Max DeZara

Founder & Managing Partner


Max is the founder and managing partner of Akoya and is responsible for overseeing all activities of the firm including investment sourcing and valuation, transaction structuring, the securing of acquisition financing, fundraising and all administrative activities.  He has a strong track record of identifying and executing successful investment opportunities across a range of industries and has developed expertise in working with founders and CEOs of family-owned businesses to create value for shareholders.

Prior to founding Akoya, Max had extensive experience in talent acquisition, assessment, and human capital recruiting. Max was a pioneer in this field, having founded and led a successful national boutique executive search firm, Carlyle Group, for over two decades.

Max successfully sold the Carlyle Group to The Whitney Group and created a top-ten global executive search firm with a strong international presence. His election as vice chairman and board member of The Whitney Group, as well as his leadership of their global private equity practice, suggested that he was highly regarded within the organization and made significant contributions to its growth and success.

Max’s experience in talent acquisition and human capital consulting has been valuable in his role at Akoya, where identifying and partnering with talented executives and business owners is often a key component of creating value for investors.

Portfolio Company Board Participation

  • Alinabal
  • Devansoy
  • TTG
  • ICM, prior to exit
  • MMG, prior to exit
  • CASS Polymers / Milamar Coatings, prior to exit
  • Peerless Fence

Outside of Work

Max is involved in several professional organizations, including Tiger 21, a platform for members to collaborate and learn from one another, leveraging the collective wisdom and experience of their peers. By fostering a culture of peer-to-peer learning and collaboration, Tiger 21 helps its members make informed decisions about their finances, and plan for their legacies.

Max’s philanthropic involvement as a board member of Hope Chicago and formerly as chairman of the Century Foundation for Lane Technical College Prep High School demonstrate his dedication to making a positive impact in his community, supporting education and helping to create a better future for all.

As a board member of Hope Chicago, Max is contributing to the organization’s efforts to improve the lives of individuals and families in underserved neighborhoods in Chicago. This is a meaningful way to give back to the community and help address pressing social issues.

Similarly, as the former chairman of the Century Foundation for Lane Technical College Prep High School, Max played a vital role in supporting education and providing resources to students and staff at Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago. Education is a key component of personal and professional growth, and Max’s involvement with the foundation shows his commitment to helping young people succeed.

Max leads an active and fulfilling life with his wife, Megan, children Lauren and Brian, and their furry companion and goldendoodle, Ivy. His love for outdoor activities such as boating, hiking, and adventure travel help him to stay active and fit, while exploring new places, and creating unforgettable memories.