▶ Our Company
▶ Our Leadership
▼ Our Board
▶ Our Rating
A blend of industry executives, investment managers, management and shareholders provides valuable oversight and input.

Our Board



David Odenath
Director, Chair of Audit Committee

Mr. Odenath is former Senior EVP and Head of the Americas for Legg Mason, Inc. At Legg Mason, he oversaw businesses totaling over $600 billion of assets under management. Mr. Odenath joined Legg Mason from Prudential Financial, where he served most recently as President of Prudential Annuities and Co-Head of International Retirement. Under Mr. Odenath's business leadership, Prudential built an over $80 billion industry leading innovative top-tier operation in the variable annuity business through a combination of organic growth and the successful acquisitions and integrations of the American Skandia and Allstate variable annuity businesses. From 2002, when he assumed the role, to his departure in 2007, adjusted operating income and sales for the division grew from ($42 million) to $722 million and revenues from $741 million to $2.5 billion, generating over a 20% return on equity. From 1999 until the end of 2002, Mr. Odenath was President of Prudential Investments, with more than $100 billion in AUM across mutual fund, annuity and managed accounts. He was also a member of the Operating Committee and on the Board of Prudential Securities. During that period, Prudential successfully repositioned its retail investment operations to focus on third party distribution with an emphasis on sub-advisory relationships and innovative new products. Since joining the industry in 1979 as a financial advisor, Mr. Odenath has also held senior roles at Hyperion Capital and PaineWebber.

Mr. Odenath is former Chairman of the Insurance Marketing Standards Association, a nonprofit, independent organization created to strengthen consumer trust and confidence in the marketplace for individually sold life insurance, long-term care insurance and annuities. He was on the Board and Vice Chair of NAVA, an organization formed to address the need and importance of retirement income preparation and management for retirement-focused Americans.

David Wasserman
Director, Chair of Finance & Risk Committee

David Wasserman spent twenty years in various executive roles with Zurich Insurance Group, one of the largest insurance and financial service organizations in the world. Mr. Wasserman served on the Group Management Executive Board of Zurich, and was the Group Chief Investment Officer, responsible for managing over $200 Billion of general account assets and $75 Billion of separate account assets across more than 100 countries. Concurrently Mr. Wasserman was also the Group Chief Strategy Officer, responsible for Zurich’s strategic planning function. In these dual roles, Mr. Wasserman introduced asset allocation and asset/liability risk management strategies across Zurich’s businesses that strengthened Zurich’s earning power, implemented an acquisition and divestiture strategy which expanded Zurich’s core businesses while exiting non-core businesses, and led successful efforts to raise new equity capital and strengthen Zurich’s ratings. While at Zurich Mr. Wasserman’s other roles included CEO of Zurich’s offshore reinsurance business, Chairman of Zurich’s capital markets businesses, and CEO and Founder of Zurich’s alternative investment business, which managed over $6 Billion of internal assets in hedge fund and private equity fund of funds. Mr. Wasserman joined Zurich from KPMG, where he was KPMG’s Chief U.S. Insurance Actuary, and Principal and National Director of KPMG’s U.S. Insurance Actuarial Consulting Practice.

David Wasserman graduated from Brown University in 1976 with a B.S. in Economics and Applied Mathematics. He is a fully qualified actuary with the designation of Fellow, Casualty Actuarial Society, and also holds the Associate in Risk Management designation from the Insurance Institute of America. As an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the NYU Stern School of Business, he taught graduate courses in Insurance Risk Planning and in Hedge Fund Investing. Currently he is the Board Chairman of the Art Therapy Outreach Center, a nonprofit providing free art therapy to underserved low income populations in New York City who have experienced trauma. He is also Board Chairman of Common Good Partners, Ltd, a U.K. based consultancy firm specializing in innovation and intellectual property commercialization.

Ara D. Cohen
Co-Chairman

Mr. Cohen has been involved in the business of investing in debt and equity securities for nineteen years. Prior to co-founding Knighthead Capital Management, LLC in 2008, Mr. Cohen was a principal at Redwood Capital Management from early 2001, shortly after the firm’s founding by Jonathan Kolatch, a former partner of Goldman, Sachs & Co. Mr. Cohen subsequently helped build the firm from a small start-up to a multi-billion dollar fund. From 1998 until 2001 Mr. Cohen was a Principal of King Street Capital Management L.L.C., a hedge fund focusing on distressed securities. He was the first investment professional to join King Street after its founding three years prior by the two general partners. From 1995 until 1998, Mr. Cohen was a principal of Tamarix Capital Corporation, an international merchant banking firm focused on making investments in companies experiencing difficulties due to a lack of capital, financial expertise or managerial focus. Mr. Cohen began his career in 1993 at Brown Brothers Harriman & Company where he served principally as an analyst for The 1818 Fund, L.P. and The 1818 Fund II, two private equity partnerships sponsored by the firm with over $800 million of committed capital. Mr. Cohen graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College in 1993.

Thomas Wagner
Co-Chairman

Mr.Wagner co-founded Knighthead Capital Management, LLC after being involved in the distressed and high yield business for many years. Prior to Knighthead Capital’s founding, Mr. Wagner was most recently employed by Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he was a managing director responsible for running the distressed and high yield credit trading desks. He also co-managed the firm’s Capital Structure Franchise Trading desk, which combined the trading of credit and equity products issued by stressed and distressed companies. Mr. Wagner oversaw 22 traders specializing in a variety of credit and equity products including cash bonds, credit default swaps, listed and OTC equities, convertible bonds, preferred stock and equity options. Mr. Wagner was also active in the firm’s mentoring, recruiting and diversity programs. Prior to joining Goldman in 2000, he was employed for two years at Credit Suisse First Boston (“CSFB”) as a high yield trader and special situations desk analyst. Mr. Wagner graduated Beta Gamma Sigma from Columbia Business School in 1999 and worked full time at CSFB during his second year of studies. Prior to attending business school, he worked for 5 years at Ernst & Young, LLP in the firm’s hedge fund practice providing audit and consulting services to a wide range of investment funds. During his tenure at Ernst & Young, LLP, Mr. Wagner was registered as a Certified Public Accountant in Massachusetts and the Cayman Islands. Mr. Wagner graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1992.

Nathan N.W. Bauman
Director, Chair of Investment Committee

Mr. Bauman is a Managing Director at Ottawa Avenue Private Capital, where he has served for over 10 years.  As a Managing Director, he is a portfolio manager responsible for originating, underwriting and managing equity, mezzanine debt, senior loans and structured credit private equity fund investment, co-investments, and direct investments.  In addition, he serves in an advisory board role for all fund investments.  He was previously in the Investment Banking, Financial Institutions Group of FBR Capital Markets in Arlington, Virginia.  During his 8 years at FBR, he led over $3.3 billion in capital market financing and strategic M&A transactions.  He has studied in both Spain and Switzerland and holds citizenship in both the US and Venezuela.  He earned a Masters of Business Administration from Georgetown University and a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. 

© Knighthead Annuity & Life Assurance Company. All Rights Reserved. |  Terms & Conditions
P.O. Box 10711, 62 Forum Lane, 1st Floor, Camana Bay, Cayman Islands KY1-1006 | 345-623-0300
English | Español