SkyWorks Professionals

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    Thomas Mahr


    Tom is the Chairman of SkyWorks. Tom has played a leading role in many noteworthy M&A, corporate finance, aircraft acquisition/financing and strategic advisory transactions. He has more than 30 years of experience in airline management, investment banking and leasing, with a proven track record of developing successful business strategies and originating and executing transactions worldwide.

    Over the course of his career, Tom has established a track record of leading the successful start-ups of several other notable companies, including The Seabury Group, for which he co-led development of its investment banking practice in the aviation sector. Before Seabury, Tom was a principal at Fieldstone Private Capital Group, which he joined in 1991, subsequently co-leading the turnaround and development of what became their highly regarded aviation practice. He was previously Vice President of Marketing at Chrysler Capital in the Leasing and Investment Services Group.

    Prior to joining Chrysler Capital, Tom held a number of senior finance positions at Texas Air Corporation and its subsidiaries, including Continental Airlines, where he was involved in M&A activity, corporate finance, aircraft purchasing, aircraft finance, and financial planning and control. He was also a founder of Texas Air Leasing.

    Tom has also served on the board of Echelon International (EIN), a NYSE company with large aircraft and real estate holdings.

    Tom received his M.B.A. from American University and his B.A. from Ithaca College. He is also a private pilot.

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    Steven Gaal

    Managing Partner

    Steve is Managing Partner of SkyWorks with over 20 years of professional experience. He holds overall responsibility for day-to-day management of SkyWorks, as well as responsibility for corporate strategy and intellectual capital development including the firm’s research and suite of analytical tools. He also performs transaction execution in the firm’s investment banking and management consulting practices with accomplishments including leading strategic advisory assignments for major leasing companies and buy-side M&A advisory assignments on behalf of several major financial institutions.

    Prior to co-founding SkyWorks, Steve was a co-founder of The Seabury Group LLC. During his tenure at Seabury, he structured lease financing for several billion dollars of aircraft and other assets. Previous to Seabury he was employed by Fieldstone Private Capital Group, where he held senior responsibility for providing transaction structuring and quantitative expertise to its Structured Finance Group. Prior to joining Fieldstone in May 1995, he was an analyst at The Transportation Group, Ltd. where he held structuring responsibility in the company’s cross-border lease advisory business.

    Prior to The Transportation Group, Steve provided consulting services to The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He led the development and implementation of two software-based PC systems that provided the agency’s Transportation Forecasting Division with significantly enhanced data retrieval and analytic capabilities in connection with traffic and revenue data generated at its six New York metropolitan area bridge and tunnel facilities.

    Steve graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Finance and a minor in Computer Science from Lehigh University. He was also President of the University’s debate team.

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    Jeffrey Craine

    Partner & Head of Investment Banking

    Jeff is a Partner & Head of Investment Banking at SkyWorks, where he holds senior responsibility for marketing, placement and execution of various asset-based transactions, and purchase agreement and M&A advisory assignments. Jeff has also recently been involved in and/or led several restructurings representing both airlines and airline creditors.

    Prior to SkyWorks, Jeff was employed at The Seabury Group LLC, which he joined in May 2000. At Seabury, Jeff was responsible for marketing, execution and placement of asset-based lease and debt transactions. Jeff also held senior responsibility for financial modeling.

    Before joining Seabury, Jeff worked in the Global Transportation Group at Greenwich NatWest, where he was responsible for marketing, structuring, and execution of various aircraft-backed transactions and financing advisories. Jeff’s experiences at Greenwich NatWest included providing debt financing into various cross-border and domestic leveraged lease structures and the arranging of enhanced equipment trust certificates and multi-obligor aircraft securitizations. Jeff also held senior responsibility for analytics for the group’s activities in multi-aircraft securitizations, enhanced equipment trust certificate issuances and other highly structured transactions.

