Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLC (Reitler) added three new Partners and three new Associates to its ranks. Of most interest to restructuring professionals, with this expansion Reitler strengthened its corporate practice, growing its M&A and bankruptcy teams. The Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group will now be headed by new Reitler Partner Yann Geron, who has three decades of experience in bankruptcy law. Geron is renowned for his experience as counsel to debtors and other parties in Chapter 11 proceedings as well as complex wind-downs and liquidations. Prior to joining Reitler, Geron was a Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, serving as the first Managing Partner of their New York office and Co-Chair of the bankruptcy department.
WL Ross & Co. LLC (WLR), the distressed private equity arm of Invesco, announced that Hal Malone has joined the firm to head its Shipping & Transportation practice. He will be responsible for leading all of the firm's investing activities in transportation, a principal component of WLR's distressed private equity business. Malone joins WLR from the Navig8 Group, where he served as chief strategic officer. Prior to Navig8, he spent over 18 years in investment banking, most recently as a Managing Director in the maritime group at Jefferies LLC. During Malone's career, he has served as the lead advisor in a number of high profile maritime transactions, including the initial public offering of Navigator Holdings (the parent company of Navigator Gas), the merger of Navig8 Crude Tankers with General Maritime to create Gener8 Maritime and the recapitalization of Overseas Shipholding through Chapter 11 on behalf of the ad hoc equity holders committee. Malone earned a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
During the M&A Advisor's 9th Annual International M&A Awards, Hunton & Williams LLP (Hunton) was recognized for its bankruptcy practice group's representation in the Chapter 11 of O.W. Bunker Debtors and corporate team's work in Promerica's acquisition of Banco Citibank de Guatemala. Of most interest to restructuring professionals, the 2017 Restructuring Deal of the Year award was given in recognition of the bankruptcy practice group's representation of The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of O.W. Bunker Holding North America, Inc. and affiliates in the District of Connecticut. Before abruptly filing for bankruptcy after the discovery of a massive internal fraud, O.W. Bunker was one of the largest international traders of bunker fuel, with operations in 29 countries. Working closely with debtors' counsel over the course of 13 months, Hunton lawyers were able to negotiate a complex Chapter 11 plan that elicited the full cooperation of the company's secured creditor and resolved multiple conflicts between bankruptcy and maritime principles and proceedings, resulting in substantial distributions to unsecured creditors. The legal team was led by Peter S. Partee Sr. and Michael P. Richman and included Andrew Kamensky and Robert A. Rich. This case earlier received M&A Advisor's 2017 Energy Deal of the Year (over $100 million to $500 million), 2017 Restructuring Deal of the Year (over $500 million to $1 billion), and 2016 Restructuring Deal of the Year (over $100 million). (New York)
Rick L. Barfield, a veteran of the asset-based lending field, has joined Tiger Group as Director of Business Development for the asset valuation, advisory and disposition services firm's Midwest region. From his base in Chicago, IL Barfield will lead the Midwest business development efforts for Tiger Group's asset appraisal practice, serving the asset-based lending, turnaround, private equity and investment banking communities. He will also focus on identifying asset disposition opportunities in the region and will report to C.O.O., Michael McGrail. Barfield brings nearly 17 years of experience in finance in the Chicago area, with diverse experience in capital markets, credit and financial analysis, business development and consulting. His ABL background includes over six years as V.P. of Business Development for First Business Capital Corp., Chicago. During that time, he originated and executed asset-based transactions for middle market manufacturers, distributors and business service providers, working through relationships with senior bank executives, turnaround and restructuring consultants, investment bankers and equity sponsors. Prior to that, he held positions in middle market banking as a V.P. at Banco Popular North America, Rosemont, IL and as an Assistant V.P. at Fifth Third Bank in Chicago. He began his banking career in 2000 as an Associate in the Syndicated Capital Markets Group for Banc of America Securities, Chicago. Most recently, Barfield worked in the Professional Services Practice at Chicago-based Assurance Agency, where he consulted senior executives on strategic insurance solutions. A resident of Chicago, Barfield earned his M.B.A. and B.B.A. degrees, both in Finance, from Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Clear Thinking Group LLC announced the expansion of its services involving communication with internal and external audiences related to major corporate transactions, including mergers & acquisitions, divestitures & spinoffs, restructuring & bankruptcy and management-led re-organizations. To support this broader range of integrated communications planning and implementation services for clients, the firm also announced its strategic partnership with Highlander Consulting Inc. Clear Thinking Group is a management consulting firm that helps consumer product, retail, staffing, food processing and distribution companies to succeed, at any stage of their life cycle, with clear direction and practical solutions. Founded in 2001, Highlander Consulting designs business development strategies, applies integrated communications programs and generates market intelligence that enables clients to create, keep and grow customers on a consistent basis.
Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) announced the opening of a Stockholm office aligned with the firm's global expansion strategy and in response to market demand for an independent professional services firm to meet recent pan-European regulatory requirements. Recognized transaction advisory and operations professionals Christer Wiberg, Taus Wolfsberg and Christer Johansson join A&M's Stockholm office as Managing Directors, with Wiberg serving as Country Leader and Transaction Advisory Leader of A&M's Nordic operations. The appointments of Messrs. Wiberg, Wolfsberg and Johansson, all formerly Partners at KPMG, augment A&M's comprehensive offerings through reinforcing its operational heritage, fortifying its connectivity across Europe and growing the Nordic region. Additionally, A&M has expanded its regional restructuring capabilities with Norway-based Senior Director Ole Kristian Sivertsen serving as a member of the Nordic Restructuring and Turnaround team. Wiberg has extensive expertise advising clients on complex and international buy-side and sell-side due diligence projects as well as large initial public offering (IPO) processes. He has worked across multiple sectors including healthcare, consumer retail and industrial manufacturing. Prior to joining A&M, Wiberg was the leader of KPMG's Advisory business in Sweden. Wolfsberg has significant experience advising private equity clients and large corporates on integrated financial and operational buy-side and sell-side due diligence as well as public-to-private transactions, pre-sale review and restructuring. Prior to joining A&M, Wolfsberg was the Head of KPMG Deal Advisory in Sweden and has previously served as the leader of KPMG's Private Equity Group in Sweden. Johansson brings more than 15 years of operational due diligence, carve-out processes and integrations expertise to A&M. He has worked with leading private equity (PE) firms across the Nordics and Europe. Johansson has served in corporate operating roles at Atlas Copco and Alfa Laval working on integrations, production improvements, footprint optimizations and carve-outs. Additionally, he has led international operational projects including cost saving programs. Prior to joining A&M, Johansson led KPMG's Nordic market operational due diligence and integrations / carve-out team.
Mark Naughton has joined Tiger Capital Group as Senior General Counsel with over 14 years' experience in asset disposition projects and 30 years of experience in bankruptcy-related services. He represents debtors, trustees, secured creditors, creditors' committees and unsecured creditors in all aspects of bankruptcies, workouts and related litigation. From his base in Chicago, IL, Naughton will be responsible for structuring, negotiating and documenting transactions for each of Tiger Capital Group's divisions, counseling the team on strategic and legal questions related to various business units and transactions, and supervising outside counsel. Naughton joins Tiger Capital Group from asset liquidation company Yellen Partners, Deerfield, IL, where he served as E.V.P./general counsel since 2015. From 2003 to 2015, he was S.V.P./general counsel at Great American Group, working on major retail liquidations, including Circuit City, Target Canada, Linens n Things and Tower Records, as well as such industrial/wholesale cases as Collins and Aikman, Pacific Lumber and Eagle Foods. Prior to joining Great American Group, Naughton spent eight years as a Partner in the restructuring group at Piper Rudnick (now, dla Piper) where he was involved in many large bankruptcy cases. Naughton earned his law degree at Northwestern University, School of Law, Chicago, IL, and a Bachelor's Degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI.
