Deal Flow Continues at Turnaround Capital Forum and Cocktail Reception

The second night of the TMA Distressed Investing Conference featured another highly successful networking event, allowing attendees to continue building upon existing business partnerships and create new ones. The Turnaround Capital Forum and Cocktail Reception featured more than 30 investors and other distressed capital providers available to meet with attendess to discuss investments, areas of focus, challenges they are facing and other topics that are critical to their clients.

This unique networking event, along with the opening night joint reception with the CFA and countless other business opportunities, both during the conference and while enjoying all that Vegas has to offer, have helped make this year's conference yet another successful event in its five-year history. Further enhancing the value of the conference was the outstanding distressed investing education program, which featured a very insightful and informative keynote presentation by James Grant yesterday.

We can't wait to return to Vegas for next year's conference. Look for more information regarding dates and location in the near future. In the meantime, start making plans to attend the 2011 TMA Spring Conference, April 27-29 at the JW Marriott Chicago.

Opening Reception Brings Together TMA and CFA Members

The 2011 TMA Distressed Investing Conference kicked off last night with a very successful joint reception with the Commercial Finance Association. 130 CFA members from thier just concluded Asset-Based Capital Conference joined many of our 450 conference attendess for a lively networking event.

Today the high quality education program kicks off  featuring keynote speaker James Grant. We'll also have an advanced case study of the General Growth restructing and panel sessions covering the Dodd-Frank Act and CMBS/REMIC. Ending the day's schedule is the much anticipated Turnaround Capital Forum and Cocktail Reception, which gives attendees access to network with more than 30 capital provider firms.

More to come as the conference continues here in Las Vegas...

Las Vegas, Distressed Investing Conference Deliver Optimism

No city symbolizes optimism quite like Las Vegas. The mere sight of the famed strip inspires thoughts of riches and fortune. So, it’s only fitting that the 2011 TMA Distressed Investing Conference descends on the Nevada desert this week in our own search for opportunity in the face of uncertain times in our industry.

TMA’s fifth annual Distressed Investing Conference has quickly become one of the “must attend” events in our industry’s calendar. The conference kicks off with a new networking feature on Wednesday night, a joint cocktail reception co-hosted by TMA and CFA that leverages the back-to-back presence of both organizations in Vegas to create a special opportunity to build the relationships that will lead to new business.

On Thursday, TMA has brought back for a second year, the highly successful Turnaround Capital Forum.  This event will provide a focused session where over 30 investors and other distressed capital providers will be available to exchange thoughts with attendees about their investments, areas of focus, challenges they are facing and other topics that are critical to a successful deal-oriented event.

While the conference will facilitate networking at every turn, TMA’s education program also delivers an impressive slate of expert panelists and speakers, including keynote presenter James Grant. Panel and workshop topics cover everything from the Dodd-Frank Act to the General Growth Properties restructuring to the auto industry.

So, as I head west from New York today, I can’t help but be optimistic. I know that I’m increasing my odds of success – and that’s all you can ask for in Vegas. I look forward to seeing those of you attending later this week.

If you haven’t registered but are still interesting in joining more than 400 of your colleagues at this great event, hop on a flight and join us. You can register onsite at the Aria Resort. TMA’s onsite staff will be glad to help you. Visit for more information.

Reinventing Ourselves and Our Profession in 2011

If you are a turnaround practitioner, it is easy to be anxious these days. We hear that the economy is steadily picking up steam despite the continuing challenges of persistent high unemployment, political infighting that leads to regulatory uncertainty for many industries and the black hole of risk that remains in real estate.

Everyday we see new financing deals that serve as more evidence that the “Great Wall of Maturity” is being pushed out further into 2013, 2014 and beyond. Default rates are expected to remain below historical averages at least until 2012.

The number of bankruptcy filings and the duration of cases filed have both steadily declined. In fact, the Chapter 11 process itself seemingly has been converted from a judicially monitored means of effecting a business reorganization to an administrative procedure for courts to bless or enforce a pre-negotiated balance sheet restructuring deal.

As a result, turnaround professionals, like those in so many other industries significantly affected by the economic crisis, have had to adjust.

Practitioners and their firms have responded by adopting the mantle of “financial advisor” traditionally favored by investment banks and accounting firms. In this capacity turnaround practitioners perform assessments, review business plans, or provide expert testimony. However, this type of work tends to be shorter duration, less-fee intensive work particularly when compared to the success fees garnered by investment banks involved.

Those of us who have been in the business for a while have been through these cycles before. Using transactions to extend maturities or restructure debt does not fix poor management or other underlying problems faced by troubled companies. Eventually, the issues will have to be addressed, now or perhaps in 2014 when a number of companies will be standing in front of the Great Wall.

In the meantime, turnaround practitioners will do as they have done in past cycles…reinvent themselves.

They will add capabilities or specialties. They will, accurately, point out that the tools of “corporate renewal” are important for companies regardless of where they stand in the company lifecycle. They will continue to grow their businesses outside of North America as evidenced by the rapid growth TMA has seen in its international membership.

There is hope and there are opportunities out there for turnaround professionals. But we can’t keep waiting for the economy to improve and pick up the pace. All signs indicate our path to recovery will continue to be slow and arduous. We need to take matters into our own hands in 2011 and adjust our practices to face today’s realities.

Industry and Economic Forecast Webinar - January 18

Next Tuesday I am participating on a panel for the TMA Webinar Industry and Economic Forecast – We are not out of this yet…

We will review the 2010 economic scene, interpret results from TMA’s latest survey on industries most likely to face trouble and those most likely to improve, and draw from our experience working with businesses mired in operational and financial problems.

The Webinar takes place next Tuesday, January 18, Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST. Click here to register.

More about the Webinar
  • We will review the 2010 economic scene, interpret results from TMA’s latest survey on industries most likely to face trouble and those most likely to improve, and draw from their professional experience working with businesses mired in operational and financial problems.
  • Prepare yourself for the coming year with an inside look at the continuing and new challenges facing the commercial and residential real estate and banking industries, state and local municipalities and other sectors in 2011.
  • Learn how the turnaround and corporate restructuring world will be affected and how you can better prepare your firm to handle the challenges that lie ahead.

Additional Details

Moderator: Kenneth R. Yager II, MorrisAnderson

Panel: Matthew S. Darin, Frontline Real Estate Partners; William J. Hass, CTP, TeamWork Technologies Inc.; Patrick C. Lagrange, Carl Marks Advisory Group LLC.

CPE Credit Offered: 1 credit