John Varones

Founder and CEO
Systima Capital Management

John started his finance and investment career as Executive Director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, a $1.8 billion, 165-employee secondary mortgage market institution.  At the time of his appointment, John was the youngest CEO of a state housing finance agency in the nation.  In 1999, John started and ran the Chicago office of Apollo Housing Capital, a tax-advantaged real estate investment firm, later purchased by the Royal Bank of Canada.

In 2005, John joined Goldman Sachs in New York as a Vice President, where he helped launch two new trading and principal investing efforts for real estate assets.  Initially, John worked on the Municipal Structured Products (MSP) desk, helping grow a real estate structured lending business to $1 billion in value.  Later, he moved to the Special Situations Group (SSG) where he helped start a principal investing effort for public-private real estate assets.  In 2011, John founded Systima Capital Management, an alternative investment manager focusing on structured investing in the specialty housing, mortgage and real estate sectors. John has a B.A. degree from the University of Illinois and M.A. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Chicago.  As a Fannie Mae Foundation Fellow, John studied and researched U.S. housing finance policy and programs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.