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team

The principals of Garros Group possess the blend of financial, transactional and operating expertise with extensive transactional histories, both as advisors and principals. In total, we bring a combined 35 years of success in the business, and possess a solid track record of helping both companies and investors maximize value.

Phillip A. Fresen
Managing Director

Phil has over eighteen years of investment banking experience encompassing M&A advisory engagements, public and private financings and strategic advisory services. His practice focus has been in the information services industry with a specialty expertise in technology-enabled marketing services, including Internet advertising and digital media. He brings an extensive network of industry relationships built over close to two decades to the firm. He is an active participant in industry conferences and been named to AlwaysOn Media’s “Power Players in Digital Media” in the investment banking category.

Prior to the Internet boom in the mid-1990’s, Phil joined Furman Selz, a prominent mid-sized investment bank with a focus on the media and technology industries, and subsequently ING Barings upon its acquisition of Furman Selz. Phil helped lead the formation of an Internet Services group at Furman Selz ING Barings. In addition, Phil co-founded Gridley & Company, a boutique investment bank focused on the information services industry. He began his investment banking career at Kidder Peabody.

Phil earned his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he served as teaching assistant to renowned Professor of Finance, Jeremy J. Siegel. Phil graduated Magna Cum Laude from Duke University.

He is married with three children. His spouse, Kathleen Horvath, is a former top ten professional tennis player in the world. In 1983, she beat Martina Navratilova at the French Open, the only loss that year for Martina. The spirit of achieving the seemingly impossible inspired the Garros Group name.

Ronald Wagner
Senior Operating Partner

Ronald is a senior operating executive with deep experience in the digital marketing services space - particularly within the performance marketing sector. Ronald was previously retained by owner groups to successfully restructure and build two interactive agencies (serving as President and COO of e-Storm, and CEO of Clear Ink) – both focused on customer acquisition and conversion. As its President (and General Manager of the parent company’s lead generation business), Ronald had full P&L responsibility for PartnerWeekly, a lead generation company in the financial services space which Ronald grew to over $100MM in annual revenues, through the parent company’s majority-share sale to a private equity firm in 2008. Early in his career, Ronald founded one of the nation's first pure interactive agencies, Ironlight Digital, which he sold to Publicis (NYSE:PUB).
 
Ronald is a recognized thought leader in the online marketing services space, and has presented at the E3, LeadsCon, OMMA Global and Internet World conferences around topics including general digital marketing services and performance marketing. He has also been featured in news articles relating to the Internet and technology in several publications, including USA Today and Wired. 

Ronald received his  B.A. from Lewis & Clark College and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

He is married with two children, and lives in Tiburon, California.