Sylvan Road brings together top professionals from investment management, real estate, operations, finance and technology to create a diverse and seasoned leadership team.
Gavin Kleinknecht Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder
Gavin Kleinknecht is a co-founder, managing partner and Chief Executive Officer of Sylvan Road. Gavin is an experienced real estate investor and business attorney licensed in the State of Georgia. He has managed over $1 billion in real estate, including $600 million in single family rentals and $500 million in diverse commercial real estate. Gavin also has experience in venture capital, having managed early stage investments for Rebus Investment Company, Clarent Capital, and Williams Venture Partners. Gavin also lead an early stage venture investment into Data Intelligence Corporation, a real estate data and web services business that paved the way for unprecedented real time intelligence into real estate during the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. As a controlling Director on the Board, Gavin shepherded Data Intelligence into a merger with Bridge Interactive Group, LLC, a national real estate data management provider for Multiple Listing Services, and subsequently sold Bridge to Zillow in 2016. Prior to managing investments, Gavin served as managing attorney for Attorney Title Services, founder and president of Southern Certified Title Company, and founder of the law firm Hudson & Kleinknecht. Gavin received a BA from the University of Vermont, and a JD from Emory University School of Law.
Oliver B. Chang Chief Investment Officer, Co-founder
Oliver Chang is a co-founder, managing partner and Chief Investment Officer of Sylvan Road. Nominated for Industry Person of the Year by Private Equity Real Estate (PERE) for his work as a pioneer in the single family rental industry, Oliver is a thought leader for institutional single family investing, having authored the seminal research paper on the industry in 2011. He has invested over $600MM in the asset class for investors, and advised government agencies on housing policy. His housing research and opinions have been cited in the media at outlets including CNBC, NPR, Reuters, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. Before co-founding Sylvan Road, Oliver served as Morgan Stanley’s Head of US Housing Strategy and is best known for correctly predicting the trajectory of home prices since 2007. He focused on all aspects of the housing market including home price dynamics, supply and foreclosure issues, demand and mortgage credit concerns, and the relationship between home prices and mortgage performance. Oliver received a BS in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Robert Zeman Chief Financial Officer
Robert is the Chief Financial Officer at Sylvan Road. Robert has a background in financial and operations logistics and joined the firm from Coregistics where he was the Chief Operating Officer. Robert has held CFO and executive operations positions across a variety of logistics-intensive companies, including at Sherwood Food Distributors where as General Manager he grew the business from $75MM to $300MM and oversaw a 200 employee operation, and at Atlanta Provision Company where as CFO he oversaw financial management and M&A activity for the business. He holds a BA in Finance from Michigan State University, and an MBA from Kennesaw State University.
Amy Merkley Chief Operating Officer
Amy Merkley is the Chief Operating Officer at Sylvan Road. Amy has a background in managing complex operating businesses and joined the firm from Precision Aviation Group where she was the Chief Operating Officer. Amy has held various executive operational roles across the aviation aftermarket and healthcare industries, including at Meggit, PLC where she was responsible for the financial and operational performance of a $600MM+ aftermarket business across 27 sites, Honeywell International where she was responsible for a $200MM business, Eaton Corporation and Humana. She holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.
Bob Hamilton Chief Administrative Officer
Bob is the Chief Administrative Officer at Sylvan Road. Bob has a background in asset and operations management in the commercial real estate industry and joined the firm from Kensington Bay Management & Advisory, where he was the Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Kensington, Bob was the Chief Operating Officer at Knott Realty Group for 15 years, where he helped grow the company from a small family firm to one that managed over 1 million sqft of Class A office space, 3 million sqft of bulk warehouse space and several multifamily communities. Bob has also worked in talent and leadership development, including at Allegis Group. He holds a Doctorate in Organizational Behavior from The George Washington University, a MS in Psychology from Towson University, and a BS in Finance from The University of Delaware, and a JD/MBA from The University of Baltimore.