Partner, San Francisco
Ali has 25 years of experience in the world of finance. He founded GTK, a firm focused mainly on M&A advisory and direct principal investment. Ali’s and GTK’s clients span private growth companies to large private equity firms and corporations such as Bain Capital (buy-side M&A), Symantec (JV divestiture to Huawei) and Qualcomm (e-wallet divestiture). While GTK’s transactions span many sectors, the convergence of software and hardware in innovative ways, such as the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles and robotics, are an area of particular of expertise.
Earlier in his career, Ali was with Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch’s investment banking groups in the Bay Area, where he focused on technology and media transactions. Ali started his career with The First Boston Corporation (Credit Suisse) in New York. During those seven years, he was an M&A specialist with broad industry coverage.
Ali has a B.S. and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He was awarded both degrees in four years and is a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society.
James S. Turo
Partner, Los Angeles
Jay Turo is focused on the entrepreneurial marketplace. In his 15 years advising and investing in companies,
Jay has advised dozens of emerging, middle market, and corporate clients regarding their growth and capital formation strategies. His corporate clients have included Deutsche Bank, McKesson, Infospace, Samsung, Porsche, & Paramount Pictures.
He has worked with a wide host of emerging companies including Accelerant, C8 Medisensors, Dakim, DCIP,
Free Conference, Fresh Games, Green Medical, Integreon, L3D3, Mobeze, MyPublicInfo, Nolatek, Ometric, Pocketsonics, Precision Time, Raise Capital, Recoup IT, Research Scientists, Sandel Medical, Spring Medical, Telverse, Thrombovision, XCOM Wireless, and Xorbent, among others.
Jay is an active angel investor and speaker and writer regarding private equity, entrepreneurship, and technology.
Jay has an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and earned a Bachelor's degree with Distinction and with Departmental Honors from Stanford University.
Partner, Los Angeles
Mario has a unique combined experience as a senior operating executive in technology and telecommunications, including several Fortune 500 companies, and as an investment banking professional serving venture-backed and mid-cap companies. He is engaged in GTK’s efforts across these markets from its Los Angeles office. Before GTK, he was a founding principal of Intellectual Capital Associates, an advisory firm based in San Francisco. Mario frequently works with businesses whose products and services are distributed over digital media and content convergence platforms including broadband, cable and data networks.
Prior to his career in corporate finance, Mario was a Director and President of AT&T Consumer and Small Business markets in Florida with an operating budget of over $2 billion, Chief Operating Officer of US Communications, Inc., Managing Director of Wireless Services at CSC, Vice President of Sales at SkyTel (WorldCom), and Director of Business Development at Sprint. His responsibilities encompassed operations, strategy, finance, marketing, sales and business development.
Mario is a graduate of Georgia State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Partner, San Francisco
John DeLoche is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Pilot Growth Equity and is based in San Francisco. John has more than 20 years of experience in technology investing and finance. John has invested in many successful companies in the software, Internet, healthcare-IT and infrastructure sectors including Counsyl, Metabiota, CB Insights, Proofpoint (Nasdaq: PFPT), C-Legal (acquired by Ernst & Young), Open Silicon (acquired by Unicorn Investment Bank), Jasper Wireless and many others. John currently serves on the boards of Counsyl, Metabiota and CB Insights.
Prior to Pilot Growth Equity, John was the Founder of Bluebird Capital LLC, an investment and advisory firm in San Francisco that invests in and advises growth stage healthcare and technology companies. Prior to Bluebird, John was a Principal at Bridgescale Partners, a Menlo Park-based growth equity firm, where he completed many investments in leading technology companies. John began his career as a founding member of Credit Suisse First Boston’s Technology Group, where he focused on technology mergers, acquisitions and financings and worked in the firm’s New York, Tokyo and Palo Alto offices. John has advised on over 100 M&A and financing transactions totaling more than $25 billion.
John was previously an officer in the US Army Reserve Signal Corps, which develops, tests and manages communications and information systems for the combined armed forces. John speaks Japanese and German, and he earned an AB with honors from the University of Chicago.
David, based in London, works with GTK Partners on cross-border mandates. David spent many years as an M&A professional with some of the best and most active firms in Europe, including Wasserstein Perella, Merrill Lynch (where he was head of European Healthcare M&A), JPMorgan, (as head of sell-side M&A for Europe). Before his time in London, David work for Goldman Sachs in New York, and prior to that was a consultant at Booz Allen and Bain & Company. In addition, David is the founder of Shields Corporate Finance, a firm devoted to maximizing valuation outcomes for growth companies.
David graduated from Balliol College, Oxford University, with a first in philosophy and theology, and a doctorate in political philosophy. He is fluent in German, French, and Italian.
Ziad Joseph Sarkis
Senior Advisor, Luxembourg & San Francisco
Ziad has more than two decades of entrepreneurial and investing experience, including co-founding investment firm Great Trek Ventures with Ali Tabibian.
Prior to co-founding Great Trek Ventures, Ziad was a Founding Partner and a main shareholder of PAI Partners, the leading European private equity firm created through the buyout of the merchant banking business of BNP Paribas. During Ziad’s 10 years at PAI, the firm became one of the best-performing and largest European LBO sponsors, with assets under management in excess of €9 billion (equity value).
Before PAI, Ziad was a Founding Partner and Board Member of the Mitchell Madison Group (MMG), one of the most successful management consulting startups of the 1990s. MMG, which grew to ~650 consultants deployed across 16 offices worldwide, was sold in 1999 to USWeb for $300 million.
Ziad has a keen interest in charitable organizations. He served from 2011 to 2013 with the Geneva-based International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as a Special Advisor to the Under Secretary General, Humanitarian Values and Diplomacy.
Ziad is a graduate of Stanford University, with a Masters degree in Industrial Engineering & Management, and Bachelors degrees in Anthropology, Economics and Mathematical & Computational Science. He also holds a doctorate in economics from Oxford University.
Director, Los Angeles
Marius Sava has more than 12 years of investment banking experience. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions as well as corporate advisory. During his tenure Marius has worked with hundreds of companies on their strategic growth alternatives and has directly participated in transactions with aggregate value of more than $1 billion. He has advised owner managed and publicly traded companies on a number of transactions including buy side, sell side, negotiated sale, divestiture, and strategic investment mandates. Marius’ advisory experience spans several industries, most notably the life science and healthcare industry in which he specializes. His client list included leading healthcare corporations such as Ansell, Covance, Life Technologies, Novozymes, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
Most recently, Marius served as Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions at Achelous Partners, an investment bank based in New York and specialized in M&A advisory for healthcare companies. In this capacity he originated and executed M&A transactions for US and international companies.
Marius has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Stern School of Business at New York University.