BUSINESS FIRST: Pallas Partners Assembles Senior Team



Business First of Louisville - by Kevin Eigelbach Staff Writer
Pallas Partners Inc., a Louisville-based strategic advisory firm for businesses, has created a senior team.

“I’m thrilled to be able to put a group like that together,” said Matthew Saltzman, the company’s owner and founder. “It’s a great validation for our clients of where we are as a firm.”

The five men each hold the title of senior client adviser. They join Saltzman in overseeing client relations, providing guidance to affiliate consultants and serving as senior-level project managers.

The five are:

• Michael Levin, the founder and former CEO of the Levin Group, which at one point was among the nation’s largest real estate advisory and redeployment of assets companies for troubled retailers. In 1996, he merged the company into the Boston-based Gordon Brothers Retail Group.

• Victor Roos, who has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing, materials, sales and account management with early-stage and Fortune 500 companies.He is the founder and CEO of VPR International Inc., a Floyds Knobs company that provides components, sub-assemblies and contract manufacturing services.

• Lewis Rudy, who has worked for 22 years in organizational management in the global consumer goods industry and was president of Louisville Bedding Co. from 2002 to 2004.

• Hugh Sawyer, who most recently served as executive vice president of the Southern Division for AXA Advisors LLC. He has more than 25 years of experience in financial services.

• Karl Schmitt, who worked as a member of the senior-management team for Churchill Downs Inc. from 1987 to 2006, rising to the rank of senior vice president of corporate communications and becoming president of two of Churchill Downs subsidiaries. Most recently, as the sole owner of K Schmitt Consulting, he served as executive director of The Cup Experience/Mayor’s Host Committee for the 2008 Ryder Cup.

The team was created on May 12. Before joining the senior team, each of the men served the company as affiliate partners.  In addition to naming the senior team, Pallas recently expanded its offices at 12305 Westport Road to 2,000 square feet. The firm moved into the newly renovated space in April, Saltzman said.

The company focuses on what Saltzman calls the key components of any business: capital structure, operational efficiency and revenue growth. The firm has charged clients $4,000 to $12,000 a month, depending on the services rendered, he said. “It’s very client-specific.” Saltzman started the consulting business 18 months ago, with himself as the only employee, after he left his job as managing director for private-client services for the Louisville area for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Pallas Partners has had positive cash flow every month since its founding, he said, and it now has nine full-time and two part-time employees.

“Pallas is really about everything that’s possible,” he said. “There’s a clear and identifiable need, particularly in these tough economic times, for the kind of company we are and the kind of services we provide.”

The company advises other companies on business strategy by providing executive-level advisers from a multitude of disciplines. They work with their clients through the implementation of changes they recommend. “We don’t just write a business plan and leave,” Saltzman said. The company also has been successful helping other companies raise funds.
Last year, it helped Betsy Webb Stables LLC secure $3.4 million to fund construction of the Louisville Equestrian Center, a year-round saddle horse facility on South English Station Road.

Pallas Partners Inc.

Address: 12305 Westport Road
Business: Strategic advising for businesses
Owner and founder: Matthew Saltzman
2008 revenue: Would not disclose
Clients include: Betsy Webb Stables LLC, StarSat LLC, Fifth Third Bank, Greenberg Development Corp. Founded: December 2007

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