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LEADERSHIP TEAM

Our Management Team
We consider our people our firm's most valuable assets and have spent considerable time and effort building an exceptional team.
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Robert Wotczak

President and CEO

Registrations: Series 7, 24, 63, 79, & SIE.

He has previously held the Series 4, 8, 65, & 66 licenses.

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Prior to his arrival at Freedom Capital Markets, Rob was the founding member of the Wotczak Group, a capital markets advisory firm for small-cap public issuers and IPO candidates. Prior to the Wotczak Group, he was the president of TOMI Environmental Solutions (Nasdaq: TOMZ), where he was responsible for the management of all aspects of the business, including sales, operations, finance, marketing, capital markets, and investor relations.

 

During his career, Rob spent over 10 years at the New York Stock Exchange/American Stock Exchange in senior positions within the listings group. As the Head of Equities at the American Stock Exchange, he was responsible for the oversight of over 600 issuers, new listings, strategic planning, and a $40 million revenue base and was involved in over 200 listings of OTC up-listings, SPACs, and IPOs during that period. From 1989-1998 and again from 2000-2003, he was a registered representative. He served as a broker from 1989-1994 and brokerage branch manager from 1994-1998. From 1998-2000, he managed the trust and investment area for a NYC private bank. In late 2000, he formed and created a broker-dealer subsidiary inside of the bank, where he served as the firm's Securities Principal and Compliance Registered Options Principal (CROP). He worked at an NYSE Institutional Floor Brokerage firm as a senior trader from 2002-2003.

 

In addition to his responsibilities at Freedom Capital Markets, Rob also operates in the capacity of president and chief executive officer of Prime Executions, Inc.

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Duane Penfold

COO and CCO

Registrations: Series 7, 19, 24, 57, 63, 79, 99, & SIE.

As Freedom Capital Markets Chief Operating and Compliance Officer, Duane is responsible for the administration and oversight of the firm’s Institutional trading, compliance, technology, and all back-office operations.

 

Prior to the founding of Freedom Capital Markets, Duane joined Prime Executions in 2003 after eight years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy and had remained active in the Navy Reserves supporting a variety of National Defense initiatives from Strategic Planning to NATO partner initiatives, until retiring in August of 2020, having achieved the rank of Captain.

 

Duane holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, a Master of Business Administration from the University of West Florida, and is a graduate of The Joint and Combined Warfighting School at Joint Forces Staff College.

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Jon Rogers

Executive Vice President

Registrations: Series 7, 22, 24, 27, 39, 63, 86, 87, & SIE.

Jon joins Freedom Capital Markets as Executive Vice President from Citigroup, where he was Managing Director and Head of Americas Equity Research, covering both U.S. and Latin American Equity Research. 

Jon was previously Citi's Senior Automotive Analyst, earning recognition from Institutional Investor Magazine, Greenwich Associates, Starmine, and the Wall Street Journal. Prior to Citi, he covered the Automotive Sector for Wachovia Securities and has significant experience in financial and economic research, capital formation, and the IPO process.  

Prior to joining Wachovia, Jon served as Vice President of Martha R. Seger & Associates, an Investment Banking and Consulting firm. While at Seger, he spent five years as Managing Director of a joint venture with J.D. Power and Associates, providing research and consulting services to public and private investors in the automotive industry.

Jon began his career in business as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He earned his MBA with a concentration in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in economics from the University of Detroit and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy and Economics from the University of Chicago.

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Jay Woods

Chief Global Strategist

Registrations: Series 7, 57, 63 and SIE.

Jay Woods is the Chief Global Strategist for Freedom Capital Markets. Prior to joining Freedom, he was the Chief Market Strategist at DriveWealth Institutional. He also served as an Executive Floor Governor at the NYSE, the highest elected position at the Exchange held by only six NYSE members.

 

Jay spent over 25 years as a Designated Market Maker on the NYSE floor. He started with Spear, Leeds, and Kellogg, then joined Goldman Sachs for 14 years and moved on to IMC after Goldman divested their floor operation. As a DMM, he was responsible for several high-profile IPOs and led trading in some of the most active issues at the NYSE.

 

Jay received his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University. He received his CMT designation in 2017. He is heavily involved with the CMT Association and currently serves on their Board of Directors. He also mentors Scholars of Finance and regularly discusses financial literacy with local high schools and universities.

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Michael Hrynuik

Senior Managing Director, Head of Capital Markets

Registrations: Series 7, 19, 24, 57, 63, 79, 99, & SIE.

