Jim Bannantine

  • Jim Bannantine is a multi-industry CEO/President with success in start-up, growth, merger and turnaround situations, in public and private companies.
  • Most recently he was President and CEO, Aura Minerals, Inc., a publicly traded (TSX symbol ORA) Canadian copper and gold mining company, with $200 million revenue and 2,000 employees in Canada, Brazil and Mexico. Over five years he led restructuring to significantly reduce costs, both operating costs (25% reduction) and G&A costs (50% reduction), while maintaining or increasing production.  This was critical in an environment of generally declining commodity prices and lack of financing. During this time the company paid off approximately $40 million of debt, and managed projects to replace production from two expiring mines with a new mine in Brazil.
  • Mr. Bannantine previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Broadwing Corporation (NASDAQ symbol BWNG): an $880 million revenue, 1,700 person telecom rollup, turnaround and sale.
  • He also co-founded and served as Managing Partner, Atlantic Capital Group, a $40 million private equity firm located in Baltimore (www.atcapgroup.com).
  • Mr. Bannantine held several positions over multiple years at Enron, culminating as CEO of Enron South America: a $1.5 billion revenue, 4,500 person roll up of energy assets into a company in both regulated electric and gas utilities and unregulated power and pipeline energy services, infrastructure development and financing.
  • Mr. Bannantine holds a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with Distinction. He has a Bachelor of Science, mechanical engineering concentration, from West Point where he graduated in the top 1% of his class. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and served 12 years in the US Army Corps of Engineers, including 3 years as Assistant Professor of Finance at West Point.

Troy T. Taylor
(404) 423-8086

  • Troy T. Taylor is the Founder and President of Algon Group. Mr. Taylor has 25 years of experience that combines investment banking, restructuring (both in Chapter 11 and out-of-court), and senior management. He has served as the Lead Financial Advisor, Chief Restructuring Officer or Chief Executive Officer in a broad range of industries including real estate/hospitality, energy, manufacturing, and distribution. He recently completed his tenure as Vice Chairman of Hyperion Bank in Philadelphia, PA, and currently serves as an Independent Director of The Dress Barn, Inc. He is also a founding investor and the Chairman of the Audit Committee for Big Rock Partners Acquisition Corp.
  • Mr. Taylor has completed various real estate restructurings/sales for high-profile clients including The Related Group, Four Season Peninsula Papagayo Resort, One Bal Harbour Resort, BlueGreen, The Altman Companies, and Reynolds Plantation.
  • Mr. Taylor has a strong track record of creating value for clients through aggressive negotiating, sophisticated structuring, and creative conflict resolution.  In addition, he has substantial experience in managing complex litigation, as well as providing expert witness testimony and litigation support.  Mr. Taylor’s clients have included high profile Chairmen of publicly-traded companies as well as high net worth individuals and families.
  • Mr. Taylor was formerly President of GMA Partners, Inc., an investment firm backed by a Forbes 400 family office. In that capacity, he assumed the position of Chairman of 1-800-Auto-Tow, Inc., a publicly-traded “roll up” that experienced substantial financial and operational challenges and ultimately filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.
  • His experience also includes serving as Managing Director of KPMG Peat Marwick LLP, where he was responsible for the firm’s corporate finance activities in the Southeastern United States and parts of Latin America.
  • Earlier in Mr. Taylor’s career he held investment banking positions with Oppenheimer & Co., Morgan Keegan & Co., and Thomson McKinnon Securities, Inc.
  • He is a Sustaining Member of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), and has been a speaker at ABI, real estate, legal and banking-related events.
  • Mr. Taylor earned an MBA degree and BS degree cum laude from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

Luis Liberman
Vice Chairman

San Jose, Costa Rica
(506) 8701-5354

  • Luis Liberman served as Vice President of Costa Rica from 2010 until May 2014.  Prior to his term in office he was a senior level banker for more than 30 years.
  • Mr. Liberman founded and was the CEO of Corporacion Interfin, a bank holding company whose principal business included commercial banking, a leasing company, and securities brokerage with activities throughout Central America and the Caribbean.
  • After Interfin was acquired by the Bank of Nova Scotia in 2006 for $330 million, Mr. Liberman remained as CEO until 2009.  Prior to founding Interfin he worked at the World Bank in Washington DC, focused on project financing.
  • Mr. Liberman has substantial experience providing high level financial advice in a variety of sectors that involved debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, project finance and troubled or distressed loans. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of La Nacion (media), Plasticos para la Construcion (manufacturing), Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (utilities), Compania Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (utilities), and Private Investment Corporation (finance).
  • Mr. Liberman has served as Chairman of both the Costa Rican Bankers Association and the Costa Rican Securities Exchange.  In addition he has been active as a member of the Chamber of Industries.
  • Mr. Liberman holds a BS in Economics from UCLA and a MS and PhD in Economics from the University of Illinois and was a Professor of Economics at the University of Costa Rica for over 25 years.

