Meet The Team
Michael Stein is a Founding Partner of Pensam.
With over 30 years of experience in the commercial real estate investment and structured finance sectors, Michael has been involved in over $10 billion of equity and debt real estate transactions. Prior to founding Pensam in 2009, Michael was a partner in Miami-based Aztec Group, which invested in commercial, multihousing, and hospitality transactions. He began his real estate career in 1990 with CB Richard Ellis in Miami.
Michael is an active member of leading industry groups and councils such as the Urban Land Institute (ULI), National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), CRE Finance Council (CREFC), Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA). In addition to his business leadership, Michael is active in local and national community organizations and philanthropic causes. He was past chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Commerce and Professions division, a member of the collector’s council at the Miami Art Museum, a Patron of the Contemporary Art Museum in Miami and a Founder of Mount Sinai Medical Center. Michael is on the Board of Directors of The Great Lakes Group, a Cleveland, Ohio based maritime company.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Skidmore College and is an alum of Harvard Business School.
Gavin Beekman is a Founding Partner of Pensam Capital. He manages the day-to-day operations of the firm and its treasury functions.
Prior to founding Pensam Capital, Gavin was a partner and played an executive role in the build-out of Cidel Financial Group (CFG). CFG is an international financial services group with assets under management in excess of US$20b.
Gavin is qualified as a chartered accountant and worked for Arthur Anderson in Cape Town, South Africa before moving to New York to work in private equity. He received a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a post graduate degree in Accounting from Rhodes University in South Africa. Gavin proudly serves as a board member of HIP (Health Information Project) and is an active member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO).
Joe Ackerman is a Founding Partner of Pensam Capital. He leads Pensam Capital’s risk committee and, backed by his prior experience, assists and participates in capital market activities.
He is an active Board Member at Grupo Javer, the largest housing development company in Mexico. He is also a Director of Nexxus, a Real Estate Development Company of Industrial Parks in Northern Mexico.
Joe was a partner at Cidel Financial Group (CFG), a Canadian-based financial group that owns more than US$20 billion in various global asset management and trust companies. Joe also worked at Merrill Lynch (New York) as a vice president from 1994 until 2000, where he gained broad experience with both private and institutional clients working in credit products.
Joe holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Principal, Director of Investments
Hen Shoval serves as Principal and Director of Investments for Pensam. In this role, he leads and oversees the company’s various investment activities, including sourcing, negotiating, underwriting, managing the due diligence process, arranging financing, and closing of transactions. Hen has spearheaded well in excess of $8 billion in acquisitions, dispositions, and structured finance transactions.
Prior to joining Pensam, Hen worked for various real estate investment firms and was involved in the acquisition of well over 10,000 apartment units across the United States.
Hen holds an MBA from ESADE Business School, and a BA in Economics from Florida International University.
Dominic Rechichi is a principal of Pensam. Dominic leads Pensam’s design and project management teams in ensuring projects are designed and managed effectively to limit risk, maintain efficient schedules, and deliver quality product. Dominic and the Pensam development team concentrate their efforts on ensuring project success by focusing on efficient design, meticulous project management, and effective communication.
Prior to this, Dominic served as Director of Asset Management for Pensam.
In his role as Director of Asset Management, Dominic was responsible for the overall stewardship and performance of the firm’s property portfolio spanning over 10,000 multifamily units throughout the country. Previous to his tenure at Pensam, Dominic worked in multiple roles within the commercial real estate industry primarily focusing within the multifamily business. His experience includes acquiring, developing, rehabilitating, and building multifamily communities. Dominic started his real estate career working for SunTrust Bank in South Florida as a commercial real estate lender and portfolio manager.
Dominic is an active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), National Multi Housing Council (NMHC), and NYU Real Estate Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and International Business from Florida State University and earned a graduate degree from New York University with an emphasis in real estate development and investments.
Principal, Head of Capital Markets & Lending
Principal, Head of Capital Markets & Lending
Ray Cleeman is a Principal at Pensam a multi-faceted private equity real estate fund that has a robust Credit Solutions Group. As a private, direct real estate lender, Pensam provides flexible and rapid capital solutions to real estate sponsors across the capital stack including first mortgages, mezzanine debt, subordinate debt and preferred equity with a focus on supporting value-add strategies, lease-ups, recapitalizations and transitional situations. Pensam can take leverage up to 90%. Pensam is also an approved buyer of Freddie Mac “B-Piece” Senior Debt Securities under the K-Series Program.
Ray spent the formative years of his career on Wall Street having worked as an investment banker at Credit Suisse, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenerette, and Raymond James. He has been involved in the issuance of over $6 billion of high yield securities, the issuance of over $3 billion of private and public equities, arranged bridge commitments and senior loan facilities, advised on over $7 billion of global M&A transactions and advised on several merchant banking transactions. Previously, Ray was also SVP Finance & Treasurer of a publicly traded company.
