The Turnaround, Restructuring, and Distressed Investing Industry Hall of Fame was created in 2008 during TMA’s 20th anniversary year to honor those whose outstanding individual contributions have made a lasting positive impact on an industry dedicated to stabilizing underperforming companies, rebuilding corporate value, and retaining jobs. In 2018, TMA celebrated its 30th anniversary by honoring its third class of Hall of Fame inductees.
2018 Turnaround, Restructuring, and Distressed Investing Industry Hall of Fame Class
TMA inducted 5 icons into the Hall of Fame at The TMA Annual on September 27 in Colorado Springs, CO. Click here to read features on each inductee from the Journal of Corporate Renewal. See below for vignettes shown at The Annual.
Thomas J. Allison, CTP
Portage Point Partners LLC
Getzler Henrich & Associates LLC
Executive Sounding Board Associates
J. Scott Victor
SSG Capital Advisors, LLC
2013 Turnaround, Restructuring, and Distressed Investing Industry Hall of Fame Class
TMA inducted 10 icons into the Hall of Fame at The TMA Annual on October 4 in Washington, D.C.
“I have known and worked with Tim for over twenty years. He is one of those bankers who has the unique ability to manage multiple parties with conflicting interests towards a consensual resolution. There are none better.” --Steven M. Zelin, The Blackstone Group
Timothy R. Coleman was fortunate to work under and be mentored by two industry founders, Peter Fitts, head of Institutional Recovery Management at Citibank, and Art Newman, head of Restructuring at Ernst & Young and The Blackstone Group. Coleman’s first assignment in IRM was Nucorp Energy, a deal that included Art Newman, Harvey Miller, Marcia Goldstein, Bryan Marsal, Judy Liu, and Marty Nachimson. Throughout his career he has been lucky to be surrounded by and supported by leaders in the business. Coleman spent over seven years restructuring Citibank deals, with the most prominent assignment being a battle with the Texas Hunt brothers over their companies Penrod and Placid and their $14 billion lender liability lawsuit against the banks.
After a stint in Loan Syndications at Citibank, Coleman was recruited by Art Newman to Blackstone in 1992. The firm was only six years old and the Restructuring Group was only months old. Coleman had a big part in growing the Group from a small shop into one of the leading global restructuring businesses. In 2006 Coleman became co-head of the Group and in 2009 sole head of the Group. In 2012, the professionals in the Group were recognized by IFR by naming Blackstone as Global Restructuring Adviser of the Year and U.S. Restructuring Adviser of the Year.
Coleman has led some notable transactions in his 21 years at Blackstone, including Macy’s, Ford Motor Company, Delta Airlines, Bank of America/MBIA, Xerox, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is a member of the American College of Bankruptcy Fellows, the Teach for America New York Board of Directors, the inMotion Board of Directors, the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Advisory Council, and the USC Marshall School Board of Leaders.
“As much as Justice Farley was known for his quirky sense of humor, he was also known for his brinkmanship. No matter the case nor the parties involved, Justice Farley was well-known for forcing parties to the negotiating table under threat of dire consequences from court if a resolution was not achieved…There was rarely a stare down that Justice Farley lost.” --Milly Chow, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Hon. James M. Farley was the leading restructuring judge in Canada during his time on the Ontario bench. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario by the Federal Government in 1989. With the merger of the County Court into that court in 1990 to form the Superior Court of Justice, Farley became the Supervising Judge of the Commercial List, which dealt with insolvency matters along with complex commercial cases. He continued in that role until his retirement in 2006 when he rejoined McCarthy Tétrault, one of Canada’s leading law firms with offices across Canada and in London.
Among his restructuring cases frequently cited are Air Canada, Algoma, Lehndorff, Stelco, Loewen, Muscletech, Babcock & Wilcox, Teleglobe, Ivaco, Eaton’s, and Consumers Packaging.
Farley delivered papers and acted as an adviser in over 20 countries on six continents. He assisted with the set-up of the Tanzanian Commercial Court; a program for Chinese judges in preparation for China’s accession to the WTO; and a World Bank program in Buenos Aires on cross-border resolution mechanisms. He worked with the International Bar Association in Auckland, New Zealand, concerning international judicial cooperation and communication; participated in UNCITRAL insolvency sessions in Vienna; and acted as an adviser to the ALI NAFTA insolvency restatement for the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, including development of the Cross-Border Court to Court Communications Guidelines.
Farley was one of the four international fellows initially inducted into the American College of Bankruptcy. He was given awards from the American Bankruptcy Institute, Toronto Lawyers Association, and the International Insolvency Institute for outstanding service and the advancement of insolvency law. He is an honorary fellow of the American Bar Foundation and also was a contributing author for United States International Insolvency Law published for the U.S. Federal Judicial Center. Farley is a Rhodes Scholar and an honorary fellow of Oriel at Oxford. He is a director of a number of corporations and was a director of the TMA Toronto Chapter.
