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Robert Trigaux

CEO Mercedes Walton out at stem cell storage firm Cryco-Cell following board battle




Above: Five year performance of Cryo-Cell International stock. It trades at about $2.75 this morning.

mercedeswaltonceocryo-cellcourtesyof.jpgNo surprise here, but following a losing proxy battle for control of the board of directors at the Oldsmar stem cell storage firm Cryo-Cell International, CEO Mercedes Walton (photo, left) is out.

A company SEC filing says that the (newly elected) board of Cryo-Cell terminated Walton and appointed David I. Portnoy and Mark L. Portnoy, brothers, as co-chief executive officers.

Who are these Portnoys? According to the SEC filing, David Portnoy, 48, is also president of a small South Florida investment firm called Focus Financial Corp., a private investment banking and venture capital firm that was formed in 1988. He also serves as president of Visual Investment Corp., a private investment firm. He reportedly has experience in venture capital investments, including two investments that subsequently went public, Daleen Technologies Inc. (except Daleen is now a pink sheet company and barely on anybody's radar) and Caribbean Cigar Company (which seems to no longer had a ticker symbol for trading and its web site is barely functional).

Currently, he serves as board chairman of PartnerCommunity Inc., a software and hardware integration firm in Boca Raton. He graduated from The Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania.

David's brother and now co-CEO, Mark Portnoy, 47, has been managing his "personal investments" since April 1997. He currently serves on the boards of directors of PartnerCommunity Inc. (see above), and uTIPu Inc., a private Internet-based business. From January 1995 to April 1997, he worked at Strome, Susskind Investments as its chief fixed income trader. From March 1986 until November 1991, he was employed at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp.

The SEC filing adds that Mark Portnoy's experience includes negotiating contracts for National Basketball Association players totaling approximately $30 million. Here's the SEC filing.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, St. Petersburg Times


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 10:37am]


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