Meet the Team

Efrem Kamen

Efrem is a founder and Managing Member at Pura Vida, directing the company’s investments across the healthcare universe spanning medical technology, biotechnology, and other emerging areas of healthcare and consumer products. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School, where he created and teaches a course on investing in medical technology, and an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia Engineering School.

Prior to founding Pura Vida in 2012, Efrem was a Portfolio Manager at Waterfront Capital Partners and an Analyst at Diamondback Capital Management, LLC. Prior to joining Diamondback, he was an Analyst at Chicago-based Citadel Investment Group, responsible for medical device investments. Earlier in his career, Efrem held positions of increasing responsibility as an Equity Research Analyst covering medical device companies at Cowen Group, Inc. and then Citigroup, where he also conducted due diligence for public offerings and other transactions. Efrem began his career in investment banking at JP Morgan. He received a B.A. with honors from Columbia College in New York, majoring in Economics and Linguistics.

Efrem periodically speaks at NYU Stern School of Business and McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management and was a regular guest speaker at Institutional Investor’s Absolute Return Conference in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016. Notable accolades include 2019 Best Long/Short Manager, 2019 Best Specialist Equity Manager and 2018 Best US Emerging Fund Manager for Global Equities as awarded to Pura Vida’s flagship fund by HFM Global (Absolute Return) and Pension Bridge.

Beau Bassett

Beau is Head of Therapeutics at Pura Vida, where he leads idea generation for the therapeutics subsectors and works with Efrem Kamen on risk management decisions for the therapeutics subsectors. Prior to re-joining the firm in 2017, Beau was the Senior Analyst for the drug portfolio at Passaic, the largest healthcare dedicated pod at Millennium, which managed roughly $2 billion. On the drug team, he worked with two junior analysts and reported to the Portfolio Manager. He was responsible for idea generation and advising on trading strategies for all therapeutics names in the universe with the assistance of the junior analysts.

Prior to his time at Millennium, Beau was a Therapeutics Analyst at Pura Vida from January 2013 to May 2016. For the majority of this time, he was the only Therapeutics Analyst, and worked closely with the Portfolio Manager to generate ideas, establish the risk/reward and downside risk for names in the book. Prior to joining Pura Vida, Beau was an Equity Research Associate covering specialty pharmaceuticals at Cowen & Company. He received a B.A. from the University of Toronto with High Distinction.

Cara Bradfield

Cara serves as Pura Vida’s Controller. Prior to joining Pura Vida in 2019, she worked at Arrowstreet Capital, a quantitative equity firm that manages global equity portfolios for institutional investors around the world. There she was a Manager responsible for the team, processes and network of service providers who facilitate the NAV production, financial reporting, and governance of a diverse portfolio of over 35 private investment funds valued at $30 billion in assets under management and serving 300+ global institutional investors.  Prior to Arrowstreet, she was an Assistant Audit Manager in the Alternative Investment Group at KPMG in the Cayman Islands, where she oversaw the audits of dozens of private hedge funds, and an Audit Senior at KPMG, Tampa, where she audited SEC registrants and control environment implementation and testing processes.  Cara received her M.S. in Accounting from the University of Florida and has been a Florida CPA since 2008.

Zach Canonico

Zach is Director of Operations at Pura Vida Investments. Before joining Pura Vida in 2020, Zach held a leadership role as Vice President of Portfolio Management Operations at AQR, a global quantitative investment firm with $150 billion of assets under management. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as Head of Portfolio Finance at Blue Ridge Capital, a long/short equity hedge fund with $9 billion of assets under management. Zach received a B.S. in finance from The Pennsylvania State University.