“Indisputably, [Judge Gonzalez] is one of the towering figures in the world of insolvency and among the most influential jurists of our time.” --Judge James M. Peck, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.
Judge Arthur J. Gonzalez is a senior fellow at New York University School of Law. Immediately prior to joining the law school, he served as Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Gonzalez was appointed to the bench in 1995 and was reappointed in 2009. He became Chief Judge in 2010. During his tenure on the bench, Judge Gonzalez presided over many large, complex corporate reorganizations, including Enron, WorldCom, and Chrysler. Judge Gonzalez became a member of the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on Financial Disclosure in 2010 and served until his retirement in 2012.
Following his retirement in 2012, Judge Gonzalez was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department, Character and Fitness Committee. He was also appointed as a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11. In July 2012, he was appointed as the Examiner in the ResCap Chapter 11 cases pending in the Southern District of New York.
Judge Gonzalez received an undergraduate degree in accounting from Fordham University and a master’s degree in education from Brooklyn College in 1974. He received a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1982. He also received an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law in 1990. Upon graduation from law school, Judge Gonzalez became a staff attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service until entering private practice in 1988. While with the IRS, he earned the Chief Counsel’s Special Achievement Award in 1985, 1986, and 1987. In 1991, Judge Gonzalez returned to government service with his appointment as Assistant U.S. Trustee for the Southern District of New York in 1991, and he was appointed U.S. Trustee for Region 2 (Second Circuit) in 1993. He served in that position until his appointment to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in 1995.
Judge Gonzalez is a member of the American College of Bankruptcy.
“Ken has made improvement of the bankruptcy laws a cornerstone of his career. Few have had as great an impact on the development of United States bankruptcy law as Ken.” --Michael L. Tuchin, Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP
Kenneth N. Klee is a nationally recognized expert on bankruptcy law, a tenured professor at the UCLA School of Law, and a founding partner of Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP, specializing in bankruptcy law. From 1974-77, Professor Klee served as associate counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, where he was one of the principal drafters of the 1978 Bankruptcy Code. From 1992-2000, he served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules.
Periodically, Klee served as a lawyer delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. Since 2012 he has served on the American Bankruptcy Institute Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11. He has served since 2011 as a member of the executive committee of the National Bankruptcy Conference (NBC), a capacity in which he twice previously served. He currently serves as chair of the NBC’s Committee to Rethink Chapter 11. Klee is a past president and member of the board of governors of the Financial Lawyers Conference.
On several occasions, Law Dragon has included him among the top 500 lawyers in the U.S. From 2003-2011 he was named by the Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers. In October 2007, he received the Excellence in Education Award from the Endowment for Education of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. In April 2010, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys conferred on Klee their “Champion of Consumer Rights” award. In August 2010, he received (with Professor Daniel Bussel) the American Bankruptcy Law Journal’s 2010 Editors’ Prize for the best published article.
Klee has authored Bankruptcy and the Supreme Court (LexisNexis 2008) andco-authored Business Reorganization in Bankruptcy (with Scarberry, 4th ed.2011) and Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law (4th ed., with Treister, 1996). He hasauthored or co-authored over 30 lawreview articles on bankruptcy law.
During the summer of 2010, Klee served as the appointed Examiner in the Tribune Chapter 11 cases. Currently he represents Jefferson County, Alabama under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code. He also serves clients as an expert witness, mediator, arbitrator, attorney, or consultant in his Chapter 11 business reorganization practice.
“His contributions over many years to the industry are of tremendous significance, not only in terms of the quality of his work and his execution, but also because much of Al’s work has occurred at previously unforeseen levels historically—leading the largest of firms in their respective industries through their correspondingly massive financial crises to successful outcomes, over and over again.” --Jay Alix, AlixPartners, LLP
Albert A. Koch,CTP, is a managing director and vice chairman with AlixPartners in the Turnaround and Restructuring practice in Detroit. Having joined in 1995, Koch is one of the senior most members of the firm. He has led a wide range of successful turnaround and restructuring engagements, including currently assisting the AlixPartners team in the restructuring of Eastman Kodak Company; serving as CEO of Motors Liquidation Co., formerly known as General Motors Corp. (or “Old GM”); acting as interim CFO of Kmart Corp., the largest retailer in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy; serving as president and CEO of Handleman Co., formerly a distributor of recorded music on compact disc and of electronic video games; acting as chairman, interim president, and CEO at Champion Enterprises Inc., the world’s largest builder of manufactured homes; and serving as interim CFO of Oxford Health Plans Inc. during a crisis brought on by financial and accounting systems failure.
