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Our Team

Our people are our most valuable assets.  We take pride in helping our team members become better investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, and community members.

Meet the team

SAF’s people consist of an integrated group of highly successful professionals with shared values and complementary skillsets whose intellectual capital underpin our success as a firm.

Matt Bauer

VP Finance

Devon Bekker

Senior Analyst

Aaron Bunting

CFO, COO & Principal

Ian Charles

Managing Director

Michael Croft

Associate

Isabel Cui

Valuations Analyst

Ryan Dunfield

Managing Principal, CEO

Talena Ganley

Executive Assistant

Ryan Haughn

Managing Director

Kyle Hickey

Managing Director

Rebecca Histed

Investor Relations Analyst

Wylie Johnston

Managing Director

Ray Kassam

Analyst

Kayley Kaptian

Administrative Assistant

Jacob Kemp

Intern Analyst

Wiz Khayat

Managing Director, SunStream Bancorp

Rachel Mui

Operations Accountant

Uso Nnamdi-Okorie

Junior Accountant

Brian O’Neill

Vice President

Brian Paes-Braga

Managing Partner

Sophie Rajotte

Controller

Madison Schmidt

Manager, Valuations

Michael Scott

Managing Director

Arizza Silvallana

Intern Jr. Accountant

Greg Shea

Advisor

Donita Tam

Operations Accountant

Wenyi Tang

Analyst

Dan Tsubouchi

Principal, Chief Market Strategist

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William Bannatyne
Analyst

  • Performs market research and maintenance of data analytics
  • Bachelor of Arts Honors (BAH) in Applied Economics from Queens University

Matthew Bauer
Vice President Finance

  • Over 15 years of experience, focused in private equity, finance and investment banking
  • B.Comm in Accounting, Chartered Accountant and CFA Charterholder

Devon Bekker
Senior Analyst

  • Over 3 years of experience in mining and investment banking
  • Bachelors of Engineering in Green Process Engineering from Western University
  • Masters of Science in International Business from Ivey Business School

Aaron Bunting
CFO, COO & Principal

Mr. Bunting is a founder and is the COO and CFO of the SAF Group and its related entities. In this capacity, he is involved with deal related structuring and origination and leads the finance and risk management teams across the platforms of the SAF Group.

Prior to SAF, Mr. Bunting served as an energy and credit portfolio manager for a Canadian-based event driven hedge fund and a Calgary-based mutual fund complex, where he was responsible for idea origination, execution and ongoing management of investments, both in equity and structured/hybrid debt.

He has served or presently serves on the Board or in an observer capacity at a number of companies.

Prior to investment management, Mr. Bunting worked at an energy-focused M&A boutique investment banking firm in Calgary.

Mr. Bunting has a Commerce degree from the University of Calgary, is a Chartered Accountant (“CA”) and a Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”).

Ian Charles
Principal

  • Ian currently serves as a Principal at SAF Group with a core focus on origination, deal structuring, execution, and ongoing portfolio management of the firm’s energy platform and select diversified alternative credits
  • Prior to joining SAF Group, Ian spent 14 years in investment banking. Most recently, Ian served as Managing Director, Investment Banking at National Bank Financial Inc. with primary focus on upstream energy, midstream, energy transition as well as several diversified mandates. Prior thereto, Ian worked in a similar capacity at GMP Securities LP.
  • In these roles, Ian originated and executed IPO’s, follow-on equity financings, high-yield and private debt financings, recapitalizations, as well as buy-side and sell-side M&A mandates
  • Ian holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Victoria

Michael Croft
associate

  • Over three years of experience in the financial sector
  • Bachelor of Business Administration and has passed the Chartered Financial Analyst Level I exam

Isabel Cui
Valuations Analyst

  • Over three years of experience in the financial sector
  • B.Com in Finance and has passed the Chartered Financial Analyst Level I exam

Ryan Dunfield
Managing Principal, CEO

Mr. Dunfield is the Chief Executive Officer and Principal of the SAF Group. He is responsible for the overall strategic mission of the business as well as capital raising and deal management.

Prior to founding the SAF Group, Mr. Dunfield worked at an event driven hedge fund, covering the Fund’s Canadian investments.

Prior to that, Mr. Dunfield was a Principal of Vancouver, British Columbia based private equity firm Second City Capital Partners and its affiliate, Gibralt Capital Corp. At Second City Capital Partners he worked on energy and energy services investments focused on junior credit products and structured equity investments. Mr. Dunfield served on the board of several public and private entities.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Dunfield was a Director, Loan Syndications & Trading with a Canadian financial institution where he structured and distributed first & second lien bank loans. Mr. Dunfield was also responsible for developing strategies for trading syndicated credits of issuers.

