Bengur Bryan’s professionals average more than 20 years’ experience gained in major investment banking firms, financial institutions and operating companies. Our investment bankers have completed financings and merger and acquisition transactions totaling more than $5 billion.
Charles A. Bryan
Charles A. Bryan co-founded the firm in 1991. He specializes in and manages Bengur Bryan’s investment banking services in mergers and acquisitions and private placements for companies in the consumer, transportation and business services industries, and related e-commerce businesses. Mr. Bryan has advised clients ranging from a multi-billion dollar transportation company, Yellow Corporation; and industry consolidators like Railworks, Inc.; to early stage e-business services companies. Mr. Bryan has over 20 years of investment banking experience with emerging growth companies and with companies undergoing change. Prior to forming Bengur Bryan, Mr. Bryan was an industry group head in the Investment Banking Division at Alex. Brown & Sons (now Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown), which provides investment banking services to emerging growth companies. His activities included the coordination and execution of public and private equity offerings, private placements, mergers and acquisitions, and financial restructurings.
Mr. Bryan is also a General Partner of Patriot Capital, L.P., the merchant banking affiliate of Bengur Bryan & Co., Inc.
Mr. Bryan is a member of the Washington Baltimore Chapter of the Young President’s Organization, serves as a director of PJPA, LLC, a Papa John’s Franchisee in Pennsylvania.
Mr. Bryan previously worked in the Private Business Advisory Services Group in the New York office of KPMG Peat Marwick. A certified public accountant, he holds a B.S. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, and an MBA from Harvard University.
Chris M. Royston
Chris M. Royston, managing director, has over 20 years of investment banking experience in the area of mergers and acquisitions and private placements. He specializes in manufacturing and distribution, business services and health care companies. Mr. Royston manages the private equity and debt placement efforts of the firm. During his career, he has placed over $3 billion of debt and equity securities. Prior to joining Bengur Bryan, Mr. Royston was a managing director of the Signet Investment Banking Company, where he was responsible for private placements, corporate financings, real estate financings, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to Signet, Mr. Royston was co-founder and a managing director of the Investment Banking Division of Maryland National Bank (MNC), where he was not only responsible for all corporate and real estate private placements, but also coordinated financing activities with the Mergers and Acquisitions Department to provide a full range of financial services. Previously, Mr. Royston was a vice president in the Private Placement Group of Salomon Brothers Inc.
Mr. Royston is also a General Partner of Patriot Capital, L.P., the merchant banking affiliate of Bengur Bryan & Co., Inc.
Mr. Royston has also served as a board member of local government economic development organizations.
Mr. Royston earned a B.A. degree in economics from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from Columbia University.
Charles P. McCusker
Charles McCusker serves as a Special Advisor to Bengur Bryan. Mr. McCusker is the Managing Partner of the Patriot Capital Group and is one of the founders of Patriot Capital I, Patriot Capital II, Patriot Capital III and Patriot Capital IV. Prior to Patriot Capital, Mr. McCusker was a general partner of the ServiceMaster Venture Fund, a highly successful portfolio of focused private equity investments in consumer services, for-profit education, application software and business e-commerce industries. Mr. McCusker also founded and held several operating executive positions, including President and Chief Operating Officer, of a joint venture between The ServiceMaster Company (SVM) and Kleiner Perkins. Mr. McCusker currently serves on the Board of Directors of Advantage Engineers, ExpertJMS and Red River Service Corp and has served on the boards of several prior Patriot Capital Group portfolio companies. Mr. McCusker has also served as the Chair of the Small Business Investor Alliance, the leading industry association for lower and middle market private equity firms and currently serves on the Board of the University of Chicago’s Private Equity Council for the Booth School of Business. Mr. McCusker is a graduate of Virginia Tech (BS Engineering) and the University of Chicago (MBA).
Oz Bengur co-founded the firm with Charles Bryan. He specializes in mergers and acquisitions and private placements for emerging restaurant companies and consumer and business services companies. Mr. Bengur has also managed the development of early stage restaurant companies and served as CEO of PJPA, LLC, which has owned and operated up to 53 Papa John’s Pizza restaurants.
Mr. Bengur also serves as Chairman of PJPA, LLC, a Papa John’s Pizza franchisee, which he co-founded with Charles Bryan. PJPA currently owns and operates 23 Papa John’s restaurants in New Jersey and Delaware.
Mr. Bengur holds an A.B. Degree from Princeton University and a graduate diploma from The University of Cambridge, England.
Scott T. Bass
Scott T. Bass, Managing Director, has over 20 years of M&A, financial advisory, investment banking, and operations management experience. He has advised clients on M&A transactions and raising public and private capital in the Aerospace, Chemical, Communications, Energy, Government Services, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Real Estate, Semiconductor and Technology sectors.
Prior to joining Bengur Bryan, Mr. Bass was a Managing Director for four years with National Capital Companies, an Investment Bank based in Bethesda Maryland. Mr. Bass spent 10 years as a Vice President of Corporate Finance at Ferris, Baker Watts, Inc. and its successor, the Royal Bank of Canada. Earlier he spent over five years as a Management Consultant with Gemini Consulting and Keystone Partners LLC with a focus on business process optimization. Mr. Bass began his career at Siemens, working in the Manufacturing Technology division, tasked with delivering process improvements to Siemens’ U.S. Divisions.
