|🏫 Education||Duke University University of Virginia School of Law|
|Title||Executive Chairman of Houlihan Lokey|
Irwin Gold is an American businessman who is the Executive Chairman of Houlihan Lokey, Inc. In 1988, he co-founded Houlihan Lokey’s Financial Restructuring Group and has since led many of the Group’s largest, most complex financial restructuring engagements, both in bankruptcy and out-of-court.
Gold holds a B.A. in Economics, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University, as well as a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
In Gold's early career, he spent three years as a lawyer in the corporate department of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and in 1985, he became a senior officer at Wood Bros. Homes, a Denver-based real estate and mortgage banking company. He helped negotiate a workout and sale of the company and acted as its Vice President and Director of Corporate Finance. Following Wood Bros., in 1986, Gold became a Principal of the Seneca Group, an investment banking and financial advisory firm.
Two years later, in 1988, he joined Houlihan Lokey, where he co-founded the firm's Financial Restructuring Group and acted as its global Co-Head for almost 30 years. Following decades of specializing in corporate restructuring, Gold became Executive Chairman of the firm on April 17, 2013. Under Gold's guidance, Houlihan Lokey filed for its initial public offering in 2015 (NYSE: HLI).
Gold, along with his fellow senior executives, have been responsible for some of the largest restructuring deals in U.S. corporate history, including Enron, Lehmann Brothers, General Motors, CIT Group, and WorldCom.
In 2002, Gold was a primary advisor in the restructuring of WorldCom. With debt of $40 billion, it was the largest Chapter 11 filing in U.S. history. By 2004, the company emerged from bankruptcy under the name MCI.
In 2005, Gold led the restructuring process of Delta Air Lines after the company announced it would be targeting an additional $3 billion per year in expense reductions by 2007. It was announced that $970 million in savings was to come from debt relief, lease and facility savings, and previously commenced fleet modifications. A very small percentage of staff was cut as part of the cost savings to allow the airline to remain viable. The restructuring and new initiatives that were introduced meant Delta would return to profitability by late 2007.
In 2009, Gold also led Houlihan Lokey in its restructuring of Charter Communications, reducing debt by $8 billion and raising $3.3 billion of additional capital. A year later, in 2010, Charter Communications was relisted on the NASDAQ.
In 2010, Gold and Houlihan Lokey managed the restructuring of MGM through a pre-packaged Chapter 11 plan that restructured more than $4 billion in debt. During the same year, Gold restructured the $4 billion debt load of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a global leader in educational content services.
In an interview with Bloomberg in 2018, Gold spoke about the industry-wide issue of retaining young talent. He suggested that young financial professionals should be offered more job enrichment and client-facing opportunities, which he believed encouraged talent to stay at one firm for a longer period of time.
In 2018, he again spoke with Bloomberg about the next cycle of material financial distress. He hoped that the triggers would not lead to a similar lack of liquidity in the markets as witnessed during the financial crisis of 2008–2009. Gold believed that disruptive innovation and globalization in some industries had meant a number of major corporations were more directly affected by new entrants into particular markets than they were 30 years ago. He also believed that political turmoil and geopolitical issues could eventually be external factors that have deeper effects on markets, with Italy being a prime example, and that this change in market conditions could lead to an increase in restructuring. In an interview with Business Insider, Gold stated, "When you have highly leveraged companies and even a modest rise in interest rates, that can result in an increase in restructuring activity."
In March 2020, Gold spoke with Bloomberg’s Sonali Basak to discuss the financial markets during COVID-19, how this crisis differs from others, and what the country can expect to see going forward. He commented that he expects a spike in defaults as a recession may be imminent as a result of the pandemic.
Most recently, in October 2020, Gold spoke with Bloomberg Business as part of the special report “2020 Year of Crisis: The Credit Disconnect” about the impact of the pandemic on small businesses. Gold cited that small businesses are in for a "world of hurt" because they have less of an ability to tolerate downturns than large companies due to factors such as reduced liquidity, access to credit, and capital markets options.
Gold is a known supporter of numerous charitable causes in the areas of education, human services, the arts, the environment, and healthcare/medical research, particularly relating to childhood diseases, cancer, and heart disease.
- Treanor, Jill (July 23, 2002). "$40bn in debt - and counting". The Guardian. Unknown parameter
- "Irwin N. Gold Profile". Bloomberg. Unknown parameter
- "Irwin Gold Bio". LinkedIn. Unknown parameter
- Freedman, William (July 17, 2018). "The Return Of Restructuring?". Global Finance. Unknown parameter
- "Houlihan Lokey, Boutique Investment Bank, Files for an I.P.O." The New York Times. July 10, 2015. Unknown parameter
- Peltz, James F. (August 13, 2015). "Investment bank Houlihan Lokey goes public to boost its profile". Los Angeles Times. Unknown parameter
- Pulliam, Susan (December 31, 2002). "Former WorldCom CEO Built An Empire on Mountain of Debt". The Wall Street Journal. Unknown parameter
- Giplin, Kenneth (April 20, 2004). "Worldcom Changes Its Name and Emerges From Bankruptcy". The New York Times. Unknown parameter
- "Delta Air Lines Steps Up Transformation Plan to Accelerate Path to Profitability". Delta. September 22, 2005. Archived from the original on February 20, 2006. Unknown parameter
- "Delta Air Lines in black for 2007". Cincinnati Business Courier. January 23, 2008. Unknown parameter
- "Charter Comm (CHTR) Returns to the Nasdaq after BK". Street Insider. September 14, 2010. Unknown parameter
- Spector, Mike (November 4, 2010). "MGM Studios, Icahn Agree on Bankruptcy Plan". The Wall Street Journal. Unknown parameter
- Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. (February 23, 2010). "Houghton Owner Restructures Debt". The Wall Street Journal. Unknown parameter
- "Houlihan Lokey's Gold on Strategy in Retaining Young Bankers". Bloomberg. May 31, 2018. Unknown parameter
- "Houlihan Lokey's Gold on Next Distress Cycle". Bloomberg. May 31, 2018. Unknown parameter
- "Houlihan Lokey's Gold Says He's Troubled by Italy's Political Crisis". Bloomberg. May 31, 2018. Unknown parameter
- Morrell, Alex (May 26, 2018). "Optimistic restructuring bankers say its starting to feel like 2007". Business Insider. Unknown parameter
- "Houlihan Lokey's Gold Expects a Spike in Defaults as 'Severe' Recession Looms". Bloomberg. March 31, 2020. Unknown parameter
- Bloomberg, Markets and Finance (October 23, 2020). "Special Report: Fed Credit Disconnect Shows Stimulus Shortcomings". YouTube. Unknown parameter
- Basak, Sonali (October 20, 2020). "Houlihan Lokey's Irwin Gold Sees 'World of Hurt' for Small Businesses". Bloomberg Business. Unknown parameter
- Basak, Sonali (October 21, 2020). "Houlihan Lokey's Irwin Gold Sees 'World of Hurt' for Small Businesses". Washington Post. Unknown parameter
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