León de Jerez is a partner at The SCA Group LLC. He has more than 26 years experience of business management in finance, direct investment, operating entities, and consulting. During this time he has grown both existing and new businesses, as well as led and advised a series of turnarounds. He has been active in the financials, transportation, logistics, commodities (extraction), defense, media, and technology sectors, and has acted as an advisor to family offices on both investment and operational matters.While working in the finance industry, de Jerez was responsible for the successful integration and turning around of the Drexel Burnham European Equity operations after they were acquired by County NatWest, a task that covered businesses in five countries. He designed and implemented a wholesale restructuring of the sales process, consolidated the number of offices and departments, and instituted new management reporting and information systems. The result was a slimmed down operation with like-for-like sales growth of over 30% in the first year.
As an asset manager, de Jerez built and turned around a series of investment businesses for Bank Julius Bär (Deutschland) AG in Frankfurt, Newton Investment Management in London, and Standard Life Asset Management in Edinburgh. At all three he was responsible for managing the assets as well as the businesses, growing assets managed by his departments from $500 million to $1.5 billion at Newton, and from approximately $3 billion to in excess of $10 billion at Standard Life. While at Standard Life, he also worked with the Group Risk Manager to design and implement new risk management systems, as well as overhauling the existing Management Information Systems; at the same time designing and implementing a $1.5bn derivatives overlay strategy (the largest then in existence) to ameliorate the Life fund’s tax liabilities. He also designed and implemented a new research methodology based upon Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard.
During this period, he led investments and turnarounds at a series of listed companies. This work involved hiring and dealing with senior management, as well as successfully negotiating with unions, governments, creditors and other stakeholders on labor and financial liabilities. Examples of these include the restructuring of Nedlloyd in the Netherlands, and Lagardère Group in France.
de Jerez has considerable M&A and advisory experience having successfully led the negotiations to establish a new joint venture between Newton Investment Management and Santander Investments, as well as leading the negotiations for the purchase of the Refco/Forstmann Leff European hedge fund operations by he and his partners, and its subsequent sale to Dexia. As Managing Partner of Alternative Finance Partners LLP, a boutique advisory firm, he worked with a number of small to medium-sized firms, advising them both on operational and capital challenges. Sample deals include Secure Scan UK, where he secured first and second round investment finance, Honeygrove Properties Plc where he advised on a public-to-private transaction, and Huntsman which required an operational and financial audit, leading to a restructuring of the company’s capital. He also worked with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to structure a private equity vehicle to invest in municipal infrastructure privatization for the Accession Countries of the European Union.
As a C-level executive, de Jerez has served as CEO of Newton Santander Investment Management, Chief Investment Officer and COO of Forstmann Leff’s European hedge fund operations, and CEO for CARSPAZE USA, Inc. In the latter position he built the structure for a new company established to develop an outdoor advertising company utilizing a multi-patented technology for use in parking garages at retail venues. He successfully led the company through three rounds of financing, negotiated commercial property rights with key mall owners such as Macerich, GGP, and Westfield, developed product for the US market, identified key corporate partners, and negotiated supply contracts. In his time as CEO, the company became an acknowledged leader in its field, winning such clients as American Express, jetBlue, HBO, and Verizon. He has also served as CEO for Science To Fiction Transmedia, Inc., a social media company and leader in original online content that launched its first project, RCVR, in 2011 with the backing of Motorola.
During his career, de Jerez was appointed a Bankdirektor in Germany, an advisor to the European Union Directorate General XII (Industry) on public-private finance initiatives for the biotech industry, and an advisory board member of EASDAQ (The European Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation). He currently serves on the advisory board for the Department of Astronomy at the University of Florida, and is a member of the Johns Hopkins University Discovery Council.
de Jerez is a graduate of the Honour School of Jurisprudence, Oxford University.