Chief Executive Officer
Lorenzo Esparza is the Chief Executive Officer and Founding Principal of Manhattan West Asset Management, where he is responsible for ensuring strict adherence to the firm’s investment philosophy, dedicated service model and overall strategic vision. With an investor-centric mindset, Mr. Esparza is focused on delivering a vertically integrated best-of-breed organization for clients, partners, and shareholders.
Mr. Esparza launched Manhattan West in 2016 as an independent emerging, investment management firm. Mr. Esparza is a powerful business driver whose entrepreneurial instincts and clarity of vision led to the creation of multiple business strategies and new investment ideas.
Embracing the core values of integrity, respect and honesty, Mr. Esparza’s efforts seek to position the firm as a leader in the investment industry serving ultra-high net worth clients, family offices, banks, insurance companies, public and private pension funds in the United States and abroad.
Mr. Esparza began his career in financial services at AllianceBernstein before joining J.P. Morgan Securities. Active in his community, Mr. Esparza is the former chairman of the board of Los Angeles’ Cancer Support Community—Benjamin Center, and volunteers at the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, California.
Mr. Esparza received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Angie Quintero-Spielman is an Executive Director at Manhattan West Asset Management, where she provides tailored wealth management services to a select group of high-net-worth private clients, corporations and non-profit institutions. Ms. Quintero-Spielman works with clients and their outside advisors to manage assets and liabilities in order to provide comprehensive solutions to drive bottom line growth. She brings an extensive understanding of the financial services business to bear for clients, constantly striving for excellence in advice and counsel.
By leveraging the firm’s robust platform, Ms. Quintero-Spielman delivers focus-driven ideas for middle-market business owners and non-profit boards. Her client base benefits from her deep experience across the financial service landscape, from the fixed income trading floors in New York to the top of the middle market banking industry in Southern California. Ms. Quintero-Spielman brings a tailored, disciplined, and data-driven approach to identifying and helping clients make sound personal and business-related decisions for their long-term wealth creation.
Ms. Quintero-Spielman began her career in New York at Bloomberg before joining J.P. Morgan Asset Management, supporting their Chief US Economist in their Fixed Income group. Prior to joining Manhattan West, she worked in the Commercial Banking and Business Banking divisions at Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase, where she was recognized as one of the top professionals in her space. She ranked within the top ten producers in her region at J.P. Morgan Chase in 2012 and 2013 and ranked #1 in credit production nationally in 2014.
Having sourced, originated and funded millions of dollars in business lending for clients at Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, Ms. Quintero-Spielman also serves on the Loan Committee of the Manhattan West Community Investment Fund I, LP where her credit background and keen eye for risk management makes her an impactful contributor.
Ms. Quintero-Spielman earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from New York University. She grew up in Panama and enjoys international travel and spending time with her husband and two boys.
Donnell Beverly is an Executive Director at Manhattan West where he specializes in serving clients from the sports and entertainment industry. Mr. Beverly brings to bear three key areas of financial services: (1) business management engagement, (2) real estate planning and (3) investing liquid assets.
By leveraging Manhattan West’s distinct resources, Mr. Beverly delivers focus-driven strategies for a number of respected athletes and entertainers. Notably, Mr. Beverly is an accomplished athlete in his own right. While serving as Captain of the University of Connecticut Men’s Basketball Team, he led the Huskies to the NCAA National Tournament Championship in 2011.
Following his graduation from university, Mr. Beverly marketed Nike’s “Jumpman” brand and contributed to a number of other successful marketing campaigns. Thereafter, Mr. Beverly pursued his interests in financial services and real estate, working alongside a development team whose investment portfolio included office, industrial and multi-family properties across the western United States. Mr. Beverly then curated the business management efforts of a prominent NBA professional and consummated engagements in philanthropy, marketing, real estate and general investments on his client’s behalf.
A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Mr. Beverly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree. A Southern California native, Mr. Beverly is active in his community. He mentors children and volunteers at the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation whose mission is to inspire and empower underprivileged children.
Trevor Charlston is an Executive Director at Manhattan West Asset Management where he provides custom-tailored wealth management solutions to high-net-worth clients. Mr. Charlston combines almost a decade of finance experience with Manhattan West’s unique platform to unlock value for his clients and deliver meaningful results. With a focused understanding of the capital markets, he brings a dynamic and tactical approach to the practice of comprehensive financial management.
