Focus Team Transactions Contact


Leon WagnerRob NisiMuhit RahmanJennifer PonicoSam Kopkind

Leon Wagner

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer

Leon Wagner is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at LWPARTNERS. Prior to launching LWP, Mr. Wagner served as a Founding Partner and Chairman of GoldenTree Asset Management, LP from 2000 to 2010. Mr. Wagner served as a Co-Head of High Yield Sales and Trading at CIBC World Markets from 1995 to April 2000, and at The Argosy Group L.P. from 1993 to 1995. At these institutions, his primary responsibility was to direct all public and private placement marketing and structuring for high yield issuance.

From 1990 to 1993, he was a Partner in the Los Angeles-based high yield boutique Dabney, Resnick & Wagner. From 1986 to 1990 Mr. Wagner served as a Senior Vice President in the high yield bond department at Drexel Burnham Lambert, and from 1977 to 1986 as a Senior Vice President in the fixed income division at Shearson Lehman Brothers.

In 2003, Mr. Wagner was presented The Gustave L. Levy Award by the Wall Street Division of the UJA-Federation of New York in recognition of many years of community service, philanthropy and leadership. Mr. Wagner has also served on many corporate boards, including as Director of Lighting Science Group Corporation since January 2011.

Mr. Wagner received a B.A. from Lafayette College and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Rob Nisi


Rob Nisi is a Partner at LWPARTNERS, in charge of legal and operations. Previously, he served as a Managing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers in its regulatory consulting unit, helping alternative asset managers with operational and compliance related matters. Prior to this, Mr. Nisi was a Partner, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at Cyrus Capital Partners, where he helped to launch the distressed debt fund manager and oversaw its growth. From 2005 through 2008, Rob also served as a Director of Virgin America Airlines.

From 1998 to 2004, Rob was the General Counsel of MacKay Shields LLC, and before that was Assistant General Counsel at Prudential Insurance Company and at Salomon Smith Barney. Mr. Nisi has also worked in the investment management practice at the law firms of Kramer Levin and White & Case. Mr. Nisi began his investment management career in 1988 as a Staff Attorney at the Division of Investment Management and Enforcement in the New York office of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rob received a BA from Washington University in St. Louis and both a J.D. and an M.B.A. in Finance from Boston University.

Muhit Rahman


Muhit Rahman is a Partner at LWPARTNERS. Prior to joining LWPARTNERS, Mr. Rahman was a Senior Analyst with Silver Rock Financial (Milken family office) from May 2009 to February 2012. Before which he was a Principal at Arcade Partners LLC, a firm he co-founded in November 2003. From November 1993 until 2009, Mr. Rahman served as Managing Director at Washington & Congress Managers, LLC and its predecessor, Triumph Capital Group, a private equity firm based in Boston where Mr. Rahman was responsible for originating, negotiating, monitoring and exiting numerous transactions.

From 1990 to 1993, Mr. Rahman served as a Co-Head of Corporate Finance at Dabney, Resnick & Wagner, Inc. in Los Angeles. From 1987 to 1990, he served as an Associate and Vice President, respectively in the corporate finance and high yield bond departments of Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Before financial services, he was an Engineering Manager with M/A-Com PHI, Inc. from 1980 until 1987. Mr. Rahman was a founding director of a number of companies including Kapstone Paper & Packaging Corporation, Stone Arcade Acquisition Corp., AngioGuard and CardioMEMS. He remains on the board of CardioMEMS, a wireless cardiac pressure sensor company, where he chairs the audit committee. He also served as a director at Alarm Security Group, KPE and Paragon Acceptance, and as a board observer at BORN Information Services.

Mr. Rahman received a B.S. (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Jennifer Ponico

Senior Vice President

Jennifer Ponico is a Senior Vice President at LWPARTNERS, where she oversees all front office administrative functions associated with operations and business management. Prior to joining LWP, Ms. Ponico worked at GoldenTree Asset Management for over eight years directly supporting Leon Wagner. At GoldenTree, she served as an Executive Assistant to the Chairman, where she provided support, handled finances, worked with client services on investor meetings, and organized employee events. From 1998 to 2002, Ms. Ponico was tasked with a broad range of administrative functions at both Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Smith Barney. She received a B.A. in Computer Applications from Iona College.

Sam Kopkind

Chief Executive/Compliance Officer of LWPartners Capital Group LLC

Sam Kopkind is the Chief Executive/Compliance Officer at LWPartners Capital Group LLC where he is in charge of the operations and compliance program for the broker-dealer. Previously, Mr. Kopkind was the CCO at Clearview Trading Advisors, Inc. for six years developing the compliance framework for a broker-dealer specializing in institutional agency transactional business. From 1997 until 2000, Mr. Kopkind worked in OCIE at the Securities and Exchange Commission as a securities compliance examiner in the investment advisor/investment company examination program.

Mr. Kopkind received an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and a BS in Economics from Duke University.