Gerald J. Ford is a Co-Managing Partner of Ford Financial Fund. Mr. Ford is one of the nation’s most accomplished financial services executives. He has acquired, managed and operated banking businesses and other financial services companies for over 40 years.
Mr. Ford currently serves as a Director of Mechanics Bank, a portfolio company of Fund II. Previously, he served as Chairman of Pacific Capital Bancorp, a portfolio company of Fund I.
Mr. Ford also is the Chairman of Hilltop Holdings Inc. ("Hilltop"), a Dallas-based financial holding company with over $12 billion in assets. Mr. Ford has held this role since 2007, and is also the company's largest shareholder. Hilltop's primary line of business is to provide business and consumer banking services from offices located throughout Texas through PlainsCapital Bank. Hilltop's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "HTH."
In addition, Mr. Ford serves as Non-Executive Chairman of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. and as a Director of Scientific Games Corp. Both of the above companies are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. Ford also serves as a Trustee and on the Trusteeship Committee at Southern Methodist University ("S.M.U."). He is on the Executive Board of the S.M.U. School of Law, is a Trustee of Southwestern Medical Foundation and Children’s Medical Foundation and is a member of the Board of Overseers of Weill Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University.
Mr. Ford holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from S.M.U.
Carl B. Webb is a Co-Managing Partner of Ford Financial Fund. Mr. Webb has more than 35 years of experience in the banking industry, including working with Mr. Ford for over 30 years. Mr. Webb currently serves as Chairman of Mechanics Bank, a portfolio company of Fund II. Previously, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Capital Bancorp, a portfolio company of Fund I.
From 1994 to 2002, Mr. Webb was President, Chief Operating Officer and a Director of Golden State Bancorp and California Federal Bank, FSB. As well, he served as a Director of First Nationwide Mortgage Corporation and Auto One Acceptance Corporation, each wholly-owned subsidiaries of California Federal Bank. Prior to Golden State Bancorp, Mr. Webb served as President and Chief Operating Officer of First Gibraltar Bank, FSB from its formation in 1988 until its sale in 1994. He initially joined First United Bank Group, Inc. as President of First National Bank Lubbock in 1983.
Mr. Webb currently serves as a Director of Hilltop Holdings Inc. and Prologis, Inc. Mr. Webb received a B.B.A. degree from West Texas A&M University and attended the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University.
Kenneth D. Russell is a Partner of Ford Financial Fund. Mr. Russell currently serves as a Director of Mechanics Bank, a portfolio company of Fund II, after previously serving as Chief Executive Officer of the bank for two years. Mr. Russell’s background includes more than four decades of financial services experience.
Over a long career at KPMG, he rose from a staff accountant in the U.S. division to become a member of KPMG Germany’s managing Board of Directors. During 20 years in the Dallas office he led the engagement efforts with the firm’s regional banking, thrift and other financial service clients. In 1993, Mr. Russell joined KPMG’s national office in New York and led their financial services advisory unit which supported many of the nation’s largest banks. In 2001, he was asked to join the Managing Board for KPMG in Germany, where he served as the global lead partner in the firm’s relationship with Deustche Bank. The job entailed managing and consulting on banking operations in over 50 countries for the multi-national German bank. Despite the fact that he spoke no German and had no experience in Europe, he turned the Deutsche Bank account into one of KPMG’s top 10 accounts within four years.
Mr. Russell retired from the KPMG Germany Managing Board in 2008 in order to lead a new Partner Mentoring Program for KPMG’s offices throughout Europe, working to help young professionals become category and practice leaders. He joined Ford Financial Fund in 2010 as a Partner, bringing his vast banking experience to the organization. In addition to his role as a Director of Mechanics Bank, Mr. Russell serves on the Board of Directors of Hilltop Holdings, Inc. and First Acceptance Corp.
Mr. Russell’s roots are Midwestern—he was born in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in Farwell, Michigan. After a stint in the US Air Force, he attended the University of North Texas and graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Accounting.