Anne Corey Ahl

Anne leads Pura Vida’s marketing and investor relations efforts. Prior to joining in 2018, Anne worked in marketing and investor relations at GCM Grosvenor (f/k/a Credit Suisse CFIG), a diversified alternative asset management firm with $50 billion of assets under management. There, her work spanned the firm’s private equity, real estate and infrastructure businesses, managing clients including some of the largest public pensions in the United States, sovereign wealth funds, corporate pensions and other institutional investors. Prior to joining Grosvenor, Anne began her career as a Marketing Associate at GoldPoint Partners, a private equity firm with $13.5 billion of assets under management. She received a B.A. in English and Economics from Duke University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Sarah Elkin

Sarah leads Pura Vida’s People and Culture, overseeing recruiting, selection, employee engagement and corporate social responsibility. Prior to joining in 2013, she worked with a healthcare equity research team at Diamondback Capital, a $5 billion multi-manager investment advisor, and at Sivik Global Healthcare, a dedicated healthcare hedge fund.  Sarah received her M.S. from New York University in Human Resource Management and Development, with a concentration in Organizational Effectiveness, and is a SHRM-CP.

Tae-Il Ha

Tae-Il is a Medical Technology Analyst at Pura Vida. His areas of focus include medical devices, life sciences tools and diagnostics, healthcare IT, and managed care. Prior to joining in 2018, he was a Senior Associate at Baring Private Equity Asia, one of the largest private alternative investment firms in Asia. He started his career as an Analyst at Citigroup’s Asia TMT team in its global investment banking division. Tae-Il received a B.A. in Economics and International Relations, with minor in Mathematics, from University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Jon Helander, Ph.D.

Jon is a Therapeutics Analyst at Pura Vida.  Prior to joining Pura Vida in 2020, he worked as a biotech associate at JMP Securities and Deutsche Bank.  He has worked on numerous academic programs in developing small molecule therapeutics for multiple diseases and in collaboration with private biotechnology companies as well as in applications for agriculture. Jon received a B.S. in Chemistry from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from University of California, Riverside, with an emphasis on chemical biology.

Adan Horta M.D., Ph.D.

Adan is a Life Science Tools and Diagnostics Analyst at Pura Vida. Prior to joining the firm in 2020, he spent time at Flagship Pioneering, forming and pitching next-generation biotech companies. Adan has investigated the three-dimensional folding patterns of DNA in olfactory sensory neurons. He is a published co-first author in Nature and Cell and received the Titus Munson Coan Award for Best Manuscript in Biological Sciences. Adan received a B.A. with a double major in Chemistry and Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University and an M.D. and Ph.D. from Columbia University, with a concentration in biochemistry, biophysics, genomics and neuroscience.

Brian Kwak

Brian is an Analyst at Pura Vida focused on both public and private opportunities across the Cannabis space. He previously served as a Senior Consultant and Project Manager at Siemens, specializing in management consulting and financial advisory. Brian received a B.S. in Finance and Mathematics from University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A from Columbia Business School, where he was active in the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing and currently participates as a judge for the ongoing Investments Ideas Club’s Stock Pitch Competition. Brian has passed the CFA Level II.

Frank Litvack, M.D.

Frank is a founder of Pura Vida Investments and serves as Member, Director of Designated Investments. Frank has an extensive background in healthcare ranging from clinical practice and research to founding and operating companies. He currently serves as a Partner in Reprise Technologies LLC, a medical device incubator; Chairman of V-Wave Ltd, a clinical stage medical device company focused on the treatment of heart failure; and Executive Chairman of Capricor, Inc., a biotechnology firm developing novel therapeutics for treatment of heart failure.

Frank served as Chairman & CEO of Conor Medsystems, a drug-eluting stent company that was sold to Johnson & Johnson for $1.4 billion in 2007. He was Chairman of Savacor, a maker of implantable remote pressure monitoring devices that was sold to St. Jude in 2005. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Recor Medical Inc, a medical device company in the field of renal denervation that was sold to Otsuka Pharmaceuticals in 2018. Frank was Co-Founder and Chairman of Progressive Angioplasty, the developer of the stent delivery system for the Palmaz-Schatz stent marketed by Johnson & Johnson. The company was sold to US Surgical, which eventually was acquired by Covidien. Frank was a Director of One Lambda Inc., a leader in transplant diagnostics that was sold to Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., in 2012 for $925 million.

