ABOUT US

We get your courageous entrepreneurial spirit.  Together, we have decades of experience as advisors, investors, and entrepreneurs.

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Our Team




 

Daniel Fort

Dan’s background in investment banking, principal investing and experience running his own business have made him a great fit for Rendersi’s mission and entrepreneurial culture.

Background and Interests

After almost a decade in his home country of England, Dan hopped the pond to the United States and quickly assimilated to the new culture and accent; however he admittedly still struggles with the harsh winters. Maybe in a few more decades…
Dan enjoys traveling and exploring different cities around the world, but is happy to call Minnesota home. He enjoys new experiences in Minneapolis and often takes in a show, sporting event or one of the new dining options Minneapolis continually offers. Dan has a passion for evaluating unique investment opportunities. This entrepreneurial spirit led him to start his own Minneapolis-based real estate business.

Work Experience

Prior to joining Rendersi, Dan was an Associate at Imperial Capital Asset Management and was responsible for evaluating and monitoring Imperial’s private equity investments. Prior to transitioning to the Asset Management Group, Dan was an Analyst within Imperial Capital’s Corporate Finance Group focusing on middle-market M&A, restructuring and financing advisory. Dan started his career at Deloitte in their audit practice, where he also obtained his CPA.

Education

Bachelor’s of Science, Finance & Accountancy
University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management

Bonnie Manhan

Dan’s background in investment banking, principal investing and experience running his own business have made him a great fit for Rendersi’s mission and entrepreneurial culture.

Background and Interests

After almost a decade in his home country of England, Dan hopped the pond to the United States and quickly assimilated to the new culture and accent; however he admittedly still struggles with the harsh winters. Maybe in a few more decades…
Dan enjoys traveling and exploring different cities around the world, but is happy to call Minnesota home. He enjoys new experiences in Minneapolis and often takes in a show, sporting event or one of the new dining options Minneapolis continually offers. Dan has a passion for evaluating unique investment opportunities. This entrepreneurial spirit led him to start his own Minneapolis-based real estate business.

Work Experience

Prior to joining Rendersi, Dan was an Associate at Imperial Capital Asset Management and was responsible for evaluating and monitoring Imperial’s private equity investments. Prior to transitioning to the Asset Management Group, Dan was an Analyst within Imperial Capital’s Corporate Finance Group focusing on middle-market M&A, restructuring and financing advisory. Dan started his career at Deloitte in their audit practice, where he also obtained his CPA.

Education

Bachelor’s of Science, Finance & Accountancy
University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management

Jim D'Aquila

Founder/CEO

After decades at large, international Wall Street firms, and having once before founded a boutique advisory and investment firm when most others his age are retiring, Jim decided to jump back in and form a highly creative and agile firm that can meet the warp-speed needs of businesses competing in this modern-day economy.

Background and Interests

When Jim is not at his desk or flying between the coasts in the name of business, he is likely deeply engaged in one of his three great passions: old-world family time (playing chef-of- the-day, board gaming, boating and campfires with his wife and two daughters), photography and hiking with his Brittany Spaniels. Jim’s photographic interests take him well beyond documenting his family life and his published work of urban life in Milan, Florence, Paris, New York City and his native Twin Cities. Jim also sits as a trustee on the board of the International Center of Photography in NYC. Jim is a member of the Advisory Council of the College of Veterinarian Medicine at the University of Minnesota and he serves on the advisory committee for Range Mental Health of Minnesota.

Work Experience

Jim co-founded Rendersi in September 2017. Jim also serves as General Partner of CoVestia Capital Partners, a private equity investment firm formed in 2007. Jim has over 35 years of experience as an adviser and investor. Jim was founder and CEO of The Mercanti Group, an advisory firm which was acquired by Imperial Capital in December 2009. Prior to Mercanti, Jim worked as Head of the Consumer and Retail Group at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (DLJ); Head of Investment Banking at Dain Rauscher (RBC); and as a partner at Aurora Capital, a private equity firm formerly known as WSGP. Jim also was a group head at Drexel Burnham in the 1980s. Jim is a board member of several private companies, including Polaroid and MRTC Holdings.