    Prior to his tenure at Greenwich NatWest, Jeff worked at The Transportation Group, Ltd. where he held senior execution responsibility for the arranging and execution of cross-border leases for aircraft and rail transactions. At The Transportation Group, Jeff completed many “first-of-a-kind” leveraged lease transactions that utilized innovative tax accounting structures.

    Jeff received his B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he had a dual concentration in Finance and Operations and Information Management.


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    Anders Hebrand

    Partner & Head of Asset Management

    Anders is a Partner & Head of Asset Management at SkyWorks. Anders manages the day-to-day activities of SkyWorks’ asset management practice and broadly assists the SkyWorks team with aircraft-related advisory and management assignments. Anders has more than 25 years of experience dedicated to aircraft-related finance, leasing, investment and asset management.

    Prior to joining SkyWorks, Anders co-founded Sigma Aircraft Management, LLC in 1999, where he shared chief responsibility for customer interface, investment sourcing and global remarketing for the Company's managed jet aircraft portfolio.

    Anders was employed by PK AirFinance from 1989-1999, initially concentrating on distribution of aircraft-related debt. In 1993 he became Head of Marketing at PK AirFinance's headquarters in Luxembourg and was responsible for structuring loan transactions, aircraft remarketing, and transaction workouts in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In 1995, he joined PK AirFinance's New York Branch as VP Marketing for North America and the Caribbean. During his career, Anders has originated more than $1 billion in aircraft-backed loans and has been involved in investment decisions and placements of over 200 aircraft.

    Anders has been a speaker at industry events arranged by Everest Aircraft Asset Management, Commercial Aviation Report and Piper Jaffray Capital Markets.

    Anders studied business administration and economics at the University of Lund, Sweden and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.


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    Matthew Landess

    Partner & Head of Commercial

    Matt is a Partner & Head of Commercial, he joined SkyWorks in 2008 with an extensive background in structuring and arranging aircraft‐backed lease and loan transactions. He has years of experience managing teams that helped advise and close transactions with some of the world’s largest airlines and a host of regional carriers. 

    Prior to joining SkyWorks, Matt worked for more than 12 years at Babcock & Brown in their Aerospace Group where he managed several airline accounts. He has structured and closed billions of dollars worth of lease and mortgage financings for many U.S. and foreign airlines and played an integral role in two successful U.S. airline bankruptcy restructurings. Between 2005 and 2007 Matt lead the Delta Air Lines bankruptcy restructuring process as it related to over 600 aircraft, negotiating and closing many new leases in the process. Prior to that, Matt was involved with American Airlines’ acquisition of TWA while in bankruptcy, negotiating numerous new leases while advising on expectations of aircraft values and lease rates.  

    Before joining Babcock & Brown, Matt worked in a strategic marketing position with Denver’s Regional Transportation District.

    Matt received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

    Today, he is a member of both the Wings Club and the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading.


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    Scott Gibson

    Managing Director & Head of Management Consulting

    Scott joined SkyWorks in September of 2010 and presently serves as a Managing Director and Head of Management Consulting. Scott’s primary focus is to lead the SkyWorks strategy, business transformation and airline restructuring advisory programs. Scott brings over 35 years of experience as a senior airline executive and advisor to airlines and airline related businesses in developing and implementing business strategy and restructurings.

    Prior to joining SkyWorks, Scott was Managing Director at the Seabury Group where he was involved in numerous restructurings, business transformation, M&A and strategy assignments. He led the successful 2004 bankruptcy restructuring of Avianca, led the cost reduction and business transformation team during the 2003 bankruptcy restructuring of USAirways, co-led the 2007/2008 restructuring at South African Airways, led the 2002/2003 restructuring of Air Jamaica and was part of the Air Canada bankruptcy restructuring team in 2003/2004. 

    Previous to Seabury, Scott was Senior Vice President and Managing Officer New York for aviation consultants SH&E. Scott’s focus was airline strategy and transformation and his client base included Air Afrique, American Airlines, Apollo Management, Continental Airlines, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines, LAN Chile, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Menzies, South African Airways and TransBrasil.

