COO & Principal

  • Stephen leverages more than two decades of business experience to provide clients with guidance and insights on business development and marketing, strategic counsel and project management, organization structure, and corporate positioning.
  • Previously served as co-founder and executive director of a statewide business advocacy organization, where he spearheaded the successful “Vote Yes on 2” campaign in support of the Judicial Selection Amendment to the Tennessee state constitution.
  • Adept at identifying, mobilizing and connecting with third-party allies in support of client goals, drawing upon his experience in coalition building and deep network of business and legal contacts across the state. 

With more than two decades of experience in the financial services industry, Stephen Susano provides clients with a broad business perspective including strategic counsel on business opportunities and project management, regulatory challenges, third-party engagement and market positioning. Stephen leverages his private-sector expertise to deliver for clients in multiple industries, while also serving as a principal liaison with the business and legal communities in Tennessee.

+ Read More

Prior to joining Stones River Group, Stephen served as a co-founder and Executive Director of the Tennessee Business Partnership (TBP), an advocacy organization of state business leaders. At TBP, Stephen spearheaded efforts to advance pro-business policies, including education and judicial reforms, to encourage state job growth and economic development.

In 2014, Stephen employed his extensive network of relationships across Tennessee’s business, political and legal communities to lead the “Vote Yes on 2” campaign in support of the Judicial Selection Amendment to the state constitution. Stephen built a diverse coalition of business groups, associations and community leaders in favor of the amendment. This coalition’s successful mobilization helped ensure the amendment was approved with overwhelming support.

During Stephen’s extensive career in the financial services industry, he served in several capacities including co-founder and managing partner of a hedge fund firm, the partner in-charge of building and managing a national business channel, chief compliance officer, and VP of business development for a large multi-state region. He consulted with and raised capital for both U.S. and foreign-based investment firms and has negotiated distribution and trading agreements with several companies. Through his work, Stephen navigated regulatory regimes in domestic and offshore jurisdictions and served as board chairman for a BVI-domiciled entity.

Stephen graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a B.A. in Economics. He serves on the board of directors of Communities in Schools of Tennessee and as an advisor to FourBridges Capital Advisors. A Knoxville native, he now lives in Brentwood, TN with his wife and four children.