ASG Entertainment Executive Management
ROBERT MAERZ J.D – Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Robert Maerz served as both the COO and CEO for Allen Schwalb for over 18 months prior to Allen Schwalb’s passing in July 2014. Mr. Maerz was instrumental in the reorganization Star Partners®, Inc. and commencement of the Allen Schwalb Group, Corp. Over this same time period, Mr. Maerz has assisted with the facilitation of several investment banking relationships for the provision of over $110 M worth of capital formation for the Allen Schwalb Group and Star Partners®. These capital raises were in the works when Mr. Schwalb passed and there has been support for the continuation and succession of all the company initiatives inclusive of the Investment Banking Agreements.
Mr. Maerz has senior experience in the entertainment and corporate finance industries, dating back to 1980. After completing Law School in 1980, Maerz formed Talent Management for representation of models, actors, writers and professional athletes. Later Maerz was a registered representative at the asset management firms of Harris Financial Company and Legg, Mason, Wood, Walker, Inc., both New York Stock Exchange member firms – then later founded his own investment firm and concentrated on the entertainment media industry. During this time, Maerz was responsible for the restructuring and capitalization of several small film production companies. Maerz then served as Executive Producer for rock videos, feature films and syndicated television shows, and was Chairman and CEO of MSH Entertainment Corporation. Maerz took MSH public through a “reverse merger” (MSHE: OTCBB) and facilitated an investment and “cooperative endeavor” with the Intel Corporation. At MSH, Maerz was Executive Producer of Van-Pires, the first totally domestically produced 3D computer graphic/live-action children’s television series. The soundtrack for Van-Pires was written and performed by John Entwhistle the Founder and bass player for the rock group “The Who”. It premiered on Fox Television on Saturday mornings and consistently ranked in the Top 5 for its time slot. Episodes aired in 24 foreign countries.
While at MSHE Maerz raised in excess of $18 million dollars, acquired two companies, and was able to position MSHE to be purchased by a NASDAQ listed animation and production company.
In 1999, Maerz founded GOPOPS.co, Inc., a Delaware corporation. Having been directly involved with the financing of both feature films and network television shows, Maerz endeavored to create a numeric testing platform that could better access economic viability of feature films. The concept was to develop a methodology that would need the least amount of granular information, analyze the information in an expeditious manner to be able to determine potential economic viability and alleviate the expensive and time consuming “development process” that is endemic of the film and television industry. The original concept for GOPOPS was to test television pilot concepts thus the name is an acronym for Pilot Options Participation Security. Maerz retained the services of various business associates and colleagues who had been working in the financial industry, either hedge funds, traders, or corporate finance. Maerz also retained the services of Vertigo software, which was a “Gold” partner of Microsoft to design and develop the software necessary to properly facilitate the testing process on a large scale. By 2005 the POPS system was operational and began to be applied for testing media concepts. Initially, GOPOPS was envisioned to be utilized as a financial modelling tool for Maerz’s media consulting business.
In 2002, in addition to developing GOPOPS, Maerz started Fokus LLC, providing investment banking and consulting services to the media industry. During this time, Maerz assisted with the facilitation of numerous “reverse-merger” transactions. In 2003 Maerz was retained to provide financial consulting services to RP International, Theatrevision, and Vision Awards, all non-profit organizations that raised money for research to find a cure for blindness. While working for these organizations, Maerz became deeply involved with the creation of “descriptive narration” to create and modify filmed entertainment so that the blind and visually impaired could “see a movie”. This entailed creating an audio track that ran in conjunction with the existing soundtrack and dialog to explain what transpires in the film.
Maerz was retained by several film and television studios in California to provide corporate re-organization and re-capitalization expertise. Maerz assisted with the moving of several film slates to Louisiana and in conjunction with these studios. Maerz also created a Prints and Advertising Fund, which provided marketing and distribution funds to completed feature films.
In 2010, Maerz co-founded Cygni Financial, a Louisiana based company that provided capital for the pre-funding and financing of state media tax credits. Cygni operated in both Louisiana and Georgia.
