Mort Neblett

Member/Manager OFP Financial Partners

Mr. Neblett was born in Wilmington, North Carolina and was educated in public and private schools in the state of North Carolina. In January of 1963, he graduated from the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill. After active duty in the North Carolina National Guard, 16th Special Forces, he received an honorable discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States. In 1966, Mr. Neblett and his wife, Judy, decided to work their way around the world. Beginning in the Philippines, they travelled to Japan, and visited five other Southeast Asian countries on the way to Melbourne, Australia. In Melbourne, they settled for two years.  They both worked in Melbourne and travelled as much of the country as time from work allowed. Leaving Melbourne in 1968, they travelled back to America through Indonesia and Singapore, stopping in India, and going west to the Middle East. There, they spent a week in Teheran, Iran. Then they visited the ancient cities of Shiraz and Isfahan. Their next stop was a week in Beirut, Lebanon. Leaving Beirut, they spent time in various parts of Europe, eventually returning to New York. This marked the end of a “chance of a lifetime trip”.  They were still in their twenties, but Mort, now, had sown the seeds of international interest. In time, he would retrace many of these steps in foreign travel for business. During that same year they spent the Christmas holidays in Rome, Italy and spent New Year`s in Cairo, Egypt. Leaving Egypt, they stopped in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and then flew to the Sudan. The trip finished in Kenya and Tanzania. Over dinner one evening, a fellow traveler in Tanzania persuaded Mort to visit a stock brokerage firm on his return to New York. The firm was F. I. DuPont & Co. and the fellow traveler arranged a meeting with the senior partner, Mr. Edmund DuPont in New York  In 1969, Mr. Neblett was hired by F. I. DuPont & Co, a New York Stock Exchange Member Firm. He was elected President of his training class of seventy two. Upon completion of his training, exams, and receiving a license to trade in commodities, Mort and Judy moved to Atlanta, Georgia. In 1973, Mort joined Robinson-Humphrey & Co (R-H) as a partner in the International Department. For the next twenty plus years at R-H, Mort and his business partner, John Lowenberg, travelled over two hundred times on business trips abroad. They both travelled extensively in the United States during those years. During his business career at R-H, Mr. Neblett and his partner, were mostly responsible for investing, on behalf of their firm`s clients, parts of large investment portfolios. The firm`s clients were diversifying and expanding their investments in the Southeastern region of America. These investments were across many asset categories, and included common stocks, real estate, unquoted investments, and convertible securities. These were asset categories of most interest to the firm`s  foreign clients which included Scottish Investment Trusts, British Merchant Banks, Dutch Investment Trusts, European Banks, etc. It was during this time that a Swiss banking client of R-H introduced Mr. Neblett to one of the banks clients from Italy. The client was seeking to move a large sum held in a Swiss Bank to purchase real estate in the Southeastern, United States. That client was one of the first to begin purchasing a part of nearly two hundred fifty thousand acres of rich farming land in Hyde County, North Carolina.  The land was owned by the founder of Sea-Land Services, Inc., Mr. Malcolm McLean, a business friend of Mr. Neblett.  This transaction was handled by Robinson-Humphrey Properties.  In many ways, this transaction was the beginning of the current interest of OFP in real estate. While at Robinson-Humphrey, Mr. Neblett was a Managing Director and a member of the Board of Directors of the firm. He and Mr. Lowenberg were Allied Members of the New York Stock Exchange and were, therefore, qualified to vote the NYSE seats owned by Robinson-Humphrey. Mr. Neblett, co- managed the International Business of R-H with Mr. Lowenberg, and also served on the firm`s Commitment Committee and its Investment Policy Committee. He also helped start Mid-East American, Inc., (MEA), as a joint venture with William Kent & Co. in Greenwich, Connecticut. William Kent & Co had offices throughout the Middle East and North Africa and maintained a residence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The business of MEA was to sell or distribute the products and services of the investment banking clients of Robinson-Humphrey through the client companies of William Kent & Co.  These companies were typically owned by leading merchant families of the region.  Mid-East American succeeded in selling crop dusting planes in North Africa, chocolate flavored drinks in Egypt, pest control services, and a variety of other products and services needed in the Middle East.     Anxious to return to North Carolina in 1992, Mr. Neblett retired from R-H and joined Morgan Keegan & Co (M-K), a New York Stock Exchange Member Firm based in Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Neblett and Allen Morgan, founder of M-K), were friends, years before, at the University of North Carolina. While at Morgan Keegan & Co., Mr. Neblett, worked as a Managing Director and Senior Investment Banker. He and his partner, Frances Goodman, helped with the firm`s entry into the Carolinas and negotiated the purchase of J. Lee Peeler & Co, a municipal bond and brokerage firm in Durham, North Carolina. He also helped start M-K`s first Early Stage Fund and served on its Investment Policy Committee. During that time, he was responsible for the sale of Park Meridian Bank in Charlotte, North Carolina to Regions Financial Bank in Birmingham, Alabama. Over the years, Mr. Neblett has been a founding shareholder of three banks, including Adam & Co in Edinburgh, Scotland.  He founded and operated the Chattahoochee Cattle Company in Franklin, Georgia, raising beef cattle and selling coastal Bermuda hay for animal feed. He has been a limited partner of six venture capital partnerships in the United States.  Mr. Neblett has served on a variety of public and private boards including Habersham Energy in Denver, Colorado and a Southeastern based community bank.  Currently, he serves as a board member of two Early Stage companies in North Carolina.  On the public/private side, Mr. Neblett has served on the Board of Visitors of The University of North Carolina/Wilmington, The Cameron Business School Advisory Board of The University of North Carolina/Wilmington, and he is a founder of the UNC/W International Cabinet Foundation. He is a member of IMAF Cape Fear LLC., an Inception Micro Angel Fund.  His experience has also included board memberships of The Wilmington Housing Authority, The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, and The Cameron Art Museum. While living in Atlanta, he served as a Board Member of The Southern Center of International Studies meeting many world leaders and travelling to NATO headquarters in Belgium and to other meetings in Europe and elsewhere. In Atlanta he was honored with gubernatorial appointments to sit on the Board of The Georgia World Congress Center and The Atlanta Committee for the Atlanta Olympic Games Board. Mr. Neblett is married to Judith Neblett. They have two sons, both of whom reside in Wilmington, North Carolina. His personal interests include golfing, fishing, and hunting. He is an avid surf fisherman spending parts of each spring and fall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina deep sea fishing and surf fishing. “A major part of any success I have enjoyed in the world of business is due to other people who believed in me, mostly at a young age. I have many people to thank for this, especially my maternal grandfather, Frances Paul O`Crowley, and my father, for whom I am named. They encouraged me to work hard and to believe in myself. At age 14, with a brand new social security card, I started working for my grandfather`s business after school and on Saturdays. My father taught me to save, to be independent, to read the Wall Street Journal, and never to be joint and several on a loan document!!  He co-signed a twelve month note of $300.00 for me to buy my first car in 1956. Happily, I was able to pay off the note four months before it was due.  My other mentor was Mr. Justus C. Martin Jr., who hired me to work for him at Robinson- Humphrey & Co.  No one ever gave me more responsibility or a greater vote of confidence than Justus Martin. We travelled to many countries on business together and became close friends. I was privileged to do many challenging and exciting things in those years. He loved prospecting for new clients, shooting quail in South Georgia, playing golf, smoking fine cigars, and travelling...and so did I.”      
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