New investor-led group pursuing Coyotes deal
MAR 29, 2013 1:58p ET
“Hockey’s been in the family for about three generations,” said Sam’s grandson, Darin Pastor, “ever since my grandfather and his two brothers kept the team where it belonged.”
If you’re not familiar with Darin Pastor, you’re not alone. Until recently, the NHL, the Coyotes and their respective ownership suitors hadn’t heard of the Buffalo-area native. But through a mass press release to multiple media outlets from his PR firm, KCD Public Relations, the 42-year-old Pastor threw his hat in the ring Friday in a bid to buy the long-ownerless Phoenix franchise.
Pastor is the founder and CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based Capstone Affluent Strategies, which has offices in 11 markets and provides wealth management through asset management, retirement and estate planning.
Capstone Affluent Strategies began when six advisers left Prudential Securities with about $450 million in assets in October of 2012 to join LPL Financial. Capstone's LPL connection could be significant since LPL is the largest organization of independent financial advisers in the U.S., with roughly $353 billion in advisory and brokerage assets.
Pastor was ranked as the top-producing senior investment manager in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and has also served as managing director of Prudential Insurance Company of America and senior vice president and senior investment manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co. He described his current group of Coyotes investors as "talented municipal financing veterans," which he thinks could be a plus in negotiating an arena lease agreement with the City of Glendale.
Pastor said he first decided to pursue the club about six months ago but wanted to make sure he could secure the financing -- “dot all the I's and cross all the T's” -- before moving forward.
“I’ve been watching this play out, and it seemed like some really good people had been involved trying to get this deal done,” he said. “It’s a great franchise and they’ve done very well -- especially last year. It would be a shame to push a western team off to the east. Phoenix is a great metropolitan area, a great market, but this franchise has been bruised and battered.
“Hopefully, we can work with all these different interests and make this happen.”
Pastor first approached Coyotes president and COO Mike Nealy about the sale, but he intends to “reach out simultaneously to the NHL and Glendale on Monday.”
Pastor’s group is the second new group to come forward this week, following the news that Ice Edge Holdings founder Anthony LeBlanc had joined forces with AltaCorp Capital chairman and CEO George Gosbee in a bid to buy the team.
Pastor said his intent is to keep the team in Glendale, adding, "this is a long-term commitment." At the same time, when asked if there would be an out clause in the deal that would allow the team to relocate at some point if it couldn’t right its financial ship, he acknowledged, "You have to protect your long-term interests. I think we have to kind of roll up our sleeves and participate before I can answer that more directly, but you have to keep your options open.”
Pastor declined to name any of the investors with whom he's working, but he did say none has been involved in prior attempts to purchase the franchise.
He has seen the Coyotes play numerous times, most recently in their two-game series in Los Angeles last week at Staples Center.
“The product is good now with some great players, some great front-office people and a great coach,” he said. “They fight every game like it’s a playoff match. It’s a testament to the people in the organization that they’ve been able to create such a quality product under so much strain.”
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