Mr. Dunfield, who is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of Calgary and a minor in Commerce.

Frank Luke Fallwell
Associate

  • Over five years of capital market experience participating in over 50 transactions and $2bn of M&A and financing processes
  • BBA from Acadia University’s F.C. Manning School of Business

Talena Ganley
Executive Assistant

  • 14 years of experience in real estate sales & development with 13 years of experience as an Executive Assistant and Office Manger
  • Bachelor of Science with a Business Minor from the U of A

Ryan Haughn
Principal (CFA)

Mr. Haughn currently serves as a Principal at SAF Group, focusing on origination, deal structuring, execution, and ongoing portfolio management of the firm’s energy platform.

In addition, Mr. Haughn operates in a similar capacity across the firm’s other Alternative Credit investment verticals.

Prior to joining SAF Group in 2015, Mr. Haughn’s prior experience was with CIBC World Markets and UBS Securities principally focused on the Canadian upstream oil and gas sector.

In these roles Mr. Haughn’s responsibilities included coverage of domestic equities, and prior to that, junior and mid-cap corporate credit.  

Mr. Haughn holds a bachelor’s degree from Dalhousie University, an MBA from Carleton University, and a CFA designation.

Kyle Hickey
Principal

  • Active in Alternative Credits and Opportunities
  • Responsible for deal origination, structuring, and execution, as well as ongoing portfolio and risk management for all Metals & Mining investments and select alternative credits
  • Advised entrepreneurs, operators, and private equity teams on a wide range of capital structure solutions including equity, equity-linked, debt, and royalty/stream transactions, as well as merger and acquisition opportunities
  • Extensive Metals & Mining and Diversified Industrials experience in Canada, the US, and the UK through prior investment banking positions at BMO Capital Markets and J.P. Morgan
  • B.Com. (Finance) McGill University; M.A. (Jurisprudence) University of Oxford

Rebecca Histed
Investor Relations Analyst

  • Over 7 years of combined experience in Business Development, Investor Relations and Financial Sales
  • Bachelor of Commerce (with Distinction) from the University of Calgary

Wylie Johnston
Vice President

  • Responsible for deal origination, structuring, and execution, as well as ongoing portfolio and risk management
  • As an early member of SAF, Mr. Johnston has held increasingly senior positions and played an integral role in the firm’s growth
  • Mr. Johnston has experience structuring a wide range of debt and equity capital solutions to companies in numerous industries
  • Prior to SAF, he held investment banking roles with GMP Securities and Haywood Securities
  • Mr. Johnston has a BComm (Finance) with Distinction from the University of Calgary

Ray Kassam
Analyst

  • Previous experience in corporate banking and private equity with a focus on energy and transition
  • Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary

Kayley Kaptian
Administrative Assistant

  • 7 years of customer service and hospitality management experience
  • Bachelor of Sociology from Mount Royal University

Jacob Kemp
Intern Analyst

  • Previous experience in Private Equity, Equity Research and Oil and Gas
  • Currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and Bachelor of Arts in Economics at the Haskayne School of Business and University of Calgary

Wiz Khayat
PRINCIPAL, SunStream Bancorp

  • Working alongside executive management team at Sunstream Bancorp, affiliate of SAF Group, in respect of overall governance, operations & legal matters
  • Actively involved in supporting the structuring, negotiating & closing of transactions
  • Prior, principal, director & co-founder of real estate investment bank, Trimaven Capital Advisors & private equity arm TPCM Inc
  • Prior, private practice with seven sister firm (Toronto) and magic circle firm (Dubai)
  • MBA, Richard Ivey School of Business (Dean’s List)|JD, University of Western Ontario| B. Comm, University of Toronto (Distinction)

Rachel Mui
Operations Accountant

  • Rachel Mui has been working for SAF Group since 2014. She is an Operations Accountant where she performs day to day accounting activities, financial reporting, maintains the investor’s accounts and responds to investor account inquiries. 
  • Prior to joining the SAF Group, Rachel was an Assistant Production Manager in a sportswear company in Montreal. After working over 15 years in the industry, Rachel decided to change her career path and pursue her passion in the field of accounting. 
  • Rachel has obtained a Production Management Certificate at LaSalle College and a Financial Management Certificate at Vanier College.  

