William J. Harper
Bill Harper has been providing capital to companies for over forty years. During this time, he has developed extensive experience in evaluating, negotiating and structuring transactions and working successfully with hundreds of companies.
Prior to co-founding Jefferson Capital, Mr. Harper was Chairman and CEO of First Commerce Capital, Inc., (FCCI) which he founded in 1994. First Commerce Capital, Inc. was a very successful Small Business Investment Company, wholly owned by First Commerce Corporation, a publicly traded multi-bank holding company based in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Prior to founding FCCI, Mr. Harper spent twenty-three years with Westinghouse Financial Services, providing capital to companies throughout the United States. During his last ten years with Westinghouse, he created specialized investment units that invested almost $1 billion in private senior equity financings and was responsible for international operations, managing private debt and equity investments in Europe and the U.K.
Bill is a former Managing Director of First Britannia Mezzanine Capital B.V., an international private mezzanine investment fund. During his tenure he participated in investment decisions aggregating in excess of $250 million dollars in numerous transactions in Europe and the U.K.
Mr. Harper received a B.S. in Management from Louisiana State University in New Orleans in 1969 and attended the Harvard Business School where he completed the Program for Management Development in the fall of 1988.
Paul Giffin has over thirty-eight years experience in all aspects of financial management and strategic planning. Mr. Giffin is a co-founder of Jefferson Capital, serving as managing partner of both Jefferson Capital Partners I, LP, and Jefferson Capital Partners II, LP, each a debenture-leveraged Small Business Investment Company. Mr. Giffin is involved in and responsible for all aspects of the operations of Jefferson Capital.
Prior to forming Jefferson Capital, Mr. Giffin joined First Commerce Capital, Inc. at its inception in 1994 as Senior Vice President and was directly involved in the development and implementation of all aspects of the investment operations. First Commerce Capital, Inc. was a very successful Small Business Investment Company, wholly owned by First Commerce Corporation, a publicly traded multi-bank holding company based in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Having previously gained 13 years experience with a private energy investment firm as a senior executive, Mr. Giffin has extensive experience in analyzing, negotiating, structuring, and closing subordinated debt and private equity investments. In addition to providing capital to portfolio companies, he was an integral part of the capital formation activities of the firm, including the placement of public and private debt and equity securities with major commercial lenders and institutional and public investors. He has served on numerous boards of portfolio companies and has been an advisor to several private companies.
Mr. Giffin began his career in public accounting with Arthur Andersen where he became a Tax Manager after initially serving on the audit staff. He was also a partner in a New Orleans based regional accounting firm providing accounting and advisory services to public and private middle market companies prior to joining the investment industry.
Mr. Giffin is a Certified Public Accountant and received a B.S. in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Francis T. Cazayoux
Mr. Cazayoux’s career includes over thirteen years of mezzanine investment and commercial banking experience. Prior to joining Jefferson Capital in 2002, Mr. Cazayoux spent several years with First Bank and Trust, a New Orleans, Louisiana based commercial bank, where he managed a portfolio of mezzanine investments in small private companies made through a subsidiary of First Bank and Trust, as well as a portfolio of some of the largest commercial banking customers of First Bank.
Prior to joining First Bank and Trust, Mr. Cazayoux spent several years with Bank One Louisiana, and its predecessor, First Commerce Corporation in a variety of roles, where among other things, he worked as an investment analyst with First Commerce Capital, Inc., a Small Business Investment Company, wholly-owned by First Commerce Corporation. Mr. Cazayoux began his career in the field of engineering at the Energy Division of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.
Mr. Cazayoux received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana State University in 1991 and an MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University in 1996.
Lester F. Alexander III
Les Alexander is an experienced private equity investor, mezzanine lender, corporate executive and investment banker. He has significant knowledge of private equity and mezzanine investing having worked at Advantage Capital Partners and MSB Fairway Capital Partners prior to joining Jefferson Capital. Mr. Alexander served on the board of directors of several portfolio companies where he was actively involved in strategic planning and corporate governance.
Mr. Alexander served as president of Ferrara Fire Apparatus, Inc., a leading fire truck and emergency vehicle manufacturer. At Ferrara, he was responsible for managing a workforce of 450 employees producing over 300 vehicles annually for its domestic and international customers.
As an investment banker for 15 years with Howard Weil, Southcoast Capital, J.C. Bradford & Co., and LeCorgne Loewenbaum, Mr. Alexander completed over 50 public offerings of debt and equity securities, private placements, and merger and acquisition transactions totaling more than $7 billion for public and private companies in a variety of industries.
Mr. Alexander is an adjunct professor at Tulane University and Loyola University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in investment banking, private equity & venture capital, advanced financial management, and entrepreneurship. He is also a board member and chairman of the audit committee for Benjamin Franklin High School, a charter school in New Orleans. Mr. Alexander is the former Chairman of Finance of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and served on the global Board of Directors. He is a founder of the Louisiana chapter of ACG and was a recipient of the ACG global Meritorious Service Award and the Louisiana chapter’s Outstanding Service Award.
Mr. Alexander received his bachelor of science in Commerce from the University of Virginia in 1989 and his MBA from the University of North Carolina in 1993.
Joseph V. Truhe
Mr. Truhe’s career includes over 10 years of investing experience. Prior to joining Jefferson Capital in 2013 Mr. Truhe was a Portfolio Manager with Whitney Bank in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he oversaw the company’s Trust accounts and served as the Energy sector analyst for the Hancock Horizon Funds. Prior to Whitney, Mr. Truhe was an analyst and member of the investment committee at HFR Asset Management, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund platform in Chicago, Illinois. There, Mr. Truhe reviewed and maintained investment discretion over the firm’s Event Driven and Asia-focused hedge fund allocations. He was also responsible for the expansion of the firm’s Asia-focused fund offerings.
Mr. Truhe holds a BA in Economics from Yale University, where he was a member of the Men’s Basketball program. He is a CFA charter holder and a member of the CFA Society of Louisiana.