Banner Ridge Partners is a Registered Investment Advisor that identifies best-in-class private equity managers in niche markets and provides liquidity solutions to their limited partners. Banner Ridge is led by a senior team with significant secondary market experience. By targeting deep value opportunities, focusing on fragmented markets and working through structural complexities, we believe we can exceed the investment goals of our clients.
Identifying world-class private equity managers with fortified competitive advantages in niche markets
The ability to distinguish the best managers is essential when building a high-quality private market portfolio. Banner Ridge has dedicated substantial resources to sourcing, evaluating, and selecting what it believes to be top-tier private market managers. The principals of Banner Ridge bring extensive experience in niche markets, particularly distressed, special situations and credit. Given its cyclical nature, closely monitoring the distressed asset class allows Banner Ridge to make more targeted commitments in its sub-strategies including distressed trading, distressed-for-control, turnaround private equity and structured credit. Banner Ridge seeks to construct high-conviction diversified portfolios that mitigate risk while maintaining enough concentration to generate outsized returns.
Providing liquidity solutions to owners of private equity interests and other illiquid vehicles
Banner Ridge’s investments stem from its extensive relationships with limited partners, fund managers and intermediaries. Banner Ridge focuses on investments where it has identified an information advantage and, as a result, market inefficiency. Banner Ridge primarily targets opportunities in high-quality distressed private equity, hedge fund side pockets and out-of-favor managers. Many of these market segments overlap in asset classes and, on occasion, specific assets, creating relative value opportunities. We believe by staying nimble, understanding relative value, and choosing to focus on price discipline over investment volume, we can generate outsized returns. Finally, the Banner Ridge team has significant experience with complex transaction structures which allow it to create unique solutions that support its client’s investment goals.
Partnering with best-in-class managers to find undervalued opportunities
We believe strong co-investments start with strong partners. Identifying managers with robust diligence processes and differentiated sourcing ensures attractive opportunities; demonstrating that Banner Ridge is a reliable and complimentary partner ensures the option to invest. Finally, we believe our robust investment process of identifying value and focusing on market inefficiency gives us the best chance of meeting our client’s investment goals.
Anthony Cusano is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Banner Ridge. Mr. Cusano is the chairman of the investment committee and is responsible for sourcing and executing transactions across the firm’s different investment products.
Mr. Cusano brings 15 years of experience analyzing and structuring complex private deals. Prior to Banner Ridge, Mr. Cusano spent nine years at Siguler Guff & Co., where he was a Managing Director and sole Portfolio Manager of the firm’s Secondary Opportunity Fund. Mr. Cusano also focused on private equity investments across the firm’s primary, secondary and co-investment business lines. Previously, Mr. Cusano worked on the distressed research team at StepStone Group where he focused on distressed debt and special situations globally. Before joining StepStone, Mr. Cusano worked for Cornell Capital Partners where he structured equity PIPE and convertible debt transactions in public securities. Mr. Cusano also owned and operated a San Diego based IT consulting firm, which was subsequently acquired by CopyCare of San Diego, Inc. in 2007.
Mr. Cusano holds a B.S. summa cum laude in Business Administration with a concentration in Financial Management from California Polytechnic State University and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurial Finance from the University of California San Diego's Rady School of Management. Mr. Cusano is a CFA charterholder.
Mr. Driessen is a Co-Founder and Partner at Banner Ridge. Mr. Driessen is responsible for sourcing, underwriting and analyzing investments across the firm’s platform.
Previously, Mr. Driessen was a Principal at Siguler Guff & Co. where he was responsible for underwriting and negotiating secondary transactions. Prior to Siguler Guff, Mr. Driessen focused on secondary transactions, co-investments and public markets equity and credit investments at LSV Advisors. Mr. Driessen started his career in Mergers & Acquisitions at the Blackstone Group, where he worked on the restructuring of AIG.
Mr. Driessen holds a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Driessen is a CFA charterholder.
Mr. O’Connor is a Managing Director at Banner Ridge. He is responsible for sourcing, selection, oversight and overall portfolio construction of the firm’s Primary Investment portfolio.
