Investing in Advising Building

new companies

in FinTech

Fenway Summer is a hybrid investment & advisory firm

focused on innovation at the intersection of financial, technological, and regulatory change.

Our Investments

Our Team

With decades of combined experience in financial services, regulatory agencies, and startups, we are more than just investors. We bring industry expertise and operational knowhow to each company we partner with, and are committed to embodying our core values of excellence, diligence, and collaboration in everything that we do. 

Our Affiliates

FS Vector is a strategic consulting firm for financial services clients in a rapidly evolving industry and complex regulatory environment. Since its inception, the firm has been dedicated to serving as a trusted partner at each stage of growth-from early stage ventures to global organizations.

Crossbeam Venture Partners (Crossbeam) is a venture capital firm that invests in Pre-Seed and Series A startups building tomorrow’s economy. Focused on the themes of platform economies, fintech, novel asset classes, and new forms of media, Crossbeam is built to back companies of the next generation economy and the small businesses of tomorrow.

We are early partners to founders creating a sustainable and positive impact on the financial system.

If you are building a company in lending, payments, capital markets, data analytics, financial infrastructure, crypto or asset management, please reach out to us.

RAJ DATE

Managing Director & Chair of the Investment Committees

Raj Date is the Managing Partner of Fenway Summer, an advisory and investment firm focused on financial services and financial technology. In that capacity, he chairs the investment committee of Fenway Summer Ventures and is a general partner of Crossbeam Venture Partners, both of them fintech venture capital funds; and he works with clients of FS Vector, the fintech advisory firm. He also serves as a Director for a number of innovative firms in financial services: Circle, a digital asset firm; Green Dot, a technology-driven mass market bank; Linden Labs, an internet company best known as the creator of Second Life, and the metaverse payments pioneer Tilia. He also serves as the founding director of the Payments Leadership Council, a CEO-led trade association.

For Raj, Fenway Summer is the latest chapter in a long and varied career in and around U.S. financial institutions — as a senior policymaker, as a bank executive, and on Wall Street.

Raj was the first-ever Deputy Director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As the Bureau’s second-ranking official, he helped steward the CFPB’s strategy, its operations, and its policy agenda. He also served on the senior staff committee of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and as a statutory deputy to the FDIC Board.

Before being appointed Deputy Director, Raj acted as the interim leader of the new agency, serving as the Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury. He led the CFPB for most of the first six months after its launch.

Before his time in public policy, Raj was a Managing Director in the Financial Institutions Group at Deutsche Bank Securities, where he led the firm’s investment banking coverage for the largest U.S.-based banks and thrifts. His client work focused on calibrating credit deterioration, evaluating capital-raising alternatives, and generating liquidity. Before that, Raj was Senior Vice President for Corporate Strategy and Development at Capital One Financial, where he led M&A development efforts across the U.S. banking and specialty finance markets. He began his business career in the financial institutions practice of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. He has also served as an attorney in both private practice and government service.

He is a graduate of the College of Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley (highest honors) and the Harvard Law School (magna cum laude).

e: raj.date@fenwaysummer.com

MARK LEFANOWICZ

Managing Director

Mark joins Fenway Summer Ventures from Springleaf Financial, where he served as Senior Vice President responsible for Internet lending, call center operations, and new business initiatives. Mark is also the Executive Chairman of Ethos Lending. Previously, Mark served as CFO of Provident Funding Associates, and was responsible for the company’s treasury, finance, accounting, and administrative functions. 

From 2004 to 2008, Mark served as CEO/President of E-LOAN, a publicly traded Internet mortgage, home equity, and auto lender.  As CEO, he led the company’s sale to Banco Popular, resulting in an 89% per share price appreciation from the time Mark joined E-LOAN to its sale. 

Earlier in his career, Mark served in numerous executive positions at Bay View Capital and as a partner at Coopers & Lybrand, which later merged with Price Waterhouse to form PWC.  He has served on the Board of Directors for several consumer financial institutions, including Credit Karma. Mark has also been an active angel investor in consumer finance and fintech companies.  

He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Wyoming.  Mark resides in Lafayette, CA with his wife Kathy and his three daughters. 

e: mark.lefanowicz@fenwaysummer.com 

CASEY WILLIAMS

Principal

Casey leads operations and supports both investment decision-making and the firm’s venture build initiative. She is also a Board Observer for several portfolio companies. 

Casey has worked in finance and entrepreneurship across the country, as an R&D analyst at Wells Fargo in San Francisco, California and as a manager for the non-profit Kiva Microfinance U.S. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her work with Kiva earned her the 2018 Financial Service Champion award from the Tulsa SBC, as well as Entrepreneur of the Year from Tulsa Young Professionals. Prior to her work in financial services, Casey spent two years as a fourth grade math teacher through Teach for America. 

Casey holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Elon University.  She currently resides in Washington, DC. 

e: casey.williams@fenwaysummer.com 

Deborah Meredith

Chief Operating Officer

Deborah leads the day-to-day operations of Fenway Summer and its affiliated companies including: finance and accounting, portfolio management, investor relations, fund administration, tax and audit preparation, human resources, and service provider management.  

 

Deborah has worked in Operations for the past decade where she has helped numerous companies scale and grow, reduce overhead costs, and improve standard operating procedures all while providing a client-first approach. 

 

Previously she was at Fundrise, a growth- stage B2C financial technology company, where she helped launch the Investor Operations team and assisted in scaling the platform for the investor experience while the company was experiencing 100x annual growth. 

