COO of Capital Foundry—Pittsburgh’s new SME-focused investment bank—Tony Bellino helps entrepreneurs weigh the delicate balance between leading companies and raising capital. With his partner, Tony developed a financial technology banking strategy that serves clients through EquityNet. Previously, Tony helped to seed and grow two successful tech-based companies, and worked with a top 5 global law firm in its mergers and acquisitions group. But it isn’t always all about the art of making deals, says Tony, who confesses his love for video games like Metroid Prime and MarioKart. Find out more about him as he takes us behind the scenes this week.
Monday, January 2
My work week begins with a workout at the gym. I like to start my mornings that way, before diving into my inbox. I can review emails and read the news of the day while our Pittsburgh and New York teams commute.
To beat the traffic from my home in Nevillewood, I typically get to our Downtown office around 9:30 a.m. My dog, Bru, comes to the office sometimes and reminds us not to be too serious.
I’m responsible for operations, which means I’m fortunate that I don’t have to travel as much as my partner Tom. It can be a challenge to balance teams in two cities and I’m blessed to have supportive colleagues. Today I’ll spend the afternoon assisting our New York team with several deals. Our open office space and interactive technology make it easy to collaborate.
Tuesday, January 3
Our Pittsburgh network is extensive and expanding. We have been engaged by many companies looking for financial products to help them grow. It’s refreshing to hear all the ambitious things people in town are working on.
Today I’ll review potential Capital Foundry clients identified by the New York office, which can get more than 30 inquiries a day. I like to say that we network internationally and apply homegrown sensibilities to make deals happen.
As a team, we try to eat lunch together. Today my partner Neal Shipley and I are going to try the virtues of eating vegan at B52 Cafe in Lawrenceville, then head to a client meeting in the East End.
Wednesday, January 4
I’ve got a meeting in the Strip District so I plan to stop at La Prima espresso bar. Love that shot of the Old World! The last time I went there I ran into a friend with the Allegheny County Bar Association, which led to an invitation to speak at the bar’s December 9th bankruptcy symposium on utilizing technology to increase liquidity for small- and medium-sized businesses.
Since Tom will be back from New York, tonight we’re going to the Duquesne Club to meet some potential partners for dinner and then to Mario’s in Shadyside to digest and process over a good game of cricket on the dartboard.
Thursday, January 5
Today I’m spending the morning with DiverseCITY, a youth development organization. We provided them with free office space as part of our goal to support a local nonprofits’ capital-raising and development efforts. This is a great organization. Its programs have a “family” atmosphere, where students learn a new outlook on life from current and former college athletes (I played football at Yale).
This afternoon I’ll work on research projects for clients who have asked for industry-specific guidance. Providing companies with insight is key to keeping them engaged.
Then it’s off to a late dinner with some of our investors at Noodlehead. BYOB places are a personal favorite of mine.
Friday, January 6
This morning we’ll work on an important pitch and capital campaign that will help a local company soar late into 2017. It is exciting to provide feedback to a client working out the kinks of a pitch — a change from the days filled with balance sheets and buy-side or sell-side analytical reports.
I’m looking forward to tonight’s “Amy’s Army Bourbon Dinner” at The Carlton, hosted by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. They’re featuring six rare, hard-to-find bourbons. Should I bring my Yale Club of Pittsburgh whiskey glass? I’m on the board of the YCOP and we sold whiskey glasses at our holiday party. The host for this dinner is Amy Katz, who has chronic myelogenous leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. Sadly, the diagnosis years ago forced her to quit the travel soccer team at Jefferson Middle School in Mt. Lebanon.
Saturday, January 7
Saturdays are for the boys, after I clear out my inbox. I usually put in an hour or two of work from home to prepare for Monday.
My buddy Derek, another Ivy League football player, and I have been known to have some intense MarioKart battles on GameCube, especially if there’s not enough snow at Seven Springs to go skiing. Our plan for part of today is to spend some down time with Nintendo.
Tonight, I’m going to the new Tony Award-winning play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Heinz Hall. It’s about a strange boy who’s suspected of killing his neighbor’s dog—hope I can endure that topic.
Then it’s a late dinner at Sienna Mercato with friends.
Sunday, January 8
On Sundays in the fall and winter, you can find me and my friends cheering on the Steelers. So psyched for today’s Wild Card game against the Dolphins!
I’m just hoping this is a short winter so I can get back out on the boat, and close deals without having to wear my galoshes.
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