Michael joined the Freedom team in August 2022 as Managing Director, Head of Equity Capital Markets. 

 

Prior to joining Freedom Capital Markets, Michael spent over 25 years in Equity Capital Markets, Investment Banking, and M&A while working at firms including Lehman Brothers, MUFG, Deer Isle Group, and Midland Walwyn Capital in both the US and Canada. 

 

Michael has worked with over 150 companies to raise over $100 billion in equity and advised clients on both domestic and cross-border acquisitions and joint ventures.  He has engaged with firms ranging from small private companies to Fortune 50 firms to originate, structure, and execute equity and equity-linked offerings in both the public and private markets and hosted investor conferences in both the US and Asia.   

 

Michael has an MBA from Yale University and a BComm from the University of Calgary.  He also enjoys teaching and has worked as an Adjunct Professor of Finance at The King’s College in New York City. 

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Alexandra Esparza

Managing Director

Registrations: Series 7, 57, 63, 79 and SIE.

Alex Esparza joins Freedom Capital Markets as a Managing Director with the investment banking and capital markets team. 

 

She has over a decade of Wall Street experience within multiple disciplines including equities sales and trading, small-cap global long/short investing, and investment banking.  Most recently, Alex worked within the TMT investment banking team at Oppenheimer and Co, Inc.  Prior to Oppenheimer, she was a small-cap global investment analyst with Pearl Brook Capital Management, a long/short hedge fund, covering developed markets across North America, Asia, and Europe.

 

Alex earned a BA in Humanities from Stanford University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management with a focus on asset management. She has a professional certificate in fashion design from the New York School of Design. She was a top four finalist in the Ira Sohn stock picking Idea Contest in 2016.

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Marcia Nelson

Managing Director

Registrations: Series 7, 63 & SIE.

Marcia is a Managing Director at Freedom Capital Markets. Marcia has spent a large portion of her career working in and for family offices and private dealmakers. Prior to FCM, Marcia was a Managing Director and head of business development for ShareNett, a members-only global network of professional investors, and she was previously at Alberleen Family Office Solutions, an independent investment advisory firm backed by family offices. She formerly worked for an ultra-high-net-worth philanthropic family and a sports and entertainment family. Over the last 20 years, she has developed a strong network of private families, institutional investors, and advisers who are increasingly seeking access to quality direct deal flow from trusted, experienced partners.

Marcia is also a Founding Partner of Triple C Advisory, a business life cycle consulting firm that works with early-stage companies as an advisor and board member to prepare them to receive institutional-grade investments.

Marcia serves as Chairman of the Board of Kinect Capital, a Utah-based non-profit early-stage accelerator, and she is on the Board of University Impact, a donor-advised fund focused on impact investing. She is a past president of ACG-NY, an association for middle-market dealmaking professionals, and she’s a member of DealmakeHers, an exclusive network of leading female dealmakers in the retail and consumer marketplace.

Marcia received an honorary mention as one of the 2021 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A by Mergers & Acquisitions magazine and was named one of the 2020 Most Influential Women and she was one of 2018 Who’s Who In Impact Investing by the Denver Business Journal and was honored with the 2017 ACG-NY Women of Leadership Award. 

Marcia received her BA from Southern Utah State College and her MBA from the Gabelli School at Fordham University. 

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Vikram Patra

Managing Director

He has previously held the Registrations: Series 7, 63 & SIE licenses.

Vikram Patra joins Freedom Capital Markets (FCM), the investment banking and equity capital markets arm of Prime Executions, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Freedom Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: FRHC), as a Managing Director. 
 

Vikram has over 15 years of experience across public and private capital markets, raising over $70 billion via IPOs, follow-on and equity-linked offerings, private placements as well as structuring equity derivatives solutions while working at firms including Nomura, UBS, Wells Fargo Securities and Indica Advisors. 

Vikram holds an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, India.

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Jack Shannon

Managing Director

Jack Shannon joins Freedom Capital Markets as a Managing Director.  Jack has over 25 years of experience on Wall Street in various legal and compliance positions.  Most recently he was Global Head of Capital Markets Compliance at UBS.  Prior to UBS, he spent 14 years as Head of Compliance for Investment Banking, Equity and Debt Capital Markets and Leveraged Finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

 

Jack began his career as a prosecutor with the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and the New York County District Attorney's Office.  He later joined Merrill Lynch as an attorney in the Litigation and Regulatory Law Group before serving as Invesment Banking Counsel.

 

Jack earned a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. 

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Enna Weng

Managing Director

Registrations: Series 7, 63, 79 & SIE.

