Robert A. Peiser

Retired CEO & President Imperial Sugar Company

Robert A. Peiser has successfully financed, restored profitability to, or otherwise created value in a large number of companies in a variety of industries. He is currently Vice Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Signature Group Holdings, a Los Angeles-based public financial services company. Previously, he was CEO of Omniflight, Inc., a Dallas-based, private helicopter air rescue company. Before this position he was President and CEO of Imperial Sugar Company, a Houston-based refiner and marketer of sugar products to retail, foodservice and industrial customers. 

Previously, Mr. Peiser served a variety of companies in need of turnaround management in both a CEO and/or CFO capacity. Just prior to Imperial, he was Chairman and CEO of Tampa-based Vitality Beverages. He has operated in a variety of industries, including transportation services, food processing, retailing, distribution and telecommunications. 

Mr. Peiser began his career with TWA, and also served in a number of financial roles at RCA Corporation and, its then subsidiary, Hertz Corporation. His highest profile assignment was while he was executive vice president and chief financial officer of St. Louis-based Trans World Airlines, Inc., where he was widely credited with being the architect of that Company’s successful 1995 financial restructuring. He was also TWA’s chief financial officer in the mid-1980’s during its takeover battle with Carl Icahn. 

In addition to his Board service at Signature, Mr. Peiser is on the Board of Directors of two other public companies: Solutia, Inc (where he is chairman of its Governance Committee and a member of its Audit Committee), and Team, Inc. (where he serves on its Compensation and Executive Committees). He is also Chairman of the Board of America’s Powersports, a privately-owned chain of dealerships selling motorcycles and other sports vehicles. He previously served as an outside director of several public and private companies: Kitty Hawk, Phar-Mor and Ascent Assurance, following their respective emergence from Chapter 11, as well as Pinnacle Airlines, Audio Visual Services Corp., Precision Partners and Microware Systems.

Mr. Peiser is the Chairman of the Texas TriCities Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors; Chairman of the Audience Development and Marketing Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Houston Symphony, as well as a member of its Executive and Finance Committees; and Vice Chairman of the Development Committee of the Houston Area Women’s Center. He also serves on the Dean’s Council of Overseers at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. He is a past member of the Board of the Tampa Bay Partnership and Chairman of its International Leadership Advisory Council, a past Trustee of the Leukemia Society and a past member of the Boards of the Denver Metro and Colorado Springs Chambers of Commerce. 

He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a MBA in Finance from Harvard University.