NECFA Summer Panel Discussion: The Sear’s Saga of 2018

When:  Aug 8, 2019 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM (ET)
Associated with  New England Chapter


Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP
Two International Place
Boston, MA 02110


Everyone read the headlines and saw all the press surrounding one of the largest retail bankruptcies in history.  You’ll have an opportunity to hear directly from the professionals that helped shape and direct the events leading up to the Sear’s bankruptcy filing and eventual restructuring.  

Steve Garvin: Managing Director - Bank of America Retail Finance Group
Mark Renzi: Managing Director - BRG Corporate Finance
Kevin Simard:
Partner - Choate, Hall & Stewart, Finance & Restructuring Group
John Ventola:
Co-Chair - Choate, Hall & Stewart, Finance & Restructuring Group 
Keith F. Vercauteren –Managing Director, Retail Finance - Wells Fargo Capital Finance

Steve (Garvin) is a Managing Director in the Bank of America’s Retail Finance Group. He has worked in commercial and corporate banking for over 35 years, holding various positions in financial institutions, trade finance, asset based lending and corporate banking, both in the US and internationally. He has worked in Bank of America’s Retail Finance Group since 2002 where he focuses of providing asset based finance solutions to a diverse portfolio of clients in the retail and consumer industries. 

Mark (Renzi) is a Managing Director in BRG Corporate Finance. Mr. Renzi has more than 20 years of experience, including liquidity and capital structure assessment, performance improvement, debt and equity restructuring advice and identification of reorganization alternatives.

Mr. Renzi is experienced in analyzing and implementing strategic and operational change including refinement of business plans and redeployment of capital to address changing industry conditions as well as stabilizing and fixing noncore operations through product, customer and cost rationalization initiatives. He has developed options and solutions through detailed financial and operational analyses while collaborating closely with management and other stakeholders. In addition to operational turnarounds, Mr. Renzi has assisted in financial restructurings, including re-financings, recapitalizations, debt-for-equity swaps and strategic mergers and acquisitions. 

Kevin (Simard) is a partner in Choate’s Finance & Restructuring Group. He has extensive experience representing financial institutions in connection with all aspects of secured financing transactions, including asset-based transactions, structuring, documentation, work out, and restructuring and bankruptcy - particularly in the retail industry. He regularly represents agents and lenders in connection with large syndicated loan transactions, club deals and single lender transactions. He also has considerable expertise in connection with revolving credit facilities, term loan facilities and unitranche structures. As a former commercial litigator, Kevin brings deep experience and a unique skill set and view point in handling not only the work outs of problem loans but also the initial structuring of credit facilities. Kevin is an active member of the Turnaround Management Association, and is recognized in The Legal 500 as a leading lawyer for Corporate Restructuring and listed in Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America.

John (Ventola) is co-chair of the Choate, Hall & Stewart’s Finance & Restructuring Group and represents banks, BDCs and unregulated lenders in complex, multi-tranche financial transactions, including asset based, cash flow, Term B, second-lien, DIP and mezzanine loans and preferred stock and other junior capital investments. Much of John’s work centers on representing lenders in transactions with distressed borrowers and the specific challenges associated with potential bankruptcy filings or liquidations. He has particularly deep experience negotiating intercreditor arrangements involving multiple layers of debt and lien priorities. John has practiced in the industry for more than 20 years and has been named one of the world’s leading bankruptcy attorneys by Guide to the World's Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers. He is recognized as a leader in his field by Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America and is named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer.

Keith (Vercauteren) leads the Retail Finance Division of Wells Fargo Capital Finance.  His division provides asset based credit facilities that are tailored to meet the needs of traditional, catalog, and online retailers.  Keith has over 20 years of experience working with retailers to provide and manage a variety of complex financings.

Keith joined Wells Fargo in 2009.  Prior to Wells Fargo, Keith spent a number of years working for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and its predecessor companies in leadership roles covering retailers and managing senior debt financings.  In addition, he spent a number of years working directly in the retail industry as an executive for May Co.’s Filenes division.

Keith earned an undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and also has an MBA from Babson College.  He is a member of the Commercial Finance Association and the Turnaround Management Association.

Keith resides in the Boston area with his wife, Natalie and their two children Alexia and Cameron.


Registration closes Monday, August 5


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Maradith Markham-Burns


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