 

Deborah holds a Bachelors in Science from Augusta State University. She currently resides in Washington, DC. 

 

e: deborah.meredith@fenwaysummer.com

Jack Lefelar

Associate

Jack joined Fenway Summer in 2023, where he serves as a member of the Investment Team. Jack supports the firm’s investment processes, from due diligence and decision-making to supporting portfolio companies and innovative founders.  

Prior to joining Fenway, Jack worked across financial services in a variety of roles, including analytics roles in mortgage lending and student loan refinancing initiatives. Most recently, he served as an Investment & Operations Analyst at Leavenworth Capital, a quantitative investment boutique managing portfolios of publicly traded digital assets. 

Jack holds a Master’s in Applied Economics from Georgetown University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wake Forest University. 

e: jackson.lefelar@fenwaysummer.com

JAVIER SAADE

Venture Partner

Javier is Venture Partner at Fenway Summer Ventures and has decades of experience as a venture capitalist and private equity investor, entrepreneur, operating executive and policymaker. He serves on the Board of Directors of Softbank’s SVF Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: SVFA) and as Chairman of the Board of GP Funding, Inc., a private equity owned financial services company. 

Until recently, Javier served on the Board of Directors of Porch Group (NASDAQ: PRCH), Board of Trustees of Pan American Development Foundation, Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy, Board of Directors of Foundation for Puerto Rico, Global Advisory Board of Docusign, Inc. (NASDAQ: DOCU), Corporate Responsibility Board of Univision Communications, Inc., and Board of Advisors of Harvard’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. He also served full-time on the Biden Transition Team focused on Treasury and the economy. 

Before Fenway, he served as Associate Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) during the Obama Administration.  Javier led the agency’s innovation and investment programs which since inception have invested over $120 billion in 320,000 high-growth small businesses.   He worked with the White House on a broad swath of economic, innovation and financial policy making.  He also held a seat at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Advisory Committee on Small & Emerging Companies.   

Prior to public service, Javier spent 20 years in a variety of operating, entrepreneurial, investment and advisory roles at firms that include McKinsey & Company, Booz Allen & Hamilton, Bridgewater Associates, GEM Group, Pacific Community Ventures, and Abbott Laboratories.  He has co-founded several businesses, including Air America Media.  

Javier also held short-term roles including Executive in Residence (XIR) at Columbia University’s Columbia Technology Ventures, Senior Fellow at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Innovation and Mentor at Stanford University’s Latino Entrepreneurship Leaders Initiative.  He writes and speaks frequently on topics that include corporate diversity, leadership, tech-driven innovation, financial inclusion, mission-driven business, social and impact capital, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and digital-era policymaking.    

He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS in Operations & Technology from Illinois Institute of Technology, and a BS in Industrial Management from Purdue University.  

e: javier.saade@fenwaysummer.com 

CHRISTOPHER TREPEL

Operating Partner

Chris is an Operating Partner at Fenway Summer Ventures; in this role, he contributes technical expertise in the areas of analytics, credit, data science, and consumer behavior.  In addition, Chris serves as a senior data science leader for several financial service and fintech firms in the US and UK.

Chris was previously Group Chief Science Officer at UK-based Lowell, leading both the data science function and Lowell Labs Amsterdam, an analytics center of excellence focused on advanced statistics and machine learning methods. At Lowell, he partnered with the Urban Institute to create the UK Financial Vulnerability Index.

Before that he was Chief Scientific Officer at Encore Capital Group, where he built and directed the analytics and corporate affairs functions, launched a pioneering research platform focused on consumer financial decision making, and wrote the industry’s first Consumer Bill of Rights. Earlier still, Chris served in analytic and strategic roles at Wells Fargo Bank and McKinsey & Company.

Chris holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, has completed postdoctoral fellowships in Neurophysiology and Behavioral Economics, and is lead or co-author of more than 70 academic and professional publications across five research areas. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, NPR, USA Today, and CNN Money.

e: christopher.trepel@fenwaysummer.com 

ALEX ACREE

Venture Partner

Alex Acree has spent his career at the intersection of technology, finance, and law as an attorney, advisor, and investor in financial services and other regulated industries.  

Alex currently is Chief Legal Officer at Unit. Prior to joining Unit, Alex was a partner at Mitchell Sandler, a boutique financial services-focused law firm. In that role, Alex advised clients on a wide range of matters, including legislative and regulatory issues, transactions, and corporate governance. Alex has deep experience counseling banks on regulatory matters, innovative technology companies through their lifecycles, as well as investment firms in connection with the formation and management of private funds.  

Alex previously served as Managing Director and General Counsel at Fenway Summer, where he served on the investment committee and invested in and advised fintech and regtech companies. Earlier in his career, Alex worked as a bank regulatory and investment funds attorney at a global law firm. 

Alex serves as a director on the board of FinRegLab, a nonprofit innovation center that tests new technologies and data to inform public policy and drive the financial sector toward a responsible and inclusive financial marketplace. Alex holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, an M.B.A. from Yale School of Management, and a B.A. from Boston College.  

e: alex.acree@fenwaysummer.com 

MATT PERLMAN

Advisor

Matt has 15 years of experience as an investor and advisor to financial services companies. Matt is currently a Partner at IA Capital Group, an NYC-based early and growth stage investment firm focusing on insurtech and fintech, and was part of the founding team at Fenway Summer Ventures.  

Prior to his venture capital career, Matt held various roles in private equity and investment banking focusing on the financial sector. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs and holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. 

e: matthew.perlman@fenwaysummer.com