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The Fintech Finance 40: Justin Brownhill

Managing Partner, SenaHill Partners

  • By Jeffrey Kutler

<The Fintech Finance 40

Currently ranked: 17
Previously ranked: 16

For SenaHill Partners, the merchant bank named for co-founders Neil DeSena and Justin Brownhill, the first half of 2017 was more about healing than dealing.

DeSena died in February at 52, and the ensuing months were “profoundly difficult, personally and professionally,” says Brownhill, the firm’s managing partner. He eulogized DeSena, a former Goldman Sachs Group trading-technology visionary, as “a great man of the highest character and integrity [whose] intention was always to fill the void on Wall Street by accelerating technology adoption and innovation by the financial services industry.” SenaHill was “Neil’s brainchild,” says Brownhill, who before co-founding the firm in 2013 was chief executive officer of Receivables Exchange, an online marketplace for the purchase and sale of working capital.

Brownhill also has years of investment banking experience, including at Citigroup as recently as 2006. Earlier in his career he worked for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, which was acquired by Credit Suisse Group in 2000, and Salomon Brothers, bought by Travelers Group in 1997. (Travelers merged with Citigroup the following year.)

Beyond his own résumé, Brownhill points to SenaHill’s deep bench of talent and continued push to accelerate business. “We are growing and hiring and honoring Neil’s legacy,” he says.

In July, SenaHill announced that it had hired Todd Ruppert, who retired from T. Rowe Price Group in 2012, to spearhead its global advisory initiative. Ruppert had been CEO and president of T. Rowe’s global investment services group.

Brownhill sees technologies increasingly “flowing both ways” between the U.S. and overseas, and says, “We want to be ahead of that curve.”

SenaHill’s portfolio includes digital lender InterNex Capital, which in May raised $3.85 million in a seed offering. On the advisory side of its business, SenaHill in 2017 assisted bond trading platform Electronifile on its deal to be bought by Trumid Financial; and advised trading analytics specialist OTAS Technologies on its sale to Liquidnet Holdings.

See the full Fintech Finance 40 here.

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