WHO WE ARE

WHO WE ARE

WE ARE INVESTORS, THINKERS, MODEL BUILDERS AND ENTREPRENEURS

We are a small team of tech-savvy and thoughtful people who enjoy sharing our work with others. We get excited by new ideas and discoveries. We think differently about a lot of things and have fun answering tough questions and testing the truth of what we discover.

J.P. Bourtin, Esq., Chief Executive Officer

J.P.  is the original founder of Highcrest Capital and currently serves as its Chief Executive Officer.

Before starting the firm, J.P. was the Chief Investment Officer of Greenwich Private Capital, LLC, a proprietary investment company located in Greenwich Connecticut that managed the wealth of a prominent New York family.  Early in his investing career, J.P. studied under Edward Seykota, who is widely regarded as one of the forefathers of quantitative investing.

Prior to his investing career,  J.P. was the founder and CEO of SiteLogic Technologies, a legal technology company that was eventually sold to a private investment group.

Earlier in his career, J.P. worked as an attorney for Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, served as a pro bono Special District Attorney for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, and served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Harold R. DeMoss, Jr., of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas.

 

He is a magna cum laude graduate of Tulane Law School, a former member of Law Review, and a member of the Order of the Coif.  J.P. received a B.A. in History from Boston College.

Over the years J.P. has acquired a particular interest in Systems Theory and spends much of his free time researching its application to various human endeavors, such as investing, law, and technology.  J.P. lives on a ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas with his wife, Christy, their three young children, and an assortment of livestock.

Jayson Javitz, Esq., Portfolio Manager

Jayson is a Portfolio Manager at Highcrest Capital.  Prior to serving in that role, Jayson served as the General Counsel of River City Petroleum, Inc., a fuel distribution company with roughly $1 billion in sales. In that role Jayson oversaw a loan and credit portfolio of approximately $700 million. Jayson has extensive experience in small business lending, having sourced and managed thousands of commercial loans to small and mid-sized businesses. Previously, Jayson worked as an attorney for Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, and for Jackson Lewis, LLP, two national law firms. 

Jayson is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, and is a graduate from the University of Hartford with a B.S. in finance and economics in 1991, summa cum laude.

When asked what the Highcrest mission statement means to him, Jayson is quick to point out our unique focus on people.  For him personally, it means that we “aren’t in this business to enrich ourselves, but rather to serve real people, and not just accounts.”  For Jayson, these are the husbands, wives, and parents who have entrusted us with managing their hard-earned wealth.

As the Portfolio Manager of credit fund, Jayson’s core value is stewardship.  Jayson is old enough to remember quite clearly the major investment calamities of the past three decades.  From the Volcker recession, to the ’87 stock market crash. The S&L crisis, the Asian currency collapse and then, the tech bubble followed by the historic ’08 – ’09 collapse. All of them having a major impact on the markets. “History doesn’t always repeat itself but usually it rhymes.  Investors have learned hard lessons over the years, and we simply will not place our partners’ money into what we believe are unreasonably risky positions.”

Rimma Valencia, Portfolio Analyst

Rimma serves as a Portfolio Analyst at Highcrest Capital.  Prior to this role, she served as a Financial Analyst at Allstate Insurance group and then for Intellectual Ventures / Xinova / Allied Inventors, a venture capital firm based in Seattle.  Rimma, originally from Russia, came to the United States in 2008 to study finance and graduated in 2010 with a BS in Finance from City University of New York: Brooklyn College.

Rimma holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation, regarded by most to be the key certification for investment professionals, especially in the areas of research and portfolio management.  In her role, Rimma is responsible for helping to manage and report on the the small business loans in Highcrest’s portfolio.  Rimma is also responsible for a variety of internal finance functions at Highcrest, including the accounting work that goes into closing the books every month. 

