National Equity Fund (NEF) is a leading nonprofit Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) syndicator and asset manager with a mission to create and deliver innovative, collaborative financial solutions to expand the creation and preservation of affordable housing. With a 35-year track record of success in affordable multi-family rental housing, our partners (investors and developers alike) consistently value our reliability, persistence, ingenuity, and high standards.
Beyond LIHTC, NEF offers additional financial solutions to help close the affordable housing gap in multiple ways that are aligned with our mission. Our expertise in pre-development, preservation, and workforce lending allows us to further assist our partners to expand their efforts to provide low-income and middle-income affordable housing.
Through our diverse multi- and single-investor funds, we generate opportunities rooted in our vision that all individuals and families across the country have access to stable, safe, and affordable homes that provide a foundation for them to reach their full potential.
Since 1987, NEF has invested more than $20.6 billion, creating 215,500 homes for people across the country. NEF is a Chicago-based affiliate of LISC and has donated $210 million in grants to support LISC’s community investment efforts.
National Equity Fund’s mission is to create and deliver innovative, collaborative financial solutions to expand the creation and preservation of affordable housing. We strive to be diverse, equitable and inclusive place to work so that our team has the experience and knowledge to effectively support our partners and communities.
Our vision is that all individuals and families across the country have access to stable, safe and affordable homes that provide a foundation for them to reach their full potential.
National Equity Fund strives to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive place to work so that our team has the experience and knowledge to effectively support the individuals, families, and communities we serve. We are committed to bridging the gap between people and communities across the country by embracing differences, learning from the unique experiences of our partners, residents, and employees and taking a leadership role to create a more inclusive world where everyone has access to a safe, stable and affordable home.
As a nonprofit and one of the largest syndicators in creating and preserving affordable housing, we acknowledge and embrace our responsibility to inspire, build and lead by example, and actively seek to employ and partner with those who have similar values in mission and vision. We are not afraid to speak openly and directly to the hard truths about the inherent legacy of discrimination built into our industry while taking deliberate and progressive steps to provide a more equitable and inclusive future for the next generations. We stand up and stand firm to give an opportunity to the nation’s most vulnerable populations and remain committed to doing what is right internally and externally to help people thrive today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Becoming an expert in your field takes time and commitment. It demands a thorough knowledge as well as a passion for what one does. That describes each person on our originations team.LEARN MORE
National Equity Fund’s asset management group has been in operation since the company’s inception in 1987. Comprised of more than 60 asset and construction management professionals with an average of 12 years of real estate experience, it is one of the largest and most experienced asset management groups in the industry.LEARN MORE
Our talented investor relations team is extraordinary at aligning the interests of affordable housing investors and developers. We continue to raise record capital as well as expand our diverse investment base.LEARN MORE
We have a team of talented professionals dedicated to navigating our partners through the disposition process. For each project disposition, we seek a win-win outcome and are proud to be one of the most user-friendly syndicators in the industry.LEARN MORE
Our professionals are experts in their fields and have years of experience in the affordable housing industry. Their commitment to excellence provides our partners with everything they need to succeed. National Equity Fund has invested more than $20.6 billion in revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering economic growth and creating affordable, sustainable housing since 1987.
One of the most efficient tools for financing affordable housing developments is the federal low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC). The credit, which was established in 1986 to encourage private investment, has aided in constructing almost 2.7 million new homes.
Last year was unprecedented in so many ways. Amid the reality of an ongoing global pandemic, and the magnification of the social and racial injustice that has been in place far too long, we heard an increasingly greater – and louder – call for help. The need for affordable housing, jobs and community support had never been more important or challenging.
National Equity Fund, Inc.'s board of directors and leadership team are more than just a group of the country's top affordable housing experts. They're also a strong team dedicated to helping communities grow responsibly. We know that our relationships with our investors and sponsors are critical to our success. We value those relationships and are committed to providing our partners with everything they need to achieve their goals. Please feel free to contact any senior staff member with questions or comments.
