Chairman of the Board
Michael Freno is the Chairman of the Company and is the President of Barings, LLC. Mike oversees Barings’ investments, product management, distribution, technology, operations and marketing functions. Mr. Freno is also the Chairman of the Global High Yield Allocation Committee and a member of the Global Distressed Committee.
Mr. Freno has worked in the industry since 1999 and has extensive experience on the buy-side, focusing on both equity and debt investments. Prior to joining Barings in 2005, he was a research analyst for Mangan & McColl Partners, LLC, where he focused on equity and credit analysis for Barings' special situations and distressed investments.
Prior to that, he was a Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. Freno holds a B.A. from Furman University and an M.B.A. from Wake Forest University.
Chief Executive Officer
Eric Lloyd is Head of Barings' Global Private Investments and Chief Executive Officer of Barings BDC, Inc. (NYSE: BBDC). He is responsible for managing all aspects of Barings' global private finance enterprise, which includes global middle market direct lending, infrastructure, private placements, private asset-backed securities, equipment finance and whole loan residential mortgage. Eric has worked in the industry since 1990 and his experience has encompassed leadership positions in investment management, investment banking, leveraged finance and risk management.
Prior to joining Barings in 2013, Eric served as Head of Market and Institutional Risk for Wells Fargo, was on Wells Fargo's Management Committee and was a member of the Board of Directors of Wells Fargo Securities.
Before the acquisition of Wachovia, Eric worked in Wachovia's Global Markets Investment Banking (GMIB) division and served on the division's Operating Committee where he had various leadership positions, including Head of Wachovia's Global Leveraged Finance Group. Eric holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce.
Thomas W. Okel
Thomas W. Okel brings over 20 years of experience in the underwriting, structuring, distribution and trading of debt used for corporate acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and refinancings. From 2011 until 2019, he served as Executive Director of Catawba Lands Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust.
Prior to joining Catawba Lands Conservancy, he served as Global Head of Syndicated Capital Markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he managed capital markets, sales, trading and research for the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America from 1989 to 2010. He currently serves as trustee or director of several public companies and non-profit organizations, including as Trustee of Barings Global Short Duration High Yield Fund, a closed-end investment company advised by Barings, Trustee of the Horizon Funds, a mutual fund complex, Trustee of Davidson College, and Director of CrossRoads Corporation for Affordable Housing and Community Development, Inc.
Mr. Okel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Davidson College and a Masters of Management, Finance, Accounting and Marketing from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
Jill Olmstead is Founding Partner of Spivey & Olmstead, LLC, a Talent and Leadership Consulting firm with expertise in the fields of executive development and talent management founded in June 2010. Ms. Olmstead works with C-suite executives as an executive coach and helps lead companies' efforts on talent strategies such as diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, and succession planning. She has built a reputation as an executive with a strategic and pragmatic approach to talent management with an eye toward bottom line results.
Ms. Olmstead brings over 20 years of senior leadership experience in Human Resources in the financial services industry where she was Managing Director (2006 to 2009) and Executive Vice President (2000 to 2006) at Wachovia Corporation (now Wells Fargo). In this capacity she was both the Head of Human Resources for the Corporate and Investment Bank and the Head of Human Resources for the International Businesses, responsible for HR services.
Prior to this, she formed and led the Leadership Practices Group at Wachovia to create and implement a company-wide talent management process that identified, developed, tracked and promoted high potential leaders throughout their careers. Ms. Olmstead received a Bachelor of Science at Clemson University and a Masters in Organization Behavior and Development at Fielding University, Santa Barbara, CA. Ms. Olmstead is on several non-profit boards and active in the community with a focus on education, the arts, and homeless prevention.
John Switzer is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Carolina Tractor and Equipment Company, a large, privately held Southeastern supplier of equipment, with a full line of construction, forestry and paving products, as well as material handling, engineered systems, truck engines, and power generation systems (since May 2017).Previously, Mr. Switzer served as managing partner in KPMG's Charlotte office (starting in 2007) and became the Chair of the Charlotte office in 2009 until retirement in 2016, where he was the market leader for KPMG's Carolinas, Florida, and San Juan offices.
Prior to these positions, he served as managing partner of KPMG's Cleveland (1999 to 2007) and Kentucky (Louisville and Lexington) (1988 to 1995) offices. Mr. Switzer currently serves on the boards of The Mint Museum and the National Association of Corporate Directors, Carolinas Chapter.
Mark Mulhern currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Highwoods Properties, Inc., a Raleigh, North Carolina based publicly-traded (NYSE: HIW) real estate investment trust. Mr. Mulhern joined Highwoods in September 2014. Mr. Mulhern previously served on the Highwoods Board of Directors and Audit Committee from January 2012 through August 2014.
Prior to joining Highwoods, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Exco Resources, Inc. Prior to Exco, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Progress Energy, Inc. from 2008 until its merger with Duke Energy Corporation in 2012. He joined Progress Energy in 1996 as Vice President and Controller and served in a number of roles at Progress Energy, including Vice President of Strategic Planning, Senior Vice President of Finance and President of Progress Ventures. He also spent eight years at Price Waterhouse.
Mr. Mulhern is a Certified Public Accountant and is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University. He currently serves on the board of McKim and Creed, a North Carolina based professional engineering services firm. Mr. Mulhern does not serve on the board of directors of any other public company.
Mr. Mihalick serves as Head of U.S. Public Fixed Income at Barings, with primary responsibility for the U.S. High Yield and Investment Grade Investment Groups. Mr. Mihalick is also Chairman of the U.S. High Yield Investment Committee, a member of the Global High Yield Allocation Committee and a portfolio manager on various high yield strategies. Prior to his current role, Mr. Mihalick served as Head of Barings’ U.S. High Yield Credit Research Group. Mr. Mihalick has worked in the financial services industry since 2004. Prior to joining the firm in 2008, he was a Vice President with Wachovia Securities Leveraged Finance Group, where he was responsible for sell-side origination of leveraged loans and high yield bonds to support both corporate and private equity issuers. Prior to entering the financial services industry, he served as an officer in the United States Air Force and worked in the telecommunications industry for seven years. David holds a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy, an M.S. from the University of Washington, and an M.B.A. from Wake Forest University.