PGP Capital Advisors’ Team
Meet The Team
As a founder of PGP, Mr. Kim has developed the firm’s strategy and led the organization since its inception in 2003. Mr. Kim has broad, senior-level experience in the financial services industry, starting his career in investment banking in 1988 at Merrill Lynch in New York. In 1995, he established and served as CEO of an asset management joint venture with Ssangyong Securities of Korea. He subsequently formed PGP/Hunter Partners, a venture capital firm of which he is currently Managing Partner.
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 an active role include the $2.4 billion RJR Nabisco Holdings restructuring and the sale of Blockbuster Entertainment to Viacom for $8.9 billion. He also had M&A industry responsibilities for the gaming and paper/forest products sectors. In addition, as a Vice President in the 70-employee Mergers & Acquisitions group, Mr. Kim had formal group-wide management responsibilities for performance reviews, project assignments, and recruiting.
Mr. Kim was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to serve as a Commissioner on the City of Los Angeles Affordable Housing Commission. Mr. Kim also serves on the Board of Directors of US Metro Bank (Garden Grove based $900 million asset bank) and several non-profit organizations, including The Korea Society.
Mr. Kim earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics at Dartmouth College and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
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. 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. 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.
Partner, PGP Cannabis Advisors
Mr. Ormond has over 23 years experience as an attorney at a national law firm. He is also a professor at Loyola Law School. His areas of expertise include receivership, corporate and business restructuring, insolvency, real estate, banking, cannabis regulations and alternatives to bankruptcy.
Mr. Ormond is currently the President of the California Receivers Forum and the former Chair of the Remedies Division of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. At Loyola Law School, Mr. Ormond teaches Receivership and Restructuring, and Cannabis Business Law, the first course in the nation to teach the subject.
Mr. Ormond was nominated for the “Leader in Law” award by the Los Angeles Business Journal and was previously selected as one of “Los Angeles’ Top 100 Lawyers” by the Los Angeles Business Journal. He is repeatedly recognized as a “Super Lawyer” and was recently selected as one of the “Top Cannabis Law Experts in the United States” by Databird Research Journal.
Mr. Ormond has also appeared in the Netflix documentary “The Business of Drugs: Cannabis.” where he shared his insights and legal perspective on California’s legalization of marijuana.
Senior Advisor, PGP Cannabis Advisors
Ms. Green is the founder and CEO of Bridges Growth Advisors, Jade Green Consulting, and CannaMLS.com. CannaMLS.com is the largest online marketplace for buying and selling cannabis licenses, businesses and real estate in the world with thousands of unique listings representing billions of dollars in total value. She is also the co founder and General Partner of Alta Real Estate Fund, a $50M cannabis REIT with 13 transactions executed across six states. Ms. Green serves on the board of directors of Glorious Cannabis Co. and the American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association.
Ms. Green started college at 16 and graduated with Honors from University of Florida at 20 years old.
Senior Advisor, PGP Cannabis Advisors
Over the past eighteen years as a co founder of Katan Associates, Mr. Yakatan has successfully structured and managed strategic alliances and deals, based on his insight and expertise in the US and Global Life Science sector, including the completion of over 20 buy and sell side M&A engagements, generating aggregate transaction value in excess of $650 million. Previously, he worked in merchant banking at the Union Bank of California, N.A., in the Specialized Lending Media and Telecommunications Group where he completed the placement of subordinated debt and private equity investments, exceeding $3 billion in transaction value. Mr. Yakatan currently serves on the board of directors of FitLife Brands, Inc.
Mr. Yaktan holds a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from the University of California, Irvine and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Public Affairs from the University of Denver.
Mr. Mitchell focuses on cannabis M&A, private placements, and public offerings with 10+ years of experience in both a principal investing and advisory capacity.
Mr. Mitchell was formerly VP, Investment Banking at Roth Capital Partners. Previously, Mr. Mitchell was a Senior Associate within ELLO Capital’s founding team, leading cannabis related M&A and capital raising transaction execution. Prior to joining ELLO Capital, Mr. Mitchell served as an Associate at Intrepid Investment Bankers focused on consumer M&A and private capital raising transactions. He also served four years at White Oak Global Advisors focusing on non sponsor opportunistic and special situation credit opportunities.
Mr. Mitchell graduated from UC San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics where he was a member of UCSD’s NCWSA National Waterski team and is currently a CFA Level III candidate.
Mr. Yee is a Partner of PGP Cannabis Advisory where he leads the firm’s cannabis division that specializes in mergers and acquisitions and capital raises for cannabis industry clients.
Mr. Yee is also Director at Chang.com, an LA-based family office focused on early stage investments, including such names as SoFi, Opendoor, Draft Kings, Gusto, FazeClan, and Desktop Metal. Previously, he was CEO at DAMA Technologies, an enterprise regulatory compliance software company. Mr. Yee has also been actively involved in his family’s restaurants business that’s celebrating its 59th year of continuous operations and was recently awarded Family Owned Business of the Year by the Small Business Administration.
Mr. Yee has served on the boards of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Lazarus House, and the Chamber of Commerce of Merrimack Valley. Mr. Yee received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administrations at Boston University.
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. 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.
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.
Senior Advisor and Founder, Vaughan Capital Advisors
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.
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.