Mr. Maerz works with and has affiliations with several New York based financial firms. Over his career he has assisted with the facilitation of in excess of $500 million dollars in financing transactions. These transactions were for both public and private companies across multi-industries from food, real estate, environmental, oil, media and technology.
ALICE NEUHAUSER – Chief Operating Officer
Over the course of her career, Ms. Neuhauser has arranged and managed project financing for motion picture budgets ranging from $2 million to $100 million totaling approximately one half a billion dollars. Such financings included some of the largest independently financed pictures including Terminator 2 (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Cliffhanger (starring Sylvester Stallone). More recently, Ms. Neuhauser coordinated the financing of produced pictures including Oscar-nominated 3:10 to Yuma (starring Russell Crowe), The Forbidden Kingdom (with Jackie Chan and Jet Li), The Bank Job, Brothers, A Perfect Getaway, Nine, Spy Next Door, Dear John, Season of the Witch, Fighter, Limitless, Haywire and The Immortals. Ms. Neuhauser also managed two $100 million revolving film production credit facilities with two separate syndicates of banks, which helped finance such movies as Basic Instinct (starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone) and Total Recall (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone).
Ms. Neuhauser developed the first full-service production facility in Los Angeles in over 50 years, a $100 million motion picture and television production facility with Roy Disney’s Shamrock Holdings as investment partner. Currently home to Marvel Studios and production stages for Avatar 2 and 3, this facility includes 14 sound stages, 8 production buildings, and a four-story office building. The tenants include 20th Century Fox’s top television shows such as The OC, CSI: Miami and Medium. Ms. Neuhauser’s efforts included developing the financing model, working with investors, tenants and lenders, and managing construction of the project.
More recently, Ms. Neuhauser has been advising The Trend Exchange, a start-up financial marketplace for tracking various media-related options contracts. Having received approval of the exchange by the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC), she will be joining the board of The Trend Exchange to continue to provide a link between the financing community and content producers.
Ms. Neuhauser has operational management and cash management skills. For Carolco Pictures Inc., she returned 100% of senior bond and trade debt, exceeding investment banker projections. Maximizing values of corporate balance sheets, she has negotiated asset sales of approximately $100 million. Ms. Neuhauser’s management and governance skills include responsibility for financial and operational reporting obligations to the SEC and the U.S. Trustee on behalf of Carolco Pictures Inc. from August 1995 through June 1996 and The Kushner-Locke Company from April 2002 through the present. Alice supervised the preparation and the presentation of quarterly and annual financial and operational status to the Board of Administrative Trustees for The Carolco Liquidating Trust from June 1996 through December 2003.Ms. Neuhauser is an honors graduate of Harvard College and earned her MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.
MARTIN FINK – Chief Risk Management Officer
During the 1980s he was president of Eagle Entertainment, Inc., a fully-reporting NASDAQ company which was active in both the development and production of motion pictures and completion bonding. From 1990 to 1996, Marty was the president of Complete Film Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carolco Pictures, a producer and financier of high budget “event” movies.
Marty has provided completion bond and/or production management and advisory services for dozens of feature films, including “Total Recall” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” both of which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger; “Basic Instinct,” starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone; “The Doors.” starring Val Kilmer; “Rambling Rose,” starring Laura Dern; “Cliffhanger” and “Judge Dredd,” starring Sylvester Stallone; “Stargate,” starring Kurt Russell; “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” starring Bruce Willis; “The Scarlet Letter,” starring Demi Moore; “Shadow Conspiracy,” starring Charlie Sheen; “Nixon,” starring Anthony Hopkins; “Lolita,” starring Jeremy Irons; and “Evita,” starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas.
From l996-2000, Marty, as manager of New Beginnings Enterprises LLC, provided monitoring and support services to a London-based financier in connection with approximately 25 lower budget feature films, including Oscar-winner “Gods and Monsters.”. These services included production, post-production, delivery and sales supervision. During the same period, he was executive producer of “Beautiful,” starring Minnie Driver and directed by Sally Field, and “Young Blades,” starring Ben Cross, production executive on “Exhuming Mr. Rice,” starring David Bowie, and co-producer of “The Opportunists,” starring Christopher Walken, Vera Farmigia and Cyndi Lauper.
