FTI’s Restructuring Advisers More in Demand Than 2008, CEO Says

(Bloomberg) -- FTI Consulting Inc.’s restructuring advisers are in more demand now than they were during the 2008 financial crisis, Chief Executive Officer Steven Gunby said in a call discussing the firm’s first-quarter results.

“Phones have been ringing” off-the-hook for restructuring advisers even “more than the last crisis,” Gunby said Thursday. That’s helped offset slowdowns in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions and litigation businesses as the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout from government efforts to combat it shutter entire swaths of the economy.

FTI’s corporate finance & restructuring segment posted a 29% jump in revenue to $208 million, compared to $161 million in the first quarter last year. Overall, the firm’s revenue rose nearly 10%, according to a company statement. The increase was due to higher demand for restructuring services in both North America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The restructuring group is drawing resources and manpower from other, less active segments to meet the rise in demand, Chief Financial Officer Ajay Sabherwal said. Like its rivals, the company saw restructuring advisory work pick up dramatically beginning in mid-March as markets plunged.

Read More: Lazard CEO Sees ‘Enormous’ Restructuring Work Amid M&A Slump

FTI has more than 5,500 employees in 27 countries. The Washington-based firm has advised on recent restructurings including Frontier Communications Corp., Speedcast International Ltd., OneWeb and CARBO Ceramics Inc.

Michael Eisenband and Carlyn Taylor lead FTI’s corporate finance and restructuring segment. Eisenband, based in New York, heads the restructuring side of the business, while Taylor, based in Denver, is in charge of business transformation and transactions.

The recent surge in distressed situations is expected to continue, Sabherwal said. Sectors including retail, energy, airlines, restaurants and leisure have all seen a spike in restructuring activity and show little signs of near-term recovery.

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