Richard W. Thaler
Our Managing Partner, Richard Thaler, has over forty years experience as an investment banker and finance advisor to domestic and international corporations, debt funds, privaate equity funds, pension funds, endowments, foreign governments, not-for-profits, unions and individuals. His experience includes four early years with the Bank of Boston (primarily in Brazil), sixteen years with Lehman Brothers, twelve years with Deutsche Bank Securities from which he retired as a Vice Chairman, and a financial advisory role to BMO Capital Markets as well as representing institutional debt and LBO equity investors on corporate boards. Our Managing Partner has a broad and balanced perspective as an investment banker, manager, mentor to leading American broadcast and print journalists, professor and not-for-profit board chair and trustee. He currently serves as a Director of Caribbean Restaurants (Burger King of Puerto Rico) and SVP Worldwide (Singer Sewing Machine) and is a review board member for Branford Castle LLC, a mid cap LBO firm. He previously served as a director of Gordon Brothers Inc, a global asset liquidation, appraisal and brand managment business based in Boston.
In his years as an investment banker for Lehman Brothers and Deutsche Bank Securities, as well as a advisor to BMO Securities, he has been involved in numerous large and small debt and equity transactions, varied acquisitions, leverage buyouts, restructurings and cross border transactions. He continues to teach finance at the college level, has led seminars for corporate groups and served on audit, governance and investment committees for religious, educational and other not-for-profits.
As a banker, he has worked in a multiplicity of roles as a manager, group head, recruiter and product specialist in many of the most important areas of finance (Equity Capital, Leverage Finance, Restructurings, Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity Coverage and Fundraising and Corporate Coverage). Mr. Thaler led Deutsche Bank's largesty and most consistent high revenue group for over ten years. He has executed transactions large and small in all of these products and in various parts of the world including United States, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Client industries have ranged from automotive to building products, restaurants, diversified product companies, heavy equipment manufacturers and selected other industries. Mr Thaler has served as an advisor to CEOs, CFOs, Boards of Directors, Government Privatization Committees, Unions and other fiduciaries.
Mr. Thaler has deep relationships with investors and financing sources yet works hard to avoid relationships which could in any way raise a conflict issue or otherwise influence the advice or assistance he provides. He recognizes that, when he is engaged, issues of speed, impartiality, confidentiality and honesty are of paramount concern. Clients may not always like the news or advice he will provide but they can be assured that it will be honest, impartial, confidential and direct.
Perhaps the best example of Mr. Thaler's expertise as well as credibility with both borrowers and lenders is the fact that he was the only very active banker to the homebuilding business in the last fifteen years to never have either a loss or credit write down in the current housing crisis. This was NOT due to limited activity. Over that period he executed multiple transactions for 13 major homebuilders with strategic activities (ie Equity and/or M&A) for 9 on a lead managed basis. His advice led to a number of the largest and most significant transactions in the industry. Though he did selectively lend to most of his clients, he began to reduce exposure significantly in the period leading to the 2008 market collapse. Despite credit reductions he experienced no diminution of strategic activity even after retiring fromm Deutsche Bank. He maintained a high level of business, while reducing credit exposure and avoiding credit losses by developing trusted relationships based on ideas and advice rather than capital as his vehicle for business.
In addition to corporate work, Mr. Thaler has been active in not-for-profits in educational, religious and social service activities. In particular, he understands issues which, in today's economy, are increasingly important to not-for-profits of every kind: governance, oversight, development, investment management, audit and strategic planning. He recognizes that not-for-profits can differ significantly in goals, organizational temperament and staff motivation from organizations in the corporate world. The key is to bring organization, financial and quantitative skills as well as judgment, sensitivity and compassion to not-for-profit activities.
Among the various not-for-profits for which Mr. Thaler has dedicated significant time and energy as a Trustee/Director are: The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, Plimoth Plantation (historical museum), Deutsche Bank's Micro Finance Fund, The Daily Princetonian (America's oldest college daily newspaper), the American Antiquarian Society, the Princeton University History Department, Morehouse College and The Episcopal Divinity School. His roles in these organizations have ranged from participation on the Management Committees, Board Chair or Vice Chair, Strategic Advisory Committees, Audit Committees and Investment Management.
Eleven years ago, with the active encouragement of his colleagues at Deutsche Bank and the then Dean of the Business School at Morehouse College, Mr. Thaler became an Adjunct Professor of Finance. He developed and teaches what is believed to be the nation's first college level course on Private Equity. The course is a weekly 2 1/2 hour seminar intended to teach top Morehouse seniors about the elements of Private Equity investing including debt structures, indentures, IPOs, restructuring, mergers & acquisitions, investor decision making, financial modeling, etc. Mr. Thaler has drawn on the support of numerous investment banking professionals as well as leading Wall Street lawyers and prominent private equity executives to help bring hands-on experience to the class. A number of his former students are now working on Wall Street and are performing at very high levels of achievement. Thaler continues to teach is course and is also a Trustee of the college.(http://www.morehouse.edu/news/archives/001234.html). Mr Thaler also serves a Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of Morehouse College, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the College
In addition to teaching at Morehouse, he has taught various classes on finance to college students as well as corporate groups. Beyond corporate clients, his focus has been to provide pro bono tutorials to highly intelligent and motivated students who might not otherwise have access to such mentoring. Among those with whom he has worked are The Robert Toigo Foundation, SEO and Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company.
Mr. Thaler is a honors graduate of Princeton University with a degree in American History. He holds a MBA from Harvard University.
Mr.Thaler's personal interests include politics, history, baseball, sailing and foreign travel. He is a die hard Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan and season ticket holder. He is an active Democratic and maintains active dialogue with political leaders on both sides of the aisle. Conversant in Portuguese, he speaks English with a Boston accent. As a young man, he crossed Asia by public bus! (including pre-war Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan) He has three daughters and two wonderful young grandsons and granddaughter!
References and a detailed resume are available on request.