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Distressed Debt Conference Participants

Distressed Debt: The Ultimate Value Investing Asset Class

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Michael Gatto, Silver Point Capital

Michael Gatto

Michael Gatto
Partner
Silver Point Capital

Mr. Gatto was one of the first employees at Silver Point Capital, a credit focused hedge fund. He helped grow the business from $120MM of assets under management in 2002 to approximately $10 billion currently. 

After joining the Firm in April 2002, he became the first non-founding partner in January 2003.  Mr. Gatto helped build out and run several businesses. Today, he is the head of the Firm’s Restructuring Group, where he oversees a team responsible for driving and negotiating in or out-of-court corporate restructurings, the head of the Firm’s Real Estate business, and the head of Silver Point’s principal lending business which focuses on lending to middle market companies. Prior to joining Silver Point, Mr. Gatto worked at Goldman Sachs as a senior member within the Special Situations Investing Business, specializing in investing in debt of distressed companies. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. Gatto designed and taught credit training programs for loan officers of North American and European Financial Institutions. Prior to this, he was a loan officer and director of Global New Entry Training at Citibank. Mr. Gatto received an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University. He is also a CFA Charterholder and has served on several Boards, which have included specialty retailer Party City, and more recently a board member of New Cotai Holdings, a Macau gaming company and Chairman of the Board of Quinn Industries, an Irish Industrial company.

Outside of Silver Point, Mr. Gatto is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, where he teaches courses on credit analysis, distressed value and special situation investing.

Ellen Carr, Weaver C. Barksdale and Associates

Ellen Carr

Ellen Carr
Principal & Portfolio Manager
Weaver C. Barksdale and Associates

Ellen Carr is a high yield portfolio manager at Weaver C. Barksdale (WCB), a boutique institutional fixed income management firm. WCB is a majority-woman-owned investment manager. She has two decades of high yield research, analysis, and portfolio management experience through two credit crises (2002 and 2008). Prior to joining WCB in 2013, Ms. Carr was a high yield analyst and portfolio manager at The Capital Group/American Funds from 1999-2012, where she was responsible for $4 billion AUM across Capital’s high yield strategies, including a sleeve of its flagship high yield fund (ticker AHITX).

Ms. Carr is also an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, where she teaches courses on the credit cycle and cash flow forecasting.

Ms. Carr received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kapp) from Harvard College. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder.

Ms. Carr lives with her son in Asheville, NC. She is active in her community, serving as a board member of her local NPR affiliate, a board member of the national NPR Foundation, and a member of the finance committee of the Community Foundation of Western NC. Ms. Carr also manages a family foundation (carrfamilyfoundation.org) which awards college scholarships in rural communities.

Carla Casella, Managing Director JP Morgan Securities LLC

Carla Casella

Carla Casella
Managing Director
JP Morgan Securities LLC

Carla Casella is a Managing Director in High Yield Research, covering over 50 Consumer Products, Food and Retail companies.  Ms. Casella joined JPMorgan in September 1995, and has worked in High Yield Research since then, covering a number of different industries over her career, including Consumer Products, Food, Gaming, Retail, and Services.  Her Retail coverage has spanned both stressed and non-stressed retailers, including department stores Bon-Ton, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Saks, Neiman Marcus; specialty apparel & accessory retailers Claire’s, Gymboree, J. Crew, L Brands, Rue 21; and big box specialty retailers in the craft, pet, toy, and electronics categories (Jo-Ann, Michael’s, PetSmart, Toys R Us, and formerly Blockbuster, Quiksilver, and RadioShack). Ms. Casella has been a member of the Institutional Investor (II) All-American Fixed Income Research Team since 1998, ranking in the top 3 in three separate sectors:  Retail, Consumer Products, and Food.   Ms. Casella earned a BS in Economics, Business, and French from Vanderbilt University (’91) and an MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business (’96).  She is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the Association for Investment Management and Research and the New York Society of Securities Analysts.  

Adam Cohen, Caspian Capital

Adam Cohen

Adam Cohen
Managing Partner
Caspian Capital

Mr. Cohen is the Managing Partner of  Caspian.  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.

 

Mark DeNatale, CVC Capital

Mark DeNatale

Mark DeNatale
Partner & Global Head of Special Situations
CVC Capital

Mr. Mark DeNatale serves as Partner and Global Head of Special Situations at CVC Credit Partners and is a member of the CVC philanthropic committee. Prior to CVC, Mark spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs where he was a Managing Director and Head of Loan Trading, managing the bank’s risk across distressed, stressed, and performing credit. Mark actively invested and traded across the capital structure including loans, bonds, equities, and derivatives; he was also instrumental in developing the European loan trading platform. Mark is a former member of the Board of Directors of the LSTA. He graduated from Boston College in 1994 and currently sits on the Boston College Board of Regents.

