Onyx Acquisition Co. I
- Industrial, Aerospace, Defense, Logistics, Construction, Transportation, Infrastructure, Technology
Michael Stern, Director, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer : Michael Stern, our Director, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, is the Founder and CEO of JDS Development Group, a real estate development and acquisition firm based in New York City. Mr. Stern founded the firm in 2002 and has led the company to become one of the most active development firms in the United States through its high-quality, designed projects. Mr. Stern has overseen the development of over 15 million square feet of property in New York and Miami with an aggregate value of over $10 billion. His experience includes real estate acquisition, real estate-related financing, design, restoration, construction (including running one of the largest construction management firms in New York City), complex conversions, as well as sales, leasing, and marketing.
Benjamin Lerner, President : Benjamin Lerner, our President, has nearly 16 years of experience in the financial services industry, with a specialization in investments in special situation equities, corporate bonds, distressed debt and emerging markets. Prior to joining Onyx Acquisition Co. I, Mr. Lerner was an analyst at Citadel, a multi-strategy hedge fund from October 2018 to June 2021, where his responsibilities included due diligence, structuring, origination analyzing and investing in opportunities across the capital structure globally in a range of industries, including real estate, building products, transportation, airlines, and metals and mining. Prior to Citadel, Mr. Lerner held roles at Contrarian Capital Management, a hedge fund based in Greenwich, Connecticut from 2013 to 2018 as an assistant portfolio manager, as an analyst at Third Avenue Management, an asset management firm in New York from 2010 to 2013 and various roles with Morgan Stanley from 2005 to 2010. Mr. Lerner’s 16 years of financial services experience includes multiple billions of transaction value across a broad range of security types including public equities, private equities, high yield bonds, leveraged loans and debtor-in-possession financings. Mr. Lerner graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing.
Matthew Vodola, Chief Financial Officer : Matthew Vodola, our Chief Financial Officer, has over 17 years of experience in the financial services industry, with a specialization in investments in high yield and distressed debt and emerging markets. Prior to joining Onyx Acquisition Co. I, Mr. Vodola was an analyst at Citadel, a multi-strategy hedge fund, from November 2018 until March 2021, where his responsibilities included due diligence, analyzing and investing in opportunities across the capital structure in multiple countries. Prior to joining Citadel in 2018, he was an Analyst at Brigade Capital, a credit investment manager focused on companies with leveraged balance sheets, based in New York, for nine years, focusing on investments in emerging market and U.S. companies in retail, restaurants, consumer package goods, and food and beverage, among others. Additionally, Mr. Vodola worked in capital markets roles at Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, among other financial institutions. Throughout his career, Mr. Vodola has invested in corporate and sovereign debt many different countries, across a number of industries, and parts of the capital structure. Mr. Vodola holds an M.A. in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University and received a B.A. in Political Science & History, magna cum laude, from Drew University. Mr. Vodola also holds certifications in debt sustainability and financial programming from the International Monetary Fund.
Serena Rakhlin, General Counsel : Serena Rakhlin, our General Counsel, has nearly 15 years of business and legal experience across various sectors. For the past six years, Ms. Rakhlin has served as Managing Director and General Counsel for JDS Development Group. At JDS, Ms. Rakhlin oversees multiple corporate and legal functions within the organization and is responsible for due diligence, structuring, financing complex acquisitions and providing strategic advice related to billions of dollars of real estate development. Prior to joining JDS, she was responsible for the strategic growth of an international luxury brand by expanding the global footprint, including multiple emerging markets, through licensed deals, management agreements and strategic partnerships. Ms. Rakhlin also previously worked as an attorney at the New York City office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP, where she represented lenders, investors and private equity firms in connection with complex fund-raising, acquisition and development transactions, and also advised on a number of prominent mergers and acquisitions. Ms. Rakhlin began her career as a consultant at PKF Consulting (today part of CBRE Group) where she provided underwriting, valuation and feasibility services for lenders and investors. Ms. Rakhlin earned her B.S. from Cornell University and her J.D. from Duke University School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.
Ana Kertesz has agreed to serve as a member of our board of directors . Ana Kertesz is the Chief Growth Officer of Amyris, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS), a leading synthetic biotechnology company in clean health and beauty leveraging digital innovation, machine learning and data science for its consumer brands and a top supplier of sustainable and natural ingredients, Ms. Kertesz joined Amyris in October 2021 and leads the execution of strategic executive processes, corporate strategy, M&A, portfolio management and is responsible for the operational management of the content and creative hub in New York. Prior to joining Amyris, Ana founded the entrepreneurship focused digital platform, HOWto.LIVEit, and from July 2016 to September 2018, Ms. Kertesz was an independent entrepreneur and investor. She served as the Executive Director of Península Participações, an investment management company, from October 2013 to June 2016. From 2012 to 2016, Ms. Kertesz served as a board member of Instituto Verdescola, a not for profit focused on after school activities for children and skill development for young people and families in the north of Sao Paulo, Brazil. From August 1997 to May 2012, Ms. Kertesz served as a Vice President of Goldman Sachs, working on investment banking transactions focused on Latin American corporate clients, including mergers & acquisitions, equity and debt capital markets, corporate restructuring and commodities derivatives sales & structuring. Ms. Kertesz holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from Fundação Getulio Vargas and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Michael Lehmann has agreed to serve as a member of our board of directors . Michael Lehmann is the President of Aimia Inc., a holding company with a focus on long-term investments in public and private companies. He serves as a member of Aimia’s investment committee and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Lehmann also serves on the boards of several of the Aimia’s portfolio companies including PLM, Mittleman Investment Management, and Kognitiv. Mr. Lehmann has been involved in the investment business for more than twenty five years, most recently as the Founder and Managing Member of LARC Capital Holdings LLC, a privately held partnership and owner of a diverse investment portfolio of businesses. Prior to launching LARC Capital in 2016, Mr. Lehmann was a Partner and Portfolio Manager at Third Avenue Management, LLC for 18 years, a highly respected SEC-registered Investment Advisor. Mr. Lehmann’s responsibilities grew to include Co-Manager of the Third Avenue Value Fund (TAVFX) — Third Avenue’s flagship investment product, Lead Manager of Third Avenue Separate Account business, Portfolio Manager of the Global Value Equity product, Co-Lead PM of Third Avenue Balanced Fund and Lead Manager of Third Avenue Variable Series Fund, where the Fund was awarded the Lipper award for best 5-year track record and SOLIS Partners, where he was a Member of the Investment Committee. Earlier in his career, Mr. Lehmann was a Vice President of Gabelli Funds, Inc, an Investment Advisor to the Gabelli Mutual Funds and an Associate Portfolio Manager of private investment portfolios with Mario J. Gabelli. Mr. Lehmann has a Bachelor of Science degree with a primary concentration in Finance and a secondary concentration in Marketing from Fordham University.
Edmar Prado Lopes Neto has agreed to serve as a member of our board of directors . Mr. Neto is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investor Relations Officer at Movida Participações, S.A, and has served in these roles since October 2016. He has over 35 years of experience in the financial sector. From April 2020 until June 2021, Mr. Neto served as member of the Independent Related Parties Committee of Smiles SA, also being an alternate member of the Board of Directors. From 2016 until 2019, Mr. Neto acted as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Institute of Investor Relations. From 2012 to 2016, he served as the Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations at Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A., which he joined in 2011. From December 2005 to April 2011, he served as the Head of Treasury at NET Oficial. Since 1998, he has worked at Organizações Globo and served as the Manager of Planning at Fundação Roberto Marinho. He also held financial positions in NGOs in Brazil. Mr. Neto holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.