TEAM

The Emet team possesses an exceptional combination of unique and complementary skills in Emet’s strategy. The team averages more than 15 years of experience and has successfully executed this investment strategy since 2012.

Paul Siegel, Managing Principal

Paul Siegel is a Co-Founder and the Managing Principal of Emet.  Mr. Siegel manages Emet’s day-to-day operations and sources, negotiates, and leads due diligence and transaction structuring.  He has spent his entire career in municipal finance and has more than 17 years of relevant experience in the municipal, special situations, and distressed asset investment arena.

Prior to co-founding Emet, Mr. Siegel was a Senior Vice President at Fundamental Advisors LP, a distressed and special situation municipal debt investment management firm.  Mr. Siegel was responsible for sourcing, executing, and managing fund investments.

Before joining Fundamental, Mr. Siegel served as a Housing Finance Officer at the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, structuring and issuing debt and equity financings for affordable multifamily housing projects.  Preceding the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Mr. Siegel was a Senior Investment Analyst at Madison Capital Management, where he and the co-founder of Fundamental comprised the core team responsible for the distressed municipal bond investment platform.  Mr. Siegel began his career as an investment banker at George K. Baum & Company, where he structured and underwrote debt financings for non-profit institutions, with a focus on privatized student housing transactions at colleges and universities.

Mr. Siegel received his B.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is a member of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts, the Municipal Analysts Group of New York, the Urban Land Institute, and the Turnaround Management Association. Mr. Siegel is actively involved with UJA-Federation of New York, where he is on the Board of Directors and a member of both the Jewish Communal Network Commission Cabinet and Caring Commission Cabinet. Mr. Siegel’s primary aim is to reduce suffering and isolation in communities through support to local agencies and targeted grantmaking. He is presently a member of the Health and Human Service Agency Assessment committee and the Impact Investing in Israel (i4) Committee, a social impact investing initiative that supports marginalized populations in Israel. Mr. Siegel is a member of the Wexner Heritage Program.

Stefan Baugh, Principal

Stefan Baugh is a Co-Founder and Principal of Emet.  Mr. Baugh is responsible for all legal aspects of Emet’s investments, including developing MOUs, term sheets, and joint venture agreements.  He also manages the range of legal issues that can arise in distressed situations, from defaults to insurance claims to lawsuits, to tenant problems and liens.  Mr. Baugh has more than 17 years of experience as a real estate and finance lawyer.  He has spent his career working on the acquisition, disposition and financing of real estate projects with an emphasis on workouts and restructurings of distressed real estate assets, joint venture transactions, development and construction matters, structured real estate financings, commercial loan originations, asset servicing matters and loan syndications and participations.

Prior to co-founding Emet, Mr. Baugh was a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, where he represented private equity firms, developers, investment banks, commercial banks, and specialty finance/investment companies in real estate transactions.  His clients included Fundamental Advisors LP, where he worked closely with Mr. Siegel.  

Prior to joining Katten, Mr. Baugh was in-house counsel at CapitalSource Inc., a publicly traded commercial finance company specializing in affordable housing and senior housing.  At CapitalSource, Mr. Baugh was a member of the portfolio management group and was responsible for structuring all legal aspects of commercial estate transactions from term sheet to payoff.  Preceding CapitalSource, Mr. Baugh was an associate at Troutman Sanders LLP, where he represented both lenders and borrowers in real estate and asset-based financing transactions including development loans, construction financings, term and revolving credit facilities, working capital lines of credit, asset-based facilities, loans with equity co-investments, bridge loans and subordinated debt financing.  Mr. Baugh began his career at DLA Piper in the Corporate Department where he worked on venture capital finance transactions and mergers and acquisitions.  

Mr. Baugh earned a B.S. from Towson University and a J.D. from William and Mary School of Law.  He is admitted to practice in Virginia and the District of Columbia.  In 2010, Mr. Baugh was a recipient of The Network Journal’s 40 Under-Forty Black Achievement Awards.  The award recognizes men and women under 40 years of age who have achieved significant professional success and have also made important contributions to their community.  In addition, Mr. Baugh is a co-founder and serves on the board of directors of the Angie M. Houtz Memorial Scholarship Fund, which honors a friend who died in the September 11 attack on the Pentagon.

