Senior Leadership Team

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Senior Leadership Team

Ben Axelrod
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 212 883 4552

Ben Axelrod is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company where he specializes in M&A advisory. Mr. Axelrod has over 14 years of investment banking experience, executing public and private buy-side, sell-side and special committee assignments across a broad range of industries. His expertise has led him to advise on numerous high-profile, strategic M&A transactions with an emphasis on the healthcare sector, namely the medtech, biotech and pharmaceuticals industries. Prior to joining Moelis & Company, Mr. Axelrod worked in the M&A group at UBS. In 2018, he was named as one of Business Insider’s Rising Stars on Wall Street.

Mr. Axelrod graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the board of the World Civic Orchestra.

Senior Leadership Team

Azad Badakhsh
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 212 883 3590

Azad Badakhsh is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company where he focuses on advising clients in the aerospace & defense sectors. Mr. Badakhsh has over 15 years of investment banking experience advising industrial and aerospace & defense clients on buy-side and sell-side transactions and a variety of other corporate finance matters. Mr. Badakhsh joined the Firm as a Vice President, later taking on the titles of Senior Vice President and Managing Director. Prior to joining Moelis & Company, Mr. Badakhsh was a Director in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at UBS Investment Bank.

Mr. Badakhsh holds a B.S. in Economics with concentrations in Finance and Accounting from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Senior Leadership Team

Ryan Bell
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 212 883 3664

Ryan Bell is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company, where he specializes in advising clients in the healthcare sector. Mr. Bell has originated and executed a wide variety of corporate finance transactions including mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and other debt and equity transactions. Prior to joining Moelis & Company, Mr. Bell worked at Citi in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group and the Leveraged Finance Group.

Mr. Bell holds a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and an M.B.A., with Distinction, from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. He is also a CFA Charterholder.

Senior Leadership Team

Dave Brown
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 212 883 5835

Dave Brown is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company and Head of the U.S. Private Funds Advisory group. He joined the Firm to help launch the Private Funds Advisory group, with extensive experience advising on fundraises across the spectrum of investment strategies and geographies worldwide. Previously, Mr. Brown was a Managing Director and Co-Head of Greenhill’s Private and Real Estate Capital Advisory Groups. He joined Greenhill in 2008 from Lehman Brothers, where he served as a Senior Vice President of Lehman’s Private Fund Marketing Group. Before that, he was a Director of New York Life Investment Management and prior to that, played as a quarterback for 10 years in the National Football League for the New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals.

Mr. Brown holds a B.A. from Duke University.

Senior Leadership Team

James Butcher
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 (212) 883-3890

James Butcher is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company where he focuses on advising clients in the Media and Technology sectors, with a particular focus on digital media, internet and information services. Mr. Butcher has over 14 years of investment banking experience in the U.S. and Europe, advising companies and financial sponsors on a broad range of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, equity and debt financings, and restructurings. Prior to joining Moelis & Company, Mr. Butcher was an Associate Director at Close Brothers Corporate Finance in London.

Mr. Butcher holds a B.A. from University College London and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Senior Leadership Team

Chris Callesano
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 212 883 3820

Chris Callesano is a Managing Director, Principal Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller at Moelis & Company. Mr. Callesano has over 20 years of finance and accounting experience, primarily within the financial services industry. Prior to joining Moelis & Company, he was Senior Managing Director of Financial Reporting and Policy at NASDAQ OMX where he was responsible for preparing the annual and quarterly financial statements filed with the SEC. Previously, Mr. Callesano worked at Merrill Lynch as Director of Corporate Reporting and began his career as an auditor at Ernst & Young.

Mr. Callesano holds a B.S. in Accounting from Penn State University, an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Senior Leadership Team

Thane W. Carlston
Managing Director & Co-Head of Recapitalization & Restructuring Group
New York

T: +1 212 883 3530

Thane Carlston is a Managing Director and Co-Head of the Recapitalization & Restructuring Group at Moelis & Company. Mr. Carlston has worked in the investment banking industry for over 25 years, specializing in the distressed advisory sector working with companies, corporate boards, creditor groups, sponsors, and corporate parents of troubled subsidiaries. He joined Moelis & Company to help build its restructuring franchise, now a recognized market leader around the globe advising on complex, distressed corporate matters. From 1998 to until joining the Firm in 2008, he was Co-Head of the Restructuring Group at Jefferies & Company. Mr. Carlston has structured and led numerous out-of-court transactions utilizing exchange offers, consent solicitations, and negotiations with lenders to secure bank amendments and waivers. He also has extensive experience in distressed M&A, distressed debt financing and advising on matters that involve pre-packaged, pre-arranged and unplanned Chapter 11 reorganizations.

Mr. Carlston holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Utah and an M.B.A. from UCLA.

Senior Leadership Team

Lawrence S. Chu
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 212 883 4588

Lawrence S. Chu is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company where he provides financial and strategic advice to large cap companies globally, with a concentration on the communications, media and technology sectors. Mr. Chu has 25 years of experience in this role. Prior to joining Moelis & Company, Mr. Chu was appointed Special Adviser to the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by Chairman Wheeler. Before the FCC, Mr. Chu was a Managing Director at Greenhill & Co. and prior to that, was a Managing Director at Evercore Partners.

Mr. Chu is President of the Board of Trustees as well as a member of the Nursery School Board of Directors and Governance Committee of The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York. Mr. Chu is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Friends Academy in Locust Valley, New York.

