Centerview Partners and Kirkland & Ellis LLP will lead a discussion about the current market dynamics affecting distressed private equity funds.
Steve Hessler’s practice involves representing debtors (including public, portfolio and privately-held companies), creditors, and investors in complex corporate Chapter 11 cases, out-of-court restructurings, acquisitions, and related trial and appellate litigation. Steve has counseled clients across a broad range of industries including energy, gaming, hospitality and real estate, telecommunications, financial institutions, and manufacturing.
Steve is a frequent lecturer and author on various restructuring related topics. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Board on Administrative Claims, Critical Vendors, and Other Pressures on Liquidity for the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, and teaches a restructuring class each fall at the University of Pennsylvania to Law School and Wharton students. Steve was selected by Turnarounds & Workouts as one of 2013’s “Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyers.”
In July 2014, Steve testified before Congress on proposed amendments to the Bankruptcy Code to provide for more effective administration of a Chapter 11 filing by a major financial corporation.
Karn Chopra is a Managing Director in Centerview’s restructuring advisory practice. Mr. Chopra’s experience includes representing Residential Capital, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation/Foxwoods, Simmons Bedding Company (2009 TMA Large Restructuring Transaction of the Year), Endeavour International (Term Loan Lenders), Vonage Corporation, CTI Foods, PHH Corporation, THQ Inc., DS Waters of America Inc. (Group Lenders), ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation, the Kerzner Family, Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village (Special Servicer), The Palisades Center, MagnaChip Semiconductor, American Commercial Lines, St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers, Beacon Manufacturing, Remo Drug, United American Healthcare, and Northland Cranberries. Mr. Chopra was formerly an Associate at Miller Buckfire & Co., and prior to joining Miller Buckfire was a Vice President in the turnaround restructuring services group at AlixPartners LLC.
Mr. Chopra is a CFA charterholder and has the C.I.R.A. (Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor) designation.
Mr. Chopra has an M.B.A. with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management and a B.B.A. with distinction from the University of Michigan.
Mr. Cruz joined Centerbridge in 2007 and currently focuses on investments in the Industrials and Energy & Power sectors. Prior to joining Centerbridge, Mr. Cruz was a Vice President at Diamond Castle Holdings ("Diamond Castle"), a private equity firm founded by former senior professionals of DLJ Merchant Banking ("DLJMB"). Prior to Diamond Castle, Mr. Cruz had worked as an Associate at DLJMB and J.W. Childs Associates, a Boston-based private equity firm. Mr. Cruz began his career as an Analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions department of Goldman Sachs. Mr. Cruz graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan where he earned a B.B.A., with high distinction, and received an M.B.A., with honors, from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Palmer Scholar. Mr. Cruz serves on the Boards of Directors of Aquilex Holdings LLC, Patriot Container Corp., Penhall Holding Company and Seitel Holdings, Inc.
Frank Hayes is a Senior Partner with Wynnchurch Capital, a Chicago-based private equity fund with approximately $2 billion under management. Wynnchurch is value oriented and specializes in underperforming and complex transactions, including corporate carveouts, management buyouts, recapitalizations and restructurings. Frank has been investing institutional private equity funds for over 20 years, in numerous transactions totaling more than $2.0 billion in value, responsible for all areas of deal oversight, including origination, execution, portfolio management and exits. Industries in which Frank has investment experience include: 3rd Party Logistics; Automotive Supply; Building Materials; Plastics Manufacturing; Precision Machining; IT Staffing and Data Recovery Services; Apparel; Oil & Gas Services and others. Prior to entering private equity, Frank was a lender with Citicorp Leveraged Capital and a CPA with PWC. He has served on a number of private Boards, including the following Wynnchurch portfolio companies: Android Industries, Webex, NSC, Humanetics, JAC, Profab, Calyx, Henniges, Highway Technologies and Senco. Frank graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.B.A. in 1984.
Mr. Kruse is Co-Portfolio Manager and Managing Director in the Global Principal Group. He is responsible for sourcing, analyzing, and executing transactions and monitoring portfolio companies in the packaging, chemicals and building products sectors. Prior to joining Oaktree in 2001, Mr. Kruse was an attorney at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis where his practice focused on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and private equity. Mr. Kruse received a B.A. degree in History and Government from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and served as a Note and Comment Editor of the Law Review. Mr. Kruse is a member of the State Bar of Illinois. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Chesapeake, Cyanco, Isola, CF Group, Dayton Superior and Tecta, and has previously served as a director of numerous former investments in a broad range of industries.
