Michael Milken was vilified for his development and interest in the then-evolving junk bond market in New York. Gone are the days of elitest investing and not every company that falls into disarray needs to be shut down, but for a long time, that is exactly what would happen. There is beauty in distressed equities and debt and not every company, which may be experiencing a financial problem, need to be relegated to the dustbin of history. Investing in these companies helps the entire economy and the markets. The less companies are allowed to fail, the better off everything is for everyone. Failing companies are a blemish on any country’s balance sheet and some support might get them back on their feet.
That said, banks and brokerages almost disproportionately cannot be involved in investing in struggling enterprises because they cannot afford to carry the risk. Peter Briger, once a long-time employee of Goldman Sachs in New York, got himself into a tributary with that firm where he was able to collect and trade distressed debt. The good that he did by getting into this largely unknown, somewhat risky, and often-times ignored sector of the economy likely could never be quantified.
Perhaps not entirely altruistic, this kind of investing undoubtedly has a place in the world of investing. Institutional investing in distressed debt is a way to both make money for the firm while essentially tossing a financial “hail Mary” to a company that has likely fallen down. Peter Briger is an artist when it comes to finding opportunities in this little-understood sector. His talent has been celebrated by launching him onto Forbes billionaires list and the notoriety he has received for his work, but this is likely not what galvanizes Peter Briger. To know more about him click here.
The love of the work that he does is about the only thing that keeps him going and making one smart move after another. In part, if the position he takes is large enough, the investment can become the likes of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The company with the distressed debt does benefit in a little bump of support in a sea of finger-waggers. Much like those who told Milken he was wrong, so goes the general sentiment toward distressed investing still today. In the exciting New York investment banking world, Peter Briger positioned himself well and is helping both Fortress Investment Group and the companies with distressed recognized a better, more lucrative path going forward.
His LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterbriger