L. Michael Cantor
Michael Cantor is an investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who over the past 25 years has successfully managed a broad range of international renewable energy, technology, marine transportation, and real estate investment activities on behalf of the Washington, D.C.-based Equator Capital Group. Prior to co-founding Equator, Mr. Cantor was active in the area of mergers and acquisitions and leveraged transactions, both as a banker in Citicorp’s Leveraged Capital Group and as an advisor to corporate clients and private-equity partnerships. M.B.A. – University of Chicago Graduate School of Business; Graduate Fellowship – El Colégio de México; Graduate coursework, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); B.A. – University of Pennsylvania.
Managing Director and General Counsel
Mr. Graf has over twenty-five years of experience in providing legal services and advice for mergers and acquisitions, real estate and energy project development, financings and other complex transactions to corporate clients, as well as representing startups and startup investors, with a particular focus on those with a triple bottom line or socially responsible focus. Mr. Graf was previously a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP from 2002 until 2007, a partner in the D.C. Office of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. from 1998 until 2002 and a partner and associate in the Corporate and Real Estate Groups of the law firm of Arnold & Porter from 1986 to 1997. Mr. Graf’s experience also includes serving as co-founder, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for SSE Capital, L.L.C., a hedge fund manager. Mr. Graf is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia. B.A. – University of Chicago; MA- University of Chicago. J.D. (cum laude) Boston College Law School.
Ajit Virk began his career in Washington DC at the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 1989. While at the IFC, he primarily worked on international M & A transactions and had country responsibility for the Czech Republic, Slovenia and India and was responsible for some of the largest early privatizations in the Czech Republic and Slovenia. After the IFC, Ajit seed-funded HealthScribe, Inc., a US-based healthcare services start-up and offshore BPO pioneer where he spent the six years. With Ajit as Chairman, HealthScribe India grew to over 1,000 employees in Bangalore and raised over $30 million in VC funds. HealthScribe was successfully sold to Soros Private Equity and is now doing business as Spheris, currently the second largest company in its industry. Since 2001, Ajit has built a diversified private investment business based in Prague that has evolved from making minority placements to much larger control investments. In recent years, GEM-AV has built a portfolio of investments in industrial, technology, financial services and real estate companies where Ajit typically holds an active Chairman role. B.A. St. Stephen’s College, M.A Harvard University.
Peter N. Wainman
Peter Wainman brings extensive start-up experience, principal investing, financial advisory and project development expertise in the domestic and international markets.
In addition to his role with Equator Capital, Mr. Wainman serves as Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Equator Pure Nature Co., Ltd. (“EPN”). Under the brand name Pipper Standard®, EPN produces, markets and sells natural, hypoallergenic certified, biodegradable, healthy cleaning products – made from fermentation of pineapple (www.equatorpurenature.com; www.pipperstandard.com). The Equator group of companies filed multiple global patent applications, and has patents issued or pending issue in countries comprising approximately 70% of the world’s GDP. The Pipper Standard trademark is registered or pending registration covering more than 50 countries worldwide, and Pipper Standard products are now available in 15 countries.
Prior to Equator Capital, Mr. Wainman started and ran the New York office of The Gores Group (“Gores”, www.gores.com), and was a Managing Director of Bay Harbour Management, LC, a New York based investment fund. Mr. Wainman started his career as an investment banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation (“DLJ”). M.S. – University of California at Berkeley, B.S. – Massachusetts Institute of Technology.