Leadership

Graham Gullans

Co-Founder, Founding Managing Director

Graham is the Founding Managing Director of Empire Angels, focused on building the member network and leading group investments. Graham is an active angel, entrepreneur and board member. He led two round of financings into ZoomCar and sits on the board. Graham has a strong interest in fintech, social analytics and B2B startups and spends much of his time with portfolio companies. Graham blogs at GrahamUnplugged.VC

Graham founded LiftMetrix, an Empire Angels portfolio company in 2014. As COO he focuses much of his time on partnerships, customer acquisition and fundraising. Prior to Empire Angels, Graham was a Vice President at Citigroup. He developed and implemented a quantitative trading strategy, managing $1.5B in a statistical arbitrage equity portfolio. With his early years at Citigroup, Graham was an equity derivatives trader, solely managing the energy and risk-arbitrage portfolios. He graduated cum laude from the honors program of Boston College with a B.S. in Finance and Information Systems.

Christina Bechhold

Co-Founder, Managing Director

Christina is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Empire Angels, focused on sourcing and leading group investments as well as supporting portfolio companies. She is a Regular Contributor  for the Wall Street Journal on startups and small business, a mentor at The Brandery and Venture for America and a member of VFA’s Rise Committee focused on increasing diversity in entrepreneurship. She is a frequent speaker and panelist at events in the U.S., Europe and Asia and was recognized by the New York Business Journal as a 2016 Woman of Influence.

Christina is also an investor at Samsung’s Global Innovation Center, focused on early stage investments in software and services. She was previously a Vice President at Citigroup with background in capital markets, emerging markets and structured finance. She serves as Chairman of Hope on a String, a non-profit, grassroots organization that seeks to foster an environment of social transformation and economic development in Haiti through participation in music as well as Vice President of the Board of Governors of the Hotchkiss School Alumni Association. Christina graduated cum laude from the honors program of Boston College with a B.S. in Management and majors in Finance and Philosophy.

 


Advisors

Rishi Nangalia

CEO, REDI

    Rishi Nangalia is currently serves as the CEO of REDI, a financial technology consortium that he conceived of and spun out from Goldman Sachs in 2013, and which is now owned by 6 industry institutions.  He is charged with leading the team to achieve the strategic objectives of the innovative trading technology company and making REDI an integral part of the capital markets.  The REDI team is building a company that bridges the expertise of Wall Street with the innovation of a start-up, providing superior trading technology to institutional traders.

    In addition to his full time job, Rishi is very active in the start-up community investing, advising and (at times) incubating new concepts.  Like many angels, he got started by investing in people who were committed to changing the world, and he wanted to participate in that vicariously. Starting with a friend’s spa venture in 2006, his portfolio has grown over the past few years to include indie movie projects, innovative consumer finance, a farm to table restaurant chain, consumer electronics recycling, an RIA management platform, a fantasy sports trading platform, a custom clothing manufacturer, a parent social sharing platform, a parents-coaches matching marketplace, real estate ventures, and  others. He is actively working on other projects, including incubating a real-time performance review system which is currently in beta.

    Prior to REDI, Rishi managed Business Development and Strategic investments for Electronic Trading at Goldman Sachs. In his 13 years with the firm, he helped build an electronic trading business that grew from $150mm in 2001 to an over $1bn global business spanning across equities & derivatives.  He was promoted to Vice President in 2004 and Managing Director in 2007.

    Rishi earned an MBA in Finance & Entrepreneurship from Columbia Business School, an M.S. in Real Estate Development from Columbia University and a BBA from St. Xavier’s College, India.

    Chitra Narasimhan

    Managing Director, Citi Ventures

      Chitra Narasimhan joined Citi Ventures in January 2012 as part of the Incubation team based in NY.  She is responsible for leading new innovation initiatives in partnership with Citi businesses. Her areas of focus include customer service, digital engagement and commerce and payments.

      Chitra joined Citi from American Express, where she was most recently Senior Vice President and head of Strategy for the Enterprise Growth Division. In shaping the strategy for this new division, her primary focus was to identify innovations, technologies, and business models that are most relevant to online and mobile payments as well as digital commerce. Previously Chitra was a senior member of the Corporate Development group responsible for all types of M&A activities, including acquisitions, investments, joint ventures and divestitures globally across the Company. She completed a number of large strategic transactions including the sale of American Express Bank, the investment in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), and the spin-off of American Express Financial Advisors. Chitra was also instrumental in establishing and building the first Corporate Development team at American Express.

      Chitra started her career in investment banking at Credit Suisse First Boston focusing on real estate finance and fixed income securities. She serves on the Board of Bottomline, which supports low income NYC students to get in and through college. She is also a member of the Well, which supports the operations of Charity Water, an organization that brings clean water wells to global communities. Chitra graduated from Dartmouth College and has an MBA from Columbia University. She lives with her husband and three children in Scarsdale, NY.