Michael comes to Accent Ventures with decades of experience in organizational change management with integration of cutting-edge techniques from various industries. Accent Ventures seeks to match solutions with businesses that will provide the basis for improved profit center development.
Most recently, Michael was co-founder of SMART Financial. SMART Financial is a start-up that seeks to roll-up the highly fragmented pawn store industry. Historically, the pawn industry has been comprised of small “mom and pop” stores with few organizations owning more than 3 stores. While there are two publicly traded companies that are active in the pawn industry, they represent less than 15% of the pawn stores in the United States. Recognizing the potential for synergies of acquiring smaller operations and implementing professional management, the founders of SMART seek to create an institutional quality company. The founders of SMART successfully raised $125M in private equity capital to launch its initial acquisition of 40 stores as well as provide the capital for additional acquisitions and de novo store growth.
Prior to co-founding SMART Financial, Michael worked as an independent consultant assisting in restructuring and executing work-out strategies with real estate developers and operating businesses. The turmoil experienced after the 2008 financial market shock created circumstances that required disciplined strategies to work through relationships with lenders and customers to mitigate financial and legal risks. Michael worked with a group of independent investors, private equity firms, lawyers and other professionals to assist clients and work through those challenges.
Michael has been involved in the property management and development business for more than 25 years. During that time, he developed and managed in excess of 10,000 housing units consisting of single-family, multifamily, townhome and luxury condominiums. His responsibilities included site selection, due diligence, site acquisition, entitlement management, planning, development and construction.
Michael has also served as CFO and then President of a $125M revenue financial services company. During his tenure with that firm, Michael was integral in the restructuring of their operations that led to successfully navigating the insurance crisis that arose after the attacks of 9/11. After successfully restructuring and laying the foundation for the continued growth of that company, the Board of Directors and primary owners sold the company to a publicly traded enterprise.
Michael holds a Master of Business Administration for the University of South Florida and a B.S. in Business Administration from Hannibal-LaGrange University. Michael maintains an active Real Estate Brokers license and General Contractor license in the State of Florida.