Jay Alix and Ward K. Mooney, two prominent members of the corporate renewal
community, were honored Saturday with the prestigious Chairman’s Award at the
2002 Annual Conference of the Turnaround Management Association at the Broadmoor
in Colorado Springs, Colo. Alix is principal at AlixAssociates LLC, in
Southfield, Mich., and Mooney is president of Fleet Retail Finance in Boston.
Chairman’s Award was established in 2001 to recognize individuals who have
displayed outstanding leadership by fostering the growth and stature of TMA and
the corporate renewal industry, as well as having distinguished themselves as
prominent professionals in their areas of practice. TMA (
), with 31 chapters and
5,500 members, is the premier international non-profit association dedicated to
corporate renewal and turnaround management.
“Tonight we recognize two outstanding members for their tremendous
dedication, enduring loyalty, and outstanding contributions to TMA and the
corporate renewal and turnaround management industry,” said the 2001-2002
Chairman Peter Tourtelott in giving the award. “TMA is where it is today because
of people like Jay and Ward who believed in the association early on and got
involved in its growth over the years. Professionalism and integrity have been
the trademarks of their careers, their service to TMA and their roles in
advancing the industry.”
Some say that
Jay Alix coined the term “turnaround professional.” From a one-man shop in
Detroit in 1981 to what is recognized as the industry standard for corporate
turnarounds, Alix was one of the first to believe that a living could be made by
helping troubled companies. Now known as AlixPartners, his firm has expanded its
scope of services to include performance improvement, corporate turnaround,
litigation consulting and valuations, IT turnarounds and claims management
The firm has grown to 218
employees with almost 40 principals in offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, and
Detroit. Jay has been instrumental in convincing corporate America that
turnaround management requires special skills beyond those of a typical business
consultant and has educated thousands through books, articles and seminars for
lawyers, workout bankers and judges.
In 1994, Detroit’s new mayor, Dennis W. Archer, asked Alix to analyze the
city’s financial condition and assemble a transition team for his new
administration. Alix brought together
community leaders with the diverse expertise needed to establish
strategic plans and begin tearing down political barriers that
had formed during the 20-year tenure of
the previous mayor.
Also in 1994,
President Clinton appointed Alix to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission as
the only non-lawyer on the panel.
In 1995, Alix co-founded Questor Partners Funds, a leveraged buyout fund
that invests in underperforming and distressed companies. The company’s first
fund of $300 million is fully invested and its second fund closed in 1999 with
$840 million in capital.
Alix has been a member of TMA since 1991, just three years after TMA was
founded. He served on the Board of Directors in 1994 and 1995, chaired the 1995
Information and Public Awareness Committee and over the years has contributed to
the support of TMA through the Cornerstone Program, advertising in TMA
publications and sponsorships at conferences.
Ward K. Mooney
1992, having established a career in corporate lending at BankBoston, Ward
Mooney joined forces with Gordon Brothers to establish GBFC, Inc., an
independent specialty finance company focused on financing retailers.
In 1991, most lenders avoided the
retailing industry, and secured lending to the industry was considered unusual
Combining the retail
expertise of Gordon Brothers with the credit skills of the new GBFC team, the
new business grew quickly and became the industry leader in financing
middle-market retail enterprises.
In 1996, GBFC was approached by BankBoston to
acquire the business and in October, GBFC was sold to BankBoston. Several years
later Fleet Bank merged with BankBoston and the business became Fleet Retail
Finance. The retail industry has been a major user of all the skills represented
within the TMA, and Fleet Retail Finance has been the leading supplier of
capital to many important retail turnarounds. In 1998, Ward and his associates
established Back Bay Capital, which has become one of the leading providers of
tranche B capital, frequently needed to assist a successful
TMA is one of Mooney’s passions and he is a tireless ambassador
for TMA. He has elevated awareness of the organization, particularly within the
financial sector of the industry. As the chairman of the past two TMA Annual
Conferences, he has set new standards of excellence.
His leadership helped establish new
benchmarks for educational content, attendance and sponsorship support and made
TMA’s Annual Conferences the “must-attend” industry event. Mooney also served on
the TMA board of directors from 1997-2000 and on several committees. The Fleet
family of companies has more than 50 members in TMA and supports TMA financially
with Cornerstone Program contributions, advertising in the
Journal of Corporate Renewal
sponsoring events at TMA conferences.
Passionate about everything he does, Mooney
active in many community activities, having served on the board of directors of
Trinity Repertory Theater, Boston Food Project, Childrens Friend and Services
and Community Prep School.
For the past 12 years, Ward has participated in the PanMass Challenge a
200-mile bike ride to raise funding for the Dana Faber Cancer
With international headquarters in Chicago, TMA’s 5,500 members comprise
a professional community of turnaround practitioners, attorneys, accountants,
investors, lenders, venture capitalists, accountants, appraisers, liquidators,
executive recruiters and consultants.
Members adhere to a Code of Ethics specifying high standards of
professionalism, integrity and competence. Its Certified Turnaround Professional
(CTP) program recognizes professional excellence and provides an objective
measure of expertise related to workouts, restructurings and corporate
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