THE TEAM

    

AT SAPIENT CAPITAL PARTNERS OUR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE COMES FROM GOOD SOURCES . . .

 

Sapient's principals have received extensive training and years of experience as senior professionals at some leading North American firms and organizations.

Our senior professionals come with broad and deep transactional experience, having executed complex and creative M&A and financing transactions and advisory assignments for public and private companies.  We deliver unmatched executional capability for our clients.

Coupled with our experience as principals, investors, operators and directors, we can bring a unique body of experience to all our clients and transactions at Sapient to create and realize on their shareholder value while maintaining a sharp sensitivity to their other non-financial goals and aspirations.

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TEAM BIOS

Brad D. Cherniak

Partner

Over 20 years experience in investment banking, corporate banking and private equity/venture capital.

Extensive senior-level transaction and private growth company experience.  Formerly Partner at Gordon Capital Corporation (now part of HSBC Securities) and Vice-President, Investment Banking at First Marathon Securities (now National Bank Financial).  Brad also spent a number of years providing portfolio and investment management services to an Ontario labour-sponsored venture capital fund and a private capital pool.  Brad then worked with two proprietary, patented technology startups based in the U.S., in Florida and Alabama, to create and execute commercialization, intellectual property, operational and capital strategies before co-founding Sapient.

Brad was formally trained and gained valuable and broad analytical / transaction experience at some of the leading North American financial institutions such as CIBC World Markets in Toronto; Bank of America in San Francisco; and Chemical Bank / Chemical Venture Partners (now part of JPMorgan Chase & Co.) in New York.

Graduate of University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with highest honors in 1995.

Brad has long specialized in small cap, private and early- and growth-stage companies, both as advisor and principal. 

He has also served on a number of boards of directors and advisory boards of such companies, currently serving on the advisory board of NovaVive Inc., a privately owned animal health immunobiology company based in Belleville, Ontario. 

He has been involved in numerous financings & buyouts, mergers & acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings and other transactions in a variety of industries including enterprise application & infrastructure software, a wide range of technology & internet, healthcare (biotech, healthcare services, health & wellness), telecom, aerospace, manufacturing, industrial products, consumer products, retail, chemicals, media & entertainment, business process outsourcing (BPO), automotive, resources and financial services.  His clients have stretched across Canada and the U.S.

Brad has experience and insight in analyzing and structuring transactions gained from his involvement with unique and ground-breaking transactions such as the first institutional non-recourse financing of a major entertainment act, the world tours of the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd in 1994; the first and largest “bought-deal” IPO ever done in Canada with Sherritt International in 1995, raising $359 million for the expansion of its diverse Cuba-based businesses; and the first Canadian IPO of a successful China-based oil & gas pure play in 1996 with Pendaries Petroleum; in addition to working on major international transactions with Richard Li’s Pacific Century Group.

Brad writes and speaks on a variety of industry-related topics.  He has been a regular contributor to the Financial Post, one of Canada's leading national business newspapers, and provided commentary on issues pertaining to private businesses and the capital markets in his monthly column in the Post entitled "Capital Insight".   

He has also been interviewed and published in such publications as the National Post, Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, Calgary HeraldThe Province, Vancouver Sun, Edmonton Journal, Globe & Mail, CTV.ca, Canada.com, GlobalTV.com, Entrepreneurship.org, Venture Capital Report, Innovation America, CA Magazine, Canadian Business Magazine, PROFITguide.com, and Mergers & Acquisitions.  He has also appeared on ROBTv and the Business News Network (BNN).  Brad was invited to speak at the Canada-United States Law Institute Conference  in Cleveland, Ohio as a panelist discussing cross-border venture capital and entrepreneurs.

Brad lives in Toronto with his wife, Cyndee, and a Duck-Tolling Retriever named Aura.  Brad and Cyndee, an international trade lawyer, love to travel.  Brad is an ancient history buff, and also a frustrated, bitter golfer--but blames that all on his tendonitis.  That’s right, it’s the tendonitis.

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Kevin C. O'Neil

Partner

Kevin brings over 18 years of finance and operational experience to Sapient.  Kevin has significant senior transaction experience in M&A and Corporate Finance, as well as extensive business valuation experience.  Kevin has specific experience in working with SaaS-based software businesses, internet companies, IT services, food distribution businesses, auto parts manufacturers, vehicle leasing and rental businesses and retail businesses, as well as a variety of other industries.