Matthew Levitties is a Managing Director of Versa Capital Management, LLC a Philadelphia based private equity firm with over $1.4 billion in assets under management focused on investments in North American distressed buyouts and other special situations. He has 20 years of investment, research and portfolio management with prior experience including Chartwell Investment Partners, Morgan Stanley & Co., Wellington Management Co. and Safeguard International Group.
Mr. Levitties holds an M.B.A. with Distinction from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; and received an M.A. in International Economics with Honors and a B.A. in Economics from Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Liff, a Senior Managing Director, joined Sun Capital in March 2000. He heads the North American transaction team, overseeing offices in Boca Raton, New York and Los Angeles.
Mr. Liff has 22 years of leveraged finance and private equity experience and has completed over 70 deals during his tenure at Sun Capital. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Liff spent six years at Bank of America Commercial Finance, most recently as Senior Marketing Executive, focusing on marketing, underwriting, closing and syndicating new leveraged transactions.
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Miller Buckfire will lead a discussion of iPayment’s recent deleveraging noteholder exchanges, which will feature representatives from all sides of the negotiations, including key holders from each of the two tranches of unsecured notes involved in the exchanges, counsel to the company, counsel to the noteholders, and the company’s investment bankers. The transaction allowed iPayment, a leading provider of credit and debit card payment processing services, to optimize its balance sheet for a return to growth, and was successfully executed despite a lack of immediate triggers in the capital structure. The discussion will span the entire process, from the reasons behind exploring a proactive deleveraging solution despite having considerable runway, to building and achieving consensus among three distinct groups (equity holders, the Opco Noteholders and the Holdco Noteholders), to achieving a noteholder acceptance rate of approximately 95% in the exchanges.
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Alexander Tracy is a Managing Director of Miller Buckfire. Mr. Tracy has extensive experience advising companies, creditors and other constituents in complex restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and financing transactions. Mr. Tracy has led transactions across a broad range of industries for companies including Excel Maritime, Borealis Maritime, iPayment, Dana Corporation, Dura Automotive Systems, EaglePicher Holdings, MagnaChip Semiconductor, Open Solutions, Axcelis Technologies, Liz Claiborne, Neff Corporation, Intervu Inc., and Cunningham Graphics International, among others. Mr. Tracy has also represented investors, acquirers, secured lenders and committees in transactions involving Caesars Entertainment, Synagro Technologies, Extended Stay Hotels, Dayton Progress Corporation, and Ion Media Networks. Prior to joining Miller Buckfire in 2006, Mr. Tracy was a Vice President at Chanin Capital Partners, which he joined in 2002. Prior to 2002, Mr. Tracy worked in the mergers and acquisitions group at Prudential Securities. Mr. Tracy is a member of several industry trade organizations including the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Turnaround Management Association. Mr. Tracy has B.A. degrees in Economics and English from Amherst College.
Shana Elberg’s practice is concentrated on business reorganizations, insolvency and bankruptcy matters. Ms. Elberg has substantial experience advising companies, creditors, equity holders, lenders, investors, sellers, purchasers and other parties-in-interest in a variety of distressed situations and restructuring transactions, including prepackaged and prearranged bankruptcies, traditional Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court workouts and acquisitions. In April 2012, Ms. Elberg was recognized by Turnarounds & Workouts as an “Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyer.” Ms. Elberg has a J.D. from the Cornell Law School and a B.S. from Cornell University.
Dev Gopalan (New York) joined KKR in 2010 and is a Director of Credit. Mr. Gopalan serves as head of U.S. Private Credit. Previously, Mr. Gopalan worked at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board as a principal in private investments and private debt. Prior to that, he worked for Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase in high yield capital markets as well as high yield/leverage loan research covering a variety of sectors. He currently sits on the board of directors of LCI Helicopters Limited and Battery Point Trust, LLC and serves on the limited partner advisory committee of Star Mountain Multi-Manager Credit Platform, LP. He has a M.A. in International Finance from Brandeis University and a B.S. from Georgetown University.
Brian Hermann is a partner in the Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization Department, and a member of the Firm’s Media & Entertainment Practice, Brian Hermann focuses on a range of restructuring and bankruptcy matters for both borrower and lender clients. He has extensive experience representing clients in complex out-of-court restructurings and chapter 11 cases nationwide and across a variety of industries. Brian also routinely represents clients in complex litigation arising out of chapter 11. Mr. Hermann has a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law and a B.B.A. from Pace University.
