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Steven E. Knoop | Managing principal

Mr. Knoop has significant operational management experience as well as working over 35 years in corporate finance.  He successfully served as Interim Chief Executive Officer of Turtle Wax, Inc. and as interim COO/CFO GlobalCare Clinical Trails.  At Turtle Wax, Mr. Knoop reorganized Turtle Wax both domestically and internationally where he addressed complex issues and realized important improvements in almost every area of operations including; marketing, sales, distribution, finance, legal and human resources to improve shareholder value. In this assignment, Mr. Knoop was featured on FOX Business News  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exOstZsPDzA

 Mr. Knoop continues to serve as Managing Principal of First Chicago Advisors, Inc. where he leads a team of highly accomplished specialists in management strategy, restructuring and mergers and acquisitions. Previously, he was Co-Group Leader and Managing Director of the U.S. Mergers and Acquisitions group at BMO Nesbitt Burns (BMO Capital Markets) where he led his clients through numerous successful engagements; many of which involved complex financial and legal structures. He has been involved in numerous public and private transactions including a number of unsolicited bid and defense engagements.  Mr. Knoop has also acted as a principal in several transactions.

Prior to working at BMO Capital Markets, Mr. Knoop was Co-Group Head of Business Advisory Services for Merrill Lynch in Chicago providing strategy for companies concerning shareholder value issues. Mr. Knoop started his career at Chemical Bank (the acquirer of JP Morgan/Chase) in New York and after securing an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, worked in corporate finance and M&A areas at Smith Barney and Kidder Peabody both in New York.

Mr. Knoop served 6 years as a publically elected Trustee of Barrington Hills, a member of the Kellogg School of Management Advisory Board and a Trustee of Sigma Chi – MU Chapter Foundation (Denison University).  Mr. Knoop started the nationally recognized Chicago Senior Hockey League, coached youth football for 9 years and is a winner of numerous national regatta’s as a competitive sailor http://www.sailingworld.com/photos/video-chicago-nood-overall-winner-2014 . He and his wife Jackie, have 4 children including identical twins and are involved with Scouting, U.S. Pony Club, serving at St. Michael’s Church and athletics.


James D. Treco | Managing Partner

Mr. Treco is an investment banker with more than thirty-five years of experience, principally with Salomon Brothers and its successor, Citigroup. Based in both the United States and the United Kingdom, he has worked on a variety of projects for clients around the globe, including in the Americas (North, South and Central), in Europe (Western and Eastern as well as Russia), in Africa (principally South Africa), in greater Asia (China and India), and in Australia. 

From 2009 to present Mr. Treco has worked in various capacities as a member of the First Chicago Advisors. He worked to raise capital for a nanotechnology company, worked to sell the Asian rights of New Hampshire water purification company to a publicly held water infrastructure company in China, worked on acquiring an incontinence business, and approached prospective acquisition targets for a large public packaging company based in the EU. He has served on the board of several emerging companies.

From 1996 to 2008, Mr. Treco was based in London. He co-founded the Salomon Brothers Industrial Group in Europe,   which generated peak revenues of $242MM. Mr. Treco built relationships with industrial clients and advised them on strategy, capital raising, and mergers and acquisitions. 

From 1984 to 1996, Mr. Treco was based in New York City, where he gained exposure in a variety of groups at Salomon Brothers as his career developed. He worked in the Large Capitalization Group with Fortune 500 companies, in the Technology and Health Care Group with emerging companies, and in the Industrial Group with a variety of mid- and large-capitalization industrial companies ranging in size from $10mm in EBITDA to $1bn in EBITDA. He assisted clients with the full range of investment banking products and also completed a successful restructuring of a Fortune 500 company.

Mr. Treco received a BA from Yale University in 1977 and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in 1984.