Gerald Smith, Founder & PrincipalGerald Smith is the Founder and Principal of VIS Capital Venture and is responsible for overseeing the structuring and origination of all VIS’s investment and lending activities as well as portfolio management. Under his leadership VIS Capital Venture has evolved from a family office and regional player to a national lender and investor across a broad range of industries.
Mr. Smith has been a leader in business lending, investment and ownership across sectors including residential and commercial real estate, oil & gas, healthcare, cannabis, merchant banking and more. He began his career in a family office focused on residential and commercial real estate lending and acquisition.
Gerald has invested directly, or through syndication, with hedge funds, family offices, private equity firms, credit funds, UHNW individuals and traditional financial institutions.
An active philanthropist, Gerald shares his time and expertise with a variety of organizations. He serves as Trustee for Cayuga Centers, one of New York’s oldest and largest nonprofits, which provides support for foster children throughout the United States.
Utilizing his scholastic background and degree in psychology from Hofstra University, Mr. Smith has invested in, owned and operated a drug rehabilitation center helping young adults struggling with drug dependency. This background has helped to shape Mr. Smith’s philosophical approach to business: That success should not be something that you just strive for personally, it is something that you should share with your clients and colleagues. This founding principal is key to VIS Capital Venture’s success.
Alvin Joseph, Managing PrincipalAlvin Joseph is a Managing Principal at VIS Capital Venture with a focus on strategic and client relationships as well as transaction structuring. A former investment banker who has held Series 3, 7 and 63 licenses, Mr. Joseph brings a wealth of knowledge across a broad spectrum of sectors which he utilizes to find the very best fit for VIS clients.
Mr. Joseph has held senior level management positions across industries ranging from real property to internet marketing. Prior to joining VIS, Alvin was a co-founder and Director of Sales, Marketing and Business Development for an internet marketing firm and has sat on the board of directors for several private and nonprofit organizations.
A lifelong philanthropist, Mr. Joseph helped launched a nonprofit health and wellness organization that focused on assisting victims suffering from PTSD.
A seasoned real estate professional, Mr. Joseph has been involved, as a principal, investor and lender, in real property development and financing totaling several billion dollars. He has also helped to secure both debt and equity capital for firms across multiple sectors.
Andre Samuels, Managing PrincipalAndre Samuels is a Managing Principal at VIS Capital Venture with a focus on underwriting, transaction structuring as well as the development and management of strategic relationships with senior level banking executives, bridge and private lenders.
Prior to joining VIS, Mr. Samuels was Co-Founder and President of Laissez-Faire Capital Group. He has been involved in over a billion dollars of commercial loan transactions; loss mitigation and recapitalization of non-performing commercial loans; and the sale of non-performing commercial notes in the secondary market.
Andre received his degree from Boston University with a focus on finance. Mr. Samuels began his career in the residential mortgage industry, quickly rising to sales manager and shifting his focus to commercial transactions. He has been a mentor to countless young professionals.
Skilled in large and small commercial mortgage origination and underwriting, construction lending as well as business and commercial loans across all sectors, Mr. Samuels brings the highest level of expertise and integrity to all VIS transactions.
Rachel Ploski, Chief Operating OfficerRachel Ploski is the Chief Operating Officer of VIS Capital Venture. She brings a wealth of experience in operations, technology, implementation, management, administration, human resources, compliance, data analytics, marketing and finance.
Formerly Ms. Ploski was Co-Founder and Managing Director of a group of companies providing commercial and residential mortgage, real estate, financial consulting, capital placement and other related services to businesses and home owners. She designed and implemented the technological and operational infrastructure upon which the companies ran.
Rachel sits on the board of the nonprofit Institute for Internet Safety which provides safety and privacy tools to families, individuals and businesses.
Previously, Ms. Ploski served as the CIO/CTO for a multinational group of financial services companies. Her responsibilities included the design and oversight of the technology branch of the company including building and managing the MIS/IT, programming and design teams. She was responsible for all budgeting and staffing decisions, management of all product and project development cycles from conception through deployment, contract negotiations and managing strategic relationships as well as serving as chief architect of all development projects.
Ms. Ploski was an independent Operations and Technology Consultant with offices in New York and San Francisco.