About

About2018-09-11T22:39:49-04:00

Our Firm

Benchmark Investments is an investment intelligence firm that delivers innovative solutions to help solve complex portfolio challenges for the evolving needs of investors across asset classes. Real estate, equity, and option market participants rely on our independent data and analytics to implement their precise market view relevant to their investment process.

Benchmark Investment’s indexes can be used as versatile tools to support active portfolio management by integrating into critical functions like risk, volatility and liquidity management. Many institutions need SCTRs to obtain strategic exposures in the core components of their investment portfolios and to achieve portfolio diversification.  The range of uses can be used for tasks like making tactical adjustments to portfolios, rebalancing, transition management, cash equitization, and interim beta.  Market participants are also attracted to benefits such as liquidity, ease and speed of use and low costs.

Benchmark’s index based innovations power investment products and strategies for some of the top leading firms including its franchise Real Estate SCTR℠ series.

Leadership

Kevin R. Kelly
Co-Founder, CEO & Managing Partner

Mr. Kelly responsibilities include the development and implementation of real estate, equity, and option investment strategies establishing firm investment policy. He is also responsible for the integration of both global macro and market valuation into a well-defined investment view, rationale, and strategy for portfolio construction. Kevin Kelly serves as the index portfolio manager for all the Benchmark Real Estate SCTRs.

Mr. Kelly’s thought leadership on markets can be found throughout media outlets including weekly on Fox Business as well as Options Insight on Bloomberg TV. Other media platforms include the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC, Cheddar, the New York Times, and Barron’s. In September of 2014, Nasdaq named Kevin Kelly an ‘ETF Insider’ and he is frequently featured at industry events.

Previously, Kevin Kelly founded Recon Capital Partners where he served as the Chief Investment Officer, Managing Partner and Portfolio Manager of affiliated funds. Funds managed included a long / short REIT hedge fund, domestic portfolios and international portfolios including DAX Germany, and the FTSE 100. At Recon Capital, Mr. Kelly led initial public offering of the Eagle Growth and Income (NYSE: EGIF) closed end fund after creating a custom options strategy for the portfolio as well as building their successful ETF (exchange traded fund) franchise which was later sold. Kevin Kelly previously worked for Goldman Sachs in the investment management division and Deutsche Bank’s debt capital markets group in London.

Kevin R. Kelly received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance, Summa Cum Laude, from the W.P. Carey School of Business and Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University.

Bob Agahi
Co-Founder & Partner

Mr. Agahi brings well over twenty years in real estate as an active investor and developer since 1998. His knowledge, personal experience and understanding of the intersection between each property type has been pivotal in creating the Real Estate SCTR series. Mr. Agahi  also is the co-founder of a company that currently owns over 800,000 sq. feet of office space in New York. Mr. Agahi has been a partner / member in over 35 development and acquisition projects over the last 15 years primarily in the Southwest US. Projects include:
  • Ground up development of several retail shopping centers
  • Entitlement of several raw land parcels into master planned communities
  • Ground up construction and development of a global hotel brand
  • Winner of the ‘Retail Project of the Year 2013’ in Arizona after a successful acquisition and re-development of an infill city block project
  • Winner of the ‘Retail Project of the Year 2016’ in Arizona for an adaptive reuse redevelopment of an abandoned warehouse into a mixed use entertainment and retail shopping destination

Since 1999, Mr. Agahi has also created and operated some of the most well known hospitality and entertainment concepts in the country.

Mr. Agahi has also had an extensive background in equities and the financial markets and has also co-founded a successful 501-C nonprofit foundation.

Mr. Agahi co-founded RuleBase Software in 1996, a CRM middleware based software company, with investors including Koch Industries, headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ.

Alexi Panagiotakopoulos
Partner

Alexi Panagiotakopoulos focuses on driving the growth, adoption and vision of Benchmark Investments. He oversees day-to-day operations including financial oversight, forecasting, strategic planning, partnerships and vendor management, ensuring the firm, its clients and partners have the required connectivity and coordination to operate as efficiently as possible. In addition, Alexi supports Kevin Kelly on all aspects of new business development, client servicing and institutional relationships.

Previously, Alexi served as Managing Director of Strategic Initiatives for SMS Financial. SMS is a private distressed debt firm, and joint venture partner of the FDIC, founded in 1993, that specializes in the acquisition, management and recovery of commercial debt across the United States. Over his five-year tenure as Managing Director, Alexi was instrumental in the origination and acquisition of nearly $1 billion of commercial debt across all asset classes. He also managed aspects of new business development, acquisitions and dispositions, revenue partnerships, capital placement opportunities, portfolio management and underwriting.

Prior to joining SMS Financial, Alexi specialized in underwriting at STORE Capital, a publicly listed REIT (NYSE: STOR), which focuses on the acquisition and leaseback of single tenant operational real estate on a net-lease basis. Alexi has an extensive background in sourcing, credit analysis, underwriting and real estate finance, with over $1.4 billion of transaction experience.