From 1986 until 2000, Frank was Co-Director of Cardiovascular Intervention at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. He attained the rank of Full Professor of Medicine at UCLA and Board Certification in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Interventional Cardiology. He has authored over 100 research articles and chapters on various areas of cardiology. Frank received his undergraduate and medical degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He resides and operates out of Los Angeles, CA.

Matt Newton

Matt is the Head of Equities at Pura Vida.  Previously, he worked at Moore Capital Management, where he built out Moore Equity Strategies Americas (MESA), a diversified long/short equity team. This included formation of a 20-person, multi-manager investment team that managed just under $3 billion gross including a best ideas portfolio he co-managed. Prior to Moore, he spent 10 years at Citigroup in various positions. He was a co-founder of Citi Principal Strategies, a multi-manager fundamental long-short equity investment team where he was head trader and co-portfolio manager on the best ideas portfolio. He served as Head of US Cash Trading at Citigroup, where he managed a 50-person trading desk. Previously, he held trading positions within Citigroup’s Cash Equity department, including Sector Head for Diversified & Healthcare sectors. Before Citi, he had worked in US Shares Trading for Goldman Sachs and Global Equity Trading for Scudder Kemper Investments. Matt received a B.A. in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany and an M.B.A. from NYU Stern School of Business.

Gerrel Olivier

Gerrel is a Senior Analyst at Pura Vida Pro, an investment fund established in May 2019 to deploy capital into both public and private opportunities across the Cannabis space. He previously served as an Analyst at Davidson Kempner Capital Management, a $36 billion multi-strategy hedge fund based in New York. At Davidson Kempner, he was one of five investment professionals on their US Long / Short public equity team, specializing in both large-cap Healthcare and Consumer Packaged Goods investments. Prior to that, he served as an Associate at The Carlyle Group, a $200 billion multi-national private equity firm headquartered in Washington D.C. There, he specialized in identifying and analyzing investment opportunities across a variety of subsectors within the healthcare industry; key areas of focus included Medical Devices, In Vitro Diagnostics and Healthcare Services. Gerrel began his career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley on their Mergers and Acquisitions team in New York. He received his B.S. from the Carroll School of Management Honors Program at Boston College, where he graduated cum laude, and M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

Alyssa Romano

Alyssa serves as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at Pura Vida. Prior to joining in 2018, she worked at Arrowstreet Capital, a quantitative equity firm that manages global equity portfolios for institutional investors around the world.  There she was the Partner in charge of the Fund Group, which was responsible for fund structuring, formation, launch and ongoing operations and administration of over 30 investment funds with $23 billion in assets under management. Prior to Arrowstreet, she was Vice President of Operations in the Alternative Investment Group at Bank of America, an Assistant Controller at TA Associates Realty and a Manager in the Alternative Investment Group at PwC. She received her M.S./M.B.A in Accounting from Northeastern University and is a CPA.

Jamie Somohano

Jamie is Chief of Staff at Pura Vida, supporting all facets of the firm. Joining in 2020, she brings a decade of experience in financial services having worked in various roles from the trade floor to managing publicity.  Jamie received a B.A. from Fordham University in Communications and Media Studies.

Doris Ting Heffernan

Doris is Managing Director specializing in Cannabis-related investments at Pura Vida. Prior to joining in 2019, she served as Senior Vice President of Sales Operations and Revenue Strategy at iHeartMedia, Inc. (formerly Clear Channel Communications, Inc.) the nation’s largest owner and operator of radio stations.  At iHeartMedia, she led a team responsible for supporting and enabling the ~1,800 person iHeartMedia salesforce to sell better, faster and more efficiently.  She previously served as the business unit CFO of the National Sales Division as well as the head of the Strategic Initiatives Office at iHeartMedia.  Prior to joining iHeartMedia, she worked as an investment professional at Ripplewood Holdings, a $4 billion private equity firm headquartered in New York, and as Vice President of Strategy and M&A at D+M Group (a consumer electronics portfolio company of Ripplewood).  She began her career as an Investment Banking professional within Morgan Stanley’s Mergers and Acquisition team in New York. Doris received a B.A. in Economics from Columbia College, Columbia University.

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