Longtime execs exit Inverness Management-backed Payment Alliance

Payment Alliance International, the ATM provider backed by Inverness Management, lost three members of senior management, according to a source and press reports.

The executives are President and CEO John Leehy III, Executive Vice President and COO Gregory Sahrmann, and Donna Embry, senior vice president and chief payments officer, the source said.

The trio no longer appear on the Payment Alliance website. The executives couldn’t be reached for comment.

They were longtime PAI employees. Leehy and Sahrmann co-founded Payments Alliance in 2005 while Embry joined in 2011, her LinkedIn profile said.

Payment Alliance’s board ordered the departures last week, the source said. “The board was unhappy with [Payment Alliance’s] lagging growth and growing expense base, without a clear exit timeline,” the person said.

ATM Marketplace, which reported the exits on Aug. 3, said the three executives were widely credited with making PAI the largest privately held ATM provider in the U.S. with more than 75,000 ATMs.

Inverness Management invested in the Louisville, Kentucky, company in 2005, PitchBook said. Last year, Payment Alliance acquired Avery Scott, an ATM operator. PAI also sold its merchant-services division to Clearent in 2017.

Three Inverness executives serve on Payment Alliance’s board, including James Comis, Inverness’s managing partner; Dean Anderson, managing director; and Robert Sheehy, managing director.

Comis hung up the phone when Buyouts asked him about the departures. “I have nothing to say,” he said.

Payment Alliance was up for sale in 2013, Buyouts reported. B of A Merrill Lynch advised on the process, which did not produce a buyer.

Inverness, New Canaan, Connecticut, is an investment firm with $184 million in assets. The firm’s website lists two portfolio companies: Payment Alliance and Independent Insurance Investments. The firm’s last fund closed on $240 million in 2002, PitchBook said.

Payment Alliance did not return calls.

Action Item: Check out Inverness’s Form ADV here: https://bit.ly/2Oqyd9z