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Founder and Executive Chairman
Development Specialists, Inc. (DSI)
Senior Managing Director
Some of the more notable companies Keith has advised or held senior management roles with are: Colt Manufacutring (CRO), Logan’s Restaurants (co-CRO) Lomas Financial Corporation, Lincoln Savings & Loan, Zale Corporation, Businessland Computers, Borland International (COO), Acordia (CFO), PennCorp Financial Group (CEO), RSL Communications (CRO), WCI Communications/ Worldnet Communications (CEO), Snelling & Snelling, Brown and Jordan, Sunterra Corporation (CMO), Diamond Resorts (COO), Norwood Promotional Products (CFO and CRO), Pacific Monarch Resorts (CFO) and PlayPower Holdings (CEO, CFO and CRO) and AgFeed Industries CRO.
Keith graduated from the University of Kansas in 1981 with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. He is active in many community endeavors and is currently serving as a member of the Archdiocesan Council for the Greek Orthodox Church of North America and an Archon of Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Cowen and Company
Mr. Lederman joined Cowen from StormHarbour, a global boutique investment bank focused on healthy and distressed middle market transactions where he was a Director in the Energy Capital Markets Group. Prior to StormHarbour, Randy held various positions at Banc of America Securities, Macquarie Capital Advisors, FBR Capital Markets and Global Hunter Securities.
Throughout his career he has executed executed transactions for domestic high yield and emerging market issuers, including distressed restructurings, debt-for-debt exchange offers, debt tender offers, consent solicitations and global refinancings.
He is an active member of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), Turnaround Management Association and the Association for Corporate Growth.
Randy holds a BBA in Finance from University of Michigan at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
Co-Founder and Principal
Prior to founding Novo Advisors Mr. Gupta was a Managing Director in FTI Consulting’s Corporate Finance practice based in Chicago. There Mr. Gupta assisted clients in stabilizing businesses experiencing a liquidity crisis and improving financial performance both in an advisory capacity and on an interim management basis.
Before joining FTI in 2007, Mr. Gupta spent eight years with Silverman Consulting, a boutique restructuring advisory firm based in Chicago where he gained many of his aforementioned skills. Prior to Silverman, Mr. Gupta was an operational and strategy consultant for two years with Arthur D. Little. Mr. Gupta also has six years of experience as an engineer for Exelon Corporation’s Commonwealth Edison power generation business in Chicago.
Mr. Gupta holds an M.B.A. in Finance and Business Strategy from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mr. Gupta is a member of the Chicago chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth and has most recently passed all three parts of the Certified Turnaround Professional exam.
Partner and Chief Operating Officer
Previously, he was a Managing Director in Blackstone’s Restructuring & Reorganization Group here he worked from 2003 to 2013 on a variety of strategic advisory and restructuring transactions. In that capacity, he was involved in sourcing and executing a variety of strategic advisory, capital raising and restructuring transactions for companies and creditor groups including Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Hawker Beechcraft, Levitz Home Furnishings, Magna Entertainment, Marchon Eyewear, Meridian Lightweight Technologies and XL Capital.
From 2013 – 2016, Mr. Lisher was a Managing Director in the Investor Relations & Business Development Group at Blackstone involved in all aspects of fundraising activities for the Private Equity, Energy and Tactical Opportunities funds. In addition, he also served as a board member of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.
Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Lisher was an Associate at JP Morgan in the investment banking group where he executed various M&A, high yield and leveraged finance transactions. Mr. Lisher received a BA from Wake Forest University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Loughlin Management Partners
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
GT Advanced Technologies
Prior to joining BRG, Mr. Vitaro spent nearly 20 years in senior client leadership roles with AlixPartners, Booz Allen and The Parthenon Group primarily serving consumer, industrial and other product-oriented clients. In addition to his consulting experience, he led a private equity owned, middle market diversified food manufacturing & distribution business in a full turnaround situation and helped position the company for future growth. Earlier, he served as a line officer in the U.S. Navy.
Mr. Vitaro has received multiple awards from his colleagues for superior client service. A recognized functional and industry expert, he has been quoted in leading business press such as the Wall Street Journal, Strategy & Business and cnbc.com, and served as a featured speaker at forums such as the Capital Roundtable, the Association for Corporate Growth and the National Retail Federation. Additionally, he has served as a leading author on numerous thought leadership pieces. Rich is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY).
Loughlin Management Partners
Jim has led more than 150 engagements and has successfully restructured more than $75 billion of debt, including large and complex cases in a variety of industry sectors. He is an expert in all aspects of restructuring and has served as an expert witness providing court testimony on valuation, plan feasibility, executive compensation and other financial matters. He often represents Lender Groups on complex restructuring matters.
He has also served as Chief Executive Officer or Chief Restructuring Officer for a number of corporations with revenues ranging from $100 million to $1.5 billion and has provided leadership through the revitalization and restructuring process. The Turnaround Management Association awarded Jim the Turnaround of the Year Award for the work he did while serving as CRO of cellular phone company Independent Wireless One.
