Board of Directors
Chairman & CEO
Edwin Ball is the Chairman & CEO of Socrates Capital. Mr. Ball has been active in financial services and banking since 1988 and has worked in many roles from front through back office at major banking institutions, holding various senior positions such as: Chairman of a Bank Holding Company, CEO (of a Bank, Asset Management Company and Leasing Company), COO, Managing Director - Head of Financial Institutions Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, Head of Management Information, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Director of Strategy and others at institutions including Deutsche Bank (Central Management), ABN AMRO, RBC Financial Group, Gulf Finance House, Hypo Real Estate, and Deloitte.
Mr. Ball has held numerous board and committee memberships including: Member of the Management Board of NordFinanz Bank AG,(CEO); CEO and Member of the Management Boards of NF Leasing Gmbh and NF Asset Management, Member of the European Management Committee, Operating Committee and European Banking Risk Committee at RBC, Member of Executive Management Committee, Board Executive Investment Committee, Board Audit and Risk Committee, Board Remuneration and Nomination Committee, ALCO, and Operating Committees of Gulf Finance House as well as Chairman of GFH UK and GFH Sukuk Limited.
Mr.Ball has been involved in the origination of transactions in excess of $25 billion USD and has listed financial institutions on European and Asian Stock Exchanges, both in an advisory capacity and as management of banks being listed. He has managed P&L in excess of €5 billion per annum. Mr. Ball holds an MBA, International Finance and Management from the European University and a BA from the University of Toronto.
James Lockhart III
Non-Executive Board Member
James B. Lockhart III is a retired American business executive and U.S. Navy officer. He recently worked as Vice Chairman of WL Ross & Co. LLC (subsidiary of Invesco) which managed $9 billion of private equity investments, a hedge fund and a Mortgage Recovery Fund. He also coordinated all WL Ross's investments in financial services firms and mortgage businesses.
Prior to WL Ross & Co. LLC, Mr. Lockhart served in the US Government in a series of Presidential-appointed, Senate-confirmed positions. He was the Director (CEO) and Chairman of the Oversight Board of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the regulator of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks. He assumed that position with the signing of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act on July 30, 2008. He was also the Director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), which is now part of FHFA and was nominated to that position by President George W. Bush.
Mr. Lockhart also served on the Financial Stability Oversight Board from its inception in 2008, which was set up to oversee the Troubled Asset Relief Program which was chaired by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and had as its other members the Secretaries of the Treasury and HUD, and the Chair of the SEC. From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Lockhart served as The Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the Social Security Administration and as Secretary to the Social Security Board of Trustees. From 1989-1993, he was a member of President Bush's Management Council and its Executive Committee and served in President George H.W. Bush's Administration as Executive Director (CEO) of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). In 1997, Mr. Lockhart co-founded and served as managing director of NetRisk Inc., a risk management software and consulting firm since acquired by Fitch Risk Management.
In 1996, Mr. Lockhart served as Senior Vice President, Finance, at National Reinsurance (acquired by General Reinsurance), Managing Director, Smith Barney Investment Banking, Financial Institutions Group and Co-Head of its Private Equity Group (1993–1995), Vice President and Treasurer of Alexander & Alexander (1981–1989) and Assistant Treasurer of Gulf Oil in Europe and the U.S. (1974–1981). Mr. Lockhart served as a member of the American Benefits Council's Board of Directors and on the Advisory Board to the Task Force for the Critical Review of the U.S. Actuarial Profession.
Mr. Lockhart joined the Navy in 1969 where he served as the Supply Officer on the Nuclear Ballistic Submarine USS George Washington Carver. He graduated from Yale University in 1968 and he received a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1974.
Non-Executive Board Member
Nicholas Thadaney is the Founder of Partners Capital Corp and currently serves as a director on the boards of Grayhawk Investment Strategies, INX Ltd, DVX Capital Markets, Canadian Council of the Americas and JA (Junior Achievement) Canada.
Until February 2018, Mr. Thadaney was President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Equity Capital Markets and a member of the senior management team of TMX Group, the ninth-biggest stock exchange in the world by market cap. In his roles with TMX Group, Mr. Thadaney was responsible for all equity listing and trading activity across the company’s equities markets and alternative trading systems, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, Alpha, TMX Select, and TSX Private Markets. He also oversaw TSX Trust - TMX Group's transfer agency and corporate trust services provider.