Prior to joining Manhattan West, Mr. Charlston began his career at the Royal Bank of Scotland located in Stamford, Connecticut. He was one of the youngest fixed income traders in the bank’s history, helping manage a trading book of short-term U.S. interest rate products with a balance sheet value of approximately $2 billion at its peak. Mr. Charlston later transitioned into the sales side of the business by joining the Structured Products desk, focusing on Asset-Backed Securities, Mortgage-Backed Securities and Collateralized Loan Obligations. Mr. Charlston was subsequently hired by Nomura Securities International, Inc., and helped build a Structured Products sales operation in Southern California. During this time, Mr. Charlston was able to develop strong relationships with traders and portfolio managers at several of the world’s largest money managers.
Mr. Charlston graduated cum laude from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (“UPenn”) with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Concentration in Finance. In addition, Mr. Charlston helped his team win back-to-back, undefeated, Ivy League Football Championships as a place kicker on UPenn’s football team.
As a Southern California native, Mr. Charlston loves the outdoors and often spends his weekends by the beach or on the golf course. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Nicole, and their Goldendoodle, Norman.
Bret Lockett is an Executive Director at Manhattan West Asset Management where he provides investment management and business planning services to clients. Mr. Lockett has a broad base of experience in real estate, insurance, capital markets, and business consulting.
Mr. Lockett began his professional career playing for the New England Patriots, and later, the New York Jets in the National Football League (“NFL”). Following a successful NFL career, he worked in the real estate industry where he and his team transacted over $150 million in property deals across the United States. Simultaneous to his real estate endeavors, Mr. Lockett capitalized on his entrepreneurial instincts by investing and managing a private aviation company.
With a desire to expand his financial acumen, Mr. Lockett joined New York Life Insurance Company where he focused on business and estate planning, retirement planning, and tax minimization. Applying a dedicated approach to simplifying complex investment strategies, Mr. Lockett helped his clients make prudent financial decisions, which fueled his positive reputation in the industry.
Mr. Lockett attended the University of California at Los Angeles (“UCLA”) where he studied Political Science and played on the Bruin’s football team as a Defensive Back. Known for his tremendous hard work and dedication, Mr. Lockett had an illustrious career at UCLA that gained him the attention of the NFL.
Passionate for humanitarian and philanthropic causes, Mr. Lockett served on a number of philanthropic advisory boards, including a New York based nonprofit, Chabad's Children of Chernobyl, founded in response to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. In addition, Mr. Lockett founded his own non-profit organization, “The Looking Forward Foundation,” where he offered educational summer programs and football camps for children. An avid athlete and a voracious reader, Mr. Lockett continues with an elite level fitness regime, in addition to, spending time with his family.
Senior Operations Manager
Kate Kurz, the Senior Operations Manager at Manhattan West Asset Management, has over 16 years of experience in the financial services industry. She is responsible for overseeing client support operations for high-net-worth private clients and institutions. She manages all aspects of client deliverables in order to surpass the needs and expectations of all clients.
Among her duties, Ms. Kurz serves as the firm’s Senior Operations Manager, in charge of overseeing and managing the firm’s day-to-day business operations. Her objective is to ensure that Manhattan West operates efficiently so the firm’s employees operate in accordance with both internal and external standards.
Ms. Kurz displays a high level of professionalism and is supremely focused on making sure clients are treated with the highest degree of support. Prior to Manhattan West, she worked at several global financial services firms, including Lehman Brothers, Bank of America Private Bank, Deutsche Bank Securities, and J.P. Morgan Securities.
A graduate of Boston College, Ms. Kurz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.
Senior Administrative Manager
Stephanie Ruiz Steele is a Senior Administrative Manager at Manhattan West, where she is tasked with overseeing the firm’s business management operations. She brings over 20 years of business experience in various industries and has serviced both high-profile individuals and Fortune 500 companies.
Prior to joining Manhattan West, Ms. Steele held managerial positions with FTI Consulting in Los Angeles, a publicly traded global consulting firm, and The Salter Group, a boutique valuation and consulting firm that was consistently ranked as one of the top firms in its industry by Thompson Reuters. She has also held senior sales positions at various companies including News America Marketing, a division of News Corporation.
