Michael S. Gross
— Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors
Michael S. Gross has been the chairman of the board of directors, chief executive officer and president of Solar Senior Capital since December 2010. In addition, Mr. Gross served as the managing member, the chairman of the board of directors and the chief executive officer of Solar Capital LLC since its inception in February 2007, and has been the chairman of the board of directors since December 2007, and chief executive officer and president since November 2007, of Solar Capital, its successor fund. Mr. Gross also currently serves as the managing member of our investment adviser, Solar Capital Partners. From July 2006 through approximately the first quarter of 2009, Mr. Gross was a partner in Magnetar Capital Partners, LP. Between February 2004 and February 2006, Mr. Gross was the president and chief executive officer of Apollo Investment Corporation, a publicly traded business development company that he founded and on whose board of directors and investment committee he served as chairman from February 2004 to July 2006, and was the managing partner of Apollo Investment Management, L.P., the investment adviser to Apollo Investment Corporation. Apollo Investment Corporation invests primarily in middle-market companies in the form of senior secured and mezzanine loans as well as by making direct equity investments in such companies. Under his management, Apollo Investment Corporation raised approximately $930 million in gross proceeds in an initial public offering in April 2004 and invested approximately $2.3 billion in over 65 companies in conjunction with 50 different private equity sponsors. From 1990 to February 2006, Mr. Gross was a senior partner at Apollo Management, L.P., a leading private equity firm which he founded in 1990 with five other persons. Since its inception, Apollo Management, L.P. has invested more than $13 billion in over 150 companies in the United States and Western Europe. During his tenure at Apollo Management, L.P., Mr. Gross was a member of an investment committee that was responsible for overseeing such investments. In addition, from 2003 to February 2006, Mr. Gross was the managing partner of Apollo Distressed Investment Fund, an investment fund he founded to invest principally in non-control oriented distressed debt and other investment securities of leveraged companies. Prior to his time at Apollo Management, L.P., Mr. Gross was employed by Drexel Burnham Lambert Incorporated. From June 2006 to August 2008, Mr. Gross served as the chief executive officer, chairman of the board of directors and secretary of Marathon Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company. Mr. Gross currently serves on the boards of directors of Saks, Inc., Global Ship Lease Inc., United Rentals, Inc. and Jarden Corporation, and in the past has served on the boards of directors, including in certain cases, in the capacity as a lead director, of more than 20 public and private companies. He is a founding member, and serves on the executive committee, of the Youth Renewal Fund, is the chairman of the board of Mt. Sinai Children's Center Foundation, and serves on the Board of Trustees of The Trinity School and the Board of Directors of New York Road Runners.
Mr. Gross holds a B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Michigan and an M.M. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Mr. Gross' intimate knowledge of the business and operations of Solar Senior Capital, extensive familiarity with the financial industry and the investment management process in particular, and experience as a director of other public and private companies not only gives the board of directors valuable insight but also positions him well to continue to serve as the chairman of our board of directors.
— Chief Operating Officer and Director
Bruce Spohler has been the chief operating officer and a director of Solar Senior Capital since December 2010. In addition, Mr. Spohler served as a senior vice president of Solar Capital LLC from its inception in February 2007, and has been a director since September 2009, and the chief operating officer since December 2007, of Solar Capital, its successor fund. Mr. Spohler also currently serves as a partner of our investment adviser, Solar Capital Partners. Previously, Mr. Spohler was a managing director and a former co-head of U.S. Leveraged Finance for CIBC World Markets. He held numerous senior roles at CIBC World Markets, including serving on the U.S. Management Committee, Global Executive Committee and the Deals Committee, which approves all of CIBC World Markets' U.S. corporate finance debt capital decisions. During his tenure, he was responsible for senior loan, high yield and mezzanine origination and execution, as well as CIBC World Markets' below investment grade loan portfolio in the U.S. As a co-head of U.S. Leveraged Finance, he oversaw over 300 capital raising and merger and acquisition transactions, comprising over $40 billion in market capitalization. He joined CIBC World Markets in 1995 when it acquired The Argosy Group, of which Mr. Spohler was a founding member and managing director. Founded in 1990, The Argosy Group was a middle-market financing business, in which Mr. Spohler and other principals of The Argosy Group raised third party capital as well as invested alongside their financial sponsor clients. Prior to The Argosy Group, Mr. Spohler was employed by Drexel Burnham Lambert Incorporated.
