Lighting It Up
Mark Gertzof is a founder and managing partner for Monroe Credit Advisors, where he is
responsible for firm oversight, as well
as originating and executing client
engagements. He has more than 22
years of experience in cash flow and
asset based middle market leveraged
finance. Monroe Credit Advisors
has advised and closed 30 debt
transactions over the past three years.
Q How did you end up in turnaround/restructuring work?
You seem like you came to it pretty
based lending, because that’s really
what my territory and portfolio were
comprised of—asset-intense borrowers.
GERTZOF I did. I graduated from
Babson College as a finance major in
1989, and I went straight into a lending
training program at Bank of Boston. It
was right at the end of the heyday of the
1980s and the leveraged buyouts and
the big bank training programs.
Q How did you end up with Monroe Credit Advisors?
Prior to founding Monroe Credit
Advisors, he served as a managing
director at Merrill Lynch Capital, where
he spent six years and co-managed the
Midwest regional leveraged lending
team. He was responsible for all aspects
of deal origination, underwriting/
due diligence, approval, portfolio
management, and administration.
Before that, Gertzof spent 13 years
with Fleet Capital/BankBoston.
I went into that program in mid-1989
and by the time I got out, I thought
I was going to get one of the prime
spots in the acquisition finance
group. By the end of the program
in mid-1990, though, the world was
starting to fall apart in the banking
environment, especially with the real
estate portfolios of the Northeast banks.
So the whole group of acquisition
finance really became a workout
group. I went from thinking I was
going to do leveraged buyouts to
doing workouts of leveraged buyouts
that had been done in the 1980s.
GERTZOF I was in more asset-based
lending with Bank of Boston, which was
then acquired by Fleet Capital, and I
came to Chicago as part of that
transition. Then in 2002, I went to
Merrill Lynch Capital, and there we
focused on both asset-based lending
and cash flow lending. By 2007, Merrill
Lynch was beginning to have problems,
and in early 2008, Merrill Lynch sold
Merrill Lynch Capital to GE.
A member of the Chicago TMA
Chapter since 1997, Gertzof served on
the chapter’s board of directors from
2002-2007. He holds a bachelor’s
degree with high distinction in finance
and investments from Babson College
and has received Series 7, 24, and 63
licenses. He also is a board member
of the HFS Chicago Scholars charity.
As that started to improve, a lot of the
clients that I was working with were
in heavy industry related to metals in
the Midwest. I migrated into asset-
In 2008, I—like a lot of people in
finance—was trying to figure out
what I was going to do, and looked at
raising capital and starting a finance
company. It was just a very difficult
time, and I came to the realization
that there was a real need for capital
raising and financial advisory in the
middle market. I teamed up with
Monroe to start a group that was
focused on debt advisory and debt
capital raising. Monroe Capital was
looking to raise a new fund, but they