John Katzenmeyer is a Managing Director and heads the Financial Technology Group. John has over 15 years' investment banking experience. John's coverage area includes the payments and transaction processing sector, the consumer finance, credit information and analytics sectors, and a variety of other online financial services models. Most recently, John was Head of Financial Technology at UBS where he spent six years. John also worked as a technology banker at Banc of America Securities and Credit Suisse First Boston. John began his career as a corporate securities lawyer at Dewey Ballantine and Clifford Chance. Mr. Katzenmeyer has a J.D. from the NYU School of Law and a B.A. in Economics from Duke University.
Brian McKeon is a Senior TMT Analyst at Achievement Asset Management LLC (“AAM”). Prior to joining AAM in April 2012, Mr. McKeon was a Partner at North Sea Partners from February 2009 to March 2012. Prior, Mr. McKeon served as a Credit Analyst and Trader for Deutsche Bank Principal Strategies Group from March 2007 to November 2007. From July 2000 to March 2007, Mr. McKeon served in a number of functions for Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. including a Distressed Credit Analyst from June 2006 to March 2007, a Liability Management Vice President from January 2005 to June 2006 and as a High Yield Syndicate Associate from July 2000 to December 2004. Mr. McKeon holds his MBA from Stern School of Business with concentrations in Management and Finance and a BA Degree with a double major of Economics/Business and Government Law from Lafayette College.
Devin Nomellini joined AllianceBernstein in 2011 and covers the Technology, Metals and Mining, and Homebuilding/ Building Products sectors within the high yield credit group. Previously, he worked as a sector analyst with BlueMountain Capital Management and as a senior high-yield research analyst at Banc of America Securities. Prior to this, Devin was with Parametric Portfolio Associates, a quantitative equity manager in Seattle, Washington where he worked as a Trader and Junior Portfolio Manager. Mr. Nomellini holds a BA in economics and French from Washington and Lee University and an MBA from New York University. He is a CFA charterholder.
Centerview Partners and Kirkland & Ellis will lead a discussion about the current market dynamics affecting distressed hedge funds.
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Marc Puntus joined Centerview Partners in 2011 to establish the restructuring and debt advisory practice.
During his over 20-year career, Mr. Puntus has led restructuring, financing and M&A assignments for companies, creditors, acquirers, shareholders and other stakeholders across a wide array of industries, including retail and consumer, energy, general industrial, chemicals, automotive, transportation, telecommunications and technology, leisure, hospitality and gaming, healthcare, and financial institutions.
Mr. Puntus’s company-side experience includes representing Residential Capital, JCPenney, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, CTI Foods, PHH Corporation, Clearwire, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation/Foxwoods, CNL Hotels & Resorts, OSI Restaurants Partners, BroderBros., Keystone Automotive, PlayPower, Magna Entertainment Corp., Isola Group, Greatwide Logistics Services, Inc., Vonage Corporation, EaglePicher, Anchor Danly, Progressive Moulded Products, Dura Automotive Systems, Autocam Corporation, Pegasus Satellite Communications, Pegasus Broadcast, Gate Gourmet, Reichhold, Independence Air, Conversent Corporation, Acterna Corporation, Itronix Corporation, CTC Communications, Micro Warehouse, Women First HealthCare, PSINet Inc., SI Corporation, Sunbeam Corporation, Bruno’s, Edison Brothers, Crystal Brands and Best Products. He also has represented acquirors, secured lenders and committees in transactions involving Dendreon, Culligan, DS Waters, Station Casinos, Fairpoint Communications, Lehman Brothers, Shared Technologies, Ion Media Networks, EaglePicher, XO Communications, AT&T Latin America, SLI Inc., Grove Crane, Mariner Post-Acute Network, Heilig-Meyers, Ionica, First Wave Marine, The Pittsburgh Penguins, RDM Sports Group, Safety Components, The Wiz and Global Broadcasting.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Puntus was a Managing Director and founder of Miller Buckfire & Co. Prior to that he was a member of the financial restructuring group of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, and prior to joining DrKW, Mr. Puntus was a Partner in the Business, Finance and Restructuring department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
Mr. Puntus is a member of several industry trade organizations, including the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Turnaround Management Association, and is a frequent lecturer on restructuring, financing and M&A topics. Mr. Puntus is a steadfast supporter and board member of various charitable and educational organizations. He serves on the Board of Advisors of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
Edward Sassower focuses on representing debtors, creditors and distressed or special situation investors in bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructurings and acquisitions. Most recently, Chambers USA praised Edward for his “command of a board of directors” and “great understanding of the business impact of decisions” and described him as a “really talented and very savvy deal-maker” with “deep relationships in the bankruptcy community” (Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2012-14). Edward has also recently been described as a “tireless advocate with a highly evolved understanding of what matters to financial clients” (The Legal 500 U.S. 2012). In December 2013, Turnarounds & Workouts recognized Edward as an “Outstanding Restructuring Lawyer.” In April 2013, Edward was selected to the UJA-Federation of New York's first ever 40 Under 40 Industry Leaders list, an initiative that recognizes a prominent group of accomplished professionals spanning many industries. Additionally, In March 2013, Edward was selected by Law360 as one of five “Rising Stars” in the restructuring market. Each Fall at the University of Pennsylvania, Edward teaches a full-semester class titled Distressed Dealmaking to Law School and Wharton students.
