About Us

About Us

Throughout their careers, EFA's senior team has closed and managed over $14.5 billion of financings in the entertainment, media and technology sectors. Since forming in 2009, EFA has been retained by over 100 clients to arrange capital and advise on mergers and acquisitions, business plans, divestitures, investment opportunities, restructuring plans and general business strategy.

Ralph Willis

Ralph Willis - Managing Partner

Ralph has more than 25 years of experience in the finance sector. Prior to forming EFA in 2009, he was a Managing Director for GE Capital where he founded and led the entertainment unit of their media finance business for five years. At GE Capital he was responsible for leading a team of sales and risk professionals that closed and/or managed over $3 billion of transactions within a number of entertainment sectors including film exhibition (theaters/digital cinema/3-D/alternative content), leisure (theme parks/ski resorts/FECs/sports), production (film/music/video games) and casinos (Las Vegas/regional).

From 2001 to 2004, Ralph was a Managing Director and had responsibility for leading teams at GE Capital that managed a $500 million entertainment/media portfolio and a $500 million distressed debt portfolio. He was with Heller Financial from 1999 to 2001 where he was a founding member of Heller’s EMX group that focused on the entertainment and media sectors. Ralph has also held finance positions with Gilman Financial Services, the financing unit of a privately held paper company, and with CIS Corporation, a technology leasing company.

Ralph is also very involved within his local community. He sits on the board of the Human Services Council of Norwalk, CT, which provides services for many non-profit organizations within the area. He led GE Capital’s efforts with the 'Children's Connection' for five years, collecting holiday gifts for under-privileged children. He was on the board of Trackside, the teen center of Wilton, CT, for four years. In 2008, Ralph was nominated for GE’s prestigious Phillippe Award for outstanding community volunteer leadership. He is currently an ‘executive-in-residence’ at the University of New Haven, making guest lecturing appearances on the entertainment and sports sectors.

Ralph has a B.S. in Marketing from Syracuse University’s School of Management and has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. He has Series 7 and 63 licenses as a general securities representative. Ralph resides in Wilton, Connecticut with his wife, daughter and son. He is an investment banking representative under FINRA.
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Brandt Gully

Brandt Gully - Managing Partner

Brandt's nearly 20-year career has been in financial services. Prior to forming EFA in 2009, he spent nine years in GE Capital's media finance business. His most recent role there was Vice President of Originations to the entertainment unit that closed and/or managed over $3 billion of transactions within entertainment sectors including film exhibition, leisure, sports, film and music production and casinos. In this role, Brandt served as GE Capital’s sole sales and relationship manager for film exhibition and he established strong relationships with numerous theatre operators and digital cinema companies.

Prior to this, Brandt served in several other capacities in GE Capital’s media finance business. In 2005, he and his family moved to London, England so that he could lend his media and entertainment expertise to the newly formed European media and entertainment group as they established a presence in these sectors. Previous roles within the media business include being a founding member of GE's Special Situations Group as well as being a member of their risk team where he underwrote new debt and equity transactions and managed a portfolio across many media, communications and entertainment sectors. Across all of these roles at GE, Brandt worked closely with more than 15 different film exhibition companies in the US and Europe.

Before joining GE Capital in 2000, he also spent five years as an auditor for Ernst & Young, where he managed financial audits for media, communications, healthcare and manufacturing companies.

Brandt is a licensed CPA in the state of Georgia and holds Series 7 and 63 licenses as a general securities representative. He earned his accounting degree from Samford University in 1995 and currently resides in Atlanta. He is an investment banking representative under FINRA.
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Kenny Favre

Kenny Favre - Managing Partner

Kenny has over 20 years of experience in entertainment finance and entertainment production. Prior to forming EFA in 2009, he was with GE Capital from 2001 to 2008. His most recent role there was Vice President of Originations in the entertainment unit of their media finance business, which closed and/or managed over $3 billion of financings within entertainment sectors including film exhibition (theatres/digital cinema/3-D/alternative content), leisure (theme parks/ski resorts/FECs/sports), production (film/music/video games) and casinos (Las Vegas/regional).

The group delivered a unique perspective to its clients through its relationship with GE Capital’s sister company, NBC Universal, and Kenny was instrumental in establishing a wide network of NBCU relationships in the digital cinema, film production, film services, video games, music and sports sectors.

Prior to this, Kenny was a portfolio manager with GE Capital, managing over $500 million of investments in the media, entertainment, technology and industrial sectors. From 1999 to 2001, Kenny was with Heller Financial’s EMX group, which provided financing for the entertainment and media sectors. He was primarily responsible for underwriting new investment opportunities and managing the group’s portfolio.

