management, and we’d have projects
where our clients were having problems.
I got pretty good as a problem solver,
both operationally and technologically.
I’d go in to try to fix problems or help
clients through a complicated business
That’s how I got started on the
periphery. I was really interested in
turnarounds starting back around 1998.
That’s around the time I first joined
TMA and kicked it off from there
Q Who inspires you professionally or personally?
My wife. After a successful
career in technology marketing, she
decided to innovate herself and go back
to school. Today, she’s an M&A attorney
in Silicon Valley. It is really inspiring to
see how hard she worked to achieve her
goal, despite a lot of forces working
against her. She just doesn’t quit.
We’ve all got the typical people who
might inspire us—successful business
and community leaders—but to me,
inspiration comes more from people
closer to you. I can look at Warren
Buffett and be amazed and impressed
with what he’s accomplished, but I
don’t know him personally. To me, it
comes from watching everyday people
overcome challenges in their lives.
When you’re a woman with a family,
a busy life, and you wake up one day
and say, “I want to do something
different,” there’s a lot working against
you—whether it be family pressures,
societal pressures. Can you get yourself
back to school? Can you work through
all the expectations and craziness that
goes along with that? As any lawyer
will tell you right now, getting a job
is very challenging. So, for her to be
able to get through law school, do so
well, and then work for one of the top
firms in Silicon Valley, it’s inspiring.
Q If you could start your career over, would you do anything
I’ve really enjoyed my path
so far. By having a background in
technology and operations prior to
focusing on turnaround, I think I bring a
different approach to my engagements.
I’m looking for out-of-court solutions
first, but bankruptcy is always an option.
To me, the bankruptcy process is
extremely helpful to out-of-court
turnarounds. It’s a backstop to everything
else we do. The way I think is, “OK,
we have a problem. Let’s figure out an
innovative way to solve that problem.”
Coming from a Silicon Valley growth
mentality, I tend to focus on, “How do
we operationally and financially turn
the company around?” I’m a detail-oriented guy who enjoys being strategic
one minute and getting into the muck
the next, so I think of a distressed
company as a holistic problem.
I once had to liquidate one of the
companies where I was a major investor,
and that taught me a lot about what it
feels like to be on the other side and the
difficulty that management teams and
equity sponsor have. I’m a turnaround
consultant, but I’ve also had to live
through it from the money-losing side
as well, so I see both perspectives.
Q Can you tell us about your most gratifying, favorite, or important
For 10 years,
still Canada’s #1 ranked
Last year I was CFO of a
construction company that we helped
through a very challenging transition.
The outcome was quite successful, and
more than 500 jobs were saved. We had a
great team and a bank that stuck with us,
despite some pretty hairy situations.
They don’t all work out that way, but
when they do, it is very gratifying.
Construction is a very challenging
environment. It has been made much
more challenging, obviously, by the
extended crisis in the both commercial
and residential building markets, and
a lot of companies got themselves
overextended in a variety of ways. In
construction, things can go bad very,
very quickly. When they do, you really
need the support of a lot of people to
turn these things around, or else they
just implode under their own weight.
The only team ranked by Chambers Globalas the #1 restructuring practice
in Canada for the eleventh year in a row. Whether you are a debtor, a creditor,
or a party caught in the middle, we are the right team to have on your side.
To find out how we can assist you with your Canadian matters, contact any
of our Corporate Restructuring Partners at 416.979.2211.
Q What role has TMA membership layed in your career?
knowledgeable, and known. I was able to
build a large network of professionals
and referral sources very quickly. The
programs, educational offerings, and
CTP Body of Knowledge introduced me
to the turnaround lingo and helped me