Centana Growth Partners
Providing capital to accelerate or sustain growth for rapidly growing companies in financial services, financial technology or related enterprise technology.
We provide capital to accelerate or sustain rapid growth for companies
in financial services, financial technology and enterprise technology.
We have been working in financial services and enterprise technology for most of our careers. We have invested in and have sat on boards of companies in these spaces, seen them succeed and learned from that success. We've seen some fail and learned from those failures as well.
Through the course of our work, we have developed a strategic network ideal for companies looking to sell into the financial services world. This consists of senior executives from banks, wire houses, asset managers, wealth managers, payment companies and technology companies which sell to the enterprise. These executives collaborate with us to help make better decisions and to help our portfolio companies perform better.
We invest in rapidly growing companies where the application of capital can help sustain or accelerate the growth.
The capital can be used for working capital, to fund acquisitions, or to de-risk an entrepreneur's balance sheet.
We believe in listening to entrepreneurs and understanding what they and their company need. We don't have a standard formula for investing -- each investment is unique and structured to meet the needs of the entrepreneur.
Ben Cukier founded Centana Growth in 2015 and is one of its Managing Partners. Before founding Centana Growth, Ben spent over 20 years in growth equity and finance. Ben has developed a keen understanding of the key players, regulatory environment and complexities of the asset management sub sector, as well as the broader financial services world. He previously led investments in companies including Aspire, Cloudmark, ETF Securities, IndexIQ (acquired by NYLife), Powershares (acquired by Invesco), Swan Global, and VelocityShares (acquired by Janus).
Ben spent 16 years at FTV Capital, a $2 billion growth equity fund, where he was an equity partner, served on the management committee and led investments in financial services.
Before FTV, Ben served on the telecommunications and media team at Madison Dearborn Partners in Chicago and was a consultant at McKinsey & Company.
He received a BS in finance and a BA in international relations summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Eric Byunn founded Centana Growth in 2015 and is one of its Managing Partners. Before founding Centana Growth, Eric spent 13 years at FTV Capital where he was a partner, served on the management committee, and led investments in enterprise technology. Eric currently serves on the Boards of Catalyst Repository Systems and Cloudmark and previously led investments in companies including Centro, Coremetrics (acquired by IBM), Covario (acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network), GMI (acquired by WPP), KVS (acquired by Veritas), MarketShare Partners, PSS Systems (acquired by IBM), Sourcecode/K2, and Varicent (acquired by IBM).
Prior to FTV, Eric served as Director of Online Services at myCFO, a startup wealth management firm. He has held several positions at Netscape/AOL, including management of Netscape’s Personal Finance Channel and product management for the Netscape Navigator browser prior to the acquisition by AOL. He also has worked at Microsoft and McKinsey & Company.
He received an AB summa cum laude in economics with additional focus in computer science from Harvard College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar. Eric is also a CFA Charterholder.
Steve Swain founded Centana Growth in 2015 and is one of its Managing Partners. Before founding Centana Growth, Steve spent 23 years focused on launching, operating and advising financial services firms.
Steve was the President of Global X Management, a sponsor of exchange traded funds; an executive advisor at Aquiline Capital Partners; the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Lyster Watson & Company; and a Senior Vice President at Lazard Asset Management. He began his career as a securities attorney with the Washington DC law firm of Routier, Mackey and Johnson.
He received a BA cum laude from Clark University, a JD from Villanova Law School and an MBA from The George Washington University. Steve is the chair of Clark University’s Board of Trustees.
Bonnie Kearns joined Centana Growth to coordinate the fundraising efforts, help manage the day-to-day business operations and provide administrative support for Eric Byunn and Ben Cukier.
Before Centana, Bonnie worked at FTV Capital on the business development team while supporting several partners on the Investment Committee. Prior to FTV Capital, she was the Marketing Coordinator reporting directly to the CMO at Peak6 Investments, L.P. in Chicago. She began her career with the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Company planning and executing events in Chicago and Beverly Hills.
Originally from Chicago, Bonnie holds a B.S. in International, Resource and Consumer Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Jay Lee joined Centana Growth in 2015 as an Associate on the investment team. Prior to Centana, Jay worked in the investment banking group at FT Partners where he focused on mergers and acquisitions and private capital raises for software, internet, payments, and banking companies.
He received a BBA in finance and BA in economics cum laude from the University of Notre Dame.
Elizaveta Chistyakova joined Centana in 2016 as an Associate on the investment team. Prior to Centana, Elizaveta worked as an investment banking analyst in the TMT group at Houlihan Lokey, where she focused on advising clients on mergers and acquisitions and private placements within the software, internet, digital media, technology-enabled services and healthcare IT sectors.
Elizaveta graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami, where she received a BBA degree in Finance.