Team

The New Islanders

Chris Larson, President and Chief Executive Officer

Chris is the President and Chief Executive Officer of New Island Capital. In this capacity, Chris directs New Island’s investment program including portfolio strategy, asset allocation and risk management. He also manages New Island’s Real Assets investment program and company operations. Previously, Chris worked as an independent farmland investment and conservation finance consultant. At Cambridge Associates, Chris supported the launch of the Mission-Related Investment initiative, and authored research on real assets investments for institutional clients. He served as the Executive Director of the Mattole Restoration Council, a community-led conservation NGO in rural northwestern California. Chris completed a BS at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and an MBA at the Yale School of Management. Chris operates a small farm in Marin county focused on organic vegetable and fruit production. 

Himal Agarwal, Senior Vice President

Himal joined New Island Capital in 2016 as a Senior Vice President and is responsible for supporting investment screening, deal execution and portfolio management activities within the Private Equity group. Himal has nine years of combined experience and was most recently a Vice President at Maxim Partners, a private equity firm focused on the education and wellness industries. Prior to that, Himal was an Associate Director with Livingstone Partners and also spent two years as an Associate at Credit Suisse within the Knowledge Services investment banking group. Earlier in his career, Himal worked for William Blair & Company and Svoboda Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity firm in Chicago. Outside of his work with New Island Capital, Himal serves on the Board of Directors of Millennium Bank, a community banking institution in Illinois. Himal received an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Legal Studies from Northwestern University.

Ryan Briggs, Financial Analyst

Ryan is a Financial Analyst at New Island Capital Management. Prior to joining New Island, Ryan worked as an Analyst at Valuation Research Corporation. He was responsible for the preparation of multiple valuation report types including equity, debt, and portfolio valuations, purchase price allocations, as well as solvency, capital adequacy, and fairness opinions. Before VRC, Ryan worked as the Director of Research at Preston Todd Advisors, a Boston-based mergers and acquisitions advisory firm. Ryan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, magna cum laude from Bentley University and is currently a CFA Exam Level III candidate. In his free time, Ryan enjoys snowboarding, hiking, camping, and seeing live music.

Rowan Coughlin, Executive Assistant & Project Coordinator

Rowan joined the New Island Capital team in July of 2016. Prior to this role, she worked at a local San Francisco art gallery, managing the day to day of the gallery and implementing large-scale art exhibits. She holds a BA in Classical Studies from the University of Idaho and likes to spend her free time checking out local artists, trying new recipes and listening to live music.

Jessica Feingold Thye, Senior Vice President

Jessica Feingold is Senior Vice President on the Liquid Assets team at New Island Capital. Jessica joins New Island from the Environmental Defense Fund, where she worked on clean energy financial policy. Jessica has six years of combined experience in fixed income, first as a trader for Goldman Sachs and more recently as a Vice President at Drawbridge, Fortress Investment Group's global macro fund. Jessica also spent a summer working in Goldman Sachs’ Cleantech and Renewables Investment Banking group. She holds an MBA and an MEM (Masters in Environmental Management) from Yale, and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Jessamine Fitzpatrick, Senior Vice President

Jessamine is focused on real estate, farmland and timberland investments for New Island Capital. Prior to joining New Island, Jessamine served as a Climate Fellow for Clean Air-Cool Planet and worked with Framework to develop environmental, social, governance materiality analyses for Fortune 500 clients. Previously, Jessamine spent five years with The Nature Conservancy where she helped secure public funding for Nature Conservancy projects and managed the ballot measure campaign that resulted in creation of the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District. Jessamine holds a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University, a Master of Business Administration from the Yale School of Management, and a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Audrey Gordon, Associate

Audrey Gordon joined the Liquid Assets group as an Associate in June 2016. Prior to New Island, Audrey worked in Wells Fargo’s Community Lending and Investment group investing equity-equivalent capital in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Before Wells Fargo, she supported Bank of America’s corporate banking arm, evaluating the credit risk of large corporate clients across the technology sector. She received her B.S. from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Audrey is passionate about social justice, equitable development, and public policy. In her free time, she loves cooking, seeing live music and comedy, and running outdoors.

Michael Grossman, Director of Liquid Assets

As Director of Liquid Assets, Michael Grossman is responsible for lending and fixed income investing at New Island Capital.  Previously, Michael managed Calvert Foundation’s international impact investing portfolio and was a Senior Advisor to McKinsey & Company’s Social Sector Office focused on financial inclusion and inclusive agriculture development. Michael was Managing Director and Citigroup Country Officer in Tunisia where he was responsible for day-to-day management of Citibank’s commercial and retail operations. In addition, he was Managing Director and Citigroup Country Officer in Dakar, Senegal and Senior Operations Officer in Casablanca, Morocco. Michael helped create Citibank’s West African regional corporate finance/capital markets business based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Michael holds an MS in Finance from MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Michael is a Chevalier in Senegal’s National Order of the Lion.

Aditi Jasani, Vice President of Finance

Aditi is the Vice President of Finance at New Island Capital. Prior to joining NIC she spent a decade in financial technology and management consulting working with companies like SS&C, Eze Castle & EFront where she advised institutional investor clients like insurance companies, banks, family offices, fund of funds, endowments and retirement systems. She has lived & worked across the world in Mumbai, Mauritius, Dubai, New York City, Boston and now calls San Francisco home. Aditi holds an MBA from University of Hartford, an M.Com and a B.Com from University of Mumbai. She loves to cook vegetarian/vegan recipes, discover international music and volunteer for non-profits helping the specially abled, children & senior citizens.

