Marc Liles, Vice President, Real Estate Counsel
Cara Newton, Associate, Investments
Lynn Wagner, Finance Manager
Lakisa (Kiki) Bankston, Asset Administrator
Taina Ubides, Executive Assistant
Aaron Stearns, Managing Director
Kevin Smith, Analyst, Investments
Keith B. Stein, Advisor, Corporate and Investor Affairs
Michael Becker, Controller
John Walker, Sr.
Aaron Stearns, Managing Director – Aaron founded VestaPoint in 2011. He oversees the firm’s strategic planning and investment activities. Prior to founding VestaPoint, served as an Advisor to John Walker, Sr., in his capacity as Chairman of Richina, Inc. Earlier, Aaron held positions at Davidson Kempner Capital Partners, a New York-based hedge fund, and Kimco Realty Corporation, a publicly-held shopping center REIT. Aaron graduated with a B.A. in Government from Georgetown University and received an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Marc Liles, Vice President, Real Estate Counsel – As Vice President, Real Estate Counsel, Marc oversees the due diligence of potential investments, the documentation of joint ventures with development and operating partners, and the execution of transactions. Marc is an attorney and a real estate broker with over 20 years of experience in real estate-based practice, investment, development, and operations in the private and public sectors. Marc’s work experience includes positions with Kimco Realty Corporation, Konover Realty Trust, and the North Hills Corporation. Prior to those relationships, Marc was in private practive with the law firm Bailey & Dixon in Raleigh, NC. Marc received a B.A. from Wake Forest University and a J.D. from Campbell University of Law.
Cara Newton, Associate, Investments – Cara is responsible for underwriting new investment opportunities, monitoring portfolio investments, and communicating with VestaPoint’s operating partners. Prior to joining VestaPoint, Cara worked for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Florida capital markets retail real estate platform. Cara graduated with a B.S. in Finance and a M.S. in Real Estate from the University of Florida.
Lynn Wagner, Finance Manager – Lynn’s main focus is VestaPoint Capital’s accounting activities, CPA coordination, annual operating budget, and administrative functions. Prior to joining VestaPoint Lynn enjoyed a diverse position with Luctor International LLC an international spirits importer. Lynn was involved in annual operating and long-term strategic plans, preparing monthly business review updates and providing key financial and operational performance reporting and analysis. Lynn acted as domestic and International customer liaison; coordinated compliance, contracts, and product issues. Lynn first began her career at Maquire, Voorhis and Wells as Trust Manager serving several of their largest clients. Key responsibilities included monitoring performance of a large real estate holdings, bond portfolio, and agricultural endeavors. Lynn holds a Bachelor degree from the University of Central Florida College Of Business Administration with concertation in Accounting.
Lakisa (Kiki) Bankston, Asset Administrator – Kiki is responsible for monitoring the progress and performance of VestaPoint’s active investments. Lakisa has over ten years of construction accounting experience involving capital-spend budget management, job cost analysis, and construction administration. Prior to joining VestaPoint, Lakisa held construction accounting-related positions within the hospitality, construction, and design industries. Lakisa received a B.S. in Accounting from Columbia College.
Taina Ubides, Executive Assistant – Taina is responsible for VestaPoint’s general office administration. Taina has over ten year of experience in real estate-related firms and three years of experience in human resources management. She has held positions with commercial and residential property managers as well as hospitality companies. Taina received a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Monroe College in New York.
John Walker, Sr. – John is a retired partner of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York City where he practiced financial institutions law for 30 years. He is a Director of the Financial Services Volunteer Corps, a not-for-profit organization that channels the expertise of financial sector volunteers to help build and strengthen the financial system infrastructure of emerging market and transition economies. He is a Director of Hamilton State Bancshares, a bank holding company located in the State of Georgia. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. John began his legal career as an attorney at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Duke University (B.A. Economics) and Duke Law School (J.D.).
Robert Stearns – Over the last 25 years, Rob has held senior executive positions at investment banks, Fortune 500 companies, and start-up ventures. Most recently, Rob served as CEO of Quepasa Corp., a publicly traded company providing a social network dedicated to the Hispanic community, and Chief Operating Officer of Vascular Genetics, Inc., a bio-tech company. Previously, he served as Chief Financial Officer of PacifiCare Health Systems, a health insurance company, Chief Financial Officer of Columbia/HCA Corporation, a hospital operator and Chief Financial Officer of The Dial Corporation, a diverse consumer products company. Prior to these roles, Rob spent over 10 years on Wall Street as Head of Investment Banking at UBS Securities, Inc., Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, Inc., and Vice President at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, Inc. Rob holds a B.A. from Harvard University, a M.B.A from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and a J.D. from DePaul University.
Hover over names for bios.VestaPoint Capital is a multi-faceted real estate specialty finance and investment company, focusing primarily on retail and multifamily real estate.
VestaPoint serves as a passive partner to developers and property owners, meeting their capital needs by providing equity and mezzanine financing for ground-up development as well as for the acquisition and repositioning of existing properties. VestaPoint Capital is a closely held company, investing on behalf of its principals and other, select investors.
Kevin Smith, Analyst, Investments – Kevin assists with the underwriting of new investment opportunities and monitoring of portfolio investments. Prior to VestaPoint, Kevin worked at Crystal River Group, and interned at Tokio Marine North America and Fortress Investment Group. Kevin graduated with a B.S. in Finance from Villanova University.
Keith B. Stein, Advisor, Corporate and Investor Affairs – Keith is involved in VestaPoint’s capital formation and investor relations activities, as well as long-term strategic planning. Keith has over 35 years’ experience as a private equity principal, business executive and attorney, with a primary focus on real estate equity and debt investing. He has served in numerous “C-suite” executive roles throughout his career, as a member of the boards of directors of numerous public and private companies, principal partner in a private equity firm, managing director in a publicly-held REIT and a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund focused on real estate investments. Keith is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Emory University School of Law. He serves on the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services in New York and chairs its audit and risk management committee. He is a member of the bars of the states of New York and Georgia.
Michael Becker, Controller – Michael is responsible for VestaPoint’s internal bookkeeping functions, coordination of the firm’s audit and tax preparation processes with outside advisors, and financial report processes. Prior to joining VestaPoint Michael as an Audit Manager with Ernst & Young, LLP and BKD, LLP. Michael graduated with a B.S. in Business from Miami University of Ohio, Farmer School of Business. He holds the designation of CPA since 2011.