WIlbur Ross may be the best known turnaround financier in the U.S., having been involved in the restructuring of over $200 billion of defaulted companies’ assets around the world. In 1998, Fortune Magazine called him "the King of Bankruptcy.”
Mr. Ross organized International Steel Group in April 2002 and was its Board Chairman. By acquiring Bethlehem and other troubled companies, ISG became the largest integrated steel company in North America. It was listed on the New York Stock Exchange until it merged with Mittal Steel to form the largest steel company in the world. Mr. Ross remains a director of ArcelorMittal.
In October 2005, the firm teamed up with India’s Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited, India’s $9.5 billion mortgage finance institution, to invest in Indian corporate restructurings and turnarounds. The firm has become the first foreign fund selected by the Asset Reconstruction Company of India (“ARCIL”) to rehabilitate a major Indian company, OCM.
In March, 2004, the firm organized International Textile Group (“ITG”) by buying and consolidating two bankrupt companies, Burlington Industries and Cone Mills. Mr. Ross serves as Chairman of ITG which has developed major investments in China and Viet Nam and acquired Safety Components International and BST, two leading producers of airbag fabrics and cushions.
On October 1, 2004, WL Ross organized International Coal Group to acquire out of bankruptcy Horizon Natural Resources and two other coal companies and went public. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ICO.
In 2005, WL Ross formed International Automotive Components (“IAC”) to acquire Collins & Aikman’s European operations and Lear’s European interior plastics division. More recently, the firm acquired control of PLASCAR, the leading Brazilian automotive plastics company, Mitsuboshi in Japan, Lear Corporation’s U.S. European and Asian interior plastics businesses and certain North American plants of Collins & Aikman. IAC now has revenues of $5.5 billion and 23,000 employees in 17 countries.
The Ross Funds are major investors in Greenbrier Companies and Assured Guaranty Ltd., and Mr. Ross joined their Boards. The Funds also own a majority of the stock in American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc., the second largest sub prime mortgage servicer and are investors in Greenbrier Companies, a major rail freight car producer.
In 1999, President Kim Dae Jung awarded Mr. Ross a medal for his help during Korea's 1998 financial crisis. He is a former Chairman of the Smithsonian National Board. Earlier, President Clinton had appointed him to the Board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund, and he served as privatization advisor to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Mr. Ross serves on the Executive Committee of the New York City Partnership, is Chairman of the Japan Society and is a member of the Chairman’s Circle of the U.S.-India Business Council. He is a member of the Business Roundtable and is a Board member of the Yale University School of Management, which has presented him with its Legend of Leadership Award. He is also a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation. China Institute presented him with its 2007 Blue Cloud Award. He is the only person elected to both the Turnaround Management Hall of Fame and the Private Equity Hall of Fame. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 by BritishAmerican Business and received the 2010 Business Statesman Award from Harvard Business School Club of New York.
Mr. Ross holds an A.B. from Yale University and an M.B.A., with Distinction, from Harvard University.