Enna's experience as an entrepreneurial and innovative business leader, with equity capital market and venture investing expertise, helps her to assist Freedom Capital Markets’ clients with all of their capital markets needs.  Prior to her arrival at Freedom, Enna occupied several executive-level positions and led multiple teams at banking organizations such as Barclay’s, Wells Fargo Securities, Macquarie Capital USA, and Morgan Stanley.  She has in-depth expertise in derivatives, structured products, syndicate finance, and credit default swaps on securitized and corporate products. 

 

Enna earned her Masters of Business Administration at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, her Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and investment at Macaulay Honors College (Baruch College), and completed further studies at Sophia University in Tokyo Japan, as well as a certification in computer science and programming from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

She is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese and is a Certified Sommelier and Wine Specialist, Master of Bordeaux Wine, Level 3 WSET.

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Ryan Ferguson

Director

Registrations: Series 7, 66 & SIE.

Ryan Ferguson is a Director at Freedom Capital Markets, specializing in Equity Syndicate executions. Prior to joining Freedom Capital Markets, Ryan spent five years at Credit Suisse across two teams.

As an Assistant Vice President on Credit Suisse's Equity Syndicate Desk, Ryan was responsible for executing and managing the lifecycle of various US equity issuances, including IPOs, SPACs, follow-on offerings, and block trades. He oversaw and coordinated internal and external syndicate teams to ensure smooth deal executions. Ryan is particularly proud of his project work that led to operational improvements and his efforts to implement and enhance a new street-wide book-building platform.

Before his role in NYC, Ryan was the team lead of the equity derivative trade management team in Raleigh, NC, where he lived for four years. In this position, he covered options, structured notes, and convertible bonds and became a subject matter expert on the lifecycle of all three products. Ryan's knowledge, strong work ethic, and personable character earned him an invitation to join the Equity Syndicate Desk in NYC.

Ryan graduated cum laude in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. He plans to continue his education in the near future by pursuing an MBA or obtaining a CFA charter, and perhaps even both.

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Dilrukh Sharipov

Director 

Dilrukh joins Freedom Capital Markets as a Director, bringing his knowledge and expertise to the advisory and equity capital markets teams.

Prior to Freedom, Dilrukh had over 10 years of experience serving in various political capacities in the government of Kazakhstan. His contributions included the initiation and development of the Astana International Financial Centre, financial market development, supervision of financial institutions, and the transformation of $120 billion worth of sovereign wealth funds, national companies, and public agencies. He was instrumental in initiating economic reforms and preparing a $10 billion co-investment framework with international financial institutions. 

Dilrukh holds an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, a Master's in Finance degree from Imperial College London, and a BSc in Economics degree from the University of Nottingham.

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Richard Gatward 

Senior Vice President

Richard joins Freedom Capital Markets with over 30 years of experience within multiple

disciplines including trading, sales, research, risk management, portfolio construction, and

creating solutions for clients and issuers with complex private financing obstacles. Richard spent the first 20 years of his career at Lehman Brothers, where he became the Head of Global Convertible Securities. After Lehman, Richard built out RBC Capital Market’s convertible securities and high-yield business.

 

Most recently, Richard served as the Chief Investment Officer for Kemmerer Resources, a single-family office in Chatham NJ. Richard was solely responsible for managing their public and private equity and fixed income portfolio for 22 family members totaling nearly $1bn.

 

Richard spends his spare time giving back to his local community, serving on the Board of Trustees for ECLC, a NJ non-profit school, day program, and job coaching organization for severely disabled children and adults, and Mrs. Wilson’s house, a halfway house for women suffering from abuse, addiction, and PTSD. He also spent three years volunteering full time at a day program for severely disabled adults where he was an instructor in yoga, life skills, and community engagement and outreach.

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Sam Van

Senior Vice President, Head of Advisory Services

Sam joins the Freedom team as a Senior Vice President and Head of Advisory Services, bringing our clients a wealth of equity capital markets and regulatory expertise. Sam is also the head of the Deltec Bank & Trust’s Corporate Advisory practice, leading the effort in U.S. and International Exchange Listing Advisory practice. 

Prior to Deltec, Sam was appointed by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to serve as co-chair and trustee member overseeing the liquidation of a $400+ million investment project deemed to be a national security concern. Previously, Sam served as an Associate Principal for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in various roles from 2012 to 2017, which included Trading and Financial Compliance Examinations, Sales Practice, and Financial Risk Oversight & Operational Regulation. During Sam’s tenure as Director at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), he was responsible for new business development, specializing in the emerging capital markets throughout Asia. Sam secured more than 60 companies on the NYSE with a total market capitalization exceeding $7 billion.

