MA 1988, Organizational Communication
Senior Managing Director, Global Real Estate and Infrastructure Group, Guggenheim Partners, LLC
New York, NY
Tom brings more than 20 years of executive management experience with international public and private growth companies to this role.
Prior to joining Guggenheim in April of 2013, he was Chairman and Executive Director of GPS Industries, LLC – the leader in the development and distribution of cart-mounted GPS technology for the global golf industry and Executive Chairman of Rita’s Water Ice Franchise Company – the world’s largest ice and custard franchisor with over 600 outlets around the world. Both units are controlled portfolio companies of Falconhead Capital – a middle market private equity firm in NYC where Tom was an Operating Partner from September of 2009 through March 2013.
Prior to Rita’s and GPSI, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Resources Global Professionals; a multinational professional services firm (NASDAQ: RECN). Before being named CEO in 2007, Christopoul served as an independent member on the Resources Board of Directors as Chairman of the Corporate Governance and Compensation Committees and as a member of the Audit Committee.
He previously served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Marketing Services Division of Cendant Corporation (NYSE: CD), where he worked for more than 10 years. In that role, he managed and integrated the company’s three global direct marketing units which ultimately comprised one of the largest affinity marketing enterprises in the world. Before retiring from the company in the fall of 2005, Christopoul led the strategic divestment of that division (now Affinion Group Holdings) in a sale to private equity firm Apollo Management, LP for proceeds in excess of $1.8 billion.
At Cendant, he was also Chairman and CEO of the Financial Services Division of Cendant, where he managed Jackson-Hewitt Tax Services, the second largest tax preparation firm in North America. In June 2004, he led the 100% Initial Public Offering of that company on the (NYSE: JTX), which raised more than $800 million in proceeds for its former parent.
Christopoul also served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer where he led the corporate and staff functions of the company on a global basis. He was the senior management representative to the compensation and policy committees of Cendant’s board of directors, headed the company’s Pension Committee and served as the Chairman of the Cendant Charitable Foundation. Christopoul also held the positions of EVP of Corporate Services, SVP of Human Resources and was VP of HR for HFS Inc. (Hospitality Franchise Systems - Cendant's predecessor). Prior to HFS and Cendant, he was the Director of Labor Relations for the Nabisco Biscuit Company and also worked for several years at the Pepsi-Cola Company in increasingly responsible HR management roles.
Tom has extensive international experience having negotiated large scale outsource, joint venture, labor and partnership deals throughout Europe, Central & South America, China, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Thailand and Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Science degree from Purdue University.
Tom is an active venture capital investor – primarily through Somerset Shore Associates, Inc. – a private investment and advisory business he founded in 2006. He is a principal investor in early stage venture and Series “A” financings of several successful start-ups including Nor1, Inc – creator of “E-Standby” - the leading on-line upsell technology provider in the travel and tourism industry (www.nor1.com) where he was on the board of directors for 6 years prior to a successful majority growth capital investment by Concur Technologies in 2012.
Tom was also an early stage investor in ZOZI (www.zozi.com), the world’s leading on-line community of and marketplace for adventure travel and experiences where he is an advisor to the founder and CEO – TJ Sassani.
He was also a Series “A” investor in two start up spirit companies – Cabana Cachaca (Island Brands, LTD - http://www.cabanacachaca.com/) and Double Cross Vodka (http://doublecrossvodka.com/). He was nominated as a member of the Board of Advisors of Cabana. In addition, he was an early stage investor in TAI, Inc. – a professional assessment and leadership development company in Yardley, PA (http://www.taiinc.com/).
He is also currently a member of the Audit Committee and Chairman of the Compensation Committee of the board of directors of Apollo Residential Mortgage, Inc. (NYSE: AMTG) and a member of the Audit Committee of the board of directors of Rexnord Corporation (NYSE: RXN). He is also a former member of the advisory boards of the September 11th Children’s Fund, Rutgers University and Manhattan Theater Source. Tom is Non-Executive Chairman of Hudson Crossing, LLC (a travel industry consulting and advisory partnership in NYC) and was previously Vice Chairman of Pinnacle Care International – a private health advisory firm.