Hank’s Yanks Baseball Outreach Program Serves People with Disabilities

Hanks Yanks pic

Hanks Yanks
Image: leaguelineup.com

Experienced investment professional and business owner Alfred Zaccagnino regularly gives back to the community through his support of organizations such as the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club and the Hank’s Yanks children’s baseball league. Recently, Alfred Zaccagnino was recognized with a Humanitarian Award at the inaugural Hank’s Yanks Golf Classic at the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point.

A not-for-profit organization, Hank’s Yanks was founded by Hank Steinbrenner to support youth baseball activities and create a youth-based service organization. Aside from running a traveling youth baseball league, Hank’s Yanks organizes a baseball program for people with disabilities called the Baseball Outreach Program (BOP).

BOP features baseball skill clinics, practices, and non-competitive games. The goal of the program is to make the game of baseball more accessible to people of all ages who are developmentally delayed or disabled, so that they can boost their self-confidence, physical abilities, and social skills while enjoying participation in one of America’s favorite pastimes. The annual “Under the Lights” BOP event was held in June at the State University of New York at Farmingdale.


Private Equity in Professional Sports: Perfecting the Endgame

By Allyson Ruscitella

Sports and entertainment, to most professional sports fans, feels redundant. Sports are entertainment. Football commands the attention of half of America’s population on any given Sunday, and marketing departments are hard at work attracting the other half. A favorite team, in any sport, that earns the “W” brings unrivaled bliss, impish satisfaction, and bragging rights. Sports are woven into the fabric of our culture; each game reminds us of our love for winning, hatred for losing, and our obsession with keeping score. Green fields, hardwood courts, and sheets of ice become battlegrounds of finesse, agility, pride and grit. We can’t get enough. Professional sports are America’s entertainment, and they’re here to stay.

Win-loss records, historically, have weighed heavy on bottom lines. Victories, winning seasons, and championships can be elusive. But to private equity, winning games doesn’t  matter. It doesn’t have to. Returns count–wins don’t– and history shows private equity could have the candy-making secret. In a nine year span, the enterprise value of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs tripled, according to Forbes, accounting for $413M in value. So how does mediocre on-ice performance, a disenchanted fan base, and no chance of making fingerprints on the Stanley Cup lead to industry-leading returns?  It’s the business equivalent of terroir to wine grapes, merroir to oysters– the bounty is derived from the perfect, delicate balance of key factors and forces. It’s making astute moves, redefining surplus, and living for the bottom line and the trophy. It’s business sense unencumbered by love for a team.

“The role of PE in professional sports will continue to evolve. As professional sports has leveraged technology to engage fans and broken new ground in revenue generation, doors have opened for private equity,”  notes Alfred Zaccagnino, President and Founder of the Samarian Group of Companies, a private equity firm headquartered in New York City. “If current trends continue, ownership of professional sports teams will continue to be a promising sector for private equity in the next decade.”

Cantor Fitzgerald: A Lesson for Us All

If a company can have a soul, Cantor Fitzgerald surely does. Broken and lost under the weight of one of history’s darkest days, it has since been rebuilt and made better. The company’s memory remains strong and it’s mission redefined.

For all those that say ‘We will never forget’, the truth is that some do. Life gets in the way and tragedies continue to mount. But what Cantor Fitzgerald has done is create a legacy that reminds Americans that out of loss, hope must survive—a lesson for us all.

The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund was created in honor of the 658 Cantor and 61 Euro Brokers employees who lost their lives on 9/11. The non-profit supports victims’ families and international charities that by extension help victims of other global tragedies.

Cantor Fitzgerald Charity Day has become an annual event—a day when all global revenues are dedicated to the Relief Fund. Since it’s inception in 2004, Cantor Fitzgerald and it’s affiliate BGC Partners have distributed more than $280 million.

The Relief Fund has leveraged their global reach to identify the greatest needs in the poorest areas. They’ve partnered with charities working hard to understand medicine’s most complex mysteries—Alzheimer’s, Autism, and Cancer, to name a few. The Relief Fund has discovered charities with incredible outreach—embedded in communities that need support.

Celebrities also pitch in—their help means bigger donations and more attention for the cause. Actors including Jake Gyllenhaal, Margot Robbie and Michael J. Fox team-up with sports icons including Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon and Mark Messier to work the phones, network relationships and make a difference.

“We will never forget. 9/11 forever changed the skyline ofNew York City, but was a time when our city and most peoplefrom around the world came together as one,” notes Alfred Zaccagnino, the President of Samarian Group, an international private equity firm based in New York City and supporter of Charity Day 2015. “It’s awesome how the Relief Fund has transformed a tragedy into hope for our city and other cities around the world. And being a part of Charity Day—well, there’s nothing I’d rather do.”

Business in the Caymans: The Financial Sector’s Golden Child

The business benefits of domiciling a company offshore are well-documented. Data suggests the advantages overwhelm the deficiencies for qualifying businesses. Cayman’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and most notably, Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) are no exception─one must search far and wide to one-up the impact of these initiatives.

