Top Lazard restructuring banker Kurtz to join Hilco

By Mike Spector

NEW YORK (Reuters) -David Kurtz, Lazard’s global head of restructuring, has agreed to join Hilco Global, the financial advisory firm that helps failing retailers liquidate.

Kurtz, who has advised on some of the highest-profile corporate bankruptcies of the past two decades, will join Hilco as a vice chair and chief strategic officer in September, the financial services firm said on Tuesday. He will report to Chief Executive and founder Jeffrey Hecktman.

Last week, Lazard promoted Tyler Cowan to take Kurtz’s place leading the investment bank’s restructuring practice in September. Kurtz will transition to a role as senior adviser, Lazard said.

Kurtz advised retailers J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew on how to navigate bankruptcy proceedings and survive a global pandemic that put some peers out of business. He has also helped companies in the offshore drilling industry such as Valaris and Transocean restructure in and outside of bankruptcy.

Before joining Lazard 21 years ago, Kurtz was a bankruptcy lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

At Hilco, Kurtz will contribute to further expanding and diversifying the firm, which started in Chicago and has grown to more than 20 specialized businesses with 800-plus employees around the world.

Hilco started in 1986 valuing inventories that included industrial equipment and running going-out-of-business sales for retailers. It has expanded into lending, asset appraisals and large projects rehabilitating industrial properties, such as a former steel plant in Baltimore and oil refinery in Philadelphia. It also licenses and resuscitates iconic brands that have fallen on hard times such as Polaroid and provides consulting services.

(Reporting by Mike Spector in New York; Editing by Richard Chang and Lisa Shumaker)