The management team has over 60 years of collective experience in special situation financing and distressed related transactions including loan-workout, real estate, bankruptcy turnarounds, crisis management, public accounting, fixed income, debt underwriting and private equity.

Andrew J. Russell

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Andrew founded Stairway in 2002 and serves as Chief Executive Officer. Andrew has spent his entire career working on distressed-related transactions. He has restructured troubled companies in an array of industries, serving not only in a creditor’s role, but also as CEO, director and sponsor for privately held companies and real estate projects.

Prior to establishing Stairway, Andrew was Group Head for Distressed Investing in the Special Asset Advisory Group of HypoVereinsbank (HVB) and its predecessors Bank Austria and Creditanstalt. Andrew’s responsibilities were bifurcated between serving as head distressed debt trader with respect to a portfolio with an aggregate loan balance of approximately $300 million and managing a problem loan portfolio. Prior to joining Bank Austria in 1998, Andrew held various positions at ABN AMRO in the Asset Recovery and Owned Assets Groups for nine years. While employed at ABN AMRO in the mid 1990’s, he was a key member of a team that successfully worked out and divested an approximately $1 billion corporate/real estate portfolio.

Andrew received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from St. John’s University. He is a member of the Turnaround Management Association and the Association for Corporate Growth. Andrew also sits on the Boards for ‘not-for-profit’ and ‘for-profit’ corporations.

Andrew lives on Long Island with his wife and four children. He comes from a large family and enjoys spending time with them. In his free time he participates in triathlons.

John C. Rijo

Principal & Chief Investment Officer

John joined Stairway in June 2006 and serves as Chief Investment Officer. John’s responsibilities include sourcing new deals, due diligence and managing and monitoring portfolio investments. For much of his 20 plus year career, John has worked in roles to evaluate and improve enterprise operations and profitability.

Prior to joining Stairway, John was a consultant to RAS Management Advisors and performed various investment diligence, financial advisory, and operational restructuring services at numerous companies across a variety of industries, including assuming interim positions in senior management. While at RAS, John worked with Stairway on a number of consulting assignments. Previous to RAS, he worked for the Walt Disney Company in Corporate Finance and he earned a CPA with Coopers & LyBrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers).

John graduated from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Management Information Systems and received his Masters of Business Administration from the Anderson School at UCLA. John is a member of the Turnaround Management Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Association for Corporate Growth.

John lives in Boston with his wife and three children. In his free time he regularly participates in half and full marathons.

Christopher Leheny, CPA

Principal & Chief Operating Officer

Chris co-founded Stairway in 2002 and serves as Chief Operating Officer. Chris manages the operations, investor reporting, compliance and accounting functions for Stairway. He has over 23 years of experience in the hedge fund, private equity and securities industries.

Previously, he was a Senior Manager in the Financial Services Industry Group of Grant Thornton LLP, specializing in the audits of hedge funds and broker-dealers. He has experience in distressed products, derivatives and unlisted, non-traditional investment products. His clientele at Grant Thornton consisted of funds ranging in size from $200 million to $2 billion in assets under management.

Chris received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Hofstra University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Chris lives on Long Island with his wife and two children.