co-Founder and former co-Managing Director
co-Founder and former co-Managing Director
Michael was the co-Founder and former co-Managing Director of Berkeley Capital. He served in various roles such as chief legal counsel, deal structuring, and stewarding portfolio company investments. His wisdom, experience, and strong leadership have pushed Berkeley to where it is today. His envision for Berkeley will continue to thrive as a part of our mission.
Michael K. Wager, beloved husband of Peggy (nee Gries). Loving father of Sarabeth (Bradford) Tukey, Samantha (David Schindelheim) Wager, Susan Wager, and Carrie Wager. Devoted “Papa” to Elaine Tukey and Dylan Schindelheim. Dear brother of Cindy (Howard Gordon) Wager. Dedicated Stepson of Sandra Wager (nee McKinney).
Born May 17, 1951, in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Albert Wager and the late Shirley (Horwitz) Wager, Michael was a pillar of his community. A graduate of Beachwood High School, Michael completed his studies at American University (BA), Columbia University (MA), and New York University (JD). Michael began his law career in New York, later returning to Ohio where he would build a storied career culminating as partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister.
Michael also served as an adviser to, and director of, several private and public companies. A dedicated civic leader, he served as a past chair of the board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. a member of the Executive Committee of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and a past chair of the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland. A lifelong learner, Michael was proud to spend time teaching at Case Western Reserve University. A passionate political activist, he was a candidate for the United States House of Representatives in 2014 and 2016.
Michael was a dreamer, a force of nature, an intellectual scholar, and a gifted connector of friends and family. He had extraordinary friendships from every stage of his life that have spanned decades. Above all else he loved his family fiercely, seeking to bring them together whenever possible.
We are deeply saddened by Michael's passing. We are forever grateful to have had him as a part of our Berkeley family and journey.
"As one of our co-founders, Michael led our firm in its early stages affording us his vast knowledge and invaluable expertise acquired over a long and highly distinguished career. Berkeley were extremely fortunate to be guided and supported by Michael, and it is our responsibility to preserve his lasting legacy of utmost integrity, accountability, and respect. Michael will be greatly missed by all." - Marcelo Dellavedova
"Michael was an esteemed colleague who played a key role in Berkeley's groundwork. He will always be honored by our team." - Rob Glickman
"Michael’s wisdom, support, and legal expertise helped Berkeley Capital grow to where it is today. Thank you, Michael. You will be profoundly missed." - Dan Gibel
"Michael was a force. Our first interactions were negotiations, so we saw that tough side of each other. However, once it was done it was done and I saw how brilliant, kind, and unassumingly funny he was. We grew into good friends and our time was cut far too short. He will be missed." - Sam Khouri
"There are people who have a profound impact on others without trying, just through their actions and the honesty and vigor with which they pursue what they do. Michael was that person. He was a brilliant leader with a great sense of humor. It was always a pleasure and extreme privilege to work with him. He will be deeply missed." - Svetlana Touline
"Michael, it was an honor to be able to work with an intelligent soul like you. I truly appreciate your lessons and your ability to see the positive among all. I will always remember you!" - Hannah Weaver
"Michael was an incredible person and I was constantly inspired by his ability to connect with others and always went out of his way to make others feel heard and valued. It has been an absolute honor to know Michael, and his legacy will undoubtedly continue with Berkeley’s success." - Michael McCurdy
"Everyday I have the pleasure to hear the great stories and memories about you that resonate so deeply with the Berkeley team. May you rest in peace as the impact you have left on so many lives on forever." - Luke Alders
"Michael was a tremendous person and also an incredible leader because he treated everyone with respect and sincerity. I am extremely grateful for each conversation we shared together." - Zeki Zai