As turnaround professionals, we deal with crisis or near crisis situations almost every day. The world of turnaround is not for the weak. The pace can be unrelenting and the stakes extremely high: businesses can shut down, equity holders can lose their capital, creditors can be left unpaid, entire workforces can be laid off, supply chains can be disrupted, and whole communities can be impacted.

My first major restructuring was almost a quarter century ago. I was pulled into an all nighter at the last minute to negotiate and finalize a transaction against a very short, court-imposed...

The foundation of this house is strong, its pillars rich with knowledge, experience, and potential. On this strong foundation, we are building a great house that welcomes a diverse community of professionals from near and far. It is a place that all from our community can call home.

This next chapter for TMA offers a level of excitement few organizations ever experience. Our vision is great, and our time to create and embrace the possible has never been better.

The vision of our future starts with a simple premise: Let TMA Global be your guide. Let our doors always be open to...

To outsiders, the world of turnarounds and restructurings can seem like a vast industry of disparate professionals with numerous specializations spread across the globe. In reality, our world is actually a small, tight-knit community that is closely connected through a network of dedicated and diverse professionals who share a common goal of corporate renewal and preserving and enhancing value for our clients. This small-world concept was in evidence at the 2018 TMA Europe Annual Conference in Amsterdam recently.

Amsterdam was an appropriate venue to bring together turnaround and...

While there does not appear to be single market force poised to strike in the near future equivalent to the mortgage crisis that precipitated the Great Recession, we are seeing various events that threaten to converge and create a perfect storm that could precipitate an economic downturn.

Geopolitical conflicts currently dominate news headlines—threats of reciprocal tariffs and trade wars involving the U.S., China, and other countries; fragile North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; the impact of Brexit; conflicts with North Korea...

As professionals in the turnaround industry, we are consistently called upon to address liquidity issues and deteriorating financial and operational performance. One of the first steps we take is to diagnose the root cause of the distress. Once we identify the cause, we are better equipped to develop strategies to stem the losses and implement improvement plans to stay ahead of the curve of future problems.

Just as law enforcement adapts and evolves to stay ahead of fraudsters’ tactics, so too must our members adapt and evolve to emerging trends and disruption in our industry....

The parallels between a distressed company and a patient in need of healthcare are endless. One of the analogies we use most frequently to describe our work as turnaround and restructuring professionals is that of an emergency room doctor. Depending on the severity of the ailment, we liken the downsizing, divestiture, or liquidation of a struggling business unit to a doctor’s decision to amputate an arm to save a patient’s life. Oftentimes, we lament that the patient did not seek treatment or a routine checkup soon enough for us to implement a cure.

In our quest for continuous...

You may be familiar with the “six degrees of separation” theory—the idea that every person in the world is connected to every other person by six or fewer steps. According to the six degrees theory, every one of an estimated 7.6 billion people in the world can be connected to every other person on the planet through just five other people. It suggests that more connectedness exists between people than we might think.

American playwright John Guare popularized and labeled the concept in his 1990 play Six Degrees of Separation, which served as the basis for a movie of the...

As professionals in the turnaround industry, each of us faces disruption on a daily basis, either with our clients or with our own businesses. Change is constant, and responding to disruption, whether proactively or reactively, is woven into our fabric.

When I became a member of TMA in 2001, I joined for two reasons: to be part of a vibrant chapter community of local restructuring professionals with regional and global networking opportunities, and to meet other members who could refer business or deals. Today, I remain an active member of TMA because I value TMA’s role in those...

While the TMA membership represents a wide cross-section of professions and perceptions, one thing that the members seem to share in common is an appreciation for “the numbers.” So here are some numbers for your consideration.

Of course, numbers by themselves aren’t very helpful, so here’s a little context.

9,300: TMA’s total 
worldwide membership

2,100: TMA’s membership outside of North America (U.S. & Canada), or nearly 23 percent of the global total...

In this, my final JCR column, I will forego a sentimental retrospective of my time as TMA Global President, now Chairman. Make no mistake, my time in TMA Global leadership has been a singularly exciting and rewarding experience—truly a career opportunity. But I much prefer to look forward through the windshield, not backward through the rearview mirror.

So, what do I see ahead? More challenges in an industry that has yet to settle in completely to its “new normal.” Certainly, the restructuring industry has contracted somewhat. High-yield maturities have decreased over...