Our Team Members
Helping you navigate your business with confidence
- Managing Partner
Jeff Stevens has 20 years of experience structuring, operating and investing in search fund companies. Jeff has managed three funded searches during the period from 1990-2005, each one culminating in the acquisition of a lower middle market company. Jeff understands the elements of the search fund model that drive success. In addition, Jeff's relationships with other experienced, successful search fund investors and current search fund principals allows Anacapa Partners access to invest in concert with a group that has been participating in this business model for over 20 years.
Prior to founding Anacapa Partners, Jeff was the CEO of three venture-backed buyouts – Balkin Cable Holdings (cable television system operator), Ancora Capital (mail presort), and Liberty Fitness (women's fitness centers). Following these three buyouts, Jeff founded Deeelish! (manufacturer/retailer of ready-to-cook gourmet meals). In each of Jeff's four ventures he has maintained responsibility for all aspects of sourcing acquisition/start-up opportunities, including identifying potential targets, industry analysis, company specific due diligence, and fundraising (debt and equity) to complete the transaction. Following the completion of each acquisition Jeff became the senior executive of the acquired company with direct reporting responsibility to a shareholder group and Board of Directors. Prior to beginning his entrepreneurial path Jeff was an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company. Jeff received his Bachelor of Arts and MBA from Stanford University, and remains actively involved in the Stanford community. He participates in classroom case discussion for entrepreneurship courses at the Graduate School of Business, serves as a mentor for students participating in a two-quarter business planning course, and volunteers in numerous capacities for the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. Jeff is also a member of the Ford Committee at DAPER.
Jeff is a member of the Board of Directors of developerprogram.com, KGHP, the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), and Dooblo.
- Managing Director
Ashley has over 15 years of experience advising, operating and investing in high growth venture and private equity backed companies. Serving in corporate development, finance and legal roles Ashley has supported companies through periods of rapid growth by creating and executing business and capital strategies, negotiating complex transactions, building management teams, and managing transformational events in a company’s lifecycle. From 2002 to 2011, Ashley was a member of the senior team at Asurion Corporation, the most successful search fund operating company to date, as the Company’s first in-house counsel and later head of Corporate Development. During this time, she led the execution of multiple transformative acquisitions, an equity recapitalization of the company and multiple subsequent leveraged recapitalizations and advised on the Company’s international expansion in Asia, Europe and Latin America. More recently, Ashley was Vice President of Transactions and General Counsel at Sunrun, a residential solar company, where she led the project finance and legal teams through the raise of over $500 million in proceeds through equity, debt and project finance transactions and was instrumental in developing the strategy and establishing the infrastructure necessary to support the company’s rapid growth. Prior to her operational experience, Ashley was a corporate associate at Venture Law Group in Silicon Valley and Riordan & McKinzie in Los Angeles and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Emilio M. Garza on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ashley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UC, Santa Barbara and Order of the Coif from UCLA Law School.
Ashley is a member of the Board of Directors of HousingWire, Paragon Legal Group, and Automotive Business Solutions, and is a Board Observer of Tire Disposal & Recycling (TDR).
Greg has direct experience with the search fund model having previously raised and managed a traditional search fund that focused on opportunities within the financial services industry. He has worked with growing companies across a variety of industries on M&A, raising and allocating capital, and business development focused on strategy and growth initiatives. Greg has also served in operational and management positions within the financial services industry.
Prior to joining Anacapa, Greg successfully raised capital from institutional and individual investors to search for a business to acquire and operate utilizing the search fund model. In this role, Greg was responsible for sourcing deals, negotiating transactions, performing investment due diligence, and communicating with his investors. Before pursuing a search fund, Greg gained additional entrepreneurial and operational experience having been part of the early team that scaled an institutional broker-dealer and investment bank. Greg started his career at Merrill Lynch in the firm’s fixed income sales and trading business.
Greg earned his MBA with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Lehigh University, where he graduated with High Honors. Greg is also a CFA Charterholder.