Senior Leadership Team

Kate Pilcher Ciafone
Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer of Investment Banking
New York

T: +1 212 883 3807

Kate Pilcher Ciafone is a Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Investment Banking at Moelis & Company. Prior to joining Moelis & Company, Ms. Ciafone worked in the UBS Investment Bank Office of the CEO and President, where she helped to analyze growth opportunities and develop the strategy of the firm. Prior to this, Ms. Ciafone was an investment banker in the Financial Institutions Group at UBS Investment Bank. In this role, she advised clients in the commercial banking, asset management, broker-dealer, specialty finance and financial technology sectors on mergers and acquisitions and raising equity and debt financing.

Ms. Ciafone holds a B.S. in Commerce with distinction from The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.

Senior Leadership Team

John Colella
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 212 883 4215

John Colella is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company where he focuses on transactions in the power and utility sectors. He joined the Firm with expertise in several energy sectors including electric, water and gas utilities as well as independent power producers and renewable energy companies. Mr. Colella has been in the investment banking industry for over 20 years and has advised some of the largest global power and utility clients on critical strategic and capital raising transactions. He also advises on M&A, capital markets, restructuring and bankruptcy transactions. Previously, Mr. Colella was a Managing Director at JP Morgan covering power and utility clients. Prior to joining JP Morgan in 2007, Mr. Colella was a member of the Global Utilities Group at UBS Investment Bank.

Mr. Colella holds a B.A. from Rutgers College and an M.B.A. from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, where he was a Park Leadership Fellow.

Senior Leadership Team

Ashish Contractor
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 212 883 3675

Ashish Contractor is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company where he advises specialty, generic pharmaceutical and biotech clients. Mr. Contractor has more than 19 years of experience advising companies, primarily across the pharmaceutical and biotech space, on a broad spectrum of corporate finance matters including M&A, debt and equity financings, hostile takeovers, corporate defense, and private placements. Previously, he was a Managing Director at Greenhill & Co. leading the firm’s Life Sciences coverage. Prior to Greenhill & Co., Mr. Contractor worked in Lehman Brothers’ Private Equity group. He began his career as an Analyst in the Financial Institutions group at Lehman Brothers.

Mr. Contractor graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Finance and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business and holds an M.B.A with honors from the Harvard Business School.

Senior Leadership Team

Ted Conway
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 212 883 4008

Ted Conway is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company, where he specializes in advising specialty finance clients. Mr. Conway has over 30 years of investment banking experience across M&A, debt and equity capital markets, leveraged finance, and other strategic advisory. Prior to joining Moelis & Company, Mr. Conway worked at Barclays Capital where he was the Co-Head of the Banks and Specialty Finance Group. He also served as a Managing Director within Barclays’ Financial Sponsors Group and the firm’s Leveraged Finance Group. Prior to Barclays Capital, he worked at Lehman Brothers.

Mr. Conway holds a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.

Senior Leadership Team

Dennis Cornell
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 212 880-7321

Dennis Cornell is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company, where he specializes in advising private fund sponsors and limited partners on capital raises, as well as secondary and other independent advisory services. Mr. Cornell has over 20 years of investment banking experience. Prior to joining Moelis & Company, Mr. Cornell worked at Morgan Stanley. He held a variety of roles in his time there, including Co-Head of Energy Investment Banking for the Americas, Head of MENA Sovereign Wealth Fund and Private Equity Fund Coverage, and Managing Director in the Financial Sponsors group. Mr. Cornell began his investment banking career at Merrill Lynch and Co, and also served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy.

Mr. Cornell holds a B.S. in Finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Senior Leadership Team

Elizabeth Crain
Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer
New York

T: +1 212 883 3883

Elizabeth Crain is the Chief Operating Officer and a Founding Partner at Moelis & Company where she leads the Firm’s global strategy, infrastructure and business management functions. Ms. Crain has been in the investment banking and private equity industries for over 25 years as a banker, principal and operations executive. Prior to Moelis & Company, Ms. Crain was a Managing Director in the UBS Investment Bank where she was the Manager of the Investment Bank Client Committee and a member of the Investment Bank Board. In addition, she was both the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of the UBS Investment banking Department Americas franchise. Before joining UBS, Ms. Crain was in the private equity industry from 1997 to 2001. She began her career in investment banking in 1988 at Merrill Lynch. Ms. Crain was named one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Finance by American Banker magazine in 2011 and 2012.

Ms. Crain holds a B.S. in Economics from Arizona State University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She serves on the Board of Directors of Exscientia Ltd., the Graduate Executive Board of The Wharton School and the Board of Trustees of The Windward School.

Senior Leadership Team

Maarten de Jong
Managing Director
New York

T: +1 212 883 4585

Maarten de Jong is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company where he specializes in advising clients in the healthcare sector. He has over 22 years of investment banking experience, advising on M&A and capital markets healthcare transactions, including pharmaceuticals, specialty pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and diagnostics transactions. Prior to joining Moelis & Company, Mr. de Jong worked at Barclays, formerly Lehman Brothers, and was most recently their Global Head of Life Sciences. While at Barclays, he executed a broad range of transactions across the healthcare sector and developed a portfolio of relationships across the U.S. and Europe.

Mr. de Jong holds an M.S. from the University of Utrecht.