Author Archive

Art DeGaetano

Mr. DeGaetano is the Chief Investment Officer and Founder of Bramshill Investments. Prior to founding Bramshill, in 2012, Mr. DeGaetano was a Senior Portfolio Manager at GLG Partners LP where he not only managed the predecessor to the Bramshill Income Performance Strategy, but also managed a levered US credit portfolio for the GLG Market Neutral Fund. Combined Mr. DeGaetano had approximately $375million in assets under management for GLG Partners LP. Prior to GLG Partners in 2007, Mr. DeGaetano was a Managing Director and Head of US Credit Trading at RBS Greenwich Capital from 2005 through 2006. He traded and oversaw the credit trading desk, comprised of 14 traders across corporate bonds, credit default swaps and index products from investment grade to high yield averaging a $4 billion gross position. Prior to RBS Greenwich Capital, he traded credit for 12 years for Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. He was a Senior Managing Director and the Head Trader on the high yield trading desk from 2000 through 2004. He managed a group of 4 traders along with trading his own positions during this period overseeing a gross position of approximately $1billion. His expertise has been in high beta sectors such as telecom, utilities, and special situations. Prior to trading high yield, he was a Managing Director on the investment grade trading desk at Bear Sterns from 1992 through 1999. Mr. DeGaetano has a B.A. from Colgate University.

Art is a member of the Columbus Citizens Foundation and actively supports student-athlete programs and scholarships through a family foundation.

Stephen Selver

Mr. Selver is the Chief Executive Officer of Bramshill Investments.  Mr. Selver joined Bramshill in 2014.  Mr. Selver was previously a Managing Director at BankAmerica Merrill Lynch, Inc. in High Yield Sales where he covered many large institutional asset managers.  Before joining BankAmerica, Mr. Selver spent 14 years at JPMorgan as a Director, selling various credit products to funds including loans, bonds, credit derivatives and CDO’s.  Prior to JPMorgan, Mr. Selver was an attorney at Squire, Sanders and Dempsey where he specialized in corporate finance and public finance.  Mr. Selver is a graduate of Albany Law School and Holy Cross College.  Mr. Selver serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Food Action in Englewood, NJ.

William Nieporte

Mr. Nieporte is the Chief Operating Officer of Bramshill Investments. Before starting Bramshill in June of 2012, Mr. Nieporte was an Early Stage Founder and the Senior Director of Sales and Operations for Accept Software (Acquired by Artemis 2012) from 2003. Prior to Accept, he was Vice President of Business Development and Operations for CCG Consulting for three years. Prior to CCG, he was the Director of Business Development and Operations for Net TV / Lumenati a Pequot Company for two years. Mr. Nieporte has a B.S. in finance and economics from St. Mary’s College. 

Derek Pines

Mr. Pines is a Portfolio Manager at Bramshill Investments where he co-manages their flagship Income Performance Strategy with Bramshill’s CIO.  Prior to joining Bramshill Investments in 2012, Mr. Pines spent 10+ years as a Proprietary Trader and Portfolio Manager leading a multi-asset class strategy which specialized in quantitative modeling techniques and utilized fundamental research to determine relative value.  The bulk of that time was with Assent (Sungard Financial) and more recently Chimera Securities. He also spent a year with Accenture in their Core Trading Services Group. He holds a Masters Graduate Certificate in Algorithmic Trading from Stevens University. Mr. Pines graduated cum laude with a B.S. in finance from Georgetown University.

Michael Hirschfield, CFA

Michael HirschfieldBefore joining Bramshill Investments in 2018, Mr. Hirschfield served over 9 years as Portfolio Manager for Man Group, the world’s largest publicly listed Hedge Fund. He ran the US Credit portfolio for their GLG Market Neutral Fund, a multi-strategy credit fund. Michael also worked alongside Bramshill founder, Art DeGaetano, during their tenures together at GLG Partners, helping to develop the predecessor to the Bramshill Income Performance Strategy in 2009. Prior to GLG Partners, Michael was Head Trader for Cedarview Capital, an event-driven credit hedge fund. Prior to the buy-side, Mr. Hirschfield worked as a sell-side bond trader for FTN Financial on their Investment Grade Corporate Bond desk. Michael became a CFA charterholder in 2007. He received his B.A. in Economics in 2003 from Yale University.