- Operating Partner - Military
Mike is focused on the development and execution of Anacapa’s Military Search Fund initiative. He has been an investor in Anacapa since its formation in 2010 and has served in an advisory capacity since 2013. He was a Board Observer and advisor for Recruit Military, which has since been sold. Mike has over 25 years of experience in finance, strategy, M&A and operations as a C-suite executive, investor, advisor and banker, primarily for privately-held middle market businesses.
Mike previously served as COO and CFO of Spavia, a rapid growth franchise concept in the health and wellness industry, building it into one of the fastest growing franchise brands in 2016. Previously he was President and COO of RePower, a VC-backed, 40-unit national chain of rooftop solar system providers, executing a strategy redefinition, brand change, capital raise and driving several operational process and cost efficiency initiatives. He served as head of corporate development, strategy and acquisitions for Building Materials Holding Corporation, a multi-billion dollar public company and ProBuild, a multi-billion dollar private company for whom he acquired and operationally integrated nearly 30 companies, accounting for over $500 million revenue, for these two platforms. He also created a new subsidiary company for BMHC that he grew to nearly $2 billion annual revenue in eight states over a five year period as its CEO and President. Mike was also previously engaged by Devonshire, the private equity arm of Fidelity, to develop investment opportunities in energy and renewables and was a co-founder and principal of The Cambria Group, a lower middle market buyout firm. Mike started his business career with Citibank, structuring debt for leveraged buyouts and providing corporate finance services to his private equity clients’ portfolio companies.
Prior to his business career, Mike served in the Navy on a fast attack submarine, where he led the nuclear mechanics division and the weapons department. He went on to qualify in Submarines and as a Nuclear Engineer. Following his shipboard tour, he was assigned to Submarine Development Group One, for whom he supported classified subsurface assets conducting special operations missions under direct tasking from US intelligence agencies. In this role, he was also temporarily assigned to Dr. Ballard’s team at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to work on a deep ocean project that included a dive to 13,000 feet on the first manned expedition to the Titanic. After leaving active duty, he joined the naval intelligence community as a reservist and eventually attained the rank of Commander.
He earned an MBA from Stanford University, a BS in Mechanical Engineering with distinction from the US Naval Academy, and a certification in Nuclear Engineering from the Department of Energy. Mike volunteers his time with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and is a Trustee of the US Naval Academy Athletic and Scholarship Programs.
Advisory Board Members
- Advisory Board Member
Jim Ellis is a Lecturer in Management at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He is currently teaching two strategic management courses that center around the early stages of the entrepreneurial process. These courses include Formation of New Ventures (S353), and Managing Growing Enterprises (S355). Jim takes a personal interest and enjoys participating in and contributing to the learning process faced by each of his students. Prior to coming to Stanford, Jim held a number of positions with both large and small companies. In 1995, Jim cofounded Asurion with Kevin Taweel to provide value-added solutions for the wireless communications industry. Previously responsible for Asurion's sales and marketing efforts, Jim is an active member of the company's board of directors. Jim has also held positions as a research associate at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and as a consultant with IMG and Cresap, McCormick, and Paget. He is a member of a number of Boards of Directors including BUILD, Asurion, Service Source Inc., Memento Press, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, and Southern California Risk Management Associates. Mr. Ellis holds an MBA from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree with high honors in economics from Dartmouth College. He is also a recipient of Ernst and Young's prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award.
- Advisory Board Member
Bob Oster started his career as a professional economist and corporate banker with Bank of America in 1967. He then moved on to positions in corporate finance with a number of Bay Area companies. In 1983, he joined Oracle Corporation as Vice President-Finance and Administration and was responsible for Oracle's initial public offering in 1986. Since 1987, he has been a private venture investor working with other private and institutional investors in all phases of the venture investing process from incubation and due diligence through building the management team and sale or initial public offering. He was a founding investor and special advisor to Informatica, Inc. (INFA), a provider of analytic applications and infrastructure software. He is currently a director of Carillon Partners, LLP, Raleigh, NC, a private assisted living company; iNET Interactive, Dayton, OH, a private internet advertising company; Wind River Environmental, Boston, MA, a private LBO roll-up in the non-hazardous liquid waste industry. Bob received a Bachelors degree in Economics with honors from Occidental College in 1963 and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1965 and 1967, respectively.
