As the founder of PGP, Mr. Kim has developed the firm’s strategy and led the organization since its inception in 2003. From the beginning, his core vision for PGP has been to assist leaders of emerging companies in realizing their businesses’ full potential by providing familiarity with institutional capital and guidance to raise growth capital or execute a sale.
Mr. Kim has broad, senior-level experience in the financial services industry, starting his career in the Investment Banking Group at Merrill Lynch in New York. While at Merrill Lynch, Mr. Kim was involved with a wide variety of high-yield financings, restructurings, divestitures, and acquisitions. Significant transactions in which Mr. Kim played a key role include the $2.4 billion RJR Nabisco Holdings leveraged buyout restructuring and the sale of Blockbuster Entertainment to Viacom for $8.9 billion, where he led the execution of the deal. In addition, as a Vice President in the 70-employee Mergers & Acquisitions group, Mr. Kim had M&A industry client origination responsibilities for the gaming and paper/forest products sectors. Also, he assumed formal group-wide management responsibilities for performance reviews, project assignments, and recruiting.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Mr. Kim as Commissioner of the City of Los Angeles Affordable Housing Commission in 2010. Mr. Kim also serves on the Board of Directors of US Metro Bank and several non-profit organizations, including The Korea Society.
Mr. Kim earned his BA in Economics at Dartmouth College and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Elliot Han is a Partner at PGP Capital Advisors, covering a variety of sectors with an emphasis on Digital Assets. He focuses on mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance advisory, and equity & debt capital raisings, both in the domestic and international arena. Elliot has more than 15 years of financial, legal, and start-up experience, where he has closed over 100 transactions with a total value over $120bn. He was previously a Managing Director, Head of FinTech / Blockchain, Crypto & Digital Assets Investment Banking and Head of Technology Equity Capital Markets at Cantor Fitzgerald.
Elliot was also the former Head of FinTech & Consumer Tech Capital Markets at the New York Stock Exchange. Before the NYSE, he was the Head of Banking and part of the management team at the Argon Group, a leading blockchain/crypto software technology & advisory start-up.
Prior to Argon, he led the West Coast technology equity capital markets team for Jefferies. Previously, Elliot was an Executive Director, Business Unit Manager and Operating Officer for the UK & Emerging Markets teams at Goldman Sachs, where he focused on the technology sector.
Earlier in his career, he was a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and began his investment banking career at Credit Suisse First Boston.
Elliot graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Classics and Biology. He graduated from Oxford University with a Master’s degree in Classics and received his law & MA degrees from Cambridge University, where he was a Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholar. Elliot is a member of the Board of Trustees at Xavier High School, NYC. He is also a limited partner in blockchain/crypto investment funds and an angel/seed investor in the digital assets space.
Mr. Gerson advises companies across a broad range of strategic matters including leveraged finance, project finance, M&A, IPOs, private placements and general advisory assignments. Mr. Gerson has closed as principal or agent over 50 transactions with a total value in excess of $30B.
Mr. Gerson is the former Co Head of Roth Capital’s Consumer Investment Banking and Head of Health & Wellness and Cannabis franchise. Mr. Gerson has more than 20 years of investment banking and advisory experience with 10+ years at Credit Suisse and leadership positions at BNP Paribas and Macquarie prior to founding ELLO Capital, a dedicated cannabis advisory firm in 2019. Mr. Gerson was also formerly Head of M&A and Business Development at OmniForce , LLC, a leading athletic event production company.
Mr. Gerson graduated from University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Masters in Public Accounting and received his Masters in Business Administration from the Anderson School at UCLA.
Mr. Lee brings significant Asian finance and cross-border transactions experience to our team.
Prior to joining PGP Capital, Mr. Lee was with ICBC in New York leading execution of M&A advisory mandates and covering select clients in the U.S. and Greater China. Before ICBC, Mr. Lee was with Deutsche Bank in New York, Hong Kong and Seoul as a banker leading cross-border transactions between Asia and the US. Mr. Lee’s key transactions include AIA’s US$1.7bn acquisition of ING Malaysia, MetLife’s US$15.5bn acquisition of ALICO, Groupon’s $800 mm sale of Ticket Monster to KKR, KB Financial Group’s US$675mm acquisition of LIG Insurance, and Carlyle’s US$1.9bn acquisition of ADT Caps Korea. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Mr. Lee worked at Samsung Electronics in its Southeast Asian headquarters in Singapore and prior to Samsung, he was an equity research analyst at Citigroup Asset Management, performing fundamental research on industries including enterprise software and IT services.
