Gordian Group’s Peter Kaufman and Henry Owsley bring a lot of passion to the distressed game. Now they’ve put it in a book.
￼￼While most of America was busy relaxing on the Fourth of July weekend of 1989, barbecues, fireworks or anything else in the leisure line couldn’t hold Peter Kaufman’s interest. The then-30-something lawyer-turned-First-Boston-banker was in the midst of representing the head of the unsecured creditors’ committee in the bankruptcy of Spendthrift Farm Inc. That Independence Day afternoon, he got a call from Henry Owsley, a former Goldman, Sachs & Co. banker who had co-founded a boutique advisory firm, Gordian Group, the year before. The two had met six months earlier, when Kaufman hired Gordian to help out on a few particularly sticky issues.
“There was really nothing too pressing to talk about,” recalls Kaufman. “Actually, I was thrilled to hear from him. I’d been turning some issues [relating to the case] over in my mind, and I really wanted to talk.”