Partner, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Investment Committee
Ike Kier is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of KG Funds Management. In addition, Ike serves as the Chairman of the investment committee for the KG Investments Fund.
Ike, a successful businessman in many ventures throughout his career, moved to the US in 1961 from his native Cuba.
Ike has significant experience in investing in equities, alternatives, private equity and in publicly traded private funds. Over a 15 year period, Ike has developed a deep knowledge and understanding of hedge funds, private equity funds, REITS, SPACs, BDCs and other fund structures that provide him with a significant edge in event driven and special situations investing today.
Ike's business experience includes serving on numerous boards, building two businesses, both of which became industry leaders and subsequently were taken public through IPOs: Lida Corporation (formerly NASDAQ: LIDA) and eDiets (formerly NASDAQ: EDIET).
Ike took over as the CEO and majority owner of Lida Corporation, originally his father’s business, after law school and grew the Company from being a regional fabric supplier in North Carolina to the largest producer of cotton/lycra/spandex, owning 55% of the world’s market share and employing over 700 people worldwide by the time Lehman took them public in 1992. Ike sold the business to the New York based LBO firm, Harvest Partners, in the mid-1990s.
eDiets was founded in Florida to help people tailor nutrition plans on the internet. Ike discovered the business when looking for good investment opportunities after exiting Lida, was the lead investor and eventually the Company’s Chairman. In less than two years, the business grew to become one of the world’s largest internet diet licensing companies. Ike took the company public through a reverse merger and eventually sold his position and stepped down as Chairman.
In the 1980s, Ike participated in the cellular spectrum provider lotteries run by the US Government. After a considerable amount of research in the space, Ike applied for each of the total of 400 markets offered and won the I-85 corridor between Montgomery, AL and Atlanta, GA. He held the rights for nearly 2 years, untouched, and then negotiated a sale of his spectrum rights to the surrounding professional providers who were already dipping into his bandwidth. The sale of his rights brought him earnings of more than 150-times his capital, well over ten-times his expected return.
Ike earned a J.D. from George Washington University and a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University.
Ike and his wife, Ellen, currently reside in New York City and enjoy art, reading, cycling, skiing, traveling and spending time with their two daughters, Jordana and Laura.
Ilya Zaides, Esq.
Partner, Co-Founder, Chief Investment Officer & Portfolio Manager
Ilya Zaides is the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of KG Funds Management. In addition, Ilya is the Portfolio Manager and serves on the investment committee of the KG Investments Fund.
Ilya spent 6 years as a practicing attorney working on corporate transactions and financial products, most recently for King & Spalding and starting his career at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. Ilya then spent three years as an asset allocator at Ivy Asset Management and then Auda Asset Management before co-founding KG Funds Management with Ike in 2008. Ilya earned a J.D. from New York University and he earned his B.A in Economics from the University of California, Berkley.
Partner, Director of Research
Ron Mandel is the Director of Research at KG Funds Management. In addition, Ron is a member of the investment committee for the KG Investments Fund. Prior to joining KG in 2010, Ron worked in the Investment Banking division of Credit Suisse in New York and Los Angeles, where he was involved in a number of merger, acquisition, and financing transactions.
Ron holds an Honors Business Administration degree (with Distinction) from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.
Jonathan Jenson is an analyst at KG Funds Management and is a junior member of the investment team. Prior to joining KG, Jonathan was an investment banking analyst at Evercore where he worked on various restructuring and recapitalization transactions.
Jonathan holds a Master of Finance from MIT and graduated 1st in his class with a B.S. in Finance from the University of Connecticut.
Jin Bai is an associate at KG Funds Management. She is actively involved in many projects at KG, working closely with the CFO and CIO in handling day-to-day activities.
Jin graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Business & Technology and a M.S. in Technology Management.