Sylvan Road’s seasoned leadership team brings together top professionals with diverse experience including investment management, real estate, operations, finance, and technology.
Gavin Kleinknecht Chief Executive Officer, Managing Partner, Co-founder
Gavin Kleinknecht is a co-founder and managing partner of Sylvan Road, and the firm’s Chief Executive Officer. 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 over the past 20 years. Gavin also has experience in venture capital, having managed early stage investments for Rebus Investment Company, Clarent Capital, and Williams Venture Partners. Gavin led an early stage venture investment into Data Intelligence Corporation, a real estate data and web services business. As a controlling Director on the Board, Gavin shepherded Data Intelligence into a merger with Bridge Interactive Group, LLC, 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 Managing Partner, Co-founder
Oliver Chang is a co-founder and managing partner of Sylvan Road. Nominated for Industry Person of the Year by Private Equity Real Estate 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.
Amy Merkley Chief Operating Officer
Amy Merkley is the Chief Operating Officer at Sylvan Road. With experience managing complex operating businesses, Amy joined Sylvan Road 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.
Robert Zeman Chief Financial Officer
Robert is the Chief Financial Officer at Sylvan Road. Robert, who has a background in financial and operations logistics, joined Sylvan Road 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.
Marc Halle Chief Investment Officer
Marc Halle is the Chief Investment Officer at Sylvan Road. He joined Sylvan Road from Park Lane Investors, a boutique real estate private equity firm he founded, which invested across the public and private real estate markets. Prior to Park Lane, Marc was the Chief Investment Officer and Global Head of real estate securities at PGIM Real Estate (Prudential Real Estate Investors), where he served as a member of the Global Management and Investment Committees. Marc also launched and led Prudential’s US Real Estate Private Equity business. Marc has worked in portfolio management and other real estate positions for Alpine Management, Evergreen Asset Management, W&M Properties (Empire State Realty Trust-NYSE: ESRT), and Greenthal Realty. Marc has received several awards for portfolio management, was named one of “America’s Best Mutual Fund Managers”, and has been widely quoted in the financial media. He holds an MBA from New York University and a BS, magna cum laude, from Tufts University College of Engineering.
Brendan McGill Chief Legal Officer
Brendan McGill is the Chief Legal Officer at Sylvan Road. Prior to Sylvan Road, Brendan served in a variety of roles at Invesco Ltd., leading teams across corporate legal, global corporate development, and Americas strategy and operations functions as the company significantly expanded across markets. Before Invesco, Brendan served as an Assistant General Counsel at Mohawk Industries, Inc. and Senior Associate at Alston & Bird LLP. Brendan’s legal practice has focused on M&A, corporate governance, securities regulation, corporate finance, and general commercial matters across a range of industries. Brendan began his career as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He holds a BA in Political Science from Duke University and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Bob Hamilton Chief Administrative Officer
Bob Hamilton 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 into one that managed more than 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, an MS in Psychology from Towson University, a BS in Finance from The University of Delaware, and a JD/MBA from The University of Baltimore.