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Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
WL Ross and Co., LLC
Wilbur Ross may be the best known turnaround financier in the U.S., having been involved in the restructuring of over $300 billion of defaulted companies’ assets around the world. In 1998, Fortune Magazine called him "the King of Bankruptcy” and in 2011, Bloomberg Business Week designated him as one of the 50 most influential people in Global Finance.
Mr. Ross organized International Steel Group in April 2002 and was its Board Chairman. By acquiring Bethlehem and other troubled companies, ISG became the largest integrated steel company in North America. It was merged into Mittal Steel for $4.5 billion to form the largest steel company in the world. Mr. Ross remains a director of ArcelorMittal.
In March, 2004, the firm organized International Textile Group (“ITG”) by consolidating two bankrupt companies, Burlington Industries and Cone Mills. Mr. Ross serves as Chairman of ITG which has developed major investments in China and Mexico and is the most global American company in its industry.
Also in 2004, WL Ross organized International Coal Group to acquire out of bankruptcy three coal companies. In 2011, ICG was sold to Arch Coal for $3.4 billion.
Since WL Ross formed International Automotive Components (“IAC”) in 2005, it has made 14 acquisitions and more recently, the firm acquired control of PLASCAR. IAC now has revenues of $5.5 billion and 23,000 employees in 17 countries.
The Ross Funds are major investors in Greenbrier Companies and Assured Guaranty Ltd., and Mr. Ross joined their Boards.
Beginning in 2007, the firm organized American Home Mortgage Services by acquiring several floundering companies and creating the second largest independent servicer of subprime mortgages.
In 2009, the firm led the $900 million revival of BankUnited with FDIC assistance. The shares now trade on the New York Stock Exchange with a $2.5 billion market value. Subsequently WL Ross took substantial positions in Virgin Money, First Michigan, Cascade Bank Corp., Sun Bancorp, Amalgamated Bank, Bank of Ireland and AirLease Corp.
In 1999, President Kim Dae Jung awarded Mr. Ross a medal for his help during Korea's 1998 financial crisis.
Mr. Ross is a former Chairman of the Smithsonian National Board. President Clinton had appointed him to the Board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund, and he served as privatization advisor to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Mr. Ross serves on the Executive Committee of the New York City Partnership, is Chairman of the Japan Society and is a member of the Chairman’s Circle of the U.S.-India Business Council. He is a member of the Business Roundtable and is a Board member of the Yale University School of Management, which has presented him with its Legend of Leadership Award. He is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of Harvard Business School. He is the only person elected to both the Turnaround Management Hall of Fame and the Private Equity Hall of Fame. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 by BritishAmerican Business and received the 2010 Business Statesman Award from Harvard Business School Club of New York.
Most recently the firm led a $1 billion investment in Diamond S Shipping on which he now serves as Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Ross holds an A.B. from Yale University and an M.B.A., with Distinction, from Harvard University.
A few of the awards received by WL Ross & Co. LLC and Mr. Ross are:
- 2002 – Buyouts, Public to Private Deal of the Year
- 2002 – Buyouts, Middle Market Deal of the Year
- 2003 – Buyouts, Turnaround of the Year
- 2005 – Money Management, Alternative Manager of the Year Nominee
- 2006 – Private Equity Intelligence, WLR Recovery Fund II – One of the Twenty Most Influential
Private Equity Funds of All Time
- 2007 – The M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards, Private Equity Firm of the Year
- 2008 – The M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards, Turnaround Deal of the Year
- 2008 – The M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards, Automotive & Auto Parts Deal of the Year
- 2008 – Crain’s Detroit Magazine, Automotive Deal of the Year
- 2008 – Private Equity Hall of Fame
- 2008 – Turnaround Management Association Hall of Fame
- 2009 – BritishAmerican Business, Entrepreneur of the Year
- 2009 – Top 20 Closed LBO Deals / BankUnited
- 2010 – Harvard Business School Club of New York’s Business Statesman Award
- 2011 – One of Bloomberg Business Week’s 50 Most Influential People in Global Finance
- 2011 – Private Equity International, European Deal of the Year – Northern Rock Acquisition
- 2011 – Marine Money, 2011 Deal of the Year Award Private Equity – Diamond S
- 2012 – M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards, Financial Services Deal of the Year - Reprivatization of Bank of Ireland
- 2012 – American Ireland Fund Business Leadership Award