The men behind ALK Capital’s takeover of Burnley

The make up of the new Burnley board of directors will be announced in due course after ALK Capital’s takeover.

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 2:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st December 2020, 2:18 pm
Mike Smith, Alan Pace and Stuart Hunt

But you may have wondered who the people behind the deal are.

Managing partner Alan Pace’s name and face are becoming more known, while partners Stuart Hunt and Mike Smith were also pictured in one of the images distributed after the announcement.

ALK Capital’s leadership team comprises of Managing Partner Alan Pace, who has become the new Chairman of Burnley Football Club, and his partners Stuart Hunt, Mike Smith, Morgan Edwards and John Dewey.

And here are their executive biographies.

ALAN PACE

Alan Pace is an accomplished leader in sports and financial services with more than 20 years’ experience on Wall Street overseeing multibillion-dollar divisions and 10 years in sports management.

The dual British-American citizen has long held an affinity for football, beginning with stories from his father who lived in northern England as a young adult before falling in love with the beautiful game while attaining a Master’s degree in International Finance at IESE Business School in Barcelona.

During the 1992 El Clasico at the Camp Nou Alan watched Hristo Stoichkov score an 87th-minute winner for a team managed by Johan Cruyff that went on to win La Liga, lighting a long-term ambition to be at the cutting edge of the sport.

Alan began his financial career at Lehman Brothers where he became a Managing Director before being headhunted by sports and entertainment entrepreneur and Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checketts, who installed him as CEO & President of the Major League Soccer team.

There, he oversaw a remarkable turnaround in the club’s fortunes, rebuilding from the ground up to take a consistently last-place team onto becoming the 2009 MLS champions in just two seasons.

Alan continued as a sought-after sports business advisor for team owners and leagues as part of SCP Worldwide LLC where he was responsible for oversight of football assets and assistance with investments in other sports and entertainment properties.

But with the industry facing major crisis, Alan returned to financial services in 2008, taking up a key role as Head of Americas Prime Finance at leading bank Citi, where he helped guide the bank through one of the most challenging periods in its history. He later served as Managing Director and the Global Head of Sales Securities Services, overseeing a multibillion-dollar division.

Alan left Citi to found ALK Capital in 2019 with the ambition to acquire a football club with fellow investors and apply the best-practice learnings in business and sports management to this field.

Alan splits his time between New York and London with his wife Kristen and, having grown up in Southern California, enjoys surfing and snowboarding. He has three daughters whose initials make up the ALK in ALK Capital.

STUART HUNT

Having achieved success both in financial services for JPMorgan and a variety of hedge funds on Wall Street, Stuart Hunt has also built a restaurant business which operates across 40+ locations in the US and employs nearly 1000 members of staff.

Having excelled at lacrosse in college, Stuart has retained a keen interest in sports and the business of sport and joined Alan Pace as a partner of ALK Capital bringing his expertise in investing and operating high-returning businesses across a variety of industries.

MIKE SMITH

As an experienced legal professional Mike Smith has represented some of the largest companies and most successful entrepreneurs in the world in the areas of financial operations, strategic positioning, complex problem solving and high-profile crisis management.

Enjoying a rapid rise in the legal industry, named in the ‘Top 40 under 40’ by the American Legal Media, Mike spent 20 years at New York-based Brewer Attorneys & Counselors – becoming their youngest person to be made partner – before moving into the world of start-ups and joining ALK Capital.

Within sports Mike has advised American Football leagues, professional sports franchise owners, and served as Strategic Advisor and Counsel in development of the world’s largest ice centre.

MORGAN EDWARDS

Across almost 30 years in the financial services sector, Morgan Edwards has been involved in more than 400 mergers and acquisitions, totalling more than $40 Billion whilst working for leading firms such as Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns and Macquarie.

More recently Morgan has acted as Chief Financial Officer for several start-ups with his passion now transferred to growing businesses in this space such as CommonBond – named a ‘Genius’ company by Time magazine – where he helped grow loan volumes from $2m a month to $50m a month.

JOHN DEWEY

An experienced Chief Operations Officer, John Dewey has worked across the world for some of the biggest names in financial services, including Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Citi and most recently JPMorgan Chase.

Two of his most recent roles at Citi and JPMorgan have been entrenched in analytics and this data-led, financially prudent approach helped to increase revenues by $5m a month for his clients at JP Morgan Chase by identifying opportunities through analytics.

John is a fan of football, having attended South and Central American league matches with his wife Martha, and has known Alan Pace for 20 years being the first to join his team at ALK Capital three years ago.