Peter A. Cohen
Peter A. Cohen is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cowen Group, Inc. Prior to Cowen Group, Mr. Cohen was the founder of Ramius LLC. He also served as a managing member and senior member of the Executive Committee of Ramius.
After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University in 1968, Mr. Cohen earned his M.B.A. from Columbia University in 1969 and began a career on Wall Street at Reynolds & Co.
In 1970, he joined the firm which became Shearson Lehman Brothers. In 1973, Mr. Cohen became Assistant to the Chairman of the firm, Sanford Weill, and was involved in all aspects of the firm’s activities. In 1978, Mr. Cohen left Shearson for one year to work directly for Edmond Safra at Republic NY Corporation and Trade Development Bank Holdings in Geneva, Switzerland and returned to Shearson in 1979. Shearson merged with American Express in 1981 at which time he became President & Chief Operating Officer and in 1983 Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, a position he held until 1990.
In 1991, Mr. Cohen formed Republic New York Securities and Republic Asset Management for Republic National Bank of New York and at the same time commenced the activities around which Ramius was formed in 1994. When Ramius merged with Cowen Group Inc in November 2009 he became Chairman and CEO of Cowen Group Inc.
Over his career he has served on a number of corporate, industry and philanthropic boards, including The New York Stock Exchange, The Federal Reserve International Capital Market Advisory Committee, The Depository Trust Company, The Ohio State University Foundation, The New York City Opera, The American Express Company, GRC International, Olivetti SpA, Société Générale de Belgique, Telecom Italia SpA, Presidential Life Corporation, Kroll, Inc., and L-3 Communications. He is presently a Director of Mount Sinai Hospital, Safe Auto Insurance, and Scientific Games Corporation.
Katherine Elizabeth Dietze
Ms. Dietze spent over 20 years in the financial services industry prior to her retirement in 2005. From 2003 to 2005, Ms. Dietze was Global Chief Operating Officer for the Investment Banking Division of Credit Suisse First Boston. From 1996 to 2003, she was a Managing Director in Credit Suisse First Boston’s Telecommunications Group. Prior to that, Ms. Dietze was a Managing Director and Co-Head of the Telecommunications Group in Salomon Brothers Inc’s Investment Banking Division. Ms. Dietze began her career at Merrill Lynch Money Markets after which she moved to Salomon Brothers Inc to work on money market products and later became a member of the Investment Banking Division. Ms. Dietze is a member of the board of directors and chairs the compensation committee of Matthews International Corporation, a designer, manufacturer and marketer of memorialization products and brand solutions. Ms. Dietze is also a member of the board of trustees of Liberty Property Trust, a self-administered and self-managed Maryland real estate investment trust, which provides leasing, property management, development, acquisition, and other tenant-related services for a portfolio of industrial & office properties. Ms. Dietze provides the Board with extensive experience in Investment Banking management and corporate governance expertise as a public company director.
Mr. Kotler currently serves as Vice Chairman of the private equity firm Gilbert Global Equity Partners, which he joined in 2000. Prior to joining Gilbert Global, Mr. Kotler, for 25 years, was with the investment banking firm of Schroder & Co. and its predecessor firm, Wertheim & Co., where he served in various executive capacities including President & Chief Executive Officer, and Group Managing Director and Global Head of Investment and Merchant Banking. Mr. Kotler is a Director of CPM Holdings, an international agricultural process equipment company; a Capital Partner of The Archstone Partnerships; and, Vice Chairman of Stone Tower Capital.
Mr. Kotler is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and, from 1999-2002, was Council President of The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Mr. Kotler has previously served as a Governor of the American Stock Exchange, The New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce’s Infrastructure and Housing Task Force, The Board of Trustees of Columbia Preparatory School; and, the Board of Overseers of the California Institute of the Arts.
Mr. Kotler also previously served as a Director of Cowen Holdings from September 2006 until June 2007. Mr. Kotler provides the Board with extensive experience in leading an international financial institution and expertise in private equity.
Jerome S. Markowitz
Mr. Markowitz has been a Senior Partner at Conifer Securities LLC, a boutique servicing the operational needs of investment managers, since 2006. From 1998 to 2006, Mr. Markowitz was actively involved in managing a private investment portfolio. Prior to 1998, Mr. Markowitz was Managing Director and a member of the executive committee at Montgomery Securities and was responsible for starting their private client, high yield, equity derivatives and prime brokerage divisions. Prior to joining Montgomery, Mr. Markowitz was a Managing Director of L.F. Rothschild’s Institutional Equity Department.
Mr. Markowitz is a director and serves on the investment committee of Market Axess Inc., and also formerly served on the advisory board of Thomas Weisel Partners Group, Inc. Mr. Markowitz provides the Board with extensive experience in asset management and investment banking, as well as experience as a public company director.
Jack H. Nusbaum
Mr. Nusbaum is a Senior Partner of the New York law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and a member of the Executive Committee. Mr. Nusbaum served as the firm’s Chairman from 1987 through 2009 and has been a partner in that firm for more than thirty years. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is outside counsel to Cowen Group.
Mr. Nusbaum is also a director of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Mr. Nusbaum provides the Board with experience as senior management of an international law firm and provides extensive corporate governance experience.
Jeffrey M. Solomon
Jeffrey Solomon is Chief Executive Officer of Cowen and Company, a Cowen Group company, and a Director of Cowen Group. Mr. Solomon is responsible for overseeing all of Cowen and Company’s businesses, including Investment Banking, Capital Markets, Sales & Trading and Research.
Previously, Mr. Solomon served as Cowen Group’s Chief Operating Officer and Head of Investment Banking at Cowen and Company. Mr. Solomon joined Ramius, Cowen Group’s investment management division, when it was founded in 1994 and was responsible for the development, management and oversight of a number of the investment strategies employed by Ramius.