Prior to joining TMX Group in 2015, Mr. Thadaney was Chief Executive Officer of ITG Canada Corp. He was responsible for managing all aspects of the business, as well as being a Member of ITG’s Global Executive Committee. He joined ITG Canada as Director of Sales and Trading in 2000. Before his tenure at ITG, Mr. Thadaney was Vice-President, Business Development Equities at C.T. Securities Inc., which was acquired by TD Securities Inc. in 1999.
Mr. Thadaney has been a member of several other industry associations, boards and registered charities, including: Bermuda Stock Exchange, CanDeal, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), Investment Industry Association of Canada, Mount Sinai Hospital Asset Management Industry Hold’em for Life Charity (Co-Chair), Toronto Financial Service Alliance, Young Presidents Association (Ontario Chapter) and the World Federation of Exchanges SME Advisory Board. Mr. Thadaney earned a BA in Economics from York University in Toronto, Canada.
Dr. Hauke Brede
Non-Executive Board Member
Dr. Hauke Brede currently serves as a board member and a Senior Advisor for innovative firms in the "Real Asset" industry. Until 2018, Dr. Brede was Chief Risk Officer and Member of the Global Executive and Investment Committee of Allianz Real Estate (ARE) (Munich), managing over €55 billion AUM of equity and debt investments.
Prior to joining Allianz Real Estate, Dr. Brede was a Director at US Incubator Gen3 Partners (Boston) and COO of Credit Risk Management and Head of Business Management at a large German Bank. Prior to this, Dr. Brede worked at Boston Consulting Group as a Senior Project Manager and Advisor.
He holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Bamberg, Germany and a Ph.D. degree in Economics from the University of Bern, Switzerland.
Our executive team comprises over 300 years of senior banking, asset management, investment, Fintech and private equity experience. Members of our team are industry leaders and have performed the following functions:
CEO, Asset Management
CEO, Real Estate
CFO, Fund management
CFO, Bank (Group and division)
Chief Risk Officer, Bank
CEO, Private Equity
Operating responsibilities included all aspects of managing banks and investments/holdings. Experience in the following skills:
M&A, Corporate Finance, Investment Management, Valuations, Operations, IT, HR, Finance, Fund management, Sales, Relationship management, Capital Markets (Debt and Equities), IPOs, Debt and Equity issuance, Advisory, Private Banking, Payments, Credit lending, as well as other aspects of banking, real estate and investments.
To contact one of our team members, please email
Dr Robert Grassinger,
Managing Director, Board Member
Dr. Robert Grassinger is a Managing Director of Socrates Capital Limited. He is also a Beirat of HKB Bank in Germany. He has over 30 years experience in banking, mostly in real estate finance and treasury. His prior roles included being a member of the Management Board of Interritus Limited (Director), Partner of Interritus Group and CEO of Interritus Advisory GmbH.
He served as CEO of Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG (formerly, Hypo Real Estate Bank AG) from 2007 to 2009, responsible for credit in German commercial real estate. At the same time he was a Member of the Management Board of Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, responsible for real estate treasury. He served as a Deputy Spokesman of the Management Board of the Württembergische Hypothekenbank AG (later Hypo Real Estate Bank International AG) from 2004 to 2007. From 1997 to 2004 he was in charge of various departments at Württembergische Hypothekenbank AG (risk control; commercial real estate origination; securitization; treasury). He holds a master’s degree from University of Munich and a doctoral degree from University of Mainz, both in Economics.
Steven W. Fickes leads Socrates Capital Insurance Division. He is also a Co-Founder of Raedel Financial Solutions, Inc. where he serves as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Fickes started his career within the insurance sector where he gained experience in many areas including, actuarial product development, financial reporting, valuation, marketing and investments. After leaving the insurance sector, Mr. Fickes gained considerable experience in corporate M&A and the financing of leveraged buyouts. He also formed his own actuarial firm specializing in insurance mergers and acquisitions and financial reinsurance.
In 1989, he formed an offshore insurance company to play a direct role in facilitating innovative, highly structured capital transactions. In 1990, with three partners, Mr. Fickes acquired PennCorp Financial Group (Pennsylvania Life Companies) in a $300 million leveraged buyout. At PennCorp, Mr. Fickes was responsible for all acquisition activity. During this time he completed seven major acquisitions involving fifteen insurance companies.
