The Management Team
Alan C. Benjamin has been our chairman of the board and chief executive officer since inception and a member of our Manager. From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Benjamin was also a principal at MD SolarSciences, a primary skin cancer prevention company founded by Dr. Robert Friedman, a world-renown expert in melanomas and other skin cancers. From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Benjamin owned and operated SMA Development Associates, LLC, a Connecticut based real estate investment company. Prior to this, he spent thirteen years at American International Group (“AIG”) where he last served as Senior Vice President in charge of AIG’s global base metals businesses. Mr. Benjamin began his career at Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1983, where he started as a broker in their commodity’s department and by 1988 he was managing the Asian operations of the firm’s bullion trading activities. Drexel’s commodity trading group moved to AIG in 1990 where Mr. Benjamin founded and managed their metals and foreign exchange trading operations in Asia. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Benjamin was also a Managing Member of Heritage Building Group, a contractor in the luxury residential market in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Mr. Benjamin is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive experience trading physical metals. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in history.
Ailon Z. Grushkin has been our president and director since inception and a member of our Manager. He is currently the Managing Member of the General Partner of the Nano-Cap New Millennium Growth Fund LP., a micro-cap focused hedge fund he founded in January 2000. He is also currently the Managing Member of the AZG Tangible Assets Fund LLC, a commodities based hedge fund he launched in January 2004. From 1996 to 2011, Mr. Grushkin was also the General Partner of the Nano-Cap Hyper Growth Partnership L.P., a hedge fund he founded in 1996. From 1990 to 1996, Mr. Grushkin worked or interned at Merrill Lynch Futures Investment Partners (‘‘MLFIP’’), Thompson McKinnon Securities, Prudential Securities and Sumitomo Bank Ltd. At these firms, he held various positions including assistant commodity trader, commodity trading advisor analyst and assistant derivatives trader. Mr. Grushkin is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his experience purchasing and taking delivery of minor physical metals for his own personal investment as well as his experience managing the AZG Tangible Assets Fund LLC, a fund dedicated to investing in commodities and equities linked to commodities. Mr. Grushkin is a graduate of the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration.
Richard A. Biele has been our chief operating officer, secretary and a director since inception and, through Brack Advisors LLC, is a member of our Manager. Since 2005, Mr. Biele has been a Principal of Princeton Financial Partners, which owns and operates the Newtown, Pennsylvania branch of Andrew Garrett Inc., a full service boutique Broker Dealer based in New York, New York. The branch services both retail and institutional investors. In addition to being a Registered Representative in the branch, Mr. Biele has brought in investment banking clients and assists with the non-daily management of the branch. From 2005 to 2007, Princeton Financial Partners, operated as an affiliate of S.W. Bach & Company, a FINRA regulated securities firm, from 2005 to 2007. While at the firm, Mr. Biele continued to manage his brokerage business and began trading commodities for his personal account. From August 2001 through November 2005, Mr. Biele worked as a registered representative at Kirlin Securities. From January 1998 through August 2001, Mr. Biele worked at Princeton Securities where he established investment banking relationships with other broker dealers and managed his existing clientele’s assets. Mr. Biele has had seventeen years of experience in brokerage, investment banking and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Biele is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive experience in brokerage, investment banking and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Biele has a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from Old Dominion University.
Mary E. Paetzold has been our chief financial officer since July 2011. Ms. Paetzold is a Certified Public Accountant with over 35 years of experience with the audit, accounting, internal control and finance functions of public and private companies. From 2002 to the present, Ms. Paetzold has served as a director, chairman of the audit committee, and member of the compensation, nominating and governance committees, respectively, for Immunomedics, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company. From 2003 to 2011, she served as a director and chairman of the audit committee of Orthovita Inc., a publicly traded orthobiologics and biosurgery company that was acquired by Stryker Corporation in June 2011. From January 2008 to December 2008, she was an adjunct professor at the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. From 1994 through February 2000, she served as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Director (1996-1997) of Ecogen Inc, a publicly traded agricultural biotechnology company. From 1973 to 1994, Ms. Paetzold practiced with KPMG Peat Marwick, LLP, predecessor to KPMG, LLP, serving as an audit partner from 1984 to 1994. Ms. Paetzold's extensive experience serving as a Certified Public Accountant, audit partner, Chief Financial Officer and the chairman of various audit committees for publicly traded companies qualifies her to serve as the Company's Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Paetzold has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Montclair State University and received her certification from the New Jersey Board of Accountancy in 1977. She is a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
William C. Martin has been a director of our company since January 2010 and through RCM Indium, LLC is a member of our Manager. RCM Indium, LLC’s members are Raging Capital Management, LLC, Raging Capital Fund, LP and Raging Capital Fund (QP), LP. Mr. Martin is currently the Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Raging Capital Management, LLC, a private investment partnership based in Princeton, New Jersey that was founded in 2006. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Martin has co-founded a number of financial information and media companies, including Raging Bull in 1997, Indie Research in 2002 and InsiderScore.com in 2004. Mr. Martin has invested in and/or advised a number of Internet and institutional financial services companies, including CallStreet, acquired by Factset Research Systems, Inc. (NYSE:FDS), ByteTaxi (dba: FolderShare), acquired by Microsoft, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSFT), Gerson Lehrman Group, Majestic Research, acquired by Investment Technology Group (NYSE:ITG), and Lux Research. Mr. Martin has also served on two public company boards, including, from 2000 to 2009, Bankrate, Inc., which was acquired by Apax Partners in 2009, and, from 2009 to 2010, Salary.com, Inc., which was acquired by Kenexa (NASDAQ: KNXA) in 2010. Mr. Martin is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive experience founding start-up companies as well as his previous and current history serving on the board of directors of publicly trading companies.