Robert Franz, Arbour Lane Capital

Robert Franz

Robert Franz
Founder & Chief Investment Officer
Arbour Lane Capital

Robert Franz has over 20 years of experience analyzing and investing in debt and equity securities. Mr. Franz is the Founder and CIO of Arbour Lane Capital, a private registered investment advisor founded in 2016 that is focused primarily on opportunistic credit and special situation investments with approximately $1.5B in assets under management / advisement.  Prior to Arbour Lane, Mr. Franz worked at Credit Suisse initially as the Head of Loan Trading and was subsequently promoted to Head of the Syndicated Loan Group and the Global Head of Distressed. In 2011 he assumed the additional roles of Head of North American Trading which included oversight of the High Yield, Investment Grade, Structured Credit and Macro Hedge business. While there, he actively traded the firm’s multi-billion opportunistic principle credit book and oversaw $25B of gross risk across Global Credit Products. Mr. Franz built and ran one of the top ranked Global Distressed businesses in North America with a Principal Risk Book that generated annual returns in excess of 15% per annum from 2005-2015. Mr. Franz was ranked the number one distressed trader and managed the number one ranked distressed desk from 2004-2011 per Institutional Investor. Mr. Franz was a member of the Fixed Income Management Committee, the Global Credit Product Executive Committee and the Capital Commitments Committee. Prior to Credit Suisse, Mr. Franz was the Head of Par Loan Trading at Morgan Stanley (1997-2002). Mr. Franz began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (1995-1997). Mr. Franz holds a Bachelors in Finance and Accounting from Fordham University, graduating Cum Laude in 1995.

 

Amra Garcia-Tunon

Amra Garcia-Tunon

Amra Garcia-Tunon
Head of Human Resources & Senior Recruiter

Amra Garcia-Tunon recently joined a Prominent Family Office in Manhattan where she is the Head of HR.  Previously, she worked at Silver Point Capital for 8 years as Director of Recruiting & HR.  During her time with Silver Point, Amra was responsible for talent acquisition and recruiting as well as other HR areas.  Prior to joining Silver Point, she spent two years with King Street Capital Management as Direct of Recruiting and over eight years with Goldman Sachs in Human Capital Management for the Securities Division.  Amra has also served as Director of Special Projects for Theodore Forstmann and Chief of Staff to James Courtovich at the Children’s Scholarship Fund and worked on Rudolph Giuliani’s mayoral re-election campaign.  Amr

M. Natasha Labovitz, Debevoise & Plimpton

M. Natasha Labovitz

M. Natasha Labovitz
Partner
Debevoise & Plimpton

M. Natasha Labovitz is a corporate partner and Chair of Debevoise’s Business Restructuring & Workouts Group. 

Ms. Labovitz has extensive experience advising a range of clients, including private equity firms, fund investors and portfolio companies, in complex corporate restructurings and transactions, representing debtors and creditors in and out of bankruptcy and in cross-border insolvencies across multiple jurisdictions. She was named “Best in Insolvency & Restructuring” by Euromoney Legal Media Group at the Americas Women in Business Law Awards 2018 and was selected as Dealmaker of the Year by The American Lawyer in 2015. She received Turnaround Management Association’s “Transaction of the Year: Pro Bono Award” for leading Big Apple Circus’ restructuring and acquisition by Compass Partners. She also received Turnaround Management Association’s 2016 “Transaction of the Year: Large Company Award” for her role in advising Altegrity in its Chapter 11 proceedings and successful restructuring of more than $1.8 billion in funded indebtedness. Ms. Labovitz is ranked as a leading restructuring lawyer by Chambers USA, where clients say “she is very calm, provides excellent business advice, knows the Bankruptcy Code inside and out, and keeps what is always a contentious crowd level-headed and on the right path.” She is also recognized as a leading restructuring lawyer by The Legal 500 US, where she has been described as an “excellent advocate and deal doer,” and was recognized in each of 2014 and 2015 by Turnarounds & Workouts in their annual list of twelve Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers in the United States. Ms. Labovitz was named “MVP” for 2015 by Law360 for her exceptional work in restructuring.

Ms. Labovitz is a member of the Turnarounds & Workouts Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, INSOL International and the Global Restructuring Review editorial board.

Ms. Labovitz joined the firm in 2011 from a leading international law firm, where she was a senior partner in the firm’s Restructuring Group. She received her J.D. magna cum laude from New York University School of Law in 1996 and her B.A. magna cum laude from Columbia College, Columbia University in 1992.

