Lorne Abony

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Lorne Abony
Lorne A..jpg
Lorne Abony
Born (1969-08-26) August 26, 1969 (age 46)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian

McGill University, (BA, 1991), University of Windsor Faculty of Law (JD/LLB, 1994),

Columbia Business School, (MBA)
Occupation CEO, Vested Finance; Owner, Austin Aces

Lorne Abony (born August 26, 1969) is a technology and media entrepreneur and the CEO of Vested Finance, a student financing company focusing on equity financing for higher education.[1] He is also the owner of the Austin Aces, a professional sports franchise which competes in World TeamTennis. Abony is the former CEO of Mood Media Corporation, a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. He co-founded FUN Technologies in 2001 and in 2004 as CEO of FUN became the youngest CEO of a listed company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).[2][3] Additionally, Abony, whose net worth is estimated at $300 million, [4] is an accomplished tennis player and member of the Competition Committee of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).[5]

Career and business experience[edit]

Abony was born and raised in Toronto.[6] After graduating from the University of Windsor law school in 1994, Abony practiced corporate and securities law at the Toronto firm Aird & Berlis.[7] Abony left the law profession in 1996 to embark on an entrepreneurial career. In his role as CEO and founder of a number of successful ventures, Abony has raised over C$1.3 billion through the public and private debt and equity markets, including over $100 million for Petopia.com,[8] $190 million for FUN Technologies[9] and over $820 million for Mood Media.[10][11]

Vested Finance[edit]

Abony founded Vested Finance in early 2015 to address the burgeoning student debt crisis which had grown to $1.3 trillion.[12] The idea for Vested originated during Abony's early college days when a family friend offered to "invest" in his schooling in exchange for a percentage of his future earnings. [13] Accordingly, Vested was created to provide a way for students to pay for their education without incurring any debt. The company's mission is to help ensure American competitiveness and entrepreneurial spirit through equity financing of students' higher education. In his role as CEO, Abony leads a team with offices in Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Vested raised $5 million in seed capital in April 2015 from Sandleigh Ventures. [14]

Undercover Boss[edit]

In January 2013, Abony was featured in the Emmy Award –winning CBS series “Undercover Boss”. In the one hour episode which was watched in over 11 million households,[15] Abony works hand-in-hand with Mood Media employees while disguised as Beau Sinnet an unemployed night club owner.[16]

Austin Aces[edit]

Abony is the owner of the Austin Aces.[17] The Austin Aces is one of seven professional tennis teams in Mylan World TeamTennis, the professional tennis league co-founded by Billie Jean King in 1974. The team’s inaugural season took place in 2014 with a roster that included former world #1 men's singles player Andy Roddick and 2013 Wimbledon women’s champion Marion Bartoli. The Aces return in 2015 at a new venue in downtown Austin, playing 14 matches during July with seven at home and seven on the road. Roddick returns as the team's marquee player and nine-time Grand Slam doubles winner Rick Leach leads the team as head coach. [18]

Mood Media[edit]

Abony is the former CEO of Mood Media Corporation ("Mood Media"). Mood Media provides in-store media to over 575,000 locations worldwide, including clients such as McDonald's, Gucci, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike, Hilton Hotel and AT&T. Mood Media has offices in 48 countries employs over 2,700 employees and plays over 115 million songs and 10 million on-hold and on-premise messages daily.[19][20][21] In 2011 Mood Media was named Canada's fastest growing company by Profit.[22] Mood Media currently has a market cap value of approximately $176 million.[23]

FUN Technologies[edit]

In 2002, Abony co-founded Columbia Exchange Systems Software PLC with Andrew Rivkin after the two raised C$1.8 million from initial investors.[24] Later renamed FUN Technologies, Abony became the company's CEO and the largest individual shareholder. In 2003, FUN completed an IPO on the London Stock Exchange raising over $11 million.[24] Soon after, FUN listed its shares on the TSX raising over $56 million from a group of investors including Fidelity Investments, AGF Management and the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund. FUN became one of the fastest growing companies on the TSX and in three years raised over $160 million in five rounds of equity financing. FUN and its subsidiaries acquired seven businesses during Abony's tenure as CEO, including SkillJam Technologies Corporation, Don Best Sports, Fanball Interactive LLC, Octopi Inc., Teagames, WorldWinner Inc. and Fantasy Sports Inc.[25][26]

