Michael Leavitt, Managing Director
Mr. Leavitt is a Managing Director of Bench Walk Advisors. He has 30+ years’ hands‐on experience that includes managing law firms and family office business operations, as well as starting new companies, launching products and services, managing consulting and service organizations, advising entrepreneurs and corporate executives, and marketing premium services to commercial, institutional, HNW and government clients. He has worked with founders and senior management to create and document plans and forecasts used for raising capital, launching products and services, recruiting key personnel, selecting distribution channels, expanding markets, evaluating strategic alliances, and corporate sales and acquisitions.
Most recently he served as President of Windlass LLC, a consulting firm specializing in developing and executing business, strategic, marketing and financial plans for entrepreneurial service companies. His notable assignments included serving as interim COO/CFO for Grant & Eisenhofer, where he launched national and international business development plans and recruited a permanent COO. For a multi‐family office, he developed business and start‐up operations plans, provided ongoing strategic advice and CFO services, and later negotiated the sale of the firm to a strategic buyer.
Mr. Leavitt has served on the Board of the Institutional Investors Educational Foundation (IIEF), a not‐for‐profit organization with a mission to enhance shareholder rights, improve corporate governance and promote ethical corporate behavior through education and dialogue at conferences and roundtable discussions in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia.
He was a co‐founder of Windlass Air LLC, a firm that provides strategic advice and aircraft charter brokerage to entrepreneurs, HNW individuals, and family offices. Prior to forming Windlass, Mr. Leavitt was the Vice President of Execaire, a Canadian‐based aircraft management firm. He had full oversight of their U.S. office, including staffing and preparing business and marketing plans, budgets, proposals, market research, and competitive analyses. He identified and evaluated new business and prospective acquisition targets; managed outside consultants, lawyers, accountants, and investment advisors; and conducted financial and market analyses on behalf of the Canadian parent company.
Mr. Leavitt was previously the President and COO of Weather Services Corporation, which provided customized meteorological information and consulting services to commodity traders, agribusiness, financial services, financial information providers, utilities, interactive services, newswires, newspapers, radio, aviation, marine and government. He reported to the Board of Directors with full P&L and operational responsibility for 130 employees, a 24‐hour operations center, IT development, marketing, finance, product management and development, direct negotiations with major accounts, contract pricing and proposal preparation.
Prior to joining WSC, Mr. Leavitt co‐founded WSI Corporation, one of the first weather information providers to the burgeoning interactive industry. He partnered with information providers including Bloomberg, Reuters, Dow Jones, AOL and USA Today to provide digital weather information and satellite imagery for a variety of industries. He wrote and executed the initial business plan and later successfully negotiated the sale of the corporation. Currently, the firm is owned by IBM.