Peter S. Kaufman

President and Head of Restructuring and Distressed M&A

Gordian Group is relentless about getting results, particularly in our sweet spot: protecting boards and advantaging junior stakeholders in difficult situations. We are active leaders — not passive participants — developing clever options and gaming each situation to try to anticipate all contingencies, and manipulating the parties at the table to the benefit of our clients.

Our company-side focus (we eschew financial creditor representations) permits us to uniquely provide conflict-free advice to our board clients.

As the President of Gordian Group, Mr. Kaufman heads the firm’s Restructuring and Distressed M&A practice, and has been ranked the #1 national investment banker in financial restructuring by The Deal.*

“Peter Kaufman is one of America’s top distressed investment bankers”
~ CNBC, 2014

Mr. Kaufman has been at Gordian Group since 1990. He was the founding Co-chairman of the Committee on Investment Banking of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), and with Henry Owsley, Gordian Group’s Chief Executive Officer, he is the co-author of the definitive works in the field: Distressed Investment Banking: To the Abyss and Back – 2nd Edition (Beard Books, 2015)Equity Holders Under Siege: Strategies and Tactics for Distressed Businesses (Beard Books, 2014) and Distressed Investment Banking: To the Abyss and Back (Beard Books, 2005).

Both books are “must-read” for boards of directors, management teams and shareholders and/or owners of financially stressed situations, as well as for buyers and professionals.  Additionally, Mr. Kaufman has been profiled by The Deal, where he is consistently ranked as one of the 10 leading national investment bankers in financial restructurings.* He has also been profiled by Bloomberg. He is frequently asked by national TV networks and other media outlets to speak on restructuring and bankruptcy topics.

He is a Contributor to Read on golf. He is a member of the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association.

Prior to joining Gordian Group, Mr. Kaufman was a founding member of First Boston Corporation’s Distressed Securities Group. As an investment banker and attorney, he has more than 25 years of experience solving complex financial challenges. In 2013, he testified in front of the ABI Commission on Bankruptcy Reform in regards to valuation.  Mr. Kaufman currently serves as an Adjunct Faculty/Member at the University of Virginia School of Law teaching a course entitled “Advising Boards of Directors Under Siege”; he also assists in teaching courses at Darden Business School at University of Virginia. In November 2015, Mr. Kaufman was inducted into the M&A Advisor Hall of Fame at the 14th Annual M&A Advisor Awards Gala in New York City.

View Mr. Kaufman’s Wikipedia page here.


Mr. Kaufman received a B.A. with honors in History and Art History from Yale College (where he lettered in lacrosse). He also received a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he graduated in the top quarter of his class.

Key Disclosed Engagements

Alamo/National Car Rental, Alert HoldingsAlexander Gallo, Alphatec, American Airlines (for the Transport Workers Union), AmeriServe, AvatexBen & Jerry’s, Elyria Foundry Holdings, Enron, Farmland, Federal Communications Commission, General Motors, Higman Marine, Hostess Brands, Integrated Electrical Services, Intelogic Trace, Jobson Healthcare Information, Liberty HouseLTV Steel, MadoffMartin Color-FiMBIA, Mendocino Brewing, MetalicoMississippi Chemical Corporation, ModSpace, Molycorp (expert witness engagement for counsel), Montreal, Maine & Atlantic RailroadMorrison-Knudsen, Nationwise Automotive, Nuo TherapeuticsOgden Corporation, Osyka Corporation, Petsec Energy, Phar-Mor, RAB Food Group, Solutia, Spansion, Sudbury, Spiegel (for MBIA), Summit Global Logistics, Trans EnergyUnited Rentals, Vivaro, Xtreme Power.

*The Deal’s League Tables are the ranking criteria for investment bankers.

Peter S Kaufman


Key Publications

Board Affiliations

  • Board Member, Advisory Committee to ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 (not-for-profit)
  • Former Board Member, American Bankruptcy Institute (not-for-profit)
  • Former Board Member, Great Chebeague Island Golf Club (not-for-profit)
  • Board Member, Harlem Lacrosse & Leadership (not-for-profit)
  • Former Board Member, New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganizations (not-for-profit)
  • Board Member, Pine Brook Capital (for profit)
  • Board Member, Sbragia Family Vineyards (for profit)
  • Former Board Member, Wildlife Trust (now EcoHealth Alliance) (not-for-profit)
  • Former Board Member, Yale Sports Federation (not-for-profit)
  • Former Head of Yale Lacrosse Alumni Association (not-for-profit)
  • Board Member, Yorkville Common Pantry (not-for-profit)