Sam served eight years as a board member of the Asian Financial Society, a non-profit organization that assists Asian companies in understanding the U.S. capital market. He is fluent in Cantonese and conversational in Mandarin and Vietnamese. Sam received his B.S. in Finance from St. John’s University and his MBA from Cornell University. 

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Jennifer Wolt

Senior Vice President

Jennifer is a Senior Vice President at Freedom Capital Markets (FCM).  She brings 20+ years of Wall Street experience to assist FCM senior management with strategic initiatives and efforts to further US market expansion.

 

Jennifer joins FCM with a long history of senior-level financial services experience, including 14 years within the Global Corporate Client Group at the New York Stock Exchange.  While at the NYSE, Jennifer had senior relationship management responsibilities with C-Suite executives.  She managed the NYSE’s relationship with more than 100 Investment Company issuers, including Closed-End Funds and Business Development Companies, representing 95% of the publicly traded market share.   Previously Jennifer held Client Relations and Project Management positions at JPMorgan Chase and Prime Brokerage positions at Morgan Stanley.

 

Jennifer earned a B.S. in Business and Economics from Lehigh University with a major in Accounting and a minor in Communications.  She also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

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Bri Kelvin

Vice President

Bri joins Freedom Capital Markets as a Vice President, bringing her knowledge and expertise to the corporate access and advisory teams.

Prior to joining the Firm, Bri had over a decade of C-Suite experience in enterprise product marketing, go-to-market strategy, IR, and corporate access. Her past contributions included rebranding and coordinating multiple, well-known investor events with Sidoti, SRAX, LD Micro, and others, as well as pioneering new methods of investor targeting to append and improve traditional IR. She has supported M&A brand integration and product development of fintech software, and has transitioned hundreds of emerging growth companies in a post-Covid era to adopt digital and virtual means of increasing visibility and building relationships with key investor contacts.

Bri holds a high honors degree in behavioral psychology from New York University and is passionate about bridging traditional and digital methods of communication to connect public issuers and investors in the emerging growth space.

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Peter Marone

Vice President

Registrations: Series 79, 63 & SIE.

Peter Marone joins Freedom Capital Markets as a Vice President, bringing his knowledge and expertise in multiple equity product offerings.

Prior to joining Freedom Capital Markets, Peter spent five years at Cantor Fitzgerald, where he specialized in SPACs and PIPEs.  Peter was responsible for executing and managing all stages of the SPAC life cycle, from the initial IPO to further capital raising during the merger process.

 

He also helped to build out the growing franchise during his tenure, enabling Cantor to be an equity issuance leader for several years.

Peter graduated magna cum laude from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Entrepreneurship and a Minor in History.

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Emma Dell'Acqua

Director of Corporate Strategy & Development

Registrations: Series 7, 63, 79, & SIE.

As Director of Corporate Strategy & Development at Freedom Capital Markets, Emma is responsible for conducting thorough due diligence, research, and valuation analysis and supporting the team in its strategic initiatives.

 

She also manages the development of marketing materials and spearheads the internal budgeting process. 

 

Prior to Freedom Capital Markets, Emma worked as an analyst for Bankers Capital International, a NY-based boutique investment bank. While at Bankers Capital, Emma supported sell-side and private placement transactions across a variety of sectors, including E-Commerce, Agriculture, Oil & Gas, Real Estate Development, and Biotech. 

 

Emma earned a BS in Finance with minors in International Business and Management Information Systems, graduating Cum Laude from the University of Delaware. She was a member of the inaugural class of the World Scholars Program and a coxswain on the Division I Women’s Rowing team.

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Emilia Manesis

Senior Business Manager

As Senior Business Manager, Emilia works closely with the strategic team to plan and direct the company's operations and employees and ensure efficiency and the smooth operation of Freedom Capital Markets activities. She also spearheads the development of the company's marketing strategies, with an emphasis on branding strategy, social media, digital/multimedia content solutions, special marketing initiatives, and events.

 

She has more than 16+ years of experience in providing operational and administrative support to C-suite and other senior executives in various industries, along with a background in account management and investor relations.

She joins Freedom Capital Markets from the executive search firms Korn Ferry and Boyden, where she was most recently a project coordinator. Prior to this, Emilia worked as an Account Executive at LHA (Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates), where she led investor relations programs for publicly traded companies in New York.

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