Vivian Lau, One Tusk Investment Partners

Vivian Lau

Vivian Lau
Managing Partner & Founder
One Tusk Investment Partners

W. Vivian Lau is the Managing Partner and Founder of One Tusk Investment Partners.

Prior to One Tusk, Vivian was the Senior Partner and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Serengeti Asset Management until January 2015, where she joined as a Founding Partner in October 2008. Serengeti was an opportunistic, value-based investing platform that was founded in September 2007. During her tenure, she helped to grow the organization to $1.5 bn of AUM with 30+ people.

In 2006, Vivian was promoted to Managing Director at Goldman Sachs at the age of 28. In the same year, she also became the Co-Head of the Multi-Strategy Investing business (MSI). MSI was a multi-billion dollar AUM platform that opportunistically invested across equities and credit. It was a 20 person investment team within the Goldman Sachs Special Situations Group (SSG), the largest global proprietary investment platform within the firm. From 2006 to 2008, she also oversaw the E&P Capital lending platform, which was a joint venture between SSG and J. Aron Commodities division. She was a member of the Americas SSG Investment Committee and Specialty Lending Investment Committee from 2006 to 2008.

Prior to her 2006 promotion, Vivian was a Senior Investment Pod leader in Goldman Sachs MSI business, leading equity and debt investments in the Energy, Healthcare, Materials, Industrials, and Liquidations, from 2004 to 2006. She joined the Special Situations Investing (SSI) business in 2002 as a Research Associate. Vivian helped to broaden the mandate and grow the business at SSI, which was renamed MSI in 2004. She began her career at Goldman Sachs in July 2000 as an analyst on the Distressed Bank Loan Research team.

Vivian graduated from Harvard University in June of 2000 with a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and Economics.

She currently serves on the Campaign Committee for Harvard University School of Engineering, Arts, and Sciences. She was also a Co-Chair of the Class of 2000 15th Reunion and 10th Reunion Committees. In addition, she served on the board of the Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary and Middle School from 2010 to 2013.

Bruce Mendelsohn, Perella Weinberg Partners

Bruce Mendelsohn

Bruce Mendelsohn
Partner
Perella Weinberg Partners

Mr. Mendelsohn has more than 25 years of investment banking and capital structure advisory experience assisting companies on a wide range of strategic matters. During his tenure at Perella Weinberg Partners, he has advised Concordia Resources on its $4 billion recapitalization, iHeart Media’s independent directors as part of iHeart’s $15 billion restructuring, California Resources on its $1 billion capital raise and discounted tender offer; International Automotive Components Group on its $215mm rescue financing; Memorial Production Partners on its pre-arranged Plan of Reorganization; and Millar Western Industries on its Canadian CBCA balance sheet restructuring, among others.  Mr. Mendelsohn has also worked with numerous secured and unsecured creditor groups including having represented one of the largest creditors of Sears; certain secured lenders of American Tire Distribution Corp, Video Equipment Rental, Algeco Scotsman, Pacific Sunwear, and Ocean Rig, among others, and various unsecured creditor groups of Windstream Holdings, Breitburn Energy, Seadrill Partners, and  Bristow Corp, among others.  Mr. Mendelsohn also frequently represents private equity sponsors including having represented Riverstone Holdings on its recapitalization of Fieldwood Energy; Quantum Pacific on its restructuring of Pacific Drilling, and the private equity sponsor of Eco-Bat Holdings.

Prior to joining Perella Weinberg Partners in January of 2016, Mr. Mendelsohn was Partner at Goldman Sachs where he worked from 1998 to June 2015, where he most recently served as Head of the Americas Restructuring Group and part of the U.S. Leveraged Finance team.  In this role, he focused on restructuring advisory, liability management, distressed M&A, and restructuring and rescue financings.  Mr. Mendelsohn joined Goldman Sachs in 1998 in the Securities Division and spent two years working on the distressed bond and bank loan proprietary trading desks.  From 2000 to 2008, he served as Global Head of the Special Assets and Bank Debt Portfolio groups, and from 2006 to 2008, he also served as Chief Underwriting Officer for North America, where he was a member of Goldman’s Firmwide Capital Committee and its Special Situations Specialty Lending Investment Committee.  Mr. Mendelsohn was named a Partner at Goldman Sachs in 2010.  Prior to Goldman Sachs, Mr. Mendelsohn worked for UBS and MJ Whitman in restructuring and distressed securities. He began his career at Lehman Brothers.

Mr. Mendelsohn earned a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Her Justice.

