Professionals

Joel Heilprin

Robert W. Deprez

James H. Duke

John F. O. Bilson

John R. Twombly


Joel Heilprin - Founder & Managing Director

Joel Heilprin is an accomplished financial professional with extensive experience executing transactions, acting as an interim CFO, teaching advanced finance courses and developing advanced pedagogical material for finance instruction. 

He began his career working in Mergers and Acquisitions for Wasserstein Perella & Co. and has also worked in equity research with C.E. Unterberg Towbin, and private equity with the Fremont Group and Juno Investments.  In each of these capacities, Joel has worked on numerous acquisitions, divestitures, and financings where he has been the lead individual responsible for identifying and screening new business opportunities, conducting due diligence, arranging bank financing; and valuing, structuring, and negotiating the terms of proposed transactions.  In addition to traditional M&A and financing transactions, he also has significant experience in performing liquidations and designing tax motivated finance structures using complex over-the-counter digital options to reduce capital gains and/or step-up the basis of assets.

Joel has also worked as an interim CFO, most recently for Fullbridge, Inc. where he has been involved in raising early stage capital, managing the 409A valuation for employee stock options, developing business models, establishing accounting systems and policies, and managing the audit process.  Additionally, he has been extensively involved in capital budgeting and strategic investment decisions on behalf of portfolio companies; and, has designed and implemented incentive compensations schemes.

In an academic capacity, Joel teaches a four-course sequence in corporate finance within the MS Finance program for the Illinois Institute of Technology that covers financial statement analysis, corporate finance, investment banking, and equity valuation.  He has also coauthored several leading Harvard Business School finance cases including: Blaine Kitchenware, Inc.: Capital Structure, Hansson Private Label, Inc.: Evaluating an Investment Expansion, Mercury Athletic Footwear: Valuing the Opportunity, Midland Energy Resources, Inc.: Cost of Capital, and Valuation of AirThread Connections.  In addition to authoring finance cases, Joel has also worked on a number of Harvard Business School Publishing financial simulations, and occasionally teaches on behalf of the New York Institute of Finance.

Joel earned an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago with concentrations in finance and accounting.  He also has an MS in Information Technology from Northwestern University and a BS Summa Cum Laude from DePaul University where he concentrated in  finance and accounting.  He is also a CPA and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois State CPA Society.

Robert W. Deprez - Managing Director

Robert W. Deprez is the Founder and Managing Director of Arbor Point Capital Advisors.  He has over 30 years of business experience, including more than 18 years working with middle market under-performing companies and corporations in transition.

Mr. Deprez has a strong operational and financial background.  He has extensive corporate renewal experience, including successfully restructuring a wide variety of companies.  His expertise includes: providing on site day-to-day crisis leadership, implementing effective cash management programs, directing cost reduction measures, improving asset utilization and rationalizing product mix. He knows the value of "right-sizing" companies for profitability and focuses on items which immediately improve profitability.  This concentration on profitability provides many options for stakeholders, including the possible refinancing or recapitalization of the company.

Mr. Deprez has functioned as a senior executive in many different capacities, including CEO, COO, CRO and CFO. He has worked with under-performing manufacturing, distribution, industrial services, and construction companies ranging in size from $5 million to $400 million.  Mr. Deprez strengths are his hands-on leadership approach, his pragmatic results orientation and his multi-functional experience.  He has the ability to lead diverse teams comprised of company personnel, turnaround professionals and financial advisors to develop, implement and execute a business plan to improve a company’s performance and financial health.

His experience also encompasses working with management and counsel to prepare and lead the company through out of court restructurings and preparing companies for sale to maximize value. 

When creditor groups, lenders and private equity groups need timely and accurate evaluations of situations and potential options, they turn to Mr. Deprez to provide a situation assessment. Relying on his broad operational and financial experience, he provides timely evaluations that can be used to make decisions that will achieve the best results for the stakeholders.  

From 2004 thru 2007 Mr. Deprez founded and managed Arbor Point Capital Holdings a middle market buyout firm. He completed two platform acquisitions and one add on acquisition of under-performing companies.  As CEO he built self directed senior management teams, developed prioritized operational improvement plans, implemented organization wide metrics programs and improved profitability.  Both platforms were subsequently sold with management teams in place.

Mr. Deprez has also provided litigation and claim evaluation service to support legal teams.  His litigation experience includes assessing and quantifying the financial damages, evaluating litigated claims for insurance matters and providing expert testimony to support the finding. 

