Investment Team

Sy Jacobs - Managing Partner

Sy Jacobs is the founding and managing member of Jacobs Asset Management (JAM), the management company of our hedge fund, private investment vehicles and managed account. Prior to founding JAM in 1995, Mr. Jacobs spent 12 years as a research analyst covering specialty financial services and bank stocks at Alex. Brown and Sons, Mabon Nugent, L.F. Rothschild and Co., and Salomon Brothers, Inc. He earned his Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan and his MBA at New York University. Sy also serves as Chairman Emeritus of Venture for America, a non-profit whose mission is to revitalize American cities and communities through entrepreneurship.

Ryan Zacharia - Chief Operating Officer & Director of Research

Ryan Zacharia joined JAM as an Analyst in 2007 and currently serves as Chief Operating Officer & Director of Research. Prior to JAM, Ryan was an investment banking Analyst at Citi Corporate Markets & Banking in the Diversified Financial Services group. During his tenure he worked on a number of strategic advisory, capital raising and structured finance projects. Ryan received his Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, from Cornell University. He is responsible for overseeing JAM’s research team, public and private investment analysis and monitoring and helping oversee the firm’s daily operations.

Adam Aspes - Portfolio Strategist & Director of Marketing

Adam Aspes joined JAM as a Portfolio Strategist & Director of Marketing in 2016. Prior to JAM, Adam spent 19 years focused on financial stocks in a variety of roles including equity sales & trading for Tucker Anthony's Bank Group, research analysis at hedge fund Keefe Managers, investment banking at Keefe Ventures and co-founding the Moors & Cabot Financial Institutions Group. More recently, Adam was the top producer in Institutional Equity Sales at Sterne, Agee & Leach for nine straight years and a member of its Board of Directors before he moved to Piper Jaffray & Co. to serve as the Head of FIG Equity Sales. Adam received his Bachelor of Science from The University of Florida. He works alongside the Managing Partner to provide market color, liaises with the research team to generate and analyze trade ideas and leads JAM's marketing efforts.

Michael Tarkan - Senior Vice President, Specialty Finance Research

Michael Tarkan joined JAM in 2019 and currently serves as Senior Vice President, Specialty Finance Research. Prior to joining JAM, Michael served as Director of Research, Senior Analyst at Compass Point Research and Trading, LLC. At Compass Point, he was responsible for maintaining principal coverage of the consumer finance sector, and he managed a group of more than 10 publishing analysts. He previously served as a senior research analyst at Topeka Capital Markets and FBR Capital Markets, as well as an associate analyst at Citigroup. Michael began his career at Mercer Consulting as an Actuarial analyst. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics in 2002 from Emory University. He is also a CFA charterholder.

Luke Kautzer - Vice President, Bank Research

Luke Kautzer joined JAM in 2011 and is Vice President, Bank Research. Prior to JAM, Luke served as an Equity Research Associate at D.A. Davidson & Co. During his tenure Luke was the lead research associate on the financial institutions team covering a universe of banks and thrifts. Luke received his Bachelor of Business Administration, maxima cum laude, from the Pamplin School of Business at the University of Portland and is a CFA charterholder.

Operations & Support

Tom Jonovich - Chief Financial Officer & Chief Compliance Officer

Tom Jonovich joined JAM in 2010 and currently serves as its Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. Mr. Jonovich has over 20 years experience in accounting for Private Investment Partnerships. Prior to JAM, Tom was with Cougar Trading, LLC, a family office with both an internal Hedge Fund and numerous private investments with outside advisers. Prior to that, Tom was CFO and CCO of Keefe Managers, LLC, a SEC Registered Investment Advisor, which he joined in 1999. While at Keefe, Tom co-founded Keefe Ventures, LLC, a Broker / Dealer specializing in capital raises for financial institutions. Tom was the group’s CFO and Financial and Operations Principal and represented the group’s investors as member of the Board of Directors of Red Oak Bank. Prior to 1999, Tom held positions at a number of prominent Investment Advisers, including Appaloosa Management, Inc. and Steinhardt Management, LP. Earlier in his career, Tom was a CPA auditing Private Investment Partnerships and Broker Dealers at Rothstein, Kass & Company. Tom received his Bachelor of Science in accounting from Rutgers College and the School of Business.

Millys Lee - Administrative Director & Controller

Millys Lee joined JAM in 1999 and currently serves as the Administrative Director and Controller. She oversees business administration and daily operations at JAM, as well as assisting the Managing Partner. Prior to JAM she was an independent film publicist at Clein + White, Inc. Millys holds a BA in English from Oberlin College and an MFA in Creative Writing from New School University.

Eric Kwong - Vice President, Operations & Finance

Eric Kwong joined JAM in 2013 and is Vice President, Operations & Finance. Prior to JAM, Eric was the lead analyst in the Middle Office Group at Vastardis Capital Services. Before that, he worked for Citigroup Fund Services as a Fund Accountant. Eric received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Baruch College.