Nir Kaissar, CFA
Portfolio Manager and Managing Member
Nir Kaissar, Chartered Financial Analyst, is Unison’s founder. Nir’s passion is to improve portfolio management: smarter asset allocation, implemented more cost effectively, and accessible to every investor. Nir is also a columnist for Bloomberg Gadfly, writing about markets and investing.
Nir’s work focuses on alternative approaches to multi-asset investing using quantitative methods such as valuation and momentum. With Unison’s founding in 2005, Nir introduced one of the first multi-asset investment managers. Unison’s Equity Bias strategy was twice ranked #1 by Lipper Marketplace in the multi-asset category (based on performance for 5 years ended December 31, 2013 (out of 30) and March 31, 2014 (out of 34)), in addition to numerous other appearances on Lipper Marketplace’s list of Best Money Managers. Nir is a member of the CFA Institute, the CFA Society of Washington, DC and the American Finance Association.
Prior to founding Unison, Nir was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, where he represented Wall Street’s largest financial institutions in a variety of transactions, including financings and mergers and acquisitions. Nir began his career as a consultant with Ernst & Young LLP, where he prepared company valuations for proposed mergers and acquisitions. Nir is a graduate of Indiana University (1995) and The University of Michigan Law School (2000), where he was Editor of the Michigan Law Review.
Advisory Board Member
Veer Bhavnagri was most recently Vice President, Corporate Counsel, at Kite Pharma, a leader in engineered T-cell therapy, which uses a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer. Veer led the Kite Legal and Compliance department, and advised on all aspects of Kite’s business, including business development, investor relations, finance, corporate governance, compliance, real estate, human resources, supply chain and clinical, technical and commercial operations. Veer was an integral member of the select deal team involved in the sale of Kite to Gilead Sciences for $11.9 billion in cash.
Prior to joining Kite, Veer was a senior associate at Cooley LLP, where he was lead associate on many capital market transactions. Previously, Veer was an associate in the New York and Sydney offices of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, where he was the principal associate on a number of domestic and cross-border transactions, including the historic registered offering by the U.S. Treasury Department of $20.7 billion of American International Group, Inc. common stock. Veer was also a member of the Australia-based transaction team recognized as 2011 International Firm of the Year by Asian Legal Business and Australian Issuer of the Year by Insto Magazine.
Veer received a J.D., magna cum laude, from The University of Michigan Law School. He received an AB in mathematical economics and political science, with honors, from Brown University. Veer is admitted to practice law in New York and California.
Advisory Board Member
Stuart Blumberg works in film. He wrote and produced the film Keeping The Faith starring Edward Norton and Ben Stiller. He also wrote The Girl Next Door starring Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert. In 2009, he produced the HBO documentary “By The People: The Election of Barack Obama” and in 2010, he co-wrote the acclaimed Focus Films dramedy, The Kids are All Right for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for best Original Screenplay. He recently made his directorial debut with Thanks For Sharing which will be released the summer of 2013. Before his career in film, Mr. Blumberg worked at Morgan Stanley as an analyst in the Debt Capital Markets division. Mr. Blumberg is a graduate of Yale University with a B.A. in history.
Advisory Board Member
Scott M. Estill is a Partner in Skillcapital’s New York office. With nearly 20 years of M&A, financial services and executive recruiting experience, Scott serves C-suite and board level multinational clients within the private equity and family office sectors. He co-leads the North American business which assists private equity funds with originating transactions, appraising potential transactions and sourcing industry experts for pre-acquisition due diligence, and finding backable senior management teams.
Prior to joining Skillcapital, Scott was a Partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ New York office and a member of the global Financial Services Practice. He was also responsible for middle market banking, private equity and co-head of real estate. In addition, Scott built an executive lead, M&A practice, connecting c-suite executives to private equity firms for deal flow and diligence support.
Before joining Heidrick & Struggles, Scott was the Co-Founder and Director of Coady Diemar Partners, a boutique investment bank focused on M&A and Capital Raising. Based on his success at Coady Diemar, he was honored as one of M&A Advisor’s 40 under 40 M&A professionals in North America. Previously, he worked at Credit Suisse, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette and Hambrecht & Quist as an M&A banker and worked with endowments, pension funds and family offices at TAG Associates, a hedge fund of funds.
Scott received an MBA from both London Business School and Columbia Business School and a bachelor’s degree in both economics and finance and business management from Gettysburg College. He also graduated from the INSTEP economics program at Cambridge University.
Scott is on the NY Board of the Association of Corporate Growth, a global organization focused on middle-market dealmakers and business leaders with 56 chapters and over 14,000 members located around the world. Scott teaches M&A at ACG / Fordham University and also is a guest lecturer at Columbia Business School.