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Brent D. Baker, CEO Intrepid Capital Group, LLC

Brent grew up in Galveston, TX. His passions included hunting, team sports, surfing and water skiing. He enjoyed an idyllic adolescence; graduated from high school in Galveston and obtained a BS degree in finance from the University of Texas in Austin.

Brent and another principal recently sold Trinity Hospice, a company they had co-founded and built into a nine-state operation employing over five hundred people, to a private equity firm, affording Brent the luxury of early retirement and the freedom to pursue venture capital and other investments and business opportunities. From the purchase of a bankrupt hospice chain the Trinity turnaround had ultimately become the fifth largest hospice company in the country. Brent’s efforts had been focused on the operations side of this business, including acquisitions, finance, compliance, IT, etc. He subsequently developed a passion for aviation as a necessary business tool with which to manage Trinity’s nine-state operation and became an accomplished pilot. As a result, he became a personal owner of two high performance aircraft.

In November of 2008 when Brent was introduced to Intrepid by a mutual friend, he quickly realized that an ESOP could well be the ultimate buyer of any solid, profitable company and became enchanted with the Intrepid business model. Once Brent completely understood the many tax and other advantages of a sale to an ESOP he immediately applied that knowledge retroactively to the recent sale of Trinity. Armed with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, Brent quickly concluded that he and his co-founder should have sold Trinity to an ESOP instead of to a private equity group and netted many additional millions of dollars from the sale. This conclusion led Brent to become an ardent advocate and be actively involved with Intrepid. His incredible acumen, his fascination with the ESOP and his affinity for the Intrepid business model, coupled with the coincidence that five of Intrepid’s senior management hold either commercial pilot or instructor pilot certificates, obtained in the military during service, or later in civilian life, caused a warm friendship to develop between Brent and the top management of Intrepid. Intrepid began using Brent’s talents as a pilot and his two aircraft to get around on regional trips and Brent began to rapidly tire of early retirement as his fascination with ESOPs and Intrepid increased. Thus Brent became a shareholder, joined the board of directors and the Executive Committee of Intrepid Holding Corporation, became the CEO of Intrepid Capital and has now embarked on a new and vibrant career.

Brent began his earliest endeavors after obtaining his degree as a commercial lending officer for a national insurance company. In this role he was tasked with building the company’s real estate mortgage portfolio. His responsibilities included underwriting lender credit and feasibility analysis for office buildings, shopping centers, healthcare facilities and apartments projects. In many cases, after loan closing, his duties also included construction loan draw administration and building inspection. While working on a mortgage loan warehouse project, he met a principal with Paine Webber who suggested that he move into investment banking.

As a result Brent spent several years in public finance for a Paine Webber subsidiary in Houston. Brent’s experience included soliciting clients for issuance of general obligation bonds, lease revenue bonds, water revenue bonds, sewer revenue bonds, hospital revenue bonds, advance refunding bonds, utility improvement district bonds, industrial development district and bonds tax and revenue anticipation notes. In addition he structured bond defeasance projects, tax increment planning and analysis, tax and revenue studies. During this time he was also part of a team that pioneered the use of government insurance to afford banks/savings and loans federal insurance. During this time, while engaged in structuring some real estate financings using tax exempt bonds, Brent was offered a position in Tulsa, OK, with a client that would enable him to oversee all of the client’s financing, in house.

As an Ameracorp Project Partner in Tulsa he was in charge of new business development, including creation of master development concepts with emphasis on urban, mixed use, mixed finance projects. Also he was responsible for project financing that integrated diverse local, state and federal economic programs including the use of industrial development bonds. His oversight included project feasibility analysis and packaging, including but not limited to, site identification and assembly along with contract negotiations. Once projects were leased he was responsible for syndication and disposition. Brent left Ameracorp after the Tax Reform Act took the wind out of real estate syndication by extending the depreciable life for real estate.

He then joined Intervest, where his responsibilities included assembling a large portfolio of net lease properties for foreign inventors. He was responsible for building and tenant analysis of prospective properties. He also handled financing the acquisitions through bank lines and insurance company lenders. Additionally, he was commissioned to create plans for targeting undervalued publicly traded REITs for acquisition. One project required Brent to purchase units in a bankrupt public limited partnership and enter an independent plan in bankruptcy court. This alternate plan allowed the court to sell a desired property to his group. The project was renovated under Brent’s supervision and resold for a three fold increase. When Intervest became more focused on east coast projects and less on the Midwest, Brent did not want to move because he had married and his kids were young, so he left Intervest to join Accord Capital in Tulsa to perform a specialized assignment.

At Accord Capital Brent was responsible for the disposition of six foreclosed psychiatric facilities as part of a workout plan for Fleet Bank. This year-long project was very successful and allowed original investors to satisfy bank repayment conditions and recoup substantially all of their investor capital while avoiding bankruptcy or foreclosure. When this project ended, Brent and his co-founder formed Trinity Hospice and successfully grew it into the entity they later sold for millions.

Brent, now single for five years after a fifteen year marriage, still lives in Tulsa.  Brent is a member of a masters swim club and is an avid swimmer, arising at 5:00 am every morning to do so. When possible he spends time on his boat with friends on Lake Skiatook outside Tulsa, where he owns a lot and plans to build another home. He enjoys cooking for his kids, an active social life in Tulsa, Dallas and LA with a wide circle of friends and whenever possible, he hops into one of the planes, visits his mother and administers her estate in Galveston. We think he’s great!

Brent D. Baker
ESOP Association
NCEO Kelso