Our team of advisors at Paragon Fund Services is comprised of industry professionals, with diverse senior-level experience, from the financial services, legal and consulting areas. We work collaboratively with clients, from start-ups to organizations in the Fortune 500, to assist them with their goals through various stages of investment and development across different business areas.
We welcome the opportunity to speak with you and provide you with information and resources to assist you with your future business objectives.
Joan Marie Asher, CIFD, IACCP
Female Fund Director
Ms. Asher is the Founder of Paragon Fund Services. With dual citizenship in the U.S. and Europe, she has an established career of over 25 years working in financial services and investment management firms. Her roles have included Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. She has worked for several top-tier financial institutions that have included private equity, hedge funds (including seeding and incubation), fund of funds, broker/dealers and capital markets. Her industry background has culminated in a broad scope of experience that clients' value - a bird’s-eye - view which is critical to the times.
Ms. Asher is a Certified Investment Fund Director and an Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional. As a subject matter expert in her field, she also assists National Regulatory Services in preparing and reviewing exam questions for the Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional exam.
As a result of her strong industry experience, Ms. Asher has fostered a comprehensive understanding of global financial and investment markets and the infrastructure necessary to successfully operate, flourish and succeed in those markets. She began her career at Greenwich Capital Markets (RBS) and then later transitioned to the alternative asset management space. Throughout her career, Ms. Asher has transacted with numerous financial institutions, custodians, fund administrators, legal teams and clients in the U.S. and abroad in a variety of investment related activities.
Ms. Asher’s extensive experience in the industry has allowed her to play a critical role in deal negotiations, compliance and governance, risk management, operational due diligence and the oversight of third-party service providers. She is knowledgeable in launching funds, both onshore and offshore, of varying strategies and structures and establishing process driven back and middle-office operations. Her operational standard of excellence has enabled her to keep a keen eye on the balance sheet and regulatory climate without losing sight of a firm’s overall strategic objective.
She graduated from Fairfield University’s Charles F. Dolan School of Business with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.
She is a member of the advisory board for EndowBridge Capital and C-Gate Consulting Group.
Mary Ellen DeWinter
Ms. DeWinter is the Chief Strategy Officer at Paragon Fund Services. She has over 20 years of management experience in the financial services, legal and consulting industries in the areas of strategic planning, operations management, project management, business development and client management.
In addition to her role with Paragon Fund Services, Ms. DeWinter was a Director with Distinct Solutions Group, a consulting group for professional service firms (e.g. financial institutions, law firms). Prior to her role with Distinct Solutions Group, she held senior-level management positions with global law firms. She was responsible for strategic and operational priorities, including merger and integration goals, and client development opportunities across industries (e.g. financial services, private equity, technology) and geographic markets. Before her broad experience in the legal industry, Ms. DeWinter held similar management positions in the financial services industry. She led significant regional projects and managed operations and sales teams, including managing a bank investment program for high-net-worth individuals that surpassed aggressive revenue goals. She held FINRA Series 6 and 63 licenses.
Ms. DeWinter is active in various professional associations, advises boards and serves on the board of Boston Women in Finance. She is a graduate of Providence College and holds an MBA from Northeastern University.
Mr. Augustyn is an advisor with Paragon Fund Services. He has an outstanding track record of developing new product offerings in financial information and technology SaaS companies as well as building and leading global business operations. He has extensive experience in developing the right business strategies, product roadmaps, operational designs, sales support and delivery plans to win and successfully deploy multimillion-dollar revenue generating products. With a client-centric mindset, he is deeply skilled at building large-scale global businesses from the ground-up to execute on new product revenue goals.
Keith joined FactSet Research Systems as a Vice President in 2007 to build the FactSet Fundamentals product and global content operation. He created overseas operations in India; spearheaded the idea and execution of FactSet’s subsidiary in the Philippines; conceptualized and built shared service centers for global document acquisition and language translation. Promoted to Director, he then created a new start-up Fundamentals offering focused on Deep Sector data including management of the Revere acquisition. Prior to this role, Mr. Augustyn was a Director at Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor’s Global Market Intelligence for 3 years. At Capital IQ, he was responsible for global Fundamental data strategy and content operations and in parallel, he developed and executed on an overseas start-up becoming the Country Manager of Capital IQ, Philippines. In the two years prior to Capital IQ, Mr. Augustyn was a Vice President with Thomson Financial in charge of merging four key Fundamental data set acquisitions including WorldScope. Prior experience in Investment Banking as a Sell-side Equity Analyst with Merrill Lynch as well as an analyst at Bloomberg. He received a B.S. in Accounting from Rider University.
Ms. Sidl is an advisor with Paragon Fund Services. She has coached and worked with eminent CEOs and business leaders for 20 years, focusing on organizational management, communications, relationships, and governance. Sabrina held several positions at the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, including roles in management, and as Chief of Staff. She has also held notable positions with groups including Cunard, AECOM, Renaissance Technologies, and with a prominent family office.
Sabrina has provided strategic advisory services across multiple industry sectors, including single family office, real estate development, asset management, and PE/VC-backed portfolio companies. Most recently, she has completed executive education programs at the MIT Sloan School of Management on “Artificial Intelligence and Its Implications for Business Strategy” and “Neuroscience for Leadership.” In addition, she completed a program on cryptocurrency investment, blockchain technology, and disruption at the London School of Economics.
George Hritz is an advisor with Paragon Fund Services. He has been a lawyer in private and federal government practice in New York and Washington DC for over 40 years. He began his career as a law clerk for a federal judge in New York and later became an associate at Cravath. He was a partner at Hogan Lovells and predecessor firms for over 30 years practicing mostly complex corporate litigation, including securities, contract and international disputes. Since moving his practice to Westchester, NY and Connecticut he has handled numerous hedge fund, private equity and investment banking related matters.
For over thirty years Mr. Hritz has been a board member and was General Counsel of the International Rescue Committee, a prominent refugee relief organization. He is also a founder, General Counsel and President Emeritus of Princeton in Africa. Mr. Hritz is a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School.
Mr. Schwartz is an advisor to Paragon Fund Services. He is currently the Managing Director of category management, market research and consumer insights at Conair, a multi-billion dollar global personal care and beauty company. Over the past 16 years he has built three teams leading them to industry best in class status.
His career in the consumer products industry has evolved through numerous roles from sales, strategic planning, sales management to category management, market research, consumer insights, and data analytics. He has engaged with almost every retailer across the consumer products industry in the food, drug, mass, dollar, convenience, ecommerce, and D to C channels.
In his current role he has spearheaded the management of large data sets and implementation of business intelligence tools. His expertise in delivering insights from data and research information across multiple business sectors is a must in todays ever changing world.