“When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies”
Top business schools understandably teach students “how to do things right” – with the implicit message that, “If you do things right, everything will go fine.” In fact, it is practically assured that things will NOT go fine. How can you spot possible early signs that things may be going awry, and intervene promptly and effectively enough to positively affect the outcome? What are the special skills necessary to prevent or deal with distress? What special considerations of corporate governance apply in distressed situations? Mr. Brownstein, a nationally-known turnaround professional, will share his experiences in “battlefield surgery without anesthetic,” and how to avoid being a casualty!
Howard Brownstein, President of The Brownstein Corporation
Howard Brownstein is a nationally-known turnaround and crisis management professional, and is the President of The Brownstein Corporation, which provides turnaround management and advisory services to companies and their stakeholders, as well as investment banking services, fiduciary services, and litigation consulting, investigations and valuation services. Previously for more than twenty years, he has had partnership or senior executive roles in turnaround management firms, where, in addition to leading turnaround assignments for clients, advising senior management and fulfilling a senior management role, he has had overall responsibility for transactional activities and the marketing of the firm’s services to clients, and gained extensive experience in valuing businesses, obtaining financing, and selling businesses.
Mr. Brownstein regularly serves as an independent member of Boards of Directors, and has been named a Board Leadership Fellow by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). He has chaired board Audit, Nominating and Strategic Planning/Risk Assessment committees. He currently serves on the Board of P&F Industries (NasdaqGM: PFIN), a publicly-held manufacturer/importer of air-powered tools and various residential hardware. He recently served on the Board and chaired the Audit Committee of LMG2, successor to Chicago Loop, a $600Mil parking infrastructure entity in downtown Chicago, in which a lender group led by Société Générale succeeded to ownership following a restructuring. He also served as sole Board member of Betsey Johnson LLC, a privately-held designer and retailer of women’s apparel with equity sponsor Castanea Partners, and he previously served on the Board of Directors of Special Metals Corporation, a $1 billion nickel alloy producer, where he also chaired the Audit Committee and which was sold at a substantial gain, and on the Board and Audit Committee of Magnatrax Corporation, a $500 million manufacturer of metal buildings, which was similarly sold for a large gain. He also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Philanthropic Trust, among the fastest-growing charities and largest grant-making institutions nationally (over $1 billion to date), and the largest independent provider of donor advised funds with over $700 million under management. Mr. Brownstein previously served on the Board of a regional bank, a retail department store, and nonprofit Boards including chair of a United Way agency.
Mr. Brownstein is a Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP). He served on the International Board of Directors of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) and its Executive Committee, and chaired its Audit Committee. Mr. Brownstein received TMA’s “Outstanding Individual Contribution” award in 2007. He served on the Board of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), co-chaired its Complex Financial Restructuring Program and its Mid Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop for several years, and is a Coordinating Editor of the ABI Journal. He serves on the Governing Board of the Commercial Finance Association (CFA) Education Foundation. Mr. Brownstein is a frequent speaker at professional and educational programs, including at Harvard Business School, Wharton, NYU, Villanova Law School, Northeastern University, ABI, the American Bar Association, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and TMA. He has published over sixty articles, books and chapters, including ABI’s eBook Problems in the Code, has served on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Corporate Renewal, and serves as a Contributing Editor of abfJournal.
Howard Brownstein is a graduate of Harvard University, where he obtained J.D. and M.B.A. degrees, and of the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained B.S. and B.A. degrees from the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Brownstein is admitted to the bars of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Florida, but does not actively practice law. He also served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of First Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps.