The 1920 Group brings together a group of experienced financial and entrepreneurial experts that have broad backgrounds in strategy, finance, structure, business development, governance, legal and operations. Together, this team has over 150 years of operations, acceleration of business growth and transactional experience having built numerous companies as well as advised a myriad of clients, including businesses, investors, NGO’s and governments during our combined careers.
We are a women-owned company focused predominantly on entities that we believe are growth vehicles that can positively impact society. We work globally at the intersection of new technology and services across verticals and in industries where we can create or facilitate positive change through innovative solutions.
We bring to the table an international network with deep knowledge of the elements of international growth, regulatory systems, and trade strategies. At the same time, we align clients with top professionals who can provide expert support within their industry. With years of traditional and new digital banking expertise, our team prides itself on our ability to assess and provide creative financial solutions for clients in new markets, new products, culture change, and conscious leadership. We are the backbone of support for any type of transaction or strategic shift. We fully understand the complexities of change in the corporate environment, at a country-wide level and everything in between.
Our ability to tailor a solution to fit the needs of our clients goes above traditional thinking, beyond innovation, and brings to light creative financial and entrepreneurial solutions to continuously push the limits of what can be achieved by a single idea.
Together our deep career expertise, global network of industry professionals and capital, high level creative thinking and drive to make a positive impact and change on the world allow us to provide top tier support to our clients.
Ms. Allen is the CEO and founder of Allen & Associates (“AA”) a global Strategic Advisory and Investment firm. In 2012, Allen & Associates expanded from Los Angeles to London with a focus on the EU debt markets. At this time, AA initiated debt securitization programs and related business in Luxembourg. This expansion of AA led to several notable transactions Including in 2017 founding and directing the Consortium which structured, organized and initiated operations of the Türkiye Varlık Fonu, the Turkish Sovereign Wealth Fund for the government of Turkey. This successful transaction saw the valuation and movement of US$220B of the country’s assets into the wealth fund for the purposes of creating below market debt.
Marcia has a broad financial background, with both corporate and institutional experience. She is not your typical Investment Banker. For the past three decades she has been devoted to corporate finance, focused on wealth management, private equity, venture capital and M&A. She has represented all levels of investors and corporate clients for strategic consulting, acquisitions, restructures and divestitures. Her primary focus is to build value and/or resolve problems through balanced structures and proper timing of financing, growth and divestiture.
In this capacity, Ms. Allen has developed and successfully completed many financial transactions through her companies, Allen & Associates, Elite Capital, a California based Venture Capital Firm, Allen/Brenner, Inc., a wealth and cash management firm focused on the entertainment and media industry. During these years Ms. Allen was a founder and Managing Director of The Movie Group, (AMX) the originating company which is today Lionsgate Entertainment (NYSE).
Ms. Allen’s began her career as a member of the founding group of Ruby Tuesday, Inc. Upon her departure, she joined Taco Bell, Inc. (NASDAQ) as the Chief Financial Officer; where she structured and facilitated the acquisition of Taco Bell, Inc. by PepsiCo, Inc (NYSE). From PepsiCo, Ms. Allen moved to W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE) initially she was with the Restaurant / Retail Division as CFO, and later as a Corporate Development Officer (M&A).
Her Advisory clients are quite diverse from the House of Al Thani and the QIA, the governments of Zambia, Turkey and other developing countries to US hospitality giants Marriott and McDonalds. She is a problem solver and she is known for successfully executing her “out of the box” financial and operational strategic plans.
She was educated at the University of Tennessee in finance and accounting. She has been a speaker for Forbes, Strategic Research Institute, Inc. magazine, the National Restaurant Association, Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA). She is active in numerous civic and political organizations. Currently she is a Member of the Board of Directors of Ark Restaurants (ARKR), INmuneBio (INMB) along with several private companies.
Ms. Whitlock has been working with companies and executives backed by venture capital and private equity funding, as well as the investors who support them, since 1998. She spent over 25 years in two AMLaw 100 firms, DLA Piper and Duane Morris, advising clients in connection with corporate and securities transactions, focusing on venture capital, private equity, public and private securities offerings, and mergers and acquisitions, all with a focus on emerging and middle market companies.