Koch previously served as chief operating officer of AlixPartners. Under his leadership, the firm quadrupled revenues, tripled its staff of professionals, and opened two new offices. He also expanded client services, adding a comprehensive bankruptcy administration practice, an information technology turnaround practice, and professionals whose skills focus specifically on helping companies with early intervention to avoid crisis.
Koch was formerly a partner with Ernst & Young for 14 years, including seven years as managing partner of the firm’s Detroit office. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa. He is a certified public accountant and won the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) Elijah Watt Sells Gold Medal for attaining the highest scores in the U.S. on the Uniform CPA Examination. He is a Certified Turnaround Professional and a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, served as its treasurer, and was a member of its board of directors. He also is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the AICPA.
“Freddie played an important role in the creation of the West Coast’s turnaround and restructuring industry as we know it today.” --Dom Di Napoli, FTI Consulting
M. Freddie Reiss, CTP, along with Dominic Di Napoli, was the co-founder and co-leader of the Price Waterhouse business restructuring practice. After the sale of the PwC restructuring business to FTI, Reiss was the West Region Leader of FTI’s Corporate Finance/Restructuring segment and currently is a senior managing director in that practice.
Reiss has 35 years of experience in strategic planning, specializing in advising on bankruptcies, reorganizations, and business restructurings, and in providing expert witness testimony for underperforming companies, having testified in more than 100 bankruptcy cases throughout the country. He has also acted as interim manager, a fiduciary and chief restructuring officer, and trustee. Reiss’s experience includes leading some of the most significant restructuring engagements over the past three decades, including advisor for the Orange County Official Creditors’ Committee (then the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history); advisor for Kmart and Carter-Hawley-Hale retailers, American West Airlines, and Edwards Cinemas (for which he received the TMA Turnaround of the Year Award); chief restructuring officer for American Suzuki; advisor to the trustees of Brobeck Phleger & Harrison (largest law firm insolvency) and Southedge LLC (for which he received the Atlas Award for Real Estate turnaround of the year); and leader of the successful out of court restructuring of EuroDisney.
Reiss has been a leader in many restructuring organizations, including serving as a founding member of the Los Angeles Venture Association, president and board member of the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum, TMA Global board member, AIRA board member, American Bankruptcy Institute board member, ABI Strategic Planning and Fee Practices Task Force member, currently on the ABI Bankruptcy Code Reform Subcommittee, and a fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy. In addition, Reiss co-authored the AICPA Bankruptcy Practice Manual and is past chair of the California CPA Society Bankruptcy Committee.
“Simply put, Barry is a legend in the restructuring and distressed investing community based on his more than 30 years of service to clients, industry professionals, and fellow employees. Importantly, he is recognized in the business community as much for his advocacy for his clients as for his contribution to the restructuring industry through his teaching, speaking, writing, and mentoring of fellow professionals.” --Andrew Yearley, Lazard Frères & Co. LLC
In July 1999, Barry W. Ridings joined Lazard Frères to co-head its Restructuring Advisory practice. Currently Ridings is chairman of LFCM Holdings, which includes the operations of Lazard Capital Markets and Lazard Alternative Investments. He is also chairman of Lazard Middle Market LLC, a subsidiary of Lazard focusing on middle market M&A, and is a member of the firm’s Opinion Letter Committee.
Ridings has been involved in the restructuring of troubled companies for more than 30 years. He started his career at The Chase Manhattan Bank in 1976, where he was a member of the workout group. From 1979-1986, Ridings was a limited partner at Bear Stearns & Co. He then served as a managing director at Drexel Burnham Lambert, where he was one of the senior professionals in the Restructuring Group. Prior to joining Lazard Frères, Ridings was a managing director of BT Alex. Brown, where he founded and ran the restructuring practice.
Ridings has been involved in a number of major restructurings, including Lehman Brothers, Madoff Securities, Trump Casinos, Macy’s, Western Union, Owens Corning, Marvel Entertainment, Fruit of the Loom, Calpine, Vlasic Foods, Boston Chicken, and Daewoo. Over this period he has been involved in more than 100 debtor and creditor assignments, including both pre-petition and Chapter 11 restructurings, domestically and internationally.
Ridings has also been the principal investment banker on more than 25 public offerings of high yield debt. He has extensive experience in initial public offerings, secondary stock offerings, opinion letters, and mergers and acquisitions.
Annually since 1992, Ridings has been a guest lecturer at the Cornell University Graduate School of Business and New York University Graduate School of Business. Ridings has an MBA in Finance from Cornell University and a bachelor of arts degree in Religion from Colgate University.
