Deep Dive: Mark Brooke
The short answer is that Mr. Brooke is currently the founder and CEO of lifestyle investment firm HILTS Global. Mr. Brooke has successfully founded and exited several companies in the entertainment and investment space in the past, though by evidence gathered in the public domain, his current company HILTS Global is not flourishing. Below you will find a detailed overview of Mark Brooke.
Mr. Brooke is currently the founder and CEO of HILTS Global, a venture capital type investment firm for "lifestyle and wellness brands".
HILTS was founded in 2013 by Brooke as a private limited company. While they officially exist in the UK, USA and Cayman Islands, only definitive filings for the London entity were available.
Looking at their filings, by 2015, the company directorship got a bit strange. Brooke temporarily removed himself as director, adding a German consultant, Malte Griess-Nega, and Adam Heaps (an accountant) in February 2015. Both new directors were terminated shortly after, with Brooke then re-instating himself as sole director by July the same year. Their 2015 return listed 3 shareholders: Mr. Brooke, a Ross Lovegrove and a Katherine Priestley. At the year-end, they had £22,802 in debts and very little assets. The same shareholders are named in the 2016 statements. Those accounts show current assets of £146,140 with £175,200 debts due in the next year. Later in 2017, Ms. Priestley transferred her shares to Mr. Brooke. He now has 70% ownership of the HILTS Global (UK).
HILTS Global was also incorporated in New York, USA in February 2016. However, by January 2018, HILTS Global (US) were debarred by the State of New York Worker's Compensation Board to last one year. No details of the reasons were given, but the WCB website lists that companies are typically debarred for, "various types of workers' compensation noncompliance infractions from bidding on Public Work Projects... people are banned for one year from the conviction date for final assessments of civil fines, penalties or a stop work order."
As far as HILTS Global's stated vision, during an interview with employee Charlie Tee in 2015, he stated HILTS Global's vision focused on "fashion, luxury and premium brands". They are not just an investor, but also become an operating partner of the brands they partner with. However, despite advanced search techniques, no record or statement of actual investments could be found in the public domain.
As the lawsuit against HILTS Global is still fairly new, there is not a lot of information in the public domain outside of the Penn Record article already found. Information from Pacer Monitor shows the case has not progressed much since the initial filing last year. The plaintiff, UM Technologies LLC, is an IT professional services firm, though the lawsuit is for an unpaid loan, not services provided. There is no information for how Mark Brooke is connected with or obtained a loan from, UM Technologies.
mr. brooke's history prior to hilts
In a podcast with Halo Talks, Mr. Brooke talks about setting up his first company at age 21 (around 1990). Five years later, in approximately 1995, they were approached by a bank looking to IPO the company. Bloomberg names this company as Harvey Nash Plc. He states he built his career in the tech industry in the 90s (Russell Reynolds Associates and Redwood Partners International). While he doesn't go into specifics, Mr. Brooke states that living in Los Angeles at the time got him interested in independent films, so that is how he came to set up Aramid Capital Partners, with around $600 million in the capital. Founded in 2005, the company primarily provided financing for independent films. Mr. Brooke eventually left the company in 2011.
He then briefly was a director for Privatus UK in London. The company primarily focused on the collectibles industry. He left two years later, in 2013 to become a director for Pathway Entertainment, in Los Angeles. In this, he joined Mark Manuel and Ted O’Neal in a merger with Kilburn Media. Pathway is primarily an entertainment distribution and licensing company. He left Pathway in 2016, so there was an overlap with his directorship there and with the founding of HILTS Global.
mentions in the press
In 2016, Mr. Brooke appeared at the EU Family Wealth Forum, hosted in London. His panel covered, "How can investment techniques further your philanthropic aims? What is the role of sustainability in family investing? Is there a conflict between making profit and doing good?". His fellow panel hosts were also from investment companies.
Mr. Brooke apparently leads a rather private life, as there are almost no other mentions of him in the public domain.
Mr. Brooke's LinkedIn lists his primary interests as related to the film industry, which is relevant to his history with Aramid and Pathway. He is also interested in other entrepreneurs and thought leaders like Bill Gates, Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins.
Some of his other interests include nutrition, yoga, and wellness.
As detailed above, Mr. Brooke has been connected with entertainment producers Ted O'Neal and Mark Manuel. He also worked with Charles Liburd (another producer) during his time at Aramid. His Halo Talks podcast states his business partner is Russell Simmons, a "well-known entrepreneur". Unfortunately, with such a common name, it is unknown whether he means the Russell Simmons the famous music producer, or another person by the same name. Outside of this podcast, there are no public connections between any person named Russell Simmons and Mark Brooke, nor is a Mr. Simmons on any filings for the company.
His Bloomberg profile states he has also worked with Jeffery Sachs of the UN Millennium Project on fundraising efforts, but this was the only mention I could find linking Mr. Brooke to the project.
Other connections include Ross Lovegrove, a Welsh designer, who briefly held some shares in HILTS Global (UK). Katherine Priestley, the Managing Director of Park Vale Capital, is still listed as a minority shareholder in HILTS Global (UK). I speculate that possibly Park Vale Capital, or Ms. Priestley personally, had themselves invested in HILTS Global. Late in 2017, her 30 shares (30%) were transferred to Mr. Brooke.
While there are no public records of the exact philanthropic efforts of Mr. Brooke, we can glean from a couple of sources that he is interested in this area. His participation in the panel at the EU Family Wealth Program was specifically related to wealth and personal philanthropy. He generally has "helped to raise funds and awareness for a number of charitable organizations", with the only named one being the UN Millennium Project.
There is, quite notably, a lack of publicly available data on the amount of capital and current investments of HILTS Global. Their UK-based statements are extremely low and do not speak of much capital to invest. While Mr. Brooke talks about investmentsl and looking for companies in his May 2017 podcast with Halo Talks (with the implication that HILTS Global is flourishing with lots of investments), there are no press releases or news articles about any actual investments made by the company. Their unpaid debts lawsuit and debarment by the State of New York also speak to financial difficulty for the company. The company does not seem to have a listing or current employees (other than Mr. Brooke) on LinkedIn. While there is evidence that Mr. Brooke has started and sold a few successful businesses, there is no information available about Mr. Brooke's personal wealth at present, except that he does have an interest in philanthropy. Unfortunately, it was thus impossible to verify or disprove whether he personally owns any luxury real estate.
To wrap it up, Mr. Mark Brooke is the current CEO and founder of the investment company, HILTS Global. While HILTS Global's current status is rather enigmatic and apparently financially struggling, he did successfully found an exit with several previous companies in the tech and entertainment industries. He has connections to some entertainment producers, but with very little data in the public domain, it was impossible to ascertain Mr. Brooke's personal wealth or other possible influential connections.