FocalPoint Partners has named Michael Schall as a managing director to co-lead its food and beverage industry practice. Previously, Schall worked at Whole Foods Market where he served as senior principal, global growth and business development.
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FocalPoint Partners, a leading middle-market investment bank, has appointed food industry executive Michael Schall as Managing Director to co-lead its growing food and beverage industry investment banking practice.
Mike has been one of the food industry’s most influential figures over the past 30 years, contributing to the dynamic growth of better-for-you consumer brands and the sea change in retailing that now addresses consumers’ desire for healthy, functional and sustainable products. As one of Whole Foods Market’s senior team members for the past eight years, and having previously led as a CEO and board member for numerous brands, Schall has a unique and extensive playbook for understanding where the natural and organic market has been — and is going — from both manufacturer and retailer perspectives.
“Mike Schall is a rarity — his experience as a retailer, operator and deal guy further elevates FocalPoint’s food and beverage advisory team,” noted Duane Stullich, Founder and Managing Partner. “He has negotiated joint ventures with Fortune 500 companies, enacted capital raises, buy side and sell side M&A transactions and has successfully navigated significant growth periods for great brands leading sales, marketing, culinary, product development and quality assurance teams. This experience, combined with his incredible connectivity to top food industry leaders, represents an extraordinary resource for our food and beverage clients.”
To Schall, joining FocalPoint Partners ideally leverages the breadth of his experience. “The culture and thought leadership at FocalPoint perfectly complement my 30-plus years of operating and transactional experience in CPG food and my obsession to deliver for the client. The firm’s professionals share my core values and passion for delivering best-in-class client advocacy and maximizing stakeholder value.”
“Mike understands how to position our clients’ businesses to buyers and/or investors in a way that will truly maximize value,” adds Bob Woolway, Managing Director. “His diverse operating experience fits in perfectly with our food and beverage practice and contributes further to FocalPoint’s significant momentum.”
Mike is widely known in the industry for his recent work at Whole Foods Market. There he launched the successful Engine 2 Plant Strong Exclusive Brand in 2012, a first for the industry and Whole Foods Market staking their prescient claim to the plant-based food trend. He continued to provide leadership on investments, new ventures and strategic partnerships. Notably, Schall was instrumental in making operational improvements, developing strategy and leading changes in in-store prepared foods, and provided counsel and insights on projects for the company’s E-Team and CEO, John Mackey, both before and after the Amazon acquisition.
As Whole Foods Market’s Senior Principal, Global Growth and Business Development, he collaborated with the company’s executive leadership level on a wide array of business initiatives with Perishable, Grocery and Prepared Foods operating teams.
Schall’s reputation for consistently delivering innovative value creation solutions was the product of contributions made at Whole Foods Market and decades of experience as a founder, board member, and operating executive in packaged goods food marketers and manufacturers.
For Delaware-based Townsends Inc., one of the first and largest U.S. industrial chicken processors, Schall served as a Director and President of Sales and Marketing of the $500M vertically integrated poultry processor during a turbulent and adverse commodity market that resulted in a structured bankruptcy sale to two strategic buyers.
During his eight years as a board member and then Senior Vice President of Monterey Gourmet Foods, he led strategy development, sales and marketing, business integration and corporate development, which culminated in its acquisition by Pulmuone USA in February of 2010.
Additional professional accomplishments include orchestrating company-transforming strategic joint ventures such as with ConAgra and P&G while serving as SVP for legendary snack food and chip maker Wise Foods; serving private equity ownership as President and CEO of Guiltless Gourmet, the Austin, TX innovator of the baked tortilla chip category; serving as President and CEO of The B. Manischewitz Company — the world’s largest marketer of ethnic and kosher foods; and leading turned-arounds for innovative food companies like the California dip and salsa maker Simply Fresh.
Mike holds a master’s in business administration in Marketing from The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and graduated from California State University at Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He successfully completed advanced management development programs at Unilever and from Xerox and is a trained expert flavor profile panelist.
About FocalPoint Partners
FocalPoint is an independent investment bank specializing in mergers and acquisitions, private placements, financial restructurings, and special situation transactions. With offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Shanghai, the firm has provided advisory services to middle market clients across industry sectors since 2002: consumer, business services, energy, financial services, healthcare, media/technology and industrials. For more information, visit us on the web FocalPoint Partners and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.