Our Team

NUKU is a team of seasoned investment management professionals with collectively over 65 years of experience in the areas of asset identification, research, trading and investment.

Carson Cole Photo

Carson R. Cole

Founder, Chief Investment Officer, and Chairman of the Board

Carson Cole, 48, founded NUKU Inc. in June 2011. He has over 25 years financial management and research experience, focused on the study and practical management of investments. Mr. Cole served as an investment portfolio manager, head of research at two different firms, and was the founder of DebtTraders Inc., a global institution that specialized in high yield and distressed asset trading, with offices in New York, Chicago, London and Hong Kong.

Throughout his career, Mr. Cole has been an avid user and advocate of technology to facilitate the investment process. In 2005, he began to develop the concept behind NUKU. His vision was to simplify the investment process for investors, but this hinged on the development of radical improvements in technology to individually process an investor's goals. As ‘cloud computing’ was introduced and has matured in the last four years, the ability to launch a service like NUKU became possible, and Mr. Cole began development in 2008. By 2010, developmental showed significant promise, encouraging Mr. Cole to continue the work and to commercialize the NUKU service in June 2011.

Previously, Mr. Cole launched DebtTraders Inc. in 1999, and grew it to annual trading volume of nearly $14 billion globally in high yielding and distressed debt securities, during a period in which this asset class had tremendous appeal to institutional investors. DebtTraders was recognized as a global leader in the identification and sourcing of attractive and difficult-to-find securities in a mostly illiquid market. DebtTraders had over 100 employees, operating 24 hours a day through all major financial markets in New York, Chicago, London and Hong Kong.

Prior to DebtTraders, Mr. Cole served as the Head of Asian Fixed-Income and High Yield Research at Bankers Trust in Hong Kong from 1996 to 1999 and at Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) in Singapore from 1994 to 1996. From 1991 to 1994, Mr. Cole was a portfolio manager at Froley, Revy Investments in Los Angeles, and from 1989 to 1991, he was an analyst and portfolio manager at Colombia Savings & Loan, Beverly Hills, CA. Mr. Cole’s focus over the years has been identifying and valuing securities with high risk-adjusted returns. Mr. Cole graduated from the Whittemore School of Business at the University of New Hampshire in 1989. He has passed the Series 7, 24, 27, 63, and 65 industry exams.

Claus Lund Photo

Claus Lund

Board Director

Claus Lund, 60, has an extensive career in finance. He currently serves as a management consultant to Accedo Technologies and has previously served as a management consultant to a variety of finance-related business, including JustPrice, Prosper.com and Rex Mortgage. In 2008, he served as the Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Capital Markets at M&T Bank. From 2003 to 2007, he co-founded a real estate investment trust, Belvedere Trust, and served as its Chief Executive Officer. He has also served in senior management roles at Broad, Inc., Bank of America where he was executive vice president of Mortgage Asset Management, and Providian, where he was chief administrative officer, from 1985-2001. He served on the Board of Directors at Aegis and E-Loan between 2002 and 2008. Mr. Lund is a MBA graduate of UCLA and received a Master’s degree from Stanford. He also received a degree from Copenhagen University.

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Rick Hennessey

Board Director

Rick Hennessey, 48, is an accomplished serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and a pioneer in the mobile marketplace. He founded and successfully sold several businesses. Rick speaks globally at technology conferences, sits on several boards, and advisory committees.

Rick was recently CEO of Cequint, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of TNS, Inc. Prior to Cequint, Rick was the CEO of Dwango Wireless. Rick entered Dwango through the acquisition of his firm Over-The-Air Wireless. In the mobile industry, Rick has led the coordination of partnerships with the leading premium lifestyle brands such as ESPN, Rolling Stone, Beliefnet, Real Networks, Napster and has coordinated agreements with wireless carriers worldwide. Prior to OTA, Rick was founder and CEO of Sustainable Group (Sold Dec. 2008 to a Seattle based Green Investment Consortium), Eversio Technologies (Sold April, 2008 to BCW), Eversio Mobile (Sold in 2004 to Executive Wireless) and Syndeo Systems (Merged in 2001 to Covault).

Alex Vanderpol Photo

Alex Vanderpol

Chief Compliance Officer

Alex Vanderpol, 46, has over thirteen years experience in finance companies, banks and mid-size corporates managing in-house legal and compliance departments and various operational functions, including securities custody and clearing, client relationship management, and business development.

Mr. Vanderpol served as in-house counsel for DebtTraders, Inc. from 1999 to 2005. DebtTraders specialized in high yield and distressed asset research and trading, with offices in New York, Chicago, London and Hong Kong. From there, he joined ABN AMRO Bank in Singapore and Shanghai, China, leading the bank’s legal and compliance teams in China for two years to 2008. While at ABN AMRO, he built out the legal and compliance functions in China to a global standard that was able to effectively and fully implement the bank’s and regulators’ regulatory, legal and compliance requirements. After ABN AMRO, he joined one solar energy company in Shanghai, Hanwha Solar, Inc., as in-house counsel for three years; and another, Chint Solar, Inc., as in-house counsel and head of business development for a year and a half. Mr. Vanderpol holds a law degree from UCLA and was admitted to the California bar in 1998. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College. He has passed the Series 7, 63, and 65 industry exams.

Gina Ferro

Senior Operations Officer

Gina Ferro,46, has extensive experience in finance and business administration through her various roles in the financial industry. In 2011-2013, she served as a Director in Amadelphous AO Limited, an Entrepreneur’s Cooperative, wherein various professionals from different disciplines share expertise and resources to revitalize, develop and possibly finance potential businesses in green friendly industries. As part of Amadelphous, she served as Director at EcoQuest, a company which produces a 90% biodegradable nappy. She assisted in the Business Development by bridging distribution channels overseas, capital raising and reviewing and improving the companies’ costs and operational systems. She also served as Director in ICC (International Cocoa Company, Inc.), wherein she co-wrote the business plan, assisted in the capital raising by finding various financial overseas grants and specific local loans to farmer’s cooperatives for the initial phase of the plan. The plan begins with aggregating various indigenous farmer’s cooperatives in the Philippines which in turn will service the large demand of cocoa beans in the Asia Pacific region. The company secured guaranteed markets for the cocoa beans the farmers will produce for at least the next 10 years.

In 2010, she served as Manager at the Financial Shared Services company, Deutsche Knowledge Services, where she was responsible for business analysis and operational improvements in interest rates derivatives for the Tokyo market. In 2007-2009, she served as Vice President of Administration & Operations at Atherstone Capital (HK) Ltd and in 2000-2005, she served as Vice President & Operations Officer of the Settlements division of Debttraders Ltd. Gina has also worked with a number of commercial Asian banks including Dao Heng Bank, RCBC International Finance Limited and the Philippine Commercial International Bank. Gina holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration majoring in Finance in addition to a number of specialist and practising certificates from the Hong Kong Securities Institute.