The Meridian, Colorado-based Liberty Media acquired a majority interest in FUN Technologies stock in 2005.[27] Liberty Media purchased the rest of FUN Technologies in late 2007.[28] The company was valued at nearly C$500 million at the time of its final sale to Liberty Media.[29]


In January 1998, Abony founded and served as the initial president of the online pet-supply business Paw.net in San Francisco. The company, which was eventually renamed Petopia.com, grew to 200 full-time employees within two years and raised over $114 million in financing. Petopia.com was sold to Petco in 2001.[30]

Green Dot (German: Der Grüne Punkt) Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD)[edit]

The Green Dot symbol

Abony was part of the private equity syndicate that acquired Der Grüne Punkt (Green Dot) "DSD" from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts[31] in 2011. Abony sits on the board of DSD and is one of its largest shareholders.[32] DSD was founded in 1990 and was the first company to introduce a dual take-back system in Germany, in response to the Packaging Ordinance & Waste Act. The Green Dot (German: Der Grüne Punkt) is the license symbol of a European network of industry-funded systems for recycling the packaging materials of consumer goods. The logo is trademark protected worldwide. DSD employs 247 people in Germany,[33] and is considered the largest dual take-back systems provider in Europe. In 2009, DSD recovered approximately 2.75 million tons of sales packaging, saved 60 billion megajoules of energy and reduced CO2 emissions (and its equivalents) by 1.5 million tons.[33] According to Reuters, DSD a former non-profit organization, had 2009 sales of 684 million euros ($943 million).[31]

Charitable Giving[edit]

Abony is a strong supporter of education-based charities and tennis-based charities.

Abony Family Tennis Center[edit]

In 2012, Abony gave $250,000 to fund the Abony tennis center in Fredericton, NB.[34] The Abony Tennis Centre will be located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and will focus on developing tennis at the grassroots level. The Community Tennis Centre will be the only six-court tennis facility in the Maritime Provinces and, as such, will be a regional center for the growth of tennis and could serve as the Eastern Canadian regional training center. Additionally, it will attract indoor international events and will be a primary venue for provincial tournaments, wheelchair events, school programs, and programs for children, adults, and seniors.

Weiss School[edit]

In April 2012, Abony gave $500,000 to The Weiss School [35] the premier school for gifted education in Florida, to fund scholarships for gifted children and to build a new kindergarten. Abony also organizes The Weiss School Tennis Pro-Am, a tennis tournament bringing professional players such as Vince Spadea, Rick Leach, Potito Starace, Guillermo Canas, Jared Palmer, Donald Johnson and others with amateur players like Abony to compete, with all proceeds going directly to The Weiss School. In 2011, Abony helped raise over $200,000 for the school.[36]

Israel Tennis Centers[edit]

In November 2010 Abony made a $250,000 donation to Israel Tennis Centers.[37]

Education, Academia and Awards[edit]

Abony earned an MBA from Columbia Business School,[38] an LL.B/J.D. from the International Law Center at the University of Windsor and a B.A. from McGill University. He is a recipient of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 award[39] and an Ambassador for the Province of New Brunswick[40] and in 2006 was a recipient of the University of Windsor's Odyssey award.[41]

Abony sat on the Board of Trustees of the Fraser Institute, a leading Canadian think tank from 2006 to 2007.[42]


ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals)[edit]

In August 2012, Abony was selected as one of two Players Representatives to sit on the newly formed 6-member Competition Committee of the ATP. The Competition Committee is composed of distinguished members of the international tennis community including former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek. The Competition Committee was created to "explore new and creative ideas for enhancing the competition and presentation of the sport."[5]

Competitive Tennis[edit]

Abony is a competitive tennis player. He was a member of the Team Canada men's tennis team [43] which competed in the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel. He also competes in both the ITF and USTA men's over-40 divisions in both the state and national level in both singles and doubles. Abony's doubles' partner in the men's over-40 category is Jared Palmer,[44][45] formerly the world #1-ranked doubles player and Wimbledon and Australian Open doubles champion. As of July 3, 2012, Abony, along with tennis partner Jared Palmer, is ranked #2 in the USTA's National Men's over-40 Team Doubles rankings.[46]

In March 2014, Abony and doubles partner Robert Kendrick reached the finals of the USTA National Hardcourt Championships in the men’s over 30 category .[47]

In June 2014, Abony and doubles partner Robert Kendrick won the USTA National Indoor Championship in the men's over 35 category. [48]


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