Home - Variant Investments
Income is scarce today. We believe it is time for income done differently. Learn more.
Variant, investments, income, income opportunities, private credit markets, uncorrelated alternative beta products, specialized segments, CTC | myCFO, Bob Elsasser, Curt Fintel, J.B. Hayes
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Income done differently

Variant Investments is an alternative credit investment manager focused on uncorrelated income-generating assets in niche markets offered to investors through institutional closed-end interval funds.

$3.0B AUM

Team of 24

Portland
Boston
Charleston
Chicago
Greenwich
New York

Variant Alternative Income Fund (NICHX)

Diversified portfolio of unconventional income focused specialty finance assets

Variant Impact Fund (IMPCX)

Differentiated alternative credit exposures aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Disruption

Transformation

Opportunity

The financial world is changing rapidly. Banks are in regulatory retreat. Technology is rewriting the rules about how capital is allocated and managed. New alternative return streams are becoming financialized and democratized. The door is opening to private investments.

Variant helps investors adapt to a changing world.

ponds

Road

less traveled

We explore the remote, less crowded corners of the investment universe. We seek income from private markets, uncorrelated alternatives and niche public markets.

Investing where others cannot or will not go can have its rewards.

Access

Discipline

Diversification

Attractive assets often derive their value simply by being out of reach from most investors. However, opportunities that are difficult to access can also be difficult to manage. Investing in unconventional assets requires expertise, diligence and surveillance. Importantly, no single opportunity is the solution.

We feel strength can be achieved through diversification and thoughtful portfolio construction.

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leaf

Complex assets

Singular purpose

Investment strategies can be so layered with complexity, it is easy to lose sight of the most basic questions. Why own it? What role does it play? How does it meet your needs?  At Variant, our products are designed to be outcome-based investor solutions.  This requires clarity of purpose, investment flexibility and unwavering discipline to deliver targeted investor results across market environments.

Our mission is simple.  Deliver on expectations.

The Variant

Distinction

Variant is not just another asset manager. We’ve spent our careers thinking differently. We’ve walked in the shoes of investors and their advisors. We understand the challenges of making investments meet investor needs.

Our goal is to deliver innovative and dependable solutions that work for our clients.

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Check the background of this firm on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

AllManagementInvestmentsInvestor RelationsOperations
Senior Vice President, Investments

Brad Alvarez

Vice President, Forensic Audit

Lauren Bean, CPA

Chief Operating Officer

Kristi Combs

Senior Vice President, Investments

Karina Convers

Principal and Co-founder

Bob Elsasser

Curt Fintel
Principal and Co-founder

Curt Fintel, CFA

Associate, Investments

Kai Golden

JB Hayes
Principal and Co-founder

J.B. Hayes, CFA

Associate, Investments

Edwin Huang

Vice President, Investments

Jordan Jenkins

Senior Vice President, Investments

Tom Karwacki, CFA

Senior Associate, Operations

Joey Kok

Senior Vice President, Investments

Kevin Kraeger, CFA

Associate, Investments

Lily Perryman

Senior Associate, Investments

Morgan Pierce

Senior Associate, Investments

Sean Plotnick

Head of Data and Analytics

Daljinder Singh

Associate, Operations

Jordan Skipper

Associate, Investor Relations

Robert Thomas

Director, Investor Relations

Ryan Warren, CFA, CFP®

Vice President, Investor Relations

Courtney Warren

Senior Vice President, Investments

Scott Zaleski

Chief Compliance Officer & Director, Operations

Lisa Zhu, CPA

Senior Vice President, Investments

Brad Alvarez

Brad Alvarez joins Variant with experience underwriting commercial loans. Prior to Variant, Brad worked for JP Morgan in the Investment Bank as a credit analyst for the natural resources team, and then later as a credit associate for the power and utilities team. He received his BS in Finance and Accounting from Oregon State University in 2014.

Vice President, Forensic Audit

Lauren Bean, CPA

Lauren Bean is a CPA with 7+ years of experience in financial reporting, risk management, and compliance. In her previous role as Chief Financial Officer at Sortis LLC, Lauren oversaw all financial aspects of the company, including investment fund strategy, tax compliance, and treasury management. Lauren is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Portland State University. She is also a member of the Oregon Society of CPAs.

