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Former Vology CEO lands at Skyway Capital

Margie Manning

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Barry Shevlin, senior managing director, Skyway Capital

One of the top technology executives in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area has made a career shift after the company he founded, Vology, was acquired by a private equity firm.

Barry Shevlin, who was CEO at Vology, a Clearwater-based IT services firm, now is senior managing director at Skyway Capital Markets, an investment banking firm in Tampa.

At Skyway, he is helping middle-market tech companies find and develop customized financial solutions, including restructuring advice, capital raising (both debt and equity) and mergers and acquisitions. Tech companies will need that advice more than ever, as they work through the issues that have developed from the Covid-19 crisis, Shevlin said.

“Barry is a serial entrepreneur and respected visionary who knows how to adapt and capitalize on emerging trends and markets to help businesses grow,” said Russ Hunt, CEO at Skyway. “His success with capital transactions speak for themselves, and I’m confident our technology practice will thrive under his leadership.”

Shevlin founded Vology in 2002 and built it from a startup with $1 million in revenue to a business that supported more than 5,000 customers and had $175 million in revenue in 2016.

Capitala Group, an investment firm based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, recapitalized Vology last fall, and that was a key event for Shevlin.

“Candidly, it was the first time in 20 years I showed up at the office where I didn’t own the business and it just didn’t feel right. I struggled getting used to it so I decided it was best to make the change,” Shevlin told the St. Pete Catalyst.

He stepped away from the CEO role at Vology in early April, although he’s agreed to continue as an advisor to the new CEO, Tom York, and the executive team for the next year. York is an IBM veteran who serves on the board of directors of Source Support Services, another Capitala Group portfolio company.

Shevlin said he’s known Roger Overby, a senior managing director at Skyway, for more than 15 years, and the Skyway team started reaching out to him since the November deal with Capitala. At the same time, his activities are Skyway were shifting.

“I found myself especially over the last couple of months working with Vology customers and other folks, helping to solve more financial-related issues than IT-related issues. It seemed like that was a skill set that I had that I could use to help other folks,” Shevlin said.

Technology is an expansion of Skyway’s business.

“Historically they’ve been heavily focused on the banking industry, and insurance and health care and technology is definitely an expansion opportunity for them. but the lines are getting blurrier,” Shevlin said. “There’s a technology element in the way all those industries are evolving. Insurance companies with insurance tech and banks with fintech, and tele-health went mainstream overnight. There’s a lot of crossover between their historic focus and the way we all see the opportunity now.”

Raising capital will be important in the IT services industry, as a result of what’s going on in the economy, Shevlin said. “There’s going to be a lot of consolidation. I expect we’ll help some folks on the buy side and some folks on the sell side,” he said. In addition, tech companies will need help with business interruption issues, some of which will require financial solutions. “We want to put ourselves in a position to be helpful.”

While the move to Skyway is a different dynamic, Shevlin is still taking an entrepreneurial approach to the work. “I’m an advisor and I’m building a practice to help other companies. The way I feel about this is I’m building a business under the Skyway umbrella, the technology practice,” Shevlin said.

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