• Justin M. Smith

      Managing Director

      Justin Smith serves as the Managing Director of Xtract Research. Justin started with Xtract Research in 2008 and worked closely with the founders to build it into a leading covenant research firm. Before Xtract Research, he worked at Sidley Austin and Morgan Lewis representing borrowers and lenders in a wide range of financing transactions, including many leveraged buy-outs. Justin has participated on a number of industry panels including most recently, the March 2017 Chicago Booth’s 12th Annual Credit, Restructuring, Distressed Investing and Turnaround Conference as moderator. He graduated from the University of Virginia and Washington and Lee University School of Law.
    • Valerie A. Potenza

      Head of High Yield Research

      Valerie has over 20 years of experience as a finance attorney and has been with Xtract Research since 2008. She has broad capital markets experience across a wide variety of asset classes, having worked most recently at Dechert LLP for ten years after beginning her career in the Latin American Practice Group at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. Over the course of her career, she has represented lenders, borrowers, underwriters and asset originators in public and private debt offerings, secured lending and warehouse facilities. Ms. Potenza is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Rutgers College. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.
    • Charles W. Tricomi

      Head of Leveraged Loan Research

      Charles has been engaged in the practice of law for almost thirty years, most recently as a partner in the New York offices of Chapman and Cutler LLP and Sidley Austin LLP. In serving as counsel to domestic and foreign commercial banks, investment banking firms and corporations, he specialized in negotiating and documenting commercial and bank finance arrangements, including secured and unsecured acquisition, leveraged, working capital and letter of credit financings and liquidity facilities. He also has extensive experience representing issuers, underwriters and credit enhancers in publicly-offered and privately-placed asset-backed securities transactions. Charles graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and from The Fordham University School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the States of New York and Connecticut.
    • James Slessenger

      Head of European Covenant Analyst Team

      James spent 22 years as a finance lawyer based in the City of London. After studying law at the University of Cambridge, he trained at Herbert Smith LLP, one of London's leading international law firms, and then worked as an associate and, for 12 years, as a partner in its Finance Division. His long experience includes acting for borrowers and lenders in new money, refinancing and restructuring work in the syndicated loan, private equity and limited recourse and project finance markets, many of them multi-layered debt structures. Notably, he was involved in a number of high profile complex stressed and distressed debt situations. In particular, he lead the team advising Eurotunnel, the operator of the Channel Tunnel, (then the biggest ever private sector project financing by value and with a syndicate of over 200 lenders) on various renegotiations of its financing, including its 1995-1998 restructuring (of "Byzantine complexity" - Financial Times) whereby its syndicated project finance debt was partly exchanged into four new capital markets instruments. He also advised on two of Eurotunnel's subsequent innovative debt buy-backs, taking advantage of the below-par value of its long-term debt. His experience also includes inter-creditor and security issues. An English-qualified solicitor, much of his work had multi-jurisdictional elements, particularly in France and Germany (he spent a year and a half working in the loan market in Frankfurt at the introduction of the Euro single currency).
    • Christine Tadros

      Head of European Research

      Christine is an English qualified lawyer with over 16 years of qualification and extensive experience in practice in banking and finance law at leading City law firms. She trained and qualified at Norton Rose gaining experience ranging from negotiating syndicated loans to advising on EMTN programmes and security-related issues arising in securitization structures. She subsequently moved to Shearman & Sterling LLP working within the European Finance team specializing in acquisition finance and leveraged transactions. Christine has represented borrowers, lenders and sponsors on several high profile leveraged acquisition financings involving highly complex capital and debt structures, with multiple cross-border legal issues. She has also advised clients in the financial services industry on a wide range of legal issues, including various types of debt instruments, security packages, default scenarios and both solvent and insolvent restructurings.

