YEHUDA SHMIDMAN

CHAIRMAN & CEO

Yehuda Shmidman has more than 15 years of experience in acquiring, growing and monetizing consumer brands. Throughout his career, Yehuda deployed nearly $2 billion of institutional capital into consumer IP. Prior to founding WHP Global, Yehuda was CEO & Director of Sequential Brands Group (NASDAQ: SQBG) when the firm grew from less than $100 million to $4 billion in global retail sales, with leading consumer brands such as Martha Stewart, Chef Emeril, Jessica Simpson, AND1 and GAIAM Yoga.  Previously, Yehuda was COO of Iconix Brand Group (NASDAQ: ICON) where he helped grow the firm to $12 billion in global retail sales, and played a direct role in establishing its international business across Europe, India, China and Latin America. He is currently a board member of YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund and JSSI, a leading aviation service provider. Yehuda holds a B.A.  degree magna cum laude from Yeshiva University.     

 

THOMAS CASARELLA

Co-Founder & Board Member

Thomas Casarella is a Managing Director at Oaktree Capital.   Mr.  Casarella leads investing in the consumer, business and financial services industries.  Prior to joining Oaktree in 2012, he served as Deputy Chief Restructuring Officer at the United States Department of the Treasury. Before that, Mr.  Casarella was an investor in the Special Situations Group at Brookfield Asset Management and in the Restructuring Group at Lazard. He is a board member of Boardriders, Crossroads Building Supply and My Alarm Center.  Mr. Casarella is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Children’s Bureau.  He began his career as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. Mr. Casarella holds an A.B.  degree summa cum laude from Bowdoin College, an M.A.  degree in economics from Oxford University, and an M.B.A.  from the Harvard Business School. He is also a CFA charterholder.

 

TED CROCKIN

Co-Founder & Board Member

Ted Crockin is a Vice President at Oaktree Capital. Prior to joining Oaktree in 2013, Mr. Crockin spent two years as an investment banking analyst at Moelis & Company where he worked on a variety of M&A and restructuring transactions. Mr. Crockin currently serves on the Board of Directors of Caerus Oil & Gas and Boardriders. He received his B.S. degree in commerce focusing on finance and accounting from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, where he graduated with distinction.

 

Effy Zinkin

COO + GC

Effy Zinkin has over 20 years of experience in various C-level positions in the apparel and accessory industries. Effy began his career at Marc Ecko Enterprises, most recently serving as its President, where he oversaw its expansion to over $1 billion in retail sales and successful exit in 2013.   After this, he was President of Concept One Accessories. Effy then formed Big Brand Builders, a brand and retail advisory business, which included clients such as Revlon and licensees to Under Armour and Major League Baseball. Mr. Zinkin most recently served as President of Icon Eyewear. Effy holds a B.S. degree in Finance from Sy Syms School of Business, Yeshiva University, and a J.D. degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.   

 

Scott Book

Managing Director, Corporate Development

Scott has over 10 years of experience in the retail and executive recruiting sectors. Prior to joining WHP Global, Scott was President of SBC Group, a leading executive search firm. Before that, Scott was President of The Franklin Mint, the iconic collectibles retailer, where he managed all aspects of the business and ultimately oversaw the successful exit to Sequential Brands Group in 2013. He is currently a board member of JSSI, an aviation service provider. Scott holds a B.A. degree from Albany University

 

Russ Banker

Managing Director, Corporate Development

Russ Banker is a founding member of the WHP Global team. Prior to helping launch WHP Global, he worked at Sequential Brands Group in the Corporate Development group where he worked on a variety of M&A and new business initiatives across its brand portfolio. He began his career at IBM where he most recently worked in the firm’s corporate acquisitions & divestitures group. Russ holds a B.A.  in Economics from Middlebury College and M.B.A. from NYU Stern School of Business.