Stuart Benton, Soundview Partners founder, an RPI alumni, has a proven track record as a venture investor, a deal maker and investor in growing, privately held businesses coupled with significant experience as senior level general manager.
During the past eight years he has focused on investments in high tech startup ventures. Mr. Benton also serves as a mentor, consultant and investor for start up companies in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Incubator.
During the late 1990's, he put together Trend Technologies, Inc. a ($400 million sales) manufacturer of metal and plastic enclosures to the computer industry headquartered in San Jose, California.
Mr. Benton negotiated the agreement and lined up institutional equity partners for the purchase of Trend Plastics, a $100 million supplier of plastic enclosures to the computer industry.
As Chairman and CEO of Trend Technologies and the largest individual stockholder he made three add on acquisitions in less than a year and a half taking annual sales from $100 million to $300 million and building a global presence by establishing facilities in Ireland and Mexico.
In March 2000 Trend Technologies was sold to a UK investment group for $330 million; earning an internal rate of return of 91% for the investors.
During the previous twelve years, he has been actively involved in making investments in middle market companies, and has successfully managed and improved the operations of four of the companies. As Chairman of CFI Industries, a $40 million public company, he grew sales and profits significantly.
Mr. Benton served as Executive Vice President, investor and a director of the Chariot Group playing a major role in Chariot’s acquisitions as well as having the responsibility for overseeing the operating companies. He also strengthened the operations of Eastmet, a $150 million stainless steel manufacturer controlled by Chariot.
Before joining Chariot, Mr. Benton was President of Consumer Plastics Corporation, a company he acquired with an investment group from International Paper Company. At the time of the acquisition he was a general manager at International Paper with responsibility for managing five separate divisions, including the division purchased. In addition to his activities as an investor, he also served during 1994 and 1995 as a consultant to GE Capital, advising them on several of their loan portfolio companies in the plastics industries.
Mr. Benton has experience in a number of industries ranging from computers and printed circuits to plastics and paper packaging, in a variety of positions including sales, marketing and general management.
He received an electrical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Columbia University.
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