FTI Consulting Expands Global Aviation Offering

FTI Consulting continued investment in its aviation offering with the launch of a dedicated global industry practice and the appointment of two senior managing directors and four managing directors.

This team will immediately enhance the firm’s depth of expertise for airlines, manufacturers, lenders, lessors, investors and other aviation-industry players, as they continue to respond to the changing environment, stabilize their businesses amid profound uncertainty and take a leading position to emerge from the downturn.

Marc Bilbao and Neal Cohen join FTI Consulting as senior managing directors within the corporate finance and restructuring segment and co-leaders of the global aviation offering. Scott Farnsworth, Joseph Kazanovski and Beau Roy have joined the corporate finance and restructuring segment as managing directors. Earlier this year in March, Susan Donofrio joined the strategic communications segment as a managing director, providing aviation clients a holistic suite of transactional, reputational and operational solutions.

Bilbao brings nearly 25 years of experience in restructuring and investment banking, specializing in the aviation industry for more than 15 years. Cohen has 30 years of experience leading public and private companies, including those in the aviation, manufacturing and services industries. He previously served as chief financial officer of Northwest Airlines, where he helped lead airline restructuring and the 2008 Delta Air Lines-Northwest Airlines merger.

Bilbao, who is based in Los Angeles, represents companies and creditors in all phases of workouts and restructuring transactions, including the development of turnaround business strategies, debt and equity restructurings, M&A transactions and §363 sales. He also has substantial experience in out-of-court restructurings, including debt for equity swaps, debt restructuring, fleet optimizations, M&A transactions and partnership negotiations. Bilbao will also co-lead the West region of the turnaround and restructuring practice with senior managing director Amir Agam.

In addition to his tenure as chief financial officer, Cohen held several other senior positions at Northwest Airlines, including executive vice president of international and strategy, treasurer, and CEO of regional operations, among others. Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Cohen provided consulting to Avianca Airlines, where he served as the chief transformation advisor. Before that, Cohen held executive positions at ATK, an aerospace and defense company, and US Airways, where he led its post-9/11 restructuring.

Donofrio, based in New York, joined FTI Consulting’s strategic communications segment as an expert in the airline and aviation sector. Donofrio advises airline and aviation clients on a wide range of communications, strategic, operational and financial issues. Her overall coverage also includes aerospace, aircraft leasing, air freight and the online travel agency sectors.

Before joining FTI Consulting, she was a senior equity analyst on Wall Street at various firms, including Deutsche Bank and Macquarie Capital. Her deep knowledge of the space resulted in testifying before Congress after 9/11 at the request of senior airline leadership, with follow-up testimony a year later. From a corporate perspective, Donofrio led and implemented Hawaiian Airlines’ investor relations program. She also served as the lead investor relations consultant for CIT Aerospace, an aircraft leasing company.

Farnsworth, who is based in Los Angeles, has more than 20 years of experience and specializes in providing financial advisory services to clients primarily within the aviation industry. His expertise includes strategic planning and negotiations, business plan development and review, bankruptcy preparation, detailed cash flow forecasting and liquidity management, Chapter 11 plan negotiations, claims estimation and management, DIP financing, §363 sales, the acquisition and financing of aircraft and engines, sale-leasebacks, lease buyouts, lease and debt restructurings, and export-import financing.

Kazanovski, who is based in Los Angeles, has 15 years of experience providing investment banking and financial advisory services to companies and creditors in financial restructurings, special situations financings, sale processes and mandates in aviation and for clients in a broad range of sectors. He has also provided expert testimony in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on behalf of debtors regarding DIP financing and sale processes. Kazanovski has managed and directly executed financial restructurings, financings, M&A and strategic advisory mandates with a primary focus on middle-market companies across various industries.

Roy, who is based in San Francisco, has more than 25 years of experience and focuses on providing financing, M&A and restructuring advisory services to aviation industry clients. His expertise includes business plan development, cash flow forecasting, buy- and sell-side advisory mandates, debt financing for aircraft and engine acquisitions, public and private equity placement, fleet restructurings, §1110 stipulations, labor contract negotiations, buy- and sell-side advisory mandates, DIP and exit financing, Chapter 11 preparation and plan negotiations, §363 sale processes, and litigation support.


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