Robert Scarlata

Sr. Managing Director

Robert Scarlata, as Sr. Managing Director with WhiteHorse Partners, LLC and as an M&A Dealmaker since 1986, has closed multi-million dollar transactions in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, service, software, oil/gas and many others throughout the U.S. and Canada. Representative transactions within the last 48 months include a $28MM oil/gas services co, a $10MM winery, a $9MM healthcare related co, a $13MM transportation company & others. The key to successfully closing transactions is (1) No Surprises…create reasonable expectations; (2) Understanding the tax code as applied to a sale so as to maximize after-tax net; (3) Understanding the creative potential for maximizing company earnings have made $Millions of extra dollars for clients doing exactly that; (4) Comprehending the motivation of Acquirers and using their motivation to optimize the outcome for our Client/Sellers; (5) Utilizing the best M&A practitioners such as M&A closing attorney, M&A Tax Attorney, Due Diligence Documentation, Equipment & Real Estate Appraisal practitioners and others to insure the highest probability of getting from Letter of Intent to Closing. It’s a step by step approach that has repeatedly proven to be highly successful.

Robert graduated with an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut and a J.D. from the University of Miami. He got his start in college as the founder and 100% shareholder of a leasing business that rented 2 cu ft refrigerators to college students. After a 10 year career post law school in engineering and machinery sales with one U.S. and two West German companies with sales to Fortune 500 companies inclusive of Kodak, Mobil Chemical, 3M & many others, he acquired a firm specializing in the valuation, marketing & sale of privately owned companies. Since ’92, deal size and footprint have increased substantially ranging in size up to $79MM and covering nearly all of North America. As a Certified Business Exit ConsultantTM with the premier exit planning firm in the U.S., Pinnacle Equity Solutions, appropriately securities licensed (63 and 79) and with 29 years of documented exit planning experience Robert and his team are prepared to provide M&A guidance to you and your clients wherever you and/or they may be.

Robert has translated his wealth of knowledge into a reader friendly overview of his and his clients’ experiences in his book Manage To Sell Your Business: Wealth Creation Secrets of the Pros, available on Amazon and Kindle. Contact Robert for a free copy Or call him at 615-383-5222.

Contact Robert Scarlata
Senior Managing Director
(615) 383-5222

Brantley Kemp

Managing Partner

Brantley Kemp has successfully directed clients through the M&A process for more than 20 years. His deep domain experience has brought transformative value to clients participating in industries experiencing dramatic change and consolidation, including energy & utilities, oil & gas services, transportation, machining, firearms and IT.

A forty year veteran of the financial industry, Mr. Kemp spent his early years on Wall Street where he was a Regional Vice President with a major brokerage firm and the #1 producing broker worldwide–among six thousand brokers. He then served in various executive capacities with a handful of NYSE member firms in both New York and Chicago.

Mr. Kemp graduated from East Tennessee State University with a double major in Business and Political Science. An avid outdoorsman, he resides in Brentwood, Tennessee with his wife Brenda. They enjoy spending time with their three grown children and six grandchildren.

Contact Brantley Kemp
Senior Managing Director
(615) 371-1919

Jim Varallo

Senior Managing Director

Jim Varallo has advised privately-held companies on their strategic alternatives for over twenty years. He has guided clients across a wide spectrum of industries including industrial manufacturing, consumer products, software, and business services. Varallo is a strong advocate for his clients and the outcomes they are striving to achieve.


Jim has more than 35 years of business experience, both as an entrepreneur and as a practitioner in mergers and acquisitions. Prior to his entre into the world of M&A, Jim owned and operated his own multi-million dollar distribution company—distributing canned meats, fruits and vegetables to customers throughout the southeast portion of the U.S. When his company was acquired, he launched his own very successful commercial real estate firm, which he maintains an interest in today.

Jim graduated from Vanderbilt University, where he received his degree in Business Administration with a minor in Business Law. Jim’s wife of 35 years, Deborah, is a successful entrepreneur herself. In addition to managing their commercial real estate firm, Deborah owns a very highly regarded Public Relations & Marketing Firm.

Despite their busy life style, Jim still has time to engage in other activities. He has been a member of St. Stephen Catholic Community for almost 28 years and has served as Parish Council Chair and member of the finance committee for his parish community for the past 8 years.

Jim is also a licensed pilot and Coast Guard Captain, spending most of his free time aboard his cruiser “Snap Shot” named after his wife, who is also a professional photographer.

