset classes, investment strategies, and institutional investment managers.
Ms. Etienne was instrumental in creating the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association where she was a board member, and also served on the Toigo Foundation Governing Board. She was appointed to the International Accounting Standards Board and the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Financial Crisis Advisory Group, which considered financial reporting improvements to enhance investor confidence.
Ms. Etienne earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA in finance from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mr. Lighten is a former Managing Director, Chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB. He has served as a member of both the Lehman Brothers Management Committee and their Fixed Income Operating Committee where he was involved in policy making and developing firm procedures within the Fixed Income Division. Most recently he was the founder and global head of the Lehman Brothers Mortgage Capital Division (MCD), an industry-leading mortgage loan origination franchise with over 6,500 employees globally. Prior to taking on his role in MCD in 2004 Mr. Lighten was global head of Lehman Brothers Structured Finance for over a decade. He has played a leading role in building out the firm’s robust Asian and European structured finance businesses. From 1986-1991 he worked in the Mortgage Finance and Asset-Backed Securities businesses at Merrill Lynch. Mr. Lighten holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University, where he currently serves as a Sterling Fellow and a member of the Yale Development Council.
David M. Malcolm
Mr. Malcolm has been active in the financial services industry for over 40 years. Most recently he was CEO of Cowen Group Inc., a public broker dealer, prior to becoming CEO he was Executive Vice Chairman and ran the firm’s Investment Banking business. Cowen was sold in a reverse merger in 2009 and Mr. Malcolm served as Senior Advisor to the firm for the following five years. Prior to that he started and ran the Global Leveraged Finance Group for Societe Generale and he started and ran the high yield business at First Boston, now Credit Suisse. Additionally he sits on the Advisory Committee of Echelon Capital Strategies, a peer-to-peer lending credit vehicle. He is an Honors graduate of Wesleyan University and holds an MBA for the Harvard Business School.
David Robert Nydegger
Mr. Nydegger is an institutional asset manager and private investor with extensive experience in global credit markets. While at Credit Suisse, Mr. Nydegger was a Managing Director and co-founder of the Special Opportunities group, a $2 billion portfolio purposed with investing in small to medium sized businesses. Mr. Nydegger also led investment teams in proprietary trading within Investment Grade Credit and Emerging Markets. Mr. Nydegger was also an Institutional Investor Magazine (II Magazine) ranked credit analyst in Emerging Markets. Mr. Nydegger began his career at Union Bank of Switzerland where he worked in Investment Banking and Trading within Fixed Income. Mr. Nydegger received his B.S. from University of Utah and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Mr. Olsen is the Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of SCB Global Capital Management, LLC, a private partnership that makes long and short investments across a variety of global, publicly traded securities markets. Prior to founding SCB Global, Mr. Olsen was a co-founder of First Western Financial, the parent company of First Western Trust Bank, a private bank with offices in Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming and California. Prior to co-founding First Western, Mr. Olsen was the President and CEO of IBJ Whitehall Asset Management and President of Morgan Stanley’s global mutual fund business. Mr. Olsen has served on numerous boards of directors including the Aetos Funds, Construction Software Technologies and First Western Financial. Mr. Olsen has been active in the community on both a national and local level, having served as Chairman of the Board of Colorado Public Radio and a member of the Board of Regents of Georgetown University among a number of volunteer positions over the years. Mr. Olsen is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Villanova University School of Law.
Mr. Rappa is the Chairman and CEO of R.W. Pressprich. Previously, Mr. Rappa served as a Senior Managing Director and member of the Board of Directors of Bear Stearns & Co. and held various roles at Chase Manhattan Bank. Mr. Rappa is a former member of the New York Stock Exchange and the N.A.S.D. District 10 Business Conduct Committee, which was created to review industry business practices. Mr. Rappa is the former Chairman of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation Foundation, an organization that serves the needs of New York City’s municipal hospitals. In addition, Mr. Rappa is the former Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New York City Health & Hospital Corporation and Chairman of the Finance Committee. Currently, Mr. Rappa is President of the Board of Trustees of the Boys Club of New York, a 135 year-old organization serving the needs of over 5,000 boys. Mr. Rappa attended Bernard Baruch College of the City of New York.
New York810 7th Ave, 26 FL
New York, NY 10019 P. 646-957-9525 F. 646-957-9265
Chicago401 North Michigan Ave, STE 1630
Chicago, IL 60611 P. 312-219-6313
Los Angeles2447 Pacific Coast Highway, 2nd FL
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 P. 310-504-6543
Atlanta5555 Glenridge Connector, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30342 P. 404-902-5069
Brightwood: New York
810 7th Avenue, New York, NY, United States
401 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, United States
Brightwood: Los Angeles
2447 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach, CA, United States
5555 Glenridge Connector, Suite 200 Atlanta, GA 30342