Kenny brings a unique perspective to the industry, combining his finance expertise with his years of experience in entertainment production. Prior to his work at Heller, he spent 10 years as a Producer and Managing Director of the Willow Cabin Theatre Company, which was an Off-Broadway production company based in New York City. The theatre company received critical acclaim, garnering one Tony award nomination as well as three Drama Desk award nominations. Simultaneously, Kenny was also employed by the Howard Gilman Foundation where he was responsible for monitoring the group’s investments.

Kenny holds an MBA from Baruch College Zicklin School of Business and a B.S. in Music from Hunter College’s Baccalaureate Program. He also studied graduate level media studies and film production at The New School in New York City. Kenny resides in Centerport, New York with his wife, son and daughter. He is an investment banking representative under FINRA.
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David Harrington

David Harrington - Managing Director

David has 20+ years of corporate finance, investment banking and operating experience in the media, technology and information services industries. He joined EFA in 2012 and focuses primarily on broadcasting, cable, publishing, outdoor, telecommunications and information services transactions.

David is a former Managing Director in GE Capital’s media, communications and entertainment group where he closed over $1.5 billion in leveraged capital and equity tag-along financings for acquisitions, recapitalizations and growth transactions. He was also a co-founder and CFO of Grapevine Communications, a broadcast media company that raised over $300 million in debt and equity capital to fund its acquisition-driven growth. Prior to his work at Grapevine, he was the founder and principal of DMH Capital, which provided investment banking services to operating and investment concerns in the media and communications industry, and a Senior Vice President in the middle market communications finance group of Barclays Bank. David earned a BS in Economics from Babson College.
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Robert Raciti

Robert Raciti - Managing Director

Robert has over 25 years of technology operational experience of which fourteen years was focused on deal origination, capital raising, and deal execution. He joined EFA in 2014 and focuses primarily on technology, telecommunications and the information technology industries. Previously, he was a Managing Director of The Silverfern Group where he ran the firm’s telecom, media and technology practice and originated private equity transactions, underwrote investments, and worked closely with financial sponsors.

Robert was also the Senior Vice President with GE Capital’s Media, Communications, and Entertainment group where he provided industry expertise to financial sponsors and internal GE underwriting teams. While at GE, he provided industry diligence to over 600 transactions of which over 90 closed, representing over $8 billion in funded deal volume.

Robert has also held operational roles for Pitney Bowes, MCI Telecommunications, and Loral. He led large IT organizations that built data centers and advanced communications systems; designed voice, data, e-commerce platforms; and designed hardware and software platforms for Fortune 250 firms and the United States Air Force. He has also been a regular speaker at Investment/Technology conferences and has been profiled in business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal and the Commercial Lending Review.

Robert holds a Ph.D. in information systems from Nova Southeastern University's School of Computer and Information Sciences, an MBA in finance and marketing from Fordham University, and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, cum laude, from Manhattan College. He also holds an Investment Banking securities license Series 63 and 79.
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Affiliated with Synergy Capital I, LLC (Member of FINRA and SIPC)

Big Al’s is a growing Washington-based company formed in 2006 that develops and operates upscale, state-of-the-art, family-friendly, restaurant/entertainment venues throughout the Northwest

Background: Big Al’s engaged EFA to assist with a $7 million financing needed for additional equipment to help grow the company. EFA reviewed the company’s situation and advised Big Al’s to consider a larger financing to unlock the equity value in certain assets.

EFA Process: EFA went to market exploring both options and closed on a $26 million transaction that EFA recommended to the company. EFA was able to procure and negotiate several financing proposals and led the closing effort. EFA continues to help Big Al’s as it works to grow its business by opening more venues.

Result: Maximized the asset value and locked in attractive rates for the current economic environment.

start quoteIt has been a pleasure working with Kenny Favre and the team at EFA as they understand the leisure industry and have deep relationships with industry financiers. EFA analyzed our current financial situation and growth plans, and then recommended and executed on a financing structure that we hadn’t previously considered.end quote

Daniel Kirkwood,
Founder and CEO of Big Al’s

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Television broadcast company owning and operating WGGB-TV and WGGB-TV D2, the ABC and FOX network affiliates serving the Springfield-Holyoke, MA market

Background: Initially approached by Gormally Broadcasting to arrange financing to recapitalize the company and fund planned acquisition growth. EFA became company’s sell-side advisor when industry changes and market forces made exploring a sale a more advantageous and financially rewarding strategic option for the company.