Director of Capital Markets
Joseph Brennan serves as Director of Capital Markets for Pensam. He has been involved with Pensam since its founding, and is an experienced professional with a broad background in domestic and international sales and marketing of financial services and products involving capital markets, private banking, investment banking and international trade finance.
Prior to his role at Pensam, Joe was President of Brennan Caballero, Inc., a private family company where he was active in analyzing and monitoring investments, in addition to assisting and advising on marketing and sales efforts in the US, Latin America and Europe. Previously, Mr. Brennan was Senior Vice President of Wealth Management at HSBC Bank in Miami, FL, a group established to pursue large, complex, sophisticated opportunities by coordinating bank resources required to provide value-added products and solutions to clients and their companies.
Joe also worked as Vice President in the Private Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, as Director of the Private Banking Group of UBS AG, as Vice President in Private Banking with Bankers Trust Private Advisory Services and at Citicorp Private Bank Capital Markets Unit where he was the Vice President/Manager of the Derivative Products Marketing Unit and in Citicorp’s Investment Banking Group in New York and Puerto Rico.
Joe received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College and is fluent in English and Spanish.
Senior General Counsel
Nisha Bhatia serves as Senior General Counsel for Pensam. Nisha first joined the firm as an intern in 2009. Nisha’s responsibilities include: ensuring internal corporate regulatory compliance, drafting and reviewing loan documents, corporate structuring, and assisting outside counsel in transactional work, including conventional mortgage loans, mezzanine financing, loan assumptions, loan structuring, and real estate acquisitions.
Nisha is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 2007. She earned a Juris Doctorate from the University Of Miami School Of Law in 2010. While at the University of Miami School of Law, Nisha served as a member of the Student Bar Association, the Admissions Committee and the Orientation Committee.
Nisha is a member of the Florida Bar.
Edilsa Ruiz serves as General Counsel of Pensam, overseeing the company’s legal and corporate governance functions. She is also active in all aspects of transactional matters pertaining to acquisitions, dispositions and other investments by Pensam and provides counsel on the overall management of all legal activities for the company.
Edilsa joined Pensam in June 2021 after a successful career at Avila, Rodriguez, Hernandez, Mena & Garro, LLP, a well-known multiple practice law firm in Miami, Florida, where she served as a Partner of the firm’s corporate and financial services practice. Prior to that, Edilsa began her legal career as an associate attorney in the corporate practice group at Greenberg Traurig, LLP, a prestigious and well-recognized international law firm.
Edilsa has counseled companies of all sizes on a wide variety of corporate governance matters as well as transactional matters in the areas of joint ventures, preferred equity investments (with a focus on real estate investments), domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, corporate financings, and general contractual matters.
Edilsa received her law degree from the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and her bachelor of business administration from Florida International University.
Edilsa is a member of the Florida Bar.
Vice President of Operations
Alejandro Muelle serves as Vice President of Operations.
As the firm’s Vice President of Operations, Alejandro’s responsibilities include planning, directing, coordinating and oversight of operational activities within the organization ensuring the development and implementation of efficient operations and cost-effective systems to meet Pensam’s current and future needs. Additionally, Alejandro is the Director of Human Resources and is responsible for talent recruitment, management and retention.
Prior to joining the firm, Alejandro was the Vice President of Operations for a statewide real estate developer and subsequently a senior accountant for a local CPA firm specializing in foreign and domestic real estate investments. Alejandro earned two Bachelor's degrees (1997), a Juris Doctor (2000) from the University of Florida, and a Master of Accounting degree (2014) from Florida International University. Alejandro is a member of the Florida Bar and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Vice President of Investments
Galina serves as a Vice President of Investments for Pensam, where she is responsible for overseeing the underwriting and due diligence of equity, preferred equity, and funding investment opportunities.
Prior to joining Pensam, Galina was employed at Lloyd Jones Capital as a Senior Acquisition Analyst responsible for identifying and underwriting multifamily investments as well as performing due diligence. In addition, Galina worked at Marcus and Millichap as an Analyst and Transaction Manager.
Galina earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Novosibirsk State Technical University in Russia. Following that, she earned her Bachelor of Business in Finance (Magna Cum Laude) and her Master of Business Administration from Florida International University. Galina also holds a Florida real estate license.
Alexander Keenan serves as an Investment Analyst for Pensam. His responsibilities include identifying potential investments, underwriting equity and preferred equity deals, and assisting in the due diligence process.
