Meet the Team
Founder and Managing Director
Leonardo Simpser founded and heads LM Group’s Private Equity Platform. Under his leadership, LLJ's portfolio surpassed $1bn in value in 5 years. Asset classes include hotels, value add apartments and office, retail, bankruptcy workouts and note acquisitions. At LMA he is responsible for overseeing management of over $1.5bn in assets for high net worth individuals. Leonardo was the co-founder and CEO of the Hispanic National Mortgage Association. Before then he was a Senior Analyst at Deutsche Bank working on Latin American Equity Research, covering a variety of sectors for global, institutional investors. He advises/sits on the board of a handful of growing companies, including TV Page, Nanocellect, Vioozer. Leonardo was born in Mexico and graduated magna cum laude with a B.S.E in Finance from the Wharton School and a B.A. with distinction in Political Economy from the College of Arts and Sciences, both from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Master in Business Administration from Stanford University. In 2005, Leonardo was awarded the Eagle Award to recognize his leadership achievements within the Hispanic Community. He was involved at the Ken Jewish Community in San Diego for eight years and is the chairman of board of directors.
Founder and Senior Managing Director of LM Capital Group and LM Advisors.
Mr. Maizel was born and raised in Mexico City. His experience includes serving as Vice President of Finance for Grupoventas, S.A.; faculty member at the Harvard Business School; and President of Industrial Kuick, S.A. After structuring a favorable buy-out of Kuick, Mr. Maizel relocated to San Diego, California. Mr. Maizel received an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from National University of Mexico in 1971 and Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1974, where he graduated as a Baker Scholar, the School’s highest academic honor. Mr. Maizel has been voted one of the most important Hispanics in the U.S. several years in a row. Mr. Maizel’s broad experience includes: United PanAm Financial Corp. (UPFC), a diversified public financial company, the NAFIN (Mexico’s National Development Company) Foreign Board, Wells Fargo San Diego Community Board, HSBC Private Bank Board of Directors, Chairman of Hispanic National Mortgage Association, and several non profit organizations.
Vice President, Investments
He is responsible for acquisition, financing, refinancing and disposition of real estate assets. Prior to LLJ he was part of the private equity arm of the Nordic investment bank Pareto, where he participated in acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate and managed commercial real estate assets in excess of $500 million. In the past he worked for Ernst & Young and Accenture. He has a Master in Business and Economics from the BI Norwegian School of Management located in Oslo, Norway and a MBA from the University of San Diego.
Vice President Asset Management and Investor Relations
He is responsible for the management of all the acquired assets and portfolios as well as investor compliance and relations. Prior to this role, he was in charge of the non-real estate portfolio of the private equity arm of LM. Prior to LM, he worked as a management consultant for his own firm in Mexico, where he specialized in medium sized family owned companies which lacked professional management; where he put in place management practices and procedures as well as control systems. He taught Corporate Finance at the Universidad Iberoamericana for 2 years.
Administrative Asset Manager
She supports the Asset Management Team by maintaining accurate and relevant information of all the acquired assets and portfolios. She is responsible for investor relations, accounting, banking as well as supporting the acquisitions team. Marisa was born in Anaheim, CA. She is a Lawyer, graduated from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. Prior to LLJ Ventures, she worked for VPSI, a Small Business Information Technology Services, Systems Engineering and Management Consulting firm as a Financial Analyst.
Vice President, Business Development.
Michel Cohen joined forces with LM GROUP in 2013 adding his investment and real estate experience to the team. Michel is primarily focused on business development, capital raising, investor relations and plays a major role in the deal-flow, underwriting and property acquisition process. Since 1987, Michel has been an entrepreneur with economic interests varying from real estate investments and development, to retail and restaurants. From 2001 to 2011 he served as Vice-President of Gadol Holdings, a home builder of more than 2,000 homes per year in Mexico. Michel is an expert in capital markets; he led the investment group of Value Broker age in Mexico City from 1997 to 2001 and is currently the top financial advisor for Walket Capital, a family office. Michel has a BA in Business Administration from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, is a certified broker by the CNBV in Mexico and has completed executive education programs in Options and Futures Trading and in Portfolio Management and Asset Allocation from the ITESM and Wharton respectively.
Franco has been an Investment Analyst for LLJ Ventures since 2015, where his role has been to determine which investment opportunities coincide with LLJ’s criteria and investment philosophy. His main responsibilities include sourcing deals, underwriting, due diligence management, macroeconomic research, financial statement analysis, and more. Prior to LLJ, Franco founded Millenial Real Estate Services LLC, a real estate company whose objectives are to flip properties and manage its proprietary real estate portfolio with properties in San Marcos, Chula Vista, and Oceanside, California. Before his entrepreneurial work, Franco worked for Pacific Western Bank as a foreign exchange trader and simultaneously served on the board of The University of San Diego’s Center for Peace and Commerce as a banking representative. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of San Diego with a major in Finance and minor in Economics.
Kurt joined the firm in 2015. He is responsible for conducting market research for prospective acquisitions, which focus on economic drivers and development, and commercial and industrial real estate performance. Responsible for analyzing and underwriting financial data from different sources relating to real estate market, as well as keeping up to date with market developments, new investment products, and anything that can affect the market. Makes recommendations to our senior associates on the risk to payoff for each opportunity presented to LLJ. Prior to LLJ, he worked as a sales manager at a programmatic marketing company in Boston, MA. Has a Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University with a major in Business Administration and minor in Marketing.
Joined the firm in 2010. Carlos is also a consultant for LM Advisors, supporting both firms with his 20 years of experience in the IT industry. He supports LLJ Ventures’ IT department, including but not limited to network infrastructure, cybersecurity and information systems. Prior to joining LLJ Ventures, he held the position of senior IT consultant for the Hispanic National Mortgage Organization for 5 years. Carlos was born in Mexico and possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science Engineering from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.