Kirsten co-founded AirFinance in 2008 with a few other partners with long histories in aviation financing, and in 2010 took a leave of absence from the company to work with Hawker Beechcraft Corporation the manufacturer of business, special-mission and trainer aircraft. While at Hawker, Kirsten was Vice President, Sales Financing, Structured Finance & Corporate Development where she was responsible for structured finance, sales financing, corporate development, strategy, joint ventures, developing and maintaining relations with financing institutions and investment banking communities as it related to mergers and acquisitions.
Before AirFinance, Kirsten was a co-founder, board member and CFO of XOJET, a San Francisco based private aviation company sold to TPG Capital in the fall of 2007. Kirsten was part of the original core executive team that built XOJET and developed its innovative business jet outsourcing model. As CFO, she oversaw financial and strategic initiatives including aircraft purchasing and financing for XOJET’s rapidly growing fleet. In addition, Kirsten was responsible for the company’s financial operations, treasury, tax, audit, legal, human resources and IT. At XOJET, Kirsten structured and raised more than $3 billion of equity and debt financing predominantly for the purchase of aircraft, which included the first export credit agency pre-delivery payments financing in the business jet space, the first commercial style business jet leasing transaction by a major investment bank, and the first sovereign government financed equity and debt facility.
Prior to joining XOJET, Kirsten spent the prior 12+ years in private equity, investment banking and capital markets. Most recently Kirsten was a partner at Alpine Investors, a San Francisco based middle market private equity firm, where she led investments in the aviation, business process outsourcing, education/training and the consumer spaces. Before Alpine, Kirsten was with JPMorgan Partners, the global private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase. Kirsten began her career at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she worked in the corporate finance group in Goldman’s investment banking division and also in fixed income capital markets where structured transactions for covered northeast industrials and government sponsored agencies.
Kirsten received a BA, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania where she was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar, and an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. She was a Council Foreign Relations member, a French American Foundation Young Leaders Fellow, a German Marshall Fellow and a Young Leader Fellow with the Committee on US China Relations.
In 2012, AirFinance and Kirsten were awarded Deal of the Year for structuring the first BNDES sponsored general aviation financing outside of Brazil for $167MM of financing for Flight Options to assist them in purchasing a fleet of Phenom 300s. Kirsten is based in San Francisco, CA and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and +1.415.609.1289.