Our BLC Team
Claudia Della Mora
Claudia Della Mora is an investment banking professional with financial advisory and M&A experience primarily in cannabis, with additional experience in oil & gas, mining, gaming & lodging, consumer products, and tech, with transactions ranging in size from $10 million to $6 billion.
Ms. Della Mora is the co-founder of BLC, a financial advisory and consulting firm based in Los Angeles with satellite offices in Houston, New York, London, Hong Kong, and Melbourne. During her tenure at BLC, she successfully invested, structured, and collaborated with over 30 cannabis companies across every vertical for business development, capital introductions, and M&A transactions across the U.S., Canada, South America, Asia, and Australia. She has spent quite some time establishing contacts in different countries for international legalization opportunities, while evaluating established and upcoming cannabis companies in different geographies. She has worked on several roll-ups of companies in both the private and public spaces. She has shared her knowledge in several article interviews, podcasts and renowned conferences around the world. Through her career she has developed a network of over 10,000 private equity and investment funds, and trained 15 classes of analysts to be successful in their financial services careers.
Ms. Della Mora also served as a partner at OFS Capital Group, a financial advisory firm and merchant bank based in Hong Kong, where she was responsible for introducing capital and taking public in the U.S. public market, coal & gold mines based in Indonesia and other parts of Asia.
Prior to that, she was employed in the Gaming & Lodging Group at Bank of America Securities LLC/ Merrill Lynch in Los Angeles, where she successfully advised and funded companies such as MGM, Dubai World and Wynn Resorts. Ms. Della Mora also worked as an investment banker in the Consumer Products Group at Partnership Capital Growth Advisors in San Francisco and at Hadley Partners Inc. in Los Angeles, where she advised food & beverage companies and chains of retailers.
She graduated with a BA in Economics and a minor in Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mr. Abelarde is an investment banking and business strategy & corporate development professional with financial advisory experience in mergers & acquisitions and financial restructuring. His primary industry expertise includes oil & gas, technology, entertainment, digital media, energy, and retail. Mr. Abelarde started his oil & gas career as an investor in deals, and now, one of the partners at Black Legend Capital, successfully managing and structuring various oil & gas opportunities in the U.S. He started his investment banking career at Merrill Lynch M&A investment banking. He worked closely with senior bankers to advice over 15 technology companies on buy-side/sell-side M&A strategies and developed presentation materials for clients’ executive management team and board.
Afterwards, Mr. Abelarde worked at Duff & Phelps / Chanin Capital Partners, a financial restructuring investment bank. He was involved with both the creditor and debtor side of various distressed companies, examining various restructuring scenarios. Various projects include Jacuzzi Brands Corporation with $560 million in total indebtedness and Controladora Comercial Mexicana SA de CV with $2.9 billion in total indebtedness.
He was also worked with the business strategy & corporate development team at Fox Digital Entertainment, where he determined the return, profitability, and viability of various digital media projects. Mr. Abelarde graduated with a dual degree in Business Administration and Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mr. Matan is a co-founder of OFS Capital Asia and has been involved in M&A transactions in the excess of $250M. He’s currently an advisor at Black Legend Capital, where he is responsible for advising on capital structure of companies outside the U.S. Mr. Matan is also leading Amherst Capital, which specializes in EB5 advisory.
Mr. Matan has been an investment banker and entrepreneur since mid-90s. He was the co-founder of TCI, a global telecommunication company in Voice and Data with sales reaching $100M by late 90s. He was also an investor and banker for Nash Nutritional Prods, which is a dietary and nutritional company in the long-term healthcare industry such as Nursing Homes and Assisted Living. The Company was listed on the American Exchange and later on broken up and sold to major pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Matan was instrumental in funding Telegen Display Labs (TDL) in 1996, the first AMLCD Flat Screen technology. He played a crucial role in raising $25M for TDL. The company was later listed on Nasdaq SC and sold to Marconi Electronics of UK prior to the Dotcom melt down.
In addition, Mr. Matan ran a Micro-Cap fund from early 90s to 2004 and funded many Pubcos in the micro-cap space to the tune of $200M. Among the sectors that Mr. Matan has been involved are biopharmaceuticals, food sustainability, high tech and currently real estate roll ups. Mr. Matan is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Industrial Systems Engineering and minor in Business Administration.
Ila Nicholson is a managing director at Black Legend Capital Commodity Trading. She is responsible for creating the trading platform within BLC which facilitates oil & gas fuel transactions globally between refineries and select large-scale clients.
Ila is also the founder and managing partner of Harmony Global Waters LLC, a sustainable premium bottled water start-up based in the U.S. Since its inception in 2011, she has built HGWs business model, executive team and initiated the acquisition of a now defunct water brand Chaine Cotiere. She has done substantial research on the water industry and hydrology for the past 10 years. From 2008-2010, she worked in intellectual property valuation, researched patterns of investing for innovation and valuation, and sourced investors for an integrated, comprehensive system designed for companies and individuals to capture, protect, license, value and monetize their innovation.
Ms. Nicholson also has a background in online search technology and corporate marketing. She has worked with internet analytics utilizing comprehensive research engines. She has created and executed results-based online campaigns for a wide range of companies from small size to Fortune 500, producing ROI over 200%. She is active in fund-raising, seeding and placement of technology and social media start-up companies.
Ila speaks English, French & Spanish, and holds a BSc in Economics with a minor in International Relations from the University of Buckingham, U.K.
Adam started his career as a qualified trader and broker at the International Petroleum Exchange in London managing the Broking operations for Gelderman Inc. in the early 1990. After a couple of years, he moved into the software business and was the Global Head of sales for the oil & gas division for Tibco Inc. in Silicon Valley, and sold Tibco’s integrated transactional management trading system to major global oil companies around the world. After 5 years he then joined Microstrategy, which is a relational database company, as global head of sales for their finance and oil division. He sold their database solution worldwide and was responsible for increasing major corporations’ revenues.
In 1998 he started his own Hedge Fund which was solely focused on trading index options on the FTSE index. He was responsible for creating and running the trading strategy successfully for 10 years, where his claim to fame was calling the 2008 financial crisis and returning huge profits to his clients.
Adam then continued trading his and private clients’ investments in London while perfecting his option strategy. He then joined Black Legend Capital as a director based in the U.K. responsible for structuring M&A opportunities, corporate lending with private and public companies, and has mostly focused on tech companies. He intends to expand this business in the U.K. and Europe over the next few years.
Adam has a very comprehensive knowledge of the U.S. debt markets and structuring capital for private and public companies worldwide.
Chief Marketing Officer
Ms. Melton is an experienced business development and relationship management professional with a proven track record creating strategies that accelerate revenue, improve productivity, and produce exceptional ROI for clients. These skills were gained through years of experience within Fortune 100 companies, including Procter & Gamble, Sara Lee Corporation, General Electric, and Wells Fargo Bank.
Her primary focus has been the development of qualified prospects and initiating and maintaining profitable client partnerships with Fortune 500 and mid-sized corporations, private, and governmental entities.
During her 20-year tenure in the non-profit world, she has spoken in support of legislation on Capitol Hill and acted as a local, state, and national advocate for at-risk youth to secure partnerships with organizations, corporations, and donors to increase overall financial revenue for the organization.
Ms. Melton’s years of private sector experience includes executive level roles with Procter & Gamble and Sara Lee corporation, where she was responsible for sales at three national retail chains with 5,100 retail stores spanning 34 states and achieved 50% revenue growth for ninth largest customer for P & G.
She graduated with a degree in Business Administration from University of South Carolina.