“A pioneer in the corporate restructuring profession, Sheila has defined how accounting firms can broadly and successfully serve distressed businesses and stakeholders in the post-Sarbanes- Oxley compliance era. Her vision and unparalleled commitment to adapt and evolve continues to change the outcome for her clients, her firm, and the turnaround industry.” --John (Jack) Wm . Butler, Jr., Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Sheila T. Smith began her career as a special education teacher working in a residential treatment facility for adolescent males. Subsequently she became the executive director of Head Start, an early education program funded by the U.S. War on Poverty of the late 1960’s. During her tenure Smith managed budgets, payroll, facilities, and myriad business issues for which she felt a bit unqualified. At this point, she relocated to Boston where she attended business school at night while running a human services agency by day.
Upon graduating with an MBA, Smith left the public sector and joined a regional building materials company as the assistant controller and over the following three years became the CFO. Ultimately the company succumbed to Big Box competition and went bankrupt. With receivables to be collected, property to be liquidated, and secured creditors to be paid back, Smith hired a workout firm, which was her first exposure to the turnaround industry.
After winding down the building materials company, Smith went to work at the very same workout firm she had retained previously. After a few short years she had established her reputation in the industry and joined KPMG as they expanded their New England restructuring practice. In 2000 Smith joined Deloitte to lead the New England practice, then, in 2005 became the national leader for all restructuring in the U.S. firm. Most recently, she assumed the role of restructuring service line leader for the Americas Region.
Smith has always been very committed to TMA and has held numerous leadership roles. She is a former president of the Northeast Chapter, 2003 recipient of the Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award. In 2005, Smith was the recipient of the TMA Outstanding Individual Contribution Award, and in 2012 she received the TMA Chairman’s Award for her contributions to the turnaround industry.
“Jamie has been a staunch supporter of TMA and is one of the most prominent and highly regarded restructuring lawyers in the corporate renewal industry. Highly sought after to speak at local and national events, Jamie is always willing to share his experiences and knowledge with fellow restructuring practitioners.” --Kevin A. Krakora, Mesirow Financial Consulting LLC
James H.M. Sprayregen is a restructuring partner in the Chicago and New York offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and serves on Kirkland’s worldwide management committee. Sprayregen is recognized as one of the outstanding restructuring lawyers in the U.S. and around the world. He has extensive experience representing major U.S. and international companies in and out of court as well as buyers and sellers of assets in distressed situations. He also has experience advising boards of directors, and generally representing domestic and international debtors and creditors in workout, insolvency, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. He has handled matters for clients in industries such as manufacturing, technology, transportation, energy, media, and real estate.
In 2010, Sprayregen was selected by The National Law Journal as one of The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers, and he was named Global Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyer of the Year by Who’s Who Legal Awards in 2013.
Sprayregen joined Kirkland in 1990 and founded the Restructuring Group. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2006 where he was co-head of Goldman Sachs’ Restructuring Group and advised clients in restructuring and distressed situations. He rejoined Kirkland three years later.
Sprayregen has led bankruptcy cases for United Airlines, Conseco, Chiquita Brands, General Growth Properties, Innkeepers USA Trust, Japan Airlines Corporation (as U.S. and international counsel), The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Edison Mission Energy, MSR Resort Golf Course LLC, Hawker Beechcraft Inc., Sbarro Inc., Visteon Corporation, Lear Corporation, The Reader’s Digest Association, Corus Bankshares, Inc., Majestic Star Casino LLC, and ION Media Networks, Inc.
Sprayregen is a frequent lecturer and speaker, and has published numerous articles on insolvency, fiduciary duty, and distressed M&A issues. He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, New York University School of Law, and University of Pennsylvania Law School. In May 2013, Sprayregen was appointed to serve as the president of INSOL International, the leading insolvency association in the world.
“Bettina, although petite in physical structure, walks tall in the restructuring world. It goes without saying that Bettina was the ‘first’ woman in almost everything she did. Throughout her outstanding career, Bettina was a trailblazer in the profession and an outstanding model for women. Bettina made a lasting contribution, not only by her stellar example, but also in her constant work to promote women in restructuring.” --Corinne Ball, Jones Day
Bettina M. Whyte, CTP, started her career as a commercial lender in Chicago and then in Houston. After 11 years of working with Fortune 500 companies and then leading a group that handled predominantly oil field services companies, she decided to venture out on her own to assist clients in distressed circumstances.
When Whyte started her own business, it just happened to coincide with the crash of Penn Square and Continental Bank of Chicago. She said, “I’d rather be lucky than smart anytime.” Whyte was in the right place – Texas – with the right experience – energy. She advised many mid-market banks in Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico on their problem loan portfolios, including negotiating with clients, the FDIC, FSLIC, and the OCC. This also led to her initial entry into operating companies as an interim CEO or as a Chapter 11 Trustee, mostly in the oil and gas exploration or trading industry, making her the first woman restructuring professional in these industries.