Marty was also part owner and Chairman of the Board of U.S. Stock Transfer Corporation for over 25 years until the company was sold in February 2007 to Computershare Ltd., the largest share registry company in the world.
He is presently a principal of Complete Rights Management LLC, which has provided back office and production services to financiers, producers, sales agents, libraries and completion guarantors.. He was an associate producer of Sir Trevor Nunn’s London production of GONE WITH THE WIND The Musical in 2008.
Marty graduated with honors in English Literature from the City College of New York and did post-graduate work in Literature and Theatre at Columbia University.
CHARLES F. THEISS – Chief Technology Officer
Charles worked as an advertising sales and business development consultant for CBS Television Stations Group in New York. He was responsible for the development of the business plan to re-launch the owned & operated CBS television stations’ interactive properties. He created and negotiated content and transactional business strategies to drive revenue and audience and negotiated agreements with strategic partners to support the business plan, i.e. content management system, search, functionality, etc.
Mr. Theiss was SVP of Business Development, Advertising Sales and Ad Operations for CNN Interactive, New York. He was responsible for the business development in broadband, wireless, e-commerce and advertising technologies and maximized interactive advertising revenues totaling $75.0 million for CNN Interactive. Charles managed an advertising sales and ad operations team comprised of 105 staff members across six regional sales offices and conducted oversight of the order work flow process and procedures to professionally administer & support the advertising sales of CNN Interactive. Other responsibilities included long range planning and annual business plan submission to senior management, development of CNN’s multi-media upfront strategy & presentation (CNN Everywhere), inventory control and pricing coordination with strategic planning groups, provided senior management with monthly business reports and analysis of advertising sales revenues, budgets, and expenses, managed the direct response and paid programming sales across all CNN Television Networks.
Additionally, Mr. Theiss worked collaboratively with other AOLTW brands to develop multi-media advertising platforms and was responsible for the creation and production of all CNN advertising sales printed and virtual collateral materials.
MARLENE KLINGEMAN – Chief Administrative Officer
Ms. Klingeman started her career in the Entertainment Industry 5 years ago working with Mr. Allen Schwalb. She served as Chief Administrative Officer for the Allen Schwalb Group, Corp. and a consultant to Star Partners, Inc. Prior to her career transition to the Entertainment industry, Ms. Klingeman worked with organizations such as CARE and UNICEF as well as consulting with the El Salvador government on public health projects in Central America. She subsequently established a 7-year, successful practice as the only certified Neurofeedback / Biofeedback practitioner in Central America region consultant to young adults and teens. Marlene is an author, has developed a series of interactive workshops, and has directed individual clients as a coach/strategist. She has lived in the Caribbean, Central America and Europe and is bilingual.
Ms. Klingeman holds a BSc in Molecular Biology & Microbiology, a Master’s of Science in Neuropsychology as well as a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University.
TRAVIS CLOYD - President New Media/VR
With over 11 years of experience overseeing and managing marketing strategies, Travis has a proven track record working for top companies on a global scale. From online advertising, interactive media and mobile marketing, Mr. Cloyd has customized hundreds of successful campaigns in all industries but has recently shifted his focus to the entertainment space. He has produced, executive produced and marketed many top films that have ranged from a few hundred thousand to 80 million dollars in budgets.
Mr. Cloyd stands as an Executive Premier Member for the Southern California Venture Network, helping companies accelerate growth within Southern California and is also a Board Director for the largest film, music and gaming festival in the Southeast – Rendezvous International Film Festival. Mr. Cloyd is consulted by top film production, marketing and distribution companies focusing on generating mass awareness.
Mr. Cloyd has appeared many times as a guest speaker on MoneyTV, which airs to 180 million households in over 75 countries, and has been recognized as an Online Marketing Expert. He has also moderated and spoken at many events such as the India/USA Global Conference, Creating World Connections and many other entertainment/ technology conferences.
Mr. Cloyd is an avid explorer and outdoors-man who resides in Anchorage, Alaska but spends most his time between Amelia Island, Florida and Los Angeles, California.