The Ravinia Capital team is comprised of experienced investment bankers; we approach our work with both precision and sophistication. We learn about our clients to understand their enterprises, we partner with them to achieve success and we never settle. We utilize our network to craft the best possible transactions and obtain the best possible results for our clients.
Tom founded Ravinia Capital in 1998 and serves as a Managing Partner. He has more than 20 years of operating experience in roles ranging from salesperson to CEO. Tom’s background in accounting, law, and general management allowed him to evaluate, invest in, acquire, and lead a number of private companies. Today, Tom leverages his experience to help company owners understand how to best tap capital markets or sell their companies for the best possible outcomes. Tom’s background gives him the unique ability to understand the needs and of both the company owner and buyer and can help all parties navigate the inevitable complexities involved in all transactions.
Tom earned the annual ‘Distressed Dealmaker of the Year’ award from the M&A Advisor Turnaround Association for delivering an exceptional outcome for a company in distress. Tom is a frequent speaker on alternative capital raises in challenging situations and distressed investing, and he is involved in a number of non-profit organizations, including the Chicago Anti-Defamation League and the Old-Town School of Folk Music.
He received a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a JD law degree from the University of Chicago, and MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.
(312) 316 - 4641
Eric joined Ravinia Capital in 2012 and has been highly influential in the firm’s growth and success serving privately held companies. He is directly involved in the development of key clients and leads the operational management of the firm. Eric brings to Ravinia Capital many years of prior experience and expertise in the areas of enterprise valuation, lender services, asset appraisals, stock purchasing, and financial reporting. His understanding of all the drivers of enterprise valuation are critical to maximizing our client valuations and lowering the cost of capital in lending, investing, or sale transactions. This background has been invaluable in helping client companies understand all their available options and strategies for accessing capital markets to fund growth, resolve distress, or simply fund an exit.
Eric is a speaker on the subject of accessing capital for business owners and was named a winner of the 8th Annual Emerging Leaders Award by the M&A Advisor for his noteworthy leadership in helping companies and their owners.
Eric received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Illinois State University.
(708) 372 - 0556
John W. Kemp
John is partner at Ravinia Capital and has 35 years of experience providing financial advisory and investment banking services to middle market companies. He has worked across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing and distribution, the automotive aftermarket, food, healthcare, retail, consumer, industrial, business and financial services. He is passionately dedicated to finding the best results for our clients and referral sources.
Earlier in his career John was the #2 executive at Sears Automotive where he helped lead a team that drove a $150 million profit improvement over three years. In 2017 John was president of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) Chicago/Midwest Chapter, where he worked with a team of over 60 volunteer leaders to create programming, educational and networking events that drove robust attendance and higher membership. John has also appeared in Chicago print and broadcast media to address the challenges faced by troubled businesses.
John received a Bachelor of Arts in History with High Honors from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. He is a member of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and Commercial Finance Association (CFA) and has served on the Governing Board of the Chicago Zoological Society (Brookfield Zoo) for nearly two decades.
(630) 215 - 9383
Gene is a strategic management consultant at Ravinia focused on quickly increasing client company performance and maximizing enterprise value. Prior to joining Ravinia Capital, Gene held positions ranging from Fortune 500 executive in the technology world to serial entrepreneur, founding or co-founding six companies. After exiting with the sale of a high-technology start-up in 2001, he began a career advising and investing in private companies to achieve greater company performance.
His business training began at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley where he received his undergraduate degree and MBA. Gene also completed an executive program at the Wharton Graduate School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Gene is an accomplished speaker and board member for a number of private companies.
(312) 566 - 8030
The legal dimension of any significant transaction can be complex, and Rick’s unique background brings to Ravinia Capital the legal expertise necessary to help our clients understand the legal implications of their situations and to help clients develop the best strategy to navigate through the legal complexities to a successful transaction.