Mr. Cohen is the Managing Partner and Portfolio Manager of Caspian Capital LP. Prior to joining Caspian, he was a Vice President in a proprietary distressed investing group at Goldman, Sachs & Co. He was responsible for committing the firm’s capital to positions in numerous sectors throughout the distressed and stressed market and taught distressed investing to other areas of the firm. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. Cohen worked as an attorney in the business, finance and restructuring group of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Mr. Cohen graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law and summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.
Carl Goldsmith is a Founding Partner and Co-Chief Investment Officer for Beach Point Capital Management. Mr. Goldsmith has over 20 years of experience managing high yield bonds, bank loans and distressed debt portfolios and working on corporate restructurings. Prior to founding Beach Point Capital, Mr. Goldsmith was the Senior Investment Officer at Post Advisory Group. During his 15 years at Post Advisory, the firm grew from under $100 million in assets to over $10 billion. Mr. Goldsmith was responsible for co-running the alternative business of Post Advisory and co-managing the Total Return, Distressed Debt, and Corporate Loan strategies. In the early 1990s, Mr. Goldsmith worked in the Bankruptcy Support and Valuation departments at Price Waterhouse, where he advised debtors and creditors in bankruptcy restructurings.
Mr. Goldsmith received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.
Jeff Rosenbaum is a Managing Director in the Credit Group at York Capital Management, a $24 billion New York-based global investment firm. Since joining York in 2009, Jeff has led and been involved in many of the firm’s large North American credit investments and restructurings, including Edison Mission Energy, Energy Future Holdings, iHeartMedia, Lear Corp., Dana Corp. and Nortel Networks. Prior to joining York, he worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. and began his career at The Blackstone Group. Jeff graduated first in his class from the Business Honors Program at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.
In 2008, Mr. Wagner co-founded Knighthead after being involved in the distressed and high yield business for many years. Prior to Knighthead’s founding, Mr. Wagner was most recently employed by Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he was a managing director responsible for running the distressed and high yield credit trading desks. He also co-managed the firm’s Capital Structure Franchise Trading desk which combined the trading of credit and equity products issued by stressed and distressed companies. Mr. Wagner oversaw 22 traders specializing in a variety of credit and equity products including cash bonds, credit default swaps, listed and OTC equities, convertible bonds, preferred stock and equity options. Mr. Wagner was also active in the firm’s mentoring, recruiting and diversity programs. Prior to joining Goldman in 2000, he was employed for two years at Credit Suisse First Boston (“CSFB”) as a high yield trader and special situations desk analyst. Mr. Wagner graduated Beta Gamma Sigma from Columbia Business School in 1999 and worked full time at CSFB during his second year of studies. Prior to attending business school, he worked for 5 years at Ernst & Young, LLP in the firm’s hedge fund practice providing audit and consulting services to a wide range of investment funds. During his tenure at Ernst & Young, LLP, Mr. Wagner was registered as a Certified Public Accountant in Massachusetts and the Cayman Islands. Mr. Wagner currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Villanova University. Mr. Wagner graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1992.
The Legal Restructuring Panel will be addressing Distressed Acquisitions in Chapter 11. The focus will include discussion of the process generally, as well as some of the many potential pitfalls for buyers and sellers that can arise throughout the course of such transactions. Specifically, the panel will touch on business and legal aspects of credit bidding in the multi-lender context, dealing with “goodwill” and other intangibles in valuing the debtor, collusion versus collaboration between bidders and some best practices for credit bidding.
