Investment Team & Organization

William Kassul


Mr. Kassul serves as Founder and Principal of Ranger Alternative Management II, LP, a position he has held since 2013, and focuses on marketing and business development. Mr. Kassul continues to serve as President of Traders Marketing, LLC, a position he has held since 2010. Traders Marketing is a Dallas based marketing firm which caters to the financial services industry. In addition, Mr. Kassul continues to serve as a Partner at TruSight Ventures, a position he has held since May 2013. From 2005 to 2010, Mr. Kassul became the Vice President of Marketing and Sales of Wizetrade, the #1 selling stock trading software platform at that time. Mr. Kassul spearheaded a campaign to re-brand and enhance the reputation of the Wizetrade platform through strategic relationships with broker dealers and financial websites as well as launching Wizetrade TV, one of the first IP TV networks. From 1991 to 2005, Mr. Kassul served in a variety of marketing and sales management positions on behalf of various technology companies such as Lucid 3-D, Mind Path Technologies and SportsWare Technologies/EM Golf, where he was instrumental in remarketing distressed golf course tee time inventory through online partners such as Travelocity, and over 30 regional newspapers. From 1988 to 1990, Mr. Kassul was an Account Executive at The Richards Group, an advertising agency where he served in a variety of marketing and advertising roles on behalf of companies such as Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Schenley Liquors and Residence Inn by Marriott.

Education: Mr. Kassul earned a BBA in Marketing from Texas State University in August 1986.

Gary Melara

Co-Portfolio Manager

Mr. Melara serves as Founder and Portfolio Manager of Ranger Alternative Management II, LP, a position he has held since 2013. In 1987 Mr. Melara founded TruSight Corporation to pursue research and development of the AI program which led to the development in 2009 of the TruSight technology which is now used in managing the Ranger Specialty Income strategy. In 2000, Mr. Melara became CEO of Catapult Systems; from 2001 to 2011, he also served as Senior Managing Consultant on behalf of Catapult for several of the firm’s high risk client projects. During this period, he helped Catapult become a successful e-business solution provider. From 1992 to 1999, Mr. Melara was a consultant, Vice-President and Chief Information Officer for TV Guide Magazine. From 1989 to 1992, Mr. Melara founded and served as President of Wylar Technology Corporation, which developed a video concierge system for use in the hotel and resort industry. Mr. Melara agreed to serve as Vice President of Technology through 1992 upon the sale of Wylar in December 1991. In 1980, Mr. Melara founded Transform Logic Corporation (known as Iconics, Inc. until 1985) where he developed a software product called Transform, which automated various mainframe application programming. He remained Chairman of Transform Logic until 2009 when IBM acquired Transform software. From 1982 to 1986, Mr. Melara led the development of a PC software product called Enrich on behalf of Iconics, Inc. In 1984, Mr. Melara founded Migent Software Corporation to market Enrich. From 1966 to 1980, Mr. Melara served in a variety of software development and managerial roles for Motorola and Grumman Corporation. While at Grumman, Mr. Melara participated in the development of software that supported the first manned lunar mission in 1969.

Education: Mr. Melara attended Hofstra University from September 1963 to May 1966.

Wes McKnight

Co-Portfolio Manager

Mr. McKnight serves as Co-Portfolio Manager of Ranger Alternatives. Prior to joining Ranger Alternatives, Mr. McKnight served as Senior Vice President, Commercial Dealer Services at SunTrust Bank, a position held since 2014. Mr. McKnight contributed to SunTrust’s growth and profitability by increasing receivables with real estate, inventory, equipment, working capital, and acquisition lending. From 2011 to 2014, Mr. McKnight became the Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis of Enterprise Financial Group. Mr. McKnight provided executive leadership team with financial guidance through strategic business modeling and reporting while managing a team of financial analysts and accountants. From 2009 to 2011, Mr. McKnight served as the Director of Reinsurance at Enterprise Financial Group, where Mr. McKnight developed and presented reporting that allowed participants of underwriting positions to easily understand results. Mr. McKnight served in an array of positions at Ford Credit Company from 1999 to 2009. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. McKnight served as Dealer Credit Specialist and Risk Management, where Mr. McKnight reviewed all commitments for dealers located in three states, including launching proprietary financial software and mentoring Dealer Credit Analyst. From 2006 to 2007, Mr. McKnight served as Regional Credit Analyst and Financial Analyst, where Mr. McKnight managed 78 dealership accounts covering four states, with commitments between $10 million and $150 million. From 2005 to 2006, Mr. McKnight served as Dealer Account Manager and Sales, where Mr. McKnight managed 22 dealership accounts with commitments of $625 million, covering three states. From 2004 to 2005, Mr. McKnight managed a staff of 10, which included Credit Analysts, Discounters and Underwriters as Financial Services Supervisor. From 2002 to 2003, Mr. McKnight served as the Wholesale Supervisor. Prior to serving as Wholesale Supervisor, he served as Dealer Credit Analyst.

Education: Mr. McKnight earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Colorado State University in 1999. In 2009, Mr. McKnight received his M.B.A. in Business Administration from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

Zach Wells

Investment Analyst

Mr. Wells serves as Investment Analyst of Ranger Alternatives, a position he has held since 2015. From 2014 to 2015, Mr. Wells served as Senior Credit Analyst at Happy State Bank and Trust Company where he was responsible for analysis, evaluation and underwriting various credit facilities ranging from $100,000 to $20 million. From 2012 to 2013, Mr. Wells served in Commercial Credit Analyst and Specialty Lending Analyst roles at Capital One Bank, N.A. During this period, Mr. Wells performed cash flow sustainability and loan structure analysis on middle market companies with revenues between $10 million and $500 million operating in varied industries. During his tenure at Capital One, N.A., Mr. Wells also supported a $3 billion senior secured loan portfolio consisting of 100+ non-bank financial institutions, including hedge funds, loan originators, and factoring companies. From 2011 to 2012, Mr. Wells was sole proprietor of a registered independent Federal contractor with the National Institute of Health.

Education: Mr. Wells earned a B.S. in Finance from Louisiana State University in 2012.

Lee Hammett

Investment Analyst

Mr. Hammett serves as Investment Analyst for Ranger Alternatives, a position he has held since 2016. From 2014 to 2016, Mr. Hammett served as a Commercial Loan Underwriter for Funding Circle LTD, where he was responsible for underwriting small US business loans and establishing credit guidelines regarding collateral treatment and industry evaluation.  From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Hammett served in a Commercial Underwriter role at Capital One Bank, N.A.  During this period, Mr. Hammett constructed models and performed analysis regarding collateral, leverage, and debt service coverage to assess the risks of default and permanent loss. During his tenure at Capital One Bank, N.A., Mr. Hammett also managed a $300 million loan portfolio consisting of commercial, industrial, governmental and non-profit entities.

Education: Mr. Hammett earned a B.A. in Communication Studies in 2006 and an M.S. in Finance in 2012 from Louisiana State University.

Operations and Client Service

Ranger’s operations and client service colleagues enable the investment team members to focus on important portfolio management decisions, research, security selection and risk management responsibilities with minimal administrative interference. Activities the operations team manages include accounting and finance, legal and compliance, information technology and human resources.

Similarly, the client service team administers all investor relations responsibilities to help ensure current and prospective clients receive a quality experience worthy of their confidence in Ranger. Promptly responding to investor requests, disseminating monthly statements and quarterly reports as well as facilitating client communication with investment and operations team members are a number of the activities managed by the client service group.