Adam Towne Chief Financial officer

Adam Towne is the Chief Financial Officer of Emet Capital Management. Mr. Towne joined Emet in May 2017 and brings more than a decade of accounting, audit, and tax experience to the firm. His responsibilities at Emet include investor relations, valuation, financial reporting, audit and tax support, internal control management, and maintaining accounting policies and procedures, as well as assistance with asset management. Adam serves as the primary liaison with the Fund’s administrators, auditors, and tax preparers.

Prior to joining Emet, Mr. Towne was an Associate Director in the CFO, Tax & Accounting team at Constellation Advisers, LLC, a financial services consulting firm in New York. During his time at Constellation, Mr. Towne worked with Emet Capital Management and multiple other private equity investment firms, hedge funds and operating companies, where he was responsible for operating as Outsourced CFO. His primary focus was tax advisory services related to the organization, structuring, and long-term planning, and he provided guidance on federal, state and local taxation, as well as international tax implications of cross-border dealings, including, but not limited to, transactions with foreign trusts and offshore vehicles. Other responsibilities included the preparation and review of financial statements in accordance with GAAP and investment company guidance (ASC 946). Preceding his tenure at Constellation, Adam was a Tax Supervisor at Spicer Jeffries and served on the Tax Staff at Elliott Davis Decosimo.

Mr. Towne graduated from Mercer University with a B.A. in management consulting in May 2004. Mr. Towne is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is a member of both the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants (COCPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). In addition, Mr. Towne has volunteered for Achilles International, an organization dedicated to enabling people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream running events.

Michelle Berliner Managing Director

Michelle Berliner is a Managing Director at Emet Capital Management.  Ms. Berliner joined Emet in May 2017 and is responsible for directing the firm’s Asset Management efforts, which include crafting and executing turnaround strategies, evaluating underwriting assumptions, creating and deploying capital improvement plans, selecting and overseeing property management companies, and positioning assets for successful exits. She brings over 20 years’ experience in all areas of asset management and real estate investing, specializing in turnaround situations. Ms. Berliner has managed over $7 billion across a broad range of real estate assets within portfolios exceeding 20 million square feet.

Prior to joining Emet, Ms. Berliner was founder of ArBerl Advisors, a consulting firm providing strategic and management services to transactional-focused real estate firms. Prior to forming ArBerl, she spent 10 years at Brookfield, where she served as Vice President and Head of Asset Management for the organization’s Real Estate Opportunity Funds.  At Brookfield, she successfully managed the turnaround of dozens of assets from acquisition to disposition. Previous positions included senior development and asset management roles at BLDG Management, Strategic Resources, and Emmes Asset Management.

Ms. Berliner holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Architecture from the School of Architecture at New Jersey Institute of Technology where she was her class valedictorian. Ms. Berliner sits on Columbia Business School’s Real Estate Leadership Committee, NJIT’s School of Architecture’s Dean’s Executive Council, and co-founded Brookfield’s Executive Women’s Network. In 2014, she received the Bisnow 50 Power Women in NYC Real Estate Award. Ms. Berliner participates as a panelist at various real estate conferences and serves as a guest lecturer at NYU School of Professional Studies – Shack Institute of Real Estate.

Keith Kozak, Vice President of Portfolio Operations

Keith Kozak is the Vice President of Portfolio Operations at Emet. Mr. Kozak joined Emet in February 2016 and is responsible for managing all of Emet’s capital improvement initiatives, lease-up/rehab operations, asset optimization plans, and ongoing property operations.

Mr. Kozak brings more than 25 years of asset and property operations expertise to the firm. Mr. Kozak has experience working directly with contractors, subcontractors, and property vendors, and his expertise is in the areas of construction management, property turnarounds, capital needs assessments, preventive maintenance, property expense optimization, and ground-up development.

Prior to joining Emet, Mr. Kozak was the owner and president of Controllable Expenses, Inc., a consulting firm that provided services including construction/renovation management, capital needs assessments, vendor service agreement negotiations, construction inspections, and compliance training to the investment, lending, property management, and multifamily real estate industry. While at Controllable Expenses, Inc., Mr. Kozak worked with Emet Capital Management and multiple other private equity investment firms, institutional real estate owners, lenders, higher education institutions, non-profit borrowers, and property managers.