Whyte joined Price Waterhouse at a time when the major accounting firms were jumping into the insolvency advisory business. While PW already had a large creditor practice, she was hired to start their debtor-side practice. Whyte and PW leveraged her experience to build a large national practice with professionals not just serving as financial advisors, but also taking on select CRO, interim CEO, and fiduciary roles in numerous industries.
Whyte then moved to New York as a managing director with AlixPartners. Whyte spent a three-year stint at MBIA, where she was responsible for establishing and heading the Special Situations Group, which handles troubled credits and related litigation around the world. She is now a managing director and senior advisor with Alvarez & Marsal.
Whyte has served as an expert witness in both federal and state courts on damages, insolvency, and corporate governance matters. She has also successfully mediated over 100 complex matters.
2008 Turnaround, Restructuring, and Distressed Investing Industry Hall of Fame Class
The following professionals were inducted as the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame on October 28, 2008, in New Orleans at the TMA 20th Annual Convention.
"Jay Alix is one of the founders of the modern era of financial restructuring." - Myron Trepper, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Jay Alix had a vision. He believed that troubled companies, if offered a unique expertise at a critical time when they had no one else to turn to, could be "turned around" and that a good living could made by practicing these skills. This conviction made him one of a small group who institutionalized the restructuring industry as we know it today.
Starting as a sole practitioner in Detroit in 1981, Alix built AlixPartners, a global firm that today has more than 900 employees in 14 offices on three continents. His concept for cross-functional, multilevel teams within a company’s workforce who were able to take action quickly left behind a legacy of corporate leaders with new problem-solving skills. Results-based "success fees" that align incentives for turnaround managers with those of clients and stakeholders was another Alix innovation that has proved effective for hundreds of companies and has been adopted by many in the industry.
Alix has been instrumental in convincing the corporate world that turnaround management requires special skills beyond those of a traditional business consultant. He has educated thousands through his speeches, books, articles, and seminars for lawyers, workout bankers, and judges. He took the restructuring profession to Japan in 2003 when he was invited to speak to key government, business, and association leaders. He was honored by the Japanese Association for Turnaround Professionals as its first foreign member with the title of "corporate sensei," meaning a revered teacher of the turnaround practice.
Alix also was chosen as key financial advisor to former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and formed his Government Transition Team of 400 business leaders in 1994, the year Alix was also appointed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton to the nine-person National Bankruptcy Review Commission.
"Prof. Altman is revered on Wall Street as the guru of default risk assessment." - Matthew B. Venturi, Venturi & Company
A chance comment in 1966 by his mentor and UCLA Prof. J. Fred Weston about bankruptcy as a possible dissertation topic led a young Ed Altman to pursue what he has called his "perverse enthusiasm" for the negative side of finance. At that time, literally no bankruptcy research was being done outside the accounting field.
Yet, his excitement for predicting corporate distress carried him forward. In 1968, Altman published the groundbreaking Z-Score Bankruptcy Model, a multivariate formula for the measurement of the financial health of a company and a powerful diagnostic tool that forecasts the probability of a company entering bankruptcy. The Z-score model and his mortality rate approach have established him as one of the original thought-leaders in the restructuring profession and have been used by firms to manage financial turnarounds.
Altman, the Max L. Heine Professor of Finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business, has written or edited more than two dozen books and 130 articles in scholarly and professional journals. He has given countless presentations across the globe and received numerous prestigious awards. Since 1990, he has directed research in credit and debt markets at the NYU Salomon Center, where he developed the Altman Defaulted Debt Performance Indexes. He currently is vice-director of the center.
Altman has dedicated his life to the turnaround profession, the education and mentoring of future business leaders, and the assessment and management of credit risk exposure. He has served as chairman of the TMA’s Academic Advisory Council since 2000 and is considered the definitive source on credit risk by practitioners, regulators, other scholars, and the news media.
"A lifetime of the highest professional achievements, volunteer service, and leadership in the insolvency field makes Jack Butler indeed worthy of Hall of Fame status." - Samuel J. Gerdano, Esq., Executive Director, American Bankruptcy Institute
Jack Butler never intended to be a lawyer. His college background was in business and public affairs at Princeton, but he was encouraged by his father to go into law. This proved to be good advice. While he was at the University of Michigan’s Law School, the Bankruptcy Code of 1978 was passed, revolutionizing restructuring practice and giving him the unique opportunity to "grow up" with the new law.