Mr. Bass earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and his Masters in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance from the Carroll Graduate School of Management at Boston College. He is a registered representative holding active Series 7, 63 and Series 79 licenses. He is a licensed private pilot with an instrument rating.
John L. Bruch III
John Bruch joined Bengur Bryan as a Managing Director in August 2016. Mr. Bruch has over 30 years of experience in corporate and private banking having worked for several money center and regional commercial banks in client facing and management positions. Industries covered as a lender include banking, broadcasting, telecom, healthcare, finance and legal. He has also been the senior relationship manager for family office clients. Most recently he has been providing consulting services to private business owners for debt restructuring. Mr. Bruch graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Washington & Lee University and completed his MBA through the Fellows program at Loyola University Maryland.
Mr. Bruch began his career in New York with Chemical Bank where he completed the Corporate Bank credit training program. He has extensive non-profit board experience and is a management committee member of an energy concern. Mr. Bruch is a native of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania and a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Maryland Defense Force. For Bengur Bryan, Mr. Bruch has general geographic and industry client responsibilities with a focus on the Pennsylvania markets.
John W. Heron
John Heron rejoined Bengur Bryan in January, 2014 having been previously affiliated with Bengur Bryan from 2008-2010. Mr. Heron has over 35 years of operational and strategic management experience including 15 years of M&A advisory experience. Prior to joining the firm in 2008, Mr. Heron was a Managing Director and Senior Vice President at FBR Capital Markets. He was also an Executive Vice President of a data driven marketing company, Barton Cotton, and played a crucial role in increasing the firm’s revenue 10x before the company was ultimately sold for $125 million. Mr. Heron received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Peter M. McGowan
Peter M. McGowan joined Bengur Bryan as Managing Director in March, 2014. Mr. McGowan focuses on the B2C and B2B sectors, including consumer brand companies, hospitality services and electronics manufacturing.
Mr. McGowan has over 30 years of M&A, financial advisory, investment banking, and operations management experience. He has advised clients on M&A transactions and raising public and private capital in the Consumer, Electronics, Transportation and Logistics sectors.
Prior to joining Bengur Bryan, Mr. McGowan was a Managing Director for three years in the Business Services Banking area of The Marcum Group, LLC, in New York. Previously, Mr. McGowan worked with RBC Capital Markets, Ferris Baker, Watts and Lehman Brothers. Earlier he spent over twelve years as a Managing Director with Alex. Brown & Sons, also in New York, with a focus on starting a dedicated practice following electronics companies, including EMS and semiconductor capital equipment sectors. Mr. McGowan began his career at Kidder, Peabody, as a Senior Vice President.
Mr. McGowan earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Georgetown University and his Master’s in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance from The Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Mr. McGowan lives in Greenwich, CT and is married with four children.
Stacey R. Wittelsberger
Stacey Wittelsberger joined Bengur Bryan in June 2010 and serves as Senior Vice President. Most recently, Ms. Wittelsberger worked for Banc of America Securities in the Securitization Finance (Asset Backed Commercial Paper Conduits) and RMBS (Residential Mortgage Backed Securities) groups from 2008 to 2010. Ms. Wittelsberger is Co-President of Baltimore Deal Professionals (BDP), a 100+ member organization in Baltimore for young professionals working in the investment banking and private equity industries. Ms. Wittelsberger graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Finance, and received her MBA from the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University Maryland. Ms. Wittelsberger is a registered representative holding active Series 7 & 79 licenses.
Sean P. Bilbrough
Mr. Bilbrough, Senior Associate, joined Bengur Bryan in May 2016. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Bilbrough worked at RSM US, LLP, a national assurance, tax and consulting firm focused on the middle market, where he primarily concentrated on audits of financial services clients. Mr. Bilbrough graduated cum laude from the Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University with his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. Mr. Bilbrough is a certified public accountant, and is a registered representative holding an active Series 79 license.
Steve Rockwell joined Bengur Bryan as a Managing Director in November 2017. During his career he has worked with a number of well-known restaurant companies including Good Times Restaurants, Kona Grill, Brinker International, Outback Steakhouse, Papa John’s, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores, O’Charley’s, CKE Enterprises, Souplantation, Smith & Wollensky, and Jamba Juice.
Prior to joining Bengur Bryan, Mr. Rockwell was a Managing Director in BTIG’s Investment Banking Group, where he focused on the restaurant industry. He also served as a Managing Director at Janney Montgomery Scott, responsible for the firm’s restaurant investment banking practice. Mr. Rockwell’s operating experience was with Ruby Tuesday, where he served as Vice President of Finance and headed the company’s corporate planning, franchise finance, and lender and investor relations functions. From 1999 through 2006, Mr. Rockwell worked at Brown Advisory as a Co-Manager and Analyst for a billion-dollar small cap growth fund investing in public companies. Earlier in his career as an Equity Research Analyst at Alex. Brown, he was recognized as an “All-Star” restaurant analyst multiple times by Institutional Investor magazine.
Mr. Rockwell is a frequent columnist for Nation’s Restaurant News and is regularly featured as a presenter at industry conferences and events. He is currently on the boards of Eat Here Brands and Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar. Mr. Rockwell earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.