During 1995, with a partner, Mr. Fickes he formed a $100 million private equity fund, Knightsbridge Capital. By the end of 1995, the fund had completed a $260 million acquisition of Southwestern Financial Group and in 1997, completed its second transaction, a $280 million leveraged buyout of Acordia, the fourth largest Property and Casualty broker in the United States.
After selling his interest in the Fund, Mr. Fickes joined Deloitte & Touche as a Principal where he was primarily involved in insurance sector mergers and acquisitions and financial restructuring. His clients included many of the largest global insurance companies.
Mr. Fickes is a guest teacher at Georgia State University and has been involved in a wide range of industry disciplines. He is an expert in insurance taxation and has authored the Society of Actuaries’ study materials for the examination on U.S. income taxation for life insurance companies. Mr. Fickes is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He holds a BA from The University of Texas, Austin.
Managing Director, Risk
Markus is a Managing Director at Socrates Capital primarily focused on German / Austrian banking and European Credit and Market Risk.
Mr. Linß has over 22 years’ experience in banking, predominantly in risk management and enterprise bank management, including: General Manager within the extended Management Board of HKB Bank, as well as Head of Group Risk Management & Control at Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG (pbb).
His responsibilities have included membership of numerous banking Committees such as Group Risk, ALCO, Credit, Finance and Compensation. Mr. Linß was also Head of Integrated Risk Functions and Economic Capital at Commerzbank Group, where he also had management assignments covering Basle II, Credit and Payment Processing and Asset Liability Management projects.
Mr. Linß’ has also specialized in investment banking, wholesale banking, treasury, payment operations, real estate business and infrastructure finance.
In parallel with all the above, he was a member of the highly prominent cross institutional MaRisk expert panel of the German Regulator BaFin over the course of 12 years. Other memberships included: Member of the Risk Policy Committee of the German Banking Association (Bankenverband), Member of the Board for Risk Management and Banking Regulation of the German Covered Bond Association, Member of the “Risk Round Table”.
Mr. Linß holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Gießen.
Finance and Asset Management
Justin is a seasoned finance professional. A chartered accountant by background, he spent much of his career in Financial Services, with notable roles including Finance Director of Barclays Private Bank, UK CFO at ABN AMRO investment bank, and European CFO at Alliance Bernstein a New York listed asset manager with $800 billion under management globally. In recent years Justin has been focused on financing renewable energy assets across a number of technologies and in multiple national and international locations. He has a good understanding of the project dynamics for these assets from early stage development, through the construction phase, and the long term cash flows from the operational phase. He can model, assess, and negotiate commercial solutions, and then structure the finance using a mix of equity, debt and mezzanine solutions to optimise the financial returns from the underlying asset
James Imrie is a Director of business development with a focus on strategic partnerships and fundraising at Socrates Capital. He has over 20 years’ experience within the financial, renewable energy, family offices and real estate sectors, having owned businesses or worked within all the aforementioned sectors. His experience working in several prominent global family offices brings a wealth of understanding in real estate, asset management and investment.
Throughout his career, Mr. Imrie has raised in excess of £5 billion in capital across multi industrial and geographic sectors.
He speaks Spanish and attended a BSc in Maritime Studies at the University of Southampton, UK.
Graham has over 30 years of Human Resources/Talent Management expertise from both an Executive Search and Corporate perspective. He has worked in start-ups, PE-Backed companies and organizations with over 50,000 employees in Europe, Asia and North America.
His experience has focused primarily in the areas of Executive Talent Acquisition and Human Resource Leadership. He has worked in Financial Services, Fin-Tech, Private Equity and Global Media businesses. In his most recent role, Graham ran Global Technology Talent Acquisition for Thomson Reuters and was responsible for Executive Recruitment for the entire organization. During his tenure at Thomson Reuters he lead numerous Global Talent Initiatives and was instrumental in the company hiring a number of key executives globally as well as consolidating their global footprint in North America and Europe.
Graham holds a Joint Honors Degree in German and Economics from the University of Keele in the UK and speaks fluent German and French.
Investor Relations and Communications
Tessa Dallaire brings a wealth of experience in investor relations as well as all aspects of communications and PR. Ms. Dallaire has global experience in North America, Europe and the Middle East. Her background includes market facing media relations, direct client information distribution and several social media platforms. Her prior experience includes working in the Gulf, Middle East and North Africa predominantly with leading Financial Organisations, Prominent Individuals and Family Office Groups.