Alexi Panagiotakopoulos received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance, Magna Cum Laude, from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Krista Kelly
Marketing & Operations Associate

Krista Kelly joined Benchmark in 2017. She is responsible for both the day-to-day operations of the firm and the timely execution of key business marketing initiatives.  She is in charge of Benchmark’s education and investor outreach efforts including business development among investment advisors, financial planners, investment counsellors and family offices.

Previously, Ms. Kelly has served in several key account management positions including at an S&P 500 company. Kelly has earned her BA from Arizona State University.

Strategic Partners

Pacer Financial
Investment Advisor & Fund Distributor
Pacer Financial is the link between some of the most innovative financial products available today and financial advisors. Pacer partners with financial services companies they believe have the best solutions to meet investors needs, but frequently have no way to get the solutions to the financial advisor market. Pacer’s national wholesaling team works with financial advisors every day to share these solutions and help simplify ideas into strategies that investors can understand.

Nasdaq
Index Calculation Agent

Nasdaq Global Indexes has been creating innovative, market-leading, transparent indexes for more than 40 years and today they are one of the largest providers of Smart Beta indexes based on AUM. Their world renowned brands include the NASDAQ-100 Index, Nasdaq Global Equity, Dorsey, Wright & Associates, and Nasdaq Dividend Achievers. They provide benchmarks, research, resources, and tools specifically for investment professionals to help grow and protect assets.

NYSE
Listing Exchange

NYSE Arca is the top U.S. exchange for the listing and trading of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and also trades more than 8,000 U.S.-listed securities. The market offers fully automated, transparent open and closing auctions in ETFs and significant price improvement opportunities at the midpoint in all securities. As of December 31, 2017, NYSE Arca’s listed ETFs had over $2.8 trillion in assets under management (AUM), representing nearly 83% of all U.S. listed ETFs.

 Advisory Committee

The Benchmark Advisory Board is comprised of experienced professionals whom provide Benchmark with high-level advice and perspective. Members provide insight on our strategic alternatives, financial decisions, and tactical options. The Advisory Board also serves as a consultation group for the discussion of new product development and the marketing and positioning of Benchmark’s products and capabilities. Members include investment product innovators, experienced asset management professionals, current and former fiduciary committee members, legal experts and academics, industry-specific experts, and seasoned capital markets community executives.

Christopher K. Burbach CFA

Serves as Executive Vice President, Underwriting for STORE Capital Corporation (NYSE: STOR). Mr. Burbach joined STORE in February 2012 and has a broad range of experience in credit, underwriting and capital markets. Prior to joining STORE, Mr. Burbach served in numerous capacities at Spirit Finance Corporation from February 2006 to January 2012, including most recently as Vice President of Investment Management responsible for managing the investments of the company’s $3.5 billion real estate portfolio. Mr. Burbach also managed the Underwriting group at Spirit. Prior to Spirit, Mr. Burbach worked in a variety of roles in the education and consulting industries. Mr. Burbach received a B.S. degree in Finance from Santa Clara University and an M.B.A. degree from Arizona State University.

Ethan Powell CFA, CPA

Mr. Powell, has spent over two decades in financial services, primarily in Hedge Fund and Private Equity. Most recently Ethan founded Impact Shares. Impact Shares is a collaboration of leading financial service and non-profit organizations providing single social issue equity market proxy ESG solutions. Additionally, Ethan serves as the Chairman of the board for a $5 billion mutual fund complex. Previously, Mr. Powell was the Chief of Product and Strategy at Highland Capital Management Fund Advisors, L.P. In this role he was responsible for evaluating and optimizing the registered product lineup offered by Highland Mr. Powell also served as the portfolio manager of the Highland ETFs and worked with other portfolio managers and wholesalers on the appropriate positioning of strategies in the market place. Prior to joining Highland in April 2007, Mr. Powell spent most of his career with Ernst and Young providing audit and merger and acquisition services. Mr. Powell received an MS in Management Information Systems and a BS in Accounting from Texas A&M University.

Adam Greenbaum

Currently serves as an acquisitions associate for Atlas Capital Group, a real estate private equity firm with current portfolio assets exceeding $2.5 billion. He is responsible for closing and underwriting new investments as well as managing dispositions and recapitalizations within Atlas’ existing portfolio. Prior to joining Atlas, Mr. Greenbaum spent three summers working for Cantor Fitzgerald in its CMBS origination team, Apollo Global Management in its real estate private equity group, and Morgan Stanley in its healthcare investment banking division. Additionally, Mr. Greenbaum has sported several entrepreneurial ventures by founding a handful of startups including two smartphone applications, an advisory for growing businesses positioning to raise capital, and a videography firm. Mr. Greenbaum graduated from Cornell University in 2016 with a degree in Applied Economics & Management.