Zack Ellison


  • HFA West Coast Regional Director
  • HFA Private Equity & Venture Capital Committee


  • Managing General Partner and CIO, Applied Real Intelligence (“A.R.I.”)

Zack Ellison, CFA, CAIA, is the Managing General Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Applied Real Intelligence (“A.R.I.”). A.R.I. is a Los Angeles-based venture debt investment manager focused on providing financing solutions to innovative, high-growth, VC-backed companies in recession-resistant sectors and underserved regions. Mr. Ellison is responsible for leading A.R.I.’s investment activities, including sourcing, due diligence, structuring, execution, and portfolio management.

Previously, Mr. Ellison was Director, U.S. Public Fixed Income at Sun Life Financial, where he was responsible for corporate credit investing. Prior to Sun Life Financial, he was a corporate bond and credit default swap trader at Deutsche Bank. During the Global Financial Crisis, he was a banker focused on leveraged loans within the media and telecom sectors at Scotiabank. Mr. Ellison began his career in the financial services industry at Thomson Reuters within the firm’s Corporate Advisory Services division, where he served Fortune 500 companies as an investor relations advisor.

Currently, Mr. Ellison is a Board Member of CFA Society Los Angeles and a Board Member of the Southern California Chapter of the CAIA Association. Additionally, he is the Chair of the CIO Advisory Council and Chair of the University Relations Committee with CFA Society Los Angeles. He sits on various leadership sub-committees of Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investing group in the United States.

Mr. Ellison holds an MBA with concentrations in Analytic Finance and Economics from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, along with an MS in Risk Management from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College while majoring in Economics. Additionally, he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations and previously held FINRA Series 7, 55, and 63 licenses.