Matthew Reilein joined National Equity Fund, Inc. in June 2019 as president & CEO. Before joining the company, he served as managing director and partner overseeing community development and part of the Opportunity Zone team for Cresset Partners. Previously he was managing director and head of Impact Investing at O’Brien-Staley Partners and managing director, community development banking with JP Morgan Chase leading New Markets Tax Credit and intermediary lending with community development banking.
Reilein’s background provides a wealth of experience in community finance, development and impact investing. Since 2004, he has been building relationships and leading teams to deliver market-driven capital to low-income communities.
He has developed a reputation as a leader within the industry, and currently serves as the chair of the board of directors of Chicago Community Loan Fund. Reilein previously served on the executive committee of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition and has been frequently involved with the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) at the US Department of the Treasury on market dynamics.
Reilein holds a Master of Business Administration degree in finance and marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in international politics from Georgetown University. He serves on the Board of Governors of Georgetown University, the Metropolitan Planning Council and Timeline Theater.
Reena Bramblett serves as National Equity Fund, Inc.’s senior vice president for equity placement responsible for developing investment strategies as well as placing product with NEF’s funds.
Since joining NEF in 2010, Bramblett has played an instrumental role in the growth of proprietary equity placements and management of key investor relationships.
Bramblett previously worked as an auditor with Deloitte as well as occupying positions of SVP of underwriting and originations, chief risk officer and chief financial officer at Homestead Capital.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Connecticut and is also a certified public accountant.
Alex Denja is a senior vice president at National Equity Fund, Inc. and serves as its CFO and COO. Since joining NEF in 2001, Denja’s forward-looking and proactive perspective has helped create the success from which both NEF and its investors benefit.
His experience and background as a financial manager for BP and his years at NEF provide Denja with a comprehensive understanding of many areas of business and the ability to communicate with a variety of financial professionals.
Denja’s career began as an auditor for KPMG followed by a position as a financial analyst with marchFIRST, Inc. He left NEF in 2008 to accept a position as financial manager for BP before returning in 2010.
Denja has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana and an MBA from Northwestern’s University’s Kellogg School of Management. Denja is also a CPA.
Gaylene Domer is the vice president of facilities management at National Equity Fund, Inc. She is a master of everything office related, overseeing an annual budget of $3.1 million. Domer is responsible for the successful organization and coordination of all office operational procedures as well as employee customer service. She has been instrumental in maintaining a safe, pleasant, and productive workplace. Since joining NEF in 1988, Domer has worked to create an effective and efficient environment with innovative and motivational design elements for NEF’s highly professional and diversified workforce with a variety of needs.
Prior to joining NEF, Domer served as vice-president of operations for Best Auto Transport, Inc., vice-president of training for Zirl Smith & Associates, and held several posts at affordable housing organizations including Chicago Housing Authority, Wilmington Housing Authority in Delaware and Stark Metro Housing Authority in Ohio.
Peter Harrison is the senior vice president of asset management at National Equity Fund, Inc. and oversees NEF’s portfolio of over 1800 partnerships and 100,000 units.
Harrison formerly served as the vice president of asset management operations where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of asset management and prior to that as the director of construction risk management.
Before joining NEF in 1999, Harrison worked for 13 years as a construction project manager specializing in multifamily and LIHTC development, three years with a Chicago-based non-profit community development corporation, and three years with a private real estate developer.
Harrison earned a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Jaclyn Jackson is the SVP chief human resources officer at National Equity Fund, Inc. Jackson’s 12 years of recruiting and strategic planning experience provides her with the tools to work closely with NEF’s executive leadership team and staff to effectively oversee human resources responsibilities for about 175 employees.
Jackson most recently served as vice president of human resources for the Helping Hand Center, a 300-person organization serving disabled children and adults in the south suburbs of Chicago. There, she developed strategic plans related to the organization’s core mission, values, culture, succession planning, headcount management, compliance, and financial accountability.