Contact Jim Varallo
Senior Managing Director
(615) 360-2044

Jeff Barnes

Chief Operating Officer

Jeff Barnes is a highly experienced financial and strategic consultant with close to three decades of industry expertise. His extensive background in financial analysis, valuation consulting, and transaction advisory services has given him a broad range of knowledge to provide expert advice on issues ranging from market entry and exit to performance analysis and improvement, customer/product/division analysis, capital budgeting and funding, valuation, and acquisitions and divestitures.

As COO at Whitehorse Partners, Jeff has a pivotal role in overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations of the firm, managing a team of financial analysts, and leading client transaction services. Prior to his role at Whitehorse Partners, Jeff served as part of the executive management team at an independent M&A consulting firm and as Vice President in the middle market practice of Citigroup Global Markets.

Jeff holds an MBA from The Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA in Business Administration from the University of San Diego. He currently lives in Brevard, NC with his wife and three children.

Contact Jeff Barnes

Lisa Goode

Vice President

Lisa Goode is a seasoned M&A professional with 30 years of experience across multiple industries. Expertise in operations, valuation, and marketing make her a valuable asset to WhiteHorse Partners, where she specializes in transaction facilitation. She provides clients with financial and operational guidance, ensuring that they receive the best possible outcomes from their transactions. Leveraging her deep understanding of the sales process she is able to navigate the intricacies of deals to ensure successful outcomes for her clients.

One of Lisa’s key strengths is her ability to bridge the gap between buyers and sellers. She understands the challenges that both sides face in a transaction and is adept at identifying common ground and facilitating agreement. Lisa is skilled at communicating complex transaction-related concepts in a clear and accessible manner, helping buyers and sellers to understand each other’s perspectives and reach mutually beneficial outcomes. Lisa is a trusted advisor to clients seeking to achieve successful outcomes in their transactions. She takes a collaborative approach to working with clients, listening carefully to their needs and goals, and providing personalized guidance and support throughout the transaction process.

Lisa’s ability to explain complex concepts in a clear and accessible manner helps her clients to make informed decisions and achieve successful outcomes. Whether it’s a merger, acquisition, ESOP, or other strategic transaction, Lisa is committed to ensuring that clients achieve their objectives and maximize value.

Contact Lisa Goode
Vice President
(714) 200-3030

Tessa Palmer

Financial Analyst

Tessa Palmer is an accomplished financial analyst and consultant with a wide range of international experience across investment banking and boutique MA firms. She began her career on Wall Street as part of the Mountbatten Institute and later Barclays Investment Bank in London, UK, focusing on private side deals in central Europe. Tessa went on to become a Senior Financial Analyst at Fidelity Investments in Boston where she led the creation of analysis materials for executive management.

Over the past 10 years, Tessa has become an expert in process improvement, project management, and business strategy with a passion for working closely with clients to gain a thorough understanding of their goals, whether individuals, small businesses, or large enterprises. At Whitehorse Partners, Tessa specializes in the preparation of valuation and marketing materials, due diligence work, and detailed analysis of financial statements and company operations.

Tessa holds a degree from the University of St Andrews and enjoys serving on her local college board as VC of the Finance Committee. She currently resides in Dornoch, Scotland but travels frequently to the U.S.

Contact Tessa Palmer
Financial Analyst
(888) 950-4924

Brian O'Donohue

Financial Analyst

Brian is a versatile professional with over 40 years of accomplishments in three distinct business areas – small business ownership, corporate and independent mergers and acquisitions, and private company operations and financial management.

Most recently, Brian completed the sale of a Richmond specialty foods retail business which he had purchased, operated and successfully grew, doubling its size and profitability during his seven years of ownership.

Prior to that, he spent twenty years working as both a corporate and independent business broker, successfully initiating and closing seventeen buy and sell side transactions with enterprise values totaling over $100 million in aggregate. During this time, he developed significant expertise in business valuation, enterprise marketing, due diligence procedures, and purchase agreement negotiations.

Brian began his career in small private company operations and finance, culminating in accomplished roles as CEO and CFO at several high technology manufacturing firms in the specialty chemicals, consumer electronics, plastics, laser and infrared instrument industries.

Brian holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Boston College and is a lifelong member of the Financial Executives Institute.

Contact Brian O’Donohue
Financial Analyst
(804) 306-2913