Mr. Lee graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. degree in Economics and received an MBA from Yale School of Management. Martin is fluent in Korean and Mandarin Chinese.
Mr. Snyder is a Partner at PGP Capital Advisors, leading PGP’s cannabis practice, where he advises clients on a range of strategic and operational matters, including equity and debt fundraising, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, spin-outs, and other strategic alternatives. Previously, Joshua was Head of M&A at Columbia Care, a leading multi-state operating cannabis company. During his tenure, the company announced and closed more than six acquisitions, including the first transaction in Colorado (TGS), gLeaf Medical (a leading private multi-state operator in PA, MD, VA, and OH), and the purchase of Van de Wetering, one of the largest greenhouses in Long Island and now the site of Columbia Care’s Adult Use cannabis cultivation in NY. He also worked on several financing transactions involving senior debt, equity, sale leasebacks and commercial mortgages. Largely as a result of the strategic M&A initiatives he spearheaded, Columbia Care more than quintupled in size from ~$50M in annualized sales from 2019 to $500M in annualized sales in 2023.
Prior to his focus on cannabis, Josh held a variety of roles in the financial and consulting world, including as an independent sponsor, Radical Capital Partners, and a small management consultancy, Radical Consulting, where he assisted executive teams, private equity entities, and activist investors in enhancing revenues, reducing costs, and turnaround companies. Earlier in his career, Joshua worked at Citibank and JP Morgan as a member of the internal groups tasked to turn around a number of their struggling subsidiaries.
Mr. Snyder graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Mr. Shin brings over 20 years of investment banking experience to PGP Capital. During his career as an investment banker, Mr. Shin assisted in capital raising and M&A transactions for companies in various industries, including financial services, technology, retail, real estate, healthcare, and entertainment.
Mr. Shin has worked at numerous leading investment banking institutions, most recently as a managing director at Bear Stearns. Prior to Bear Stearns, Mr. Shin worked at Montgomery Securities, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, NatWest Markets, and Oppenheimer & Co. in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London offices. Before engaging in his investment banking career, Mr. Shin was an auditor at Price Waterhouse.
Mr. Shin received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Tierney is a Vice President at PGP Capital Advisors, where he oversees and supports the firm’s merger and acquisitions and capital raising across various industry focuses.
Mr. Tierney has extensive experience in emerging industries and special situations. Before joining PGP, he was formerly the Director of Corporate Development at Sphere 3D Inc.. In this NASDAQ-listed bitcoin miner, he assisted in several capital raises, M&A, and corporate transactions during the company’s turnaround to become a bitcoin miner. Prior to his time at Sphere 3D, Mr. Tierney worked with numerous early-to-mid-stage companies as an analyst focused on emerging industries and disruptive technology at Ceres Capital Ventures.
Mr. Tierney received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Minor in Finance from Boston College.
Mr. Tong is an associate at PGP Capital Advisors where he leads and supports valuation, due diligence, analyses, research, and financial modeling efforts.
Mr. Tong is seasoned executive in financial, planning, and analysis. Prior to joining PGP in 2015, he was formerly an analyst at MHT Partners (now known as Cowen) in Boston, MA and completed numerous mergers and acquisitions and assisted in capital raises. Mr. Tong is well versed in Excel, SQL, Salesforce, Netsuite , FactSet, and Capital IQ.
Mr. Tong received his Bachelor of Arts with distinction in Economics from Dartmouth College. At Dartmouth, Mr. Tong was a Presidential Scholar in Economics. He was also President of The Aegis and Co President of the Dartmouth Society of Investment and Economics, and member of the Programming Board of the Dartmouth Investment & Philanthropy Program.
Mr. Vaughan is the Chief Executive Officer of Vaughan Capital Advisors. He has spent 20+ years executing commercial and strategic transactions at the intersection of media and technology. He has closed over $5 billion in transaction volume during his career.