Leslie Keil, Associate General Counsel

Leslie provides strategic guidance and legal support with respect to the investment activities of the Real Assets, Liquid Assets and Private Equity teams and assists with general corporate matters for New Island Capital. Leslie has over 12 years of experience practicing law, most recently as Partner and Chair of the Sustainable Business and Impact Investing Practice Group at Hanson Bridgett LLP. Her practice focused on the social impact field, representing mission-driven venture funds, benefit corporations and certified B Corporations, in connection with formation, debt and equity financing, patent and software licensing, strategic contracts, corporate governance, and mergers and acquisitions. Leslie’s corporate experience includes serving as an in-house attorney at Robert Half International and providing contract support to the consulting division at Oracle. Leslie graduated from Seattle University magna cum laude with a B.A. in International Studies-Politics, and holds a J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. When not downhill skiing in Tahoe, Leslie can be found walking her dog Finnley in Hayes Valley in San Francisco.

Cynthia Lam, Chief Financial Officer

Cynthia is a CPA with extensive experience in various financial management roles in venture capital, foundation, and private and public companies. Prior to joining New Island Capital, Cynthia was the CFO for Draper Richards, Draper International, and the Draper Richards Foundation. She served in a variety of financial roles at Air Touch Communications and was an Audit Assurance Manager at Price Waterhouse. Ms. Lam is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, magna cum laude. She lives in Piedmont with her husband and two children, loves sunny weather, draws inspiration from the cornucopia at Berkeley Bowl and enjoys trying new recipes on unsuspecting friends and family members.

Thomas Lee, Associate

Thomas Lee is an Associate in the Private Equity group at New Island Capital. Prior to joining New Island in 2016, Thomas worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco, where he advised clients across multiple industries including clean technology and renewable energy, consumer and retail, healthcare, industrials, real estate, and technology. While at Goldman Sachs, Thomas executed over $50 billion of merger and acquisitions transactions and raised more than $5 billion of equity and debt financing for clients. Thomas graduated from UC Berkeley with Beta Gamma Sigma honors, receiving a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business and a B.A. in Economics from the College of Letters & Science. In his spare time, Thomas enjoys training for triathlons, trying new foods, and watching college football.

Tina Luo, Associate

Tina Luo joined New Island Capital in September 2017 as an Associate on the Real Assets team. Prior to New Island, Tina worked in investment banking at Deutsche Bank in New York, where she supported deal teams in advising clients on M&A and capital raising transactions across the healthcare industry. Tina graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in finance and accounting. In her free time, Tina enjoys traveling, hiking and exploring new restaurants.

Shelley McKendree, Office Coordinator

Shelley joined the New Island Capital team in April of 2013. Prior to this role, she spent two years as an Account Executive at Yelp.com, selling advertising solutions to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Bay Area and Orange County. She holds a BA in Communication Studies from California Polytechnic State University- San Luis Obispo and likes to spend her free time baking, trying new restaurants and urban hiking.

Jon Patty, Director

Jon is a Director at New Island Capital focused on private equity investments in the Alternative Energy and Environment sectors. Prior to joining New Island Capital, Jon was a Vice President with M/C Venture Partners, a $1.5 billion private equity investment firm. Jon began his private equity career in 2000 with JPMorgan Capital, then a $4 billion private equity investment firm. Over the course of his private equity career, Jon has invested in and served as a Board member or observer for CallVision (sold to Verisign), Legendary (sold to investor group), SiteExcell (sold to SBA Communications), and Vertical Communications, and also invested in Sylantro/Broadsoft (IPO), mindSHIFT (sold to Best Buy), and Utilicom (sold to WideOpenWest). Jon has also worked with several companies in the renewable energy and technology sectors as an advisor and as acting CFO. Earlier in his career, Jon was a management consultant with Bain & Co. in Boston and an investment banker with JPMorgan & Co. in New York. Jon received an MBA with honors from The Wharton School, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Music in Classical Guitar Performance, magna cum laude, from Northwestern University.

John Quarterman, General Counsel

John Quarterman brings more than 20 years of broad-based in-house and large law firm experience, with more than half of his career involved in private equity and venture capital investment and the representation of investment advisors.  Most recently he served as primary legal support for Applied Ventures LLC, the investment arm of Applied Materials, after serving for five years as General Counsel of London Pacific Advisors and five years as Assistant General Counsel at Berkeley International Capital Corporation.  John is an ultradistance cyclist and enjoys skiing and hiking with his wife and two children.  He is thrilled to be able to bike to work to our offices in beautiful San Francisco.

Spenser Shadle, Real Assets Manager

Spenser oversees management of directly-held timberland and farmland investments. Prior to New Island Capital, Spenser served as an apprentice forester supporting timber management of the Yale School Forests in New England. Previously, Spenser was a Program Officer for World Wildlife Fund’s Business & Industry team, where he worked in partnership with Fortune 500 companies to set absolute greenhouse gas reduction targets. Spenser has also worked in Morocco, Washington DC, and Zambia on economic growth projects for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Chemonics International. Spenser holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and graduated summa cum laude from The Colorado College with a BA in International Political Economy and minors in French and African Studies, which took him to France, Rwanda, and Senegal. Spenser is a rural Oregon and Idaho native and enjoys backpacking in the West.

Kwame Thompson, Paralegal and Contract Administrator

Before joining New Island, Kwame spent three years in the legal group of Nestlé Dreyer’s Ice Cream Company, supporting the Real Estate and Contracts departments. Kwame has worked as a paralegal for over 15 years. He attended the paralegal program at California State East Bay. Kwame lives in Oakland with his wife and two daughters and enjoys coaching girls AAU basketball during the summer.