Mr. Spohler earned a B.S. from Syracuse University and an M.M. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Mr. Spohler's depth of experience in managerial positions in investment management, leveraged finance and financial services, as well as his intimate knowledge of Solar Senior Capital's business and operations, gives the board of directors valuable industry-specific knowledge and expertise on these and other matters.
— Independent Director
Steven Hochberg has been a director of Solar Senior Capital since January 2011. Mr. Hochberg has been a director of Solar Capital LLC from its inception in February 2007, and has been a director of Solar Capital since November 2007, its successor entity. Mr. Hochberg is the founder of Ascent Biomedical Ventures, a New York based venture investor in biomedical technology companies including medical devices and drugs. Since 1992, Mr. Hochberg has also been an active founder of early-stage medical technology companies, including Biomerix Corporation, Eminent Research Systems Inc., Clinsights, Inc., Med-E-Systems/AHT Corporation, and Physicians Online. Mr. Hochberg is the chairman of the board of directors of Biomerix Corporation, Crosstrees Medical, Inc. and Ouroboros, Inc., and serves on the board of directors of Synecor, LLC. Previously, Mr. Hochberg was an investment banker with Alex. Brown & Sons and a strategy consultant with Bain & Company in the technology and healthcare areas. Currently, Mr. Hochberg is a member of the Board of Trustees and Vice Chairman of Continuum Health Partners, one of the largest non-profit hospital systems in New York City. Mr. Hochberg is also a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences.
Mr. Hochberg holds a B.B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Mr. Hochberg’s varied experience in investing in medical technology companies provides the board of directors with particular knowledge of this field, and his role as chairman of other companies’ board of directors brings the perspective of a knowledgeable corporate leader.
Leonard A. Potter
— Independent Director
Leonard A. Potter has been a director of Solar Senior Capital since January 2011. Mr. Potter has been a director of Solar Capital since September 2009. Mr. Potter is currently the Chief Investment Officer of Salt Creek Hospitality, a private acquirer and owner of hospitality related assets. From December 2002 through July 2009, Mr. Potter was a Managing Director for Soros Private Equity at Soros Fund Management LLC ("SFM") where, from May 2005 through July 2009, Mr. Potter served as co-head of the Private Equity group and a member of the Private Equity Investment Committee. From September 1998 until joining SFM in 2002, Mr. Potter was a Managing Director of Alpine Consolidated LLC, a private merchant bank, and from April 1996 through September 1998, Mr. Potter founded and served as a Managing Director of Capstone Partners LLC, a private merchant bank. Prior to founding Capstone Partners, Mr. Potter was an attorney specializing in mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Mr. Potter is currently a member of the board of directors of Next BDC Capital Corp., a newly-formed closed-end management investment company that has filed a notice of its intention to elect to be regulated as a business development company, and 57th Street General Acquisition Corp. ("SQTC"), a special purpose acquisition company; has previously served as a board member of several other public companies and currently serves on the boards of several private companies.
Mr. Potter has a B.A. from Brandeis University and a J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law. Mr. Potter's experience practicing as a corporate lawyer provides valuable insight to the board of directors on regulatory and risk management issues. In addition, his tenure in private equity investing and service as a director of both public and private companies provide industry-specific knowledge and expertise to the board of directors.
David S. Wachter
— Independent Director
David S. Wachter has been a director of Solar Senior Capital since January 2011. Mr. Wachter has been a director of Solar Capital LLC from its inception in February 2007, and has been a director of Solar Capital since November 2007, its successor entity. Mr. Wachter is a founding partner, managing director and president of W Capital Partners. W Capital Partners is a private equity fund manager that acquires direct private equity portfolios in the secondary market. W Capital Partners manages over $1 billion of capital and is a leading participant in providing private equity firms, financial institutions and corporations with a liquidity alternative for their private equity investments. Prior to founding W Capital Partners, Mr. Wachter was a managing director at Jefferies & Co. from 1999 to 2001, a founding partner and managing director at C.E. Unterberg, Towbin from 1990 to 1999 and an investment banker at Lehman Brothers from 1986 to 1990.
Mr. Wachter has a B.S. in Engineering, with a major in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from New York University Graduate School of Business. Mr. Wachter's extensive knowledge of private equity and investment banking provide the board of directors with the valuable insight of an experienced financial manager.