Steven C. Carhart

Steven CarhartSteven Carhart is a veteran investment and research professional with extensive portfolio management experience. Steve’s previous investment experience included three years as Vice President and portfolio manager of a major mutual fund at Pioneer Investment Management and five years as Vice President and portfolio manager of the Baker Fentress closed end mutual fund.  In earlier stages of his investment career, he managed equity and balanced portfolios at the Northern Trust Company as well as founding the investment research firm Carhart Associates Inc. Steve is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an SB in Electrical Engineering. He also earned an SM from the Program for the Social Application of Technology in the Sloan School of Management at MIT. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a member of the CFA Institute and the Boston Society of Security Analysts.

Paul van Lingen

Paul van Lingen Mr. van Lingen is a Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at Bramshill Investments specializing in Mortgage Backed Securities and all Structured Products.

Prior to joining Bramshill Investments in 2017, Mr. van Lingen was a Managing Director, Principal, and Portfolio Manager at Rimrock Capital Management, a west coast Hedge Fund. He served as Head of All Structured Products managing approximately four billion dollars in capital. Prior to that Mr. van Lingen was a Managing Director at RBS Greenwich Capital where he managed day to day trading activities overseeing several employees as well as worked with private and government agencies to help restore residential securitization markets. He served as Head of Non-Agency MBS Trading managing approximately four billion dollars in capital. Prior to RBS Greenwich, Mr. van Lingen was a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns where he oversaw one of the largest trading and issuance platforms overseeing many employees. He served as Head of Agency and Non-Agency ARM Trading managing over twenty billion dollars of capital. Prior to Bear Stearns, Mr. van Lingen served in various roles in managing, consulting, modeling and technology for all aspects of the securitization business at Bankers Trust, Bank of New York, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Mr. van Lingen has a B.S. from New York University, Stern School of Business.

Gina Cifello

Gina CifelloMs. Cifello joined Bramshill Investments in September of 2017 and has 20 years of accounting and financial management experience. Ms. Cifello was previously the Controller of R.G. Niederhoffer Capital Management, a twenty-year-old CTA firm based in New York City. Her responsibilities included managing the day-to-day operations and business affairs of registered investment advisors. In addition, Ms. Cifello worked as the Controller and CFO for a Single Family Office helping to establish an accounting system and developing processes and procedures to encompass all of the Family Office financial functions. Prior to joining Niederhoffer Capital, Ms. Ciefello worked in public accounting from 1997 to 2004. Ms. Cifello has her B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Caldwell University. Ms. Cifello currently lives in Florham Park, NJ. In her spare time, Gina enjoys spending time outdoors and hiking with friends.

Justin Byrnes

Before joining Bramshill Investments in 2014, Mr. Byrnes worked for SAC Capital for 8 years where he co-ran an equity portfolio focused on the Energy, Power and Utility sectors for one of the largest portfolio managers at the firm. Prior to that, Mr. Byrnes was an analyst at CJS Securities. Mr. Byrnes is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.

Jeff Leschen

Mr. Leschen is an Associate Director at Bramshill Investments. Before joining Bramshill in 2013, he worked at the Institute for International Research where he lead sales and marketing campaigns directed towards private and institutional investors. In addition he lead programs to research best practices in hedge fund operations, compliance, and client servicing. Mr. Leschen is a graduate from the University of Delaware and holds a Claritas Investment Certification from the CFA Institute.

Malcolm Selver

Malcom SelverMalcolm has 46 years of experience in the securities industry. Malcolm joined Bramshill in 2014. Malcolm was most recently a Managing Director at JP Morgan for 18 years in Equity Sales where he sold all equity, equity derivatives, swaps and other cross products to large institutional clients worldwide. Malcolm’s prior experience was as a Director at Salomon Brothers (later Citigroup) for 21 years where he was responsible for equity sales and trading. Malcolm is a graduate of Bryant College (B.S.).

Laura Simione

Laura SimioneLaura Simione is an Executive Director of Bramshill Investments. Ms. Simione joined Bramshill in 2017 and has 10 years of asset management sales experience. Ms. Simione was previously a Vice President at Boone Pickens Company, where she covered RIA and Intermediary sales focusing on energy and energy infrastructure investments. Before joining Boone Pickens Company, Ms. Simione spent 3 years at Baron Funds as a Senior Investment Consultant where she focused on Intermediary equity sales. In addition, Ms. Simione has held other sales roles at asset management companies including IndexIQ and Legg Mason, where she focused on RIA and Intermediary sales covering hedge fund ETF’s, equities and fixed income. Ms. Simione has her B.A. in Finance from the State University of New York at Oswego.