From 2000 to 2005, Kevin was the President and CEO of World Vintners Inc., where he oversaw business growth from a small local organization into the largest retailer of consumer-made wine in the world.  During his tenure, he also managed the business through a merger with a manufacturing business and a series of tuck-under acquisitions.

Kevin has since acted variously as COO, President & CEO for dna13 Inc. leading to the successful sale of the Company to CNW Group.  He is currenly acting as CFO/COO for Scalar Decisions Inc., an IT solutions business.

Kevin has presented on topics such as Maximizing Shareholder Value, Business Succession Planning, Economic Value Added (EVA), Business Valuations and others.

Kevin started his finance career with Ernst & Young LLP and then moved over to Ernst & Young Corporate Finance Inc.  

Kevin graduated from the University of Western Ontario, is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Business Valuator.

Kevin currently sits on the Board of Directors of CSDC Systems Inc., a software company focused on delivering solutions to local, county and state/provincial government agencies, and is a member of the Advisory Board of Zeebu Mobile Inc., a software developer for the Blackberry platform, with its first focus in e-learning for infants.  Kevin has also been a member of TEC (The Executive Committee) since 2001.

Kevin is an avid hockey player and golfer and coaches rep level hockey in the Markham Waxers organization.  Kevin lives in Markham with his three children and his spouse Michelle.

 

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Chris Johnson

Senior Advisor

Chris is a software and communications executive with 22 years experience in financial, operational and strategic management positions.  He brings extensive strategic marcomm, software development and management experience and networks to the firm. 

Chris has a keen ability to understand his clients' sales and marketing challenges and deliver concrete solutions to make a measurable difference.  Most recently as Executive Vice-President of 76design, Chris was responsible for driving the operational and strategic direction of Thornley Fallis' digital marketing and communications business.  Chris currently manages a strategic consulting firm called Face Strategic, and provides communications and technology straetgy for organizations such as Bell Canada, YPG Group, CCTA and Government clients.

Chris has consulted with some of the world's largest organizations including Starbucks, RBC, Scotiabank, AEGON, Scottish Equitable, MasterCard, Manulife/John Hancock, BHP Billiton, Alcan, EnCana, the NHL, and Wal-Mart.

Throughout his career, Chris has participated in numerous training programs, conferences and seminars delivered by such organizations as MESH, Society of New Communications Research, IABC, The Reputation Institute, Bulldog Reporter, PRSA, Business Development Institute and PRWeek, and has spoken worldwide on the topic of brand and reputation management.  He is an advocate of integrated digital communications strategies that leverage both social media engagement and digital marketing.

Mr. Johnson's formative experience includes success in communications, media and technology industries.  He began his career at Much Music/CityTV in operations, where he was responsible for programming and commercial content.  He continued work in the field as an audio engineer, working on television (The Kids in the Hall) and commercial projects for large agencies.

His telecom communications experience includes strategy for several Bell product lines in addition to driving the development of the Company's first Web site.  Chris then moved to Bell Actimedia to launch directory-based web properties across Canada and worked on the technology partnership between Sympatico and American Internet giant Lycos Inc., which enabled the eventual sale of Actimedia (YellowPages.ca) to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Chris was also founder and CEO of dna13 Inc., a SaaS-based reputation management software company sold in early 2010 to PR Newswire. As CEO, he developed extensive operational and business planning experience, having raised over $11 million in venture capital.  He focused on delivering value through a highly metrics-driven approach.  In 2008, dna13 was selected by IDC as one of "10 Canadian New Media Companies to Watch" and was also named in Branham Report's "Top 50 Canadian Tech Companies".

Chris received a Bachelor's degree from the School of Journalism and Communication from Carleton University in Ottawa, and a degree from Canadore College of Applied Arts and Technnology in Television Broadcasting.  He is a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society and the International Association of Business Communicators.

