Monday , June 24, 2019

Change at Payment Alliance International As Three Top Execs, Including Two Cofounders, Exit

Payment Alliance International, the Louisville, Ky.-based ATM operator, is in the midst of a strategic shift, one that has seen three top executives resign from the firm.

John J. Leehy III, president and chief executive, Greg Sahrmann, executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Donna Embry, chief payments advisor, left the firm in the first week of August. Leehy and Sahrmann cofounded PAI.

“I’ve refrained from discussing the events that led to our decision to resign, but as the team that started business and worked with so many to build it to where it is today, it was a very difficult choice for us to make,” Leehy tells Digital Transactions News. “Once again, the business is enjoying strong performance and continues to be filled with wonderful and talented individuals who will work to keep our company strong.” Leehy adds that the decision to leave the 13-year-old company was difficult.

Leehy: “…It was a very difficult choice for us to make.”

Embry, known for her close involvement in numerous regional acquiring conferences as well as her payments experience, is looking forward to the next venture. “There’s so much opportunity out there,” Embry says. “Where I see the biggest gap is all these fintech companies putting together new technologies. The gap is being able to integrate into legacy platforms.”

Sahrmann’s profile lists him as a managing partner at Resource Alliance Partners, an early-stage venture firm founded by Leehy.

PAI’s majority owner is Inverness Management LLC, a New Canaan, Conn.-based investment firm. Digital Transactions News reached James C. Comis III, the managing general partner of Inverness, but he was unable to talk because of his travels. Comis had not yet responded to an email by mid-morning Wednesday. The Inverness Web site said PAI employs approximately 280 persons.

This major shift will be the second for PAI since 2017, when it sold its Merchant Services Division, which served more than 17,000 merchants, to Clearent LLC. The sale reshaped PAI into a company entirely focused on ATMs. “The decision to exit the bank card business and focus our resources on the ATM business is really driven by the success we’ve enjoyed in the ATM business,” Leehy said at the time. PAI operates more than 75,000 ATMs.

PAI’s push to grow its ATM business included adding cardless cash services to its ATMs. The company has not been shy about acquisitions, such as one for a 400-ATM operator in 2017.

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