Ed Barton brings over 25 years of tax compliance, turnaround management, and financial and executive management experience to bear for his clients. He has managed a broad range of financial roles — from tax consulting, leading and managing accounting and finance teams, audit preparation and defense, systems management and design, bookkeeping and tax preparation, risk management, underwriting, and modeling functions of a large consumer credit debt buyer to equity structured finance commitments, as well as overseeing multiple audits for PCI DSS compliance and SAS 70 certification.
Ed provides tax, legal, and turnaround consulting services as a partner in Centerbridge Law Group, PLLC, a property tax, tax resolution, and turnaround-focused law firm, and Centerbridge CPAs, PLLC, a Washington State CPA firm, focuses on tax resolution and business restructuring. Additionally, Ed is currently serving as Chief Executive Officer of Bolt Digital Group, the parent company of fusionZONE Automotive, LLC, and Lead Revenue, LLC, portfolio companies of Primus Capital. He previously worked as the Vice President of Finance/CFO, General Counsel, and Assistant Professor of Business at Saint Martin’s University.
Ed is the co-Founder of Clarity Energy Consulting, LLC, and related companies. Clarity Energy Consulting delivers strategic, comprehensive supply and demand energy risk management solutions. The Clarity team provides bottom-line-focused results for under-served mid-market sectors across industry verticals. Ed focuses on structured finance, sales, general management, legal, and compliance consulting services for Clarity and its clients.
Operating and Turn-Around Experience
Before fusionZONE and Saint Martin’s University, Ed worked with small and mid-sized businesses, consulting on financial operations and transaction structuring with CFO Selections in Bellevue, Washington.
Before CFO Selections, Ed was president and chief operating officer of G2 Web Services, another Primus Capital portfolio company. As the head of G2 Web Services, he was responsible for managing the company’s performance and company strategy. Barton oversaw all facets of the G2 business, including sales, marketing, finance, technology, and the delivery of exemplary client service and support. Before becoming president, Ed led G2’s finance, legal, and human resources teams as vice president of finance. In that capacity, he worked on multi-national tax and accounting issues, state and local tax audit defense, advanced financial modeling, banking relationships, purchase accounting, and tax and compliance reporting.
Ed has also served as CFO, president, and chief executive officer at private-equity-backed B-Line, LLC, a leading purchaser of bankrupt consumer accounts. At B-Line, he oversaw the underwriting and purchase of more than $45 billion of bankruptcy receivables, grew their client base of top-tier U.S. banks by 65 percent, and managed an integrated, multivariate development risk-scoring model for underwriting loan portfolios. Additionally, as CFO, he led multiple rounds of private equity investment in the company and secured nearly $1 billion in structured financing with global lenders.
As a chief financial officer at private equity-backed Lone Star Steakhouse, he restructured corporate finances to help lead the company through the 2008 financial crisis, including multi-site sale-leaseback transactions, development, and evaluation of profitability metrics for the four-wall restaurant performance, inventory controls, and standard costing models.
Before moving to Seattle, he held several financial consulting roles, including multi-state tax preparation, professional services financial management, project management, and process design. Ed also served as an Army engineer officer, which sparked his passion for operational efficiency.
Active in his community, Ed served as a City of Mill Creek Planning Commissioner for five years, as an elected member of the Snohomish County Charter Review Commission, and was a member of the Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission. He also served on the Board of Managers for the Northshore YMCA and as Treasurer for the Skyview Junior High School PTSA. Ed ran for the Washington State Legislature in 2014 and was endorsed by the Seattle Times. Ed currently serves as a local board member for the United States Selective Service System.
Education and Credentials
Ed earned a Juris Doctor from Northwestern California University, a Master in Business Administration from Syracuse University Martin Whitman School of Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance & business economics from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master Certificate in Six Sigma from Villanova University. He also earned an LL.M. with Merit in Economic Regulation from the University of London and a Doctorate in Leadership Studies from Marshall University.
An attorney licensed to practice in the States of California and Washington and the Federal Courts in the Southern District of California, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Tax Court, and the United States Supreme Court. Ed is a Certified Public Accountant in Washington State and Florida, a Chartered Financial Analyst since 1998, a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, and an Enrolled Agent admitted to practice before the Internal Revenue Service. Ed is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American Bar Association, the Turnaround Management Association, and the American Bankruptcy Institute. For additional admissions, certifications, and memberships, please click here.