Mr. Deprez has a B.S. in Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA in Finance and Business Policy from the University of Chicago. He attained professional certifications as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Professional Engineer (PE) and as a Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP).  Mr. Deprez serves on the boards of middle market companies and on the Board of Victories of the Heart (a nonprofit group based in Chicago).  He speaks to many business groups on a regular basis about strategies to improve business performance.  He also taught Turnaround Strategies and Techniques for the Association of Certified Turnaround Professionals.

James H. Duke - Managing Director

James H. Duke is an experienced corporate treasury director with a background in international finance and banking. He has been extensively involved in Best Practices in manufacturing operations focused on the global Order-to-Cash cycle and has won the Kaizen Award for customer service in Latin American operations from a multinational. He has documented policies and procedures around the revenue cycle for Sarbanes-Oxley purposes and is familiar with the COSO-framework. In addition, Jim is also COPC certified in Malcolm Baldrige process standards. He has spent most of his career helping clients in the chemical, automotive, telecommunications equipment, and consumer product sectors.

Prior to joining 59th Street Partners, Jim was the Director of Credit and Finance at Brunswick Corporation where he oversaw the risk management of a $6.0 billion portfolio consisting assets that where both on and off the books. While in this role, he also was responsible for creating/improving/maintaining over 150 third party finance programs involving term debt structures, factoring and flooring operations, supply agreements, direct loans and sales support guarantees. In addition, Jim also turned around a $200 million underperforming credit portfolio by developing a coordinated plan to resolve bankruptcies and problem loan workouts. He also managed to reduce the investment in receivables by more than 70% while growing sales volume to historic highs.

Before leading Brunswick's Credit and Finance operations, Jim was the Director of International Finance with ADC Telecommunications where he was responsible for making strategic debt   equity investments. The total portfolio consisted of $350 million of commitments, and achieved $70 million of sales growth over the first 18 months. Preceding Jim's appointment as Director of International Finance with ADC, he was the Director of Finance for Latin America-Asia Pacific within Case Corporation where he managed the credit risk of a $6.0 billion portfolio, and successfully supported sales growth of $400 million through a distribution network of 100 dealers in 70 countries. He also grew interest revenue from $2.3 million to $16.0 million while increasing the financial penetration rate of retail sales from >5% to 35%.

Jim earned his BA and MA with honors from the University of Pennsylvania in International Relations, a program of interdisciplinary studies under Wharton which ultimately became the basis for the Lauder Institute for Management and International Studies.

John F. O. Bilson - Advisory Board Member

John F. O. Bilson is a Professor of Finance at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and has recently returned to IIT after spending two years at the Melbourne Business School. Previously, he was the Director of the Financial Management Program at the IIT Stuart School of Business. Before joining the Stuart School, Dr. Bilson was a senior vice president at The Chicago Corporation where he was responsible for establishing the financial futures trading group, TCC Futures Management. He has also served as president of BetaSoft Management and as a vice-president of Trading Development Corporation. 

Dr. Bilson received his Ph.D. in international economics from the University of Chicago in 1973. He subsequently taught in the economics department at Northwestern University and became a member of the research department of the International Monetary Fund. In 1976, Dr. Bilson returned to the University of Chicago as an associate professor and, subsequently, as a senior lecturer in international economics and finance in the Graduate School of Business. At the time he was also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has held visiting appointments at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, and the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.

Dr. Bilson is the editor (with Richard C. Marston) of Exchange Rate Theory and Practice (1984, University of Chicago Press) and has published over thirty articles in the areas of international finance, international economics, and risk management. In addition to his Ph.D., he holds Master of Economics and Bachelor of Economics (Hons.) degrees from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Education

  • B.Econ., Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • M.Econ., Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Ph.D., Economics, University of Chicago

John R. Twombly - Advisory Board Member

Dr. Twombly is the Director of Undergraduate Programs in Business and is Clinical Professor of Finance and accounting. He teaches financial accounting and financial management, and is a seasoned and popular public speaker. In addition to his teaching and administrative duties, Dr. Twombly delivers seminars for the Financial Analysts Federation throughout the United States and Canada, and has been a CPA since 1979. He has also presented seminars in accounting and finance for numerous corporations, including ABN-AMRO, Caterpillar, Avery International, and Reichhold Chemical. He has taught at the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago, Northwestern University's Kellogg School, and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He was awarded a fellowship from the American Accounting Association and he received the J. Parker Bursk Prize in Statistics.

Education

  • B.S., University of Pennsylvania 1971
  • M.B.A., University of Chicago 1973
  • Ph.D., University of Chicago 1980