    Scott’s airline management experience includes senior executive positions at TWA (responsible for Network Planning, Marketing, Corporate Strategy and Corporate Affairs), Continental (International Marketing and Planning), Texas Air Corporation (Airline Planning and M&A), New York Air (Planning and Systems) and Pan American World Airways (International Scheduling) and an advisor to Northwest Airlines on international strategy, alliances and M&A: and a member of the board of directors for Worldspan. In addition, Scott spent several years in Washington, DC as a Senior Fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute (a public policy organization) focusing on Aviation, Telecommunications and Trade Policy.

    Scott’s global experience includes work in 70 countries on all continents. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and attended the University of Michigan College of Engineering.

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    Vanki Chow

    Managing Director

    Vanki joined SkyWorks in February 2008. At SkyWorks, Vanki is responsible for aircraft remarketing and sourcing, asset management services, as well as transaction execution.  Vanki brings over 32 years of aviation experience in leading SkyWorks’ efforts in providing technical and commercial expertise to clients on new aircraft and engine orders, purchase agreement and lease negotiations, sale leaseback transactions, and after-market aircraft and engine maintenance repair and overhaul contracts.   

    Prior to joining SkyWorks, Vanki was with the CIT Group where he specialized in negotiating technical and operating provisions in operating lease agreements, lease restructurings, and MOUs/LOIs with operators, OEMs and MROs.  His responsibilities also included risk/cost analysis in relation to asset acquisitions and divestments.

    Vanki has extensive experience with airframe and engine maintenance services. Prior to joining the CIT Group, Vanki held a number of positions at United Services, a maintenance-focused division of United Air Lines.  During his time at United Services, he directed and developed various airframe and engine maintenance service programs in addition to supporting a number of joint ventures, and was head of the Engine/Component Customer Support Group.  Prior to United Services, Vanki was at AlliedSignal Aerospace (preceding its merger with Honeywell), where he managed sales relationships with airline customers and negotiated long term MRO contracts for the company’s APU division.  Vanki’s aviation career includes positions at Pan American World Airways in maintenance, General Electric’s Aircraft Engine Group’s field engineering, where he provided technical support to airline customers through the formulation of engine maintenance programs, and United Air Lines in powerplant engineering and fleet planning.

    Vanki received an M.B.A from Bernard M. Baruch Graduate School of Business in New York City.  He is a graduate of Parks Air College of Saint Louis University, where he received a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering.  He is a FAA certified A&P and private pilot.

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    Ian McBain

    Managing Director

    Ian serves as a Managing Director of SkyWorks. He brings over 30 years of international structured asset finance experience to SkyWorks, having completed asset finance transactions for governments, airlines, and shipping and railway companies, as well as transactions for airports and real estate.

    Prior to joining SkyWorks, Ian was a Managing Director of Citigroup’s Asset Finance Group and Head of Asia Pacific for the last 8 years. By 2005, Ian had built the Citigroup Asset Finance Group Asia Pacific business into a team of 10 professionals, after starting from scratch in 1997. During that time the team closed many structured finance firsts in Asia Pacific in, inter alia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia and Korea.

    Before joining Citibank, Ian was Manager - Project Finance at Cathay Pacific Airways in Hong Kong, where he was responsible for all new aircraft financing between 1994 and 1997. During that period, Ian’s team raised over $2.5 billion for 25 new aircraft, including Airbus A330/A340s and Boeing 777 and 747-400 aircraft.

    Before joining Cathay Pacific, Ian worked at S.G. Warburg & Co. in London, where he was head of the European Asset Leasing Group with special focus on cross-border leases into and between European countries.

    Ian received his First Class Honours B.Sc. Psychology from University of Exeter in England.

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    Jonathan Canary

    Senior Vice President

    Jon joined SkyWorks in July 2010, and is responsible for financial analysis and modeling, as well as assisting senior professionals with transaction execution and marketing.

