Distressed Asset Investing and Corporate Restructuring

The Wharton School

How long?

  • from 5 days
  • online, in person

What are the topics?

The Wharton School


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Who should attend

This program will be relevant for anyone interested in investing in or providing advisory services to firms in distressed situations. This will include those working in hedge funds, private equity, or direct investment. It will also be of interest to those who entrust their money to distressed investors who wish to be familiar with the process employed and able to assess alternative investors and their strategies and performance. The techniques and concepts we discuss will also be directly relevant for those working in advisory roles such as consultants, attorneys, and CPAs, and those serving companies facing restructuring or who are hired by investors who are considering investment in distressed companies.

Job functions and roles include:


  • C-level and general managers
  • Senior-level executives at highly leveraged and private equity-owned companies


  • Distressed debt purchasers
  • Hedge fund portfolio managers
  • Private equity groups
  • Chief investment officers and investment analysts for family offices
  • Portfolio managers for pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and large institutional investors
  • High-yield investors
  • Limited partners


  • Multinational management consultants
  • Investment bankers, commercial lenders
  • Bank loan sale professionals
  • Senior lenders and second lien lenders
  • Workout lenders (debtor-in-possession or DIP lending)
  • Corporate bankruptcy attorneys

About the course

The decade-spanning bull market that America has enjoyed — the longest in history — is over. With the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 having tumbled more than 20% below their all-time highs in February 2020, company leaders need to be prepared for potential corporate restructuring, particularly if their firm has undergone a leveraged buyout or been acquired by a private equity firm in recent years. Simultaneously, investors, fund managers, and consultants must be poised to take full advantage of distressed assets that become available.

Distressed Asset Investing and Corporate Restructuring takes you inside the perspectives of all players involved in the complex restructuring and distressed investing process. Learn how to identify value in a company in or close to bankruptcy while you hone your ability to identify promising investment opportunities in this lucrative asset class.

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Distressed Asset Investing and Corporate Restructuring, you will:

  • Understand how and why a company fails and the turnaround process
  • Foresee signs of crisis in a firm's financial statements
  • Identify the long-term value of and investment opportunities in distressed assets
  • Appreciate the time frame to turn around a distressed asset and the level of risk involved
  • Become knowledgeable about the roles of managers, investors, advisors, and consultants in restructuring debt
  • Hone negotiation skills to maximize returns of complex distressed situations

Experience & Impact

Distressed Asset Investing and Corporate Restructuring is an essential program for every company leader and investor who wants to prepare for a crisis before it hits.

In this unique program, you will come to understand corporate restructuring and distressed asset investing from multiple points of view: that of company managers, CFOs, investors, bankers, advisors, and consultants. No matter your specific role, you will benefit from seeing the total picture, since many functions overlap or are interdependent. For example, to invest wisely in a distressed company, you need to grasp how the turnaround will be managed. In addition, many hedge fund managers and private equity firms now engage in a “loan-to-own” scenario in which they buy debt with an eye toward achieving equity ownership in the post-restructured company. Today, the savviest investors, managers, and advisors will be those who understand all sides of a distressed situation and envision the possibility of tremendous returns.

This program will take a value investing approach to analyzing distressed assets, including the technique of estimating the fundamental intrinsic value of the underlying business. This knowledge will help you move beyond faulty notions of equating price with value that might hamper your investing success. You will also learn how to perform discounted cash flow valuation in distressed situations. Moreover, you will find out about the relevant legal environment and its implications for restructuring options.

Negotiation skills are critical in corporate restructuring, and this program covers negotiations in these typically high-pressure, crisis-mode scenarios to help you obtain the best return on investment. Throughout the program, participants benefit from the world-renowned expertise of Wharton faculty; eye-opening talks by guest speakers; and a collegial, interactive learning environment.

Session topics include:

  • Assessing the Financial Distress
  • Causes of Distress: The Danger of Growth and Pathways for Restructuring
  • Strategies for Investors: Hedge Funds and Private Equity
  • Foundations of Value Investing in a Distressed Environment
  • Exchange Offers and Debt Restructuring
  • Distressed Negotiation
  • The Legal Environment: Implications for Restructuring Alternatives
  • Turnaround Management


Bilge Yilmaz

Education PhD, Princeton University, 2000; B.S., Bogaziçi University, 1991 Academic Positions Held Wharton: 2009present; 19982008. Previous appointment: Stanford University Archishman Chakraborty, Simon Gervais, Bilge Yilmaz (2011), Security Design in Initial Public Offerings , Review of Finance...

Kevin Kaiser

Kevin Kaiser joined the finance faculty at INSEAD in 1992 where he is currently Professor of Management Practice and Director of the Transition to General Management programme. Kevin is also Director of the ABN Amro Managing for Value Research Fund at INSEAD, and is active in conducting and shari...

Douglas Rosefsky

Doug Rosefsky is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise and a recurring faculty member in the Transition to General Management executive program. He is Senior Advisor to Alvarez & Marsal France and an active board member and c-level advisor of companies in Europe, the ...

David Skeel

David Skeel is the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. He is author of True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World (InterVarsity, 2014), The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and its (Unintended) Con...

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Distressed Asset Investing and Corporate Restructuring at The Wharton School

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Read more about Finance

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