Our team is committed to building value in industrial businesses. We are committed to the success of both our investors and management teams, and we work tirelessly to create value.

Stephen J. Ellis



Steve Ellis has been involved in the buyouts of both healthy and distressed companies and has grown and built value within these in his 25-year plus career. An entrepreneur himself, he founded Stratford-Cambridge Group to utilize his operational skills and experience to build value within its portfolio. Previously, Steve was President and majority owner of BEHCO, Inc., an industrial distribution and manufacturing company until its sale and he remains an advisor to the company. His primary leadership roles at SCG are (i) overall firm management, (ii) managing portfolio company investments and board leadership, and (ii) continuing to build and maintain investor relationships.

Steve is an active member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), The Alliance of Mergers and Acquisitions Advisors (AMAA) and has served on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and is currently a member of the ACG Public Policy Committee, and has also held board and equity positions in various companies.

Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree from Lawrence Technological University and has completed the Private Equity & Venture Capital program at Harvard Business School.

Jay Freund



Prior to joining Stratford-Cambridge Group in 2018, Jay’s 25-year plus career began in investment banking and evolved to principal investing in private equity and other junior capital opportunities.  Within these positions, Jay has gained valuable experience partnering with lower middle-market management teams in the manufacturing, industrial/business services, and value-added distribution sectors.  Jay has been associated with firms including Canal Capital Partners, PNC Erieview Capital (fka National City Equity Partners), Banc One Capital Corporation, and The Ohio Company. His primary leadership roles at SCG are to assist in (i) originating, evaluating, closing, and managing portfolio company investments, and (ii) continuing to build and maintain investor relationships.

Jay is currently co-chair of the leadership council for the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors (AM&AA) Northeast Ohio chapter.  In addition, he is an active member of the Cleveland Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).

Jay contributes time to the boards of non-profit organizations in the Northeast Ohio region, particularly groups that look to improve the lives of individuals in the community.  He received a BSBA in economics from Ohio Northern University and his MBA from the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University.

Jay is located in the Cleveland/Northeast Ohio market.

Emily Bertsche Murto



Emily Bertsche Murto has been involved in the financing and operations of sponsor-backed companies throughout her career. Emily is a Vice President at Stratford-Cambridge Group and is involved with many aspects of the operation of the firm, including evaluating and analyzing investment opportunities, portfolio company management, business development and investor relations.

Previously, Emily worked in Capital Markets at Avant, an online consumer lender, where she was responsible for selling structured finance products to asset managers in the U.S. and China and worked on their securitized products team. Prior to that, Emily worked as an Associate at Ares Management underwriting junior debt and unitranche credit facilities supporting private equity backed transactions primarily in the middle market space across a variety of industries. Emily started her career as an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Investment Banking Division in its Global Industrials Group, where she worked on a broad range of M&A, debt and equity assignments.

Emily graduated with honors from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a degree in International Politics. She is also a member of the Detroit Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and the Women's Forum. In her spare time, she volunteers as a magician at Mott Children's hospital through a non-profit called Open Heart Magic and is an avid runner.