Michael J. Leffell is the founder of Portage Partners, a privately held company focused on alternative asset investments. Mr. Leffell is Chairman of Canoe Software, a FinTech company leading the charge against manual data entry for alternative investments. Mr. Leffell was previously a Director of the PGE Corporation with his term ending in June 2020.
Until his retirement in 2010, Mr. Leffell was the Deputy Executive Managing Member of Davidson Kempner Capital Management, an event driven, multi-strategy hedge fund. While at the firm, Mr. Leffell also co-managed the Distressed Securities investment strategy for 20 years. With Mr. Leffell’s guidance, the firm evolved from having $20 million under management, to a $12 billion firm with over 150 employees in New York and London when he retired.
Prior to joining Davidson Kempner Capital Management, Mr. Leffell was a Litigation Associate in the New York law firm Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler.
In 1999, Mr. and Mrs. Leffell established The Lisa and Michael Leffell Foundation dedicated to Jewish education and strengthening security and vibrancy of the State of Israel. Mr. Leffell is President Emeritus of the Board of Trustees at the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, Chairman of Commentary Magazine, a Trustee of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, and is a Wexner Heritage Fellow.
Mr. Leffell received his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1984, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and earned a B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Clark University in 1981, where he was awarded the H. Donaldson Jordan Prize in History. Mr. Leffell lives in Westchester, New York with his wife Lisa and has four children Benjamin (Julie), Adam (Jenn), Lauren and Ari and four grandchildren Nellie, Jack, Leo, and Andi.