Executive Management Team

Erik Allison, AIF®

Managing Partner

Luke K. Stanton

Managing Partner

Keith Spears

Managing Partner - Real Estate

Monica Edwards

Managing Partner - Real Estate

Darrick Cole

Director of Risk Management

Matthew Neely

Director of Business Development

Jeff Khoshaba

Senior Analyst

Lauren Cassle

Executive Assistant

Executive Management Bios

Erik Allison, AIF® - Managing Partner & Co-Founder

Mr. Allison is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Skytree Capital Partners.  With experience in providing investment management services, complex risk management solutions, and advice to family offices, high net worth individuals, and institutions, Mr. Allison was uniquely positioned to understand the investment dynamics surrounding alternative industries and in 2015, successfully launched Skytree Capital Partners, LP Fund I.  Mr. Allison overseas investment decisions, portfolio company analysis, Limited Partner relations and portfolio construction.  His experience, track-record and deep understanding of alternative industries enables the firm to execute on its initiatives effectively and provides investors with an intelligent and proven approach to allocating investment capital into innovative, compliant and high growth investment opportunities.

 

Mr. Allison served as an Investment Advisor Representative for Morgan Stanley and United Capital Financial Advisors, a national RIA firm based in Newport Beach, CA.  He later went on to form EA Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Nevada.  Mr. Allison has earned Series 63, 65, and 7 licenses as well as the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designation through the Center of Fiduciary Studies.  The AIF designation signified specialized knowledge of fiduciary responsibility and the ability to implement policies and procedures that meet a defined standard of care.  Mr. Allison is also the Co-Founder of Skyfront Insurance, a retail insurance brokerage that provides commercial P&C insurance, benefits, and life insurance  on a global scale.  Mr. Allison has made speaking appearances at numerous investment and insurance conferences across the country.  He is a former college golfer and maintains a handicap of +1.  

 

Luke Stanton - Managing Partner & Co-Founder

Mr. Stanton is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Skytree Capital Partners.  With experience in law, private equity, operations, and executive management in multiple industries spanning the last decade, Luke K. Stanton brings a variety of skills to Skytree’s management team. Mr. Stanton is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Frontera Law Group, a leading business law firm in California, and he utilizes his regulatory knowledge and industry skill set to evaluate all of Skytree’s investment opportunities. Mr. Stanton is also a member of the Board of Directors at Sunniva, Inc. (one of Skytree Capital Partners, LP Fund I cornerstone investments) and serves as Sunniva’s Executive Director of U.S. Operations, ensuring that the company continues to meet Skytree’s rigorous quality and compliance standards. Mr. Stanton’s ability to source, evaluate, and execute deals adds significant upside to Skytree’s operations, while his ability to flag problems before they occur and call upon legal and other industry resources needed by Skytree to protect the firm from downside scenarios provides great safety for the firm's invested capital.

 

Mr. Stanton received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame before attending Pepperdine University’s School of Law, as well as Pepperdine’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, the nation’s leading Dispute Resolution program, earning his Juris Doctorate and Master’s Degree in the same three years.  Mr. Stanton has been featured in Financial Times Magazine, the National News, mg Magazine, Industry Journal, MJINews, LEFAIR Magazine, and has made speaking appearances at numerous investment conferences, summits and events across the country.

 

Keith Spears - Managing Partner - Real Estate

Mr. Spears is a Managing Partner at Skytree Capital Partners and specializes in real estate transactions and social impact investing.  Mr. Spears focuses on sourcing, evaluating, structuring and monitoring real estate investments for the firm.  Over the last two years, Mr. Spears has evaluated over 200 alternative investment opportunities.  Mr. Spears is an expert in private and public market finance vehicles including public companies and Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REIT”), which can be used to finance alternative investments.  A committed social equity advocate, Mr. Spears is one of the Skytree management team members that is advising the City of Oakland on its $3 million social equity loan program.  Mr. Spears is an alternative asset professional with a particular expertise in impact investing, private equity, mergers and acquisitions and real estate.  Over a 30-year career, Mr. Spears has worked on over 150 transactions and investment that range from $1 million to well over $10 billion in size.  He has led the due diligence effort on over 50 fund and co-investment opportunities and has generated top quartile performance on behalf of his clients.  Mr. Spears has advised on over $47 billion in transactions, including approximately $30 billion in 80 private equity fund investments and co-investments and $17 billion in 75 M&A related financings.  As a dedicated impact investor, Mr. Spears is committed to deploying capital to achieve top quartile returns while providing significant positive economic and social impact.

 

Mr. Spears was a Vice President and co-managed Hamilton Lane’s Golden State Investment Fund (“GSIF”), a $550 million private equity separate account fund-of-fund/co-investment fund managed exclusively on behalf of CalPERS, the largest U.S. public pension.  With over $300 billion of private equity assets under advisement, Hamilton Lane is one of the largest private equity fund-of-fund advisory firms in the U.S.  Mr. Spears is also a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.  Mr. Spears received his JD from Yale (corporate law), MBA from Stanford Business School (corporate finance) and his BA from Brown University (economics and urban studies).