    Jon graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was enrolled in the school’s dual degree program. He received a BAS in Economics and a BSE in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a minor in Mathematics.

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    Simon Chiu

    Senior Vice President

    Simon joined SkyWorks as a Vice President in March 2003 and is responsible for financial analysis and modeling as well as assisting senior professionals with transaction execution and marketing.

    Prior to joining SkyWorks, Simon was employed with Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Corporation in the Aircraft Special Finance Group. At MTBC, Simon specialized in aircraft leverage lease financings and power plant project financings, preparing credit reviews and proposals, monitoring industry conditions and aircraft valuations, and assisting account officers in structuring transactions.

    Simon has experience as a credit analyst with Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, where he prepared credit proposals on syndicated and original transactions and supported a group of Senior Account Officers in cultivating new business. Simon was also a Senior Research Assistant for Standard and Poor’s Corporation, where he provided analytical support to analysts within the transportation and telecommunications groups.

    Simon graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.S. in Business Management and Finance, and from Baruch College with an M.B.A. in Finance and Investments. 

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    Johan Claesson

    Senior Vice President

    Johan joined SkyWorks in October 2014. At SkyWorks, Johan focuses on aircraft remarketing and sourcing, as well as assisting with transaction execution.

    Johan has over 30 years experience from the airline industry with responsibilities including operational management, managing outsourced production, aircraft acquisitions, aircraft re-marketing, lease negotiations and sale leasebacks.

    Most recently Johan was employed by Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) as Head of External Production with the responsibility to contract and manage the airline’s outsourced fleet of jet and turboprop production.

    Prior to that, as Director Aircraft Acquisition & Trading, Johan was most recently responsible for SAS’s wide-body campaign which resulted in a order of 4 A330’s and 8 A350’s, including engine support contracts. The responsibilities also included, aircraft acquisition, aircraft re-marketing, lease negotiations and sale leasebacks.

    Johan also has extensive senior management background in technical and operational functions at several airlines: Head Technical Operations – SAS, SVP Quality and Safety - Spanair SA, VP Technical Operations – Novair, and VP Quality and Safety – Braathens Sverige among others.

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    Karen Fagerstrom

    Senior Vice President

    Karen has been working with SkyWorks since 2013, concentrating on sale and leaseback and JOLCO transactions for major U.S. and international airlines.  Karen is a lawyer with an extensive background in aviation and other asset-based financial transactions.
    Prior to SkyWorks, Karen worked for 14 years at Babcock & Brown, an international investment and advisory firm, initially as a transaction counsel and later as Babcock & Brown’s US General Counsel and CEO of its registered broker-dealer.  As a transaction counsel, Karen was a member of deal teams focusing on aviation finance and cross-border leasing transactions aggregating more than $20 billion in asset value and averaging 28 transactions per year.
    Karen began her legal career at White & Case in New York, with several years spent abroad in White & Case’s London, Prague and Istanbul offices.  Karen’s practice included financial transactions with emphasis on leveraged lease transactions (aircraft, power plants, and other equipment), asset-based and other lending transactions, capital markets, and acquisitions.
    Karen received her B.A. from Dartmouth College, cum laude with High Distinction in Mathematics and Social Sciences, and her J.D. from the University of Michigan.
    Karen is a member of the New York Bar.

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    Arif Husain

    Senior Vice President

    Arif has over 17 years of aviation related experience and has advised senior management of airlines, leasing and aerospace companies on a variety of assignments including aircraft remarketing, new commercial aircraft orders, M&A transactions, and business plan development.

    He has led several new strategic aircraft campaigns for high profile aviation clients, including extensive analysis of engine and airframe choices, and conducted complex negotiations with engine and airframe manufacturers. He has advised senior management of various airlines, leasing companies and other aviation companies on aircraft and engine purchases valued in excess of US $32 billion at list prices.

    He began his aviation career with The Canaan Group, a Honeywell Company, and has worked for Continental Data Graphics (a Boeing Company), and The Seabury Group in addition to SkyWorks in various positions of increasing responsibility. He also has experience in FBO and airport operations and was one of the founding members of Sport Aviation, a U.S. based general aviation company.

