Santosh Govindaraju

Santosh Govindaraju is the Portfolio Manager of Convergent Capital Partners LLC, a real estate private equity firm focused on opportunistic real estate investments primarily in Florida. Since founding the firm in September 2008 through 2014, Santosh has led the team in the acquisition of approximately $550 million in commercial real estate assets. Santosh is responsible for sourcing the acquisitions, defining exit strategies, negotiating workouts, and overseeing strategy.

Mr. Govindaraju has been investing as a principal in commercial real estate since 1999. Santosh began his career at Lehman Brothers in 1997 in New York as a trader of fixed income derivatives, including various U.S. Dollar interest rate products such as swaps, caps, and floors.

Mr. Govindaraju was named Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year for 2002. He is past President of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Govindaraju is a member of Leadership Florida, Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Zell Lurie Institute at the Wharton School.

Mr. Govindaraju graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology (M&T), with a Bachelor of Science in Economics with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Engineering from the School of Engineering & Applied Science and minors in Theatre Arts, Mathematics, and South Asian Studies.

Ray Ifert

Raymond E. Ifert is the President and Founder of REI Wealth Management, LLC. Ray has been managing client relationships since 1986. He successfully built a Corporate Trust business for predecessors of Bank of America from 1986 from less than $100,000 in revenue to running three states and over $10 million in annual revenue in less than 10 years. In 1995, theCorporate Trust business was sold. Ray was then selected to manage the combined Private Banking and Trust divisions in 1995 for NationsBank in Tampa Bay. Ray was selected to move to Seattle in 1999 to lead the Northwest Region consisting of eleven offices in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. In 2002, he returned to Tampa as the Tampa Bay Market Executive and then retired from Bank of America in 2006. In 2008, Ray led a team of seven to start an office for BNY Mellon in Tampa. In six years, the office became the 2nd largest out of six offices in Florida and the fastest growing in three of the last four years. Ray received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Valdosta State University. He currently is President of the Tampa Museum of Art Foundation and sits on the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee. Ray is currently chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Academy of Holy Names, and a Board Trustee for Tampa Community Hospital.

President & CEO REI Wealth Management, LLC
5300 West Cypress Street, Suite 295 Tampa, FL  33607

Ben Dachepalli

Ben is a Shareholder and practice Co-Chair of the Construction & Design Group at the law firm of Hill Ward Henderson. As a Board Certified Construction Attorney, his practice primarily involves the negotiation and drafting of construction-related agreements and complex construction litigation claims involving contracts, construction defects, design errors, and construction liens. Ben represents owners, developers, contractors, construction managers, design professionals and subcontractors in all phases of the construction process. Active in both professional and bar-related activities, Ben is a member of the Construction Law Section for the Hillsborough County Bar Association. He has authored articles and spoken at seminars on various construction law topics, and is also an active member of the Forum on the Construction Industry for the American Bar Association.  Ben recently completed his gubernatorial appointment to the Construction Industry Licensing Board in June 2014 and is a member of the Florida Council for Public-Private Partnerships. Representative experience as counsel for:

  • Publicly-traded real estate investment trust and general contractor against associations, insurers, and subcontractors in several multimillion-dollar construction defect cases regarding construction of apartment and/or condominium projects
  • Construction manager regarding extra work and delay claims for the construction of $107 million waste-to-energy facility
  • Publicly-traded national home builder in $10 million arbitration regarding construction defect and fiduciary claims for a subdivision of 1,500 single family homes
  • Publicly-traded manufacturer of construction materials in $60 million delay claim case regarding the design and construction of a manufacturing facility
  • Publicly-traded supplier of raw water transmission pipe products in $20 million construction defect and delay claim case regarding the expansion of a county government’s water treatment facility
  • Private developer regarding the construction of a $70 million luxury beachfront hotel and resort.

Ben serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Dream Fund, a nonprofit organization which fulfills the dreams of children suffering from life-threatening and debilitating illnesses. He is also an active member of Leadership Florida (Class XXXI) and served on its Board of Directors (2013-2014).

Suleman Makhani

Suleman Makhani brings over 25 years of small business and SBA financing to Finance and Banking.

Suleman started his career in 1988 as owner of Smart Business Systems in Miami, Florida where he assisted small and mid-sized businesses to grow by employing technology to their business processes. During next 20 years, the business grew significantly catering to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies; providing services to midsize to large national telecommunication and publicly traded companies in addition to small to midsize individually owned businesses. Working with small businesses, it became very clear that growth of such businesses were directly tied to access to capital at reasonable terms.

In 2006, Suleman started a commercial lending business as correspondent lender in Tampa, Florida. In 2007, he joined Dallas based United Central Bank (UCB) to run its LPO for SBA financing in Florida. With his deep understanding of small business dynamics and strength of SBA programs, the SBA volume for UCB in Florida grew from zero to $30mm/year in two years. Suleman was listed in Tampa Bay Business Journal as one of top producer of SBA loans.

Currently, Suleman is with SunTrust Bank and works with a team of 20 business relationship managers in six large counties in west coast of Florida. His responsibilities include originating new SBA loans in these markets and finding the right product solutions for existing and future customers. Additionally, through his efforts, Suleman plans on establishing a stronger presence for the SunTrust SBA division by presenting at various events and conferences and solidifying the #1 SBA lender brand message. His commitment to working closely with his clients and referral partners will allow SunTrust to continue to rank as the #1 SBA lender in state of Florida.