professionally in Bankruptcy Court. I
like to think we accomplished that.
Q Are you surprised where TMA is now?
I am. First of all, I’m very
proud of TMA today. We put it in the
hands of people who carried and carried
and carried it. As I said, my attitude is
that we played our role, and then it was
time to give it to the next group of
people, the next generation.
I’ve spoken at TMA many times, at
chapters in New York City and here in
Chicago and nationally. But my tenure
as an officer was three years as vice
chair and then chair, and then after that
I stayed on the board. I continued to
work to do what I could do to open the
Chicago Chapter, which was our first
chapter. It was done while I was chair.
Jack Butler and I actually called the first
meeting to form the Chicago Chapter,
and we had 160 people show up at the
Union League Club for a luncheon.
We knew we had something going.
I was just talking to (TMA CEO) Greg
Fine, realizing we have almost 10,000
members. This is remarkable.
Q You indicated that you’ve moved over to investing now?
My timing in this business
was very, very good. I’ve been blessed
beyond anything I could have imagined.
I amassed capital, and, in 1988, I retained
investment managers out of William
Blair who have worked with me for many
years. We invest in public companies
that are in their early stages of growth
and have enjoyed superior returns, so I
spend my time in the investment
community looking after my estate. I
also invest in real estate.
In 1990, I formed my charitable trust,
The Buccino Foundation, shortly after
my father passed away. The Buccino
Foundation has done some wonderful
things over the years. Last year, it
gave to 80 charities. I spend time
being president of the foundation.
As I said earlier, I endowed a scholarship
at Seton Hall University’s Stillman
School of Business in ’96 and always
have four students in perpetuity on
scholarship. They are the top students
in the School of Business, and they
are the Buccino Scholars. The good
fortune in the turnaround management
field allowed me to do these things.
Q If you could start your career over, would you do anything differently?
My grandson Matthew just
graduated from Indiana University, and I
recently said to him over lunch, “I hope
the next 50 years for you are as good as
the last 50 years have been for me.” My
chosen field, turnaround management,
was exciting. It was extraordinarily
rewarding, not just financially but also
intellectually. I got to meet some really,
really great people, and I traveled the
globe doing it. I wouldn’t change a thing,
and I’m very happy to say that.
Q I imagine you run into people who ask you about getting into
turnaround management now. What
advice do you give them?
In fact, I’m going to be on
the phone tonight with Indiana
University master’s degree students who
have a turnaround program that they’re
working on. My advice to younger
people is to get multiple skills. I want
them to get credentialed in valuation, in
M&A work, and, if they want, to be CPAs
I tell them to hone their skills and
look for opportunities in some of the
larger firms. Not that they shouldn’t
be entrepreneurial, but if they really
want international work, which is
very exciting, they should work with
a larger firm. If they want to stay local,
I tell them to look at smaller practices.
They’re going to have great experiences
because they won’t have a team of
100 people—they’ll have a team of
maybe two or three—so they’re really
doing more of the heavy lifting.
I don’t discourage them from going
into the turnaround field, even though
our industry is dealing with changing
laws, which have really constricted
what we once used to do to a shorter
period of time. Frankly, the 2005 act
(the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and
Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA))
didn’t help us. It didn’t help middle
market companies either, because
there’s not a period of rehabilitation.
There’s a filing and then there’s a plan.
The result is a liquidation, a sale, or
a merger, but there’s no rehabbing
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