    He graduated summa cum laude from Gettysburg College with a B.A. in Economics, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He also has an M.B.A with honors from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

    Arif is an active general aviation pilot (1,250+ hours) with single-engine, multi-engine and glider ratings. He is a certified flight, glider and instrument instructor. He is a former athlete who competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games in the 100 and 200 meter races.

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    Geoffrey Munger

    Senior Vice President

    Geoff joined SkyWorks in January 2007 and is responsible for transaction execution and marketing.

    Geoff began his career with SkyWorks as an Analyst, honing his skills in financial analysis and modeling and working on projects such as portfolio and individual aircraft valuation, maintenance cost projections, and lease vs. own analyses. In recent years, Geoff has helped lead multiple aircraft order advisory engagements and has gained extensive experience in executing a broad range of aircraft financings, from sale-and-leasebacks to debt to JOLCO financings.

    A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Geoff received his MBA from the University of Connecticut and was awarded the Hartford Society of Financial Analysts’ Award as the top finance student in his program. While in graduate school, he served as a fund manager for the University of Connecticut Foundation’s Student Managed Fund program and interned with GE in a market research position.

    Prior to joining SkyWorks, Geoff was a product development manager for a large consumer goods company. He is the product of an airline family, as his father was a pilot and then flight engineer for United Airlines from 1952 until 2001.

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    Sheila Sohr

    Senior Vice President

    Sheila joined SkyWorks in January 2019 and serves as Senior Vice President Finance. Sheila is focused on corporate tax, accounting, and audit matters; partner corporate governance; information technology; human resources and benefits; and global policies and procedures. 

    Sheila brings over 20 years of experience to SkyWorks. Previously, she was Senior Managing Director and Head of Structured Finance at PPM America and served in multiple roles at TIAA in private structured finance, public market securities, financial and strategic planning, and portfolio analytics.

    Sheila serves on the board of three private schools in New York. She earned an M.B.A. from Fordham University and a B.S. in Finance from the University of Connecticut.

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    Ronan Stack

    Senior Vice President

    Ronan joined SkyWorks Leasing (Ireland) Limited in 2018 where he is responsible for the technical function within the asset management and advisory groups. Prior to joining SkyWorks, he worked as VP of Technical at Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), managing the fleet of 300+ aircraft and advising marketing and commercial teams in regard to technical processes, negotiation of leases, LOIs and GTA agreements. Ronan also held the position of Engine Technical Manager at Engine Lease Finance Corporation (ELFC), overseeing engine work scope and claims processes. Previously, he was a Senior Consultant with International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), responsible for transitioning, repossessing and delivering  100+ Aircraft over 10 years. Ronan started his career as a B1 licensed EASA Engineer attending Dublin Institute of Technology in association with Team Aer Lingus and FLS Aerospace.

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    Claire Walsh

    Senior Vice President & Head of Operations

    Claire joined SkyWorks Leasing (Ireland) in 2018, concentrating on the development of the Dublin office operations and Asset Management function. Having worked in the Aviation industry for 10 years, Claire has extensive Transactional and Asset Management experience within the aircraft leasing sector.

    Prior to her role in SkyWorks, Claire was responsible for the management of contracts set-up within the ORIX contract management system and the development of new systems to maximize efficiency and compliance. Having established the Irish office of Starlite Aviation Group in 2008, Claire was responsible for business development, project management of the Group tender process and oversight of marketing, public relations & information management during a period of significant growth. She was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Irish Starlite companies in 2012.

    Claire graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a B.A. Mod Joint Honours degree in Economics and Politics and began her career as a political advisor in Leinster House. Claire holds an MBA from the UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business.

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    Andrew Wang

    Senior Vice President

    Andrew joined SkyWorks in July 2012 and has been located in Hong Kong with SkyWorks Capital Asia Ltd. since 2013. At SkyWorks, Andrew has been involved in leasing portfolio advisory, corporate restructuring, and aircraft-backed financing.

