Donna M. Hitscherich '90, Moderator
Director, Private Equity Program, Columbia Business School
Senior Lecturer in Discipline Finance and Economics
Professor Donna M. Hitscherich was appointed as director of the Private Equity Program in October 2010. Professor Hitscherich now serves as Senior Lecturer in the Finance and Economics division, a position she has held since 2008 after a nearly twenty year career in investment banking and law. Professor Hitscherich teaches Corporate Finance, Advanced Corporate Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions and Business Law in the MBA and Executive MBA programs. From 1988 through 1990, Professor Hitscherich was an assistant professor of law at St. John's University School of Law, where she taught Federal Securities Regulation and Legal Ethics.
Prior to her present position at Columbia, Professor Hitscherich had a career in investment banking, during which she held positions at CS First Boston, J. P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated and Banc of America Securities. Prior to her career in investment banking, Professor Hitscherich was a corporate lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Her research interests include mergers and acquisitions, valuation and fairness opinions. She was a member of the St. John's Law Review, and she is admitted to the Bar in the State of New York.
Back to top of page
Principal, GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group
Evan Blum has over twenty years of advisory experience. He has managed restructurings as an advisor to debtors and creditors and implemented creative investment banking solutions in raising capital and executing M&A transactions. He is known for the ability to resolve complex cases creatively, fashioning solutions that gain widespread approval in difficult circumstances. He is known for taking a hands-on approach to issues and is well-versed in accounting, tax and legal matters. Mr. Blum is a leader in the firm's Bankruptcy and Restructuring Services and Mergers and Acquisitions Practices. He joined GlassRatner in 2009. Mr. Blum was formerly a Senior Vice President with Communications Equity Associates, a boutique investment bank focusing on the media industry; a Director with Merrill Lynch and a Managing Member of Triax Capital Advisors, a restructuring advisory firm. At Triax, Mr. Blum was engaged in a significant number of assignments serving as Chief Restructuring Officer and Financial Advisor on behalf of companies and lenders in bank workouts and as an advisor in corporate transactions. Mr. Blum graduated with a B.A. from Cornell University where he received the Arts & Sciences Dean's Award. He holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, concentrating in finance and international business, and graduated with Beta Gamma Sigma honors. Mr. Blum published "Major Wireless Carriers Flexing their Muscle" in the TMA Journal of Corporate Renewal and is a member of the ABI and TMA.
Back to top of page
Kenneth A. Buckfire `87
President & Managing Director, Miller Buckfire
Kenneth A. Buckfire is President, Managing Director and co-founder of Miller Buckfire. He is also a vice chairman of Stifel, which acquired Miller Buckfire in December of 2012. Over the course of his career he has advised clients in a broad range of industries (including energy, food products, building products, broadcasting and information services) and has also managed principal investments in distressed companies and in the utility industry. Mr. Buckfire advised Calpine Corporation (named "Most Outstanding Mega Turnaround of 2008" by the Turnaround Management Association) in its January 2008 reorganization. In 1998, Mr. Buckfire advised 19 independent power producers in the 1998 restructuring of their $11 billion in power contracts with Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation (named “Energy Deal of 1998” by Investment Dealers Digest). Mr. Buckfire has played a leading role in the restructurings of Standard Pacific Corp., Calpine Corporation, Level (3) Communications, Exide Technologies, McLeodUSA, ICG Communications, PSINet Inc., Sirius Satellite Radio, BTI Telecom, CMS Energy, CenterPoint Energy, General Growth Properties, Mirant Corporation (Creditors’ Committee), Horizon Natural Resources (named “Most Outstanding Transaction of 2005” by the Turnaround Management Association), Oakwood Homes, TECO Energy, Centennial Communications, Allegheny International, Foamex, Van Camp Seafood, Walter Industries, Burnham Broadcasting, EUA Power Corporation, Dialog Corporation, Imperial Sugar, CRIIMI MAE and Cajun Electric.
Prior to founding Miller Buckfire, Mr. Buckfire was a Managing Director at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and served as Co-Head of the firm's financial restructuring group specializing in the restructuring and refinancing of highly leveraged companies. Before joining DrKW, Mr. Buckfire was a Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers Inc. Mr. Buckfire is on the board of advisors of the Zell-Lurie Institute at The University of Michigan, and on the Board of Directors of the Philharmonic Symphony Society of New York. He is a trustee of Orpheus Orchestra, a member of the Weil Cornell Medical College Dean's Council, and has been a director and co-founder of several public and private corporations. Mr. Buckfire serves the Advisory Board for Columbia Business School’s Private Equity Program and received his M.B.A. from Columbia University (1987) and his B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from The University of Michigan (1980).
Back to top of page
Daniel E. Flores `02
Managing Director, GoldenTree Asset Management, LP
Mr. Flores is currently a Managing Director at GoldenTree Asset Management, LP, one of the largest independent asset managers focused on credit, managing a variety of absolute return and long only strategies. At GoldenTree, he is responsible for restructurings and turnarounds. He previously worked at Avenue Capital Group where he focused on distressed debt opportunities and restructuring transactions and turnarounds in Avenue’s U.S. strategy. Prior to joining Avenue, Mr. Flores worked in the Restructuring and Finance Group at Lehman Brothers where he advised clients in connection with out-of-court workouts and Chapter 11 cases in the U.S. and Europe. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, he was a Co-Founder and Director of MENU Pte Ltd, a leading operator of Western food and beverage concepts in Singapore, and an Analyst in Merrill Lynch’s Global Power Group in New York and Singapore. Mr. Flores has served as a director of a number of companies, including American Media, Inc., Milacron LLC QCE Finance LLC (Quiznos) and Vertrue. Mr. Flores received an A.B. degree from Duke University and his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
Back to top of page
Michael Livanos `08
Vice President, Barclays
Michael Livanos is a Vice President at Barclays in the Restructuring and Finance Group. He advises debtors and creditors, arranges DIP and rescue financing, and advises buyers in distressed M&A situations. Michael works across industries, but has developed specialties in advising power companies and financial institutions. Recent public engagements include: AES Eastern (debtor), Residential Capital (DIP), South Bay Expressway (DM&A), Saint Vincent’s Medical Centers (creditor), Centro (DM&A), Central Bank of Ireland (broad mandate). Prior to joining Barclays, Michael worked in the Restructuring Group at Houlihan Lokey where he advised the unsecured creditors committee of Lehman Brothers and, prior to business school, at Citigroup where he worked in the office of the CFO. Michael obtained an MBA from Columbia Business School in 2008 and a BS from Carnegie Mellon’s college of Computer Science, where he is a member of the alumni advisory board.
Back to top of page
Will S. Sugden
Partner, Alston & Bird
Will Sugden is partner in the Bankruptcy, Workouts & Reorganization Group at Alston & Bird. He represents debtors, bankruptcy trustees, creditors’ committees and other fiduciaries, as well as creditors and indenture trustees in bankruptcy proceedings. Mr. Sugden has substantial experience advising parties on insolvency-related issues arising in workouts and insolvency-related issues in significant transactions. Mr. Sugden also has significant experience advising clients on derivatives safe-harbor issues.
Mr. Sugden earned his J.D. and M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University and graduated from Kenyon College, cum laude, with high honors and distinction. Mr. Sugden is a member of the Bankruptcy Section of the Atlanta Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors, and the Southeast Hedge Fund Association. Mr. Sugden is also a member of the Executive Board that hosts an annual restructuring competition held at the Wharton School for top business schools around the country.