LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Applied Real Intelligence (“A.R.I.”), a venture debt investment firm that provides innovative financing solutions to successful VC-backed companies, announced the hiring of Jeffrey Sokolowski as Managing Director, Investments. Mr. Sokolowski will report to Zack Ellison, A.R.I.’s Founder and Managing General Partner, and will be based in Dallas, Texas, where he will lead A.R.I.’s regional expansion.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jeff to A.R.I.’s senior leadership team as we continue expanding access to innovation as an asset class for institutional investors and family offices while creating access to non-dilutive, less expensive capital for innovative founders of early-stage companies,” said Ellison.
Mr. Sokolowski will have a primary role in managing A.R.I.’s portfolio, lending policies, and investment risk management practices, including oversight of credit analysis, due diligence, transaction structuring, and loan underwriting. He joins the firm’s Executive Committee, Investment Committee, and Risk Committee and has responsibility for building and maintaining strategic partnerships with A.R.I.’s portfolio companies and sponsors, including venture capital firms, private equity firms, bank lenders, and non-bank lenders.
“A.R.I. is primed for tremendous success given the firm’s robust operational infrastructure, systematic transaction sourcing capabilities, and strength in credit risk underwriting. Venture debt is experiencing explosive growth and A.R.I.’s process-based approach is perfectly suited to deliver results for borrowers and LPs alike,” said Sokolowski.
Prior to joining A.R.I., Mr. Sokolowski achieved an outstanding investment track record in venture debt and middle market lending, built over two decades across multiple economic cycles. From 2004 to 2021, he worked at ORIX USA, the North American subsidiary of ORIX Corporation, a diversified Japanese financial services group with assets over $125 billion.
For the past decade, Mr. Sokolowski was a Director at ORIX Growth Capital, a global leader in venture debt. ORIX Growth Capital has successfully deployed over $2 billion to more than 175 companies, while generating outstanding risk-adjusted performance. At ORIX Growth Capital, Mr. Sokolowski was responsible for oversight and risk management of its venture debt portfolio, consisting of debt facilities ranging from $5 million to $50 million, along with equity co-investments and warrant positions. In this role, he managed the full credit life cycle from inception to exit, and developed deep underwriting, credit risk, and portfolio management expertise in key industry verticals. His sectors of focus included enterprise software, healthcare IT and services, financial technology, digital media and internet, consumer and mobile, technology infrastructure, and tech-enabled services.
During his 17 years at ORIX, Mr. Sokolowski was also a founding member of the firm’s Leveraged Finance Group, successfully restructured troubled credits, and was instrumental in third-party capital raising efforts.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Sokolowski was an Audit Manager at KPMG, where he qualified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He later joined Bank of America Business Capital as a Vice President, where he focused on underwriting and structuring credit facilities for middle market borrowers. He holds a BSBA in Accounting from West Virginia University.
A.R.I. is a venture debt investment manager focused on providing financing solutions to high-growth, VC-backed companies in North America. A.R.I.’s investment strategy aims to provide limited partners with superior risk-adjusted returns, security of capital, and strong portfolio diversification benefits.
To learn more, please visit www.arivc.com.