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Lawrence V. Gelber is a partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel, where he focuses on the areas of distressed mergers and acquisitions, debtor-in-possession financing, corporate restructuring, creditors’ rights and prime brokerage insolvency/counterparty risk. Larry’s extensive experience in Chapter 11 reorganization cases includes representing debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, lenders, investors and acquirers. His debtor representations have included Quigley Company Inc., NTL Inc., Safety-Kleen Corp., Fansteel Inc. and CAI Wireless Systems Inc. Among his lender and creditor representations are Ableco Finance LLC, Cerberus Business Finance LLC and Wells Fargo Capital Finance. Investor and acquirer representations include Mount Kellett Capital Management LP, Petra Capital Management LP, Cerberus Capital Management LP and Prentice Capital Management LP.
In recognition of his professional excellence and his contributions to the fields of restructuring and insolvency, Larry was inducted as a fellow in the 25th Class of the American Bankruptcy College. He has also been recognized by The Legal 500 United States as a leader in his field. He is an active member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the ABA’s Section of Business Law, the New York City Bar Association and the Turnaround Management Association. Larry regularly contributes to The Bankruptcy Strategist, Bankruptcy Law360 and Norton Bankruptcy Law Adviser and has spoken at conferences sponsored by the Practising Law Institute, American Bankruptcy Institute, the William J. O'Neill Great Lakes Regional Bankruptcy Institute and other organizations. He most recently co-authored “False Claims Act Debts Held Non-Dischargeable in Bankruptcy,” in the New York Law Journal, and he moderated “Understanding Pension Plan Liabilities” at the SRZ 3rd Annual Distressed Investing Conference. Larry obtained his J.D., cum laude, from New York University School of Law and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Tufts University.
Shelley C. Chapman was sworn in as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York on March 5, 2010. At the time of her appointment, she was a partner in the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in the Business Reorganization and Restructuring Department, where her practice included the representation of debtors, creditors, and other parties in interest in major chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings.
Judge Chapman received a B.A. with distinction in all subjects from Cornell University in 1978 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, from which she graduated cum laude in 1981. She served as an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.
Prior to joining Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in 2001, Judge Chapman was a partner at Sidley & Austin and served as an Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn Law School in 1985-86. From 2001 through 2007, she served on the Board of Directors of inMotion, a non-profit organization that provides pro bono legal services to indigent women and children in New York City, primarily in the areas of matrimonial, family, and immigration law, serving as Board Chair from 2004 to 2007.
Prior to her appointment, she served on the Executive Committee of the UJA-Federation of New York’s Bankruptcy and Reorganization Group and on the Advisory Board of the ABI New York City Bankruptcy Conference, and has been active in Cornell University and Harvard Law School alumni affairs. She is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. She is a member of ABI, serves on an advisory committee of the ABI Commission to Study Chapter 11 Reform, and serves as judicial co-chair of the ABI New York City Bankruptcy Conference. Judge Chapman also is a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and serves on the NCBJ Education Committee. She also serves on the Federal Judicial Center’s Bankruptcy Judge Education Advisory Committee and acts as a mentor judge for the Center’s Orientation Program for Newly Appointed Bankruptcy Judges. She has recently joined the Editorial Board of Collier on Bankruptcy as a Contributing Author.
Mr. Greene joined Halcyon in March 2002. During his tenure at Halcyon, Mr. Greene has focused primarily on distressed asset investing. Prior to joining Halcyon, Mr. Greene was a distressed securities analyst for J.P. Morgan Chase, where he began his career in 1999, and where he published research on distressed and high yield securities, made proprietary trading recommendations, and worked with J.P. Morgan Chase’s London-based European High Yield Research team. Mr. Greene received his B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College in 1999.
Mr. Grubb joined Greenhill in 2006 and has served as Chief Financial Officer since 2012. Prior to joining Greenhill, he was a member of the investment banking group at UBS. Mr. Grubb advises clients on M&A and Restructuring transactions in addition to his administrative responsibilities at the Firm. Mr. Grubb received an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.S. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University.
David Hollander is a Managing Partner of Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC. TCP is a leading alternative investment manager founded in 1999, investing in both special situations and performing credit. TCP currently manages approximately $5.3 billion of committed capital across its open investment vehicles, which include private funds, registered funds and a publicly-traded business development company. Mr. Hollander focuses on TCP’s private placements in special situations and managing investments in companies undergoing restructurings and bankruptcies.
Before joining TCP in 2002, Mr. Hollander was an attorney for sixteen years at the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers. While at O'Melveny, Mr. Hollander specialized in leveraged finance, insolvency, and mergers and acquisitions, and represented debtors and creditors in numerous multi-billion dollar transactions. Mr. Hollander has also represented boards of directors and has served on various creditor committees.
