Chapter 10

Wilbur Ross

We spend a lot of time trying to figure out which industries will go bad a year from now and then within that universe, we try to figure out which companies are salvageable.1

—Wilbur Ross

Wilbur Ross, Jr. is CEO and Chairman of WL Ross & Co. LLC, a subsidiary of Invesco. Invesco is a diversified investment management firm with WL Ross & Co. focused on turning around financially distressed companies. Ross got his BA from Yale and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. After a stellar 24-year career at Rothschild Inc., where he led the worldwide bankruptcy advisory practice, Ross founded WL Ross & Co. in 2000. During his last three years at Rothschild, he ran a private equity fund that inspired him to venture out on his own, raising $450 million to invest in distressed businesses. WL Ross & Co. came under the fold of Invesco in 2006. The products offered by them include funds in the absolute return and private equity sectors.

Ross is an anomaly among his peers; while most of them courted conservative investing in their golden years, Ross’s appetite for risk took to the skies after starting his own gig at the age of 62. From 2001 to 2004, Ross raked in hundreds of millions of dollars by investing in dying businesses and giving them a second chance at life. The segments included steel milling, mining, metals, coal, and textiles. The amazing part is that these turnarounds happened when the U.S. economy was reeling from the back-to-back punches of ...

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