Advisory Board


B. Elizabeth Fischer

B. Elizabeth Fischer has over twenty years of experience in global financial markets. She worked for Morgan Stanley for eighteen years in various capacities including as Executive Director in the Global Capital Markets Group. Her concentrations included structured products and alternative investments. Ms. Fischer also spearheaded advisory work in mergers, acquisitions and restructuring. In addition she provided bespoke client solutions, tax planning as well as developing tax-advantaged capital market products. Ms. Fischer now utilizes her breadth of experience by working as an independent consultant primarily servicing clients in private equity, hedge funds and boutique advisory firms.

Ms. Fischer holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Iona College and an MBA from New York University.

Gopal Garuda

Gopal Garuda, CFA, is Co-Founder and Managing Director at Gramercy Capital Group. He is also Co-Chair of the Advisory Board’s Core Strategy Committee. Mr. Garuda is a career investment banker focusing on structured credit, capital markets and advisory transactions in the specialty finance, commodities, technology and healthcare sectors. Prior to Gramercy, he served as a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch in the Corporate Finance Group from 1998-2009 where he ran a capital markets practice originating structured products and other bespoke financings for US West Coast corporates. Post the BAML merger, he moved to Citadel as a Managing Director in the Citadel Securities unit where he ran the West Coast investment banking business. Over the course of his career, Mr. Garuda has originated and executed financings raising in excess of $10 billion.

Mr. Garuda holds an A.B. summa cum laude in Economics from Harvard College and A.M. in Statistics from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Edward Kass

Edward Kass is a financial executive who has acquired extensive experience in advisory and commodity trading as well as raising capital. Mr. Kass has been the Managing Director of Gramercy Capital Group since 2013. Prior to his present position, Mr. Kass was Managing Director of Capital Markets at Solomon Page Group, Managing Partner at Options Group and a salesman for Paine Webber & Kidder Peabody in Fixed Income Derivative Sales in Europe and Asia.

Mr. Kass received a double Bachelor of Science Degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is proficient in both Russian and Japanese.

Brandon K. Laughren

Brandon K. Laughren is Managing Director, Co-Founder and CIO of the Laughren Group, a single family office where he oversees all aspects of investments including: direct private equity, private debt, venture capital and real estate. In addition, he manages family business interests in community banking and merchant banking. Mr. Laughren has acted as a transaction advisor as well as an investor for over 25 years. Prior to co-founding the Laughren Group, Mr. Laughren founded and managed Stone Laughren LLC, a private equity and venture capital advisory firm. He has been involved in mergers & acquisitions in excess of $50 billion in value and debt and equity raises in excess of $10 billion. Mr. Laughren began his career at Goldman Sachs & Co. in M&A working with Fortune 50 clients. He worked at JP Morgan, UBS Securities and Solomon Brothers in M&A, venture and private equity at other points in his career.

Mr. Laughren received an AB in Philosophy from Columbia University and an MBA in Finance and Management of Organizations from Columbia Business School.

Edward T. Novakoff

Edward T. Novakoff is a financial markets executive with extensive experience in treasury and balance sheet strategy and has a broad knowledge of global monetary and regulatory policymaking.  Mr. Novakoff has a successful record of implementing innovative value-added strategies in response to market and regulatory developments. He has experience developing and executing balance sheet strategy. Over the years, Mr. Novakoff has levered his expertise to positively influence change within the industry and improve new regulations.  Most recently, Mr. Novakoff was Senior Vice President, Global Treasury at State Street Corporation. Previously, he was Executive Vice President, Treasury and Balance Sheet Strategy at RBS Citizens Bank and Senior Vice President, Treasury at FleetBoston.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston and is currently a member of the Harvard Kennedy School Fund Executive Council.

Mr. Novakoff received a Masters Degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and his Bachelor Degree from Columbia University.

Tacho Sandoval

Tacho Sandoval is currently a partner at Two Rivers Entities, a New York based broker-dealer. In addition to trading traditional equity and fixed income products, the firm specializes in cryptocurrency market-making trading and mining. Mr. Sandoval is also an accomplished venture capital investor with a particular focus in relevant sectors such as clean energy, finance and technology. Prior to working at Two Rivers, Mr. Sandoval was a founding and managing partner of OMOG Trading where he traded energy and metals derivatives on the NYMEX for more than twenty years.

Mr. Sandoval earned an AB in Government from Harvard College.