Mark McCarthy
Managing Director

Mark McCarthy is a Director of Ascension Finance. At Ascension, Mark focuses on origination, client relationships and credit decisions.

Mark has also been a Director and Chief Credit Officer at RMK, a maritime-focused investment bank and advisory firm, for nearly five years. Mark has over 30 years’ experience in ship finance and has been involved in total loan and lease exposures of more than US$5 billion on 500+ vessels.

Before Ascension and RMK, Mark was Head of Shipping at Santander UK (previously Alliance & Leicester Commercial Finance) where the team had created a $3.5 billion shipping debt and lease portfolio. As well as establishing the ship finance team and portfolio at Alliance & Leicester, Mark handled debt restructurings, maritime security enforcement and restructuring of UK tax leases.

Prior to being at Alliance & Leicester, Mark had various roles across the ship-finance industry, beginning at Royal Bank of Scotland. In the early 1990’s, Mark took over responsibility for the ship lending book at Berliner Bank’s London, after which he then spent several years as a ship finance consultant at specialist firms.

Richard Moore
Director

Richard Moore is a Director of Ascension Finance. At Ascension, Richard focuses on client development and special situations.

Richard also heads the London office of RMK, a maritime-focused investment bank and advisory firm. Richard has been working exclusively in the shipping industry for 27 years. He has chartered, bought, sold, financed and arranged the investment in more than 150 vessels in multiple shipping sectors with values exceeding $5.0 billion.

From 2006-2012 Richard was Managing Director of Syncap Marine Limited, a structured finance firm in the maritime industry that was merged into RMK. From 2002-2006, Richard worked at Synergy Finance Limited, a UK tax leasing specialist that arranged more than $3 billion of tax leases in the shipping industry. From 1994 – 2002 prior to his career change into finance, Richard worked in sale and purchase at Braemar plc, Seascope Shipping and Hintz Lea & Davis, having originally trained as a chartering broker at Giles Pritchard Gordon Ltd.

Richard is a Liveryman with the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, is a Trustee of the Parachute Regiment Charity with focus on the Charities finances and investments and is a Trustee of AAL and its associated Museum.

Michael Kirk
Director

Michael Kirk is a Director of Ascension Finance. At Ascension, Michael focuses on origination, credit and investor communication.

Michael also runs the New York office of RMK, an maritime-focused investment bank and advisory firm. At RMK, he concentrates on capital raising, structuring and advisory. He has spent 15 years in finance, the last 13 of which have had a maritime focus. He has worked across the capital structure and has advised on more than $5.0 billion worth of transactions.

Prior to Ascension and RMK, Michael founded MTK Capital. MTK advised both shipping companies and institutional investors looking at maritime investments, and ultimately merged into RMK. For two years previously, Michael was a Vice President at Dahlman Rose & Co, where he worked solely on maritime transactions and was the coverage officer for Greece. Prior to that, Michael was an AVP in DVB Bank’s London office. Michael started his career at HSBC Bank in London on the Energy & Utilities Corporate Finance Team.

Michael holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.

Charles H. Bonner
Assistant Director

Charles H. Bonner is an Assistant Director at Ascension Finance. At Ascension, Charles focuses on credit analysis and alternative investment structures.

Charles has spent 10 years in the shipping and energy sector in commercial and financial roles, half of which has been exclusively maritime focused. Charles has worked across the capital structure and has advised on over $4.0 billion worth of transactions.

Prior to Ascension and RMK, Charles worked in investment banking covering the broader energy sector, most recently with Morgan Stanley. Charles advised and executed various M&A, debt and equity capital raise, and restructuring assignments across the energy value chain. Charles previously worked for AP Moller Maersk, Maersk Tankers in the commercial management of handysize and MR product tankers.

Charles holds a Master in Business Administration from the University of Texas and a bachelor’s degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Charles holds a 3rd Mate Unlimited Tonnage License from the US Coast Guard and has commercial sea time onboard LNG, tanker and container vessels.

David Sparkes
Managing Director

David Sparkes is a Managing Director of Ascension Finance. At Ascension, David focuses on origination, client relationships and credit decisions.

David has over 20 years’ experience in ship finance and has been involved in originating and structuring in excess of 80 loan transactions totalling more than $3 billion involving approximately 400 vessels.

Before Ascension, David worked for 35 years at Scotiabank, a leading Canadian multinational wholesale bank. He spent the last 20 years covering shipping and transportation where the team was responsible for the growth and management of a portfolio, which exceeded $4 billion. David also has extensive experience in financing for the aviation industry.

Georgios Keros
Associate

Georgios Keros is an Associate at Ascension Finance. At Ascension, Georgios works from loan origination through loan service and monitoring.

Georgios is also an Associate at RMK, a maritime-focused investment bank and advisory firm. He has worked in the shipping industry as an analyst for four years focusing on market research in the Dry Bulk, Tanker and Container sectors. At RMK, Georgios focuses on financial and credit analysis supporting the company’s advisory and financing projects, in addition to analysing market fundamentals and public shipping companies.

Prior to Ascension, Georgios worked for Navios Maritime Group in the New York office as well as at an established private shipping group based in Athens, Greece. Georgios also worked in Athens, Greece for Axia Ventures Group, an investment bank headquartered in Cyprus and with a focus on Southern Europe.

Georgios holds a bachelor’s degree from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business - University of Michigan.

Danielle Porter
Executive Assistant

Danielle Porter is an Executive Assistant and Office Manager at Ascension Finance. Danielle is in charge of the office management and accounting aspects within the company as well as providing support with industry research and project analysis

Danielle is also an Executive Assistant and Office Manager at RMK, a maritime-focused investment bank and advisory firm. She has over 12 years’ experience as a PA/EA and Office Manager to senior Boards of Directors.

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