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About Fortress

Fortress Plus is dedicated to defending community banks and credit unions from financial crime.

Our advanced intelligence technology and expert professional services effectively predict and reduce risk. We help institutions streamline risk management and reporting, lower overhead costs and control reputational damage when events occur.

Founded in 2010, Fortress is headquartered in Wethersfield, Conn., and led by a management team with extensive experience in the financial sector. We’re here to bring community financial institutions professional, high-tech protection against financial crime at a price they can afford. 

Management Team:

 

Jeff Whelton, President and Board Member

Jeff Whelton is President of Fortress Plus, an innovator in financial crime defense where he is responsible for growth and profitability of all aspects of the company.

Prior to his appointment to lead Fortress Plus, Jeff spent 14 years at Harland Financial Solutions, now D+H, where he held various executive positions in Sales Operations, Product Marketing and Financial Planning & Analysis. Jeff’s expertise in strategic and operational excellence helped Harland Financial Solutions grow to be a leading FinTech provider of core systems, lending, payments and remote banking. He was instrumental in the sale of the company to D+H for $1.2 billion.

Prior to Harland Financial Solutions Jeff held various executive roles running Marketing and Product Management for startups in the financial technology space where he successfully helped steer the strategies that lead to three sequential acquisitions. Early in his career he spent time as a Product Manager at Wells Fargo Bank and in an executive fast track program with Chevron USA.

Jeff holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and an Economics degree from Texas Tech University. He is an analytics evangelist and champion of community financial institutions.

 
 
 

Board:

 

shivdasani

Raju (Raj) Shivdasani, Chairman of the Board

Raju (Raj) Shivdasani is an experienced financial technology executive with 42-years of executive level experience running large technology companies. He has strong skills in strategic planning, business execution and in driving growth organically and through mergers and acquisitions. He is currently involved in investing, advisory and mentoring activities.

Until August 2013, Raj was the chief executive officer of Harland Financial Solutions, a subsidiary of Harland Clarke Holdings Corporation and a leading US financial technology company which was sold to D+H of Toronto. Prior to the sale, he steered the growth of a highly profitable HFS business employing 1,350 associates in 18 offices and marketing 17 major banking product lines to some 6,000 national and international banks, savings institutions and credit unions. 

Earlier roles in Raj’s career have included President and Chief Operating Officer of Phoenix International, group Executive Vice President of Fiserv’s bank services sector, President of Fiserv CBS Worldwide and senior management positions at Citicorp Information Resources, a subsidiary of Citibank that was sold to Fiserv in 1991. He also co-founded Vista Financial Systems which was sold to Geac Computers.

From 1992 through 1994, Raj served on IBM’s AS/400 Strategic Advisory Board. He was one of twenty global company executives invited by IBM to provide the company with strategic marketing and product input to help propagate, what was then, their newest commercial computing mid-range platform.

Raj has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from St. Xavier’s College, India and a diploma in Computer Programming and Technology from Control Data Institute, Los Angeles. He has a certificate in Applied Mergers & Acquisitions from the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.

Tim Greenfield, Board Member

Tim Greenfield is a Partner of Black Dragon Capital. He is a proven business builder with a track record in growing Fin Tech, mobile, e-commerce and software businesses as well as broad experience in acquisitions, capital raising and strategy. Tim’s role at BDC spans the full investment cycle, from sourcing and due diligence to post transaction integration, strategy and operational improvement through to a liquidity event or full exit. His areas of focus include financial leadership, operating oriented transaction and deal making, and capital raising, as well as strategic planning, commercial growth, operational efficiency and financial controls for BDC and its portfolio companies.

Prior to BDC, Tim served as Chief Revenue Officer and President of Mobile Commerce and Payment Processing for Net Element helping build a leading mobile payment business in Eastern Europe and a growing payment processing business in the U.S. Prior to Net Element Mr. Greenfield was President of Gold Mobile, an early stage mobile firm that offered a mobile wallet solution, customer relationship management (CRM), mobile apps and mobile couponing products. He also acquired and successfully exited a distribution business and led the turnaround of a distressed industrial company.

Tim began his post MBA career at McKinsey & Company, Inc., where he consulted on a wide range of strategic and global projects for Fortune 100 clients across a wide range of industries including e-commerce, cable, retail, private equity, food and beverage, and the automotive industry. He was also a Business Unit Manager at General Electric working in various management and technical roles in GE Appliances, GE Transportation Systems and GE Power Systems.

Tim holds a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, a Master of Manufacturing Engineering from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

 

Advisors:

Louis Hernandez, Jr.
President and CEO/Board Member – Avid
Award-winning Entrepreneur and Recognized Author

Mr. Hernandez is a proven, growth-oriented technology executive with expertise in operational execution and results-driven performance in a variety of complex technical fields including content management, e-commerce, workflow management, and financial services. His focus and passion is to advance technology initiatives that specifically enable the active collaboration and connection between individuals, teams, and businesses. He is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Avid, a publicly traded technology media provider with over 1,500 employees worldwide.

Prior to joining Avid, Mr. Hernandez was the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Open Solutions Inc., a technology provider to financial institutions worldwide, which was sold in January 2013 to Fiserv, Inc. for over $1 billion. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for HSBC North America Holdings, Inc., HSBC USA Inc., ScoreBig, Inc., and Aspect Software. He is an award-winning entrepreneur who has founded and advised technology organizations ranging from startups to large publicly traded companies.

Mr. Hernandez is the author of two books, Saving the American Dream — Main Street’s Last Stand, and Too Small to Fail, numerous articles, and has received many professional distinctions for his expertise in business and technology. He has also been a featured guest on Fox Business, CNBC, ABC News, and Bloomberg TV, where he discusses technology, economics, strategic planning, and globalization. He has been inducted in the Financial Technology Innovator Hall of Fame by Banking Technology News.

Through his private foundation, Mr. Hernandez actively supports children’s issues and advances in healthcare and education. Additionally, he is involved in a diverse range of community issues, including advancing the physical and emotional health of children, and promoting education in science. In particular, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation named Mr. Hernandez a Community Leader of the Year in honor of his many contributions to the community.

Victor Budnick
Senior Managing Director – Ironwood Capital

Victor joined Ironwood Capital in 2006 with a focus on early and growth stage companies, including both equity and venture debt investments. In 2010 he co-founded Ironwood Capital Connecticut, which manages capital focused on financings in Connecticut companies. Victor leads the effort to invest those funds across the capital spectrum in companies at various development stages.

Since 2007, he has been a partner and member of the investment committee for the firm’s equity fund with a primary focus on growth capital and mezzanine investments in expansion stage businesses. For over 10 years, Victor was the President and Executive Director of Connecticut Innovations, the State of Connecticut’s investor in emerging technology companies and a national model for public investment in the health care and technology sectors, achieving returns commensurate with its most successful private sector peers. Throughout his investment career, he has served as a board member or participated as a board representative and advisor to more than 50 companies.

From 2010 to 2011 he served as the initial Lead Venture Mentor at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute and helped create the venture mentoring program. He continues as a member of the YEI Operating Board. He has received the Connecticut Technology Council’s 2011 Technology Leadership Award for contributions to the technology community, including introducing direct public investment in emerging technology companies in Connecticut. He is a recipient of the Connecticut Venture Group Leadership Award in recognition of his contributions to the Connecticut technology and venture communities and of the Seton Elm Award in recognition of efforts to strengthen ties between Yale University and the City of New Haven.

Victor received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and is a graduate of both Harvard Law School and the Yale School of Management.