Chris Miller, Managing Partner
Chris Miller has over 25 years of experience in aviation and human capital. Prior to Shearwater, he oversaw Guggenheim Partners’ Business Aircraft Investment (BAI) Group. The BAI Group provided capital solutions to the business aviation industry, specifically asset based lending on medium to large sized business aircraft. In recent years, Mr. Miller’s aircraft transactions and financings have been focused in Europe, emerging Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
Prior to Guggenheim, Mr. Miller ran the US Division of a UK based performance management consultancy that worked with management teams of both small and large organizations on the execution of their strategies. Notable projects include working with a private equity group to form a venture to fly cargo into geopolitically unstable regions of the world as well as working with large defense contractors to help fulfill urgent need requests from US military forces based in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Before entering the business world, Mr. Miller served in the United States Marine Corps, as an F/A-18 pilot, Aircraft Maintenance Officer and Aviation Safety Officer. He is a graduate of the U.S. Navy & Marine Corps School of Aviation Safety and currently holds a commercial pilot rating. He is an accredited “Senior Aircraft Appraiser” with the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and serves on its Investment Committee. He is also the President of the National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA). Mr. Miller received a BA from Denison University and an MBA from Columbia University.
Katerina Barilov, Managing Director
Ms. Barilov has extensive experience in aviation, structured asset-backed finance, and corporate strategy. Prior to Shearwater, Ms. Barilov was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs' Industrials Group in New York, focused on assisting top tier aviation, aerospace and defense clients. In this role, Ms. Barilov conduced analyses, created materials, and facilitated execution in all phases of the deal process, including pitching, industry research, valuation analysis, deal execution and due diligence for clients in aerospace and aviation. Ms. Barilov has been involved in numerous successful M&A, IPO and Spin-off processes.
Prior to Goldman Sachs, she ran the Structured Finance division for Europe Middle East and Africa at Hawker Beechcraft, a leading aerospace manufacturer based out of Wichita Kansas. She joined Hawker Beechcraft during an unprecedented downturn in general aviation as part of a small team of structured finance professionals formed to create a new solution for sales financing support of cross-border aircraft acquisitions. The team designed and launched a Structured Finance department which developed and maintained relationships with third party financiers, structured financing support and conducted credit analysis of potential clients. In her role, Ms. Barilov sourced transactions, developed and maintained a network of 200+ financiers, and structured and arranged complex transactions, liaising between lawyers, insurers, bankers and clients, overseeing due diligence, documentation, and credit processes.
She holds an MBA and Bachelors degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. She is an avid pilot with a passion for aerobatic competition with experience in a Pitts S2C. She spends her free time focused on adventure flying in her modified Piper Colt, cycling and running.
Kyle O'Donnell, Senior Associate
Prior to Shearwater, Mr. O'Donnell was with Nomura Asset Management where he was a Business Analyst focused on operational projects. At Shearwater Mr. O’Donnell is responsible for loan portfolio management including loan invoicing, collections, maintenance monitoring and monthly reporting to investors. He also assists with current and residual valuation research of potential and current portfolio aircraft. Mr. O’Donnell has been involved in financing more than $80M of aircraft assets. He is from the Atlanta metro area, coaches competitive youth Lacrosse and is Treasurer of his Home Owners Association. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he studied Finance at the Terry College of Business.