About serengeti

Founded in 2007 by Jody LaNasa, Serengeti is an opportunistic value-driven investment firm focused on providing flexible capital solutions for innovative private companies and their shareholders. We invest in and build financing platforms for assets that are ignored or underserved by other more traditional capital sources. Our capital solutions seek to address complex situations through structure and creativity.

Serengeti identifies opportunities where the assets are difficult to source and underwrite, the capital solution demands non-traditional terms, or the size of each individual potential investment limits focus from the larger credit players. By developing tailored solutions, Serengeti builds differentiated financing platforms.

As an extension of the financing platforms, we evaluate and identify direct investments across the capital structure with compelling risk-adjusted returns, with a focus on special situations.

The firm manages capital for institutional investors including pensions, endowments, and large family offices.

Enthusiasm for complexity and passion for excellence drive what we do.

Our Team

Experience

Founder and Managing Partner of Serengeti Asset Management, a value-driven opportunistic investment firm that provides sophisticated solutions to innovative private companies and their shareholders.

Prior to launching Serengeti in 2007, Mr. LaNasa was a partner at Goldman Sachs. He headed the Multi-Strategy Investing Business ("MSI") in the Goldman Sachs Special Situations Group from 2002 – 2006. MSI was a multi-billion dollar proprietary investment business focused on similar opportunities.

Education & Interests

Mr. LaNasa graduated from Harvard Law School (J.D. magna cum laude) and Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service (B.S.F.S. summa cum laude).

He was an attorney at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and clerked for Judge Adrian G. Duplantier of the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).

He serves on the Harvard Law School Dean's Advisory Board and on the Advisory Board for Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and previously served on Georgetown University's Board of Regents.

Experience

Robert Sumberac is the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Managing Director at Serengeti Asset Management.

Prior to joining Serengeti in 2011, Mr. Sumberac was Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director at D.B. Zwirn & Co, a global multi-strategy alternative investment firm. He joined D.B. Zwirn just prior to the in-house discovery of reporting and accounting issues and was instrumental in the forensic review and correction of these issues and the restructuring of the firm’s procedures, processes and back office organization. Prior to that, he was Treasurer and Corporate Controller at Cantor Fitzgerald. Previously, Mr. Sumberac was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in the Firmwide Funding group where he focused on accounting and treasury issues.

Education & Interests

Mr. Sumberac received his B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame.

Experience

AJ Martinez is the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Serengeti Asset Management.

Prior to joining Serengeti in 2018, A.J. was an attorney in the litigation department at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where his practice focused on the litigation and negotiated resolution of disputes relating to distressed debt, corporate governance, and the financial services industry.

A.J. began his career as an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP and clerked for Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Education & Interests

A.J. graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law. He also holds an M.Phil. in History from Cambridge University and an A.B. in History from Princeton University.

Experience

Ray Yousefian is a Managing Director at Serengeti Asset Management.

Prior to joining Serengeti in 2022, Ray held senior roles at Morgan Stanley and Citigroup in both Equity Capital Markets and Investment Banking, where he advised leading technology companies on the most important corporate actions and decisions.

While at Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, Ray oversaw more than $20 billion in IPO & Follow-On issuances for companies like Datadog, Chewy MongoDB, Shopify, Bandwidth, SproutSocial, and Endava. Ray also covered more than $5 billion in Convertible, PIPE, and Private financings for companies like Repay, Cvent, CCC Intelligent Solutions, and advised multiple M&A and SPAC Mergers.

Mr. Yousefian started his career at 3iCapital Group, a multi-strategy family office investment firm where he was responsible for managing the South-East Asian growth strategy.

Education & Interests

Mr. Yousefian received his M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, his M.Sc. From the London School of Economics and Political Science and his B.A. from The University of Chicago.

Experience

Aria Vossoughi is a Managing Director at Serengeti Asset Management.

Prior to joining Serengeti Asset Management in 2021, he was a co-founding Partner and the Director of Research at Ziba Capital Management, a special situations fund, where he led Ziba's private market investments across the capital structure in sports, media, and technology.

Before Ziba, he was the co-founder of a technology startup catering to sporting events and venues, in addition to assuming other C-level positions in finance, operations, and strategy for distressed and late-stage companies in the media, business services, and technology sectors.

Aria began his career as an analyst at long/short equities hedge fund, Silver Arrow Investment Management. He then joined Elliott Management Corp., a $45 billion multi-strategy fund where he worked across the capital structure on special situations in the public and private markets.

Education & Interests

Mr. Vossoughi holds a BA degree in Economics from New York University.

Experience

Jim Johnston is a Managing Director and Head of Investor Relations and Marketing at Serengeti Asset Management.

Jim began his career at Serengeti in 2013 on the Operations team building his knowledge base across equity, credit, derivatives and structured products. Following his time in that role, Jim transitioned into a trading assistant executing orders in both the equity and credit markets. Jim’s collective experience helped shaped his understanding of the firm and transitioned to his current role in 2018, which coincided with the launch of the firm’s private credit strategy. In his role, Jim drives the firm’s comprehensive Investor Relations and Marketing strategy.

Education & Interests

Jim received his BA degree from Villanova University where he played varsity golf at NCAA Division 1 level.