Education

Bachelor’s of Art, Accounting and Business Administration with High Honors Minor in Psychology
University of Notre Dame

Sara Schmidt

Rendersi offers Sara the ideal place to balance her love of marketing, creativity and design with her knowledge of finance and investment banking.

Background and Interests

In 2009, Sara took a hiatus from the corporate world to raise her four young children. As a devoted community activist, Sara took this “time off” to get involved on the board of the Summit Hill Association of St. Paul, MN, serve as President of the MOMS Club of Summit Hill and volunteer with the Junior League of Minneapolis. When she has a rare break from shuttling her kids to soccer and basketball, Sara can be found training for a marathon on the running paths of the Twin Cities.

Work Experience

Sara began her career in the finance industry first with Piper Jaffray Investment Banking and later she joined The Mercanti Group, a boutique investment banking group focused on the consumer industry, as the Director of Marketing and Communications. Before finance, Sara was immersed in the world of public relations and politics. She worked for Fleishman-Hillard PR developing media and communications strategies for corporate and public affairs accounts, including Dell, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Mint. After three years as a college intern on Capitol Hill, Sara got her first “real” job serving in the D.C. press office of now-retired U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD).

Education

Bachelor’s of Art, Political Communications
The George Washington University

Adeel Ahmad

Founder/CEO

Rendersi’s boutique environment allows Adeel to use his decade of experience to play a strategic role in the continued success of entrepreneurs and leaders of branded companies in a rapidly changing consumer economy.

Background and Interests

Despite the nearly 100-degree differential in winter weather, Adeel has happily called Minnesota home for the past 10 years, which wasn’t ‘part of the plan’ growing up in South Asia. His enthusiasm to experience different cultures and see the world has led him to over 30 countries across five continents. In his free time, he puts together jigsaw puzzles, watches cricket games and cheers for his favorite Formula1 team. Adeel applies his passion for personal finance education by teaching underprivileged high school students as a volunteer with the Junior Achievement organization.

Work Experience

Prior to co-founding Rendersi, Adeel was a Vice President in the Consumer Group at Imperial Capital. He has worked with a wide range of clients including private and public companies, private equity funds and family offices. Prior to joining Imperial Capital in 2009, Adeel worked at The Mercanti Group, a consumer-focused investment bank that specialized in M&A and capital markets advisory. Adeel started his career in the Consumer & Retail Investment Banking group at Banc of America Securities.

Education

Bachelor’s of Science, Accountancy with High Honors
Master’s of Science, Accountancy, Minor Finance University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bonnie Manhan

Bonnie uses her administrative, accounting and technology experience to allow Rendersi’s bankers to stay hyper-focused on their advisory investment work.

Background and Interests

Bonnie hails from Southern California but has called Minnesota home for the past 25 years. In addition to raising two daughters, Bonnie has co-chaired the Symphony Ball for the WAMSO (now the Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra). She also co-chaired the Art in Bloom exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In her spare time, Bonnie enjoys walking her dogs, practicing her culinary talents and reading books.

Work Experience

Bonnie has managed numerous family business holdings including several quick service restaurants. Prior to that, she operated a computer consulting business. Bonnie started her career at Drexel Burnham Lambert in their Beverly Hills office and later worked for Aurora Capital (formerly WSGP Partners) in its administration and technology group.

Education

Bachelor’s of Science, Communications
University of Southern California

Willie Borwege

Working for Rendersi, Willie has learned how an investment is started, maintained and grown from the ground up. He is excited to be involved in a closely-knit team that teaches him about excellent client service and the multi-faceted consumer industry.

Background and Interests

Willie grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota and graduated from Saint Thomas Academy in 2016. He entered the University of Minnesota that same fall and began studying business. In his spare time, Willie enjoys spending time in the outdoors. He is an avid bass and northern pike fisherman and proficient deer and turkey hunter. To give back to the community, Willie volunteers at the Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis and is involved in philanthropy with his fraternity.

Work Experience

Prior to joining Rendersi, Willie was a private wealth management intern with Ameriprise Financial where he got his footing in the financial industry. Willie also worked for the City of Faribault, MN’s Parks Department as a park laborer for 3 years.

Education

Bachelor’s of Science in Business, Finance, Accounting and Business Analytics
University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management (expected graduation Spring 2020)