About Us

Team Biographies

Robert S. Levin

Managing Director

Prior to forming Republic Partners in 2000, Rob Levin was a founding principal of Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm. Before that, he spent twelve years working in mergers and acquisitions for Bankers Trust (now Deutsche Bank) and The First Boston Corporation (now Credit Suisse). Rob graduated with a BA from Harvard University and received his MBA from Northwestern’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Ronald C. Mui

Managing Director

Prior to joining Republic Partners in 2007, Ron Mui spent eight years as a principal in the management consulting firm Booz-Allen & Hamilton (now Booz and Company), focused on the energy and transportation sectors. Before that, he spent eleven years at British Petroleum (now BP) where he held a number of planning and operational positions with P&L responsibility in both the U.S. and the U.K. Ron graduated with a BA from Cornell University and received his MBA from Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School.

Bradley J. Pickard

Managing Director

Prior to joining Republic Partners in 2014, Brad Pickard was a founding principal of Access Value Investors, a Chicago-based private equity firm. Before that he spent 20 years working in mergers and acquisitions as a partner at Wasserstein Perella (now Commerzbank) and Houlihan Lokey Howard and Zukin. He began his career at Salomon Brothers (now Citigroup). Brad graduated with a BA from the University of Michigan and received his MBA from the University of Chicago.

Jonathan G. Britva

Vice President

Prior to joining Republic Partners in 2013, Jonathan Britva spent nearly three years with Deloitte’s Corporate Finance group, focusing on advising clients in the industrial and technology sectors. Jonathan graduated with a BS in Accounting and Finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and also received his MBA from the Kelley School.

Daniel K. Gordon


Prior to joining Republic Partners in 2016, Daniel Gordon spent three years at Citibank in the Private Banking organization focusing on alternative investment finance operations. Daniel graduated with a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and received his MBA from the University of Wisconsin School of Business, specializing in Corporate Finance and Investment Banking.

Michelle Applebaum

Senior Advisor

Michelle Applebaum joined Republic Partners as a senior advisor in 2016 and is an expert in the steel and metals industries having been the top-ranked securities analyst responsible for equity coverage of these industries in the U.S. for over a decade, while serving as a Managing Director at Salomon Brothers (now Citigroup). At Salomon Brothers, she led the team that established the firm's position as the leader in steel equity research, trading and investment banking for over a decade. She is on the Board of Directors of Northwest Pipe (NASDAQ: NWPX), the country's largest manufacturer of engineered steel pipe water conveyance systems. She founded Steel Market Intelligence, a boutique equity research and capital markets advisory firm focused on public and private companies as well as private equity firms involved in the steel industry. In 2014, she was honored with the "Steel Industry Advocate of the Year" award given by steel industry leaders convened by American Metal Market. She is also a Trustee at Lake Forest College. Michelle holds a BA in Economics from Northwestern University and MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Jim Cirar

Senior Advisor

Jim Cirar is a private investor and joined Republic Partners as a senior advisor in 2016. Jim has extensive domestic and international operational and managerial experience with transportation and metal processing businesses. He is a board of director at FreightCar America, Inc., and former President and CEO of Johnstown America. Jim was a director of Transportation Technologies Industries, Inc. (TTII), and President and CEO of subsidiaries Gunite Corporation and Brillion Iron Works. His business experience includes several industrial manufacturing private equity transactions. Jim began his career as a coop student at General Motors. His GM career included leadership positions in a variety of manufacturing operations. Jim was Plant Manager, Flint Truck Assembly, prior to transition into private equity. Jim received his BSIE from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) and MSA from University of California, Irvine. He also served in the USMCR from 1969-75.

Herb Shear

Senior Advisor

Herb Shear is the Chairman of the Shear Family Office which manages the Shear Family Foundation and the Shear Family Investments. He was formally the Executive Chairman and CEO of GENCO. Herb successfully led the company’s growth from a $300,000 business to a $1.6 billion company and, in 2014, sold GENCO to FedEx. Herb is the first recipient of the Reverse Logistics Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a past recipient of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ Distinguished Service Award and the Syracuse University Martin J. Whitman School of Management’s Salzberg Medallion. Herb holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and completed post-graduate studies in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University. He has also completed Executive Entrepreneurial and Leadership Programs at Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University and Northwestern University. He serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Pittsburgh, BDP International, Lazer Spot and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

While we help business leaders sell all or part of their businesses as part of their effort to diversify, we also help them to prepare for this important event because we believe that good preparation is the key to success.

Case Study:
> Phoenix International > An East Coast Terminalling Company > An Established 3PL

We regularly advise clients with regard to growth through mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. We assist in developing strategy, identifying the optimal strategic alternative and executing the transactions that lead to the achievement of goals.

Case Studies:
> GENCO: Acquisition Advising > GENCO ATC: Merger Integration > A Renewable Energy Company

We advise clients on discrete issues and overall corporate issues. We can assist in the acquisition of capabilities and in the divestiture of business units that no longer fit clients' missions.

Case Studies:
> An East Coast Terminalling Company > A Midwest-based 3PL

We can assist you in raising capital by helping you to evaluate your strategy and tactics and present your exciting attributes to a variety of equity and venture captal investors.

Case Study:
> A Renewable Energy Company