Board of Directors
Independent Non-Employee Directors
Mark Stephen Neuhof has been a director of our company since April 2008. Mr. Neuhof has over 30 years of experience in the fields of metals trading and derivatives. Mr. Neuhof is currently a Senior Manager at Sumitomo Corporation Global Commodities Limited and is responsible for developing their base and precious metals business in the United States. Mr. Neuhof has been involved with Sumitomo Corporation since 2005, initially as a consultant advising them on their metals business worldwide and aiding them in developing various new opportunities. Since 2005, Mr. Neuhof has been a principal of JEMM Development Group which invests in and develops properties in New York and Connecticut. Prior to his affiliation with Sumitomo, Mr. Neuhof was employed by AIG Financial Products from 1990 to 2005 as a Managing Director in both their Wilton Connecticut and London offices. Mr. Neuhof had overall responsibility for their precious and base metals business including profit and loss, risk management as well as maintaining and developing client relationships. Prior to that, he was affiliated with Drexel Burnham Lambert from 1986 to 1990 (and was Vice President from 1989 to 1990) and held various other positions in the currency and metals trading fields. Mr. Neuhof is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive experience trading physical metals. Mr. Neuhof is a graduate of Queens College and Saint John’s University where he earned his Masters of Business Administration.
P.J. (Patrick James) Richardson has been a director of our company since January 2008. Mr. Richardson is currently Chairman of the EXTOL Group, Inc., a private investment group, specializing in diagnostic technology for the Homeland Security Industry since 2005. Previously, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Reeves Group, (TRG) Inc., a company he founded in 1990 and divested in January 2005. TRG was the technology leader for products used in the consequence management of WMD events of a Chemical/Biological nature. Prior to the formation of TRG, Mr. Richardson served as President & Chief Executive Officer of Racal Health & Safety, a subsidiary of Racal Electronics PLC, from 1986 to 1990 and was responsible for all North American activities for Racal Health & Safety Group, PLC, a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of respiratory protection and other personal protective equipment. Prior to joining Racal, Mr. Richardson served as Director of Sales & Marketing for American Optical Corporation, Safety Products Division, from 1983 to 1984. From 1969 to 1980, he held a series of senior level positions with the Johnson & Johnson organization. Mr. Richardson currently serves on the board of directors of Trailerlogic, LLC and the Board of Advisors of Evergreen Capital LLC. Mr. Richardson is qualified to serve on our Board of Directors because of his extensive experience founding, growing and managing start-up businesses since 1990. Mr. Richardson received his Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Michael’s College and has co-authored two books for Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Fred Arena has been a director of our company since January 2008. Mr. Arena is currently the Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Vision Equities LLC, an east coast commercial real estate owner and developer. In his career, he has developed or overseen the asset management of over 80 million square feet of office space. In May 2006, Mr. Arena was brought in by the board of directors of American Financial Realty Trust to create an asset and management division and to help market it for sale, which was consummated in April 2008. From 1999 to 2006, Mr. Arena served as Regional Managing Director of Commercial Real Estate for one of the Goldman Sachs Whitehall Companies. From 1993 through 1999, Mr. Arena was Senior Vice President of Asset Management and General Manager for one of the most prestigious privately owned real estate companies in the northeast. Mr. Arena began his career with Hartz Mountain Industries in the 1980s managing a 10 million square foot commercial office portfolio. Mr. Arena serves on the board of directors of the Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) New Jersey and is a member of its Executive Board. He is also a member of the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP). Mr. Arena is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive experience managing a portfolio of over ten million square feet of warehouse buildings in the northeast as well as founding an asset management company that oversaw the management of warehouses. Mr. Arena received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from Rutgers University.
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.
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.