Our Team

DONALD W. GRAVA FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT

Donald W. Grava | founder and president

Versailles Group’s Founder, Donald W. Grava, brings a uniquely well-suited background to his position as President. His experience combines investment banking expertise with practical knowledge of the inner-workings of corporations of all sizes.

Prior to Versailles Group, Mr. Grava was the former First Vice President of ELM Securities Inc., a New York-based investment banking firm, where he originated and successfully closed many domestic and international transactions. Prior to ELM, Mr. Grava gained invaluable corporate finance experience while at Warburg Paribas Becker in New York City. Prior to working on Wall Street, Mr. Grava honed his practical knowledge of corporate operations through strategic and financial planning roles at two different Fortune 200 companies. Mr. Grava started his career at Coopers & Lybrand where he gained hands-on accounting experience.

Mr. Grava is also the President of Aenigma Advisors LLC, a FINRA registered broker-dealer.

Mr. Grava holds the following Securities Licenses: 7, 24, 27, 66, and 79.  These licenses are sanctioned by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.).

Mr. Grava is on the Board of Directors of The Jebb Center for Autistic Adult Living, a 501(c)(3) organization devoted to providing safe and challenging living environments for adults with Autism.

Mr. Grava earned a B.A. in economics from Yale University and an M.B.A. from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. While at Yale, he was captain of the heavyweight crew.

Richard L. Schwager

Richard L. Schwager | Managing Director

Mr. Schwager has been with Versailles Group since inception, and is a Managing Director. He shares overall responsibility for the firm’s domestic and international activities with the firm’s founder.

Prior to joining Versailles Group, Mr. Schwager held various financial and general management positions with The Penn Central Corporation. While at Penn Central, he also completed significant transactions including the management buyout of Trilogy Communications, Inc. Mr. Schwager is an expert in financial and management information systems.

Mr. Schwager earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College as well as an M.B.A. from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration. Mr. Schwager grew up in New York City. He has been an avid skier since his years at Dartmouth College.

William W. B. Veale

William W. B Veale | Director

William W. B. Veale is an American citizen who resides in Brazil. With extensive operating exposure in Brazil and other Latin American countries, Mr. Veale has wide-ranging experience negotiating buy and sell-side transactions, and first-hand knowledge of Latin American countries’ politico-economic swings. Mr. Veale is fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Prior to joining the Versailles Group, Mr. Veale was an independent advisor to small and medium-sized companies and a Director for M&A of Partners Consultoria, a management consulting firm in São Paulo. Previously, Mr. Veale headed the Brazilian subsidiary of The Lincoln Electric Company, having sold his own company, Brasoldas S. A.—acquired from The BOC Group in a leveraged buyout financed by the investors who own 3G Capital—to Lincoln. Mr. Veale was President of BOC’s Brazilian company and then President of its Latin American Division. His career began with Air Products and Chemicals; his success in the Silicon Valley market led to his transfer to Brazil to conduct Air Products’ successful market entry there.

Mr. Veale earned a B.A. in economics from Yale University and an M.B.A. from San Jose State University while working in California’s Silicon Valley. While at Yale, he was active in singing and was a member of The Whiffenpoofs. His interest in music continues, and he is a member of the Advisory Council of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra.

Denis Richard Jacobs

Denis Richard Jacobs | DIRECTOR

Mr. Denis R. Jacobs has extensive management experience with multinational equipment manufacturers in Brazil and other Latin American countries.

Prior to joining Versailles Group, Mr. Jacobs was an independent consultant to small and medium-sized companies in São Paulo.  His previous position was Managing Director of Hoerbiger Group in Brazil and Regional Manager for the Hoerbiger subsidiaries in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.  Prior to Hoerbiger, he worked with Sulzer Management Ltd’s Brazilian subsidiary.  His professional career began with Flowserve Corporation (formerly Worthington).

Mr. Jacobs received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Oswaldo Cruz University in São Paulo, and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Fundação Getúlio Vargas, also in São Paulo.  Mr. Jacobs is a Brazilian citizen, and fluent in Portuguese, English, and Spanish.  Mr. Jacobs enjoys running to stay fit.

 
MARK HAYDEN DIRECTOR

Mark Hayden | Director

Mr. Hayden is a Director with Versailles Group and is responsible for overseas business development, primarily in European and Asian markets. In addition, Mr. Hayden assists with cross-border transactions in the UK, Europe, and Asia where he has extensive experience.

Prior to joining Versailles Group, Mr. Hayden held several financial and / or management positions with various multinational companies including Colgate-Palmolive, Coopers & Lybrand, Wilkinson Match, BISS Limited, and Dubilier plc. In addition, Mr. Hayden was the Managing Director of Equant Japan, where he turned a loss-making subsidiary into a profitable business.

Mr. Hayden is a Chartered Accountant in the United Kingdom. He enjoys reading history and playing the piano in his spare time.