Meet the Team

 


Paul Kessler  - Image

Paul Kessler

Founder and Senior Managing Director

Mr. Kessler has extensive experience with emerging growth companies which, for a variety of factors, trade below their fundamental value, and, when necessary, will lead activist efforts with both company boards and executives. He is well-versed at identifying deep value activist opportunities in a variety of industries.  He has broad experience in finance, actively sourcing and identifying investment opportunities, and negotiating, structuring and re-structuring investment transactions with emerging growth public companies. His responsibilities include implementation of trading strategies as well directing trading in portfolio securities.  Mr. Kessler has negotiated and worked on numerous mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, venture capital, private equity, re-structuring and other capital market activities.  His experience includes many forms of active investing as well as negotiating transactions involving common stock, debt and/or preferred instruments or combinations thereof, including novel warrant structures.  He has actively worked with executives and boards of companies on corporate governance and oversight, strategic repositioning and alignment of interests with shareholders. Mr. Kessler has guided and overseen over 650+ investment transactions, whether as lead, co-lead, or syndicate investor.  Mr. Kessler’s vast networks of relationships have consistently provided the Fund with excellent investment opportunities.

Mr. Kessler has been recognized as an active investor, financier and venture capitalist.  His investments have focused on emerging growth public companies and, to a lesser extent, private companies on the path to becoming public.  As an investor he has invested, provided seed capital, and/or founded numerous successful companies including Cheniere Energy, Inc., Lion Biotechnologies, Inc., Cantango Oil and Gas Company, The Los Angeles Film School, Allis-Chalmers Energy Inc., Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Octa Therapeutics, Genspera, Inc., Research Solutions, Inc., Wizard World, Inc., Energous Corporation, and Tellurian Investments, to name a few.  Additionally, Mr. Kessler co-founded Start Engine, LLC, the largest technology incubator in Los Angeles which has launched over 50 technology companies since its inception. 

Mr. Kessler has been a guest speaker on the subject of financing emerging growth public companies at a variety of forums, including The Pipe's Conference, Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA), Wall Street Reporter's Pipe Conference, and UCLA Anderson School of Management, Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management.  He has attended courses at various colleges and universities, including Harvard Business School's Executive Education Program and UCLA's Extension Program. Mr. Kessler has passed the Series 65 Uniform Investment Advisor Examination.

Diana Derycz-Kessler - Image

Diana Derycz-Kessler

Co-Founder & Special Counsel

Ms. Derycz-Kessler co-founded BCA with her husband, Mr. Kessler, and acts as Special Counsel in certain matters relating to the private investment fund managed by BCA.  In her role as Special Counsel, Ms. Derycz-Kessler may from time to time participate in early stage discussions and meetings related to potential investment opportunities and advise Mr. Kessler on complex business or legal issues concerning such opportunities.  In addition, Ms. Derycz-Kessler often attends meetings with large stakeholders of potential target companies, and at times plays a crucial role in identifying and securing potential candidates to fill board seats of target companies.  Ms. Derycz-Kessler also advises Mr. Kessler on specific strategies or key issues relating to particular activist campaigns.

Ms. Derycz-Kessler started her career as an international oil and gas business attorney working at the New York law firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle and subsequently at Occidental Petroleum Corporation's international division.  Her interest in business led to the launch of a law practice that advised oil companies and financial institutions.  In addition to her work with the Fund, Diana acts as CEO to an educational company, The Los Angeles Film School.  During her leadership the college has become a premier media educational institution.

Ms. Derycz-Kessler earned her law degree from Harvard Law School, a master's degree from Stanford University, and an undergraduate bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  To further her interest in education, she has earned continuing education credits at schools around the world, including Harvard Business School's executive education program, the Université de la Sorbonne in Paris, and the National Automonous University of Mexico.  Diana speaks Spanish fluently.

She is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association. Ms. Derycz-Kessler has passed the Series 7, 24, 63 and 66 securities law examinations.  She is a registered representative for MDB Capital Group, LLC.

Amy Wang - Image

Amy Wang

General Counsel & Chief Operations Officer

Ms. Wang oversees the negotiation, documentation, and closing of investment transactions, monitors compliance with investment terms and securities regulations, supervises portfolio activity and operations, and manages the activity of outside counsel. During her tenure at BCA, Ms. Wang has overseen the negotiation and documentation of over 450 financing transactions utilizing various investment structures and instruments including common stock, preferred stock, convertible debt instruments and warrants.  Ms. Wang has also worked on numerous restructurings, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and private equity financings.

Ms. Wang earned her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and her undergraduate degree in Political Science, with a specialization in Business Administration, from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  Ms. Wang is a member of the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association (Business Law Division).  Ms. Wang has also passed the Series 65 Uniform Investment Advisor Examination.

Patrick Souki - Image

Patrick Souki

Associate

Mr. Souki is responsible for researching and analyzing new investment opportunities, performing fund valuations and other portfolio accounting duties, and representing the Fund's interests at events and conferences. 

Prior to joining BCA, Mr. Souki spent time interning in various positions, gaining a well-rounded perspective within the natural gas and retail sectors, as well as exposure to private banking. Mr. Souki graduated from King's College University, London, with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management. 

Sheila A.R. Meredith - Image

Sheila A.R. Meredith

Office Manager

Sheila A.R. Meredith supports BCA operations by maintaining accounting and administrative systems.  She supervises office services which include the preparation of company payroll, personnel records and accounting reports.  She implements standards and procedures for offices policies and designs office systems, layouts and equipment procurement and maintenance.  Ms. Meredith is also a California Commissioned Notary Public.  She received her B.A. degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.