Meet our Truist Ventures team.

Bringing surprise and delight to financial services through disruptive investment

The Truist Ventures team has more than 50 years of venture investing experience. Our diverse team brings complementary skill sets and is well poised to supercharge your growth.

Vaness Vreeland

Vanessa Vreeland

Head of Truist Ventures, Executive Vice President

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Vanessa is a dynamic leader who has spent her 23-year career spearheading and leading private equity, venture capital and merger and acquisitions businesses within leading financial institutions. She’s built and led teams that have collectively invested more than $800 million of balance sheet capital into dozens of private equity funds and more than 50 operating companies across a variety of industries and stages. In addition to bringing new products and services to bank clients and teammates through strategic partnerships, her team’s investments generate sizeable fee income and ancillary revenue.

As the first to occupy most of the roles in which she’s served, Vanessa has held numerous executive level positions and has sat on more than 30 private equity/venture capital-backed company boards advising and partnering with CEOs and their leadership teams.

Previously, Vanessa served as Fifth Third Bank’s head of acquisition and strategic investments, leading both corporate development and corporate venture activities. In this role, she developed a comprehensive corporate development strategy and governance framework to consummate more than a dozen fintech investments and seven encompassing comprehensive partnerships—and acquire five businesses, including MB Financial.

Before serving as head of acquisition and strategic investments, Vanessa was Fifth Third Bank’s head of private equity, where she reinvigorated the bank’s disparate private equity efforts and developed an industry-leading strategy, which led to several hundreds of millions of balance sheet capital invested in dozens of private equity firms and operating businesses. This portfolio generated $50 to $75 million of fee income year over year and was invested across several industries and company stages.

Currently, she’s part of the Bon Secour Mercy Health Investment Committee in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Vanessa began her career as an early employee at Key Principal Partners, KeyCorp’s private equity division, where she completed dozens of secondary and primary equity transactions.

She received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, IN.

 Christina Bechhold Russ

Christina Bechhold Russ

Head of Strategic Investment Initiatives, Senior Vice President

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Christina is a founding partner of Empire Angels, a New York-based fund and angel network of young professionals investing in early-stage startups, with a focus on supporting millennial entrepreneurs.

Christina is a regular contributor on startups and leadership for The Wall Street Journal, a mentor for the Entrepreneurial Refugee Network, and a board member for venture fund advisory boards in both the U.S. and South America.

She’s also a TEDx speaker and was recognized by The New York Business Journal as a 2016 Woman of Influence, by Business Insider as a Woman to Watch in Venture Capital in 2018, and by Management Today and The Daily Telegraph as one of Britain’s 35 Women Under 35 in 2019.

Previously, Christina served as director of European investments for Samsung NEXT, an early-stage venture capital fund investing in software and services across mobile, consumer electronics, and display. She started her career in capital markets at Citigroup in New York.

Matt Tobin

Matt Tobin

Head of Commercialization, Senior Vice President

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Matt brings more than 20 years of experience in financial services, mergers and acquisitions, and solution integration experience to Truist Ventures. He’s focused on using his deep expertise within financial services to partner with tech-forward companies. And he aims to simplify complexity to realize strategic and innovative solutions at Truist for clients and teammates.

Through strategy, planning, development, integrations, and divestitures, Matt has helped organizations achieve target operating models. And, he has expertise in portfolio and program management and driving efficiencies and productivity gains.

Previously, Matt led Truist’s enterprise program office planning and execution of acquisitions and divestitures, engaging with internal and external partners to realize these strategic transactions.

Before joining Truist, Matt served as a director at NTT Data, focused on program delivery and sales. During his time there, he partnered with clients to implement change initiatives and integrate acquisitions at top U.S. banks.

Matt began his career with Accenture, aligned to the financial services practice. During his 10 years there, he managed integrations and change initiatives at several top 10 financial institutions.

He received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Jakub Konieczny

Jakub Konieczny

Investment Principal, Senior Vice President

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Jakub is an experienced investment underwriter, negotiator, board observer, and portfolio manager. With more than 15 years of experience in private equity and venture capital within the financial services industry, Jakub now leads investment diligence and portfolio oversight efforts for Truist Ventures.

Before joining Truist Ventures, Jakub served as a principal of Fifth Third Bank’s strategic investments group. He performed underwriting of numerous fintech seed and growth equity investments, led diligence teams to consummate partnerships with fintechs and technology acquisitions, and served as board observers for a dozen portfolio companies.

Previously, Jakub served as a vice president of Fifth Third Capital with responsibility for underwriting and oversight of a $500 million portfolio of private equity funds and direct investment across several industries.

Jakub began his career as a CPA after graduating from the University of Dayton with a degree in accounting, finance, and international business.

Nick Joyner, CFA

Nick Joyner, CFA

Investment Senior Associate

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Nick brings 10 years of experience in banking, capital markets, and investment management to his role at Truist Ventures. Nick leverages a breadth of experiences within large financial institutions and startup environments to aid in underwriting, deal structuring, and portfolio oversight efforts for Truist Ventures.

Before joining Truist Ventures, Nick was a partner in an institutional asset management startup where he served as head of fundamental research, overseeing $1.8 billion in assets. Nick has worked at various financial institutions throughout his career, including J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo.

Nick holds a Bachelor of Science in finance from Wake Forest University and an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He’s also a CFA charterholder.