FTI Consulting adds six experts to its Aviation practice

FTI Consulting has beefed up its Aviation industry practice with the addition of two senior managing directors and four managing directors. The team expands the firm’s expertise in advising airlines, manufacturers, lenders, lessors, and investors during the most challenging period to ever grace the industry.

Marc Bilbao and Neal Cohen have joined FTI Consulting as senior managing directors in the corporate finance & restructuring segment, and will co-lead the aviation offering. Meanwhile, Scott Farnsworth, Joseph Kazanovski, and Beau Roy have joined the corporate finance & restructuring segment as managing directors, and Susan Dinofrio has joined the strategic communications segment as a managing director. Bilbao, Farnsworth, Kazanovski, and Roy are former colleagues from investment bank Imperial Capital.

Marc Bilbao (Los Angeles) has nearly 25 years of experience in restructuring and investment banking, with 15 years specializing in the aviation industry. Before joining FTI, Bilbao was co-head of restructuring at Imperial Capital, a managing director at Giuliani Capital Advisors, and an executive director in the debt restructuring and workout group of CIBC World Markets.

Bilbao has represented companies and creditors in all phases of restructuring and workouts, developing turnaround strategies, debt and equity restructurings, and M&A transactions. He has experience working with numerous distressed airlines, previously serving as a financial advisor to Mesa Air Group, Southern Air, and Republic Airways.

FTI Consulting adds six experts to its Aviation practice

Neal Cohen (Washington, DC) has more than 30 years of experience leading companies in aviation, manufacturing, and services. Cohen was previously the chief transformation advisor at Avianca Airlines, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May.

Before that, he was CFO at Northwest Airlines, where he led the $12 billion firm’s restructuring and led the strategic assessment of its merger with Delta. Cohen also previously led the post-9/11 restructuring of US Airways.

“The global aviation and aerospace industries are under as much stress as perhaps any point in their history during this unprecedented time,” said Michael Eisenband, global co-leader of the corporate finance & restructuring segment at FTI Consulting. “With the mix of finance, restructuring and operations experience that Marc and Neal possess, they are ideal leaders to lead our aviation offering. They understand the challenges facing the industry from the inside out.”

Scott Farnsworth (Los Angeles) has more than 20 years of experience, and specializes in financial advisory services to aviation industry clients. He was previously a managing director at Imperial Capital and a director at Giuliani Capital Advisors (and its predecessor Ernst & Young Corporate Finance).

Joseph Kavanovski (Los Angeles) has 15 years of experience providing investment banking and financial advisory services to clients in the aviation and other sectors. He was previously an SVP at Imperial Capital, an associate in Houlihan Lokey’s financial restructuring group, and a manager in PwC’s business recovery services group.

Beau Roy (San Francisco) has more than 25 years of experience and specializes in financing, M&A, and restructuring advisory services for aviation clients. Roy was previously a managing director at Imperial Capital and a director at Giuliani Capital Advisors / EY Corporate Finance.

Susan Donofrio (New York) brings over 20 years of experience in aviation and aviation services to FTI’s strategic communications segment, where she will advise industry clients on communications, strategic, operational, and financial issues. Donofrio was previously a senior equity research analyst at Macquarie Group, Deutsche Bank, Fulcrum Global Partners, and Cathay Financial, focusing on aviation, air freight, and online travel agencies.

Donofrio was also previously the head of investor relations at Hawaiian Airlines and lead investor relations consultant at CIT Aerospace.

According to a recent study from ICF, the US aviation industry could take up to four years to reach pre-Covid levels. In the in between years, airlines, airports and industry suppliers will need to optimise their capacity management and efficiency to remain competitive.

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