Butler spent the 1980s at two Michigan law firms and then joined Skadden in Chicago as a partner in 1990. There, he is credited with developing one of the most prominent restructuring practices ever assembled, representing high-profile companies in out-of-court restructurings and Chapter 11 cases. As a result, Butler’s name regularly appears on the lists of "top lawyers" worldwide.
He was one of the first lawyers to join the fledgling TMA in 1988, when it had fewer than 100 members. He recognized early on the need to develop high standards and a code of ethics for the emerging industry. He helped create the blueprint for TMA’s structure, advocating that it include all the disciplines committed to distressed M&A and corporate renewal. After serving as TMA’s 1996-1997 chairman, he became a major force in creating the Cornerstone Fund to expand TMA’s education and research.
Known for his philanthropy, Butler is on the boards of Children Affected by AIDS Foundation and of Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, which awarded him its Albert Schweitzer Award. In 2008, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO).
He is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and the International Insolvency Institute. An American Bankruptcy Institute board member for six years, he helped produce its National Report on Professional Compensation and its Bankruptcy Reform Study.
"Dom DiNapoli has never been one to seek the spotlight. Discretion has always been his trademark. So this honor comes with a certain degree of irony, which makes it even more deserved." - DeLain Gray, FTI Corporate Finance
Widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the modern restructuring industry, Dom DiNapoli has spent the past 25 years helping major corporations and their leaders overcome structural challenges and achieve successful business turnarounds.
DiNapoli began his career with Touche Ross as an auditor. However, his love of a challenge soon led him to Major Pool and Equipment Corp. During his tenure as CFO of this struggling company, DiNapoli fostered what has become a lifelong passion for strengthening companies through the application of restructuring tools.
His talents developed rapidly, first at Frank Zolfo & Company and then at Price Waterhouse, where he was hired in 1986 to develop its modest bankruptcy and restructuring practice. In less than a decade, that practice became the largest in the nation, a feat that DiNapoli repeated at Coopers & Lybrand, which later merged with Price Waterhouse to become the most powerful practice of its kind in the country.
During his tenure at FTI, the company has grown from 500 professionals to more than 3,400 in 21 countries and has a market capitalization of more than $2 billion.
DiNapoli and his teams have been on the front lines of some of the most visible and hotly contested assignments with companies such as Drexel Burnham Lambert and LTV Steel. He drew on these and other experiences to co-author and edit two editions of Workouts and Turnarounds and The Practical Guide to Corporate Restructuring. These authoritative guides are now part of the curricula in institutions such as New York University.
"Larry’s 30 years as an outstanding industry leader and his style of creative, yet conservative, credit structures is unequaled in our industry." - Robert Dangremond, CTP, Managing Director, AlixPartners
When Larry Marsiello retired at CIT in New York in February 2008, he left a legacy that will long be remembered throughout the turnaround and restructuring community. During his 34-year tenure, he solidified CIT’s position as a leader in corporate renewal financing and passed the baton to CIT’s National Restructuring Group to continue its leadership.
His career began in 1974 at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company. After he joined CIT, he advanced through several positions before becoming CEO of CIT’s Commercial Finance Group in 1999. He set new benchmarks in structuring loans to mitigate risk and built many long-standing client relationships.
Under Marsiello’s leadership, CIT became an industry innovator in proactive debtor-in-possession (DIP) loans in the early 1980s. He left his imprint on the largest bankruptcies of the 1990s, supporting Federated and Macy’s with vendor lines of credit and Wang Laboratories with a DIP facility when prevailing wisdom was not to lend against technology assets. His innovations in CIT financing resulted in two TMA Turnaround of the Year awards in 2006: Friedman’s Inc. (Large Company) and R.G. Barry Corporation (Mid-size Company).
From advancing funds to a privately owned apparel company that needed factoring to providing DIP financing to a billion dollar publicly held airline, Larry Marsiello created a mindset that motivates CIT’s next generation of professionals to structure financial solutions that help a business take the next step.
"Harvey Miller’s contributions to the restructuring community, both from a practice and intellectual standpoint, are unparalleled." - Stephen Karotkin, Partner, Business Finance & Restructuring Department, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Harvey Miller became fascinated with restructuring work after being assigned to a Chapter 11 case on his first job after graduating from Columbia Law School in 1959. He moved to one of the few law firms specializing in bankruptcy in 1963, where Charles Seligson, a leading bankruptcy scholar, taught his 30-year-old protégé to "have a broad perspective, consider all the interests, and be fair," a valuable lesson that has served him well to this day.
Miller caught the eye of Weil Gotshal partner Ira Millstein, who brought him into the firm in 1970 to build a bankruptcy practice. Miller’s first challenge was to "make the representation of debtors respectable by successfully explaining that Chapter 11 was not a death knell but a viable alternative for a distressed company."