Ms. Steele earned a Bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Director of Alternative Investments
Sofia Azizi is the Director of Alternative Investments at Manhattan West Asset Management. Ms. Azizi focuses on the implementation of alternative investment strategies including the series of Manhattan West Real Estate Special Purpose Vehicles. Ms. Azizi’s efforts include capital raising, administration, investment analytics and performance reporting. Understanding sector allocations and specific asset class suitability, Ms. Azizi is acutely focused on value added solutions for portfolio construction.
Ms. Azizi leverages the firm’s resources by working closely with investment teams in order provide favorable outcomes for clients. Ms. Azizi works with management in conjunction with efforts to correspond with prospective and existing clients. In addition, Ms. Azizi is responsible for helping to manage and oversee branding strategies and research distribution efforts to best position the firm in the industry.
Prior to joining Manhattan West, Ms. Azizi worked at J.P. Morgan Securities, where she began as an intern and then joined the firm full-time immediately following graduation. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Ms. Azizi enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with her twin nieces.
Senior Client Associate
Kelley Stanske is a Senior Client Associate at Manhattan West, where she is responsible for facilitating the client service and operational functions for high-net-worth private clients and institutions. In her role, she onboards clients, facilitates money movements, creates presentations, and executes trades. She works closely with the Manhattan West management team and client base to provide dedicated investment, banking, and lending support.
Maintaining client relationships and performing due diligence, Ms. Stanske is an integral part of Manhattan West. She displays a high level of professionalism in ensuring clients receive concierge-level service. Ms. Stanske’s relationship management skills, attention to detail, and ability to multi-task are vital to keeping clients satisfied and the team organized.
Prior to Manhattan West, Ms. Stanske worked at J.P. Morgan Securities. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Mathematics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
DaNeisha Nichols is a Client Associate at Manhattan West where she is integrally involved in all aspects of the firm's business by providing administrative and operational support to Financial Advisors, Business Managers, Investment Professionals, members of the Venture Capital Group, and the Real Estate Team.
Prior to joining Manhattan West, Mrs. Nichols worked in the retail/sales management industry for over 10 years. She was responsible for managing various stores' sales, budgets, and profit & loss results to ensure maximum growth. In addition, she provided payroll management, inventory control, operational audits and training services to ensure compliance with applicable policies and procedures.
A graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, Mrs. Nichols earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and daughter.
Elizabeth Wells is a Client Associate at Manhattan West, where she is integrally involved in all aspects of the company’s business by providing administrative and operational support to Financial Advisors, the Business Management team, and the Real Estate team.
Prior to joining Manhattan West, Ms. Wells worked as an Assistant Account Manager serving clientele in the entertainment and music industry. She was responsible for assisting Business Managers with accounting and financial reconciliations, royalty statement tracking, office management, as well as, liaising between the Account Managers and clients.
In her free time, Ms. Wells records and composes music at her studio in Downtown, Los Angeles. Ms. Wells studied Audio Engineering at the 4TH Street Recording Studio in Santa Monica, CA. After obtaining her certificate in Audio Engineering, she used her unique skill set to better serve her clients in the entertainment and music industry.
Chief Compliance Officer
Albert Anthony Villaneda is the Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel of Manhattan West Asset Management where he is the liaison for all matters pertaining to compliance. Additionally, Mr. Villaneda serves as the legal advisor to the Company, and its affiliated entities, for all legal matters.
Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Villaneda worked at several investment managers and law firms. Mr. Villaneda began his career at State Street Bank & Trust providing back and middle office support to Pacific Investment Management Company (“PIMCO”). Thereafter, he joined the investment team of Metropolitan West Asset Management (“MetWest”) where he was responsible for overseeing the data integrity of the firm’s proprietary security management system. When MetWest was acquired by Trust Company of the West (“TCW”), Mr. Villaneda was selected to be the Team Lead of the Data Management Team, and later, he served as the firm’s Performance Analyst.
Mr. Villaneda’s legal career began at Girardi | Keese where he helped prosecute many high-profile lawsuits. Later, he joined Hamrick & Evans LLP defending entities in catastrophic injury, real estate, and business disputes involving damages upwards of multi-million dollars. Notably, in 2015, Mr. Villaneda briefed and argued a federal appeal before the Unites States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before a veteran panel of judges. In that same year, he served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Steven J. Kleifield, sitting in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Mr. Villaneda received a Bachelor of Science degree from Chapman University and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is admitted to practice in California state courts and the Central District of California.