      Christine graduated from University College London with a First Class Honours LL.B in Law and French Law. She also gained a Diploma in French law from the Université of Panthéon-Assas (Paris II). Christine is qualified to practice as a Solicitor in England and Wales.
    • Christine Tognoli

      Senior Covenant Analyst

      Christine is an English and California law qualified lawyer with over seven years experience in a banking and corporate finance with leading US and English firms. Prior to joining Xtract Research, Christine practiced as a senior associate in the banking and finance group at Clifford Chance in London. Christine has advised banks and other financial institutions as well as private equity sponsors and corporate borrowers in connection with high profile and complex financings, specialising in European acquisition and leveraged finance. While at Clifford Chance, Christine spent time in the firm's Milan office representing creditors in relation to Italian based multi-jurisdictional leveraged financings and restructurings. Also while at Clifford Chance, Christine was selected for a client secondment with the investment banking team at Nomura International plc, where she worked with the leveraged finance desk to pitch, structure and negotiate various financings for corporate and private equity clients. Christine received a BA from the University of California San Diego and a JD from UCLA. She is admitted to practice law in California and is qualified to practice as a solicitor in England and Wales.
    • Vincent J. Pisano

      Senior Covenant Analyst

      Vince has been a corporate finance lawyer for more than 35 years. His experience in the leverage loan area began in 1979 when he was an associate at Skadden Arps representing Drexel Burnham in the early days of the high yield bond market. During his years as a partner at Skadden Arps and Kirkland & Ellis, he represented Merrill Lynch, DLJ, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and each of the other major investment banks, and numerous issuers, in leveraged finance transactions, public and private. He also participated in the development of new forms of securities, including trust preferred securities, contingent convertible securities, and units consisting of debt and equity forward purchase contracts. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and Best Lawyers in New York in the field of securities law and debt capital markets. Vince is a graduate of Vassar College and St. John’s Law School and is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.
    • James Wallick

      Covenant Analyst

      James joined the Xtract Research Legal team in 2015 and has over 15 years of experience as a securities and corporate finance attorney. He has represented private equity sponsors, domestic and international companies, investment banks and financial institutions in negotiating various types of financings, including secured and unsecured high yield debt offerings, credit facilities, debt tender and exchange offers, and corporate restructurings, as well as in other general corporate matters. Prior to joining Xtract Research, James practiced law at several major law firms, including Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP. James received BM and MM degrees from Indiana University, and a JD degree from Columbia Law School. He is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.
    • Jenny Warshafsky

      Covenant Analyst

      Jenny joined the Xtract Research Legal team in 2016 and has experience as an attorney specializing in bank lending and leveraged finance. She has represented both lenders and borrowers in the negotiation and drafting of commitment papers, credit agreements, description of notes and other forms of debt documentation. Prior to joining Xtract Research, Jenny practiced law in the Corporate group of Baker Botts L.L.P. Jenny received a BA from Harvard University in Economics and a JD degree from Harvard Law School. She is admitted to practice law in New York and Texas.
    • Dino Peragallo

      Covenant Analyst

      Dino joined the Xtract Research Legal team in 2017. He has experience representing investment banks, private equity firms and other financial institutions, as well as corporations, in connection with complex financings, including the negotiation of commitment papers, credit agreements and related documentation. Prior to joining Xtract Research, Dino was an associate in the bank finance group at White & Case LLP. Dino received his BBA from Hofstra University and his JD from the University at Buffalo Law School. He is admitted to practice in New York and Florida.
    • Timothy Sullivan

      Covenant Analyst

      Tim joined the Xtract Research Legal team in 2017. He has 5 years of experience as an attorney specializing in secured lending and general corporate matters. He has represented banks, private equity firms, and other financial institutions in the negotiation and drafting of credit agreements, security agreements, and related documents. Prior to joining Xtract Research, Tim most recently practiced law in the banking and finance group at Norton Rose Fulbright. Tim received a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University and a JD from Fordham Law School. He is admitted to practice law in New York.
    • Melissa Muscat

      Covenant Analyst

      Melissa joined the Xtract Research Legal team in 2017 and has over 10 years of experience as a securities and corporate finance attorney. She has represented investment banks, financial institutions, corporations and private equity funds in various types of financings and other investment transactions, with an emphasis on leveraged finance matters. In addition to her corporate finance practice, Melissa has represented private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies in general corporate matters, merger and acquisition transactions, and investments. Prior to joining Xtract Research, Melissa most recently practiced law in the capital markets group at Freshfields Bruckhaus & Deringer LLP. Melissa received her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School and is admitted to practice in New York.
    • Julie Eum

