Our Team at Hallmark Capital Partners
Client-Focused Engagement Model
Brian P. Kelly
From 1998 to December 2006, Mr. Kelly worked at three of the world's top investment banking and security firms, including UBS, Wachovia, and CIBC World Markets. Throughout his tenure at these firms, he was recognized as a superior asset and was responsible for collectively bringing over $400 million in investment banking transactions.
From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Kelly served as Managing Director of FMS (Financial Management Strategies), a company focused on supporting M&A, raising capital, and assisting in corporate strategic alliances. During this part of his career, he successfully closed acquisitions and ownership transitions for private and micro-cap companies.
Dr. Chris Prior
As CEO/board member of Innovate Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2015-2019, Dr. Prior built the team, product development strategy and pipeline that allowed him to very successfully take the company public (INNT) on January 29, 2018 based on a financing of $21M. To advance the lead program to treat Celiac disease required Dr. Prior’s experience with peptides to confirm the pharmacology and dose level to be used in Phase 3. Phase 3 is in progress and the company is well funded and very much in an implementation mode. The company recently entered into a merger with 9 Meters, Inc. (NMTR) to expand the GI pipeline.
As CEO/board member of PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals Inc., (PHAS), 2008-2015, Dr. Prior grew the company from a seed stage research operation to a fully structured biopharmaceutical company raising $75M in B round financing. Starting with a completely new team of product development scientists that he formed in 2010, the company filed 3 INDs over three consecutive years and efficiently advanced the lead program to completion of a 600 patient Phase 2b study in 14 months at close to 100 sites. The company has three distinct products that are all active in humans for the treatment of cardiovascular/metabolic disease. Dr. Prior was instrumental in his 3rd M&A offer and a strategic investment from Astra Zeneca.
Prior to PhaseBio, he was founder, CEO/President and board member of BioRexis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Having raised $38M through to B round financing, he advanced a research concept to generate a robust product pipeline to treat T2D in less than three years from start of operations. As part of the team working with J P Morgan, Dr. Prior was instrumental in the sale of the company to Pfizer. Dr. Prior continued to run BioRexis as a business unit of Pfizer where the team successfully achieved further clinical milestones. Prior to BioRexis, he was founder, CEO/president and board member of Principia Pharmaceutical Corporation. He negotiated the license agreements with Aventis Behring and obtained worldwide exclusive rights to albumin fusion protein technology. With A round capital from HealthCare Ventures, Dr. Prior built and led a team that advanced two products (Albuferon™, Albutropin™) from research into the clinic within two years. These achievements resulted in the acquisition of Principia by Human Genome Sciences (now GSK).
Dr. Prior was General Manager of The Immune Response Corporation (east coast operations) working with Jonas Salk on the commercial development of an immunotherapeutic vaccine to treat HIV. As Director of R&D at Rhône Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi-Aventis), he achieved product approvals for Monoclate P® and Mononine®. As Director of product development at Invitron Corporation (biotech spin out of Monsanto), he focused on the development of numerous monoclonal antibodies as in vivo diagnostics and therapeutics to treat cancer, and as a Senior Scientist at Biogen, he was instrumental in the work that supported approval of Intron A® (in collaboration with Schering Plough) and Immuneron® in Europe. Dr. Prior received a B.Sc. (honors) in chemistry from the University of London, a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Columbia University in New York City and a research fellowship at The Rockefeller Medical Institute. Dr. Prior is a member of the New York academy of sciences and is the author of numerous publications and patents, all focused on the development of biopharmaceuticals.
Mr. Zuckerman’s other recent experience includes advising the first lien lenders of an automotive supplier, the first lien lenders of Aquilex, an industrial services company, and the second lien lenders of Motor Coach Industries, a bus manufacturer. He was responsible for detailed business plan due diligence, assisting lenders in developing various restructuring scenarios, and analyzing the economics of proposals from the company.
Before his career with us, Mr. Zuckerman worked at Seneca Financial Group, a specialty firm focused on financial restructuring advisory services, where he was in charge of a number of restructuring assignments, including Seitel, Inc., NorthWestern Corp., Northwest Airlines, and GB Holdings. In addition, he advised the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association on the status of the airline industry in relation to their ongoing contract negotiations with various airlines.
Mr. Zuckerman has his BS degree from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. He is also a member of the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors.
Other notable accomplishments include aiding a global optical disc manufacturer in refinancing $400 million of debt facilities, as well as working with an FTSE 100 construction and support services business and an FTSE 250 industrial parts distributor.
Mr. Williams has extensive experience in lender-side advisory services. His recent accomplishments include:
- Restructuring a UK care homes owner and operator with £150 million in revenue and £200 million in debt on behalf of a syndicate of UK clearing banks.
- Assisting senior lenders in restructuring a property developer with care homes in the UK, managing a debt of €350 million following the operator's collapse.
- Guiding the bilateral lenders of a European property developer with €2 billion in debt.
- Advising a syndicate of Dutch clearing banks on liquidating a Dutch renewable energy company with a debt of €150 million.
- Supporting a private equity sponsor and a syndicate of Dutch clearing banks in restructuring a European food processor with a debt of €100 million.
- Assisting a syndicate of US private placement note holders and banks in restructuring a European conglomerate with a debt of €1.1 billion.
- Providing guidance to a syndicate of US private placement noteholders in restructuring a European engine manufacturer with a debt of €200 million.
- Assisting a syndicate of US private placement noteholders in their exit from a Dutch construction business.
Mr. Portillo has extensive experience working in Oxnard, Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Maria, Salinas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, CA, and in other areas like Phoenix, AZ, Albuquerque, NM, and Tri-Cities Washington, achieving #1 station in every market he has been in.
In 2012, Mr. Portillo became a Life Coach after he graduated from ChoiceCenter University. This experience deepened his understanding of emotional intelligence and leadership, further fueling his passion for radio and communications.
Leveraging these strengths, he extended his community outreach by becoming a Business Consultant for MCSC corporation. This non-profit organization supported by the SBA focuses on positively impacting various groups within the Hispanic community, including small business owners, underachieving business owners, minority women entrepreneurs, and unemployed individuals. Through leadership classes and fundamental marketing guidance, he supports these individuals in achieving success within their businesses.
As an entrepreneur, Mr. Portillo established his consulting and production service company, Big Radio Pro Inc., in 1995. He is also a graduate of the Columbia School of Broadcasting.
Mr. Zeppenfeld was the National Equipment Control and Rental Program Manager for Lanier Worldwide and the Retail Division Leasing Program Manager at NCR. He had his own consulting/business development firm specializing in lease/loan servicing, asset management and remarketing, collections, and repossessions before joining JGDI Investors as a Business Development Project Manager.
He has an MBA from Gannon University and completed the Rochester Institute of Technology Executive Development Program as well as the Harvard University Strategic Marketing Management Program.
Mr. Swiatek demonstrates language proficiency in English and Polish and possesses conversational skills in Russian, Czech, and Ukrainian. He holds a BA degree from the University of West Florida.