DDJ professionals look to source investment opportunities in businesses that fall within the lower tier of the high yield market, but possess a competent management team, sustainable market position and adequate enterprise value. Click on the links below to meet our investment and firm professionals.
David J. Breazzano
President, Chief Investment Officer, Portfolio Manager
Mr. Breazzano is a co-founder of DDJ and has more than 38 years of experience in high yield, distressed, and special situations investing. At DDJ, he oversees all aspects of the firm and chairs the Management Operating, Remuneration, and Investment Review Committees. In addition, Mr. Breazzano serves as co-portfolio manager of DDJ’s U.S. Opportunistic High Yield strategy, and the portfolio manager of DDJ’S U.S Core High Yield strategy. Prior to forming DDJ, from 1990 to 1996, he was a vice president and portfolio manager in the High Income Group at Fidelity Investments, where he had investment management responsibility for over $4 billion in high yield and distressed assets. Specifically, he was a portfolio manager of the Fidelity Capital & Income Fund, which was one of the largest high yield funds in existence at that time. In addition, Mr. Breazzano co-managed the distressed investing operation at Fidelity.
Prior to joining Fidelity in 1990, Mr. Breazzano was a vice president and portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price Associates. Before joining T. Rowe Price in 1985, he was a high yield analyst and vice president at First Investors Asset Management, which had over $1 billion in high yield assets under management. Mr. Breazzano began his professional career at New York Life as an investment analyst.
Mr. Breazzano is the author of the chapter entitled "Distressed Investing" in Leveraged Financial Markets: A Comprehensive Guide to High-Yield Bonds, Loans, and Other Instruments and co-author of the chapter entitled "Trading in the Distressed Market" in Investing in Bankruptcies and Turnarounds. Mr. Breazzano serves as a member of the board of directors for the Children’s Trust Fund following his appointment by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker in 2016. He received his MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University where he currently is a member of the university’s board of trustees. Mr. Breazzano graduated cum laude with a BA from Union College, where he also currently sits on its board of trustees.
Benjamin J. Santonelli
Mr. Santonelli joined DDJ in 2004 and has more than 14 years of experience in sourcing, analyzing, and managing investments across a variety of industries. Mr. Santonelli serves as co-portfolio manager of DDJ’s U.S. Opportunistic High Yield strategy, portfolio manager of DDJ’s Total Return Credit strategy, and assistant portfolio manager of DDJ's Bank Loan strategy. He is also a member of the Investment Review Committee. Mr. Santonelli serves as a member of the board of directors of two portfolio companies. Mr. Santonelli received his BA from Amherst College.
John W. Sherman
Mr. Sherman joined DDJ in 2007 and has more than 13 years of experience in sourcing, analyzing, and managing investments across a variety of industries. Mr. Sherman serves as co-portfolio manager of DDJ’s U.S. Opportunistic High Yield strategy, portfolio manager of DDJ’s Bank Loan strategy, and assistant portfolio manager of DDJ's Total Return Credit strategy. He is also a member of the Investment Review Committee.
Prior to joining DDJ, Mr. Sherman was an associate in the Healthcare Group at Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, focusing on private equity investments in middle-market companies. While at Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, Mr. Sherman participated in the due diligence of new standalone investments and tack-on acquisitions for existing portfolio companies. Prior to joining Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, Mr. Sherman was in the Investment Banking Division of Citigroup where he was an analyst in the Global Healthcare Group. While at Citigroup, he participated in the execution of initial public offerings, private placements, mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, and other corporate finance transactions. Mr. Sherman graduated magna cum laude with a BBA from the University of Notre Dame.
Assistant Portfolio Manager, Director of Research
Mr. Rjanikov joined DDJ in 2007 and has more than 15 years of experience in sourcing, analyzing, and managing investments across a variety of industries. Mr. Rjanikov serves as the assistant portfolio manager of DDJ’s U.S. Core High Yield strategy as well as the Director of Research. In addition, he is presently responsible for investments in the technology and telecom industries, and is a member of the Investment Review Committee.
Prior to joining DDJ, Mr. Rjanikov was an Equity Research Analyst at MFS Investment Management since 2003. While at MFS, Mr. Rjanikov covered a variety of industries with a focus on equities of public US companies. From 1995 to 2001, Mr. Rjanikov was a Senior Financial Analyst at Hewlett-Packard Company in the US, Switzerland and Russia. Mr. Rjanikov earned his MBA (with Distinction) from Harvard Business School and M. Sc. from Plekhanov Russian University of Economics.
Associate General Counsel
Ms. Duggan joined the DDJ legal department in 2006 and has over 16 years of experience structuring and negotiating corporate and finance transactions. She focuses the majority of her work on primary issuances of loans and private placements, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations and intercreditor issues. She is also a member of the Investment Review Committee. Prior to joining DDJ, she was a senior associate in the Leveraged Finance Group at Goodwin Procter, LLP and an associate in the Corporate, Securities, and Finance Group of Pillsbury Winthrop, LLP, in New York. Ms. Duggan has significant experience representing institutions on various domestic and cross-border financing transactions. Ms. Duggan received her JD from Northwestern University School of Law and her BA from Cornell University. She is a member of the bars of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New York.