Prior to Alexander’s career at Pensam, Alexander was engaged in the insurance industry, working at Allianz Life Insurance in their actuarial product development team. Alexander obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, with concentrations in Statistics and Actuarial Science.
Fernando Tavara serves as an Investment Analyst for Pensam. His responsibilities include identifying potential investments, underwriting equity/preferred equity and funding opportunities, as well as assisting in the due diligence process.
Prior to Fernando’s career at Pensam, Fernando was engaged in the wealth management industry, working at Alvarium Investments in their portfolio management team. Fernando obtained a Bachelor’s of Business Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with majors in Real Estate and Finance.
Vice President of Asset Management
Matthew Neufeld serves as Vice President of Asset Management for Pensam. His responsibilities include identifying areas for financial growth within properties, monitoring leasing and operating activity, reviewing property-level financial statements, providing property rehabilitation administrative support, and aiding in the investor reporting process. Matthew works in constant collaboration with Pensam’s property management teams to effectively oversee the multihousing portfolio, with a main focus on Texas.
Prior to joining Pensam, Matthew worked as an Assistant Property Manager at Delma Properties, focusing on and managing Office and Multihousing investments in the Ft. Lauderdale and Boynton Beach area. Matt graduated from Stetson University, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and also earned a Master of Business Administration in Real Estate from Florida International University.
Vice President of Portfolio Management
Victor de Zárraga serves as Vice President of Portfolio Management for Pensam. His responsibilities include identifying areas for financial growth within properties, monitoring leasing and operating activity, reviewing property-level financial statements, providing property rehabilitation administrative support, and leading the investor reporting process. Victor works in constant collaboration with Pensam’s strategic partners to effectively manage the multihousing portfolio. Victor oversees Pensam’s assets in Florida and the Midwest. Prior to his placement on the Asset Management team, he worked as an Analyst within Pensam’s Acquisitions group.
Prior to joining Pensam, Victor worked as a Real Estate Analyst intern at Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, LP, focusing on multihousing investments sales with additional experience in retail, industrial, and office products. Victor graduated from Babson College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Global Business Management.
Joseph Menendez serves as an Asset Manager for Pensam. His responsibilities include preparing financial reports on property and portfolio performance, identifying areas for financial growth within properties, monitoring leasing and operating activity, reviewing property-level financial statements, providing property rehabilitation administrative support, and aiding in the investor reporting and distribution process for Pensam’s equity investments. Joseph also assists with the management and reporting of Pensam’s preferred equity and debt portfolio.
Prior to joining Pensam, Joseph worked at CFH Group, a development and property management company located in Coral Gables, where he assisted in the valuation and due diligence of multifamily properties for potential acquisition. Joseph graduated from Babson College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.
Investor Relations Analyst
Benjamin Frisbee serves as an Investor Relations Analyst for Pensam. His responsibilities include communicating the financial and operational performance of assets in the Company’s portfolio; assisting the Company’s Asset Management, Acquisitions, Legal and Accounting teams with various ongoing tasks and transactions; managing client relations; and aiding in the investor reporting and distribution process for Pensam’s equity investments. Benjamin also assists with the management and reporting of Pensam’s preferred equity and debt portfolio.
Prior to joining Pensam, Benjamin worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Kuvera Capital, an investment bank based in Bangkok, Thailand, focusing on commercial real estate, blockchain technology, and renewable energy.
Benjamin graduated from Florida International University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.
Finance Portfolio Manager
Gabriel serves as a Finance Portfolio Manager for Pensam’s preferred equity and lending portfolios. In this role, he is responsible for analyzing investment performance, managing loan servicing and asset management processes, preparing debt schedules, producing financial reports, and maintaining accounting records.
Prior to joining Pensam, Gabriel worked at COFE Properties as a Fund Manager, where he prepared distribution waterfalls, reported financial performance, assisted with investor relations, and maintained accounting books.
Gabriel earned a BA in Economics from the University of Florida and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Mergers and Acquisitions from the University of Miami.
Regional VP of Asset Management
Katie Vanderveen serves as Regional VP of Asset Management for Pensam. Her responsibilities include identifying areas for financial growth within properties, monitoring leasing and operating activity, reviewing property-level financial statements, providing property rehabilitation administrative support, and aiding in the investor reporting process. Katie works in constant collaboration with Pensam’s property management teams to effectively manage the multihousing portfolio. Katie’s primary focus is on Pensam’s assets in the Midwest and Colorado.
Prior to joining Pensam, Katie worked as VP of Asset Management for Capital Real Estate overseeing a 3500-unit multifamily portfolio in three states. Preceding that she held multiple roles at Laramar, including Regional Property Manager overseeing 2,900 units, Property Accountant, Trainer, and Business Applications Support. Her extensive background in property management includes onsite management, multi-site management, value-add renovations, new construction lease-up, condo conversion, acquisitions & due diligence, client relations, and property accounting.