David C. Feltman
Senior Managing Director
(319) 573-1471

  • Mr. Feltman was Executive Vice President at Aegon Real Assets US, the real estate arm of Aegon Asset Management a $350 billion global investment manager from 1989 through 2018. During his tenure at Aegon, he developed and managed diverse real estate equity business units including Special Servicing (enforcement, workouts and restructures), Asset Management (direct real estate), Private Equity (funds and joint ventures) and Community Investments (housing tax credits). He was a member of the Aegon Real Estate Executive Committee, the governing approval body for all Aegon/Transamerica U.S. real estate debt and equity investments.
  • Mr. Feltman has broad experience in real estate debt and equity transactions in direct, partnership and comingled fund ownership structures with an emphasis in debt workouts, development, redevelopment and repositioning of complex properties and special situations.
  • Mr. Feltman attended George Washington University, is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), member of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) and Turnaround Management Association (TMA).

Ralph W. Lay
Senior Managing Director
(813) 644-0179

  • Serving for nearly 30 years at Bank of America and its predecessors, Mr. Lay has been instrumental in real estate transactions approaching $10 billion. Representative examples of the transactions he led include Related Group, WCI Communities, Crescent Resources, Sea Island, Kiawah Island, Reynolds Plantation Faison Properties, Pannatonni Group, and John Wieland Homes.
  • At Bank of America, Mr. Lay was most recently Senior Vice President, Region Executive, Real Estate Managed Accounts. Involved in some of the largest real estate syndications in the industry, his experience includes in-depth knowledge of commercial real estate loans, condominium loans, home builder loans, and community development loans.
  • Mr. Lay has done business across the US and in Canada and the Caribbean. He has experience in multiple jurisdictions with litigation, bankruptcy, receiverships, note sales, and restructures.
  • Mr. Lay is a 1973 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and a Life Member of the Texas Ex-Students Association. He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).

D. Clarke Ogle
Senior Managing Director
(205) 995-2357

  • Mr. Ogle has been President and/or Chief Executive Officer of nine companies over the past 20 years ranging in revenue from $30 million to in excess of $3 billion, mostly on an interim basis.
  • These assignments involved distressed situations that required substantial operational and/or financial restructuring both in and out of bankruptcy.
  • Mr. Ogle has been personally recruited for these positions by some of the country’s most sophisticated and well known institutional investors including Merrill Lynch Capital Partners, Citicorp Venture Capital, and affiliates of Lazard.
  • Mr. Ogle attended Gadsden Junior College and Marshall University. He is currently a Board member at Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp. (NYSE: WPSC).

Ajay Patel
Senior Managing Director

  • Mr. Patel has over 30 years of experience in restructuring, leveraged finance, mergers & and acquisitions and private equity involving over $30 billion of transactions across a variety of industries. He has completed transactions in domestic and international markets, including emerging markets.
  • Mr. Patel was a Senior Vice President at Access Industries, the personal holding company of Len Blavatnik, and also acted as an advisor to a large family office with significant equity ownership positions. He was also a Managing Director in High Yield Capital Markets at Merrill Lynch (focused on special situations) and also a Managing Director in Leverage Finance at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. He began his career as an investment banking analyst at Drexel Burnham Lambert.
  • Representative transactions include the successful Chapter 11 restructuring of LyondellBasell, corporate reorganization and IPO of ArcelorMittal, Chapter 11 restructuring of Anchor Glass, distressed debt offerings for Westpoint Stevens and restructuring and debt offering for Panda Global Energy.
  • Industry expertise includes manufacturing, petrochemicals, oil & gas, refining, power generation, telecommunications, retail, real estate, and natural resource extraction and processing.
  • Mr. Patel graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a BS degree in Economics and a concentration in Finance.

Karen Burns
Managing Director
(727) 347-9077

  • Ms. Burns has led strategic planning, communication and marketing efforts for a range of companies during challenging periods of significant change. During her 20 year career she has consulted on corporate strategy, finance and competitive analysis cases for Fortune 100 companies. Her experience spans multiple industries and countries.
  • Ms. Burns has recently been engaged in a wide range of real estate industry assignments, including evaluation of distressed investing opportunities, hospitality/resort acquisitions, and management of 1031 exchange investments.
  • Ms. Burns holds an MBA degree in Finance and Marketing from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA degree magna cum laude in Economics from Villanova University. She is President of the Wharton Alumni Club — Greater Tampa Bay Member Association for Corporate Growth, the Turnaround Management Association, and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).

Paul F. Rubin
Managing Director
(215) 570-8716

  • Mr. Rubin was formerly a Director for Century Business Services (CBIZ) and was active in the Corporate Recovery and Outsourced Financial Services Practice areas. Prior to CBIZ, he was a partner and CFO of Zelenkofske Axelrod & Company, LTD.
  • Early in his career, Mr. Rubin was associated with Touche Ross & Co. and Strouse Greenburg & Co., a Philadelphia based real estate developer. He has over 20 years of senior level finance and accounting experience including serving as a full-time CFO for manufacturing, service and distribution companies.
  • Mr. Rubin holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (1984) and a BBA in Accounting (magna cum laude) from Temple University (1977) and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Pennsylvania. Mr. Rubin is also member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and member of the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors.

Jon Berger
Senior Advisor
(770) 617-2874

  • Jonathan W. Berger was for seven years the Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company LLC, where he had previously served as a Non Executive Director and Treasurer.
  • His previous experience includes nearly eight years as Managing Director of Navigant Capital Advisors, Managing Partner of Tellurian Partners LLC, and President of DotPlanet.com.
  • Earlier in his career, Mr. Berger was a Partner at KPMG and National Director of the Corporate Finance practice.
  • Mr. Berger has served on numerous corporate Boards, including six years as a Non Executive Director of Boise Inc., where he was Chairman of the Audit and Compensation Committees.
  • Mr. Berger has more than 25 years of senior level executive and investment banking experience, and has personally completed over 50 merger and acquisition transactions including both buy-side and sell-side transactions in technology, retail and the manufacturing sectors. In addition, he has completed over 20 capital-raising transactions of both debt and equity.
  • Mr. Berger earned an MBA in Finance from Emory University-Goizueta Business School and a BS from Cornell University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Charles B. Crawford, Jr.
Senior Advisor
(404) 493-5359

  • Charles “Charlie” Crawford is the Chairman and CEO of Hyperion Bank in Philadelphia, PA, where in September 2018 he completed a successful $18.3 million recapitalization. He previously founded the Private Bank of Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia, and its holding company, Private Bancshares, Inc. in 2006. In 2017 Mr. Crawford successfully sold the Private Bank of Buckhead to National Bank of Commerce of Birmingham, Alabama.
  • After launching his career with Bankers Trust Company in New York, Mr. Crawford spent a decade with Bank South in Atlanta. He then founded The Buckhead Bank in 1996 and Riverside Bank of Buckhead in 2001, both of which were successfully sold.
  • In 2017 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers. He presently serves on the board of directors of McKenney’s, one of the country’s largest mechanical contractors, and is an advisor to CDE Services, a POS terminal solutions provider.
  • Mr. Crawford has previously served on numerous boards, including Georgia State University, the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, The Carter Center, the Georgia Tennis Foundation, the Atlanta History Center among others.
  • Mr. Crawford’s earned a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Management from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania. He received an MBA degree from Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, which honored him in 2011 with its Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship, and also graduated from the Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Banking.
  • Mr. Crawford is an avid tennis player and runner, who has completed 16 marathons.

James Gavilan
Senior Advisor
(917) 929-1722

  • James Gavilan is Founder and Principal of Gavilan Commodities LLC, providing risk management, financing, and marketing services to the global commodities industry.
  • Most recently he served as the Senior Vice President of market development at Republic Metals Corporation, both prior to, and during its chapter 11.
  • Mr. Gavilan, a 25-year Wall Street veteran, held increasingly senior roles at JPMorgan Chase, ICBC Standard Bank, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank.
  • Mr. Gavilan earned an MBA from Baruch College Zicklin School of Business and a BA cum laude in psychology from Fordham University.
  • He is fluent in Spanish and is an avid snowboarder, motorcyclist and BMI registered lyricist/songwriter.