Junk bond aristocrat Michael Milken looms vast in LA financial industry

At Drexel, deals were some-more difficult and some-more exciting, he said.

The organisation helped financial such blockbuster deals as a 1985 antagonistic takeover of cosmetics organisation Revlon and a 1988 takeover of tobacco and food hulk RJR Nabisco, a $25-billion understanding that was a biggest leveraged buyout of a era.

Demand for Drexel’s services was huge, and former bankers and traders there contend a consistent upsurge of business gave them discernment and knowledge that valid useful after on.

“We were saying 8 times a volume of deals as a subsequent closest competitor,” pronounced Jess Ravich, a former Drexel bond merchant who’s now a handling executive during downtown L.A. investment organisation TCW. “So we get there during age 26, and by a time you’re 30 we have a homogeneous of 32 years of experience.”

More than anything, though, operative during Drexel was a possibility to learn from Milken. Regarded by some as a Wall Street villain, Milken is still seen as a purpose indication by many of his former colleagues. They used difference like visionary, insubordinate and even infidel to report him. They remember his famously prolonged hours — and how he used them to exam an employee’s mettle.

“Mike would frequency exclude a meeting, even with a many youth chairman on a floor, though he’d make we play duck a small bit,” Ravich said. “He’d say, ‘I have a assembly during 5 a.m. and a assembly during 4:30, though we can accommodate during 4.’ If we came in early enough, he’d accommodate with you.”

Eight months after Milken resigned, Drexel filed for failure on Feb. 13, 1990, stubborn by a insider-trading review and crippled by a downturn in a junk-bond market. Fired employees started looking for work, that wasn’t easy given some Wall Street firms wouldn’t sinecure them — not given they’d finished anything wrong themselves, though given of their organisation with Drexel.

A handful of Drexel bankers — including Moelis, Danhakl and Nolan — went to a Los Angeles bureau of investment bank Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette. A few others, including Ravich, went to investment bank Jefferies, afterwards headquartered in L.A.

Some suspicion they could do improved as investors and started or assimilated private equity firms in Los Angeles. Those who went that route, such as Sokoloff of Leonard Green Partners, had relations with Drexel clients that helped them scale up. The organisation would after do a few deals with Foodmaker Inc., a San Diego organisation that had formerly been financed by Drexel.

In a years given Drexel went bust, firms run or founded by members of a diaspora have grown, been bought and sold, left open and, in some cases, met a same predestine as Drexel.

Ares Management, a largest internal organisation that traces a roots to Drexel, went open in 2014, creation owners and Drexel alumni Ressler a billionaire. On a other side of a ledger, former Drexel bond play Gary Winnick went on to found Global Crossing, a telecommunications organisation that in 2002 became one of a biggest U.S. firms ever to go bankrupt.

Successful or not, many of Milken’s acolytes will accumulate during this week’s conference, a marquee eventuality put on by a Milken Institute, a Santa Monica consider tank included by Milken and his hermit Lowell, who also worked during Drexel.

Milken, 69, is value an estimated $2.5 billion notwithstanding profitable $200 million in fines and hundreds of millions some-more in polite settlements associated to his reign during Drexel.

He has spent most of a final 25 years appropriation cancer investigate — he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, now in remission, shortly after portion 22 months in sovereign jail — and doing other munificent work.

One eventuality that’s not on a discussion bulletin is a cooking for Drexel alumni. It’s equal tools category reunion, networking event and loyalty to both a male and a organisation that so many financiers in Los Angeles contend have been pivotal to their careers.

At a dinner, there are speeches and videos of aged Drexel ads, fight stories are told and friendships rekindled. But mostly, it’s a possibility to see Milken, who stays dear by those who worked with him.

“If Mike asked me for anything, I’d do it,” pronounced Leonard Green’s Danhakl. “I tell people, we all still work for Mike. He used to compensate us.”


Twitter: @jrkoren

Drexel connections

A representation of L.A. financial firms with ties to Michael Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert

Ares Management

Headquarters: Century City

Specialty: Buyouts and business lending

Drexel connection: Founded by Drexel alumni Antony Ressler and John Kissick

Trivia: Ressler is infancy owners of a Atlanta Hawks and is married to singer Jami Gertz. A licence propagandize south of downtown L.A. is named Gertz-Ressler High School in approval of their financial support.

Crescent Capital

Headquarters: West L.A.

Specialty: Private lending, high-yield bond investing

Drexel connection: Founded by Drexel alumni Mark Attanasio, Jean-Marc Chapus and Robert Beyer

Trivia: Attanasio is a infancy owners of a Milwaukee Brewers and hermit of screenwriter Paul Attanasio.


Headquarters: Downtown L.A.

Specialty: Bond investments, private equity

Drexel connection: Drexel alumnus Jess Ravich is a handling executive overseeing TCW’s private equity and other choice investments; Robert Beyer, co-founder of Crescent Capital, was TCW’s arch executive from 2005 to 2009

Trivia: Ravich founded and after sole bonds organisation Libra Investments; Beyer now runs private investment organisation Chaparal Investments.

Leonard Green Partners

Headquarters: West L.A.

Specialty: Private equity investments, quite in a sell and grill industry

Drexel connection: Longtime handling directors Jonathan Sokoloff and John Danhakl worked during Drexel, as did confidant Peter Nolan. The firm’s namesake owners was a Drexel client.

Trivia: The firm’s stream investments embody Shake Shack, J. Crew, Lucky Brand. Past ones embody Petco, Neiman Marcus and Del Taco.

Moelis Co.

Headquarters: New York (with L.A. bureau in Century City)

Specialty: Investment banking

Drexel connection: Founded in 2007 by former Drexel investment landowner Ken Moelis

Trivia: Though a organisation is formed in New York, Moelis lives and works in Los Angeles.

Turner Impact Capital

Headquarters: Santa Monica

Specialty: Investing in affordable housing, licence schools and medical facilities

Drexel connection: Founded by Bobby Turner, a former Drexel investment banker

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