Keli’s experience spans multiple industries including media, biotech, life sciences, sports, construction and engineering, technology, fintech and cybersecurity. She is often called on in connection with strategic planning, structuring and risk analysis with respect to capitalization, business models, growth strategies and exits. Keli is also the founder of Wyzer, a technology designed to help entrepreneurs start and run businesses.
Manning is a creative executive “problem-solver” with a track record of technology, investments, and impact with Fortune 1,000, Startups, and Government R&D. Manning led innovation and technology for two US leading Shale Oil & Gas Public companies (Pioneer Natural Resources and Cimarex Energy) that advanced the US as an energy powerhouse. Manning serves on the University of Oklahoma Strategic Research Board, the Texas A&M TEES’ Advisory Board, and for the Worlds.io executive team. Previously, Manning served eight years on Board of Directors for Astrotech Corporation, a small public company, providing space equipment and services for the International Space Station and satellite processing for over 300 missions, Tech Titans Board (Texas’ largest industry trade member association), and the US Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board for Innovation.
Ms. Manning was a co-founder of a venture investment firm, Malibu IQ for HRL Labs (Boeing and GM’s premier US R&D Lab), Managing Director for a nanotechnology cleantech energy venture with Schlumberger as the largest LP, and appointed twice to Texas’ $483M Emerging Technology investment fund by former Texas Governor Rick Perry. Manning was voted as one of the “Top 25 Women in Technology”by the Dallas Business Journal. Early in her career, Manning was a key leader in successful nanotechnology companies; Authentix (acquired by the Carlyle Group) and Zyvex, and cut her teeth in transitioning 38Ghz, a backhaul DOD technology, for broadband wireless communications at Winstar. Manning holds a B.A. from Loras College and an MBA from University of Dallas.
As a serial entrepreneur and serial investor for 37 years, Sharon has created, built, accelerated, invested in and exited hundreds of companies across the globe employing and/or working closely with other entrepreneurs, sector experts and financiers to achieve a strong return on investment (“ROI”) track record.
The beginning of Ms. Amezcua’s career was focused on commercial banking as well as on building and growing energy-related companies in lighting, HVAC control systems and alternative energy. Following her extensive global experience in these sectors and in creating energy saving solutions as one of the youngest senior executives in the energy sector at that time, Ms. Amezcua founded the first-of-its-kind “demand-side management solutions advisory company tailored for the utility sector in North America” called “Presentations” to capitalize on deregulation of the electricity industry in the US and Canada. “Presentations” successfully launched many Energy Saving Companies (“ESCO’s”) for the largest utilities in America, and Sharon was invited to become a Co-Founder of New Energy Ventures in Los Angeles, CA which she and her team grew from zero to a billion dollars in revenue run rate in the first 18 months. That company was then sold to AES. New Energy (as it became known), is still the largest ESCO in America and owned by Constellation.
Ms. Amezcua subsequently Co-Founded MCC Global NV (“MCC”), an old-style global merchant bank that was built over a 13-year period and listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange in 2006. MCC offered a proprietary incubation and acceleration “de-risking” process that Ms. Amezcua developed and then implemented in hundreds of emerging and established companies with a track record of success that was unmatched in the industry at that time. MCC employed experts in 14 vertical markets who also had deep horizontal expertise in products and services and a presence in major geographical locations around the world to build, invest in and exit over 500 companies successfully. As Vice Chairman of Moore Clayton Capital Advisors, Inc. and Vice President of Equus II, MCC Global’s fund management company and its NYSE-listed private equity fund, respectively, Ms. Amezcua was instrumental in increasing the overall net asset value and ROI of this highly regulated BDC.
After exiting MCC, Ms. Amezcua Founded ESE Partners, LLC and Co-Founded ESE Fund Ltd., a future financial services company with a closely-held seed/growth fund that has an above-industry track record. Ms. Amezcua also Co-Founded SSG, LLC, a technology transfer company, owned and managed by women, to build companies in the US and the Middle East/North Africa region of the globe.
Ms. Amezcua’s passion (besides dancing!) is working with young people through business and philanthropy to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and assist them in executing their dreams. She is also an active Advisory Board member of many emerging and established companies across the globe and was educated in technology and finance at the University of Florida (BSBA) and Georgia State University (General MBA studies).