- Advisory Board Member
Kevin Taweel is the CEO of Asurion, the leading global provider of technology protection products. Since co-founding Asurion in 1994, the company has grown from a small 40 person operation to become the leading global provider of technology protection products with over 10,000 employees worldwide, partnering with many of the world's top companies and brands. Prior to founding Asurion, Kevin served as Chairman of Mill River Corporation, an investment company. He also worked with many Fortune 500 companies to develop and execute corporate strategies and financial plans while working in Mergers & Acquisitions for the investment bank Salomon Brothers. He earned an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and holds a Bachelor`s degree in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University. Kevin currently serves on the board of ResponseLink. Kevin is also a former recipient of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
- Senior Operating Executive
Richard H. Taketa (Rick) is the President of Taketa Capital, a small family office, where he partners with public and private high-growth companies in a variety of capacities including board director, investor, advisor and coach. Immediately prior to founding Taketa Capital, Rick was the President and CEO of York Risk Services, one of the nation’s largest third-party administrators to the insurance industry. In this role, Rick had overall responsibility for capital, strategic, financial, operational, governance, sales and client activities. With approximately $800 million in revenue and 5,500 employees, York grew under Rick’s leadership from a regional player to be a leading provider of tech-enabled, integrated services to the insurance market.
Rick originally joined York after the acquisition of Southern California Risk Management Associates (SCRMA), where he was CEO. Through a search fund called Eventide Capital, Rick and a small group of investors had acquired SCRMA two years earlier when the company had less than $15M in Revenue and 150 employees. Driven by rapid growth, early investors received MOICs ranging from 7x - 11x in less than two years.
Prior to Eventide, Rick was a venture-focused corporate securities lawyer in Silicon Valley with Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich after having spent four years in Washington, D.C., working with non-governmental organizations focused on environmental and public health issues.
Rick currently serves as an Independent Director on the Board of Directors of Palomar Holdings, Inc., Veritone, Inc., as well as a number of other private equity backed companies. Rick also currently serves on the Board of the Hoag Hospital Foundation.
In 2017, Rick was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for the State of New Jersey, where he and his family resided prior to returning to California. He has been a recurring guest lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is a member of the California Bar Association (inactive status). Rick earned his BA from Colgate University and JD from Stanford Law School.
- Senior Operating Executive
Doug is an active investor with diverse experience in operating, acquiring and scaling high-growth businesses. He is Managing Partner of Ravenscourt Partners, a private investment firm focused on teaming with executives to build leading middle market, technology-enabled service companies. Ravenscourt invests in businesses with compelling value propositions, sustainable business models, strong growth potential and top management teams. Doug’s functional areas of expertise include high growth scaling, sales and marketing strategy and tactics, pricing, corporate strategy and acquisitions. He currently serves on the boards of eCompliance (safety SaaS), RIA in a Box (outsourced business services), Colovore (data colocation), Prialto (outsourced sales administration) and Education Services Group (education revenue management).
He spent nine years in various roles as a senior executive at Asurion Corporation, the leading global provider of technology protection services, which grew from $225 million to $4.8 billion in revenue during his tenure. Initially Doug served as head of Corporate Development, and his team closed four acquisitions, including the merger with lock/line and the buyout of Warranty Corporation of America (“WaCA”). Following the acquisition, he served as President of WaCA, an extended warranty service provider with over $100 million in revenue and 400 employees. Finally, he was Senior Vice President of Client Services managing a critical Asurion client relationship. Prior to Asurion, Doug raised a search fund and was co-founder and President of Clear Creek Environmental, LLC which was sold to Wind River Environmental in 2002.
Doug received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Brown University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.