EFA Process: EFA was successful in securing financing commitments to fund a recapitalization and several acquisitions during the initial engagement focus. However, marketplace dynamics noted above resulted in EFA recommending a company sale. EFA provided a tailored, results-oriented approach from start to finish.

Result: EFA identified Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) as the leading buyer and managed all aspects of the sale, maximizing the sales price received for the company.

start quoteIt was a pleasure working with Dave Harrington and the team at EFA. Through Dave’s deep industry knowledge, relationships and marketplace expertise, we were able to maximize the ultimate value of our company’s broadcast assets. end quote

John Gormally,
Founder, Owner and President of Gormally Broadcasting

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Growing movie theatre company that provides an in-theatre dining experience with over 100 screens throughout the US

Background: Longtime client that initially approached EFA seeking junior capital to grow its business.

EFA Process: After reviewing the company's capital structure and growth plans EFA recommended a financing structure that would recapitalize the company and provide significant growth capital.

Result: Closed two financings that recapitalized the company and provided growth for new theatres. Studio Movie Grill remains an EFA client for M&A opportunities.

start quoteWe were delighted to work with the EFA Partners team on our second successful financing with them. Their wide range of capital markets experience, banking relationships and deep knowledge of the cinema and location-based entertainment industries made them the perfect choice to assist with our financing efforts, which support SMG's active growth strategy. end quote

Brian Schultz,
Owner, founder and President of Studio Movie Grill

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Television and motion picture post-production and digital content management services

Background: Company approached EFA seeking refinancing of its debt subsequent to other advisors attempting to do so with a combination of senior debt and equity.

EFA Process: After reviewing its capital structure EFA recommended a debt structure to fully refinance the company's debt.

Result: Closed senior debt facility that refinanced the company's existing debt, which was much more cost-effective than equity.

start quoteThe EFA team proposed a creative strategy to recapitalize Modern VideoFilm that met our needs in a way that was unique and different from what other financial advisory firms proposed to us. We appreciated their understanding of the entertainment industry and EFA's extensive financial relationships and we look forward to continuing our relationship. end quote

Moshe Barkat,
CEO and President of Modern VideoFilm

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Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner's well established movie theatre company - with almost 300 screens located throughout the US

Background: Landmark approached EFA for an equipment financing to convert its screens from 35mm to digital projection.

EFA Process: While the company had many financing options given its strong ownership, its management was busy with business operations and retained EFA to handle the digital conversion financing process.

Result: Closed equipment financing facility utilized for all of its digital projectors. EFA led all aspects of the financing including negotiation of complex digital cinema conversion agreements.

start quoteEFA's unique knowledge and experience with film exhibition and digital cinema was extremely helpful in leading our financing process. Landmark prides itself in providing the best customer experience to its patrons and we are excited that this financing will allow us to continue that with our digital conversion. end quote

Sky Hansen,
Chief Financial Officer of Landmark Theatres

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Growing upscale restaurant entertainment company with venues that provide dining, bowling, arcades and live entertainment

Background: Company approached EFA seeking capital to refinance debt at its inaugural location in Jacksonville, FL.

EFA Process: After reviewing its capital structure and growth plans, EFA recommended a two-stage approach to provide development capital and equipment financing for new locations.

Result: Initially, closed a financing to refinance debt at its existing site and provided capital to develop two new sites. Subsequently closed an equipment financing for the new sites. Latitude 360 remains an EFA client for refinancing and M&A opportunities.

start quoteWe're excited to continue our relationship with the EFA team. They understand the location-based entertainment industry and have deep relationships with financiers as well as strategic industry participants, all of which will help us execute on our growth plans. end quote

Brent Brown,
Founder and President of Latitude 360

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Television industry management group formed to manage and operate US TV stations

Background: Huntington approached EFA seeking capital for potential television station acquisitions.

EFA Process: EFA understood that private equity firms and lenders are seeking experienced management teams to back for acquisition opportunities in the television sector.

Result: EFA has introduced the company to several private equity firms as well as senior lenders, resulting in bids for groups of television stations and the company continues to seek other opportunities, with EFA’s assistance.

start quoteWe are acutely aware of the trends that are transforming the local broadcast TV business and have recently begun to explore opportunities to acquire stations. We are very excited about the prospects for the industry and the opportunities to capitalize upon. We are also pleased to have EFA Partners as our financial advisor as their many years of media industry experience and extensive financial relationships will help us accomplish our goal of building a best-in-class station group.

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David Tynan,
CEO of Huntington Broadcast Management Group

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