Team


PARTNERS


Austin, Texas

Mike Rovner

Mike is an experienced leader in financial services who brings financial management, transaction structuring, and operational expertise to Ovation Partners. Mike serves on Ovation’s Investment Committee and is responsible for new asset selection, portfolio management, and AIF investment allocation strategy. Prior to founding Ovation Partners, Mike was a Partner at Austin Ventures, a private equity firm with $3.9B of capital under management.During his more than 11 years with Austin Ventures Mike led the firm’s Financial Services Practice and was a stage-agnostic investor with a broad range of experience in startup formation, corporate spinouts, and growth equity.


Prior to joining Austin Ventures, Mike led business development and mergers and acquisitions for Mission Critical Software, which went public on the NASDAQ in 1999.Earlier in his career, Mike served as a management consultant to FedEx Global Logistics and Electronic Commerce. Before this he held executive management positions with Stanford Technology Group (acquired by Informix) and Empart Technology (acquired by ARI Network Services), where he was a founder. He received his BA from the University of California at Los Angeles.


Austin, Texas

Jeff Serra

Jeff is an experienced leader in financial services who brings financial management, transaction structuring, and operational expertise to Ovation Partners. Jeff serves on Ovation’s Investment Committee and is responsible for new asset selection, portfolio management, and investment allocation strategy. Additionally, Jeff is the president and CEO of Vida Capital Inc., a firm he co-founded with Austin Ventures in 2009. Vida Capital manages an independent life settlements fund and also originates and services Ovation’s insurance-backed asset portfolio.


Prior to founding Ovation Partners, from 1983 until 1997, Jeff was instrumental in building and managing one of the largest and most profitable independent petroleum refining and marketing companies in the United States, while at Salomon Inc. subsidiary Phibro Energy USA. He served as chairman, president and CEO from 1992 to 1997. Following the sale of the company to Valero Energy in 1997, Jeff started Re-NEW Energy LLC to develop waste-to-energy projects primarily in West Virginia and Kentucky. The company was sold in 1999 to Sempra Energy and Progress Energy in a multi-year agreement tied to fuel output at the facilities. In 2001, Jeff co-founded Eyes of Texas Partners, a private investment company focusing primarily on technology. Jeff is a master teacher at the Acton Graduate School of Business in Austin, TX. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering from The University of Virginia and an M.S.I.A from The Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. Jeff served four years in The United States Army Corps of Engineers as an officer reaching the rank of captain and was awarded the Army Commendation and Meritorious Service Medals.


Denver, Colorado

John Simmons

John was a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley’s Alternative Investment Partners (AIP) in Philadelphia, PA. AIP manages over $20 billion in custom and commingled portfolios of private equity, hedge funds, and real estate.John was head of business development for AIP in North America and managed several of the group’s largest pension fund and family office clients. From 2008-2011 he served on AIP’s executive committee.


From 1990-2003, John managed portfolios for individuals as an Investment Representative at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management in Atlanta, GA and earlier as a Senior Vice President at Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management. John worked as an Applications Engineer for Schlumberger Industries from 1988-1990. He earned a BS, Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1988. He currently serves on the board of the Crested Butte Land Trust, the Advisory Council for the Yellowstone Park Foundation, and the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.


Austin, Texas

Josh Bullock

Josh joined Ovation Partners in March 2016 after more than 13 years as Senior Vice President in Capital One’s Specialty Finance Lender Group, which provides capital and banking services to non-bank financial institutions. During his tenure at Capital One, Josh focused on new market and business development, portfolio management, and serving consumer and commercial finance companies, tax lien investors, marketplace loan investors, factoring companies, equipment leasing companies and other niche financial services firms. He was instrumental in growing the division’s book of business from $300MM to more than $3B in AUM.


Prior to his most recent management role at Capital One, Josh held numerous other positions during his banking career, including Senior Relationship Manager where he originated, structured, and closed more than $1B in credit facilities across the specialty finance sector; Credit Analysis Manager where he built a credit underwriting functional group to support Capital One’s commercial banking efforts in Texas; Portfolio Manager where he oversaw and monitored a specialty finance loan portfolio; and Senior Credit Analyst where he underwrote commercial loans. Josh holds a B.S. in Finance from Louisiana State University and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School General Management Program.


Austin, Texas

Gunnar Teltow

Gunnar focuses on portfolio management and new asset due diligence for Ovation. Prior to joining Ovation he helped found Vida Capital Inc., which has quickly grown to become one of the largest US based asset managers in the Life Settlements space. As Vida’s VP of International Operations, he formed and oversaw the company’s Luxembourg entities in 2009 and ran its European operations until his transition to Ovation Partners in 2014.


Prior to Vida, Gunnar was the director of portfolio management for NetSpend Corporation in Austin, TX. Gunnar earned a B.S. in Business Administration and a M.S. in Economics and Corporate Management from the Otto Beisheim School of Management in Koblenz, Germany. He holds an MBA degree from the Lancaster University Management School in Lancaster, England.


Austin, Texas

Joel Katz

Before joining Ovation Partners, Joel was the CFO of Vignette Corporation (NASDAQ: VIGN) where he interfaced with the public markets and managed all financial and administrative functions.  Joel led the back office during a period of hyper-growth as the company went from $18MM to $350MM of revenue over a three-year period. Previously, Joel was the CFO of Harbinger Corporation (NASDAQ: HRBC) where he led the company’s IPO and was responsible for all financial, administrative, and investor relations functions. Joel was with HRBC as it grew from $6MM of revenue to more than $150MM. He began his career in public accounting with Arthur Anderson. Joel is an active investor in numerous private ventures and has served on several public and private company boards, most recently at Second Round (Ovation’s non-performing debt partner). Joel is a graduate of the University of Georgia.