The Team

Over 50 Years of Investment Banking Experience

 

 

FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER

Cyril Jones - cyril@rkjpartners.com

Cyril Jones possesses more than 22 years of professional experience. Mr. Jones is the Founder and Managing Partner of RKJ Partners, LLC. In addition to his responsibilities at RKJ, Jones served as interim Chief Financial Officer for Advanced Engineering Design, Inc., ProParts Distribution Cooperative, LLC & Frontline Selling, LLC. Prior to forming RKJ, Jones operated as a strategic consultant for two southeast based private equity firms: Brighton Partners, LLC and Five Paces Ventures. As a strategic consultant, Jones advised Brighton and Five Paces on acquisitions in the transportation/logistics industry segment. Prior to the consultancy engagements, Jones operated as President and Founding Partner of Jones + Ingram Logistics, an asset-based truckload carrier and freight brokerage company. Jones successfully merged Jones + Ingram's operations with Orbis Transportation, LLC , an Atlanta based asset-based freight carrier. Prior to forming Jones + Ingram, Jones operated as an investment banker with Wachovia Securities, Inc. As an investment banker, Jones was involved in leadership roles with various investment banking transactions which totaled more than $3 billion in transaction value: buy-side and sell-side M&A, fairness opinions, recapitalizations, capital raises - debt/equity/mezzanine. Transactional experience at Wachovia spanned a diverse set of industries: transportation/logistics, business services, internet, wireline and wireless telecom services, telecom equipment, textiles and media. Before joining Wachovia Securities, Jones served in similar positions with BancAmerica Securities and Wheat First Union Securities.

Education

WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY (BABCOCK GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT)
Masters of Business Administration, 1998
Recipient, NationsBank Scholarship
 
HOWARD UNIVERSITY
Bachelors of Business Administration, 1992

 

MANAGING PARTNER

Gregory Ficklin - greg@rkjpartners.com

Gregory Ficklin is a Managing Partner at RKJ Partners. Ficklin brings more than 22 years of in-depth knowledge and transaction experience gained delivering relevant advice, guidance and insights to senior executives of entities ranging from established Fortune 100 corporations to growing, middle market businesses to talented entrepreneurs with early stage startups.  Ficklin’s diverse business expertise is highlighted by his work with clients across multiple industries, including business services, specialty retail, technology, government services, healthcare, IT services, transportation and logistics, light manufacturing and wholesale supply and distribution. 

In his current role with RKJ, Ficklin manages engagements and provides executive decision support to clients experiencing or seeking growth, transactions, or transitions, and which require guidance, particularly in the areas of corporate development, strategy execution, business and financial analytics, due diligence, deal structuring and capital sourcing. One of his highlighted engagements was his work with Coca-Cola’s Business Accelerator program, a corporate initiative that focused on investing in promising start-up companies in high growth markets founded by entrepreneurs from around the globe, including Rio De Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Singapore, Bangalore, Shanghai, Tel Aviv, Berlin, London, Mexico City and San Francisco.  Ficklin served on a cross-functional team of advisors assembled to provide guidance to participating start-ups in a variety of critical areas, including market timing, opportunity sizing, business model validation, financial projections and enterprise value implications.

Prior to joining RKJ, Ficklin served in several leadership and advisory roles at The Home Depot providing executive-level guidance on Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Strategy, Corporate Finance and serving as Head of the Economic & Market Analysis team during his tenure at the company. Prior to joining The Home Depot, Ficklin served as Principal and interim CFO for Gyre Capital Management (formerly Vision Fuel Capital), an Atlanta-based firm that provided research, consulting and advisory services to early stage, emerging growth companies seeking venture capital and private equity funding.

Ficklin possesses both bulge bracket and middle-market investment banking experience, starting his career as a banker with Salomon Brothers' High Yield Capital Markets and Syndications group in New York City, then moving on to the Mergers & Acquisition group with regional investment bank Wachovia Securities (now Wells Fargo) in Atlanta. At Wachovia, Ficklin's focus was middle-market transactions including both buy-side and sell-side acquisitions, divestitures, valuations and various strategic advisory engagements.

Education

HARVARD UNIVERSITY (HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL)
Masters of Business Administration, 1998
 
HOWARD UNIVERSITY
Bachelors of Business Administration, 1994

 

Managing Director - Head of Strategic Advisory

Tuan Thomas - tuan@rkjpartners.com

Tuan Thomas is a Managing Director - Head of Strategic Advisory with RKJ Partners. Thomas possess a decade of experience as a business strategy and technology consultant. In his current role with RKJ, Thomas focuses on pre-M&A feasibility and post-M&A integration; digital transformation strategies, executive roadmap development, organizational/operational efficiency and computational business analysis.  Thomas is a digital transformation expert.  He directs RKJ’s digital transformation consultancy, where he advises clients on investment banking strategies for buy-side and sell-side tech opportunities, fund raising and creating value through strategic tech investments: Analytics, ERP and HCM cloud based solutions. 

