- THE JERDE PARTNERSHIP
- OWL SC
overview of legal services
Prior to arriving in Los Angeles in 1979, Michael worked as an attorney in Johannesburg and then in the banking and financial sectors in London and Zurich.
In 1979, he was admitted to the California Bar. Since then, he and his clients have worked in many diverse industries. These include the real estate, manufacturing, intellectual property, licensing, entertainment, architectural and other professional service industries. He has specialised in working with both start-up and established companies in helping them structure their business. He has worked with industry leaders in their marketing and brand-building activities.
In 1998, he served as Chief Executive Officer of an international music company and then, in 2005, as Chief Executive Officer of an award-winning international architectural design firm. He now serves as Chief Executive Officer of Owl Strategic Consulting LLC, a business consulting firm.
In late 2010, he published the critically acclaimed "Detecting the Scam: Nelson Mandela's Gift." This focused on how Nelson Mandela's negotiating skills and moral authority could have helped in detecting some of the recent high-profile scams. In his book, he described the 10 Powers of Negotiation and The Duck School, the school of common sense.
Michael was born in South Africa and graduated with BA and LLB degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and at McGill University in Montreal.
friedlander & werlin ... 1983 — 1998
Michael was one of the founders of Friedlander & Werlin, a boutique Los Angeles law firm that specialized in business law and complex litigation. For 15 years, he headed and directed the firm's business law practice.
The firm's business law practice ranged from structuring and financing start-up ventures to advising established businesses. His advice was often sought in identifying and establishing national and international strategic partners for his clients. He specialized in the structuring, drafting, negotiating and closing of transactions for his clients and in advising them on their national and international business activities.
During these years, he traveled extensively on client business to Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Zurich, Geneva, Rome, Montreal, Toronto, and Johannesburg to help clients in their various projects.
rhythmradio ... 1998 — 2004
In 1998, Michael accepted the invitation to become Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of RhythmRadio Corporation, a multi-platform entertainment business. The start-up business included radio, Internet, television, record label and licensing divisions. His fellow founders were radio icon, Shadoe Stevens, and multiple Emmy award-winning music writer and producer, Charlie Midnight.
His experience in brand-building was tapped to develop the RhythmRadio brand internationally. The company's brand was centered on its tag: "The Sound of the World in a Good Mood." Its global sponsor was Nescafe. In the course of creating the company’s brand, Michael worked closely with McCann Erikson Worldwide, Nescafe’s global marketing, advertising and branding specialist.
RhythmRadio syndicated its radio programs in over 30 countries. During these years, Michael traveled to London, Mexico City, Caracas, Buenos Aires, and Bogota.
THE JERDE PARTNERSHIP ... 2004–2009
In 2005, Michael was invited to become Chief Executive Officer and board member of The jerde Partnership, Inc., an award-winning architectural design firm with offices in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai. For over 30 years, the firm had designed large mixed-use projects for the most prominent developers around the world. In the United States, its best-known projects included the Bellagio Hotel, Universal City Walk and the Mall of America. The firm had also designed award-winning projects in Japan, Hong Kong and Europe.
During his time at the company, Michael developed a keen interest in sustainability and energy issues. He advocated the importance of bringing energy and sustainability experts into the design process at the earliest possible stages.
Michael also recognized the opportunity for architectural and engineering firms to apply for federal and state research and development tax credits with respect to their work in the energy and sustainability sectors. He supervised the drafting of the firm’s application for these credits.
During these years, he traveled extensively to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Macau, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Dubai and Istanbul on company matters.
OWL STRATEGIC CONSULTING LLC ... 2009
In 2009, Michael created this company that could offer traditional strategic business consulting services and that could also respond to two specific new opportunities he identified in the energy and real estate sectors.
The first new opportunity lay in the area of energy-efficiency. He noted the availability of government incentives, stimulus funds and the emergence of private investment banking firms dedicated to funding energy-efficiency projects. He saw the opportunity of funding energy-efficiency projects through the energy savings generated from those projects.
The second opportunity lay in the area of adaptive reuse, or taking existing facilities such as those vacated by large anchor tenants like the Circuit City group and converting them into alternative entertainment uses. Michael saw his existing relationships with sustainability consultants in engineering firms as being a vital cog in pursuing is opportunity.