Imperial Capital, LLC announced that David Burns has joined the firm as a S.V.P. in Restructuring & Recapitalization in the Investment Banking Group. He is based in New York. With over 15 years of experience in complex financial restructuring, distressed M&A and special situations financing, Burns joins Imperial Capital following three years of independent consulting, advising clients on internal reorganization, international expansion, process improvement, governance and risk management and corporate development. Burns' previous advisory experience includes time at Greenhill & Co., LLC, Merrill Lynch's Global Special Situations Group and Houlihan Lokey. Prior to this, Burns practiced law in the business reorganization department of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae in New York and served as law clerk to the Hon. Leif M. Clark, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Texas. Burns holds a BA from Vassar College (Phi Beta Kappa), a JD from the University of Texas School of Law and an LLM from the University of Edinburgh.
Houlihan Lokey, Inc. announced that Tom Olivier has joined the firm as a Managing Director in the Technology, Media & Telecom (TMT) Group. Olivier joins Houlihan Lokey from Pacific Crest Securities, the technology specialist arm of KeyBanc Capital Markets, where he was a Managing Director in the Investment Banking group. Prior to that, he spent more than a decade as a Managing Director at Morgan Keegan Technology Group, formerly Revolution Partners. Olivier's previous experience includes serving as Co-General Counsel and Strategy Officer at iOptions and practicing corporate law at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault. Olivier began his career at Morgan Stanley in 1990. Olivier holds a BS in Economics from Boston College and a JD with honors from The George Washington University Law School.
Otterbourg P.C. announced that Keith N. Costa has joined the firm as a Member in the restructuring and bankruptcy practice, and Michael Wenger has joined the firm as Counsel in the banking and finance practice. Costa focuses his practice on the representation of creditors nationwide, with extensive experience in commercial litigation and a strong history of handling reorganizations, out-of-court restructurings, and private equity firm acquisition of distressed debt and assets. He frequently serves as a Court-appointed Chapter 11 trustee and examiner and serves in other fiduciary roles including as counsel to official committees of unsecured creditors and as special counsel to boards of directors. Costa is also a Court-certified mediator for both New York and Delaware, which has led to his service, both as mediator and arbitrator, in the Madoff and Lehman Brothers bankruptcy cases. He comes to Otterbourg from Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland Perretti LLP, where he was a Partner. He previously served for ten years as Assistant U.S. Trustee for the Southern District of New York, where he was involved in some of the largest and most complicated bankruptcy cases ever filed. Wenger focuses his practice on factoring and finance. He comes to Otterbourg from Rosenthal & Rosenthal, Inc., where he was General Counsel. He has extensive experience drafting and negotiating agreements for all aspects of factoring and asset-based lending transactions. He previously was an Associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in its Banking and Finance practice. Costa has been an active member of the American Bankruptcy Institute since 2001 and has been recognized by his peers for the past two years on the New York Metro Super Lawyers list in the practice areas of both Mediation and Business Bankruptcy. He earned his JD from The American University, Washington College of Law, and his BA from the University of Connecticut Honor's Program. Wenger is a member of the Board of the Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys. He earned his JD from Columbia Law School and his BA from the University of Rochester.
Jenner & Block announced that Robert D. Gordon will join the firm as a Partner in its New York office. He will be a member of the firm's Restructuring and Bankruptcy Practice. Gordon provides creditors, debtors and other parties-in-interest with strategic counseling through bankruptcy and restructuring processes in litigation and out-of-court workouts. He handles complex and high-profile corporate and municipal matters, including having served as special restructuring counsel to the Detroit Retirement Systems in the City of Detroit Chapter 9 bankruptcy case. In addition to his key role in the Detroit bankruptcy proceedings, Gordon has worked on cases and restructurings arising out of several industries, including automotive, real estate, gaming, hospitality, retail, manufacturing, aviation and telecommunications, among others. He represents companies, creditors' committees, pension systems, secured and unsecured creditors, distressed asset purchasers, lessors, trustees and liquidating agents. Mr. Gordon also represents clients in various other transactional and litigation matters involving bankruptcy and related commercial issues. Gordon has also served as a federal court-appointed receiver in a SEC enforcement action involving an international Ponzi scheme. Gordon is a frequent speaker on issues relating to municipal bankruptcies - and their effect on pension systems in particular - among other topics. Since 2010, he has been recognized every year by The Best Lawyers in America in the bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law categories. The American Board of Certification has certified Mr. Gordon as a specialist in business bankruptcy. He joins the firm from Clark Hill PLC. Gordon is licensed to practice in Michigan, Illinois and New York. He earned both his JD and his BA at the University of Michigan.