    Andrew graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

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    Nancy Zajac

    Senior Vice President & Head of Legal

    Nancy joined SkyWorks in March 2008. Nancy is a lawyer and a member of the New York Bar since 1985.

    Prior to SkyWorks, Nancy was associated with Babcock & Brown, an international and investment advisory firm, which she joined in 2006. Before joining Babcock, Nancy was a partner in Chadbourne & Parke LLP, an international law firm. Nancy has over 30 years of legal experience in a wide range of industries including aviation, infrastructure and electronics.

    Nancy received her B.A. with honors from Boston College. She received her J.D. from Seton Hall University where she was a managing editor of the Law Review.

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    Brian Lynch

    Vice President

    Brian joined SkyWorks in June 2015 following his graduation from Villanova University. He departed Villanova having earned a B.B.A. with majors in Finance and Economics from the Villanova School of Business. Since joining SkyWorks he has supported a broad spectrum of aviation-related projects, gaining experience in fields such as corporate restructuring, aircraft evaluation and acquisition, aircraft-backed financing, and aircraft remarketing.

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    Sinead O’Brien

    Vice President

    Sinead is a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland and also a Chartered Tax Consultant. She has over 10 years’ experience in finance and tax specifically in the aviation sector. After obtaining her Master’s in Accounting in DCU, she commenced her career at PwC, training as an auditor.

    She then moved to Aer Lingus, working in internal audit where she was responsible for developing and implementing the (non-safety) risk register for the group. While at Aer Lingus, she gained experience in the Revenue Accounting and Finance departments.  She then worked as direct tax manager for the group and completed the CTC qualification.  Within this role, she gained extensive experience in tax structuring, planning, reporting, compliance and accounting.

    In 2015, she joined the Norwegian Air Group, where she was responsible for the finance function of the Irish arm of the group. In the same year, she was appointed to the board of Norwegian’s asset management group, Arctic Aviation Assets. Within her role in AAA, she gained extensive experience in asset management and aircraft transactions. She built a fully functioning team in Dublin and was responsible for the management of over 150 aircraft, leased both internally and externally.

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    Shane McCarthy

    Senior Associate

    Shane joined SkyWorks in June 2018 and is focused on the financial operations and investor relations function of SkyWorks Leasing.

    Before SkyWorks, Shane was a Senior Associate for Capital Markets and Investor Relations at Apollo Aviation Group for their private equity and hedge fund investment strategies. Prior to this, he was an Associate for financial analysis evaluating and recommending investment allocations.   

    He spent the earlier stage of his career as a structural engineer, specialising in pedestrian bridges for major construction projects in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

    Shane graduated with a B.A.I. in Civil Engineering from Trinity College, Dublin. He holds an MSc. in Data Analytics and an M.B.A. from University College Dublin.


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    Christian Dietz


    Christian joined SkyWorks in 2018 and is focused on analytics, general marketing, and financial modeling. Since joining Skyworks, Christian has supported a broad range of client projects, including M&A due-diligence advisory, drafting market intelligence reports for institutional investors, and airline lease restructuring.

    Christian has also extensively supported multiple facets of SkyWorks’ asset management function, including evaluating and modeling potential investments, lessee credit analysis, and aircraft remarketing campaigns on behalf of institutional investors.

    Christian graduated with Honors in 2018 from Lehigh University, having earned a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering.

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    Connor Duchen


    Connor joined SkyWorks full-time in January 2018 and has supported a broad range of projects, including an aircraft order campaign, the development of a bespoke aircraft leasing strategy, and advisory on a potential investment in a low-cost carrier.

    Connor has also supported SkyWorks' leasing arm in evaluating prospective portfolio acquisitions, including maintenance fly-forward modeling and credit risk analysis.

    Connor graduated with Distinction from Purdue University, having earned a B.S. in Finance and a B.S. in Aviation Technology.