Article courtesy of Wendy Harlan (Unum)
Among other new members who have joined during the first half of 2023, the ACIC is thrilled to welcome:
- Marla Berger (Kuvare Insurance Services)
- Jake Gawlak (Akin Gump)
- John Hreno (Morgan Lewis)
- Ben Leese (ArentFox Schiff)
- Rob Lewton (The Hartford)
- Jillian Ludwig (Allstate)
- Matthew Melick (State Farm)
- Chris Nowatarski (Catholic Order of Foresters)
- Alexis Schostak (ArentFox Schiff)
- Ryan Wagner (Prudential)
- Andrew Weissman (State Farm)
To learn more about our esteemed new colleagues, continue reading:
Marla G. Berger is the Head of Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Investments, Legal, at Kuvare Insurance Services LP, a boutique investment management firm that specializes in building tailored solutions for insurance companies with the goal of delivering superior risk-adjusted returns in a capital efficient way. Marla is responsible for all legal issues that arise in the company’s CRE Investment Team. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and her B.S. magna cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Jake Gawlak is an associate at Akin Gump, where he represents institutional investors and investment funds in connection with domestic and cross-border private placement transactions, first and second lien lending arrangements, mezzanine and other subordinated debt financings and other secured and unsecured finance transactions and amendments and restructuring of all of the foregoing. Jake is also a Certified Public Accountant. He holds his J.D., M.Acc and B.S. degrees from the University of Connecticut.
John Hreno is an associate at Morgan Lewis, where he provides counsel to institutional investors, direct lenders, nonprofit organizations, impact investors, and large financial institutions on a diverse range of debt transactions, including private placements, debt funds, venture debt transactions, first- and second-lien financings, project finance transactions, mezzanine financings, and asset-based facilities. John received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, a M.P.A. from Columbia University, a M.P.P. from Hertie School of Governance (Berlin) and his B.A. form Rutgers University.
Ben Leese represents middle-market lenders, investors, sponsors, and portfolio companies in acquisition financings and related debt transactions at ArentFox Schiff. Ben has extensive experience in leveraged finance matters with a particular focus on private equity-sponsored financings. He advises clients throughout the entire process of a transaction from structuring to closing and beyond. Ben has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Bristol (UK) and a Diploma of Legal Practice from Nottingham Law School (UK)
Rob Lewton is Senior Counsel at The Hartford, where he combines strong technical expertise in the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the Investment Company Act of 1940 with deep regulatory and transactional counsel experience, particularly in private placements, project finance transactions, private equity, hedge funds, securitizations and direct mezzanine financing. Rob holds a J.D. from Albany Law School and a B.S. from the University of Vermont.
Jillian Ludwig is Senior Counsel, Corporate Law at Allstate, where she practices in Investments and SEC Compliance. Jill advises Allstate’s insurance companies and retirement plans in investment transactions and governance matters. She also advises Allstate in connection with capital markets transactions and SEC reporting. She holds a J.D. from University of Illinois College of Law and her B.A. from University of Victoria.
Matthew Melick is an attorney on State Farm’s Corporate Law–Investments team. He joined State Farm in 2017 and counsels on a range of investment transactions and other transactional, capital/risk management and regulatory matters for the State Farm insurance affiliates. Matthew received his J.D. from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and his B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University.
Christopher Nowotarski is General Counsel of Catholic Order of Foresters, where he is responsible for preparation and review of all investment related documents including private placements, mortgages and secured transactions. He works closely with the Investment Department in addressing all legal matters concerning new and existing investments. He oversees the legal compliance of all subsidiaries as well as the parent organization. His team manages and oversees compliance for the Catholic Order of Foresters. Chris received his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and his B.S.C. with Honor from DePaul University.
Alexis J. Schostak is a Partner at ArentFox Schiff LLP. Alexis represents insurance companies, banks and borrowers in connection with a variety of finance matters, including senior secured and unsecured financings, syndicated credit facilities, mezzanine debt financings, private placements, acquisition financings and other forms of debt financings. Alexis received her J.D. from Emory University School of Law and her B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania.
Ryan Wagner is Vice President & Corporate Counsel at Prudential Private Capital, specializing in restructuring and bankruptcy. Prior to joining Prudential, Ryan was in private practice at Greenberg Traurig, LLP, where his practice focused on Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizations, restructurings, workouts, distressed M&A, and other financial transactions. He also has broad experience in cross-border bankruptcies and restructurings, including the recognition and enforcement of such proceedings in the United States under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. Ryan received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and his B.A. from Fordham University.
Andrew Weissman is an investment counsel and strategic business advisor at State Farm, where he is focused on all aspects of sophisticated corporate and finance transactions including private placement and project finance, commercial mortgage loans, private equity investments, and corporate restructuring. He also provides sound and strategic advice and guidance regarding regulatory and capital allocation issues. He holds his J.D. and B.A. from the University of Illinois.