Our Leaders

The Waller Helms Team

Matthew Botek
Mary Burns
Andrew Cochran
Seth Feldstein
Jonathan Grum
Ethan Gundry
Tim Hall
David Helms
Lingxu Li
Peter Nero
Tyler Pace
Jay Sojdehei
Danielle Stewart
Louis Trimble
John Waller
Alex Weiss


 

John Waller, Managing Director

John advises insurance and healthcare services companies nationwide on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and capital raises with Waller Helms' customized approach.

Prior to forming Waller Helms Advisors, John served as a Vice Chairman of Macquarie Capital and was Global Head of its Financial Institutions Group. Previously, John was a co-founder of Cochran Caronia Waller, a leading investment banking boutique focused on the insurance industry, subsequently serving as President of Fox-Pitt Kelton, a global financial institutions investment bank, following its merger with Cochran Caronia Waller in 2007.

John has over twenty years of experience advising on divestitures, acquisitions and capital raises.  He has advised on some of the largest and most significant transactions in the financial services sector, involving market leaders Tokio Marine, AIG, Willis, GMAC, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, ProAssurance and The Doctors Company.

John earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Management in finance and marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Phone: 312.763.9902
Email: john.waller@wallerhelms.com

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David Helms, Managing Director

David provides M&A and capital raising advice to insurance and healthcare services clients nationwide.

Prior to forming Waller Helms Advisors, Dave was a Senior Managing Director in Macquarie Capital’s Financial Institutions Group where he led the firm’s efforts in the insurance distribution, services and technology sectors. He began his insurance investment banking career as an Analyst at Cochran Caronia Waller in 2000, becoming a Managing Director shortly before that firm’s merger with Fox-Pitt Kelton in 2007. FPK was subsequently acquired by Macquarie Group in 2009. Prior to CCW, Dave was a Commercial Banking Officer covering the healthcare sector for American National Bank, which is now part of JPMorgan Chase.

Over the last 15 years Dave has advised on numerous landmark transactions including Liberty Mutual’s divestiture of its middle market renewal rights to AJ Gallagher, Hub International and USI Holdings, Cooper Gay’s combination with Swett & Crawford, New Mountain Capital’s re-capitalization of AmWINS, Beecher Carlson’s sale to Brown & Brown and Westrope’s merger with Ryan Specialty Group.

Dave earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and international business from Ohio University.

Phone: 312.763.9901
Email: david.helms@wallerhelms.com

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Peter Nero, Managing Director

Pete advises clients in the insurance and healthcare services sectors on capital raises and mergers and acquisitions.

Before forming Waller Helms Advisors, Pete was a Director within Macquarie Capital’s Financial Institutions Group.  Since joining Cochran Caronia Waller more than a decade ago, Pete has been responsible for sourcing and executing M&A and financing transactions for risk-bearing, insurance distribution and insurance and healthcare services companies. In addition, Pete works closely with financial sponsors focused on Waller Helms' target sectors. Pete began his career as a consultant with Accenture and worked for four years at Aon plc within their retail brokerage division before joining Cochran Caronia Waller.

Among others, Pete’s transactions include Worldwide Facilities' transaction with Lovell Minnick Partners, Associated Banc-Corp's acquisition of Ahmann & Martin Co., Laurus Strategies’ sale to Hub International, The Doctors Company's acquisition of American Physicians Capital and Zenith Administrator's sale to HealthPlan Holdings.

Pete earned a Masters of Management in management and strategy from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and economics from The University of Dayton.

Phone: 312.763.9903
Email: peter.nero@wallerhelms.com

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Tim Hall, Director

Tim advises clients in the insurance and insurance services sectors on mergers, acquisitions and capital raises.

Prior to joining Waller Helms Advisors, Tim was a Vice President in Macquarie Capital’s Financial Institutions Group where he focused on executing M&A and financing transactions for insurance carriers, insurance distribution and insurance services companies. Tim began his investment banking career at Cochran Caronia Waller over 11 years ago and in 2011 joined JMP Group to help form the insurance investment banking practice. Tim rejoined the legacy Cochran Caronia Waller team at Macquarie Capital in 2011 where, as a Vice President, he led insurance M&A and financing execution.

Tim’s recent transactions include Crystal & Company’s sale to Alliant Insurance Services, Alliant National Title Insurance Company’s partnership with Presidio Investors, PPM Services sale to NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company, American Enterprise’s acquisition of Great Western Insurance Company, Worldwide Facilities’ transaction with Lovell Minnick, Laurus Strategies’ sale to Hub International, and numerous capital raises for private equity-backed insurance distribution and services companies, including Alliant, Hub International, and Sedgwick CMS.