Uso Nnamdi-Okorie
Junior Accountant

  • Experience in retail banking and is building a career in Accounting

  • Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a diploma in Accounting

Brian O'neilL
Vice President

  • Deal structuring, financing, and ongoing strategic oversight of high growth companies across diverse industries
  • Legal support of SAF Group operations, including deal negotiations and structuring
  • Extensive M&A, corporate finance, and tax planning experience, with nearly a decade practicing law at McCarthy Tétrault LLP; Director of Gold X Mining Corp. (acquired Jun-2021 for $315 million)
  • Member of the Law Society of British Columbia; completed CPA Canada’s In-Depth Tax Course
  • B.Sc. Honors, Molecular Genetics; LL.B., with distinction

Brian Paes-Braga
Managing Partner

  • Extensive experience as a passionate entrepreneur and capital partner with several high growth companies across diverse industries, supporting their expansion through organization and culture building, capital raising, and strategic governance and oversight
  • Involvement as Founder, CEO, Chairman and Strategic Advisor in over $1 billion in growth equity financings and over $5 billion in market value creation over the past 5 years 
  • Former Chairman and Director of Thunderbird Entertainment; former Director of The Metals Company; Founder and CEO of Lithium X Energy Corp. (acquired Mar-2018 for $265 million)
  • Founder of Quiet Cove Foundation, providing innovative solutions to large scale social issues
  • Owners/President Management (OPM) Program, Harvard Business School; CIM (Chartered Investment Management)
  • Author of the recently released book 8: Reflections on Building Business + Balance, an Amazon #1 Best Seller; 100% of the proceeds of 8 will be donated to initiatives supporting the betterment of human mental, emotional, and physical well being

Sophie Rajotte
Controller

  • Over 10 years of experience in the energy and financial sector
  • BBA in Accounting with CPA, CMA

MADISON SCHMIDT
Manager, Valuations

  • Over three years of experience in public practice and the Canadian financial sector
  • Master’s in professional accounting and upholds a CPA Designation

Michael Scott
Principal (CFA)

  • Responsible for deal origination, structuring and execution as well as ongoing portfolio and risk management.
  • Prior to SAF, Michael was the National Head for CIBC’s Leveraged Finance Group – a business focused on concluding senior and mezzanine debt placements to support leveraged buyouts within Canada and the US as well as overseeing all private equity investments. 
  • Earlier in his career, Michael held a finance and operations role with a national retailer and served in a corporate banking role with a Canadian chartered bank.
  • Michael has a BBA in Finance from Simon Fraser University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”)

Arizza Silvallana

  • Previous experience in public accounting with a focus on enterprise and small businesses
  • Currently pursuing a degree in Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary

DON SEWELL

  • Responsible for deal origination, structuring and execution as well as ongoing portfolio and risk management for all energy transition, carbon markets, renewable energy, and other emissions reduction investments
  • Prior to SAF, Don was the Chief Financial Officer of Big Rock Brewery Inc. – a publicly-listed company on the Toronto Stock Exchange and one of the largest independent beer companies in Canada, where he oversaw all financial management, strategic planning, corporate and business development, risk management, investor relations, government relations and information technology
  • Earlier in his career, Don spent several years in the energy investment banking groups of National Bank Financial Inc. and Peters & Co. Limited where he focused on M&A advisory and capital raising (debt and equity) for Canadian energy sector companies
  • Don holds a BSc from McGill University and is a CFA charterholder
  • In his spare time, Don sits on the board and finance committee of the Calgary Public Library Foundation

Donita Tam
Operations Accountant

  • Over three years of experience in office administration and accounting role
  • Bachelor of Management in Accounting

Wenyi Tang
ANALYST

  • Over four years of experience in portfolio analysis and performance analytics
  • MBA in Investment Management from Concordia University and upholds a CFA Designation

Kody Thomson
Analyst

  • Over a year of experience in capital markets with a focus on real estate
  • Honors Business Administration (HBA) from the Ivey Business School

Dan Tsubouchi
Principal, Chief Market Strategist

  • Independent and unbiased energy and markets research for evaluation and allocation of capital by SAF investment team
  • Early identification of emerging trends of tail end risk/reward on existing investments.
  • 18 years financial services industry incl Executive Committee/Leadership as Vice Chairman and Co-Head Investment Banking and Head of Research at GMP Securities
  • 14 Years oil & gas industry incl senior management at a former intermediate Cdn E&P company, Mark Resources
  • BASc, MBA

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