OC Isaac is a Managing Director with Manhattan West Asset Management where he oversees capital raising efforts and debt investments in the Manhattan West Community Investment Fund I. Based in New York, Mr. Isaac covers the east coast of the United States for Manhattan West where he works directly with global banking and insurance institutions and their direct investments in the Fund.
Previously, Mr. Isaac held executive level positions as Vice President of National Strategic Initiatives & Head of Lending East at the VEDC (Valley Economic Development Center) and as Vice President of Economic Development & Strategic Projects at the NYBDC (New York Business Development Corporation). While serving the VEDC, Mr. Isaac originated and executed a multi-million dollar National African American Loan Fund in partnership with Chase Bank. During his tenure at NYBDC, Mr. Isaac raised capital for three separate multi-million dollar Funds targeting underserved communities in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
Prior to NYBDC, Mr. Isaac was appointed by then President, Barack Obama, to the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) where he served honorably as a Special Advisor in the Office of Capital Access. While at the SBA, Mr. Isaac redesigned and launched the SBA Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage Loan Programs. Additionally, Mr. Isaac oversaw strategy and outreach focused on increasing the SBA’s provision of capital to underserved markets.
Mr. Isaac began his career in financial services in the Investment Banking Divisions of Lehman Brothers and Bank of America Merrill Lynch upon graduation.
Mr. Isaac earned his Bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College, where he played varsity soccer and received a merit-based, full-tuition scholarship.
Senior Administrative Officer
Angela Stanislawski is an Executive Director and Senior Administrative Officer with Manhattan West Asset Management. Ms. Stanislawski leverages her 20 years of experience in the credit and lending industry and manages the day-to-day operations of the firm’s investments in the Manhattan West Community Investment Fund I.
Prior to joining Manhattan West, Ms. Stanislawski held various executive level positions at the VEDC (Valley Economic Development Center), the largest small business development organization in Los Angeles, where she served as Vice President of Programs & Administration as well as Vice President of Operations. She supervised loan administration, collections, logistics and business services for the VEDC’s headquarter, affiliate and satellite locations.
Ms. Stanislawski worked closely with the VEDC’s President to negotiate loan agreements for programs, developed strategic alliances and provided general administrative oversight.
Ms. Stanislawski currently serves on the Supervisory Committee of the PDFCU (Pacoima Development Federal Credit Union).
Ms. Stanislawski earned a Bachelor’s degree from the California State University, Northridge.
Nilima Kapoor is a Director and Senior Underwriter at Manhattan West Asset Management where she oversees the debt instruments of the Manhattan West Community Investment Fund I. With her small business lending background, Ms. Kapoor applies a logic driven common sense approach to underwriting criteria.
Ms. Kapoor analyzes loans as potential investment candidates across various industries, develops financial forecasts, negotiates terms and structures potential financing arrangements.
Prior to joining Manhattan West, Ms. Kapoor worked at the VEDC (Valley Economic Development Center), the largest small business development organization in Los Angeles. Over her extensive tenure at VEDC, Ms. Kapoor served the institution as Senior Credit Officer, Collections Manager and the Director of Special Assets & Risk Management. Ms. Kapoor also held management positions with the SBA Microloan Program and the San Fernando Valley Financial Development Corporation.
An active voice among banking and credit institutions, Ms. Kapoor serves on the Supervisory Committee of the Pacoima Development Federal Credit Union.
Ms. Kapoor graduated from Loma Linda University (now La Sierra University) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Ms. Kapoor earned a Master of Business Administration from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and studied abroad at the Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany and the University of Melbourne in Australia.
Justin McCurdy is an Executive Director at Manhattan West Asset Management, where he provides tailored wealth management services to clients in the sports and entertainment industry. Mr. McCurdy takes pride in educating his clients so they can make informed financial decisions. He encourages those he works with to be inquisitive and curious in order to create a more transparent relationship.
By leveraging the firm’s resources, Mr. McCurdy delivers focus-driven ideas for a number of respected athletes and entertainers. His client base benefits from his experience in the sports industry having spent a number of years involved in all aspects of player management. Mr. McCurdy brings a tailored, disciplined, and data-driven approach to wealth management.
