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.