Jeff Citron is a Managing Partner of KEC Ventures.
Jeff Citron is considered a technological pioneer and industry leader. Throughout his career he has used disruptive technologies to transform industries ranging from electronic trading to financial services and telecommunications.
Jeff began his career on Wall Street as a trader, where he quickly developed the skills required to create one of the first electronic communication networks, The Island ECN. Introduced in 1995, it quickly transformed the financial services industry and was later sold to Instinet Group, now part of NASDAQ.
At the same time Jeff was creating Island, he was also transforming another industry, financial services. With the creation of Datek Online, Datek brought the power of professional trading tools to the everyday investor. Under his leadership, Datek became the fourth largest online brokerage company in the U.S. and Jeff was named Chairman and CEO. He retired from the company in October 1999 and Datek was later sold to TD Ameritrade.
After transforming Wall Street, Jeff set his sights on another industry, telecommunications, with the founding of Vonage. Launched in 2001, Vonage pioneered voice communication via high speed Internet and cloud enabled devices. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey-based company. Vonage has some 2.4 million subscribers in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom. He served as CEO from 2001 to 2006 and has acted as Chief Strategist and interim CEO. In May 2006, Vonage was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Along with being a visionary entrepreneur, Jeff is also a passionate philanthropist. In 1999, Jeff and his wife founded the Charles Lafitte Foundation aimed at helping people and others around them lead healthy, satisfying and enriched lives. CLF focuses on four primary causes: children’s advocacy, education, medical research and initiatives, and the arts.
JP is a Managing Partner at KEC Ventures.
JP has been an investor for more than eight years. While he has experience investing in companies at every stage of their lifecycle, his passion is early stage technology. He was part of the founding team at KEC Ventures and spends the majority of his time evaluating opportunities in the areas of enterprise software and eCommerce. He led KEC’s investments in companies such as Reonomy, Gem, Ayehu, Jump Ramp Games, Bouqs, and AlphaDraft (acquired by FanDuel).
Prior to KEC Ventures, JP worked at Z Capital Partners, an Illinois based private equity firm. Before Z Capital, he was one of the early employees within ABN Amro/LaSalle Bank’s CDO group and knows a thing or two about frothy markets and bubbles. He began his career at Citigroup.
Outside of work, JP spends the majority of his time with his family, but gets out to the golf course or gym whenever possible. He is also an avid Denver sports fan.
JP earned a BBA from Texas Christian University, where he was an all-conference swimmer and school record holder. He also holds an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
Brian is a Partner at KEC Ventures.
Brian focuses his time at KEC Ventures on discovering and studying early stage startups. He is fascinated by the combination of factors that result in certain technology-enabled startups becoming dominant, global companies.
Brian joined KEC after serving as a strategy analyst in Global Diversity and Inclusion at Lehman Brothers in New York, NY. Before his tenure at Lehman, he worked at UBS AG in Stamford, CT as an analyst in Group Diversity. He was a pension actuarial analyst at Watson Wyatt Worldwide (now Towers Watson) prior to UBS.
He was a junior auditor at Issifu Ali & Co. Chartered Accountants, in Accra, Ghana between completing his secondary school education and commencing undergraduate study in the United States in 1997.
Outside work Brian volunteers his time informally towards assisting early stage startups in Africa as they attempt to navigate a path from idea to market launch. As part of that effort, he writes a column on entrepreneurship and technology startups for Tekedia as an unpaid contributor.
He also maintains a personal blog.
Brian holds a BA with a double major in Mathematics and Physics from Connecticut College in New London, CT. During his undergraduate study he spent three years as a research assistant in the Tunable Diode Laser Spectroscopy Laboratory at the Connecticut College Physics Department. He is a co-author of five articles that have been published in refereed journals. He also holds an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University in New York, NY.
Brian is a devoted husband and father. In what little time he can spare, he is a fitness enthusiast and now has a few half-marathons under his belt.
Josh is a Partner at KEC Ventures.
Josh Lamstein has worked in private equity and venture capital for over 14 years and has led private investments with aggregate equity value in excess of $400 million. In late 2010, Mr. Lamstein co-founded and was COO of Soli, a mobile marketing and loyalty company that grew to have operations on four continents and was acquired by Acision Nederland B.V. in 2012. Prior to Soli, Mr. Lamstein was a founding member of GF Capital Private Equity Fund, a private equity firm focused on growth capital investments in the media, business information and consumer products sectors. He helped lead the firm’s media and business information efforts. Prior to joining GF Capital, Mr. Lamstein was responsible for illiquid investments at Mousse Partners, a family office investing on behalf of Chanel. Earlier, Mr. Lamstein established and led the US office for LMS Capital, a FTSE 100 investment trust that invests in private companies in the media, technology and industrial sectors. Prior to LMS, Mr. Lamstein worked at Apollo Advisors, a leading leveraged buyout firm. Mr. Lamstein started his finance career at Lehman Brothers, where he worked in New York and London in the Leveraged Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions groups respectively.
Mr. Lamstein serves on the Boards of Directors of Penske Media Corporation, the owner of Variety, Deadline Hollywood, Hollywood Life and other digital media properties, World Education Incorporated, a non-profit organization focused on improving the lives of the poor through education and economic and social development programs, and AlmaLinks, a global non-profit focused on improving the careers of young Jewish professionals. He is on the Advisory Board of Giraffic, a company focused on improving the quality and reducing the latency of video streaming.
Mr. Lamstein has a B.A. with honors in Economics and Asian Studies from Colgate University and an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Chris is a Principal at KEC Ventures.
Chris is responsible for sourcing and analyzing new opportunities as well as managing the due diligence processes.
Chris came to KEC with a background in financial research and analysis. Prior to KEC Ventures he worked at Aegis Capital performing research on U.S. equities. Before his time at Aegis, Chris worked in the Capital Markets Division at Janney Montgomery Scott. He was a member of the High Yield Corporate Credit team at Delaware Investments prior to his tenure at JMS.
Chris has a passion for education and learning. He authored a self-tutoring mathematics textbook for students preparing for standardized exams. Chris holds a bachelor of science from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he was a member of the football team.
John is an Analyst at KEC Ventures.
John is responsible for sourcing and analyzing new opportunities as well as managing the due diligence processes.
Prior to joining KEC Ventures John was a systems engineer at the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) where he built inventory management and incubation software to automate the cell reprogramming process.
John holds a bachelor of science in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University where he specialized in Bioengineering. Prior to NYSCF, John held roles at Morgan Stanley and OC&C Strategy Consultants. A native New Yorker, John is an avid Giants, Nets, and Yankee fan.
Nina is the CFO at KEC Ventures.
Nina Murphy is responsible for all day-to-day financial management, operations, administration, and tax activities at KEC. She brings over 19 years of financial and operational experience, having helped launch and manage several hedge funds and alternatives products.
Nina’s experience incorporates COO positions held at two private funds, including AT Global Capital, a $400 million global macro hedge fund, where she built and ran all non-investment functions, and Vertose, a company that develops innovative investment products. Nina also ran Investor Services for Christofferson, Robb and Company, a $2.5 billion hedge fund specializing in European structured credit.
Previous alternatives experience includes roles at Tribeca Global Management (formerly Citibank’s internal multi-strategy hedge fund), and Deutsche Bank’s prime brokerage group.
Nina holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BS in Business Management and Finance from Brooklyn College.