 

Monica Edwards - Managing Partner - Real Estate

Ms. Edwards is a Managing Partner at Skytree Capital Partners focusing on real estate assets.  She has over 25 years of experience in private equity, fund management and real estate finance.  As an entrepreneur and fund manager, Ms. Edwards has invested or managed over $600 million over the course of her career.  Over the past 5 years, Ms. Edwards has focused on alternative industries, gaining first-hand experience by working directly in the field, then evaluating close to $1 billion in transactions.  A committed social equity advocate, she is one of the Skytree management team members that is advising the City of Oakland on its $3 million social equity loan program.  Ms. Edwards has a passion for impact investment and she has made a personal and professional commitment to helping under-served markets gain access to capital.  She formed her own structured finance consultancy firm, which focused on utilizing federal incentives such as New Markets Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits and Opportunity Zones to fund real estate development projects.  Prior to that, Ms. Edwards spent five years as a private equity fund-of-funds manager for Citigroup, where she directly invested over $100 million in urban real estate private equity funds and managed a $335 million portfolio of community-targeted investments.  Before her work at Citigroup, Ms. Edwards completed a six-month assignment in Santa Cruz, Bolivia to develop valuation models for Enron’s privatized oil and gas pipeline system, Transredes.  Thereafter, she returned to the U.S. to focus on domestic economic development issues and was responsible for creating and investing a $40 million urban-focused private equity fund, for which Enron was the lead investor.  Ms. Edwards received her Master’s degree in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University with an emphasis in Finance.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Princeton University, and also completed University of Southern California’s certificate program in Real Estate Development.  Her current board commitments include Pacific Community Ventures, NewCorp Capital and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

 

Darrick Cole - Director of Risk Management & Co-Founder

Mr. Cole is the Director of Risk Management and Co-Founder of Skytree Capital Partners.  Mr. Cole specializes in handling risk management analysis for Skytree Capital Partners’ investment portfolio.  Mr. Cole is instrumental in identifying risk controls, gaps in coverage, and other potential liabilities for Skytree, potential investment targets, and existing portfolio companies.  When analyzing investment opportunities, Mr. Cole enhances our ability to understand what blind spots exist and makes the appropriate recommendations to ensure our investments and investors are properly protected.  His skills are especially important as risk management for private and public companies is quite different.  Mr. Cole helped write the insurance regulations for the City of Las Vegas’ medical program back in 2014 and worked with pro-active consultant teams to bring the industry to Nevada.  Mr. Cole has over 15 years of experience navigating non-admitted insurance markets and elevates Skytree’s position in the industry by successfully utilizing his knowledge of alternative risks and insurance.  Mr. Cole understands the challenges with current coverage options available in the marketplace, the enhancements needed to provide comprehensive coverage, and is well respected in the community.  Mr. Cole is the President and Co-Founder of Skyfront Insurance, a boutique agency insurance tough to place risks globally. Additionally, he has placed Directors & Officers professional liability globally for private and public entities in emerging industries.

 

Matt Neely - Director of Business Development & Co-Founder

Mr. Neely is the Director of Business Development and Co-Founder of Skytree Capital Partners.  Mr. Neely overseas research and business development and assists the firm identify new investment opportunities, strategic partners, and models out portfolio company collaboration.  Mr. Neely excels at seeing what other don’t and effectively assists our portfolio companies with market initiatives, acquisition candidates, and brand awareness.  He helps portfolio companies innovate in new ways that are accretive to top line revenue growth while figuring out new avenues to reduce expenses.  Mr. Neely acts as a liaison for Skytree and our collective ecosystem and assists in structuring marketing campaigns for companies as well as consumer messaging.  Mr. Neely is a serial entrepreneur and has built and sold several insurance agencies since 2003.  He has obtained property, casualty, life and health insurance licenses and attended college at the University of Nevada.  Additionally, Mr. Neely also helped write the insurance regulations for the City of Las Vegas’ medical program.  Mr. Neely is the Co-Founder of Skyfront Insurance and develops relationships with other industry professionals to collaborate on new ideas, concepts, and business opportunities.  Matt was born and raised in Las Vegas and is deeply entrenched in alternative industries.

 

Jeff Khoshaba - Senior Analyst

Mr. Khoshaba is a Senior Analyst at Skytree Capital Partners and has a diverse background as an entrepreneur and author focused on the rapidly emerging alternative industries. Mr. Khoshaba entered the health and wellness industry in 2009 in Colorado, where he owned and operated Tree of Life Alternative Medicine, LLC, a retailer of premium health and wellness products.  Realizing a keen financial acumen is essential to long term success, he attended Western Michigan University where he studied finance and economics. Upon graduating summa cum laude, he worked as an investment analyst at a hedge fund on the east coast.  Mr. Khoshaba noticed that the financial community lacked proper understanding of alternative industries and found himself in a position to provide thoughtful analysis that only someone with first-hand experience could.  Mr. Khoshaba is a widely-read financial author for Seeking Alpha, Capitalist, and The Deep Dive, and now leverages his extensive experience in the alternative and financial sectors to help Skytree analyze investment opportunities.