      Covenant Analyst

      Julie joined the Xtract Research Legal team in 2017. She has over 10 years of experience as an attorney specializing in lending and other general debt finance transactions. She has represented banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions as well as corporate borrowers in the negotiation and drafting of credit agreements, security agreements and related loan documents. Prior to joining Xtract Research, Julie most recently practiced law in the banking and finance group at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Julie received her B.A. from Yonsei University and her J.D. from University of Minnesota Law School and is admitted to practice law in New York
    • Jainisha Amin

      Senior Covenant Anaylst

      Jainisha joined the Xtract Research legal team in 2017 and is English law qualified. Prior to joining Xtract, she was a managing associate in the finance department at King & Wood Mallesons LLP having qualified in 2009. She has worked on a broad range of financing transactions including leverage finance (leveraged loans, unitranche and high yield bonds), funds finance and investment grade lending both on the borrower and lender side. She has also worked in-house at The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (Global and Restructuring Group) and Macquarie Bank Limited (Corporate and Asset Finance Division). Jainisha studied French and Russian at the University of Cambridge and then obtained a Graduate Diploma in Law from BPP Law School, London.
    • Bart Capeci

      Senior Covenant Analyst

      Bart is a New York qualified lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience of corporate finance transactions, having worked on his first high yield bond offering in 1986. He started his career at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York, before moving to Credit Suisse in London as legal counsel to the Investment Banking Division. He then joined Allen & Overy in London as an associate and then partner in the International Capital Markets department. More recently, Bart was a partner in the London offices of Sidley Austin and King & Wood Mallesons. He has represented banks and other financial institutions, as well as private equity sponsors and corporate borrowers, in a wide variety of complex cross-border finance and capital markets transactions. Bart has a BA from Columbia College, a JD from Columbia Law School, where he was treasurer of the Columbia Law Review, and an LLM from the University of Cambridge. He is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.
    • Juliana Mellevold

      Covenant Analyst

      Juliana joined the Xtract Research Legal team in 2010. She has over 15 years of experience as an attorney specializing in bank lending and corporate financing transactions. She has represented both lenders and borrowers in the negotiation and drafting of credit agreements, security agreements, intercreditor arrangements and other forms of credit documentation. Prior to joining Xtract Research, Juliana practiced law at several New York City law firms, including most recently, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. Juliana received a BA from Smith College in English literature and a JD degree from Tulane Law School. She is admitted to practice law in the States of New York and New Jersey.
    • Geoff Sherman

      Covenant Analyst

      Geoff joined Xtract in 2010 and has over 12 years of experience representing investment banks, financial institutions, hedge funds and private equity sponsors in negotiating various types of financings; including secured and unsecured credit facilities, leveraged finance transactions, securities offerings, inclusive of cross-border 144A and Reg S transactions, asset-backed securitizations and re-securitizations. Geoff has practiced law at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Paul Hastings. Geoff received a BA from George Washington University and JD from Boston University School of Law and is admitted to practice in the States of New York and Massachusetts.
    • Erik Chabot

      Global Operations Manager

      Currently based in London, Erik has also managed Xtract Research's operations team from the Connecticut and New York offices. He joined Xtract Research in 2007 as an operations analyst. Erik now oversees the day-to-day operations of its research services and the production of its research content by allocating our attorneys' projects for clients and managing our analyst team's compilation of covenant data. Prior to joining Xtract Research, Erik taught English in Hokkaido and Tokyo, Japan as well as in the United States. Erik holds a B.A. in Political Science from Bates College and an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Lund University in Sweden.
    • Dain Vanderminden

      Product Development Manager

      Dain joined Xtract Research in 2007 as an operations analyst. He is now the Product Development Manager and is responsible for overseeing all development done to the website. Prior to working for Xtract Research, he was a student at the University of Connecticut where he obtained his B.A. in Economics and a minor in Business.
    • Debobroto Deb

      Head of US Operations

      Debobroto Deb joined Xtract Research in June 2007 as an operations analyst. He is responsible for monitoring new convertible and investment grade bonds issued to the market, analyzing RSS news feeds and reviewing and bookmarking documents. Prior to joining Xtract Research, he managed a federal grant program for Student Support Services at Polytechnic University (now part of New York University) in Brooklyn, New York. Debobroto holds a B.S. in Social Science and a M.S. in Management from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
    • Daniel Locke