Prior to joining Manhattan West, Mr. McCurdy began his career in financial services at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management before joining Advice Period. In addition to his financial service practice, Mr. McCurdy founded Pro Skills, a preeminent club basketball program based in Southern California.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, Mr. McCurdy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Accounting/Finance. Active in his community, Mr. McCurdy continues to mentor young athletes through his basketball organization. He currently lives in Playa Del Rey, enjoys playing basketball and has a strong appreciation for international travel.
Director of Real Estate
Chris James is the Director of Real Estate at Manhattan West where he is responsible for the development and implementation of all real estate strategies across a variety of asset classes including, but not limited to, residential, office, industrial, retail and multi-family. With a focus on repositioning undervalued or non-performing assets, Mr. James manages the process from research, acquisition, and the disposition stages.
Mr. James began his real estate career at CRESA, a global commercial brokerage firm where he represented tenants in lease and sale transactions. After CRESA, he joined a national Real Estate Investment Trust (“REIT”) firm, Dream Unlimited REIT, where he oversaw a large portion of the firm’s investment assets. Most recently, Mr. James worked at Onni Group, a privately held real estate development company, where he managed the re-positioning of over $1 billion in office and multi-family investments.
With considerable transactional experience, Mr. James uses a research driven approach to leverage assets to maximize investment results. Deeply passionate and enthusiastic about real estate, Mr. James brings a meaningful set of skills to Manhattan West designed to create an information advantage for clients, partners and shareholders.
In his free time, Mr. James is active at his Church and community. He coaches youth sports and volunteers at Operation Underground Railroad, a non-profit organization, which assists governments around the world in the rescue of human trafficking and sex trafficking victims with a special focus on children. When not with his wife and two children, Mr. James is an avid athlete and outdoorsman who enjoys running, playing basketball, surfing, hiking and other competitive sports.
Mr. James earned a Marketing degree from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Alberta, Canada, and a MBA from Edinburgh Business School at the Heriot Watt University in Scotland.
Director of Business Management
Lauren Adovasio is the Director of Business Management at Manhattan West where she oversees the Business Management division of the firm. Their main objective is to deliver bespoke planning solutions to the firm’s clients. With almost two decades in financial analysis and accounting, Ms. Adovasio brings a strong business acumen to bear.
Assessing each client individually, Ms. Adovasio creates a customized and sustainable plan designed to assist her client’s day-to-day financial life. Mindful of her client’s short-term goals and objectives, Ms. Adovasio contemplates a long-term strategy always. Bookkeeping, tax preparation, financial analysis and budget development are just some of the services she provides.
Before joining Manhattan West, Ms. Adovasio was a professional Business Manager serving clientele hailing from the entertainment industry. She was responsible for office management, resolving foreign and US tax issues, satisfying visa requirements, as well as, performing accounting and financial reconciliations. Ms. Adovasio utilizes her actuarial analysis and production accounting background to help minimize liability to her clients.
A graduate of Florida State University, Ms. Adovasio earned a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science and Statistics.
Director of Venture Capital
Chris Fortunato is the Director of Venture Capital at Manhattan West. In this capacity, he oversees the firm’s Venture Capital Department and is responsible for identifying suitable venture capital investment opportunities, developing investment strategies, and managing the investment portfolio.
Prior to joining Manhattan West, Mr. Fortunato worked at KEC Holdings (“KEC”), based in New York City, where he managed the firm's alternative investment portfolio, as well as, several of its operating businesses. He also helped KEC establish and incubate “Vertose,” a developer of innovative financial products. Additionally, Mr. Fortunato helped to establish KEC’s venture capital fund, “KEC Ventures,” which managed more than $100 million in capital commitments from investors. During his tenure with KEC Ventures, he oversaw the investment of more than 50 companies. Involved in all phases of the investment process, Mr. Fortunato sat on the Board of several portfolio companies to provide strategic and financial oversight. Mr. Fortunato’s experience helped him develop a keen understanding of what it takes to build a high-growth technology business.
Mr. Fortunato graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. A member of Penn’s football team, Mr. Fortunato helped the team achieve back-to-back wins during the Ivy League Football Championships.
Civic minded, Mr. Fortunato is a member of Breakout – a national group of entrepreneurs aiming to change communities for the better. Also, he has a passion for education and helped create “HuMATHities” – a mathematics textbook designed to help students prepare for standardized examinations. As a new Southern California resident, Mr. Fortunato enjoys living on the West Coast along with his wife, Caitlin.