Conference Agenda

Panel Time & Title Faculty Panel Description Presentation Materials Audio Recording
7:30 a.m. -- Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. -- Chairs' Opening Remarks Harold L. Kaplan, Partner, FOLEY & LARDNER LLP, and John T. Young, Jr., Senior Managing Director, CONWAY MACKENZIE, INC.
8:10 a.m. -- Year in Review & New Business Opportunities Steven L. Gidumal, Managing Partner, VIRTUS CAPITAL, LP Our speaker, Steve Gidumal, is always thought provoking and is back for his 22nd year to review the year in distressed investing and bring his insights and unique perspectives on what to expect in the coming year.
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8:50 a.m. -- Navigating the Digital Transformation Journey Meade Monger, Managing Director, ALIXPARTNERS; Randall Eisenberg, Managing Director, ALIXPARTNERS; and Lorenzo Mendizabal, Executive Vice President, BMC GROUP, INC. Research done by AlixPartners and MIT shows that digitally transformed companies are better prepared for the future, and more competitive in the long run. But how should corporate restructuring professionals and distressed investors be interpreting this data in a forward-looking manner? Panelists will discuss ways that digitally transformed companies are creating opportunities for restructuring professionals and distressed investors, asking, "What are digitally transformed companies investing in? What's driving their performance?" Rather than reactively looking at troubled companies, are there ways to go one step further by looking at successful companies and deducing which companies, industries and sectors will be displaced by them?

9:40 a.m. -- Morning Networking Break
10:00 a.m. -- State and Municipal Bonds -- Any Lessons Learned Yet? Harold L. Kaplan, Partner, FOLEY & LARDNER LLP; William A. Brandt, Jr., President & CEO, DEVELOPMENT SPECIALISTS, INC., Andy J. Dillon, Executive Director, CONWAY MacKENZIE, INC.; Mark A. Angelov, Partner, ARENT FOX LLP; and Seth Brumby, Deputy Editor for Debtwire Municipals. In the wake of Puerto Rico, Detroit and other recent municipal insolvencies, this discussion will explore how municipal market professionals should evaluate investments and workout strategies. Topics include the evolving assumptions about bondholder security. The Gold Standard was once the full faith and credit of a general obligation bond. How has that changed? And how have restructurings affected the understanding that an uninterrupted stream of designated revenue secures special revenue bonds? Moreover, how does the market treat the credit worthiness of states, which are not entitled to bankruptcy relief?

This Panel includes leading investor and Municipal side players in and observers of the major cases and trends.

Kaplan & Hebbeln, Chapter 9 Municipal Bankruptcy Primer, ABA Trust & Investments (Nov.-Dec. 2010)
10:50 a.m. -- Litigation Finance Marc J. Carmel, Director, LONGFORD CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, LP; Benjamin I. Finestone, Partner, QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN, LLP; and Jude Gorman, General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer, REORG RESEARCH, INC. This panel of corporate restructuring professionals will discuss litigation finance, the rapidly growing form of specialty finance in which one party invests in the outcome of another party's legal disputes. After explaining the basics of litigation finance, the panel will explain different ways in which investors can use litigation finance in distressed situations to increase return and decrease risk. The panel will conclude with an explanation of factors to consider when choosing a litigation funder, different ways to structure litigation finance agreements, and best practices when pursuing a litigation finance arrangement.
11:45 a.m. -- Annual Awards Luncheon, presenting the Harvey R. Miller Outstanding Achievement Award for Service to the Restructuring Industry to Marc Lasry at AVENUE CAPITAL GROUP, and an interview conducted by last year's award recipient, Jack Butler, CEO, BIRCH LAKE HOLDINGS, L.P.
1:35 p.m. -- Yield Enhancements in Distressed Debt Portfolios Robert Benhenni, LÉONARD DE VINCI PÔLE UNIVERSITAIRE, Research Center; Anthony Morro, Global Director of White & Case's Financial Restructuring and Insolvency Practice, WHITE & CASE LLP; and Michael Ciklin, PERINI CAPITAL Fresh research shows that returns on defaulted corporate bonds are exceeding returns on defaulted loan obligations over the course of a restructuring proceeding. Profs. Edward Altman and Robert Benhenni use time series of bond and loan pricing to gauge the return and risk of investing in defaulted securities over the entire restructuring period to show that corporate bond ROIs from default until emergence is impressive, but returns on defaulted corporate bank loans are uniformly poor. Dissecting returns on bond investments by seniority ranking in the issuer's capital structure showed that senior unsecured bonds outperformed both senior secured bonds and subordinated debt.

