The people behind our success – Clinton Johnston

Occupying the position of Director and based out of our Tampa office, Clinton performs an extremely important role in ensuring our US-based deals come to fruition. Holding an exceptional degree of knowledge, experience and drive, we truly believe that Clinton is one of the most talented individuals currently working within our industry.

Qualifications

Clinton has studied at some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world obtaining numerous accreditations in several fields of study including Economics, Politics, Law, Finance and Investment Banking.

Clinton’s educational and professional achievements:

  • B.S. with High Honors in Government, U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
  • M.A. Latin American and Caribbean Economics, New York University.
  • J.D. cum laude, Harvard Law School.
  • M.S. Finance with Highest Honors, University of Tampa.
  • Certificate from the Investment Banking Institute, New York.
  • Member New York bar.
  • Member Florida bar.

In addition to Clinton’s outstanding achievements he can also boast several additional particularly special achievements including:

  • Commissioner, City of Tampa Enterprise Development Zone Agency.
  • Valedictorian, University of Tampa, Sykes College of Business.
  • Member Beta Sigma Gamma.
  • Graduate, US Army Ranger School, Ft. Benning, Georgia.
  • Eagle Scout.

Experience

Throughout his professional career, Clinton has amassed a wealth of experience across several fields. Following six years working as a US Coast Guard officer, Clinton spent six years working in M&A and corporate finance at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in New York. In this position, Clinton structured, negotiated and prepared documentation for a full range of financial and securities transactions for public and private corporate entities, predominantly in overseas and offshore markets with a specific focus on international private equity and restructuring transactions.

Following this, Clinton took up the position of Managing Director at Rudoeu Consulting developing and managing strategy and operations of the boutique investment banking firm. Clinton acted as the senior advisor to U.S. and European clients seeking to make investments or increase business in India and to Indian clients seeking to access capital markets in the U.S., Europe and East Asia.

Succeeding his time in India, Clinton gained the positions IT Strategy & Planning Specialist and Strategic Sourcing Contract Manager at Verizon Communications. His role at Verizon was to assist the IT Strategy and Planning Group with contract analysis, development of financial strategy, negotiation of major hardware and software license agreements, divestiture of the company’s landline business in 14 US states, and management of a multi-billion dollar budget. In this role Clinton also managed strategic contracts with IT vendors and developed strategies for relations with key vendors.

Clinton’s final position, prior to joining Benchmark International, was as CFO and General Counsel of Avesta Homes LLC. At Avesta Homes Clinton managed the finance, IT, HR and compliance departments of this private-equity funded, multi-family real estate owner and property manager holding assets across the State of Florida.

Clinton has worked hard to develop a key skill of particular importance to Benchmark International’s clients – negotiating cross-border sales.  In addition to handling scores of international transactions such as the sale of a US rice company to a Spanish food conglomerate, the purchase of a Chilean phone company by a US private equity fund, the purchase of a patent-rich fiber optics start up by an international telecom equipment provider, and the purchase of several US quarry operators by a publically-traded Irish corporation;  he has been published on the subject several times, taught the John Sykes College of Business at the University of Tampa course on “The Art and Science of Negotiation” and guest lectured on cross-border transactions at universities and symposia in Asia and the United States.

Obviously, Clinton has attained a large degree of experience and knowledge across the entirety of his educational and professional career enabling him to successfully head up our deal teams, structure deals and manage both internal and external parties with the primary goal of facilitating successful transactions, providing our clients with a high degree of satisfaction. We are proud to have Clinton as part of our team at Benchmark International. We strive to provide our clients with the best level of service and we believe strongly that Clinton is the best man to achieve that result.

Clinton Johnson 2

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