Cayman Enterprise City, encompassed in the SEZ, is designed to attract and keep organizations from five distinct business sectors: marketing and media, outsourcing, biotechnology, commodities and derivatives, and internet and technology. This innovative design─founded in distinct silos of knowledge─forms the foundation for the unique international hub the CEC has become. Looking at the SEZ in its entirety, Cayman tops the list as the #1 jurisdiction for hedge funds and private equity across the globe, and is the tenth largest financial center, with 40 of the world’s 50 most prestigious banks having a presence.

With 59 percent of CEC companies originating in North America─and a cumulative economic impact of nearly $50M USD on Cayman’s local economy─Cayman is the clear winner. Incenting top businesses and business executives by offering tax neutrality (while making it relatively red-tape free to set up shop) has boosted their local economy and fortified their international brand.

To the victor go the spoils. In this case, the victor is the Cayman government and its people─and the spoils are green and countable. But in this game, second is not a bad place to be. Companies domiciled in the SEZ are exempt from corporate tax, sales tax, income tax, capital gains tax, and import duties. Companies with 100 percent foreign ownership can access all tax exemptions. Work visas for employees can be acquired within five business days. And if intellectual property is at the core of your company’s assets, you’ve hit pay dirt.

“There is good reason private equity has found a home in the Cayman Islands. They have crossed every ‘t’ and dotted every ‘i’, anticipating and removing each potential hurdle,” states Alfred Zaccagnino, President of Samarian Group of Companies. “Watching the Cayman Islands develop as an international business center has been remarkable.” The Samarian Group established a presence in the Cayman Islands in 2011 and, like most companies, plans to stay long-term.

In October 2015, Cayman will be added to the list alongside 90 other countries in implementing a Common Reporting Standard─an effort to streamline the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) with other countries related to taxation. Implementation will begin in 2017─and true to its recent history, the Cayman Islands will undoubtedly use this to further its brand as a leader in international business.

Why Do Firms Choose Divestiture?

Alfred Zaccagnino leverages over a decade of entrepreneurial experience to lead the Samarian Group, Ltd., a boutique financial services company providing advisory and consultation on a variety of corporate transactions. As president, Alfred Zaccagnino oversees the organization’s partnerships with corporations, foundations, endowments, and other financial entities, assisting such institutional clients with activities including asset divestiture.

Divestiture is a method of asset management that can assist a company in reducing or refocusing its portfolio. Achieved through the exchange, closure, or sale of assets, as well as via bankruptcy, divestiture occurs when a company either partially reduces or completely shuts down a specific business unit.

A firm’s management may choose to divest a portion of its assets or operations for a variety of reasons. Companies often carry out divestitures to free up financial resources for other business areas or to increase their profitability in general. They may also divest business units that fall outside of their core competency, or to get rid of redundant operations following a merger or acquisition. In some instances, divestiture can be the result of a court order. Court-ordered divestitures are generally aimed at increasing market competition and preventing the development of monopolies, as was the case in the breakup of the Bell System in 1982.

Upward Trend in Mergers and Acquisitions

As founding partner and president of the Samarian Group, Ltd., Alfred Zaccagnino leads the boutique investment firm in delivering a variety of financial services aimed at helping clients grow and preserve their wealth. Backed by partnerships with agents, broker dealers, and other financial organizations, Alfred Zaccagnino and his fellow executives offer corporate consultation on matters such as mergers and acquisitions.

As noted by leading financial professionals from Wall Street to Hong Kong, 2015 is likely to be the strongest year for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) since 2007. Although the number of M&A transactions in the first half of 2015 is similar to the amount observed during the first six months of 2014, the sizes of these deals continue to increase. As large firms seek to spur revenue and market share growth, the sector has seen a 42 percent increase in transactions exceeding $5 billion.

This ongoing consolidation has resulted in a faster-paced environment for mergers and acquisitions, as prospective buyers must act quickly to take advantage of limited M&A opportunities. According to experts such as Centerview Partners co-founder Blair Effron, this is especially true of the rapidly consolidating pharmaceutical and telecommunications sector. This upward M&A trend has also increased the likelihood of firms intervening in the transactions of rival corporations, attempting to make the most compelling offer in M&A efforts that are often the result of years of research and analysis.

Aquatic Training at the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club

A financial consultant with more than a decade of experience, Alfred Zaccagnino currently serves as founding president of the boutique investment firm Samarian Group, Ltd. In this role, he oversees the general organization and planning for the company, in addition to heading executive management and business development. Alfred Zaccagnino is also a devoted philanthropist, who supports such charitable organizations as the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.

The Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club provides fun and educational programs that aim to enhance the quality of life for youth ages 6 to 18. Among other options, its learn-to-swim program offers safety instruction along with recreational swimming and the opportunity to compete on a swim team. American Red Cross-certified instructors utilize a six-level instructional approach to teach basic strokes such as the breast stroke, front crawl, backstroke, and butterfly, as well as fundamental safety skills and diving techniques. Classes meet in a supportive, interactive environment once a week for ten weeks and are limited to ten students per class.