Letter from America – 28.01.19

Letter from America – 28.01.19

This week’s Letter from America follows our first, and by all accounts, very successful Metis Partners’ Burns Night in New York City, kindly hosted by our friends at GCNYC and the Fair Fashion Center. It was a stormy night in NYC but I was delighted to welcome so many from the restructuring, private equity, banking and retail communities who joined us for some relatively decent malt whisky, haggis, raw Scottish humour and good company. 


I was genuinely touched by the appreciation and interest shown by the New Yorkers for our National Bard Robert Burns, and for the malt whisky of course – not a drop of Macallan, Glenlivet, Caol Isla or Glenfiddich remained at the end of the night. The New Yorkers’ warmth was epitomised by an impromptu speech on the night, that although wasn’t in our running order was without a doubt a highlight. I guess like any good Chap 11 or restructuring assignment, the agreed action plan doesn’t always run to order and a few twists and turns are taken along the path of recovery! In this case, a now good friend, Jim Doak read aloud his own “Ode to Restructuring” in Robert Burns style.  The newly formed “Jim Doak Burns’ Appreciation Society sponsored speaking slot” will undoubtedly form part of next year’s running order. 


I therefore present to you James’ email to me following the event – it says it all in my view.



It was a pleasure to attend the Burns Supper this evening, to meet your family and to connect with colleagues over fresh(?) haggis.  A definite first for me!

While I am not familiar with all of Burns’ poetic works, from what I understand he appears to be someone who recognizes that nothing is written in stone and that hope and change are the constant. A true (and prolific) restructuring professional!

Accordingly, below please find my


Ode to Bankruptcy –

The assets were liquidated;
Debtors stripped naked and bare.
Lease rights designated and rejected,
It was a callous affair.

The corporate planes are now gone.
The IP is in tatters.
At least I’ve been retained under 328,
That’s all that matters.

Banks took their collateral,
Hard and quick assets for the debts.
There will be more legal action,
Bought the D&O rider for those threats.

The solicitation and voting is now over.
The Plan will be confirmed.
Someone will throw a nice dinner.
But will any lessons be learned?

Now investors and advisors all,
The following message is key —
We all must thank our country
For this Code of Bankruptcy!

Thanks again and see you next year!

Jim Doak, Managing Director, Miller Buckfire

So until my next Metis Letter from America I hope you have a great weekend!