Laura currently lives in NYC with her French Bulldog, Olivia. In her spare time she can be frequently found at Barry’s Boot Camp and spending time with family. Laura is a member of the James Beard Foundation and is an Executive Council Member of Ellevate.

Joshua Bubbs

Josh BubbsJoshua Bubbs is an Executive Director of Bramshill Investments. Josh joined Bramshill in 2017 and has 15 years of sales and marketing experience. Prior to Bramshill, Josh was previously a Registered Investment and Insurance advisor at Barnum Financial Group, where he built external relationships with investment professionals. Josh began his career at Fred Alger Management, working as a portfolio manager liaison for their institutional clients. Josh has a B.S. in economics from Union College.

Josh currently lives in Short Hills, NJ with his wife Amy, and their two sons. In his spare time Josh enjoys playing and watching sports with his sons and spin classes on Peloton.

Roderick Jones

Roderick JonesMr. Jones joined Bramshill in 2017.  Prior to joining Bramshill, he attended Colgate University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. Most recently, he worked as a Business Development Associate at Commercial Finance Partners, where his responsibilities included sales of various financial products and underwriting.

Brittney Van Calcar

Brittney Van CalcarBrittney Van Calcar is an Associate of Bramshill Investments. Ms. Van Calcar joined Bramshill in 2017 and has 1 years of experience in operations and marketing. Ms. Van Calcar was previously a student at the College of Charleston, where she graduated with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Business Administration. During her spare time Ms. Van Calcar enjoys kickboxing and spending time at her family’s beach house in Mantoloking, NJ.

Anthony “Woody” Forns, CPA, CGMA

Mr. Forns is currently serving as a consultant to the company after serving 5 years as the firm’s chief financial officer. As a former partner of J.H. Cohn & Company, now CohnResnick LP, Mr. Forns handled both public and privately held clients. As part of his career in private industry he has been the CFO for Sound Distributing, an Anheuser Busch distributor, Van Leer Chocolate, a chocolate manufacturing company, the United States CFO for Barry Callebaut, a multinational company following its a acquisition of Van Leer, the CFO for Pezrow, Inc., a food brokerage company and as Regional Director of Finance for Advantage Sales & Marketing following its acquisition of Pezrow. Mr. Forns holds an MBA with a concentration in Accounting/Taxation from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a BBA with a concentration in Accounting from Siena College. Following graduation from Siena, Mr. Forns was commissioned as a Finance Officer in the U.S. Army and after serving time on active duty and the reserves, was discharged at the rank of Captain. Mr. Forns is a Certified Public Accountant and is licensed in the State of New Jersey.

Sean Wilke

Bramshill has a close relationship with Duff & Phelps, an outside business and regulatory consulting firm, which provides Bramshill with ongoing support related to the administration and enhancement of the firm’s compliance program. Sean Wilke, an attorney and director at Duff & Phelps, has worked with Bramshill since before its 2012 inception and also previously served as the firm’s in-house general counsel and chief compliance officer.

Dean Somes

Dean Somes is a graduate of Boston College, earning dual B.A. degrees, and a published author, having written chapters in two books entitled, Your Options Handbook (Wiley, 2011), by Jared Levy and What’s Behind the Numbers? (McGraw-Hill, 2012), by John DelVecchio and Tom Jacobs, which was awarded the 2013 Book of the Year by Stock Trader’s Almanac.

Bramshill Investments Nominated for Three Hedge Fund Awards

By Stephen Selver
October 19, 2016
Absolute return fixed income specialist recognized by HFMWeek in multiple categoriesHackensack, NJ (October 19, 2016) – The Income Performance Strategy from Bramshill Investments has been nominated for three awards from HFMWeek’s US Hedge Fund Performance Awards 2016. The nominations are in the following three categories: Credit under $1 billion, Fixed Income under $1 billion, and Specialist.