Chief Operating Officer

Kristi Combs

Kristi Combs is the Chief Operating Officer at Variant and has over 30 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Variant, she was a Managing Director and Head of Client Relations for Greycourt & Co., Inc, an investment advisor serving ultra high net worth families. She also previously worked at CTC | myCFO as a Director, and before CTC was a key Accounts Manager for Schwab Institutional. Kristi has her BS in Business from Miami University of Ohio.

Senior Vice President, Investments

Karina Convers

Karina Convers joins Variant with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Prior to Variant, Karina focused on distressed debt investments at Armory Capital, initially as an associate on the investment banking team, and later as a senior credit analyst in the distressed credit fund. Before Armory, Karina worked in the financial services industry with US Bank, Citigroup, and Capital One. Karina received her BS in Finance from the University of Florida and her MBA from the University of Chicago.

Principal and Co-founder

Bob Elsasser

Bob Elsasser is a principal and co-founder of Variant with over 31 years of experience in the industry. Prior to founding Variant, Bob was the Director of Fixed Income Research at CTC | myCFO. Before joining the organization in 2006, Bob was the Senior Vice President of Fixed Income and Foreign Exchange at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Bob received his BA in Finance from the University of Washington and his MBA in Finance from New York University.

Principal and Co-founder

Curt Fintel, CFA

Curt Fintel is a principal and co-founder of Variant with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Prior to founding Variant, Curt was the Chief Investment Strategist at CTC | myCFO. Before joining the organization in 1996 , Curt worked as a computer consultant for Iowa State University’s College of Business. Curt is a member of the CFA Society of Portland, and has been a CFA charterholder since 1999. He received a BS and MS in Economics from Iowa State University and constructed his graduate thesis on the empirical analysis of alternative option valuations.

Associate, Investments

Kai Golden

Kai Golden joins Variant with 2 years of experience in alternative products and business management. Prior to his position at Variant, Kai co-founded rideBelay, a financial services startup serving the gig economy, where he oversaw venture capital fundraising, product structuring, growth, and general management. Kai received his BA in International Relations with a minor in Economics from Tulane University.

Principal and Co-founder

J.B. Hayes, CFA

J.B. Hayes is a principal and co-founder of Variant with over 21 years of experience in the industry. Prior to founding Variant, J.B. was the Director of Private Markets at CTC | myCFO. Before joining the organization in 2001, J.B. was with the Private Client Group at Merrill Lynch. J.B. is a member of the CFA Society of Portland, and has been a CFA charterholder since 2004. He received a BS in Business with a focus on finance from the University of Oregon.

Associate, Investments

Edwin Huang

Edwin Huang joins Variant with 4 years of advisory and operation experience in the financial services industry. Prior to his position at Variant, Edwin worked in PwC’s Transaction Advisory group providing financial due diligence services to private equity and corporate clients. Edwin received his BS in both Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Southern California. 

Vice President, Investments

Jordan Jenkins

Jordan Jenkins joins Variant with a variety of experience in the financial services industry, with time spent under brokerage firms and investment management groups. Jordan received his BA in Economics from Willamette University and his MBA in Finance and Investments from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

Senior Vice President, Investments

Tom Karwacki, CFA

Tom Karwacki joins Variant with over 10 years of experience with credit investments.  Prior to Variant, Tom focused on special situations investing in Wafra’s Alternative Investment Division. Before Wafra, Tom worked on the portfolio management team at the liquid alts firm PAAMCO-Prisma and started his career providing advisory services in PwC’s Financial Markets group. Since 2013, Tom has been a CFA charterholder and held the FRM designation.  He has a BS in Finance and Accounting from Georgetown University and his MBA from the University of Chicago.

Senior Associate, Operations

Joey Kok

Joey Kok supports operations at Variant and has a variety of experience in the financial industry. Prior to Variant, Joey was most recently an operation officer at Bell Potter, an Australian brokerage firm.  Before this role, she was a project financial controller at HuaWei Technologies and fund accounting specialist at JP Morgan Chase. Joey earned her BS in Finance and MS in Finance from CUNY Baruch College in 2015 and 2020.

