Who We Are
David M. Traversi, Chief Executive Officer, has over 30 years’ experience as an investment banker, strategic advisor, corporate executive, board member, lawyer, executive coach, author, speaker, and entrepreneur.
Prior to founding Traversi & Company in 1999, Mr. Traversi served as President of Sirrom Capital Corporation, an NYSE-listed specialty finance company. Sirrom was the nation's leading provider of mezzanine capital to private growth companies in amounts less than $5 million. Its portfolio of over 250 investments totaled over $600 million. Sirrom was sold in 1999.
Prior to Sirrom, Mr. Traversi was a General Partner and Senior Managing Director in the Corporate Finance Department of Montgomery Securities (now Banc of America Securities LLC), one of the nation’s top investment banks providing growth businesses in the 1990s with public and private offering, research, and trading services. There he founded and ran two highly successful industry groups.
Over the course of seven years at Montgomery, Mr. Traversi managed over 75 major transactions totaling over $5 billion, including initial public offerings, secondary stock offerings, private placements of debt and equity, public debt offerings and mergers and acquisitions.
Subsequent to Sirrom, in a Traversi & Company merchant banking engagement, Mr. Traversi co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of PRE Solutions, Inc. With the financial backing of ITC Holding Co. (the financial sponsors of MindSpring, Telecom USA, Powertel, Intercall, HeadHunter.net, Knology, and ITC DeltaCom), PRE Solutions built the nation's largest electronic processor of prepaid telecom products, with a distribution base of over 70,000 retail locations across the nation. PRE was sold to InComm.
Subsequent to PRE Solutions, in other merchant banking assignments, Mr. Traversi co-founded, arranged financing for, and served various executive roles with a fabless semiconductor manufacturing start-up and a digital media services start-up.
From 2015 through 2018, Mr. Traversi was President of and led day-to-day operations as well as institutional fund raising for Calmwater Capital, a Los Angeles-based provider of commercial real estate debt. Founded in 2010, Calmwater provides $5 to $50 million senior and mezzanine loans to office, industrial, retail, multi-family, hospitality, and land investors across the U.S. Since inception, it has originated $2 billion in loans, and has never recorded a loss or mark-down. With a reputation for expediency, responsiveness, flexibility, and the ability to accurately price risk in complex situations, Calmwater Capital manages several sources of capital totaling $1.5 billion. Under Mr. Traversi’s leadership, the firm doubled in size, raised $1.5 billion of institutional capital from name-brand endowments, foundations, public and private pension funds, family offices, and global banks in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and South America, and inculcated a culture of teamwork, inclusiveness, and integrity.
Beginning in 2012 and through 2018, Mr. Traversi managed the launch of Karlin Ventures, hired the management team, and joined as Advisory Board Member of this Los Angeles-based early-stage investment platform. Sponsored by Karlin Asset Management, a private investment firm managing over $2 billion of unleveraged capital, Karlin Ventures invested $100,000 to $1 million in 42 investments, primarily in education technology, digital media, healthcare, IT, and financial services.
Currently, Mr. Traversi is Chairman of The Boulder Field, the first rock climbing gym in the U.S. designed, built, and operated by a professional climber.
Mr. Traversi has an M.B.A., Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, a J.D., University of California, Davis, and B.S. in Business Administration and Finance, California State University, Chico. Mr. Traversi has also practiced as a business lawyer and mediator in California and Alaska. He has served on a number of for-profit and non-profit boards of directors and is a frequent speaker on a variety of business and leadership topics. Mr. Traversi's revolutionary, highly acclaimed book on leadership, The Source of Leadership: Eight Drivers of the High-Impact Leader was released by New Harbinger Publications in 2007. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 27, 63, 79, and 99 licenses and a California Real Estate Broker License, and is a member of the California State Bar Association and Alaska Bar Association.
As needed for execution, Traversi & Company engages other professionals with whom Mr. Traversi has worked over the past 30 years.
We help our clients achieve their long-term objectives in a positive, highly professional environment.