Background/Qualifications

 

The qualifications of a services firm are predominantly the aggregate qualifications of the firmís professional staff.  The president and, currently, the sole executive staff member of BREIT Services is Trace Butler.  Trace founded BREIT Services as of the first of January, 2000.  However for the last fifteen years, Trace, through his various positions, has focused on the three primary services of BREIT Services, namely, fiduciary advisory services, business brokerage and corporate governance as an independent board member. 

Prior to forming BREIT Services, Trace served four years as President of Goerz Management Company, which had a similar customer base and orientation as that now maintained by BREIT Services.  Trace established the company as a registered investment advisor with the California Department of Corporations. 

For the preceding ten years, Trace worked for First Interstate Bank of California until shortly after the merger with Wells Fargo Bank in 1996.  Trace began his tenure at First Interstate as an analyst and later a supervisor in the Operations Group.   He joined the Business Advisory Services Group, which represented the ownership interests of privately held assets held in trusts and estates.  Trace progressed from an analyst to Vice President and Manager of the group.  As a result of Mr. Butlerís record of noteworthy profitability and tight controls with no losses related to mismanagement of assets, he was instrumental in the expansion of the scope of the department from California to all thirteen states in which First Interstate had trust powers.    

Mr. Butler has also been active with his own familyís business, a successful auto parts distributor and retailer in Georgia.  He has served in several roles there including Operations Manager of the distribution facility and more recently as a board member. 

In Traceís entire 20-year career he has worked with closely held businesses in operating roles and in an advisory capacity.  When an account holds a substantial minority or a controlling interest in a company, Mr. Butler represents the account as an active/involved shareholder, usually as a board member and occasionally as an officer.  While at First Interstate, Trace and his staff valued hundreds of closely-held business interests to satisfy Regulation 9 of the Department of Labor and for IRS Form 706 estate tax returns.

As a board member, Trace participates in the planning and development of the strategic direction and its implementation at several companies.  In conjunction with fellow board members, he selects the senior management group and their compensation, determines the composition of the companyís capital structure and approves any new financing arrangements or sales/purchases of equity, chooses an independent accounting firm and reviews and approves their management reports. 

Trace works with the companyís management to meet the needs of the trust or other shareholders as applicable.  If the trust/shareholders need current income from this asset, then he seeks to maximize distributions to shareholders within the financial, strategic, and operational constraints of the business.  If the trust/shareholders are more concerned with long-term appreciation from this asset class, he encourages the company to reinvest earnings in order to grow the business. 

Specific past roles include serving as Chairman of the Board for a $75mm (revenues) manufacturing, sales and leasing corporation for which Mr. Butler led the acquisition (via a reverse merger) of a $100mm competitor.  He served as interim President of two insolvent trade schools, turned around operating losses and negotiated stock sale agreements at above market levels.  Trace served or is serving as a director of a short-line railroad, an egg farm, a bearing manufacturer, and a corporation holding a high-rise office tower.  He also represented the bank as trustee as an active shareholder or partner in other manufacturing, service and real estate related entities.   

Mr. Butler is licensed by California as a Real Estate and Business Opportunity Broker.  He also is a Chartered Financial Analyst (C.F.A.) and a member of the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts and the Association of Investment Management & Research.  Trace received his Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) certification from the American Bankersí Associationís Institute of Certified Bankers.  He received an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and his BBA in Operations Management from the University of Georgia.  Other associations have included the National Trust Closely-Held Business Association, the Family Firm Institute, and the National Association of Corporate Directors. 

Mr. Butler also is an avid sailor and expects to complete a global circumnavigation by June 2002 on his forty-six foot ketch, Wanderlust.  He has earned a US Coast Guard Masterís license for vessels up to 100 tons with sailing and towing endorsements.