First Analysis Investment Professionals
Clement Erbmann
Clement Erbmann is a managing director coordinating international activities and focuses on educational and environmental investing. Prior to joining First Analysis in 1989, he worked for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in securities sales, fund management, special equities, and private placements. He is a member of the the Anti-Defamation League's executive board and is treasurer of the Education Industry Association. He earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
David Gearhart, CFA
David Gearhart is a vice president specializing in research and investment in software-as-a-service (SaaS), the Internet of Things sector, and e-commerce optimization, and he has played a key role in establishing First Analysis’s Internet of Things franchise. He is a thought leader in his sectors, having authored several widely read white papers. He uses his industry knowledge and expansive network to uncover promising investment opportunities and help companies navigate their strategic paths and accelerate growth. Prior to joining First Analysis in 2011, he was an accountant with The Northern Trust Co. and an options broker with American Option Services. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University with a concentration in economics and finance and his MBA at DePaul University with a focus on finance and entrepreneurship. He is a CFA charterholder.
Corey Greendale
Corey Greendale is a managing director (office of the president) specializing in research and investment in software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses, particularly in the future of work and learning technology sectors. He is a thought leader in his sectors, having authored several widely read white papers. He uses his industry knowledge and expansive network to uncover promising investment opportunities and help companies navigate their strategic paths and accelerate growth. His work has been cited for excellence in the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” survey, in Forbes, and in the Financial Times. Prior to joining First Analysis in 2000, he was a development analyst at Systema Corp., where he designed training programs for several large pharmaceutical companies. He earned an MBA with high honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Terry Kiwala, CFA
Terry Kiwala is a vice president specializing in research and investment in software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses, particularly in enterprise productivity applications. He is a thought leader in his sector, having authored widely read industry research. He uses his industry knowledge and expansive network to uncover promising investment opportunities and help companies navigate their strategic paths and accelerate growth. Prior to joining First Analysis in 2019, he was chief financial officer of Vokal, a software development company, senior vice president at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, and associate vice president at National-Louis University. Earlier, he was an investment banking analyst at Lehman Brothers. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and government from the University of Notre Dame. He is a CFA charterholder.
Dave Leshuk
Dave Leshuk is a managing director and research director, working closely with the firm's sector experts to shape white papers that illuminate promising opportunities in emerging high-growth sectors in technology and healthcare and collaborating on numerous research and investment efforts. Prior to joining First Analysis in 1989, he worked with Arthur Andersen & Co., the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the State of Wisconsin. He earned an MBA in finance and accounting from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a certificate in environmental studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also studied at the University of Dakar in Senegal, West Africa.
James Macdonald
James Macdonald is a managing director specializing in research and investment in software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses and related business services. He uses his industry knowledge and expansive network to uncover promising investment opportunities and help companies navigate their strategic paths and accelerate growth. His work has been cited for excellence in the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” survey, in Forbes, and in other publications. Prior to joining First Analysis in 1997, he was a general manager at Nalco Chemical Co., where he played a key role in expanding Nalco’s service offering to include operating and leasing equipment at customer sites. This led to formation of a joint venture with U.S. Filter Co. Earlier, he was with a subsidiary of Ecolab Inc. He earned an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Cornell University, where he also earned the university’s highest award in that discipline.
Tracy Marshbanks, PH.D.
Tracy Marshbanks is a managing director. He works with companies in a variety of sectors, particularly businesses where chemical and medical technologies are a key differentiating element. He is a thought leader in his sectors, authoring research and using his industry knowledge and expansive network to uncover promising investment opportunities and help companies navigate their strategic paths and accelerate growth. Prior to joining First Analysis in 1999, he held a number of positions with Amoco Corp. with responsibilities ranging from refining research and development to capital planning (first in petroleum refining and then in marketing). He earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, a doctorate in chemical engineering from Purdue University, and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Colorado State University.
Joseph Munda
Joseph Munda is a vice president specializing in research and investment in healthcare technology. He is a thought leader in his sector, having authored several widely read white papers. He uses his industry knowledge and expansive network to uncover promising investment opportunities and help companies navigate their strategic paths and accelerate growth. Prior to joining First Analysis in 2015, he was an equity research analyst covering medical device and healthcare services companies at Sidoti & Co. Earlier, he worked in institutional sales at Bear Stearns/J.P. Morgan. He earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Oliver Nicklin
Oliver Nicklin founded and is chairman of First Analysis. Prior to forming First Analysis, he worked at William Blair & Co. as chief operating officer, director of research, and an investment analyst. He also founded the First Analysis Institute of Integrative Studies, a not-for-profit educational institute that co-sponsors interdisciplinary seminars and research with universities including Loyola University Chicago, Catholic Theological Union, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Largely as a result of the work done through First Analysis and the Institute, he accepted the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago’s Interreligious Leadership Award in 2016, the Arab-American Business & Professional Association of Illinois’ Humanitarian Award in 2019, and the Illinois Venture Capital Association’s Richard J. Daley Award in 2019. In addition to serving on many corporate boards, he has served on the boards of the Field Foundation, the Regenstein Foundation, the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter, the University of Chicago Divinity School’s Advisory Council, and the Illinois Technology Fund. He earned an MBA from Harvard University and a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Texas.
Howard Smith
Howard Smith is a managing director (office of the president) specializing in research and investment in software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses and other business models based on information technology, particularly Internet of Things, cybersecurity, and internet infrastructure. He also built the firm's historical research franchises in call centers and computer telephony. He is a thought leader in his sectors, having authored numerous widely read white papers. He uses his industry knowledge and expansive network to uncover promising investment opportunities and help companies navigate their strategic paths and accelerate growth. His work has been cited for excellence by the Wall Street Journal and other publications. Prior to joining First Analysis in 1994, he was a senior tax consultant with Arthur Andersen & Co. He earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a certified public accountant.
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