One of the few practicing attorneys whose career spanned periods before and after the 1978 Bankruptcy Code, Miller’s legal innovations included the creation of the doctrine of necessity, which allows debtors to pay pre-petition vendors that provide supplies crucial to the company’s continued operations. This was a major shift from the strict application of the code that delayed payment until the debtor emerged from bankruptcy.
During his 32-year tenure at Weil Gotshal, he was an integral figure in the firm’s rise to prominence in the restructuring arena, where he was involved in many of the mega billion dollar bankruptcies from the 1970s to the 21st Century. He left Weil in 2002 to serve as a vice chairman of banking firm Greenhill & Co., but returned to his "first love" in 2007.
Miller has mentored and trained many prominent restructuring attorneys at Weil and as an adjunct professor at New York University Law School and a lecturer at Columbia University School of Law. He has written several highly regarded publications in the restructuring field and in 2008 established the Harvey R. Miller Professorship for Business Solutions at Columbia Law School.
"Henry Miller’s integrity, ethics, and professionalism make him a pleasure to work with within the very difficult situations in which we find ourselves." - Ted Stenger, CTP, Managing Director, AlixPartners
One might suppose that the chairman of one of the leading independent investment banks focusing on corporate restructuring would be a solemn, stern person. Yet, those who have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Henry Miller as he creates unique restructuring solutions cite not only his integrity, intellect, and expertise, but also his humanity and wit.
His ability to use humor, great quotes, and stories to illustrate a point and defuse tense situations makes him an unforgettable figure in the top ranks of a daunting industry. During his 35+ year career, Miller has represented debtors, creditors, and other constituents in complex out-of-court and Chapter 11 reorganizations across a broad spectrum of industries. He played a leading role in many large airline-related restructurings in the late 1980s and mid-1990s while at Prudential Securities and Salomon Brothers.
He solidified his place among the icons of the industry with his skillful representation in 2002 of Kmart, the largest retail bankruptcy in U.S. history; Stolt-Nelson, a complex international shipping and offshore oil services firm in 2004; Spiegel/Eddie Bauer in 2005; and of Dana Corporation in 2007, one of the first large corporate bankruptcies under the new amendments to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. All these cases had thorny intercreditor issues, which Miller led in resolving, paving the way to overwhelming creditor support of their plans of reorganization.
One of his crowning achievements, however, is Miller’s founding with Kenneth Buckfire of Miller Buckfire in 2002. The firm embodies his entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to independent and creative thinking. In just seven years, the firm has grown to 60 professionals, with whom Miller remains involved on cases, serving as a mentor and advisor to junior and senior bankers alike.
"Bill Repko has won the respect of clients and colleagues for his sense of fair play and ’can do’ attitude. He is unwilling to believe that anything is a hopeless case." - Stephen Sieh, Managing Director, Evercore Partners
When William C. Repko joined Evercore Partners in September 2005, he switched from the lender side of the table to sit beside companies needing restructuring advice. He brought with him 25 years of banking experience when he retired from J.P. Morgan, where he had served as head of The Restructuring Group.
Repko soon found that retirement was not for him. A lunch with longtime friend David Ying, a restructuring advisor, was the springboard for the two to launch a new restructuring practice at Evercore Partners, which had been principally an M&A boutique.
Repko began his career at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company in 1981, which, after a series of mergers, became JPMorgan Chase & Co. He inherited the International Harvester case, a massive out-of-court restructuring that took years of work, resulting in what is now Navistar Inc. From 1981 to 1987, he completed several significant transactions in the bank’s workout department for Eastern Airlines, Texaco, A.H. Robins, and others. In 1987, he implemented the bank’s strategy of using alternative investments to reduce its exposures in less developed countries, converting billions of dollars of sovereign debt into equity positions in local companies.
In 1991, Repko developed the platform for J.P. Morgan’s restructuring business with a mission to deliver capital to troubled corporate clients. Its first transaction was refinancing Chrysler Corporation, followed by General Motors/GMAC, and IBM. Since joining Evercore, he has advised on a number of important transactions, including General Motors in its bankruptcy filing and MGM Mirage in its refinancing, both in 2009.
With a lifetime devoted to the restructuring profession, Repko is in demand as a speaker at industry conferences, where he generously shares his expertise.
"There is no question that Wilbur Ross has been able to redefine the paragons for success in restructuring. His ability to foresee opportunities and to execute precise operational and financial restructuring strategies has had an immense impact on our industry." - Ward K. Mooney, Executive Managing Director, Crystal Capital
A faculty advisor at Yale helped Wilbur Ross, who was toying with the idea of being a writer, get his first summer job on Wall Street. That and an MBA from Harvard set the course for the individual who today is the best-known turnaround financier in the U.S.
