Board of Directors

Dunkin Allison is Director of Portfolio Management at Delegate Advisors where he manages the procedures of the Delegate Investment Team. Prior to joining Delegate, Mr. Allison was a Strategic Partnership Officer at the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission (“SCRSIC”) where he played an integral role in developing and implementing SCRSIC’s Strategic Partnership program, which was used to take advantage of opportunistic investments across private equity, real estate, hedge funds, and credit. Prior to fulfilling this role he held a position as an Alternative Investment Officer. In addition, Mr. Allison served as member of the SCRSIC’s Investment Committee and Asset Allocation Committee, and as Chair of the Co-Investment Committee. Mr. Allison holds a degree in Finance from Wofford College.
Walter Keenan
Mr. Keenan has served as our Chief Executive Officer since 2013, and served as a consultant to Advantage beginning in 2012. Prior to joining Advantage in 2012, Mr. Keenan served as President of JMP Capital LLC, the principal investments arm of JMP Group Inc. (NYSE: JMP). Mr. Keenan was responsible for JMP’s merchant banking activities, including direct private equity investments and sponsorship of private equity, debt and other alternative asset management funds. Prior to joining JMP in 2007, Mr. Keenan was a Principal of The Cypress Group where he focused on private equity investments in financial services companies. On behalf of Cypress, Mr. Keenan organized Medicus Insurance Holdings, Inc., a medical malpractice liability insurance company. Mr. Keenan served as Executive Chairman of Medicus, which commenced business in 2006 and was acquired by a strategic buyer in 2011. Mr. Keenan began his career as a financial analyst with Morgan Stanley & Co. in 1989, and remained with the firm through 2003. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he received a B.A. with Honors.
R. Marshall Merriman is a Managing Director and a member of BlackRock’s US Private Capital Group and Vice Chairman of BlackRock’s US Private Capital Group’s (“USPC”) investment committee. Mr. Merriman has over 30 years’ experience in middle market investing including his 13 years’ experience with the USPC team, joining as a Managing Director at BlackRock Capital Investment Corporation’s former advisor in 2005. Prior to joining BlackRock Capital Investment Corporation’s former advisor in 2005, he was a Managing Director with Harris Williams & Company, an investment bank providing mergers and acquisitions and financial advice to middle market companies in the United States and Western Europe. During the last two years of his tenure at Harris Williams, Mr. Merriman headed the firm’s Corporate Finance and Restructuring Group, which advises healthy and distressed companies seeking to raise capital or restructure their balance sheets. Prior to joining Harris Williams in 1998, Mr. Merriman was a partner at the law firm of McGuireWoods LLP, where he represented public and private companies and private equity firms in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions. Mr. Merriman received a B.A. in Commerce from Washington & Lee University, summa cum laude, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia.
Gary D. Witherspoon
Gary Witherspoon is President of Copper Beech Capital LLC, a private investment firm in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Witherspoon began his work with Copper Beech in 2005. Prior to joining Copper Beech, Mr. Witherspoon was the managing partner of Witherspoon, Yeldell & Wilson, P.C., Certified Public Accountants, from 1994 to 2005, and co-founded the firm in 1984. He is a past chairman of the board of the Ennis Regional Medical Center. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Witherspoon was a director and chaired the audit committee of Medicus Insurance Holdings, Inc. He is a past director of Republic Group, Inc. He currently serves on the boards of Advantage Insurance Inc., First State Bank, and Platform Holdings Inc. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Witherspoon received a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M.

In Memoriam

Bruce W. Shewmaker
Advantage mourns the loss of our long-serving Director Bruce W. Shewmaker, who died following a lengthy illness on Wednesday, December 7th 2016. Bruce’s guidance was instrumental in the success of Advantage Insurance’s recapitalization transaction completed in September 2013. Serving as a Director of Advantage since then, Bruce’s broad and deep knowledge of corporate finance, business management, investments, and capital markets has been invaluable to our company’s development and success. In addition to his recent stewardship of Advantage, Mr. Shewmaker had a long and highly accomplished career as a corporate executive, investment banker, venture capitalist and independent director. Those who worked closely with Bruce knew there was rarely a business situation that he had not previously encountered nor a problem that he had not solved. We will miss Bruce’s tireless enthusiasm for building great companies and his dedication to mentoring less experienced colleagues. He was a remarkable man who we will miss greatly.
View the obituary here.