Senior Vice President, Investments

Kevin Kraeger, CFA

Kevin Kraeger joins Variant with over 9 years of investment experience. Prior to Variant, Kevin focused on opportunistic credit and specialty finance at Vida Capital. Prior to Vida, Kevin had worked on the portfolio management team at liquid alts firm PAAMCO-Prisma, and as a consultant at Booz Allen and Greenwich Strategy. Kevin started his career as a submarine officer in the US Navy. Kevin received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his MA and MBA from Columbia University.

Associate, Investments

Lily Perryman

Lily Perryman joins Variant with experience in financial services and with time spent at a biotechnology company. Lily received her BA in Environmental Science from the University of Southern California, where she also competed on the women’s soccer team, and her MBA from the University of Georgia.

Senior Associate, Investments

Morgan Pierce

Morgan Pierce joins Variant with experience in the financial service industry.  Prior to Variant, Morgan worked in the loan and credit finance department at California Business Bank.  Morgan earned his BA in Economics from Chapman University’s Arroyos school of Business in 2020. 

Senior Associate, Investments

Sean Plotnick

Sean Plotnick joins Variant with experience in the financial services and government contracting industries. Prior to his position at Variant, Sean worked on business development initiatives within the federal finance space at Maximus Federal. Sean received his BA in Statistics and Economics (with concentrations in econometrics and finance respectively) from The University of Virginia in 2022.

Head of Data and Analytics

Daljinder Singh

Daljinder Singh joins Variant with experience in Data Infrastructure and Analytics. Prior to Variant, Daljinder has worked with various firms helping them set up Analytics infrastructure to be able to analyze the company’s processes and performance quickly and easily. Daljinder has worked with firms in various domains looking to manage their operational data and get actionable insights out of it. Daljinder earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Applications from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.

Associate, Operations

Jordan Skipper

Jordan is an operations associate with Variant. Prior to joining the team, he worked in business valuations and public accounting at Capstone CPA. Jordan started his career as an infantry officer in the US Army. He received his BA from Oregon State University and is currently finishing up his MBA at his alma mater.

Associate, Investor Relations

Robert Thomas

Robert joins Variant with experience in financial services and investor relations. Prior to his position at Variant, Robert worked in investor relations consulting at Alpha Investor Relations. Robert received his BA in Economics from The University of Chicago in 2023.

 

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Director, Investor Relations

Ryan Warren, CFA, CFP®

Ryan Warren leads investor relations, marketing and business developments for Variant and has over 13 years of investment industry experience. Prior to Variant, Ryan was most recently an Investment Consultant at NEPC, LLC. This role followed spending nearly ten years at CTC | myCFO in a similar capacity. Ryan earned his BS in Business from the University of Oregon. He has been a CFA charterholder since 2011 and a CFP professional since 2013.

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Vice President, Investor Relations

Courtney Warren

Courtney Warren joins Variant with experience in Business Development at the Alternatives and Digital Assets Firm, NYDIG. Prior to that, Courtney built the foundation of her career at J.P. Morgan in Equity Derivatives. Courtney received her BA in Law, Letters, and Society from the University of Chicago, where she also competed on the women’s tennis team.

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Senior Vice President, Investments

Scott Zaleski

Scott Zaleski joins Variant with over 15 years of investment experience. Prior to Variant, Scott focused on opportunistic credit and private investment opportunities in dislocated markets, with Chicago Atlantic Group. Previously, he served as an investment professional and portfolio manager concentrating on complex securities and alternative investments, with a quantitative and fundamental analysis approach, at Fairway Capital. Scott began his career at Infinium Capital Management, managing high return on capital derivatives strategies, serving both as a cross asset-class portfolio manager and sector head. Scott received his BA in Finance from Michigan State University and MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Chief Compliance Officer & Director, Operations

Lisa Zhu, CPA

Lisa Zhu manages operations at Variant and serves as Chief Compliance Officer. Prior to Variant, Lisa was an experienced Assurance Senior at Delap CPA. During her 5 years at Delap, Lisa worked primarily on assurance projects in the financial institutions and healthcare industries. She received her BS in Accounting from the University of Oregon with a minor in economics.

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.