Partners, Counsel & Advisors

Brian Phillips, Managing Partner

Mr. Phillips has a unique background ideally suited to lead the Pearl Fund. He has a rare blend of being an early-stage entrepreneur, a global expert on economic development through entrepreneurship, an advisor to Ivy League faculty on how to convert their inventions into viable businesses, and an intrapreneur in several global organizations. 

Mr. Phillips has been a part of the founding team of a dozen startups. Two went public, two were acquired and one was sold via an MBO. As a founding CEO he has raised over $33M in venture capital. However, not all his startups were successes; the balance of them were shut down. Part of being successful in the field of entrepreneurship is learning from your failures and knowing how to fail quickly.

Mr. Phillips is  an active member of the Academic Venture Exchange, which is a collaboration between the technology transfer offices at Ivy League universities and experienced entrepreneurs. Through this mechanism Mr. Phillips has worked with faculty inventors and entrepreneurs from Columbia, Cornell, and Princeton Universities.  

Mr. Phillips currently has residences in New York City as well as in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. There are many federally designated Opportunity Zones located nearby these two residences.

Mr. Phillips is a U.S citizen, with a Bachelors of Science degree (B.S.) in Computer Science as well as a Masters in Divinity (M.Div), and an extensive career in entrepreneurship, development and investment spanning over 30 years.  More detail as well and references can be found at:


Eve Tetzlaff, Venture Partner

Eve Tetzlaff brings 26 years of experience at McKinsey & Company, Investment Banking and Venture Capital, and roles in strategy, marketing, business development, product development, and retail innovation, for companies from startups to multibillion dollar corporations.  She has worked in industries including dot com / high tech, healthcare / life sciences, and consumer products and services, both in the United States and abroad.  Her breadth of experience across industries and functions makes her a uniquely capable and well-rounded resource for the Pearl Fund's portfolio of investment companies.   

Ms. Tetzlaff began her career at McKinsey & Company in New York, serving clients in media, financial services, and food and beverages.  She transferred to Russia at the height of the country's transition to a private economy, where she honed a skill and the taste for working smartly and flexibly in rapidly changing, uncertain environments.  She left McKinsey to join Russia's largest Russian-owned investment bank (United Financial Group, later acquired by Deutsche Bank) and was on the founding team of one of Russia's earliest venture capital funds, identifying opportunities and investing into Russia's emerging consumer sector, and serving as a hands-on management team member of investment targets.  

Ms. Tetzlaff has spent over a decade of her career in startup companies.  During the dotcom boom of the mid to late 90s, Ms. Tetzlaff moved to Silicon Valley, where she was on the leadership team of two startup companies, responsible for Marketing, Business Development, and Product Development.    

She is a U.S. citizen, has a B.A. cum laude in Political Science from Yale University and speaks fluent Russian. More detail and references can be found at:


Counsel and Advisors


Polsinelli Law Firm

Polsinelli (link) is an Am Law 100 firm with more than 825 attorneys in 21 offices. Ranked #30 for Client Service Excellence and #10 for best client relationships among 650 U.S. law firms, Polsinelli was also named among the top 30 best-known firms in the nation.

Polsinelli’s experienced attorney team has studied the Opportunity Zones program from when it was signed into law, and is actively helping its clients navigate these new regulations. Working extensively with Economic Innovation Group (EIG), Polsinelli serves as a member on the EIG Opportunity Zone coalition. Their team considers it an imperative to stay apprised of regulatory updates that may affect our clients’ goals, and continue to lead on emerging deal structures.

Korb Maxwell, Shareholder (link)  leads the OZ practice at the firm and is the primary contact for the Pearl Fund.


Novogradac & Company

Novogradac (link) is a national professional services organization. The Novogradac organization consists of affiliates and divisions providing professional services that include certified public accounting, valuation and consulting. Novogradac is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. with more than 25 offices nationwide. 

Novogradac is an established Opportunity Zones leader with expert technical knowledge of key tax, accounting, transaction structuring and compliance issues. We are dedicated to helping communities grow and thrive. Novogradac will help guide you through the underlying tax, structuring and valuation issues of OZ investments.

Michael Kresseg, Partner (link) has provided significant amount of counsel to the fund on its structure and methods to ensure compliance and efficiency. 

Advisors (coming Soon)


We are fortunate to have a large  network from which we can draw expertise and resources at the appropriate time. 

Using advisors with extensive, deep expertise in their fields on an on-call basis will maximize the impact for the fund and minimize costs, enabling more capital to go where it is needed most which in turn will maximize investor's returns