 

When not working at Highcrest, she is busy improving her skills as a compound bow archer and hiking. Along with the rest of the Highcrest team, Rimma shares a love of exploring unique ideas and opportunities.  “Highcrest gives me a chance to do something innovative and interesting in a firm that allows for free thinking.”  What makes her feel most at home at Highcrest is being part of a group where everyone’s input is taken into account, and where everyone has the opportunity to voice their opinion and contribute new ideas.

Sloan Gunter, Client Relations

Sloan Gunter is the Vice President of Client Services at Highcrest.  Before joining Highcrest, Sloan was a Managing Partner of Safewealth Advisors based in Austin, Texas.  Prior to that role, Sloan held a variety of marketing and investment advisory positions at companies such as Axa Equitable, Prudential, and MetLife, and was responsible for more than $2 billion of raised assets.  Sloan graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, in 1985 with a B.A. in English Literature.

For Sloan, the Highcrest mission is found primarily in its focus on relationships. 

In Sloan’s view, “relationships are at the heart of what we do.  It is our clients and partners that make our business what it is today.”  To Sloan, another essential element of the client relationship is good stewardship of our partners’ capital.  “We make sure to stay away from the typical Wall Street approach to investing.  We couple conservative principles with smart, unconventional, investments,” a point Sloan is eager to share when he meets new clients.

When Sloan’s wife, Debra, was asked for an interesting fact that others might not know about him, she noted: “He is a fabulous singer!”

She also remarked “Sloan gets things done and is very direct with people.  But at the same time he has a great gift for connecting with them.”

When not traveling, Sloan spends much of his time with his wife and their three children.  Giving back is important to Sloan and his family and they choose to serve others through outreach organizations and their church.  Born and raised in the West Texas town of San Angelo, Sloan and his family currently reside in Austin, TX.

Neil Miller, Controller

Neil is the Controller for Highcrest. His role is to ensure that all company financial matters are handled expertly and he acts a trusted advisor to JP. Neil has over thirty years of diverse financial experience including positions at several Fortune 100 companies such as United Brands, Dun & Bradstreet, JP Morgan, and Bristol-Meyers Squibb. He was the CFO of a start–up Information 

Technology consulting company and has served as the outsourced Controller for many small to mid-size businesses in addition to non-profit organizations for over ten years. Neil is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor and holds an MBA in Finance from Temple University.

“Highcrest utilizes the service of various people of different backgrounds and skill sets all pulling  together to achieve superior results.” For Neil the Highcrest mission is about enabling clients to enrich themselves by taking advantage of cutting edge investments in a transparent way. One extremely hard to believe but absolutely verified fact about Neil, is that there is a full size statue of him in Washington, DC. Go figure!

Jake Cohen, Credit Analyst

Jake Cohen is a Credit Analyst for Highcrest Capital. In that role, Jake supports our Portfolio Manager, Jayson Javitz, and the rest of the underwriting team as they review, analyze, and select the individual loans that we purchase for our portfolio.
Prior to joining Highcrest, Jake worked as a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Jake received a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of San Diego, and currently lives in San Diego where he offices with Jayson Javitz and the rest of our underwriting team.
Outside of the office, Jake’s interests and hobbies include outdoor fitness, playing golf, and writing business biographies.

Mark Macias, Credit Analyst

Mark Macias is a Credit Analyst for Highcrest Capital. In that role, Mark supports our Portfolio Manager, Jayson Javitz, and the rest of the underwriting team as they review, analyze, and select the individual loans that we purchase for our portfolio.  

Prior to joining Highcrest, Mark worked for three years as a credit analyst at National Funding, a leading financial technology lending firm.  Mark received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Redlands, and currently lives in the San Diego suburb of

 

San Ysidro, where he offices with Jayson Javitz and the rest of our underwriting team. Outside of the office, Mark’s interests and hobbies include reading, hiking, traveling, time at the gun range, and spending time with his wife and their families.