Jim is regularly sought after by business and industry media for his perspective on restructuring trends and the distressed sector. He is a Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP) and former director of both the Turnaround Management Association and the Association of Certified Turnaround Professionals. Jim serves on numerous corporate boards and nonprofits. He has a Master’s in Business Administration with honors from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University.
While at Blackhill he has served as an active leader in four of the twelve largest upstream oil and gas bankruptcies since 2001, including:
• CRO and CEO of Pacific Exploration and Production (TSX:PEN), a mid-cap company with upstream exploration and 100,000 barrels per day of production, long-haul pipelines, and seaport operations and assets in Colombian and Peru and $6 billion of debt. Led and guided the company through the CCAA process in Toronto and afterwards to a strong financial and operating position at exit from bankruptcy six months after filing while managing downsizing operating challenges including 50 percent staff reductions and substantial production changes.
• CRO and CEO of ATP Oil and Gas, assuming executive leadership shortly after its bankruptcy filing of this deeply troubled, Gulf of Mexico offshore operator with $5 billion of total obligations, and guided it through a complex 22-month bankruptcy. Results included amending a tight DIP loan agreement, bringing new wells into production at 22 MBOED on a deep water platform, successfully satisfying BOEM/BSEE regulators on $300+ million of decommissioning liabilities, and working to resolve unique capital structure issues. Provided extensive testimony on Company issues throughout the case
• CRO and CEO of RAAM Global Energy, taking over CEO/CRO position prior to bankruptcy filing, and led this offshore and onshore operator with $335 million of debt through a three-month bankruptcy with a successful asset sale via credit bid and a confirmed consensual plan of re-organization. Right-sized operating and G&A costs while sustaining production operations and full regulatory compliance and satisfying substantial decommissioning demands in this complex case with multiple competing constituents.
• One of five very active directors of Enron Corporation guiding the post-bankruptcy resolution of issues and liquidation of this high-profile company that provided payments to creditors at three times projected levels and paid out $22+ billion to claimants. Directors provided direct leadership on a complex array of operating and distress issues in a very highly visible situation spanning ten years of service as a director
Other highlights include:
• For Energy Partners Limited (NYSE:EPL) served as chair of the Compensation and the Restructuring Committees and member of the Audit Committee during its first bankruptcy, and as an independent Board member and chair of the Special Committee during its second bankruptcy of this restructured oil and gas company
• For Crusader Energy, assumed CRO position shortly after filing and achieved a confirmed plan of reorganization within nine months. Major issues involved guiding a protracted and complex sale process, resolving inter-creditor issues in multi-level capital structure, and sustaining continuing operations satisfactorily to maintain value, Ultimate sale provided three times more cash and 20 percent more value than stalking horse bid.
• For Cano Petroleum, assumed CEO position of this AMEX-listed oil and gas company prior to bankruptcy filing to work with creditors/investors to restructure the Company’s over-leveraged capital structure, sustain production, and resolve creditor relationships. Guided the four-month bankruptcy process, and directed the Company’s asset sale and plan of reorganization processes.
• For the R. J. Williams entities, was retained by a complex family business overwhelmed by $285 million of debt guarantees in coastal real estate projects in a declining market. Achieved successful resolution outside bankruptcy including major asset sales and extensive negotiation with 11 lenders under very difficult circumstances. Client family retained significant value.
• For Lothian Oil, Inc., took over as CRO shortly before bankruptcy filing and had a confirmed plan one year later paying creditors 100 cents plus interest on their claims and additional money for equity. Directed operations, finance, and asset marketing activities. Property sales and cost containment resulted in a successful outcome for interest holders in a very contentious situation.
Throughout his career Jim has held financial and operational leadership positions in organizations he has served and/or founded. These roles include service as an officer in the US Army, as a consultant with McKinsey & Co., as the leader of a private E&P company, as head of a regional investment office of Prudential Insurance originating $1.2 billion of E&P and other investments, and as founder and managing director of Blackhill Partners and Blackhill Advisors. In addition he has audit and compensation committee chairman as well as a Board member of numerous public and private companies. He holds a BA in economics from Yale University and an MBA with Distinction from Harvard University and has received the CFA and CPA designations.
Ms. Laukitis has experience in a wide variety of industries, including metals and mining, automotive, general manufacturing, energy, telecommunications, cable, retail and shipping.
Prior to joining Skadden, Ms. Laukitis represented the following corporate debtors in their Chapter 11 cases: Molycorp (one of the world’s largest rare earth producers and processors), Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets (a chain of grocery stores in the western U.S.), Hostess Brands (producer of Hostess, Dolly Madison, Wonder and other branded bakery products), Allegiance Telecom (a large local exchange carrier), The Boyds Collection (a designer and manufacturer of gifts and collectibles), Norwood Promotional Products (a leading supplier of imprinted promotional products), NRG Energy (one of the largest independent power producers), Pierre Foods (a food product manufacturer), Tower Automotive (a Tier 1 automotive supplier) and Trico Marine Services (an oil-field services company). Ms. Laukitis also represented Penton Media in its prepackaged Chapter 11 case, as well as Cleveland Unlimited and other companies in connection with their out-of-court restructurings. She also regularly represents various private equity and hedge funds in connection with their investments in distressed companies.
