StoneCastle Securities is a FINRA registered broker-dealer with primary activities in debt and equity private placement, and fixed income institutional sales and trading. Our focus is on the U.S. private placement market where StoneCastle’s esoteric credit team has deep market experience and works with the largest institutional investors in the private placement market.
What type of companies choose to access the US Private Placement (USPP) Market?
Life Insurers are the predominant investors in the market
• Secured, senior unsecured, and other corporate credit
• Credit Tenant Leases, Project Bonds (power, toll road, pipeline, other)
• Equipment Trust Certificates (aircraft, rail, ship, other)
• Less-liquid and illiquid municipal securities
• Bank loans
• Zero to full coupon bonds
• Trust certificates
• Credit linked notes
• European corporates
• Emerging market corporates
• Less-liquid and illiquid 144As
Scott Best is a Managing Director of StoneCastle Securities LLC (“SCS”), where he is one of four partners managing SCS’s Corporate Credit Trading team. Mr. Best spent his Wall Street career in the Lehman Brothers Credit Trading Business until his retirement in 2006. Mr. Best created the Esoteric Credit Trading business at Lehman Brothers in the early 1990s and built the desk to command the top market share in private placement and esoteric secondary trading in each of his 13 years running the business at Lehman Brothers trading private placements, credit tenant leases, project finance, infrastructure notes, and structured aircraft, rail and shipping securities. Mr. Best was promoted to Managing Director in March of 2002. He retired in 2006 to address a serious back injury which culminated in a triple vertebrae fusion surgery in 2008. With his back fixed, Mr. Best returned to the business in 2010, to join Mr. Gregorek and Mr. Taylor trading through StoneCastle’s broker-dealer. Mr. Best graduated from Sheffield City Polytechnic with First Class Honors in a Bachelor of Engineering and from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Master of Science in Management. Mr. Best lives in Utah with his wife and four children.
Matt Faranda is a Managing Director of StoneCastle Securities LLC (“SCS”), where he is one of four partners managing SCS’s Corporate Credit Trading team. Mr. Faranda has spent almost 15 years on Wall Street. He began his career in Debt Capital Markets at Deutsche Bank originating and structuring private placements, credit tenant leases, and other structured credit deals for the firm’s corporate clients. In 2006, Mr. Faranda joined Mr. Gregorek at Lehman Brothers on the Esoteric trading desk. After the acquisition by Barclays of the Lehman Brothers US business, Mr. Faranda led the Esoteric credit trading desk from 2009-2016, where he was responsible for market-making in private placements, credit tenant leases, project finance, infrastructure notes, aircraft EETCs and other structured aircraft, rail and shipping securities. In 2016, Mr. Faranda joined Mr. Best, Mr. Gregorek, and Mr. Taylor to trade securities through StoneCastle’s broker-dealer. Mr. Faranda is a graduate of Georgetown University where he earned a BA in Physics. Mr. Faranda lives in New York City with his wife.
Jimmy Gregorek is a Managing Director of StoneCastle Securities LLC (“SCS”), where he is one of four partners managing SCS’s Corporate Credit Trading team. Mr. Gregorek has enjoyed 30 years of success on Wall Street, including 22 years of fixed income sales and trading expertise gained in the Lehman Brothers Credit Business. Mr. Gregorek was promoted to run Lehman’s Esoteric Credit business upon Scott Best’s retirement with responsibility for trading private placements, credit tenant leases, project finance, infrastructure notes, and structured aircraft, rail and shipping securities. Mr. Gregorek led the top private placement and esoteric credit trading business on Wall Street from 2006-2009. With the acquisition of Lehman Brothers by Barclays, Mr. Gregorek was asked to run the private placement trading desk at Barclays. In 2010, Mr. Gregorek joined Mr. Best and Mr. Taylor to trade securities through StoneCastle’s broker-dealer. Mr. Gregorek is a graduate of Georgetown University where he earned a BA in History and was a scholarship athlete in track and field and cross country. Mr. Gregorek lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.
Richard Lopez is a Vice President of StoneCastle Securities LLC (“SCS”), where he is a member of SCS’s Esoteric Credit Trading team focused on illiquid corporate credit securities. Activities of the team include secondary trading, new issue origination, portfolio analysis and liquidation as well as pricing and other consulting services. Mr. Lopez has spent almost 13 years on Wall Street. Prior to joining SCS he was an Assistant Vice President at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital where he worked on the esoteric credit trading desk. Mr. Lopez is a graduate of Fordham University where he earned a BS in Finance. Mr. Lopez lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.