Taylor Montague, Silver Point Capital

Taylor Montague

Taylor Montague
Senior Analyst
Silver Point Capital

Taylor Montague is a Senior Analyst at Silver Point Capital. He joined Silver Point Capital in 2012, and has nearly a decade of investing experience. Today, he is a senior member of the investment team and a leader within the firm’s Private Credit Strategy where he originates, evaluates, negotiates and manages lending opportunities to middle market companies. Prior to his current role, Mr. Montague also served as a member of the firm’s Restructuring Group where he was responsible for driving and negotiating in and out-of-court corporate restructurings and managing post-reorg equity investments. Mr. Montague began his career in investment banking at Robert W. Baird & Co, and he received a BSFS in International Economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Mr. Montague has held multiple board roles, which have included Transtar Industries, Quinn Industries, Nautic Global and WorkflowOne. In his spare time, Mr. Montague is an avid athlete and has completed multiple marathons across the country. He also enjoys spending time with his family and exploring New York’s culinary scene.

Conor O’Shea, BTIG

Conor O’Shea

Conor O’Shea
Fixed Income Sales
BTIG

Conor was hired as a desk analyst in the distressed debt and special situations group. BTIG’s distressed business is a market making business providing clients research and liquidity in less liquid securities across the capital structure. After two years as an analyst, he moved into a sales where his focus is covering institutional accounts including hedge funds and mutual funds. Conor earned his undergraduate degree in finance from Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business.

Ivona Smith, Drivetrain, LLC

Ivona Smith

Ivona Smith
Managing Director
Drivetrain, LLC

Ivona Smith is currently with Drivetrain LLC, a firm that provides corporate fiduciary and board of director services.  She currently serves as a board member of The Weinstein Company as well as trustee of several creditor groups including Doral Financial Corporation and SunEdison, Inc.  Prior to Drivetrain, Ivona Smith was the co-founder, principal, and portfolio manager of Restoration Capital Management, a hedge fund specialized in investing in distressed debt and equities.  Before Restoration, she worked at Tribeca Investments LLC, a division of Citigroup Investments and Whippoorwill Associates where she served as a distressed debt analyst.  She also worked with E&Y’s Financial Advisory Services group as well as Kidder, Peabody & Co. 

Ms. Smith received an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and a BS in Finance/International Business from Fordham University.   

 

Leah Trabich, Henkel Search Partners

Leah Trabich

Leah Trabich
Partner
Henkel Search Partners

Leah is a Partner and early member of HSP, with more than 15 years of relevant financial industry and executive search experience. Having spent time in investment banking and in various strategic M&A and finance roles, Leah leverages her first-hand industry knowledge to deliver results-oriented solutions. She has completed hundreds of mandates, through which she has developed deep relationships with some of the most prestigious global financial institutions. Known for her focus on excellence and her methodical approach, Leah also takes pride in her nuanced understanding of her clients' individual corporate cultures and expectations, ensuring that each search is conducted from a holistic standpoint.

Leah has extensive experience executing searches at all levels for a range of private equity, hedge fund, credit and corporate clients. Leah helps oversee the execution of HSP’s pre-MBA business and has partnered with clients on engagements within real estate, energy, business services/technology, healthcare, consumer and other verticals. Leah also leads and is expanding HSP’s senior search execution efforts, encompassing a range of post-MBA and more senior level mandates for clients varying in strategy, sector focus, and size, from first time funds to well-established, multi-strategy platforms.

Leah joined HSP from SG Partners, a buyside focused search firm, where she worked with private equity, hedge fund, and corporate clients. Prior to joining SG, Leah served on the NY Development team at Related Companies, one of the most prominent privately-owned, fully integrated real estate firms in the U.S., and she worked in a development and acquisitions capacity on several projects throughout the country. Leah began her career at Morgan Stanley in the M&A group, where she focused on sell-side and buy-side advisory engagements across a range of sectors.  Earlier in her career, Leah previously worked on the Strategic Planning team at Time Inc., where she concentrated on strategic M&A in the magazine publishing and digital space.

Leah graduated cum laude with a BA in Economics from Duke University, where she was a member of the women’s varsity crew team. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Parag Vora, HG Vora Capital Management

Parag Vora

Parag Vora
Founder & Portfolio Manager
HG Vora Capital Management

Parag is the Founder and Portfolio Manager of a $5.5 Billion hedge fund.  Parag oversees the Firm’s investment and strategic decisions. Prior to forming HG Vora, Parag was an investment professional at Silver Point Capital where he focused on investing across the capital structure of public and private companies with an emphasis on distressed and event driven situations. Prior to Silver Point, Parag was a Vice President in Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Division where he advised real estate and consumer-oriented companies on mergers and acquisitions and leveraged finance transactions. Parag holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Distinction in Honors Economics and Spanish from the University of Michigan and subsequently received a Juris Doctor cum laude and Master of Business Administration from New York University.