Katie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Grand Valley State University.
Director of Development and Construction
Dirk serves as the Director of Development and Construction. In that role, he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the construction and development activities for commercial and multifamily housing projects for Pensam. His responsibilities include: budgeting, scheduling, construction & design coordination, permitting, and entitlement. Having a diverse background in various construction types and products, along with experience in estimating, purchasing, and field operations; Dirk provides the resources required to deliver successful projects from concept to completion.
Before joining Pensam, Dirk served as the Vice President of Construction, in a similar capacity, for a regional commercial and residential developer with a portfolio of over 5 million square feet of real estate, and approaching $1 billion in total volume. Prior to his multifamily tenure, he operated a Florida-based construction firm that specialized in commercial tenant improvements for several national branded clients. He started his career with a national home builder in the estimating and purchasing department. After several years in the office he transitioned to field operations, then project management, and eventually becoming responsible for over $85 million worth of residential construction annually.
A graduate of Purdue University, Dirk holds both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Construction Management. He has held his Certified General Contractor license for the State of Florida for the past 11 years and is actively involved in the NAHB, Florida Home Builders Association, and maintains involvement with his alma mater in furthering the development of curriculum for professional constructors.
Lena Martinez, CPA serves as Financial Controller for Pensam.
In her role as Pensam’s Financial Controller, Lena’s responsibilities include creating and maintaining a standard chart of accounts for Pensam, documenting all transactional data, preparing financial statements, and managing the firm’s accounts receivable and accounts payable. Prior to joining Pensam, Lena worked as an accountant for a statewide real estate developer and subsequently as a senior accountant at an international wholesale company.
Lena earned Bachelors and Masters of Accounting from Florida International University.
Yusleidy Arrojo is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Yusleidy serves as Assistant Controller for Pensam.
Her responsibilities include: creating and maintaining a standard chart of accounts for Pensam, preparing financial statements, and overseeing the firm’s accounts payable and receivable. Prior to joining Pensam, Yusleidy worked as an accountant for an international wholesale company, where she oversaw all internal and external operations for the company. She has over 10 years of experience in the accounting field.
Yusleidy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from University of Matanzas, Cuba and a Masters of Accounting degree from Nova Southeastern University.
Office Manager & HR Coordinator
Viviana Angulo serves as Office Manager & HR Coordinator for Pensam.
Her responsibilities include day-to-day operations of the Pensam office as well as administrative assistance. She provides technical and logistical support for special projects, meetings, conferences, and events. Additionally, she completes administrative duties for the human resources department including recruitment, maintaining employee records, and provides administrative support to all employees.
Viviana graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Lynn University. Prior to joining Pensam, she worked in the Hospitality industry as an Event Manager. Viviana’s past roles include organizing facilities and managing all event details such as décor, catering, entertainment, transportation, location, guest lists and equipment.
Jacobo Fernandez serves as the Staff Accountant for Pensam. His responsibilities include: creating and maintaining a standard chart of accounts for Pensam, preparing financial statements, and overseeing the firm’s accounts payable and receivable. Prior to joining Pensam, Jacobo worked as a Staff Accountant for Printing Press, where he oversaw all internal operations for the company. He has also worked with many corporations on a contract basis, providing operating and accounting services.
Jacobo completed his Associates Degree in Accounting in 2014 from Miami Dade College, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida International University. He is also working towards completing an MBA in Business and Accounting.
Ivonne serves as Paralegal for Pensam Residential, working directly with the General Counsel.
Ivonne’s responsibilities include title and survey management for real estate investments, entity management and legal items relating to investor relations and compliance.
Prior to joining Pensam Residential in 2018, Ivonne worked at a reputable Miami law firm for ten years. Her law firm experience included coordinating residential and commercial real estate closings and assisting with a high volume of complex international corporate matters and transactions, including offshore trust and entity management and mergers and acquisitions. Having handled hundreds of closings in her over two-decade career, she conducts extensive due diligence, title examinations and survey reviews.
Ivonne is fluent in Spanish.
Assistant Construction Manager
Jesstin Beauchamp serves as Assistant Construction Manager for Pensam.
As Assistant Construction Manager, Jesstin’s responsibilities are to assist the construction and development team in the renovation and construction of various multifamily real estate assets and new development projects.
Jesstin proudly served in the United States Army/National Guard successfully completing his training in Fort Benning, Georgia. After receiving his honorable discharge, Jesstin began his construction career working for a contractor performing underground telecommunications work. After his tenure in telecom, he transitioned into the fire protection industry and spent 13 years involved in all facets of the business where he gained valuable project management skills.