Mr. Hollander holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a B.S. (highest honors) in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
David leads Schulte Roth & Zabel’s Distressed Debt & Claims Trading Group, which provides advice in connection with U.S., European and emerging market debt and claims trading matters. His practice focuses on corporate restructuring, special situations and distressed investments, and distressed mergers and acquisitions. David has represented debtors, ad hoc and official committees, and individual secured and unsecured creditors. He also advises investment funds in connection with oil and gas royalty investments and distressed energy investments, and his recent energy representations include investors in Stallion Oilfield Services Ltd., Seahawk Drilling Inc., ATP Oil & Gas and Trident Resources Corporation. David frequently represents broker-dealers, investment funds, private equity funds and CLOs in connection with the auction and trading of distressed and non-performing assets and NPL portfolios across a wide range of issuers and in jurisdictions spanning the globe, including Arcapita, Swiss Air, Landsbanki, Glitnir, Kaupthing, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and its affiliated debtors, MF Global Inc. and its affiliated debtors, and American Airlines.
Recognized as a leading lawyer by New York Super Lawyers, and by the founder of Reorg Research as “undoubtedly one of the best in the field at what he does best: making sure funds and their investments are protected when transacting and executing trades in distressed debt and claims,” David is an active member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, Loan Market Association, Asia Pacific Loan Market Association, INSOL Europe, Emerging Markets Trade Association, National Association of Royalty Owners and the Loan Syndications and Trading Association. He is a frequent author and speaker on distressed investing topics and recently wrote articles including “Structuring Winning Bids: European NPL Portfolio Transactions,” “Bank Debt Trading on the Modern Day Back of the Napkin” and “Trade Dispute Litigation: Debtor vs. Secondary Market Claims Purchaser.”
David earned his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and his B.S. from Cornell University.
The Financial Restructuring Panel will address the oil and gas industry in the wake of the recent sell off in oil prices. The panel will discuss the industry broadly, including the outlook for commodity prices and production volumes over the next year. In the context of the overall market, the panel will identify potential restructuring candidates for 2015 and 2016 and the most attractive and lowest cost production basins. Finally, the panelists will discuss several issues specific to oil and gas restructurings, including reserves-based lending determinations, utilization of lien baskets, hedging agreements, and plugging and abandonment liabilities.
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Mr. Robbins is a Vice President in the Restructuring & Reorganization Group at Blackstone. Since joining Blackstone in 2011 Mr. Robbins has advised a combination of both debtors and creditors across multiple industries with a recent focus on the E&P sector. Select matters include Endeavour International, Quicksilver Resources, BPZ Energy, J.C. Penney, Travelport, NewPage, The Hellenic Republic, Penn Foster, The Princeton Review, Meridian Lightweight Technologies and GateHouse Media/New Media.
Before joining Blackstone Mr. Robbins worked as a high yield desk analyst at Morgan Stanley. Mr. Robbins graduated from Brown University with a B.A. and M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering. He received his MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
David is the Founder and Managing Partner of Opportune LLP. David has over 30 years of business experience, including six years as a partner with Deloitte & Touche and six years as a senior executive in the energy industry. Prior to founding Opportune, David was the President, COO and CFO of a consolidation of construction companies comprising the largest residential plumbing and mechanical company in the United States with 6,000 employees in 35 locations. David started his career at Deloitte & Touche where he became Partner-in-Charge of the Firm’s energy audit practice based in Houston. David was also in charge of the corporate finance group for the Southwest Region where he led due diligence teams on several large acquisitions and formulated business plans for new ventures. David left Deloitte to be the Senior Vice President & CFO of a publicly traded exploration & production company where he sourced and closed acquisitions and accessed the public and private capital markets. David serves on the board of directors of North Star Energy, Thunderbird Resources Equity and Marlin Midstream GP, LLC (MLP) and previously served on the boards of AMPAM, Genesis Energy MLP, Encore Energy Partners (MLP) and ERCOT, the independent system operator for electrical markets in Texas.
David graduated with honors with a BBA in Accounting from Texas A&M University. David serves on the Dean’s Development Council of the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and is the longest serving member of its Accounting Department Advisory Council. In 2011, David was named an Outstanding Alumnus of the Mays Business School.