A&G Realty Partners (A&G) announced the launch of a new division focused on maximizing the value of real estate assets and leases in non-retail sectors. Formal launch of the new Non-Retail Properties Division follows several years in which A&G has broadened its reach to such sectors as office, warehouse, higher education (both for-profit and non-profit) and residential. In addition to office, warehouse and higher education, the Non-Retail Properties Division will focus on a wide range of residential properties, including rental apartments, condos and single-family home developments. Its specialists will also help clients maximize the value of vacant land. A&G, which is based in Melville, NY, also has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Recent non-retail engagements by the firm include handling the disposition of a 33-property residential real estate portfolio in the Mid-Atlantic; selling a waterfront estate on Long Island; selling the office/warehouse headquarters for two national retail chains; selling the 25-acre campus of Dowling College at auction; overseeing the property sales for the bankruptcy trustee of one of the nation's largest for-profit colleges - ITT Educational Services and spearheading real estate strategies for three other for-profit career colleges that included lease terminations, sub-leases and occupancy cost reductions.
Ankura Consulting announced the appointment of Jay D. Squiers as Managing Director. Based in the Dallas, TX office, Squiers will practice with the firm's Turnaround & Restructuring group. Squiers has been an investment professional for more than 30 years and his experience comprises lead investor roles in both consensual restructurings and bankruptcies in financial institutions and securities organizations. He has specialized in energy industry issues, ranging from exploration and production, to midstream and refining, to power generation and distribution. Before joining Ankura Consulting, Squiers was Managing Director and C.F.O. of Petro Capital Energy Funds, a Dallas-based private equity and credit investment group. Squiers' extensive investment experience includes prior roles as the E.V.P. and C.O.O. of CSG Investments, Inc., an affiliate of the Beal Banks; a Managing Director in the Special Opportunities Fund of Fortress Investment Group and a S.V.P. at Prudential Capital Group, the private placement arm of Prudential Financial, Inc. Squiers began his professional career as a Corporate Securities Associate at Dallas-based Hughes & Luce, before joining Prudential Capital as an in-house attorney. As part of his transition from legal to investment roles, he became a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Chiron Financial LLC announced the addition of James P. Davis as Director of the firm's healthcare investment banking practice. Davis is focused on leading the firm's healthcare transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private debt and equity placements and financial restructurings. He is based in Dallas, TX. Prior to joining Chiron, Davis held senior positions at healthcare organizations including The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Health System, Tenet Healthcare and Forest Park Medical Center. As C.E.O. of Forest Park Medical Center, he played a pivotal role in the hospital's development and initial operations, through to the final transition and sale of the asset to Texas Health Resources. He received his Master of Business Administration and his Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Alabama. In addition, he served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman with the First Marine Division in Somalia and Iraq.
Piper Jaffray Companies announced the hiring of Chris Geyer and Tim Shea. Based in Minneapolis, MN Geyer and Shea will be part of the firm's diversified industrials & services investment banking group. Geyer re-joins Piper Jaffray from Lazard Middle Market's industrials investment banking group, where he advised chemicals companies. Prior to Lazard, Geyer spent four years in corporate development at Entegris, Inc. and began his career with Piper Jaffray investment banking. Geyer has advised on approximately 30 transactions valued in aggregate at more than $5 billion. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management and a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Shea was most recently the C.F.O. of Southwest Foodservice Excellence. Previously, he served as an investment banking director at Robert W. Baird & Co., covering companies in the facility services space. Shea has advised on dozens of transactions with an aggregate deal value of approximately $10 billion. He holds a Juris doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and is a CPA.