C. Edward Acker, Principal
Ed Acker was born in Dallas, Texas and graduated from its public school system and then attended and graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.A. Degree in Economics and Psychology.
Mr. Acker worked for two investment-banking firms before joining Lionel D. Edie and Co. as Vice-president and manager of their Southwestern office. He and his staff managed both private and institutional clients from their Dallas, Texas office. Among their clientele were the University of Texas Permanent Fund, the State of New Mexico Permanent School Fund, the City of Tulsa Employees Retirement Fund and the L.T.V. Employees Retirement Fund.
Mr. Acker left Lionel D. Edie & Co., to become the Chief Financial officer of the Greatamerica Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The holding company owned several insurance and banking companies, including First Western Bank & Trust of California, the Franklin Life Insurance Co., Gulf Life Insurance Co. and several other life and casualty companies. Mr. Acker directed the financial divisions of those companies and oversaw their investment portfolios.
Mr. Acker was also responsible for the acquisition and merger activity at Greatamerica and engineered the acquisition of Braniff Airways and National Car Rental for Greatamerica. Mr. Acker then became Executive Vice President and C.F.O. of Braniff after the acquisition while continuing in his role at Greatamerica.
After Greatamerica sold its assets to L.T.V. Corp, Mr. Acker continued with Braniff Airways as its President. During that period, Braniff reported the highest return on capital of the ten largest U.S. airlines. A few years after L.T.V. Corp. acquired Greatamerica it offered several of Greatamerica’s assets for sale and Mr. Acker and two other former directors of Greatamerica acquired several of those assets. This became Gulf United Corp. and Mr. Acker served as its President. During this time Gulf United entered the broadcast industry both television and radio with stations from Arizona to Florida. Gulf United’s insurance properties were acquired by American General and later Gulf Broadcast merged with Taft Broadcasting Corp. Mr. Acker then assumed the C.E.O. position at Air Florida, a company he had founded a few years earlier.
From Air Florida, Mr. Acker went to Pan Am Corp. to become its Chairman, C.E.O. and President. Pan Am was in a difficult financial condition and Acker got strong employee support by stating he would not take any salary or bonus until the company operated profitably. Luckily, that happened after one year and Pan Am recovered and Mr. Acker got paid.
After retiring from Pan Am, he formed The Acker Group to provide financial advisory and venture capital services. One venture was the founding of Atlantic Coast Airlines, to provide feeder regional airline service on the East Coast of the USA for United Airlines and later Delta. Mr. Acker and his founding partners contributed 20% of the company’s equity to an ESOP at its founding. This venture proved quite successful as its value increased from ten million to a market cap of almost a billion and a half in less than ten years and the ESOP participants were very handsomely rewarded.
Mr. Acker is currently a managing principal of the Intrepid Equity Group LLC. Having seen the success Atlantic Coast Airlines had using ESOP participation in the formation and operation of the company, Mr. Acker wanted to play a role in the ESOP movement. His partner, Gordon Cain, who was an early supporter of ESOP involvement was very successful using ESOP participation in other ventures. Mr. Acker and Cain both were aware of the employee loyalty and positive attitude creation the ESOP brings to corporate culture. In addition to Intrepid and The Acker Group, Mr. Acker serves as Chairman of the Management Committee of Martinaire Partners LLC, which operates a large fleet of cargo aircraft for UPS, DHL and Airborne.
Mr. Acker and the Acker Group are actively engaged in acquisitions and venture capital activities on behalf of current interests and are actively involved in supporting the efforts of The Intrepid Equity Group, LLC.
Over a period of years, Mr. Acker has been a director or corporate officer of over twenty publicly traded U. S. companies. He has also been Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Air Transport Trustee Association; President of the Wings Club, Trustee of The Episcopal Foundation and in 1980 was named Miami Businessman of the year and was also named Air Transport Man of the year.
Mr. Acker and his wife, Sandy reside in Lake Wales, Florida and Cuernavaca, Mexico..