Joe Alala, III is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Capitala Group, one of the largest asset management firms providing equity capital and debt capital exclusively to lower middle market businesses. Mr. Alala founded Capitala Group as CapitalSouth Partners in 1998 at the age of 28, the youngest founder of an SBIC debenture fund in history. Mr. Alala has directed the growth of Capitala Group by being actively involved in the origination, structuring and monitoring of investments made by Capitala Group’s investment vehicles and managed accounts. In his active role on the investment committees of each fund, Mr. Alala reviews and approves all investments, punctuating his 20 years of experience in the mezzanine lending, leveraged finance, distressed debt and private equity businesses.
Mr. Alala is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Capitala Finance Corp., a publicly traded business development company (Nasdaq:CPTA) and is a board member of several Capitala Group portfolio companies. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Friends of Princeton Track and Field Group, as well as the Board of Visitors for Wake Forest University School of Law and the Wake Forest Charlotte Executive Board of Advisors. Mr. Alala has been a member of the Young President’s Organization since 2000.
Mr. Alala holds an A.B. in economics, with a minor in politics, from Princeton University. He earned his J.D. and M.B.A. from Wake Forest University.
Stephen A. Arnall has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Capitala Finance since 2013 and Chief Operating Officer since 2019.
Prior to joining Capitala Finance in 2013, Mr. Arnall was the Executive Vice President and Treasurer (previously Chief Financial Officer) of Park Sterling Bank from 2006 to 2013. Mr. Arnall was also the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Scottish Bank from 1998 to 2006. Mr. Arnall graduated from James Madison University, where he received a B.B.A. with a major in Accounting. Mr. Arnall is a Certified Public Accountant.
Kevin A. Koonts joined Capitala Group in 2013 and currently serves as Chief Accounting Officer of Capitala Finance Corp.
Prior to joining Capitala Finance in 2013, Mr. Koonts was an audit manager at Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, primarily serving southeastern Financial Institutions. Mr. Koonts graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and a Masters in Accounting. Mr. Koonts is a Certified Public Accountant.
Richard Wheelahan has been the Chief Compliance Officer of Capitala Finance since 2013, has served as a director of the legacy funds since 2014, and had served as a prior Vice President since 2010.
Prior to joining the legacy funds, Mr. Wheelahan was a transactional attorney with Moore & Van Allen PLLC’s corporate practice group and Mayer Brown LLP’s leveraged finance practice group. Mr. Wheelahan graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.A. in Political Science and Russian Interdisciplinary Studies, received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, NC, and is a member of the North Carolina Bar.