Before forming Controllable Expenses, Inc., Mr. Kozak served as the Associate Director of Operations for Trammell Crow Higher Education Services at the University of Pennsylvania, where he managed the redevelopment of the University’s off-campus student housing project facilities.  He spent approximately 10 years with Riverstone Residential (formerly Trammell Crow Residential Services), where he was the regional maintenance director and the director of operations in the northeast. He was responsible for the development, staffing, planning and execution of major capital projects for both commercial and residential real estate assets. While at Riverstone Residential, Mr. Kozak supported 15,000 units of multifamily housing assets and managed 32 capital improvement campaigns. Prior to joining Trammell Crow, Mr. Kozak held positions as Director of Technical Services for AIMCO, Director of Regional Engineering and Technical Services for National Housing Properties (NHP), and Regional Engineering and Technical Services Coordinator for Oxford Development and Management Companies.

Ron Zuvich, CFA, Vice President

Ron Zuvich is a Vice President at Emet. Mr. Zuvich joined Emet in October 2015 and brings more than 10 years of capital markets, restructuring and municipal bond financing experience to the firm. His responsibilities at Emet include transaction sourcing and underwriting, valuation, development of exit strategies, and assistance with asset management.

Prior to joining Emet, Mr. Zuvich was a Vice President in the Restructuring group at MBIA, a municipal bond insurer. During his tenure at MBIA, Mr. Zuvich was responsible for disposing of and restructuring many of MBIA’s defaulted municipal bond transactions, including over a dozen transactions in the multifamily affordable housing and student housing space totaling nearly $1 billion in par exposure. Mr. Zuvich’s other key municipal restructurings included the City of Detroit, Stockton and San Bernardino Chapter 9 bankruptcy cases, Foxwoods Casino Resort, and the Harris County Houston Sports Authority. Preceding MBIA, Mr. Zuvich was an Assistant Vice President in the Investment Analytics & Consulting Group at JP Morgan Chase, primarily advising public and private pension plans in the areas of fixed income portfolio risk, returns attribution and liability-driven investing. Mr. Zuvich began his career as a Capital Markets Analyst at Citigroup in the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS) Trading & Securitization group, where he worked on structuring subprime mortgage securitizations, assisting in evaluating, pricing and trading pools of whole loans and managing warehouse lending lines with mortgage-backed collateral.

Mr. Zuvich graduated summa cum laude in May 2007 from the College of the Holy Cross with a B.A. in accounting and economics. Mr. Zuvich was also elected to the Phi Beta Kappa society prior to his graduation from College of the Holy Cross. Mr. Zuvich is a CFA® charterholder, has passed all three levels of the Certified Insolvency & Restructuring Advisor (CIRA) exam and is a member of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts (NFMA). In addition, Mr. Zuvich serves on the Board of Directors of Friends of the Children NY, an organization dedicated to long-term mentoring (K-12) and service to at-risk youth in Harlem and the South Bronx.

Abraham Nissim, Associate

Abraham Nissim is an Associate at Emet. Mr. Nissim joined Emet in February 2012 as an analyst, and has worked directly with the firm principals on all aspects of Emet’s business. Mr. Nissim’s primary responsibilities include participating in the sourcing and underwriting of transactions, assisting with the firm’s asset management functions, investor reporting, and market research.

Mr. Nissim has experience in the real estate, investment research, distressed asset, and accounting industries. Mr. Nissim completed a real estate internship at JSRE Realty, LLC where he assisted in analyzing properties for new investment opportunities and in the management of existing portfolio assets. While at JSRE Realty, Mr. Nissim held a New York real estate salesperson agent license and worked on a team that completed the purchase of the Barney’s building at 660 Madison Avenue in New York. Mr. Nissim also completed an internship at Value Line, an investment research and publishing firm, where he assisted with the research process and pitched new products and opportunities to current and perspective clients. At Value Line, Mr. Nissim conducted research on over 100 companies and in over 10 different industries. Mr. Nissim’s responsibilities at Value Line included managing approximately 250 customer accounts by interacting with the customer’s designated contact person and providing materials as appropriate. In addition, Mr. Nissim completed an internship as an analyst at Hilco Streambank LLC where he analyzed and valued portfolios of intellectual property (patents and trademarks) of distressed companies and created marketing documents for available portfolios of intellectual property. Mr. Nissim also worked as an accounting intern at J.H. Cohn, LLC where he assisted with the preparation and completion of audited reports for small businesses.

Mr. Nissim graduated in January 2013 cum laude from the NYU Stern School of Business with a B.S. in finance and economics. He was an active member of the NYU Stern Real Estate Group and the NYU Quantitative Finance Society, and completed an award-winning presentation on international business strategies while at NYU.