From 1991 to 1994, Mr. Solomon was at Republic New York Securities Corporation, the brokerage affiliate of Republic National Bank, now part of the HSBC Group, where he was the firm’s Chief Administrative Officer. Prior to Republic, Mr. Solomon was in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Shearson Lehman Brothers.
Currently, Mr. Solomon is a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation. He is also on the Board of Directors of NuGo Nutrition, the manufacturer of NuGo Nutrition Bars.
Mr. Solomon graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988 with a B.A. in Economics.
Thomas W. Strauss
Mr. Strauss is the Chairman of Ramius and Vice Chairman of Cowen Group Inc. From 1995 to 2009, Mr. Strauss was a Managing Member and a member of the Executive Committee of Ramius LLC. Mr. Strauss was also the Chief Executive Officer of the Fund of Funds Group. From 1963 to 1991, Mr. Strauss was with Salomon Brothers Inc. He was admitted as a General Partner in 1972 and was appointed to the Executive Committee in 1981. In 1986, he became President of Salomon Brothers and a Vice Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of Salomon Inc, the holding company of Salomon Brothers and Phibro Energy, Inc. From 1986 through 1991, Mr. Strauss was responsible for the firm’s Investment Banking, Sales and Trading, Asset Management and International Activities.
During his first nine years at Salomon Brothers, he served in various Fixed Income Sales and Sales Management capacities. From 1972 to 1981, Mr. Strauss managed the Government Securities, Money Market and Foreign Exchange departments. In 1978-1979, with the advent of listed Fixed Income Futures and Options trading, he separated the firm’s Proprietary Trading activities from the traditional client based business, which provided the foundation for Global Proprietary Trading in New York, London and Tokyo.
From 1981 to 1986, Mr. Strauss was responsible for the development of the firm’s international business in Europe and the Far East, including both Sales and Trading and Investment Banking. From a single office in London in 1971, the firm built an international presence in Europe, Asia and North America. In 1986, he further became responsible for the Global Investment Banking, High Yield and Equity businesses and several years later initiated the firm’s Global Asset Management efforts.
In 1993, Mr. Strauss became Co-Chairman of Granite Capital International Group, a private investment management firm, where he developed an Absolute Return Alternative Asset Class investment business. In July of 1995, he joined Ramius.
Mr. Strauss is a former member of the Board of Governors of the American Stock Exchange, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Public Securities Association, the Securities Industry Association, the Federal Reserve International Capital Market Advisory Committee and the U.S. Japan Business-Council. He is a past President of the Association of Primary Dealers in U.S. Government Securities. Mr. Strauss currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the U.S.-Japan Foundation and is a member of the Boards of Trustees and Executive Committees of The Mount Sinai Medical Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and The Mount Sinai Hospital. Mr. Strauss is also Trustee Emeritus of Riverdale Country School and Vice President and Treasurer and member of the Board of Trustees of the Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia & Parkinson Foundation.
John E. Toffolon, Jr.
Mr. Toffolon served as non-Executive Chairman of Cowen Holdings from July 2008 through the closing of the Transactions. Mr. Toffolon previously served as Cowen Holding’s Lead Independent Director from June 2007 until his appointment as Chairman, and has been a member of Cowen Holding’s Board of Directors and has served as the Chairman of Cowen Holding’s Audit Committee since September 2006. Since May 2009, Mr. Toffolon has served as a member of the Board of Directors and as the Chairman of the audit committee of Westway Group, Inc., a leading global provider of bulk liquid storage services. Previously, Mr. Toffolon, in his capacity as a partner of The Shermen Group, served as the Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Shermen WSC Acquisition Corp. since August 2006 until the business combination with Westway in May 2009.
From 2001 to 2003, Mr. Toffolon served as an advisor to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royster-Clark, Inc., a privately-held chemicals distribution company. From 1992 to 2000, Mr. Toffolon served in various capacities, including Executive Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer for Nomura Holding America, Inc. and Nomura Securities International, Inc. Mr. Toffolon also served as a member of the Boards of Directors of both Nomura companies. From 1979 to 1990, Mr. Toffolon worked at The First Boston Corporation as a Managing Director in various capacities, including Chief Financial Officer and served on the Management and Capital Commitment Committees. Mr. Toffolon, our Lead Director, has significant public company experience as well as expertise in risk management and finance. The Board also determined that Mr. Toffolon is an Audit Committee financial expert under the applicable rules of the SEC.
Joseph R. Wright
Mr. Wright serves as a senior advisor to The Chart Group. Mr. Wright previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Scientific Games Corporation, a supplier of technology-based products, systems and services to gaming markets worldwide, from January 1 2009 through December 31, 2009 and has served as Vice Chairman of Scientific Games Corporation’s Board of Directors since May 1, 2008, of which he has been a member since 2004. From July 2006 through April 2008, he served as Chairman of Intelsat, Ltd., the world’s largest provider of satellite services, and as Chief Executive Officer of PanAmSat Corporation from August 2001 until it was combined with Intelsat in July 2006. Mr. Wright was the Chairman of GRC International, Inc. from 1996 to March 2000 and was an Executive Vice President and Vice Chairman of W.R. Grace & Co. from 1989 to 1994. Mr. Wright was a member of President Reagan’s Cabinet, was Director and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget from 1982 to 1989 and was Deputy Secretary of the Department of Commerce from 1981 to 1982. He received the Distinguished Citizens Award from President Reagan in 1988.
Mr. Wright is a director of Terremark Worldwide, Inc. and Federal Signal Corporation. Mr. Wright provides the Board with significant senior management expertise as well as experience as a director of a public company. He also provides the Board with significant experience in public affairs.