Ms. Laukitis was named in Best Lawyers in America in 2015 and 2016. In 2013, she was named to the 40 Under 40 list by M&A Advisor and was named a Rising Star by both the New York Law Journal and Law360. In 2011, she was named an Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyer by Turnarounds & Workouts.
A member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and Turnaround Management Association, Ms. Laukitis previously served on the Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the Lincoln Center Business Council. She is currently a member of the board of directors of the Lower East Side Girls Club.
Senior Counsel and Bankruptcy Attorney
Foley & Lardner LLP
Prior to joining Foley, Ms. Nann was an associate with Baker Hostetler where she represented secured and unsecured creditors, trustees and creditors’ committees in chapter 11 and chapter 7 cases. She also handled SIPA liquidations, including representation of the SIPA trustee in the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
From 2012 to 2013, Ms. Nann served as a law clerk to the Honorable Shelley C. Chapman, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York.
Ms. Nann dedicates pro bono hours to, among other things, advising individual consumer debtors regarding the bankruptcy process.
In re Alrose Allegria, LLC & Alrose King David, LLC. Counsel to chapter 11 debtor in restructuring of full service hotel located in Long Beach, NY.
The Bancorp Bank. Counsel to Bancorp as a secured lender to a number of stressed and distressed borrowers, including in the chapter 11 case of Phoenix Payment Systems.
Best Buy. Counsel to Best Buy as a creditor in various bankruptcies and out-of-court distressed situations, including in the chapter 11 restructuring of NewZoom, one of the largest sellers of Best Buy inventory outside of Best Buy stores.
Wilmington Trust Company. Represent WTC as indenture trustee, holding billions of dollars in bonds and sub-debt in various cases, including Samson and Peabody.
Wilmington Savings Fund Society. Represent WSFS as indenture trustee in Verso Paper.
Lyondell. Advise various clients named as defendants in $12.5 billion LBO clawback action.
Sooner Holdings. Represent Sooner Holdings (f/k/a Syntroluem) in asset sale to Tyson, and in connection with a shareholder class action.
Ken Tepper as plan trustee for Guaranty Financial Group and as plan administrator for Big Sandy Holding Company.
SIPA Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
Plan trustee for the Raser Creditor Trust.
Stillwater Liquidating LLC, liquidating assets of Stillwater Asset Backed Offshore Fund and 11 affiliated funds.
In 2014 – 2016, Ms. Nann was selected for inclusion in the New York Super Lawyers - Rising Stars® lists.
Ms. Nann earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2006 where she was executive editor for the American Criminal Law Review and was also a member of the Student Bar Association. She received her B.A. in political science, with high honors, from Michigan State University in 2002.
Admissions and Professional Memberships
Ms. Nann is admitted to practice in New York and the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. She is a member of the New York City Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Turnaround Management Association, and the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation.
SSG Capital Advisors
Past client engagements include publicly traded, privately held, private equity sponsored and family owned businesses across a broad range of industries.
Neil is a CFA Charterholder and holds a Certification in Distressed Business Valuation (CDBV). He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Association for Corporate Growth and the Turnaround Management Association. He also serves on the serves on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia chapter of the TMA, the Board of Directors for the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project and the ACG New York Forward Committee. Education:
• University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, M.B.A.
• Johns Hopkins University, B.S.
Co-Head and Managing Director
Mr. Lulla has advised companies across multiple industries on a wide-range of corporate finance activities, including mergers and acquisitions, Chapter 11 proceedings, exchange offers, and out-of-court restructurings. Notable corporate clients include A123 Systems, Cardinal Logistics, Chemtura, Cooper- Standard Automotive, Graceway Pharma, Hawaiian Telcom, OPTI Canada, Pilgrim's Pride, TBS international, TOUSA, Tribune Company, and WCI Communities.
Mr. Lulla has significant experience with mandates representing creditors, including creditors of Eagle Bulk Shipping, General Maritime, Midwest Generation, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Overseas Shipholding Group.
Prior to joining Evercore, he spent over nine years at Lazard, most recently as a Director in the firm's Restructuring and Debt Advisory Group. Additionally, Mr. Lulla has experience as a principal investor through prior positions at Mesirow Advanced Strategies, where he led a credit investment strategy and at RoundTable HealthCare Partners, a healthcare focused private equity firm. Mr. Lulla received a BS, with a dual concentration in Accountancy and Finance, from the University of Illinois. Mr. Lulla also holds a CPA (unlicensed).