Tim received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in finance and history from Creighton University. He currently serves as Treasurer on the Midwest Region Associate Board of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation and also serves on the Auxiliary Board of K.I.D.S.S. for Kids, a charity which benefits Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

Phone: 312.763.9908
Email: tim.hall@wallerhelms.com

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Alex Weiss, Director

Alex helps lead the healthcare practice at Waller Helms Advisors, advising healthcare technology and services companies as well as working with the firm’s insurance clients.

Before joining Waller Helms Advisors, Alex served as Senior Vice President of Business Development at HealthEngine, a high-growth, early-stage healthcare enterprise and consumer-focused company that offers a pricing transparency and provider marketplace platform to its clients. Previously, Alex spent over nine years in finance, most recently in the investment management division at Goldman Sachs. Alex also worked at UBS and Fox-Pitt Kelton.

He received his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Finance and Accounting, and received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Chicago. He served on the Leaders' Council of the Special Olympics of Illinois, was a tutor and mentor with Cabrini Connections, and taught a stock-investing and math class to inner-city eighth graders for the Big Shoulders Fund.

Phone: 312.763.9911
Email: alex.weiss@wallerhelms.com

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Tyler Pace, Director

Tyler advises clients in the insurance technology, insurance distribution, healthcare services and human capital management sectors.

Before joining Waller Helms Advisors, Tyler was a Director in Aon plc’s Corporate Finance practice. Previously, Tyler was a senior member of RW Baird’s Technology and Services team and an M&A generalist with Harris Williams & Co.

Notable insurance advisory roles include advising CVC Capital Partners on their investment in Fidelis, buyside advisory and fairness opinion for Argo Group (NASDAQ:AGII) on their acquisition of Ariel Re, Healthcare Professional Insurance Company on their renewal rights transaction with Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company, Fosun International on their sale of Ironshore to Liberty Mutual Holding Co. and Oscar Health in their reinsurance transaction with AXA.

Other relevant experience includes the sale of Tradesman International (specialized staffing) to Wellspring Capital Management, The Right Thing (recruitment process outsourcing) to Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP), Global Employment Solutions PEO to Madison Capital Partners, Archway Marketing Group (Tailwind Capital) to Investcorp and the divestiture of DCI Marketing Group (a division of IMI plc) to the Marmon Group (a Berkshire Hathaway Company).

Tyler earned an MBA in accounting and finance, with honors, from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and a BSBA in finance and economics from The University of Florida, where he was a Florida Academic Scholar and earned Beta Gamma Sigma honors.

Phone: 312.763.9916
Email: tyler.pace@wallerhelms.com

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Andrew Cochran, Vice President

Andrew executes and advises on mergers, acquisitions and capital raising transactions for Waller Helms Advisors’ insurance and healthcare services clients.

Prior to joining Waller Helms Advisors, Andrew was an Associate in the Financial Sponsors & Leveraged Finance Group at Macquarie Capital in New York. While at Macquarie, Andrew executed leveraged acquisitions and recapitalizations for financial sponsor clients across a variety of industries. Andrew began his investment banking career at Fox-Pitt Kelton, where he focused on the insurance sector.

Andrew’s recent transactions include New Mountain Capital’s acquisition of OneDigital Health and Benefits, Dealey, Renton & Associates’ sale to AssuredPartners, and Travelex Holdings’ sale of its Travelex Insurance Services business to Cover-More Group.

Andrew graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Lawrence University. He currently serves on the auxiliary board of MetroSquash, an afterschool program for underserved Chicago youth which uses the sport of squash combined with academic tutoring to prepare students for high school and college.

Phone: 312.763.9907
Email: andrew.cochran@wallerhelms.com

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Ethan Gundry, Associate

Ethan currently provides advisory services to Waller Helms Advisors’ insurance and healthcare clients, including buy-side and sell-side mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and valuation analysis.

Before joining Waller Helms Advisors, Ethan spent three years at Dowling Hales, an insurance-focused boutique investment bank. As an adviser to the insurance industry, he focused on a wide variety of retail and wholesale brokers, MGAs/MGUs, carriers and other insurance services companies. His experience includes buy-side and sell-side mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and valuation analysis.

He previously served at Riverside Partners, a lower middle-market private equity firm specializing in healthcare and technology. He graduated Indiana University with degrees in Economics and Mathematics, and also attended the London School of Economics where he studied Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development. Ethan is currently a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation candidate, with expected completion in 2016.