Chris is an active sports enthusiast, participating in golf, hockey, whitewater kayaking and mountain-biking.  He currently lives in downtown Ottawa with wife Sharon and children, Noah and Kai. Chris also plays a significant role in many community-driven sports programs, coaching and fundraising, and sat on the board of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

 

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Valentine Lee

Senior Advisor

20 years of investment experience covering venture capital, portfolio management, equity research (technology analyst), and investment banking.

Through Val’s career, he has developed a global network of relationships with major telecommunications, semiconductor and software companies reaching deep into Canada, Europe, Asia and the U.S.

Formerly top-quartile small cap portfolio manager with Mutual Asset Management’s $500 million Premier Growth Fund.

All-Star Analyst in all 5 years and Ranked #1 in 2 of those years as a Technology Analyst with Richardson Greenshields, Gordon Capital and HSBC Securities.

Formerly Managing Partner of New Millennium Venture Partners, a $95 million technology-focused labour-sponsored venture capital fund.  In this role, Val co-founded FirstHand Technologies (formerly SIPQuest), a solutions provider for Unified Communications in the wireless market, transferring key telecommunication intellectual property from Columbia University developed by Professor Henning Schulzrinne to Canada. 

Other notable transactions for Val include the privatization of International CMOS Technology; the merger of SoftArc and MC² to create Centrinity, a market leader of Unified Communication, achieving $1 billion of market cap; and lead banker on Tucows and ESI Systems IPOs.

Val has had numerous public speaking engagements as a guest with ROBTV, as a presenter and panelist with major educational conferences and has also presented to the TSX Investor seminars relating to technology investments. 

Val graduated from York University with an MBA in 1990, and CFA accredited in 1993. 

Notable personal achievements include traveling around the world with his family for 6 months in 2001, helping drive Bay Street Games simulated investment program to a national audience, culminating in the Green Line National Investment Challenge in 1991.  Val was also a member of the University of British Columbia Swim Team and participated in a number of juried art exhibitions, with his artwork sold to major corporations such as the Royal Bank.

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. . . AND WE'VE GOT SOME FORMIDABLE BRAINPOWER AND CONTACT NETWORKS SUPPORTING US

     

BIOS - BOARD OF ADVISORS

Basile Papaevangelou – Chairman

  • Former Chairman, AlliedSignal Canada; President & CEO, AlliedSignal Aerospace Canada; and Vice President and General Manager of Allied Signal’s world wide Aircraft Power Managements Business.  
  • Past Vice-Chairman, Officer and Director of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada.
  • Past Director of the Canadian Advanced Technology Association.
  • Undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and MBA from McGill University, and completed the Program for Senior Executives at IMD in Lausane, Switzerland in 1995.
  • Basile has been a Chair with T.E.C. (The Executive Committee) Ltd. since 1998.
  • He also sits on the boards of a number of public and private companies and has participated in a number of technology start-ups acting as Chairman or Director.

 

 Kenneth W. Purdy

  • President, Purdy Consulting.
  • Provides senior-level management consulting for companies in retail, financial services, real estate and manufacturing sectors. Also works with private equity investors to support due diligence with a focus on determining growth opportunities.
  • Seasoned senior executive with an extensive background in the strategic consulting, real estate and capital markets businesses.
  • Formerly Vice President, Corporate Development at InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust; Consultant at Egon Zehnder International; and Case Leader at The Boston Consulting Group. 
  • MBA, Harvard Business School; Bachelor of Mathematics, University of Waterloo.
  • He has worked with a large number of public and private companies in a variety of industries and served on the board of directors of a private company.

 

Richard O. Wah Kan 

  • President, RWK Consulting.
  • Provides consulting services to video game developers and publishers, including strategic planning, contract negotiation assistance and due diligence services.
  • Founder, and former President & CEO of DreamCatcher Interactive Inc., a leading Canadian publisher of interactive video games.
  • Grew DreamCatcher from 3 employees to an organization of over 100 generating worldwide revenues of over $35 million and the largest producer and publisher of PC Adventure games in North America before selling the Company in 2007. Oversaw global marketing, sales and strategy issues such as brand development, title acquisitions, business strategy and purchase of IP rights.
  • Previously senior manager at Discis Knowledge Research and Apple.
  • MBA, University of Western Ontario; Bachelor of Applied Science, Engineering, University of Toronto.
  • Winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Business-to-Consumer Products category (Ontario) in 2002.

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