Ted J. Goldthorpe is President of Apollo Investment Corporation (“AIC”), Chief Investment Officer of Apollo Investment Management (“AIM”), and Senior Portfolio Manager, U.S. Opportunistic Credit. Mr. Goldthorpe joined Apollo in April 2012 and oversees the Opportunistic Credit platform within Apollo Management. Previously, Mr. Goldthorpe was employed by Goldman Sachs for 13 years. He served most recently ran the Bank Loan Distressed Investing Desk and prior to that was a Managing Director in the Special Situations Group, running both their Middle Market Private Equity business and the Canadian business (CSSG). Prior to that, Mr. Goldthorpe worked in the High Yield Distressed business, the Merchant Banking Division and the Investment Banking Division. Mr. Goldthorpe received a B.A. in Commerce from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Mr. Goldthorpe currently serves on the Global Advisory Board for the Queen’s School of Business. He is also the Chairman of the Young Fellowship of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Peter Laurinaitis is a Senior Managing Director in the Restructuring & Reorganization Group.
Since joining Blackstone in 2002, Mr. Laurinaitis has been involved in advisory work across a broad range of industries, with a focus on energy over the last several years. Select matters include Endeavour International, SemGroup, Flying J, Dynegy (creditors), BPZ Energy (creditors), Quicksilver (creditors), NewPage (creditors), Scopac/Palco, General Motors, Barneys New York, State of Kansas, Net Serviços De Comunicação, Capmark (creditors), HSH Nordbank, Horsehead, Aquila, Bally, Brown Jordan, Harry & David (creditors), and Gatehouse (creditors).
Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Laurinaitis was a Manager at Arthur Andersen LLP in its Corporate Restructuring group.
Mr. Laurinaitis received a BS in Accounting from the University of Central Florida, an MSA in Accounting from the University of Central Florida, and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Laurinaitis is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA, inactive), Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor (CIRA) and a Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP).
Mr. Lewinsohn is a Senior Managing Director at Centerbridge Partners, LP. The firm manages approximately $25 billion of assets with a focus on credit, special situations, and private equity. Prior to joining Centerbridge, Mr. Lewinsohn was Head of Research and a permanent member of the Investment Committee at Anchorage Capital Group. He was previously a law clerk to Judge Richard A. Posner of the US Court of Appeals and began his career at Morgan Stanley in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group. Mr. Lewinsohn received his JD from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, and his BA, summa cum laude, from Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences as a Merrill Presidential Scholar. He is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of Economic Club of New York.
Martin Sosland is a partner in the Dallas office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Since joining the Firm in 1987, Mr. Sosland has concentrated his practice in the area of business reorganizations, debtor and creditors’ rights, and refinancings and acquisitions of distressed companies.
Mr. Sosland led the firm’s representation in several major chapter 11 debtor cases, including Dallas Stars, SemGroup, Crescent Resources, Texas Rangers Baseball Partners, and Blockbuster, and co-led the firm’s representation of Pilgrim’s Pride. He also led the firm’s representation of AHMSI, a W.L. Ross portfolio company, in its acquisition of Option One Mortgage from H&R Block. He served as one of the principal partners involved in the firm’s representation of Enron Corp. and its affiliates in their chapter 11 cases and led the firm’s representation of Sulzer Orthopedics in its class action product liability settlement, which allowed that company to avoid seeking relief under the Bankruptcy Code. Mr. Sosland also was involved in the firm’s representation of The Western Company of North America, Zale Corporation, MCorp, Edison Brothers Stores, Inc., and PennCorp Financial Group, Inc., and led the firm’s representation of US ONE Communications Corp., Heartland Wireless Communications, Verado Holdings, and Hedstrom Corporation in their chapter 11 cases.
Mr. Sosland led the firm’s representation of the statutory creditors’ committee for Diagnostic Health Systems, Inc. and has been involved in the representation of statutory creditors’ committees for First Republicbank Corporation, Texas American Bancshares, National Gypsum Company, and New Valley Corporation. He has been involved in the firm’s representation of aircraft lessors in a number of restructurings including TWA and Viscount Airlines, Inc., and led the firm’s representation of a major aircraft lessor in the chapter 11 case of Express One International, Inc.
Mr. Sosland was also involved in the firm’s representation of PennCorp Financial Group, Inc. in its acquisition of Southwestern Life Insurance Company from ICH Corporation, and led the firm’s representation of creditors which acquired Fitz & Floyd and Trenwick America through chapter 11 plans of reorganization.
In addition, Mr. Sosland has led the firm’s representation of major financial institutions and other creditors in a number of cases, including Reddy Ice, First Magnus, Harbor Financial Group, FirstPlus Financial Group, Genesis Physicians Practice Association, Mirant, Senior Living Properties, Williams Communications, and Covad.
