SAN FRANCISCO – The Presidio Group, a leading merchant bank and investment banking advisor in the automotive retail sector, has hired George Karolis as President. Karolis co-heads the firm’s M&A and corporate finance activities alongside Founder and CEO Brodie Cobb and manages Presidio’s new Atlanta office.
Prior to joining Presidio, Karolis spent over 18 years as an executive at Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE: ABG), helping to build it into one of the largest automotive retailers in the United States. Karolis most recently served on Asbury’s executive team as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development & Real Estate. He managed hundreds of M&A transactions, real estate transactions and strategic sourcing initiatives during his tenure at Asbury.
“George brings an unparalleled expertise in the industry,” said Cobb. “Over the years, we’ve worked with him closely on numerous transactions, and we’re honored to have him as a part of our team.”
Presidio’s Atlanta office will enable the San Francisco-based firm to better serve its dealer clients nationwide. “Having George open up our East Coast location is timely,” said Cobb. “We’re seeing historically unmatched activity in the market and having a national presence with sophisticated experience will best serve our clients.”
“I am thrilled to join the firm,” said Karolis. “This is an unprecedented time in the automotive industry and Presidio is, in my opinion, the most reputable, established investment bank in the retail automotive space. Presidio is on the cutting edge of the evolution continuing to take place in the industry, and I look forward to working alongside Brodie and the team.”
The Presidio Group provides M&A advisory services through its wholly-owned investment bank, Presidio Merchant Partners LLC.