Meet the Team

The World Business Lenders management team comes with over 100 years of experience and is dedicated to providing excellent customer service and loans that suit your business needs.

Doug Naidus

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Doug founded World Business Lenders in 2011. He has over 28 years of business-building and risk management experience in the financial services industry, during which he has focused on the development, structuring, trading, hedging and distribution of financial products on the retail and secondary markets. As Managing Director and Global Head of Residential Lending and Trading with Deutsche Bank, Doug successfully executed and managed business activities on five continents, including high-profile transactions in the United States, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. Prior to this role, Doug served as the Chairman and CEO of MortgageIT, which he founded in 1999, led through a successful IPO on the NYSE, placing it among the 10 largest mortgage banks in the United States, and sold to Deutsche Bank in 2007. Doug also founded and served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IPI Skyscraper, which became the largest mortgage broker in the Northeastern U.S. before its private sale.

Kerry Brecker

Managing Director, Retail Production

Kerry oversees retail production for WBL. He is a 25-year veteran in the financial services industry with extensive experience in sales production, business development and process management. From 2006 to 2010, in his role as Director at Deutsche Bank, Kerry was responsible for all U.S. based lending initiatives for the Bank and facilitated the financing of Fortune 500 real estate portfolios. From 1999 to 2006, he served as Director of Production at MortgageIT, where he was responsible for the retail lending initiative that contributed to MortgageIT’s successful IPO.

Donald Epstein

Managing Director – Internal Auditor and Chief Administrative Officer

Donald is responsible for internal audit, administration and facilities. He has over 30 years of experience in senior financial positions in public and private accounting, including Price Waterhouse, Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank. Prior to WBL, Don was Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer at MortgageIT, where he was instrumental in launching its IPO in 2004.

Alex Gemici

Managing Director, Business Development

Alex is an industry veteran and entrepreneur with 34 years of experience in financial services, including capital placement, debt structuring and real estate. Prior to joining WBL in 2012, Alex was Managing Director and the Head of Deutsche Bank’s real estate finance, mortgage origination, trading and warehouse lending businesses in the Middle East and Africa between 2007 and 2011. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President of MortgageIT, overseeing business development.

Andy Occhino

Managing Director – General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer

Andy joined World Business Lenders in 2011. He is an attorney and a corporate executive with over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. During 2007, Andy joined Deutsche Bank, at the time of its merger with MortgageIT. He served as General Counsel of MortgageIT from 2005 until mid-2008, at which time he became responsible for various business development initiatives in Emerging Markets. Prior to joining MortgageIT, Andy served as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at GreenPoint Financial Corp.; led the employee benefits practice at the law firm of Cullen and Dykman; and was a Tax Manager at Arthur Andersen & Co., the public accounting firm.

Robert Pardes

Managing Director – Chief Operating Officer

Robert is an attorney and CPA with over 30 years of global experience in commercial/consumer lending and banking. Robert was previously COO of a de novo mortgage banking subsidiary of a Deutsche Bank advisory client in Bogota, Colombia. He has served as Project Manager and consultant for Deutsche Bank’s Global Markets Latin American group, and Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of OceanFirst Bank after it acquired Columbia Equities, where he was President and COO. Robert has served on the Advisory Boards of the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).

Stephen J. Sheinbaum

Managing Director, Wholesale Production

Stephen joined WBL in 2017, shortly before, and in anticipation of, WBL’s acquisition of certain strategic business assets from bizfi. Steve oversees the Company’s wholesale platform, which includes cultivating relationships with Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) and other business partners, as well as the coordination of associated marketing initiatives. Steve brings over 30 years of diverse experience to WBL. In 2005, he founded Merchant Cash and Capital (which was later rebranded as bizfi) and, until 2017, served in executive leadership positions. During his tenure at bizfi, Steve built a proprietary technology platform that transformed the way small businesses accessed funding. Prior to bizfi, Steve spent nearly two decades practicing law, specializing in complex litigation and corporate transactions.

Thomas Wills

Managing Director – Chief Financial Officer

Thomas is a CPA and CFA with over 30 years of experience in financial services and public accounting. Prior to joining WBL in 2015, Tom was First Vice President of Finance at United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU). Previously, he served as SVP and Controller at Amalgamated Bank, and First Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer at Emigrant Bank. He also managed audit teams at both KPMG and Ernst & Young.

Elaine Cook

Director – Deputy General Counsel

Elaine has over 20 years of corporate law experience, all of which has been in the financial services industry. Prior to joining WBL, Elaine was a Director at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi for over 11 years, where she supported the Bank’s U.S. Corporate Banking Group. Previously, she was a Senior Associate with the New York law firm Parker Chapin LLP, now Troutman Sanders.

Yasemin Fakıoğlu

Director, Wholesale Production

Yasemin joined WBL in 2012 and is currently a Director in the Wholesale Production department. Previously, she was in charge of the Company’s banking pipeline, managed the credit processing team and was the primary liaison between credit operations and production. Yasemin has over 13 years of experience in the financial services industry and, prior to joining WBL, was a Vice President at Deutsche Gulf Finance, a home finance company in Saudi Arabia.

Cem Oztreves

Director – Senior Investment Officer

Cem joined the Company in 2012 after receiving a Master of Science in Financial Engineering from Columbia University. Currently, in his capacity as Senior Investment Officer, he manages the underwriting of loans along with credit risk policies and procedures. Also, during his tenure with WBL, Cem has overseen portfolio reporting, systems development and loan operations. Cem completed his undergraduate degree in Systems Engineering at George Washington University.

Eliot Pratt

Director and Treasurer

Eliot joined WBL in 2013 after a 21-year career in financial services and investment banking. Prior to WBL, Eliot was an owner of a boutique investment banking and advisory firm that specialized in short-term bridge financing, real estate investment, complex structured debt transactions, asset securitizations and the analysis and capitalization of frequent-payment loan portfolios. Prior to this, Eliot was Managing Director of an investment banking firm that specialized in real estate finance, M&A advisory and merchant banking, where he was instrumental in the completion of $400 million of commercial real estate transactions and M&A or capital raise assignments for small companies.