Got Quality Yield? Credit Risk Considerations

By Art DeGaetano
October 12, 2016
How quality is your yield? Will that yield be protected from the risks lurking in today’s fixed income market? These are just some of the questions and challenges facing RIAs and investors globally. At Bramshill Investments, we manage absolute return solutions in fixed income and income producing assets with a focus on five distinct asset classes (investment grade and high-yield bonds, preferreds, municipal bonds, and U.S. Treasuries). We understand the challenges RIAs are facing in their search for yield; as portfolio managers, we are facing them as well. Hopefully, you will find our cautionary considerations related to credit risk useful as you re-evaluate your fixed income allocations.Lately, credit risk seems to be irrelevant to RIAs and investors. Macro influences, courtesy of the central banks, have created an environment of complacency – especially when it comes to credit quality. The passive investor doesn’t appear to care about good or bad fundamentals…they own everything. Actively managed bond mutual funds have routinely allocated to the riskiest securities in an all-out scramble to beef up their advertised yield with hopes of attracting inflows from yield-starved investors. Together, the flows into yield-enhancing strategies have been massive. However, with complacency, comes risk.A few things to consider…

  • As companies issue debt, is the rationale behind the issuance the “right” reason?
    • Since 2009, U.S. corporations have issued almost $3 trillion in debt (roughly equal to the debt issuance of the last 50 years)…much of this went to buybacks, dividends and M&A.
    • While this is good for equity investors, it is NOT good for bond investors who would much rather see the capital being used for long-term productive purposes not as a short-term reward for equity holders.
  • Are we at the late stages of the economic cycle?
    • Economic downturns and equity market sell-offs often coincide with increased default rates, and as investors know, high yield and speculative grade securities tend to be more highly correlated with equity prices than higher quality bonds.
    • Taking undue credit risk in attempt to capture enhanced yield could lead to increased drawdowns and an unexpected loss of capital as we move through the economic cycle.
  • Where are we in the debt cycle?
    • Debt cycles (and especially the debt super-cycle of the last 30+ years) tend to mask credit risk. Currently, per S&P Ratings, the average credit rating of U.S. corporations is BB – … yes, this means that the average U.S. corporation is a highly speculative investment.
    • With corporate revenues weak and interest coverage ratios declining, default risk appears to be increasing in a meaningful way.

To be clear, we are not advising investors to completely avoid credit risk. Instead, we are recommending caution…don’t overweight yield relative to risk. Invest for value. Sometimes this means forgoing that attractive advertised yield for a higher quality total return. Protecting capital and ultimately protecting future income is becoming paramount, and at some point, credit analysis will matter again as investors will be rewarded for differentiating between credit fundamentals.




Got Quality Yield? Why Break-Even (Yield / Duration) Matters

By Stephen Selver
October 05, 2016
At Bramshill Investments, we manage absolute return solutions in fixed income and income producing assets. Our philosophy of relative value investing in income-producing securities leads us to evaluate yield relative to the underlying risks. Essentially, we are on the constant search for quality yield.

We understand that RIAs are facing these same challenges yet with even more complexity. At Bramshill, we focus on five distinct asset classes / sectors in fixed income (investment grade and high-yield bonds, preferreds, municipal bonds, and U.S. Treasuries). RIAs, however, have even more strategies that they may utilize, many of which are advertising yield while ignoring the underlying risks. For several of our RIA and family office clients, Bramshill portfolio managers serve as an accessible resource for market insights on RIA’s underlying fixed income allocations. In that role, we urge clients to re-evaluate the quality of the yield they are implementing in client portfolios; in other words, consider the risk reward of each fixed income investment.

In our previous blog, we teed up five metrics for income investors to consider. Today, we will discuss the first metric, Yield relative to Duration.

Yield ÷ Duration

Jeffrey Sherman at DoubleLine Capital, a firm for which we have much respect, has defined yield/duration as “The Sherman Ratio.” A link to his paper can be found hereWhile it appears on the surface to be a simple metric, it is immensely valuable in a rising rate environment. The Sherman Ratio measures the amount of interest income generated relative to the interest rate risk being taken. Essentially, yield / duration measures the breakeven point at which falling bond prices will overwhelm the interest income thereby resulting in a capital loss (i.e. the percentage increase in rates that will wipe out the yield). Ultimately, when evaluating potential fixed income solutions, all else being equal, the higher the Sherman Ratio, the more your yield can withstand a rise in rates. Said another way, in a rising rate environment, falling bond prices can quickly erase one’s interest income. Risk management in core fixed income is, in our opinion, becoming a critical component of an RIA’s due diligence.




2016 JUNE Portfolio Commentary

BRAMSHILL BLOG: From the Desk of Art DeGaetano.

Market Insights from Bramshill Investments: June was characterized by a market environment which was extremely complacent ahead of the Brexit