Bill Brandt has been in the business of workout, turnaround and insolvency consulting for more than thirty years and is widely recognized as one of the foremost practitioners in the field. He is President and CEO of Development Specialists, Inc. (“DSI”), a firm specializing in the provision of management, consulting and turnaround assistance to troubled or reorganizing enterprises. Mr. Brandt and his firm continue to be involved with some of the more celebrated financial restructuring cases in the nation’s history, including Mercury Finance Company, Southeast Banking Corporation, Malden Mills, the Keck, Mahin & Cate law firm, the Coudert Brothers law firm, the Ohio “Coin Fund” scandal, and the Bernie Ebbers Settlement Trust. The firm maintains offices in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, London, Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland, and Columbus.
Mr. Brandt has advised Congress on matters of insolvency and bankruptcy policy, and in that capacity was the principal author of the amendment to the Bankruptcy Code permitting the election of Trustees in Chapter 11 cases. He was also involved in drafting several amendments to the Bankruptcy Code enacted into law in April 2005 as part of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which substantially rewrote the nation’s bankruptcy laws. During the Clinton administration, he served as a member of the President’s National Finance Board as well as serving as a delegate from the State of Florida to the 1996 Democratic National Convention. During that decade as well, and upon the invitation of both business and political leaders in the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Brandt worked with various public policy, law and banking leaders in that country on approaches to the reorganization and restructuring of some of China’s state-owned industries. In 2000, he served as a member of the Democratic Party’s National Convention Platform Committee. In 2002, he served on the Illinois Gubernatorial Transition Team as well as on the State of California’s Business Delegation dispatched to Cuba to discuss politics, business and trade. In 2008, Mr. Brandt served as a delegate from the State of Illinois to the Democratic National Convention.
By Gubernatorial appointment, Mr. Brandt is serving his second consecutive term as Chair of the Illinois Finance Authority, having been first appointed in 2007 and then reappointed in 2010. The IFA is one of the nation’s largest self-financed entities principally engaged in issuing taxable and tax-exempt bonds, making loans, and investing capital for businesses, non-profit organizations and local government. The Governor has also appointed Mr. Brandt to the Illinois Broadband Deployment Council, which works to ensure that advanced telecommunications services are available to all the citizens of Illinois. He serves as a member of the National Advisory Council for the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, while also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of Loyola University Chicago, and is a life trustee of Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois. Additionally, he was also featured in What Happened, a documentary film humorously chronicling the dot-com “bust,” which premiered at the New York City Film Festival.
Mr. Brandt has written for publications that span a broad spectrum of thought, ranging from Maclean’s, Canada’s Weekly Newsmagazine, to Directors & Boards, Corporate Board Magazine, the Florida Real Estate Journal, and the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Law Review, published in conjunction with St. John’s University School of Law. He is the co-author of the “Due Diligence” chapter in the 2nd edition of Bankruptcy Business Acquisitions published by the American Bankruptcy Institute. He is a frequent lecturer and speaker on topics of corporate restructuring, bankruptcy and related public policy issues and regularly appears on CNN, CNBC, CNNfn, Bloomberg, and Canada’s BNN, as well as the CBS Radio and National Public Radio networks. He has been profiled and interviewed in a wide array of periodicals including, among others, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Business Week, The Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, Billboard Magazine and Bank Bailout Litigation News.
He served several terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute, as well as also serving several terms on the Advisory Board for that organization’s Law Review. He served for almost 20 years as a member of the private Panel of Trustees for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois and briefly served as a member of the same panel for the Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Florida in the late 1980s. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Bankruptcy Section of the Commercial Law League of America and serves on their National Government Affairs Committee. Mr. Brandt is a member of the Board of Advisors for the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Bankruptcy Battleground West seminar held annually in Los Angeles and is also currently serving his third consecutive three-year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum. In addition to the Commercial Law League of America and the American Bankruptcy Institute, he holds memberships in the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Urban Land Institute.
His biography appears in a number of reference works including Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, and Who’s Who in American Law. For well more than a dozen years, his firm, Development Specialists, Inc., has been rated as one of the outstanding turnaround firms in the world by the publication Turnarounds & Workouts. Mr. Brandt has also been routinely listed in the K & A Restructuring Register, an annual roster of the country’s top 100 restructuring advisors. He received his B.A. from St. Louis University and his M.A. from the University of Chicago, where he also completed further post-graduate work toward a doctoral degree.