Jonathan S. Sobel is a Partner of Ford Financial Fund. In addition, Mr. Sobel is Managing Member of DTF Holdings, LLC, an investment manager for and advisor to entities affiliated with Mr. Ford.
Prior to his partnership with Mr. Ford, Mr. Sobel was an employee of Goldman Sachs & Co. from 1987 to 2008, and he was a Partner Managing Director from 1998 to 2008. While at Goldman Sachs, Mr. Sobel was Global Head of the Mortgage Department, Global Head of Money Markets, Head of the firm’s Global Bank Group, and the Chief Risk Officer for Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He was also a member of Goldman Sachs’ Capital, Risk and Finance Committees.
Mr. Sobel is a Trustee of the Hospital for Special Surgery, the Whitney Museum, the Dalton School, and the Public Art Fund. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Columbia College Alumni Association.
Mr. Sobel has received Columbia College’s John Jay Award for Alumni Achievement, their Dean’s Award for service to the College and he is a University Benefactor. He holds an A.B. in Economics from Columbia.
C.J. Johnson is a Vice President of Ford Financial Fund. Mr. Johnson previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Mechanics Bank, a portfolio company of Fund II, and as Senior Vice President and Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, a portfolio company of Fund I.
Mr. Johnson joined Santa Barbara Bank & Trust from Flexpoint Ford, a private equity firm with $1 billion under management, where he was an Associate and assisted with the execution of the firm's financial services investments. Mr. Johnson started his career as an investment banking Analyst with Credit Suisse, where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions and capital raising advisory assignments for financial institutions.
Mr. Johnson holds a B.A. in economics, with highest distinction and honors, from the University of Michigan. He was the recipient of the Harold D. Osterweil Memorial Prize in economics for graduating at the top of his class while also displaying a high degree of social awareness.
Mr. Johnson currently serves on the Board of Directors of Richmond Housing Renovation, LLC, a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce vacant and blighted single-family housing in vulnerable low-income neighborhoods of Richmond, California. Richmond Housing Renovation, LLC is funded by a $3 million social impact bond financed solely by Mechanics Bank.
James H. Dunavant is a Senior Associate at Ford Financial Fund. Prior to joining Ford Financial Fund, Mr. Dunavant served as an Equity Analyst at Pine River Capital covering U.S. regional banks, and as an Associate at Greenhill & Co. focusing on financial institutions M&A advisory. Mr. Dunavant began his career as a Bank Examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions.
Mr. Dunavant holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Mississippi State University and an M.B.A with a concentration in Finance & Economics from Columbia Business School, where he was awarded the Mark Vinrick Fellowship.
Scott A. Givans is a Fund Advisor to Ford Financial Fund and has 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Givans currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer of Mechanics Bank, a portfolio company of Fund II.
Prior to joining Ford Financial Fund, Mr. Givans served as Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, a portfolio company of Fund I. Mr. Givans was employed by California Federal Bank, FSB from 1994 to 2002 where he held a variety of credit positions, the most recent of which was Senior Vice President and Senior Credit Risk Manager for commercial real estate. After the sale of California Federal Bank, FSB to Citibank, Mr. Givans remained with Citibank as Executive Vice President and Director of Credit and Risk in the commercial real estate group. He also served as a credit executive with Greater Bay Bancorp for several years until the Bank was sold in 2007 to Wells Fargo.
Mr. Givans holds a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University, Chico, and an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University.
Richard P. Hodge is a Fund Advisor to Ford Financial Fund. Mr. Hodge has over 30 years tax experience primarily focused on federal and state taxation of financial institutions, including structuring acquisitions, mergers, spinoffs and divestitures for both public and privately held businesses. Mr. Hodge has worked with Diamond A-Ford Corporation since 2002 and is responsible for all areas of taxation. From 1995 to 2002, he was an Executive Vice President for Golden State Bancorp and California Federal Bank where he was responsible for the institution’s tax department. Prior to 1995, Mr. Hodge was a tax partner with the Dallas office of KPMG.