He has a long history of success in supporting sales of distressed companies, out-of-court restructurings and managing Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Throughout his career, Rick played significant roles in many high-profile, ground-breaking cases, such as one of the largest single-asset real estate cases ever filed and argued that case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Rick also represented the first company to use Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code to resolve asbestos claims.
Rick received his Bachelor of Arts with high distinction and highest honors in History, and his JD law degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan. Rick is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.
(773) 273 - 9807
Sue is a financial advisor at Ravinia focused on assessing our clients’ business and financial condition and providing strategic options and financial direction.
Her broad background across the spectrum of accounting, finance, banking, and turnaround consulting uniquely qualifies her to implement financial process improvements, controls and reporting, cash flow forecasting, restructuring, and interim CFO services to enhance enterprise value and maximize client outcomes in support of near-term liquidity events.
Sue has more than 30 years of direct financial and operating experience in public accounting, corporate accounting, turnaround consulting, and banking. She has held executive positions responsible for lending, financial analysis and planning, portfolio management, risk management, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions diligence, accounting, and audit across a number of large private and public corporations, commercial banks, and consulting firms.
Sue received her Bachelors in Business Administration in Accounting and Auditing from Western Illinois University, and completed post-graduate studies at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Turnaround Professional.
(847) 977 - 0577
As a Senior Analyst at Ravinia Capital, Kris provides strategy, analytics, market research, financial modeling, project management and general transaction support for client engagements. He helps ensure that Ravinia executes its assignments most efficiently and accurately to help deliver the best possible client outcomes.
Prior to joining Ravinia Capital, Kris was a financial and management consultant in a prominent family office where he was responsible for financial analyses and financial reporting for thirteen portfolio companies and all real estate holdings. He also coordinated and managed transactions and activities involving various trusts, legal actions, asset disposition, and charity and foundation involvement. His financial and project management and coordination skills are invaluable to Ravinia Capital clients.
Kris received his Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular & Cellular Biology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
(773) 706 - 4697
As a Senior Analyst at Ravinia Capital, Barry provides strategy, financial and market analyses, financial modeling, project management and general transaction support for client engagements. He helps ensure that Ravinia executes its assignments most efficiently and accurately to help deliver the best possible client outcomes.
Real estate holdings are a common element across many of Ravinia Capital clients, and Barry’s background in the financial management and property management of real estate portfolios is invaluable. His past involvement in accounting, financial modeling, lease negotiations, and asset management and disposition help to properly integrate real estate assets into the client’s strategy.
Barry received his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics and Political Science and minor in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
(724) 809 - 5596
As a Ravinia Capital analyst, David is responsible for preparing detailed financial analyses and valuations; creating marketing materials; and performing research on both companies and industries.
Prior to joining Ravinia, David started his career at KPMG Israel in the Deal Advisory department where he supported preparation of financial due diligence reports for buy-side clients; preparing quality of earnings reports and working capital analyses; identifying revenue, profitability and cash flow drivers; and evaluating operating cost structures and sustainability factors.
David received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a minor in Accounting from William Paterson University.
(551) 795 - 4769
Ravinia Capital Performance Improvement
Kobus van der Zel, CTP
Kobus van der Zel is partner at Ravinia Capital Performance Improvement with 28 years of experience in business improvement, including 19 years where 100% of his fees were tied to incremental monthly cash flow improvements. His specific passion is to help overleveraged companies and their people reverse the root causes of their past underperformance and return to market share growth and optimum business value in future sale transactions.
In 2016 the Turnaround Management Association’s Midwest chapter awarded Kobus the Large Transaction of the Year award for helping Nasdaq listed Swisher avoid disorderly liquidation by being sold to a large competitor.
Kobus graduated from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa in 1989 with a mechanical engineering degree and in 1995 with an MBA. He was certified by the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) as a Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP) in 2005 and is a qualified master black belt in process improvement. He is on the board of an international business improvement association (TOCICO) and is part of the TMA’s CoC committee approving new CTPs.