Merritt Healthcare’s leadership team of highly qualified business and healthcare professionals is dedicated to using our combined decades of experience to optimize your organization’s value in an increasingly competitive market.

Matt Searles, MBA


Matt Searles has served as a partner with Merritt Healthcare since 2001. In that time, he has developed, managed and advised a variety of healthcare facilities across the country. In the last ten years, Searles has acted as a sell side advisor on over $1b in transactions involving surgery centers, surgical hospitals and physician practices as well as represented hospital systems acquiring outpatient facilities.

Searles holds a Master of Business Administration from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia, where he was a member of a varsity athletic team. He now lives with his wife and five children in Westchester County, New York. He is also a registered investment banking agent with a Series 79 and 63 license.


William F. Mulhall, RN, CASC


William Mulhall has served as a partner with Merritt Healthcare Advisors for more than 10 years. In that time, he has worked on a variety of ASC projects focusing on clinical operations, accreditation attainment and maintenance, compliance, and facility design and construction. Prior to joining Merritt, Mulhall was the director of operations for a nonprofit emergency medical service and has held clinical and supervisory positions with local healthcare institutions.

He has worked in the healthcare industry for more than 20 years and has been a registered nurse for more than 16 years. Mulhall also holds a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Graceland University.

Rich Searles


Rich Searles has overseen ASC business administration in the Northeast region since 2008, and has been directly involved in Merritt’s business development, brokerage and consulting services. He has worked on a wide range of projects that include de novo and existing outpatient facilities, hospital outpatient departments and practice management. Prior to joining Merritt, Searles was an associate with a brokerage company in New York. He is a registered investment banking agent with a Series 79 and 63 license.

Searles graduated from Wake Forest with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and currently resides in Westchester County, New York with his wife and daughter.

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Jim Freund

Executive Vice President of Business Development

Jim Freund started his career in the ASC industry more than 25 years ago. As a partner in the first software company in the space, he grew it into a national leader. He later became a founding partner in Source Medical and headed up sales and business development at HELP Equipment Planning (sold to Broadlane), GENASCIS (sold to Abeo) and One Medical Passport. During his time in the industry, Freund has worked with a majority of the management companies, consultants and ASC industry leaders as well as more than 1,000 individual centers. He has an extensive background in surgery center operations and technology along with a deep understanding of ASC development and ownership structures.

Freund was selected as SurgiStrategies’ Who’s Who in the ASC industry in 2009 and by Becker’s Healthcare as a “Person to Know” numerous times. In addition, he has spoken at more than a dozen conferences and has been a frequent contributor to industry publications. Freund is a graduate of Quinnipiac University’s School of Business and has been inducted into the Branford, Quinnipiac University and New Haven Tap-Off Club Hall of Fames.

Kerri Ubaldi, RN, MBA, CPHRM

Vice President of Operations

Prior to joining Merritt as its Vice President of Operations, Kerri Ubaldi served as a registered nurse for 22 years in the operating room, intensive care unit and emergency department. She has held numerous managerial and supervisory positions throughout the hospital setting, primarily focused on staff recruitment and retention, implementation of safety and quality improvement systems, patient satisfaction improvement projects and day-to-day department operations. Ubaldi also worked in the Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs department in a large hospital in southwest Connecticut for five years.

Ubaldi received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and a Master of Business Administration from Fairfield University. She is certified in Healthcare Risk Management since 2007 through the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management and lives in Milford, Connecticut with her husband and two children.


Sarah Cote, MBA

Vice President of Finance

Sarah Cote supports all facilities’ business operations as well as reporting monthly and quarterly results. Prior to joining Merritt, Cote was a Vice President at JPMorgan Chase & Co. working on their corporate finance team where she created firm wide reports for the chief financial officer. She also held previous financial reporting roles at Moody’s Investor Services and Travelers Insurance company. Cote received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Northeastern University in Boston and a Master of Business Administration from University of Hartford. She lives in Stamford, Connecticut with her fiancé.

Chris Carlesi


Chris Carlesi joined the Merritt team as an analyst in 2014 and brings a background in mathematics and analytics to the firm.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and with a minor in economics from Binghamton University. Carlesi also is a mixed martial artist and lives in Westchester, New York.


Zak Eisenberg

Senior Associate

Zak Eisenberg joined the Merritt team in 2017. He brings significant analytical experience to Merritt, having led the analysis team at a biotech/life science focused venture capital firm as well as a renewable energy and project finance focused private equity firm in New York. His experience includes sourcing and analyzing transactions, sourcing capital, and negotiating and structuring investments, which he utilizes in his capacity as Senior Associate. At Merritt, Zak has been integrally involved in the strategic development and execution of ASC transactions.

Zak holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics and International Relations from Boston University.

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