Prior to Banner Ridge, Mr. O’Connor was a Managing Director at Drum Capital Management, a specialized asset management firm focused exclusively on making private equity and credit investments in distressed and turnaround opportunities, where he was responsible for making primary commitments and co-investments. Previously, Mr. O’Connor was a Partner at Protostar Partners, a middle market leveraged buyout investment firm. Prior to joining Protostar, he was the Chief Financial Officer of PresAir LLC, a manufacturer of air, pressure and vacuum switches. He began his career with Prudential Securities. Mr. O’Connor received his Bachelor of Science from the McIntire School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Mr. Halper is a Principal and Chief Compliance Officer at Banner Ridge. Mr. Halper is responsible for leading the negotiation and execution of transactions, including purchases and financings, across all strategies. Mr. Halper also leverages his network to identify transactions. In addition, Mr. Halper will serve as Chief Compliance Officer.
Previously, Mr. Halper was a Principal at Siguler Guff & Co. where he was responsible for leading the execution of secondary transactions. In addition, Mr. Halper executed complex financing structures for clients across the firm as well as sourcing transactions. Prior to Siguler Guff, Mr. Halper served as Chief Operating Officer at Czech Asset Management where he was responsible for oversight of all non-investment activities, including fund operations, fund formation and limited partner due diligence. Mr. Halper has also worked in investment and operational due diligence at Stamos Capital Partners and Central Park Group. Prior to Central Park Group, Mr. Halper worked as a fund accountant at Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer. He started his career in the Alternatives Investment Group at UBS.
Mr. Halper holds a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Miami.
Mr. Wu is an Investment Associate at Banner Ridge. Mr. Wu is responsible for all aspects of underwriting transactions including developing financial models and investment memorandums. In addition, Mr. Wu leads portfolio monitoring across the firm.
Previously, Mr. Wu was an Investment Analyst at Siguler Guff & Co. where he was responsible for investment analysis, due diligence and monitoring secondary, primary and co-investment transactions across distressed, special situations, out-of-favor, illiquid hedge fund interests and credit investments across the firm. Mr. Wu started his career in Investment Banking at RBC Capital Markets, where he worked in the Financial Institutions Group.
Mr. Wu holds a B.A. in Economics from Vanderbilt University.
Mr. Savlani is an Investment Associate at Banner Ridge. He is responsible for all aspects of underwriting and analyzing transactions across the firm’s platform, including developing financial models and investment memorandums. In addition, Mr. Savlani is involved in portfolio monitoring across the firm.
Previously, Mr. Savlani was a senior strategy and corporate development analyst at Verizon Communications, where his team was responsible for driving growth and M&A strategy. Prior to Verizon, Mr. Savlani was an investment banking analyst at Edgemont Partners and Portico Capital where he advised clients in the healthcare and technology sectors on mergers, acquisitions and growth capital raises. Mr. Savlani started his career in Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley, where he worked in the Global Capital Markets Corporate Derivatives Group.
Mr. Savlani holds a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University.
Dr. McGinn is an Analyst at Banner Ridge. He is responsible for developing, maintaining and updating SUIT, the company’s proprietary sourcing and portfolio management tool.
Previously, Dr. McGinn matriculated at the Neuroscience department of the University of Idaho, where he was responsible for data analysis of university conducted research, developing scientific research and technology, and writing scientific literature, ultimately completing his Ph.D. thesis on the development and regeneration of the retina. Prior to completing graduate school at the University of Idaho, Dr. McGinn was a Research Associate at Acucela, a pharmaceutical development company, where he was responsible for increasing the efficiency of the product development pipeline as well as managing and quantifying large data sets.
Dr. McGinn holds a B.S. in Neuroscience from Washington State University and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Idaho.
Ms. Duong is a Senior Controller at Banner Ridge. Ms. Duong is responsible for overseeing fund administration, managing financial reporting and assisting in transaction processing.
Previously, Ms. Duong was a Director at VP Fund Services, where she was responsible for all services related to fund administration including deal and investor reporting, account monitoring and the onboarding of existing funds and new clients. She lead efforts to implement a new accounting and investor allocation system, which allowed for increased efficiency in report automation and additional customized reporting options. Prior to VP Fund Services, Ms. Duong was a Senior Controller at LSV Advisors, a leading hedge fund secondary firm, where she oversaw management company and fund reporting for over 35 entities and assisted in transaction processing and investor servicing. Prior to LSV Advisors, Ms. Duong was a Senior Fund Accountant at Vistra USA, LLC. Ms. Duong began her career at Citi Hedge Fund Services N.A. as a Fund Accountant.
Ms. Duong holds a B.S. in Finance and a B.S. in Management from Pennsylvania State University.