Experience makes all the difference


As former technology company leaders and investment banking executives, we’ve been in your shoes, and we understand your needs.


Our diverse backgrounds and experience include all facets of business operations, financing, risk management and high-tech law.

Extensive Relationships

Our global network of investors, banking partners and industry executives allows us to expedite the process of meeting your financial needs.

Meet Us

Richard Augustus, President at Aurus

Richard Augustus


Rich is the President and co-founder of Aurus Advisors, Inc., a FINRA registered broker/dealer, that provides collateralized finance and investment banking services to hedge fund managers, private equity firms, ultra-high net-worth family offices and corporate clients. In addition to his involvement in Aurus, Rich was co-founder and managing partner of Ascendant Behavioral Health, a mental health treatment practice in Utah. Ascendant was sold to LifeStance Health, a publicly traded healthcare platform, in January 2023. Until December 2022, Rich was also the President of Select Laboratory Partners, Inc., a healthcare services company based in Greensboro, North Carolina. Prior to founding Aurus in 2002, Rich served as Chief Operating Officer of Automated Data Exchange (ADX), a privately held B2B software company. He was primarily responsible for substantially improving operating performance and raising over $70 million from the venture, private equity, and corporate investors. Before this, Rich spent 15 years working primarily in the Capital Markets Division of Merrill Lynch. He held various positions, including Managing Director in the Global Equity Financing Division (London), Director of Global Equity Swaps, and Product Manager for Equity Derivatives. While at Merrill, he was responsible for structuring and investing in a broad array of arbitrage transactions for sophisticated investors and the firm’s account. He also acted as the primary relationship manager for many of the firm’s largest hedge fund clients, assisting them in all areas of their businesses, including portfolio management, trading, financing, and operations. Rich has a degree in accounting from Fairfield University and is a certified public accountant (inactive).

Joseph Russo

Senior Advisor

Joe Russo co-founded Aurus Advisors after a successful 35-year career at Merrill Lynch. As a former Managing Director in the Global Equity Financing Group in Merrill’s Capital Markets Division, Joe played a key role in building and overseeing the firm’s Global Prime Broker, Securities Lending, and Equity Swap businesses. Under his leadership and direction, these businesses significantly contributed to the growth and profitability of Merrill’s global equity business. During this time, Joe also served as the primary relationship manager for the firm’s most prominent hedge fund clients. Today, Joe is a valued senior advisor who provides strategic guidance and counsel to our firm.

Robert McDonough, Managing Director at Aurus

Robert McDonough

Managing Director

Bob has extensive experience in the securities industry. He is an expert in all areas of collateralized financing, including deal structuring, pricing, and management of counterparty, liquidity, and market risk. As a banker for Aurus, Bob has strong relationships with our global banking partners and clients, including hedge funds, private equity funds, and ultra-high net-worth family offices. Prior to joining Aurus, Bob spent 23 years at Merrill Lynch (Merrill), where he was a Managing Director reporting to the firm’s Chief Risk Officer, responsible for managing the firm’s credit exposure to over 1,000 hedge fund clients located in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. In addition, his responsibilities included establishing risk ratings and firm credit limits for clients, performing due diligence on fund managers, and negotiating ISDA agreements. In 2007, Bob became a Managing Director in Risk Management for Merrill’s Prime Brokerage unit. In this role, his responsibilities included overall risk management, oversight, and approval of less liquid, structured financings collateralized by hedge fund shares, subordinated loans, commodities, single stock holdings, and SPAC’s. Bob has a BS in accounting from Long Island University and a MBA in finance from Pace University. Bob is also a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).

Jason Wacha is a Legal and Strategy Advisor at Aurus

Jason Wacha

Legal & Strategy Advisor

Jason has degrees in English and economics from Stanford, and a doctorate in law from the University of California, Davis. He has been an attorney for more than 30 years, with both “big firm” experience (Wilson Sonsini) and 15 years as a general counsel/senior attorney at technology companies (from start-ups to public companies). But Jason is also a seasoned business executive with a personal understanding of the issues and pressures that arise in the search for capital. He started his first company in his twenties, and in his in-house career has held senior non-legal titles. He has counseled hundreds of companies on strategic matters, and helped to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients. And he has repeatedly gone through the stressful and time-consuming processes of raising capital for (and selling) his own companies, where his job and his career depended on the success of those efforts. He is proud to take a personal approach to each client, helping them to get their businesses from “Point A” to “Point B”. But he is happiest with the relationships he develops along the way. To quote the CEO of one of Jason’s clients: “The weird part is that we still have not met in person, but I consider you one of my most trusted friends.” Jason is eager to partner with you to get your business to the next level.

You deserve a trusted partner who will help you secure the financing that your company needs to grow.