Our Team

The Strategic Group has brought together industry leading experts in the areas of investments, taxation, and corporate strategy.

Leadership

James Freeman, Co-Managing Partner

James Freeman - Managing Partner

Mr. Freeman specializes in niche areas of tax planning and works directly with high net worth investors, family offices and their trusted advisors. His expertise focuses on tax-deferred 1031 exchanges, tax-deferred opportunity zone funds, and conservation easements including numerous federal and state-sponsored tax credit and deduction strategies. He has an undergraduate degree and Master of Accounting from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MBA from Duke University. His prior work and board experience includes:

  • International Taxation Practice
  • Arthur Andersen and Deloitte
  • Valvoline Oil, Germany
  • President, Atlanta’s Georgia Society of CPA.

He is currently on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Society of CPAs and the Board of Governors of the Buckhead Club.

Ricky Novak, Co-Managing Partner

Ricky Novak, Co-Managing Partner

Mr. Novak specializes in niche areas of tax planning and works directly with high net worth investors, family offices and their trusted advisors. His expertise focuses on tax-deferred 1031 exchanges, tax-deferred opportunity zone funds, and conservation easements including numerous federal and state-sponsored tax credit/deduction strategies. His prior work and board experience includes:

  • International Taxation Practice
  • Arthur Andersen; the Real Estate Taxation Practice
  • Deloitte, Board of Directors
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Chair, Atlanta Bar’s Real Estate Section

He is the former president of the Real Estate Group of Atlanta.

Mike Fields, COO

Mike Fields, Chief Operating Officer

Biography

Mr. Fields manages the operational efforts of the various Strategic Group entities.  His responsibilities include driving the firm's strategic planning and execution, as well as evaluating, streamlining and maintaining efficient and compliant operations, finance, and investor relations strategies.  Mr. Fields has deep experience in lowering the barriers to entry for complex financial products and making those strategies easier for advisors and their clients to implement effectively.   Before joining the Strategic Group of Companies, Mr. Fields was a co-founder of Hatteras Funds in Raleigh, North Carolina where he most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer. Hatteras Funds was a boutique alternative investment firm which offered investments in hedge funds and private equity funds. Previously, Mr. Fields also was employed by Captrust Financial and Morgan Stanley. Mr. Fields received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida and his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida. Mr. Fields has also earned his designation as a Chartered Alternatives Investment Analyst (CAIA).

Steve Rothschild, Partner

Steve Rothschild, Partner

Mr. Rothschild specializes in niche areas of tax planning and works directly with high net worth investors, family offices, corporations, insurance companies, and trusted advisors. His expertise focuses on state and federal tax credits, tax-deferred 1031 exchanges, tax-deferred opportunity zone funds, and numerous federal and state-sponsored tax credit and deduction strategies. He has an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University majoring in Economics and Business Administration. His prior work and board experience includes:

  • Premisys Real Estate Services
  • Founding member of Preferred Real Estate Funds as well as State Tax Credit Exchange in Atlanta
  • An active member of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Association for Corporate Growth, and CCIM

Mr. Rothschild is also on the Board of Governors of the Buckhead Club and sits on advisory boards of various companies.

Directors

Lance Stafford CFA,
Senior Director

Lance Stafford works closely with tax professionals and other financial advisors to provide tax planning & mitigation solutions for high-net-worth investors, family offices and corporate taxpayers. Mr. Stafford brings over 20 years of capital markets experience to The Strategic Group after managing the equity sales & trading operation in the Southeast for several investment banking firms and subsequently advising high-net-worth investors at two prominent wealth management firms in Atlanta. A CFA charter holder, Mr. Stafford graduated from Emory University with a degree in economics and earned an MBA from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board at Hillside, Inc. and is a member of the Piedmont Driving Club and the Ansley Golf Club.

Jessica Freeman, Director of Fund Operations

Jessica Freeman serves as the Director of Fund Management for The Strategic Group. In this capacity she handles the reporting, compliance, and overall management of The Strategic Group’s series of private placement funds. Ms. Freeman has over two decades of experience in fund and project management. Prior to her time at Strategic, Ms. Freeman worked at Ashland and Valvoline handling supply chain logistics and data management. Ms. Freeman received her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Kentucky, and her Master of Business Administration from Indiana University.

Allen Taylor, Director of Capital Operations and Marketing

Allen Taylor is the Director of Capital Operations & Marketing where he focuses on the marketing, investor relations and product management needs of the Firm. Mr. Taylor has been involved in the asset management and private equity space for over a decade. Prior to his time at The Strategic Group, he managed investor relations at Avesta, a private real estate group, and was the Marketing Director for Private Wealth for Pantheon Ventures, a global private equity firm with over $38 Billion in AUM. Mr. Taylor also served as a Partner, and Director of Marketing for Hatteras Funds, a boutique alternative investment firm specializing in hedge funds and private equity. Prior to entering the financial services industry, Mr. Taylor served in several capacities for the Presidential Administration of George W. Bush in Washington D.C. Mr. Taylor received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee, where he was also on the track & cross country teams. Mr. Taylor is the founder and chairman of several charter schools, and sits on various community and non-profit boards.

Chris Martiner,
Managing Director

Chris Martiner focuses on origination, acquisition and syndication activities of tax credits and leads the joint venture efforts for The Strategic Group in the development and preservation of multifamily housing on a national scale. Mr. Martiner has more than 24 years in the tax credit syndication space having closed well over $1B of tax credit transactions. Prior to his time at The Strategic Group, he led acquisitions for the State Tax Credit Exchange, co-founded Churchill Stateside Group and was the Senior Vice President of Acquisitions for Alliant Capital. Mr. Martiner started his career as an Asset Manager at Boston Capital where he managed investor returns and yield forecasts for Boston Capital’s $850MM public fund portfolio. In 2009, Mr. Martiner founded CayCap Advisors, a nationally recognized outsourced originator and advisory firm, that strategically built a direct tax credit equity investment platform for one of the largest privately-held companies in the U.S. Mr. Martiner commonly acts as a key member and investor voice for many state housing coalitions and forums and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Central Connecticut State University.