Phone: 312.763.9909
Email: ethan.gundry@wallerhelms.com

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Jonathan Grum, CFA, Associate

Jon supports project teams in Waller Helms Advisors’ insurance and healthcare services practices.

Prior to joining Waller Helms Advisors, Jon was a Senior Associate within RSM’s Valuation Services practice. As a consultant, Jon performed various valuation engagements for financial reporting and tax planning purposes.

Jon graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a minor in Hispanic Studies from Illinois Wesleyan University. Jon is a CFA®charterholder.

Phone: 312.763.9913
Email: jonathan.grum@wallerhelms.com

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Louis Trimble, CFA, Associate

Louis supports project teams as part of Waller Helms Advisors’ insurance and healthcare services practices.

Prior to joining Waller Helms Advisors, Louis was a Senior Associate at DSI, a Chicago-based financial consulting and advisory firm. At DSI, Louis supported debt restructuring, M&A advisory, and turnaround consulting engagements.

Louis graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University with a degree in Finance. Louis is a CFA®charterholder.

Phone: 312.763.9919
Email: louis.trimble@wallerhelms.com

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Jay Sojdehei, Analyst

Jay supports project teams in Waller Helms Advisors’ insurance and healthcare services practices.

Prior to joining Waller Helms Advisors, Jay completed an investment banking internship with Stifel Nicolaus. As a summer analyst, he conducted due diligence and performed financial analysis on real estate companies and financial institutions.

Jay graduated from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a minor in Psychology. He is also a member of Kelley’s Investment Banking Network.

Phone: 312.763.9915
Email: jay.sojdehei@wallerhelms.com

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Lingxu Li, Analyst

Li supports project teams in Waller Helms Advisors’ insurance and healthcare services practices, providing clients with buy-side and sell-side M&A and capital raising advisory services.

Before joining Waller Helms Advisors, Li spent three years as an analyst at Houlihan Capital, a Chicago-based boutique investment banking firm. While at Houlihan, Li supported the senior bankers in executing M&A and capital raising transactions in the lower middle market.

Li graduated from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, Accounting and Management. He currently holds FINRA Series 79 and 63 licenses.

Phone: 312.763.9920
Email: lingxu.li@wallerhelms.com

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Matt Botek, Analyst

Matt supports project teams in Waller Helms Advisors' insurance and healthcare services practices.

Prior to joining Waller Helms Advisors, Matt completed internships at KeyBank in Cleveland and the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom in London. As a summer analyst at KeyBank, he worked on various financial valuations, models, reports and forecasts in different areas of the corporate bank. While at Parliament the fall before, Matt worked under Claire Perry MP in drafting correspondence to constituents and other politicians as well as researching issues and debates for Claire.

Matt graduated from The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance as well as a major in Political Science.

Phone: 312.763.9922
Email: matthew.botek@wallerhelms.com

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Seth Feldstein, Analyst

Seth supports project teams in Waller Helms Advisors' insurance and healthcare services practices.

Prior to joining Waller Helms Advisors, Seth completed an investment banking internship with TripleTree. As a summer analyst, he performed valuation analysis and conducted research on companies in the healthcare sector with a focus on healthcare IT.

Seth graduated with Honors from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. He is a member of Kelley's Investment Banking Network.

Phone: 312.763.9921
Email: seth.feldstein@wallerhelms.com

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Mary Burns, Executive Assistant & Office Manager

Mary supports the WHA executive team and ensures the smooth operation of the firm.

Before joining Waller Helms Advisors, Mary worked at Macquarie Capital and LaSalle Bank as an Executive Assistant in their Capital Markets groups.

Mary was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and attended Moraine Valley Community College. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering at different local organizations.

Phone: 312.763.9912
Email: mary.burns@wallerhelms.com

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Danielle Stewart, Administrative Assistant & Office Coordinator

Danielle supports the Waller Helms Advisors team and facilitates overall office organization and productivity.

Before joining Waller Helms Advisors, Danielle worked at Midwest Operating Engineers Pension Fund, the benefits office for heavy equipment operators, and as an Educational Travel Specialist for WorldStrides, a school that helps thousands of students every year learn through travel.

Danielle attended Saint Xavier University and has called Chicago home since the age of 11 when her father retired from the military and they moved here to be closer to family. Danielle enjoys being a mom, sewing, and serving on the host and worship teams at City Church of Chicago.

Phone: 312.763.9918
Email: danielle.stewart@wallerhelms.com

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