He became one of the country’s foremost bankruptcy advisors in the 1970s, but it was just 11 years ago that Ross, whose group had been managing the restructuring business at Rothschild, began doing private equity investing. He got out of the advisory business altogether in 2000 when the group bought the private equity business from Rothschild to create WL Ross & Co. LLC.
Ross looked for opportunities in distressed industries, such as steel, that no other investor would touch. He organized International Steel Group in April 2002 and, through acquisitions, made it the largest integrated steel company in North America. It merged with Mittal Steel to form the largest steel company in the world. He went on to form other companies, including International Textile Group, International Coal Group, and International Automotive Components, which have commenced operations and initiated acquisitions in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Recently, he has been active in acquiring mortgage-related companies.
In 1999, South Korean President Kim Dae Jung awarded Ross a medal for his help during the nation’s 1998 financial crisis. Earlier, President Clinton appointed him to the Board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund, and he served as privatization advisor to New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
In addition to TMA’s board of directors, among the many boards Ross has served on are those of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) and the Yale University School of Management, which has presented him with its Legend of Leadership Award.
"Sandy Sigoloff was an originator of the entire concept of turnaround managers going back to the 1970s. His contributions to the growth of the profession are extraordinary." - Gregory L. Segall, Managing Partner, Versa Capital Management
A degree in physics and chemistry is not the usual training for a turnaround professional, whose work is sometimes more art than science. However, when Sigoloff graduated from UCLA in 1951, he went to work for the Atomic Energy Commission, which led to a job in 1958 with EG&E, Inc., a leading radiation laboratory. He moved to the Electro-Optical Systems Division of Xerox Corporation in 1963, where he became the company’s youngest group president.
He got a full dose of the restructuring experience in his next position as CEO of bankrupt Republic Corporation, which emerged from Chapter 11 in two years, as did Daylin Inc., which he led through a reorganization in 1974.
It was the Wickes Companies case, however, that solidified his standing as a top restructuring professional. He became CEO of this $4 billion retailer in 1982 and led it through the then-largest non-railroad bankruptcy in U.S. history. It was one of the first major cases under the recently enacted U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and Sigoloff completed the reorganization in 32 months during a severe economic recession.
When Wickes was sold, Sigoloff formed his own firm and went on in 1989 to run the reorganization of the U.S. arm of Australian conglomerate L.J. Hooker, which included retail and real estate development operations in one of the first-ever cross-border insolvency proceedings.
With a passion for education, Sigoloff became an adjunct professor at UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management and was appointed to the California State Board of Education. He was one of the first members of TMA and was a faculty member of the Association of Certified Turnaround Professional from 1995 to 2002. His participation helped establish the CTP as the most recognized advanced certification for turnaround practitioners and earned him a TMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.
Mark S. Indelicato, 2012 TMA Chairperson, Hahn & Hessen LLP
Lisa M. Poulin, CTP, 2011 TMA Chairperson, Deloitte CRG
Patrick C. Lagrange, 2010 TMA Chairperson, Continental Shelf Investment Capital, Inc.
Arthur T. Perkins Jr., 2009 TMA Chairperson, Arthur Perkins Consulting
William E.J. Skelly, 2008 TMA Chairperson, Heenan Blaikie LLP
Colin P. Cross, 2007 TMA Chairperson, Crystal Capital
Holly Felder Etlin, CTP, 2006 TMA Chairperson, AlixPartners, LLP
Ward K. Mooney, 2005 TMA Chairperson, Crystal Capital
John R. Rizzardi, 2004 TMA Chairperson, Cairncross & Hempelmann P.S.
Randall S. Eisenberg, CTP, 2003 TMA Chairperson, AlixPartners, LLP
Peter L. Tourtellot, CTP, 2002 TMA Chairperson, Anderson Bauman Tourtellot Vos & Company
Melanie Rovner Cohen, 2001 TMA Chairperson, ADR Systems of America ,LLC
David L. Auchterlonie, CTP, 2000 TMA Chairperson, The Scotland Group
Martin J. McKinley, 1999 TMA Chairperson, Fordham Capital Partners LLC
Thomas D. Hays III, CTP, 1998 TMA Chairperson, Gavin/Solmonese LLC
John M. Collard, CTP, 1995 TMA Chairperson, Strategic Management Partners, Inc.
William J. Hass, CTP, 1994 TMA Chairperson, Teamwork Technologies, Inc.
Thomas J. Allison, CTP, 1993 TMA Chairperson, Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC
Gerald P. Buccino, CTP, 1992 TMA Chairperson, Buccino & Associates, Inc.
Gilbert C. Osnos, CTP, 1990-1991 TMA Chairperson, CRG Partners Group LLC