Larry Taylor is a Managing Director of StoneCastle Securities LLC (“SCS”), where he is one of four partners managing SCS’s Corporate Credit Trading team. Mr. Taylor spent almost 15 years in credit research at Credit Suisse and Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (DLJ) and was a Managing Director at Credit Suisse and the Associate Research Director of the firm’s Leveraged Finance research organization. Mr. Taylor began his investment career at MetLife, where he worked in the company’s private placement group and managed money for outside clients. Over his career as a research analyst, Mr. Taylor has covered a broad variety of sectors across high grade, high yield and structured securities, and has been cited as a top credit analyst. Mr. Taylor earned recognition as a ranked analyst by Institutional Investor magazine 24 times during his career, including eleven #1 rankings. In a 20 year retrospective of its All-America Fixed Income Research Team, Mr. Taylor was recognized as one of the top 10 most recognized analysts of all time. In 2010, Mr. Taylor joined Mr. Best and Mr. Gregorek to trade securities through StoneCastle’s broker-dealer. Mr. Taylor has a BA in Economics from Haverford College and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania where he was honored as Palmer Scholar at graduation. Mr. Taylor is a CFA charter holder. Mr. Taylor lives in Westchester County New York with his wife and two children.
Shawn Clegg is a Trading Assistant at StoneCastle Securities LLC (“SCS”), where he is member of SCS’s Corporate Credit Trading team. Prior to joining SCS he was at Zions Bancorporation in their retail loan group, which worked closely with Zions Bancorporation’s affiliate banks. Mr. Clegg received a BA in Business Finance with honors as well as an MBA with honors from the University of Phoenix.
Stacey Breaks is a Vice President of StoneCastle Securities LLC’s Corporate Credit Trading Team where she is responsible for quantitative analysis and modeling. Prior to joining StoneCastle, Ms. Breaks was a VP at Lehman Brothers in the Esoteric Credit Trading group, where she worked with Mr. Best and Mr. Gregorek trading private placements, credit tenant leases, project finance, infrastructure notes, and structured aircraft, rail and shipping securities. She began her career on Wall Street over 15 years ago in Debt Capital Markets at Goldman Sachs. Ms. Breaks has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Columbia Business School. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.
Robert Holmen is President of StoneCastle Securities, LLC. Mr. Holmen has day-to-day oversight responsibility for all aspects of the business. He is also the firm’s Financial and Operations Principal (FINOP) and Chief Compliance Officer (CCO).
Prior to joining StoneCastle in 2010, Mr. Holmen worked at Guggenheim Securities (and its predecessor Links Securities) for over fourteen years. During his tenure he held various positions including CFO, Compliance Officer, FINOP, and Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of Fixed Income prior to his departure. Mr. Holmen was also a founding member of Guggenheim Partners. Prior to Guggenheim, he helped build a sub-prime mortgage originator in the U.K. called Mortgages PLC. Mr. Holmen also has over ten years of marketing experience working for various advertising agencies on financial services related accounts including GMAC, MasterCard, and Great Western Bank. He also worked at Chemical Bank building their affinity credit card program. Mr. Holmen graduated with a B.A. in English from Kenyon College in 1983. Mr. Holmen lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
Shannon Jemmoth is a Managing Director of StoneCastle Securities, LLC. Mr. Jemmoth is the Head of Operations and is responsible for the firm’s books and records as well as the day-to-day clearance, settlement, and reporting of all the firm’s transactions.
Prior to joining StoneCastle, Mr. Jemmoth was Managing Director at Guggenheim Securities, where he built the operations group for the firm. Mr. Jemmoth has also worked for Citibank, ABN Amro, and ING Barings.
Mr. Jemmoth has over 25 years of brokerage and banking operations experience and holds a series 99 license.
Xiomara Larios is a Vice President and Senior Compliance Analyst at StoneCastle Securities. In her present role, Ms. Larios works closely with the chief compliance officer to monitor, maintain, and implement applicable regulatory requirements and internal policies and procedures. In 2010, when the firm launched the Corporate Credit Trading desk, Ms. Larios joined the broker-dealer to help form and manage the operations and settlements areas.
Ms. Larios joined StoneCastle Partners in 2004. During her tenure at StoneCastle, Ms. Larios has held positions as Investor Relations Manager and Office Manager. Ms.Larios helped design and establish StoneCastle Partners’ daily operations, administrative functions, and data management systems. Prior to joining StoneCastle Partners, Ms. Larios was the Office Manager for Parametric Capital Management, a hedge fund and asset manager.
Ms. Larios holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in New York City.
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