Mr. Vaughan began his investment banking career with Goldman Sachs in the Communications, Media, and Entertainment group. Before founding VCA, he was a Senior Executive at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), executing M&A and fund formation transactions.
Prior to joining CAA, Craig held strategic transaction roles at 21st Century Fox and Sony Pictures. Mr. Vaughan was a founding advisor to the Queens Bridge Fund. Craig began his career in middle-market debt financing at Nations Bank (now Bank of America).
Mr. Vaughan holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Michigan’s Ross Business School and a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin. He is registered with FINRA with Series 79, 62, and 63 licenses.
Mr. Knowles specializes in the highly dynamic real estate technology space and is active as both an adviser and principal in capital formation, strategic partnership, and investments in the area.
Mr. Knowles career has been focused on capital raising and strategy for the world’s most prominent real estate companies including serving as the Co-Manager of the Global Real Estate Investment Banking Group at Salomon Brothers and as the Head of Western U.S. Real Estate Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch. He was a leader in the origination of the CMBS market together with being central to the creation of the global REIT market including responsibility for the IPO’s of CB Commercial and Essex Property Trust.
Mr. Knowles is a Founding Board of Directors member, Co-Chair of the Innovation Committee, and Co-CFO of Stanford Professionals in Real Estate, and Co-Founder of the Stanford Real Estate Council. He is a Leadership & Advisory Board member of CRE Tech, an inaugural member of the Urban Land Institute’s Technology Council, a former policy advisory board member of the U.C. Berkeley Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, a former advisory board member of the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission, and a board member of the Los Angeles Stanford Business Advisory Council.
Mr. Knowles received a BA degree with honors from Stanford University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
With over 36 years of industry experience in various senior capacities internationally, Mr. Nikkhoo is an experienced tech entrepreneur, investor, advisor, and investment banker.
Mr. Nikkhoo specializes in helping entrepreneurs scale disruptive technology platforms by advising on raising capital and offering strategic board advisory services. Ivan brings significant experience, deep domain expertise, and a broad base of contacts and resources to each one of his clients.
Mr. Nikkhoo is also an Adjunct Professor at USC Marshall School of Business where he teaches classes on raising growth capital, venture capital, private equity, entrepreneurship, eCommerce, social media, and founding successful startups. Mr. Nikkhoo received his MBA from USC Marshall School of Business and his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from McGill University. He has completed executive education programs at HBS and Stanford and is a General Securities Principal licensed with FINRA/SIPC.
Andrew J.C. Cherng
Founder and Chairman of the Board for Panda Restaurant Group (PRG)
Andrew J.C. Cherng is the Founder and Chairman of the Board for Panda Restaurant Group (PRG). Since its founding in 1983, the concept has grown to over 1,000 locations throughout
34 states and Puerto Rico and now registers approximately $1 billion in annual sales.
In addition to his tireless work with PRG, Mr. Cherng has endowed works in China through the Panda Cares Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Panda Restaurant Group. Mr. Cherng also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Collins School of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Jack W. Nicklaus
Chairman of Nicklaus Companies, LLC, the parent company for Nicklaus Design
Jack W. Nicklaus is the Chairman of Nicklaus Companies, LLC, the parent company for Nicklaus Design, the leading golf course design firm in the world. As a professional golfer, Mr. Nicklaus played parts of five decades and won over 100 titles, including a record 18 professional major championship titles. He has been named Individual Male Athlete of the Century by Sports Illustrated and one of the 10 Greatest Athletes of the Century by ESPN.
Nicklaus Design has been involved in close to 325 golf courses open for play in 31 countries and 38 states. Mr. Nicklaus and his wife Barbara have a long history of community and civic
leadership, primarily though deep involvement in numerous charitable activities. In recognition of his lifelong contributions to his country, Mr. Nicklaus was invited by President Bush in 2005 to the White House, where he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to any U.S. civilian.
Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of East West Bank
Dominic Ng is Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of East West Bancorp, Inc. and East West Bank. Prior to taking the helm of East-West in 1992, Mr. Ng was President of Seyen Investment, Inc. and spent over a decade as a CPA with Deloitte & Touche LLP.
We provide a broad range of financial advisory, capital raising services, and principal capabilities which enables us to assist and partner with our clients in achieving their goals over time and as their needs change.