Michael A. O’Hara is the founder and managing member of Consensus. Since forming Consensus in February 2006, Mr. O’Hara has advised a wide range of companies ranging from early stage consumer products companies, to publicly traded retailers to leading multi-national commercial lenders.
In recent periods, Mr. O’Hara has played a leading role in our engagements on behalf of EvoShield, Excelsior Capital Ventures, Olympia Sports, Spence Diamonds, Ltd., Aerosoles, Love Culture, Conway Department Stores, XCEL Brands, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Danier Leather, Gemvara, Sequential Brands Group and Karmaloop. Mr. O’Hara also led our engagement on behalf of Charlesbank Capital and Webster Capital in their recent acquisition of One Stop Plus, an $800.0 million multi-brand direct marketing retailer.
Mr. O’Hara also has extensive experience serving in a fiduciary capacity. From 2006 to 2009, he served on the Board of Directors of Footstar, Inc., a publicly traded footwear company, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Arena Brands, Inc., the company that owns luxury Western-wear business, Lucchese. Beginning in August 2012, Mr. O’Hara was appointed the lead independent director of HMX Group, the parent company of Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx, among other brands. Mr. O’Hara oversaw the sale of HMX Group to an affiliate of Leonard Green Partners in December 2012. He was appointed the Chief Restructuring Officer of Alpha Omega Jewelers, Casual Male Corp. and The Rugged Bear Company and the post-effective trustee to the Crescent Jewelers Unsecured Creditors Trust. He has also advised eight official committees of unsecured creditors in bankruptcy proceedings and several ad hoc committees outside of bankruptcy.
Mr. O’Hara is the architect of Consensus’s Retailer Health Ratings® product, an innovative tool for benchmarking retail business (see www.retailerhealth.com) and hosts The Next Great Consumer Brands conference, our consumer brand conference co-sponsored by the NASDAQ.
Prior to forming Consensus, he served as a Managing Director of Financo, Inc., where he provided services to such clients as Gadzooks, Inc., The Container Store, Whitehall Jewellers, Lifetime Brands, Wilsons The Leather Experts and Rosy Blue. In May 2002, he was appointed the President and CEO of Casual Male Corp. and its 16 direct and indirect subsidiaries, effectively serving as their chief restructuring officer during its Chapter 11 reorganization. Prior to this, he served as First Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and General Counsel of Casual Male Corp. and its predecessor, J. Baker, Inc., a $1.0 billion publicly traded retail conglomerate. From April 1996 to January 2000, Mr. O’Hara served national specialty retailer Brookstone, Inc. as the head of its real estate and legal departments. Prior to joining Brookstone, Mr. O’Hara was an attorney in the corporate law department of the Boston-based law firm Ropes & Gray, where he specialized in securities financings and mergers and acquisitions for a broad group of clients.
Mr. O’Hara is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law – where he was an editor of the law journal Law and Contemporary Problems – and Boston College, where he graduated with the Scholar of the College and magna cum laude designations. He serves as a vice chair of the Finance Commission for the Town of Westwood, Massachusetts, a member of the town’s Long Range Planning Committee and is the head coach for the New England Spartan’s 9th grade AAU basketball team. Mr. O’Hara is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is FINRA Series 7, 24, 63 and 79 certified.