      Operations Analyst

      Dan joined Xtract Research in 2014 as an Operations Analyst. He contributes to quality assurance of covenant reports, oversees the indenture library and contributes to Xtract Research's Deal Data research. Prior to working at Xtract Research, Dan was a student at St. John Fisher College where he studied Economics and Statistics.
    • Nicole Sirignano

      Senior Operations Analyst

      Nicole joined Xtract in 2016 as an Operations Analyst. She currently contributes to quality assurance of covenant reports as well as to monitoring new convertibles. Prior to working at Xtract Research, Nicole was a student at the University of Delaware where she graduated with a BA in Economics.
    • Bobby DeStefano

      Operations Analyst

      Bobby joined Xtract Research in 2017 as an Operations Analyst. He currently contributes to quality assurance of covenant reports as well as to monitoring new convertibles. Prior to working at Xtract Research, Bobby was a student at Elon University where he graduated with a BA in Finance.
    • Blerta Shtino

      Research Analyst

      Blerta joined Xtract Research in 2017. In her role as a research analyst she is responsible for conducting financial analysis and contributing to Xtract Research’s Deal Data research. Prior to joining Xtract Research, she held roles in operations, finance, and analytics. Blerta received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Joseph’s College with a major in Psychology and minor in Business Administration, and her Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Fordham University. She is also the holder of Series 6, 63, and 65 licenses.
    • Natasha Brooks

      Head of Sales, Americas for the Fixed Income Group

      Natasha has global responsibility for Xtract Research's commercial operations. Natasha joined Xtract Research in April 2010 to launch Xtract Europe into the European marketplace. Prior to joining Xtract Research, Natasha was Managing Director of Pharmawire, a proprietary intelligence service focusing on the healthcare sector for the financial community and part of The Mergermarket Group. Before this, Natasha worked on a sister service to Pharmawire, Debtwire, responsible for new sales to the buyside in the distressed debt and high yield space. Previous experience also includes 6 years at Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc during which time she set up a business introducing early stage and start-up hedge fund managers to service providers. Natasha holds a BA (Hons) degree from Cambridge University.
    • Jolanda Snowden

      Director of Sales

      Jo joined Xtract Research in 2012 and is responsible for client assistance and product training across all of Xtract Research's products and services. Prior to joining Xtract Research, Jo was an Event Sales Associate at Remark, the events division of The Mergermarket Group, where she focused on developing strategies for professionalizing and marketing events to senior members of the financial community. Jo received her BS in Business Administration with a concentration on Economics and a minor in Urban Studies from Fordham University.
    • Kimberly Clyne

      Director of Marketing and CRM

      Kim is our Director of Strategic Marketing and is responsible for all of our marketing and promotional activities and planning. Kim joined Xtract Research in 2008 after 8 years at General Electric (GE) in a variety of operational, marketing and research roles in both GE Corporate and GE Commercial Finance. She also spent 5 years as a management consultant with Deloitte focused on the retail industry. Prior to joining Deloitte, she spent 5 years at Lord & Taylor Department Stores in the merchandising organization. Kim has a BA in English from Emory University and an MBA from Rutgers University School of Business.
    • Mandy Mak

      Senior Client Relationship Manager

      Mandy joined the Mergermarket Group in 2010 where was based in the Hong Kong Office. She was responsible for the on boarding of new clients and training users for the Debtwire service. In 2013, Mandy was promoted to develop new business and continue to serve existing Debtwire and Xtract Research clients. After relocating to the New York Office in 2016, Mandy continues to manage client relationships, and provides product training and assistance to Xtract clients. Mandy completed her BA in Finance from Seattle University.
    • Ann Marie Amelio

      Marketing Coordinator and Office Administrator

      Ann Marie joined Xtract Research in January of 2008. She not only heads our administrative team, but also coordinates all aspects of Xtract Research’s marketing efforts. She has over 25 years of business experience including 15 years in the financial planning and financial services industry with Robert F. Nash & Company in Wilton, CT, where she held a Series 7 license. She also has served in a variety of roles for local charitable and non-profit organizations, including the executive board positions of treasurer and secretary. She holds a BBA from Iona College with a concentration in Finance and is a CFP® Certificant.
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