Earlier in her career, Jackson was assistant director of human resources at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, which serves foster children in the Chicago area, and worked to support corporate clients at the National Able Network, helping companies determine and fulfill their staffing needs.
Jackson has an MBA as well as a master’s degree in human resources from Keller School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from DeVry University.
Michael Jacobs is a senior vice president and head of the acquisitions group overseeing the acquisition of low-income housing tax credit properties throughout the country. Jacobs’ acute sense of investment viability and long-term business perspective, along with his talent for collaboration helps maintain NEF’s competitive edge over other syndicators.
Jacobs has more than 25 years of experience in the affordable housing industry most recently serving as vice president for The Alliant Company for a brief time. Prior to that he was the Midwest region vice president of acquisitions for NEF where worked for more than 11 years before returning in mid-2012. He was director of property and asset management at Heartland Housing in Chicago from 1994-1999 and before that acted as policy liaison for the Ann Arbor Historic District Commission in Michigan.
A graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s of science, Jacobs also holds a masters in urban planning from the University of Michigan.
Stewart Jester is a senior vice president and head of the project management group at National Equity Fund, Inc. overseeing the underwriting and closing of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit projects throughout the United States.
With more than 16 years affordable housing development and syndication, Jester previously served as a senior project manager for the Better Housing Coalition, a community development corporation based in Richmond, Virginia, that develops affordable housing. He has been with NEF since July 2007 and has held positions in the acquisitions and underwriting department.
Jester holds a B.S. in history from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. He also is an accredited member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).
Mike Rogers serves as senior vice president and general counsel for National Equity Fund, Inc. He works with outside attorneys on complex LIHTC transactions and provides legal advice to NEF professionals in all areas of the business.
Prior to rejoining NEF in 2015, Rogers was senior counsel with Holland & Knight, representing investors and syndicators in LIHTC and New Markets Tax Credit Transactions. He has held positions with Sidley Austin LLP, Brent Kugman & Associates, FINOVA Capital Corporation, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Greenberger, Krauss & Jacobs, Chartered.
Rogers obtained a law degree from Indiana University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Indiana University.
Judy Schneider serves as senior vice president and chief risk officer for National Equity Fund, Inc. She oversees the Year 15 disposition program and is responsible for the credit review of new LIHTC investments, approval of post-closing/pre-stabilization, establishing procedures, and monitoring risks for new NEF ventures.
After joining NEF in 2001, Schneider led the underwriting department evaluating the market, operations and guarantor capacity for new proposed projects.
Her prior roles include vice president and Midwest manager at Banc One Community Development Corporation, VP underwriting and development for Ohio Capital Corporation, and housing development officer for the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.
Ed Simon serves as senior vice president and chief information officer for National Equity Fund, Inc. He has worked in the tax credit industry since 2001.
Simon is responsible for introducing new technologies keeping NEF at the leading edge of tax credit software. He also created NEF’s first web-based tax credit management system.
Prior to joining NEF, Simon worked with online retailers helping to expand their online market presence. He also worked on developing a loan management system that is still used today.
Simon has an engineering degree from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the Stuart School of Business.
Mark Siranovic brings his extensive experience in treasury management, financial analysis and accounting to his position of senior vice president, capital markets for National Equity Fund. Concentrating on raising LIHTC capital from new investors and continuing NEF’s annual multi-investor fund opportunities, Mark oversees NEF’s fund management team.
Since joining NEF in 1994, Mark is credited with the creation of NEF’s secondary and guarantee transaction processes and implementing the fund financing structures for some of its largest investors. Additionally, Mark worked on some of NEF’s syndicator takeovers, including responsibility for the integration of the Homestead transaction as well as a re-syndication of LP interests held by the FDIC.
Past positions include senior budget analyst with British Telecom North America, treasurer of Saul Stone & Co. and accountant with Glass Ginsburg Ltd.