In 2017, Thomas helped a Fortune 100 partner capture $300MM in potential revenues, through a strategic investment in big data cloud technology and machine learning capabilities.  During the engagement, Thomas lead a team of data scientist and engineers to create a supply chain machine learning model to better predict future production of finished goods supply.  Thomas previously worked as Strategy & Analytics Consultant with Accenture, where he worked with executives in the public and private sectors to develop thought leadership strategies and create road-maps for digital transformation (using big data and analytics), systems integration and organizational change management. Over the course of his career Thomas has worked across six industries: Consumer Goods, Transportation,  Energy, Communications, Healthcare and State government. During his time at Accenture he helped create over $100MM in value for clients. Before Accenture, Thomas worked as a finance risk manager and a nuclear engineer.

Education

MISSOURI UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Masters of Science, Mechanical Engineering, 2013
 
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - SAN DIEGO
Graduate Certificate, Big Data & Analytics, 2016
 
MOREHOUSE COLLEGE/GEORGIA TECH (AUC DUEL DEGREE PROGRAM)
Bachelors of Science, Physics/Mechanical Engineering, 2009 

 

Managing Director - Head of Business Development

Will Rosser - will@rkjpartners.com

Will Rosser is a Managing Director – Head of Business Development with RKJ Partners.  Rosser is primarily responsible for sourcing new opportunities, managing existing relationships, and directing strategic marketing efforts.  Rosser most recently served as a Vice President at Merrill Lynch, where he advised high net-worth executives and wealthy families, as a member of the Global Corporate and Institutional Advisory Services team (GCIAS).  Rosser's unique combination of experience in multiple functions (finance, HR, operations, sales, and marketing) will prove invaluable as he helps RKJ Partners expand its reach and breadth of services.   Rosser is licensed by FINRA as an investment adviser (series 66) and registered securities representative (series 7).

Education

GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY - J MACK COLLEGE OF BUSINESS
Executive Masters of Business Administration, 2017
 
GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY
Bachelors of Arts, Organizational Leadership, 

 

VICE PRESIDENT

Rhett Plotner - rhett@rkjpartners.com

Rhett Plotner is a Vice President at RKJ Partners and possesses a wide variety of M&A deal transaction execution and advisory experience. He began his professional career within financial services serving as a wholesale broker of mutual funds and annuity products, and then as a third-party marketer raising assets for hedge funds and private placement investments. From there he led the development and operation of the investment banking unit of his firm and led transactions amongst the healthcare, medical devices, life sciences and biotech industries. After his graduate studies, Rhett has led or advised on multiple investment banking transactions and has served on the strategic corporate development and private equity investment teams within the business services, industrials, and manufacturing industry verticals.

Education

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO BOOTH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Masters of Business Administration, Finance and Econometrics & Statistics, 2015
 
INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Bachelors of Arts, Economics, 2006

 

VICE PRESIDENT

Peter Wright - peter@rkjpartners.com

Peter Wright joins the RKJ Partners team as a Senior Associate and possesses a wide array of transaction execution and advisory experience. Wright began his professional career within financial services serving as a senior consultant providing audit services for hedge funds and mutual funds.  Later, Wright served as a Portfolio specialist allocating assets within traditional and alternative investments. Peter has led or advised on private equity transactions within the consumer products and Tech industry verticals. 

Wright has completed Level I and Level II of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Exam. 

Education

HOWARD UNIVERSITY
Bachelors of Business Administration, 2010

 

VICE PRESIDENT

James Banks - james@rkjpartners.com

James Banks has over 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Mr. Banks began his career as a supervisory officer for the Georgia Department of Corrections before transitioning into the field of Court Administration for the Bibb County (GA) Superior Court. While in that role, Mr. Banks had primary responsibility for the development, operation and oversight of Georgia’s first Accountability Court. Mr. Banks was appointed by the Honorable Robert Benham, then-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia to serve as the Chairperson of the Supreme Court of Georgia Committee on Substance Abuse and the Courts as well as Program Manager for the Accountability Courts Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts of Georgia. In this role, Mr. Banks had oversight over all Accountability Courts in Georgia and coordinated their activities with the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Georgia Department of Corrections, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole as well as the rehabilitation-related activities of local governments and private enterprises throughout the State.

In 2006, Mr. Banks left the public sector and created Banks & Associates; a business consulting and development agency which specializes in providing management, marketing and financial procurement services. In this role, Mr. Banks has worked with the Export-Import Banks of the United States, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation as well as local funding sources to assist his clients in the development and implementation of industrial, commercial and service-related projects in the United States and the Caribbean as well as in countries on the continents of Africa and South America.

Education

LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY - POST
Bachelors of Arts

 

Senior associate

Aaron Petty - aaron@rkjpartners.com

Aaron Petty joins RKJ Partners team as a Senior Associate and brings a wealth of experience in mergers & acquisitions, strategic/financial advisory services and private capital markets.  Before joining RKJ, Aaron was a member of the Strategy & Corporate Development team at Cotiviti Holdings, successfully conducting their IPO and M&A activities.  Prior to his work with Cotiviti, Aaron was a member of the Corporate Development team at a healthcare services firm and an associate at a middle market private equity firm.    

Education

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
Bachelors of Business Administration, 2013