Michael S. Weissenburger
Head of Origination, Managing Director
Mr. Weissenburger joined DDJ in 2015 and has more than 28 years of industry experience, including 13 years of experience in sourcing, analyzing, and direct lending across a variety of industries. As the Head of Origination, Mr. Weissenburger is primarily responsible for building relationships across several financing channels, including investment banks, commercial lenders, private equity firms, Business Development Companies (BDCs), restructuring advisors/consultants and other non-traditional lenders.
Prior to joining DDJ, Mr. Weissenburger served for 10 years as Director of Direct Loan Origination at Wells Fargo Capital Finance, where he originated new transactions by effectively sourcing, reviewing, and establishing relationships from Maine to Pennsylvania as well as in Eastern Canada. Prior to his experience at Wells Fargo, he held financial positions at Sonus Networks, Inc., Cognos, Inc. (since acquired by IBM Corporation) and Converge, Inc. Mr. Weissenburger received his MBA from Northeastern University and his BA at the University of Connecticut.
John F. (Jack) O’Connor
Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development and Client Service
Mr. O’Connor joined DDJ in 2013 and has more than 24 years of industry experience. As the head of business development and client service, Mr. O’Connor provides strategic direction to the team responsible for developing and maintaining all client and consultant relationships. He is also a member of both the Management Operating and Remuneration Committees.
Prior to joining DDJ, Mr. O’Connor served for three years as a managing director and head of North American distribution for Morgan Stanley Investment Management, where his team covered intermediaries, registered investment advisers, bank trusts, traditional institutional sales and consultant relations. Prior to that, he was an executive vice president at Pioneer Investments and earlier, a senior vice president at MFS Investment Management. Mr. O’Connor is a former officer in the United States Marine Corps and received his BA from Denison University.
Director, Relationship Management and Sales
Mr. Hensher joined DDJ in 2016 and has more than 20 years of experience in the investment management industry. He is a relationship manager for DDJ and also has business development responsibilities. Prior to joining DDJ, he served as a director of relationship management at MFS International (UK) Limited in London for over ten years. Mr. Hensher worked with a broad range of institutional clients in the Nordic, North American and UK regions. Prior to that, Mr. Hensher was a client service manager, also at MFS International, where he set up and managed the London Institutional Client Service team. Earlier in his career, he worked at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Rothschild Asset Management and Coutts & Co. Private Bank. Mr. Hensher received his Investment Management Certification (IMC) at the London School of Business.
Erika L. Kennedy
Director, Relationship Management and Sales
Ms. Kennedy most recently joined DDJ in 2017 and has more than 11 years of industry experience. She is responsible for business development in various regions of the U.S. She also served as a director at DDJ from 2008-2016. Prior to re-joining DDJ in 2017, Ms. Kennedy worked as Vice President of Institutional Sales and Consultant Relations at NWQ Investment Management Company. Prior to initially joining DDJ in 2008, Ms. Kennedy was a compliance analyst at Fidelity Investments. Ms. Kennedy received her MA from the University of Miami and her BS from Syracuse University.
Laura A. Zink
Director, Relationship Management and Sales
Ms. Zink joined DDJ in 2014 and has more than 16 years of experience in the investment management industry. She is a relationship manager for DDJ and also has business development responsibilities. Prior to joining DDJ, she served as a relationship manager at Standish Asset Management, where she worked with a broad range of institutional clients in the United States and Japan. Prior to that, Ms. Zink was also a relationship manager at BMO Global Asset Management, where she worked with domestic clients that included Corporate Pension and Taft-Hartley plans as well as Endowments and Foundations. Earlier in her career, she worked at Northern Trust and at Mercer Investment Consulting. Ms. Zink received both her MBA and BS from DePaul University.
John J. Russell, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Russell joined DDJ in 1997. Mr. Russell is responsible for all day-to-day financial reporting, accounting, tax-related and back office accounting functions as well as oversight of DDJ’s human resource function. He is also a member of the Management Operating, Remuneration, Fair Value, and Business Process Review Committees. Prior to joining DDJ, Mr. Russell worked as an audit manager in the Investment Management Group at Ernst & Young, LLP, and prior to that, as a senior and staff auditor. Mr. Russell earned his MS in accounting and MBA from Northeastern University and his AB from Brown University. Mr. Russell is a certified public accountant and member of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs and the Private Equity CFO Association (Boston Chapter).
Joshua L. McCarthy
General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer
Mr. McCarthy joined the DDJ legal department in 2003 and has over 17 years of experience in the legal profession. As General Counsel, Mr. McCarthy is responsible for overseeing DDJ’s legal affairs and providing counsel related to the firm’s investment management activities. In addition, in his role as Chief Compliance Officer, Mr. McCarthy administers DDJ’s compliance program, including the firm’s annual compliance review conducted pursuant to the requirements of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. He is also a member of the Management Operating, Remuneration, and Fair Value Committees. Prior to joining DDJ, Mr. McCarthy worked as an associate in the business practice group at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, LLP, where he represented various publicly and privately held companies as well as venture capital partnerships. Mr. McCarthy received his JD from Duke University School of Law, magna cum laude, and his AB from Duke University, magna cum laude. Mr. McCarthy is a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.