Mr. Sosland has been recognized by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, and Best Lawyers as a leading bankruptcy/restructuring lawyer.
Mr. Sosland is a member of the Dallas and American Bar Associations and the American Bankruptcy Institute. He has written and spoken about bankruptcy issues for a number of CLE programs sponsored by various organizations including the State Bar of Texas and the University of Texas School of Law.
The Operational Restructuring Panel will address the current state of the North American markets for prices of crude oil and natural gas and the challenges facing three segments of this industry including E&P operators, oilfield service and equipment suppliers, and offshore operators. The panel will address operational and capital structure issues in the current price environment. Panel members will discuss specific steps E&P operators should consider beyond reductions in capital expenditure budgets, as well as linkages between cost improvements and discussions with constituents in the capital structure in evaluating a path forward to address liquidity concerns in the short term.
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
John has been a managing director since 2007 providing turnaround and restructuring services and has been involved with a number of the firm’s restructurings specifically related to the oil and gas and energy industries. He has served as a chief restructuring officer, interim chief executive officer and restructuring advisor. John was chief restructuring officer for Stallion Oilfield Services as well as Trico Marine Services, and was a restructuring advisor to the management teams at Mirant Corporation and Calpine Corporation during those restructurings. John served as Chief Restructuring Officer of USEC Inc., where he currently serves as interim Chief Executive Officer.
Dennis Cassidy is a Managing Director in AlixPartners’ Enterprise Improvement group and is the co-lead of the Energy practice. He has over twenty years of industry and consulting experience with a Primary focus on leading strategy based transformation and cost reduction programs for global oil, gas, and chemical companies. His expertise includes M&A, due diligence, post-merger integration, operations improvements, portfolio optimization, growth strategy, cost reduction and restructuring, and supply chain optimization. He works from the Dallas, Texas office.
Prior to joining AlixPartners in 2012, Dennis was a vice president of Booz and Company where he was a leader of the chemicals and oil and gas practices. He also held a role as a principal in A.T. Kearney’s oil and gas practice and was a global sales and marketing manager at ExxonMobil. Some examples of his work include:
Dennis has an MBA from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor’s of Science in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University.
John Cesarz is a Director of Miller Buckfire. Mr. Cesarz’s advisory experience includes M&A, financing and restructuring transactions on behalf of Dura Automotive Systems (Atwood Mobile Products), Calpine Corporation, BMC Industries, Broder Bros., CDX Gas (Creditor’s Committee), Color Spot Nurseries, Dean Foods, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Jarden Corporation, Magnatrax Corporation, Media General, Movie Star, The Reader’s Digest Association (CompassLearning), Stallion Oilfield Services, Sunterra Corporation and Wyoming Technical Institute. Prior to Miller Buckfire, Mr. Cesarz was an associate in the Mergers & Acquisitions group at Chanin Capital Partners, which he joined in 2003. Prior to that, Mr. Cesarz was an analyst in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Banc of America Securities. Mr. Cesarz has a B.S. in Accounting, magna cum laude, from Fordham University.
Daniel C. Herz is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy of Atlas Energy, L.P. (NYSE: ATLS), Atlas Pipeline Partners, L.P. (NYSE: APL), and Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ARP), as well as President & Director of Atlas Growth Partners, L.P, a private energy limited partnership. Since joining Atlas in 2004, Mr. Herz has been responsible for over $20 billion in M&A transactions for Atlas companies. Prior to joining Atlas, Mr. Herz was an Investment Banker with Banc of America Securities from 1999 to 2003.
Keith Wofford is a Partner at Ropes & Gray. He focuses on bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. Keith primarily acts on behalf of investment funds specializing in distressed debt, and potential acquirors of assets of distressed companies. He regularly represents ad hoc committees of secured and unsecured creditors in Chapter 11 cases and in out-of-court workouts, and he also represents official committees in Chapter 11 cases. Keith has been particularly active with respect to inter-creditor disputes, credit-bidding transactions and other acquisitions of company control through debt positions. In addition, he regularly represents clients in bankruptcy courts and other venues. Keith has represented a major energy trading concern with respect to the renegotiation or settlement of trading relationships (encompassing physical and financial trades) with several debtor counterparties (including Enron Corp., Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Mirant Corp. and others). Prior to joining Ropes & Gray, Keith was a senior securitization analyst in the structured finance group at Moody’s Corporation.