This panel will examine how distressed debt investors might craft portfolio investment strategies in this alternative asset class to take advantage of this new evidence using an appropriate measure of volatility to address the return and risk tradeoffs of these investment alternatives compared to the more familiar high yield asset class. This panel will also explore whether distressed debt investors might want to favor senior unsecured bonds over senior secured bonds and why subordinated debt looks like it's typically overpriced at the time of default.

Altman & Benhenni, The Anatomy of Investing in Defaulted Bonds & Loans, Journal of Corporate Renewal (July/August 2017)
2:20 p.m. -- Ethics Hour -- Post-Reorg Corporate Governance Deborah Hicks Midanek Bailey, Founder & Managing Partner, SOLON GROUP; Matthew B. Stein, Partner, KASOWITZ BENSON TORRES LLP; Steven A. Seiden, SEIDEN KRIEGER ASSOCIATES; Michael A. Schwartz, STRATEGIC VALUE PARTNERS LLC; and Tony Chapelle, FINANCIAL TIMES Earn an hour of CLE ethics credit as this panel discusses prudent constitution and population of a board of directors for a company emerging from a chapter 11 restructuring, and the practical and ethical problems that arise if this is an afterthought to the laudable goal of confirming an otherwise consensual chapter 11 plan.
3:20 p.m. -- Afternoon Networking Break
3:40 p.m. -- The Future of Corporate Restructuring & Distressed Investing James H.M. Sprayregen, Partner, KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP; Steve Zelin, Partner, PJT PARTNERS INC.; Jason New, Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group and Head of Special Situation Investing for GSO Capital Partners; and Stephanie Wickouski, Partner, BRYAN CAVE LLP Three of the nation's top strategists in the restructuring industry -- a dean of the bankruptcy bar, a successful distressed portfolio manager, and a leading restructuring advisor -- have a conversation about distressed markets and restructuring trends.
4:30 p.m. -- Investors' Roundtable Steven L. Gidumal, Managing Partner, VIRTUS CAPITAL, LP; Gary E. Hindes, Managing Director, THE DELAWARE BAY COMPANY LLC; Dave Miller, Portfolio Manager, Elliott Management Corp. and Richard M. Fels, Managing Director, ODEON CAPITAL GROUP LLC There's a high probability that you'll want to call your broker with a buy or sell order following this roundtable discussion.
5:45 p.m. -- Reception (for all delegates, speakers and honorees) hosted by BRYAN CAVE LLP (at 1290 Avenue of the Americas) honoring the 2017 Turnarounds & Workouts Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyers:
  • Jonathan Canfield at STROOCK & STROOCK & LAVAN LLP
  • Adam J. Goldberg at LATHAM & WATKINS LLP
  • Chad J. Husnick at KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP
  • Richard S. Kebrdle at WHITE & CASE LLP
  • Meredith A. Lahaie at AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP
  • Jennifer L. Marines at MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP
  • David S. Meyer at VINSON & ELKINS LLP
  • Sunny Singh at WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES LLP
  • Eli J. Vonnegut at DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL LLP

We are grateful to this year's conference sponsors!

Conference Co-Chairs & Platinum Sponsors

Conway MacKenzie

Foley & Lardner

Gold Sponsors

Bryan Cave

Development Specialists, Inc.

Silver Sponsors

Arent Fox

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP

Skadden Arps

Knowledge Partner

Longford Capital

Media Sponsors


Financial Times

Reorg Research

For speaking and sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Peter A. Chapman
(215) 945-7000

Information about last year's conference is available at

Updated: Nov. 29, 2017