Investment Banking and Capital Market Contacts
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Senior Banking Contacts
Nathan Aslesen Partner Managing Director Investment Banking
Mr. Aslesen joined Craig-Hallum in 2020 and is based in Chicago, IL. He has extensive merger and acquisition, strategic advisory and capital markets experience across a range of industries including industrials – manufacturing and distribution, food and beverage, transportation and logistics, healthcare, consumer, technology and business services. Mr. Aslesen’s client experience includes working with founder/family owned businesses, private equity firms and their portfolio companies as well as larger corporations to complete corporate divestitures and sales. Prior to joining Craig-Hallum, Nathan was a founding member and Managing Director at FINNEA Group and was also previously with Macquarie Capital performing both merger and acquisition advisory as well as principal investing activities for Macquarie’s direct investment strategy. His transaction background is comprised of sell-side and buy-side M&A advisory transactions, capital markets transactions, and debt and equity principal investment transactions. Nathan received his BBA with a double major in Finance and Accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
John DeMarais Vice President
Mr. DeMarais joined Craig-Hallum in 2021 and has extensive experience raising public and private capital for companies across a range of sectors and advising on M&A transactions. Prior to joining Craig-Hallum, Mr. DeMarais was in the Financial Services Assurance practice at EY where he served both public and private companies. Mr. DeMarais received his B.A. in Accounting and Finance from Gustavus Adolphus College.
Joe Dews Managing Director
Joe joined Craig-Hallum in 2019 and is based in San Francisco. He has over 20 years of investment banking experience with leading companies in the technology, energy tech and industrial tech sectors, and has completed over 100 strategic and financing transactions. Prior to joining Craig-Hallum, Joe was focused on M&A at AGC Partners, and completed a broad range of financing and strategic transactions at Think Equity, Needham and Dain Rauscher Wessels. Joe also worked as VP Business Development in the software industry at Versata and as a Field Applications Engineer in the semiconductor industry at Cirrus Logic KK in Tokyo, Japan, and received a B.S. in Applied & Engineering Physics from Cornell University.
Griffin Ehlen Vice President
Mr. Ehlen joined Craig-Hallum in 2020 and has extensive investment banking experience in the capital markets across various sectors. Griffin has executed over 100 equity & debt offerings and completed numerous M&A advisory transactions. He received a B.S.B. in Finance and Accounting from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Kevin Harris President
Gustavus Adolphus College, BA History
Rick Hartfiel Managing Partner Head of Investment Banking
Mr. Hartfiel joined Craig-Hallum as the Director of Investment Banking in 2005. He brings over 30 years of investment banking experience focused on emerging growth companies. At Craig-Hallum, Rick has managed over 100 equity offerings (IPOs, follow-on offerings, registered directs and PIPEs) and M&A transactions. Prior to joining Craig-Hallum, Rick was a Managing Director at Dain, Rauscher, Wessels — a national investment banking firm covering technology, consumer, and healthcare companies. Previously, Rick was an investment banker at Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr. Hartfiel has a B.A., magna cum laude, from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Ryan Hultstrand Managing Director
Mr. Hultstrand joined Craig-Hallum in 2013 and has over 10 years of experience in investment banking and consulting in the healthcare, consumer, industrial and technology sectors. Since joining Craig-Hallum, Mr. Hultstrand has executed on over 100 equity, convertible and debt offerings and advisory assignments for growth companies. He is particularly involved in Craig-Hallum’s SPAC practice and has been integral in the completion of over 20 SPAC IPOs, PIPEs and advisory assignments. Prior to joining Craig-Hallum, Mr. Hultstrand was a consultant with Revenue Management Solutions. Mr. Hultstrand received a BA from Carleton College.
Merritt Jackley Director
Mr. Jackley joined Craig-Hallum in 2023 and is based in Minneapolis, MN. Merritt has over 11 years of investment banking experience in mergers & acquisitions, divestitures, financings, and other strategic advisory services. He has worked with clients across a range of industries including education, consumer, technology, industrials, and business services, and has been involved with more than 30 completed M&A transactions. Prior to Craig-Hallum, Merritt was an investment banker at Cherry Tree & Associates in Minnetonka, MN and at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (A Stifel Company) in New York. He received his BA from Colgate University.
Alex Knopick Partner Managing Director Investment Banking
Mr. Knopick joined Craig-Hallum in 2004 and is a Managing Director in the investment banking group. Mr. Knopick has 20 years of experience in research sales, capital markets, and investment banking and has led transactions in the consumer, technology, and healthcare sectors. Previously, Alex managed the institutional sales team at Dougherty & Company and led the integration software practice team at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.
Mitch Lang Director
Mr. Lang joined Craig-Hallum in 2021 and has significant investment banking experience focused on M&A advisory transactions & capital raising engagements across a variety of sectors. Prior to joining Craig-Hallum, Mr. Lang spent time in M&A advisory, corporate M&A, and capital markets transactions. Mr. Lang received his B.S. and MBA from the University of St. Thomas and is a CFA charterholder.
John Lipman Partner Managing Director Investment Banking
Mr. Lipman joined Craig-Hallum in 2012 and has more than 16 years of investment banking experience advising growth companies in the healthcare, industrial and technology sectors. Mr. Lipman has completed over 200 equity, convertible and debt offerings and advisory assignments for growth companies, including over 150 since joining Craig-Hallum. Prior to joining Craig-Hallum, Mr. Lipman was a Managing Director at Rodman & Renshaw LLC, and Carter Securities LLC, a firm he founded that specialized in raising equity, equity-linked, and debt capital for growth companies. Mr. Lipman has over 20 years investing experience in small capitalization companies, and started his career in venture capital and investor relations.
He was the COO & Director of Roth CH Acquisition I Co. (NASDAQ: ROCH) until its merger with PureCycle Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCT) in March 2021 and Roth CH Acquisition II Co. (NASDAQ: ROCC) until its merger with Reservoir Media, Inc. (NASDAQ: RSVR) in July 2021 as well as Co-CEO & Director of Roth CH Acquisition III Co. (NASDAQ: ROCR) until its merger with QualTek Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: QTEK) in February 2022. He currently serves as Co-CEO & Director of Roth CH Acquisition IV. Co. (NASDAQ: ROCG) which has announced a merger with Tigo Energy, Inc. as well as Co-Chairman & Co-CEO of Roth CH Acquisition V Co. (NASDAQ: ROCL).
Jack McCarthy Managing Director
Mr. McCarthy joined Craig-Hallum in 2011 and has significant investment banking experience across a variety of sectors. Jack has executed over 100 transactions spanning M&A advisory and capital raising engagements. He received a B.S.B. from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Jack is a licensed CPA (Inactive).
Jack O’Brien Director
Mr. O’Brien joined Craig-Hallum in 2022 and is a Director in the investment banking group. He has been involved in numerous public equity financings, private placements, and M&A advisory assignments across a variety of industries. Prior to joining Craig-Hallum, Mr. O’Brien was a Vice President at M3 Partners, a turnaround management and restructuring advisory firm, advising clients in specialty retail, energy, commercial real estate, and other industries. Additionally, Mr. O’Brien worked in the Clean Technology group at Cowen & Co. covering publicly traded companies.
Mr. O’Brien received his B.A. in Philosophy from Fordham University in 2013 and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 2020.
Cullen Willox Vice President
Cullen joined Craig-Hallum in 2019 and has significant merger and acquisition and strategic advisory experience across a range of sectors. His transaction background is comprised of sell-side and buy-side M&A advisory, capital markets, and debt and equity principal investments. Cullen received his BBA with a major in Finance and minor in Economics from the University of St. Thomas.