Michael Bontrager formed Chatham Financial in 1991 and is the managing principal. Chatham provides interest rate and foreign currency hedging, defeasance, accounting, and debt advisory to over 1000 client finance teams worldwide. Chatham advises on over 8,000 transactions with a principal amount of over $440 billion annually. Clients include most of the largest REITS, global private equity firms, middle market multi-national corporations as well as mid-cap financial institutions in the US. Chatham is based outside of Philadelphia with offices in Denver, London, Singapore, and Poland. Its 250 employees represent over 35 different nationalities.
Chatham considers itself a multiple bottom line company which counts its impact on employees and the broader community as one of its reasons for existence. This has translated into creating several non-profit organizations including The Garage, a local multi-site community youth center, Together for Education, an education nonprofit which serves as a catalyst for community involvement in education, as well as creating a division at Chatham dedicated to leveraging the company’s foreign exchange expertise into frontier markets to help solve the global poverty problem by providing currency hedging solutions to the rapidly growing Microfinance industry.
Prior to founding Chatham, Michael was a Vice President in the Derivative Products Group at Chemical Bank (now JP Morgan Chase) and spent nine years in various credit, corporate finance, and derivative roles in New York and Zurich, Switzerland. He holds a BA in Economics from Wheaton College, Illinois and received an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.