Many industries have their leaders. Investment banking has Lloyd Blankfein; hi-tech has Steve Jobs. And in the world of investing in and managing large distressed companies, there's Nader Tavakoli.
Just in the last few years, Tavakoli has taken a leading role in the restructuring of such giants as Ambac Financial Group, Aman Resorts and Hotels, MF Global Inc., Sears, Toys R Us, Cobalt International Energy, and MagnaChip Semiconductor.
As he's worked with industries ranging from insurance to retail, to oil and gas and semiconductors, he's worn many hats over the years: investor, board chairman, chief executive, advisor, and court-appointed trustee, among others.
At the moment, he has a number of different simultaneous roles. He's the Plan Administrator and CEO for Cobalt International Energy, Chairman, and CEO of EagleRock Capital Management, Director and Litigation Trustee of MF Global, the Trustee and Administrator of Toys R Us’ European and Australian assets, and Chairman of the Board of Directors for MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp.
After graduating from Rutgers Law School in 1983, Nader had his start in the field of law. A turning point came in 1989, though.
After six years as a lawyer with Milbank, he took on the role of senior vice president and managing director for a multinational investment bank, Cowen and Company, officially marking his foray into finance.
Once he hit his stride, the industry buzzed and his reputation only continued to grow. For the next 20 years, Nader managed substantial portfolios at large hedge funds and had numerous successes including Apple Inc., Marvel Comics, Telemundo, WPP and World Wrestling Entertainment, among many others.
Having helped create tremendous value working alongside management in successful turnarounds, Nader decided to shift his focus to more hands-on investing and management, including taking the reigns as Chairman, CEO, and President of Ambac Financial to lead the restructuring and rehabilitation of one of America’s largest financial guaranty insurance companies. During Tavakoli”s tenure at Ambac, the company’s equity value appreciated over 20 fold and led what is perhaps the most successful insurance company turnaround in US history.
Since leaving Ambac, Tavakoli has managed a string of successful restructurings and selectively works with major investment firms on their most complex troubled investments. In addition to the many corporate restructurings he has undertaken, he has been deeply involved on all fronts in the financial restructuring of Puerto Rico, where he maintains deep contacts in the public and private sector.
Due to the high-profile and international nature of his work, Nader is a frequent flyer, whether for business or leisure. And in those times when life requires him to fly somewhere in the world at a moment's notice, boutique travel agency Executive Flights is always there for him. They exclusively handle First Class and Business flights, which means they get Executive Flights customers the lowest rates. Plus, they take care of all the flight details from A to Z. "These days, the flight has become the least stressful part of my trip and that's because of Executive Flights," he says.