National Equity Fund

About NEF

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.

Our Mission & Vision

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.

Our Commitment to Diversity Equity and Inclusion

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.

Originations

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.

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Asset Management

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.

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Investor Relations

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.

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Dispositions

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.

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Teams of Experts

EXTRAORDINARY THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU HAVE GREAT PARTNERS.

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.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)

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.

Annual Report

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. 

MEET THE TEAM

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.

Leadership Team
Board of Directors

Leadership Team

 Matt Reilein

Matt Reilein

President and CEO

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

Reena Bramblett

SVP Equity Placement

Reena Bramblett joined National Equity Fund in 2010. She serves as NEF’s Senior Vice President for equity placement, responsible for developing investment strategies as well as placing product with NEF’s funds.

Throughout her tenure at NEF, 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

Alex Denja

SVP CFO/COO

Alex Denja originally joined National Equity Fund in 2001 and is NEF’s Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer. Throughout his tenure, Denja’s forward-looking and proactive perspective has helped create the success from which both NEF and its investors benefit.

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 and worked for BP as a finance manager before returning to NEF in 2010.

His experience and background in finance and accounting with these organizations 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 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 and serves on the Audit Committee for New Markets Support Corporation, and affiliate of NEF.

Gaylene Domer

Gaylene Domer

VP Facilities Management

Gaylene Domer joined National Equity Fund in 1988 and is currently the Vice President of Facilities Management. Domer 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, employee customer service and has been instrumental in maintaining a safe, pleasant and productive workplace.

Throughout her time at NEF, 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

Peter Harrison

SVP Asset Management

Peter Harrison joined National Equity Fund in 1999, and is the Senior Vice President of Asset Management, responsible for asset management, construction risk management, and asset resolution. Harrison’s more than 40 years of diverse experience with asset management, development, and construction provides him with the tools to work closely and collaboratively with developers, property managers, financial advisors, and investors to effectively oversee NEF’s portfolio of more than 1,500 partnerships and 115,000 housing units.

Harrison formerly served as Vice President of Asset Management Operations where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of asset management and the oversight of construction risk management.

Before joining NEF, Harrison worked as Project Manager for Staalsen Construction Co. Inc. where he specialized in multifamily and LIHTC development. Prior to that, he worked for Bethel New Life, Inc., a non-profit community development corporation, and with LSE real estate development, all located in Chicago.

Harrison has an MBA from Keller School of Management and a bachelor of science from Southern Illinois University.

Jaclyn Jackson

Jaclyn Jackson

SVP Chief Human Resources Officer

Jaclyn Jackson joined National Equity Fund in 2020 and is the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. Jackson’s 12 years of talent development 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 and marking and communication responsibilities for 180+ employees.

Jackson most recently served as Vice President of Human Resources for the Helping Hand Center, a 300-person organization serving children and adults with disabilities 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. Jackson also oversaw the Marketing and Information Technology departments, which resulted in increased effectiveness and efficiencies for programing.  Additionally, in her role on the executive team, she developed the board governance practices and processes.

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.

Mike Jacobs

Mike Jacobs

SVP Originations

Michael Jacobs originally joined National Equity Fund in 1999 and is a Senior Vice President and the 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 20 years of experience in the affordable housing industry, most recently serving as vice president for The Alliant Company. Prior to that he was the Midwest region vice president of acquisitions for NEF where he worked for more than 11 years before returning in mid-2012. Jacobs was also the director of property and asset management at Heartland Housing in Chicago and acted as policy liaison for the Ann Arbor Historic District Commission in Michigan.

A graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor of science, Jacobs also holds a master's in urban planning from the University of Michigan.

Stewart Jester

Stewart Jester

SVP Project Management

Stewart Jester joined National Equity Fund in 2007 and is a Vice President in NEF’s Project Management group. In this role, Jester is responsible for the seamless and comprehensive management of the due diligence, underwriting, investment recommendation and lower tier closing process for assigned project investments.

With more than 18 years in the affordable housing industry, Jester previously served as a Senior Project Manager for the Better Housing Coalition, a Richmond, Virginia‐based corporation that develops affordable housing through the LIHTC program. Throughout his time at NEF, Jester has held positions in the originations and underwriting groups.

Jester obtained 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 is also an accredited member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Mike Rogers

Mike Rogers

SVP & General Counsel

Mike Rogers first joined National Equity Fund in 1996 and serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. 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 Holland & Knight LLP, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Greenberger, Krauss & Jacobs, Chartered.

Rogers obtained both a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Indiana University.

Judy Schneider

Judy Schneider

SVP Chief Risk Officer

Judy Schneider joined National Equity Fund in 2001 and serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer. In these roles, her main responsibility lies in underwriting and structuring new investment acquisitions. She also manages NEF’s Year 15 Disposition Program.

Throughout her tenure, Schneider has established an underwriting department to evaluate the market, operations and guarantor capacity for new proposed projects.  In addition, she continues to focus on developing systems and procedures to ensure consistency in risk analysis and reporting.

Her prior roles include vice president and Midwest manager at Bank One Community Development Corporation, VP underwriting and development for Ohio Capital Corporation, and housing development officer for the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

Schneider has a bachelor of arts degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a master of city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ed Simon

Ed Simon

SVP Chief Information Officer

Ed Simon joined National Equity Fund in 2000 and serves as Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

Simon created NEF’s first web-based tax credit management system and is responsible for introducing new technologies that keep the organization at the leading edge of tax credit software.

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

Mark Siranovic

SVP Investor Relations

Mark Siranovic joined National Equity Fund in 1994 and is the Senior Vice President, Capital Markets. In this role, Siranovic brings his extensive experience in treasury management, financial analysis and accounting. Concentrating on raising LIHTC capital from new investors and continuing NEF’s annual multi-investor fund opportunities, Siranovic oversees NEF’s fund management team.

Throughout NEF, Siranovic is credited with the creation of the organization’s secondary, guarantee transaction processes, regional fund approach and implementing the fund financing structures for some of its largest investors. Additionally, Siranovic 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.

Siranovic has a BSC and MBA from DePaul University and is also a certified public accountant.

Board Members

Vicky Arroyo

Vicky Arroyo

President and COO
The Resurrection Project
Bob Cooney

Bob Cooney

SVP & General Counsel
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Andrew Ditton

Andrew Ditton

Retired, Former Head of CRA Business Strategy and Execution
Citi Global Markets, Inc.
Helen Dunlap

Helen Dunlap

Independent Housing Consultant
Eldridge Edgecombe

Eldridge Edgecombe

Retired, Former SVP
Federal Home Loan
Bank of Chicago
Lisa Glover, Vice Chairman

Lisa Glover, Vice Chairman

President & CEO
LISC
Jane Graf

Jane Graf

Retired, Former President and CEO
Mercy Housing
John Lindell

John Lindell

Retired, Former Partner
KPMG, LLP
Mike Mantle

Mike Mantle

Managing Director
Morgan Stanley Global Sustainable Finance
Michael May

Michael May

Executive Managing Director-Vice Chairman
Newmark Knight Frank
Patrick Nash

Patrick Nash

Retired, Former Managing Director
JPMorgan Capital Corporation
Matt Reilein

Matt Reilein

President and CEO
National Equity Fund
Gary Rozier

Gary Rozier

Managing Director
Oak Street Real Estate Capital
Edward Sigler, Chariman

Edward Sigler, Chariman

Retired, Former Managing Director
JPMorgan Chase Bank
Sindy Spivak

Sindy Spivak

SVP West Region Market Executive Community Development Banking
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Kristen Switzer

Kristen Switzer

SVP Business Development
U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation