Marshall Street Capital and Claridges Trust Company were established in 2015, but their roots date back to the mid-1800s and the rise of the Albert Trostel & Sons Leather Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Albert Trostel & Sons was founded in 1858 and built its business on providing leather boots for Union soldiers in the Civil War, as well as leather accessories for horse-drawn transportation.
The company continued to grow, refining the art of leather processing during the industrial age and adapting and diversifying to create leather seals and gaskets for military machinery during World War II.
Starting in the 1950s, Albert Trostel & Sons, now known for its innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, began further diversifying and acquiring other companies, most notably the acquisition of Eagle Ottawa Leather Company in the early 1960s. The leather operations of Albert Trostel & Sons were merged with Eagle Ottawa, a supplier of automotive leather, and the merged business retained the Eagle Ottawa name.
In the 1950s, Albert Trostel & Sons also opened a new entity in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Albert Trostel Packings, Ltd. (renamed Trostel, Ltd. in the 1990s) was established for the production of leather packings and rubber seals and later expanded to include synthetic rubbers, thermoplastic elastomer and cast urethane products used across various industries.
In 1962, following the death of the founder’s grandson Albert O. Trostel, Jr., long-time executive Everett G. Smith became president of Albert Trostel & Sons.
In the 1960s, separate from his involvement with Albert Trostel & Sons, Everett Smith had taken controlling interests in several other companies, including Maysteel, a sheet metal fabrication company, and Blackhawk Leather, a manufacturer of split leathers for shoes, garments and handbags. Both businesses were located in southeastern Wisconsin.
In 1974, Everett Smith Group (ESG) was formed as a holding company for Mr. Smith’s interests in Maysteel, Blackhawk and his growing ownership stake in Albert Trostel & Sons. ESG continued to invest in new industries including the steel casting business Sivyer Steel in the mid 1980s; thermoplastics businesses Dickten & Masch Plastics and Techniplas in the early 2000s; and electronic assembly company OEM Worldwide (later renamed Onyx) in the early 2000s. In addition, by 2010 ESG had acquired full control of Albert Trostel & Sons and its subsidiaries Eagle Ottawa and Trostel, Ltd.
Over four decades, ESG’s strong management grew the subsidiaries to $1B in revenue with offices and operating facilities across the globe, including the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, China, England, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Thailand. Additionally, ESG successfully navigated the 2008 financial crisis with a focus on innovation, continuous improvement and strong management, positioning the subsidiaries as leaders in the manufacture of premium automotive leather, sheet metal enclosures, rubber compounds, rubber seals, thermoplastics products, urethane products, utility products and electronic assemblies.
Mr. Smith passed away in 1997 and ownership of the business was passed to his heirs through various trusts. In 2010, ownership of ESG was consolidated, and ESG became solely owned by Thomas J. Hauske, Jr., grandson of Everett G. Smith and a long-time executive at the holding company and its operating companies.
With the consolidation in ownership and improved performance and growth of its operating companies, ESG leadership, led by J. Douglas Gray, began strategically reallocating capital. It divested of certain operating companies, beginning with the sale of Dickten Masch Plastics in 2010, followed by the sale of Onyx Worldwide and Trinetics, a division of Maysteel, in 2012. In 2013, the remainder of Maysteel was sold. In 2015, ESG completed the sale of Eagle Ottawa, and in late 2016, ESG sold its last legacy operating company, Trostel Ltd.
Marshall Street Capital and Claridges Trust Company were established in 2015 to manage the assets derived from the sale of these operating companies.