Wes McKnight, Assistant Portfolio Manager

Wes McKnight is an Assistant Portfolio Manager at Highcrest Capital. In that role, Wes is responsible for helping to manage the commercial loans acquired by Highcrest that are secured by first liens on commercial real estate. Prior to joining our team, Wes worked at a number of major banking institutions, international lending funds, and capital management firms, where he managed several large portfolios that together comprised more than $800 million of asset backed loans, including real estate secured loans. 

Since 2015, Wes has completed over $400 million in real estate transactions.

In his role, Wes is responsible for helping to underwrite and source the commercial loans that Highcrest acquires that are secured with first lien positions on income producing real estate real located throughout the United States.

 

Wes also assists in other portfolio related tasks such as analytics and reporting.

Wes received his Masters of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University, with Cum Laude honors. He completed his undergraduate work at Colorado State University. Wes resides in the Dallas, Texas area and enjoys traveling with his wife of 20 years and his two children.

Kelly Leija, Office Manager

Kelly is the Office Manager for Highcrest Capital. In addition to managing the internal operations of the firm, Kelly assists with client onboarding and customer service. Kelly was born in Austin, and has been a long-time resident of the Texas Hill Country. Before joining Highcrest, Kelly was the billing coordinator for the Hospice department at Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg.
Several of the Highcrest values such as family, relationships, community, and love reflect in Kelly’s personal life. She has spent her life serving the residents of the Hill Country and raising her 7 children with her husband. She enjoys exploring new things and is always ready for a new challenge. “I am excited to be a part of such an amazing team that genuinely cares for each other and their clients.”
Outside of the office, she is committed to her personal growth, family, and her community. She enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, looking for ways to express her creativity, and always trying to find ways to give back to the community and serve others.

Jennifer Matthes, Of Counsel

Jennifer joined Highcrest Capital in Of Counsel position. In addition to offering counsel on a variety of legal issues, Jennifer prepares and negotiates agreements and contracts on behalf of the company, works alongside executives overseeing the risk management of the firm, and manages various other project-based initiatives for the firm.

Before her role at Highcrest, Jennifer owned and operated two successful small businesses in Fredericksburg while maintaining a legal practice in the areas of business, real estate, and estate planning.

Jennifer graduated Texas A&M University in 2003 from the Lowry Mays School of Business with a B.S. in Management with an emphasis in Pre-Law. 

She earned her juris doctorate from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas in 2006.

Outside of the office, Jennifer’s focus is her family. She and her husband, Andrew, stay busy with the school and extra-curricular activities of their seven children. She enjoys experiencing life, whether through traveling, reading, taking long walks, cooking, music, art and design, or other outlets to channel her creative side.

Rob Weening, Managing Director of Operations

Rob is the Managing Director of Operations for Highcrest Capital. In this role, Rob will oversee the various operational needs of the firm, including accounting, payroll and benefits, client services, risk management, and the implementation of technology solutions to improve the efficiency of operations. Additionally, Rob will be working with other executives to establish and manage new lines of credit as well as to source lending groups and perform due diligence site visits.

Rob began his working in New York with data center operations in the banking division of Citibank.

Throughout his career Rob held various executive positions across the banking and finance sectors including budget officer with Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, Chief Financial Analyst with Prudential Relocation Services in Connecticut, Director of Corporate Finance at PHH Relocation which became Cendant Mobility. Rob transitioned to investments as the Vice President at C-Bass, LLC, a credit-based asset servicing and securitization firm that became the leading issuer of mortgage backed securities. In 2008, Rob and his wife, Susan, relocated to California and over the last 12 years he has been the CFO for several FinTech companies specializing in small balance commercial real estate loans and working capital lending.

Born in Staten Island, New York, Rob attended Wagner College and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration. Rob received his Master of Business Administration in International Finance from Pace University in New York City.

Married for 30 years, Rob and Susan share a love of world travel and food adventures. Outside of the office, Rob enjoys the outdoors especially fishing and shooting sports. Both Rob and Susan have been wanting to make a move to Texas for some time now to be closer to family and are looking forward to exploring the Texas hill country and planting roots in Fredericksburg.