Question: What made you decide to open
your own firm, Mosier & Company, Inc.?
I had just completed a successful turnaround
as President of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company in 1980 – doubling
revenues to $30 million and reversing a $4 million loss to a $4 million
profit. I also helped orchestrate taking the company public – my first
financial homerun. I knew then that I wanted to start my own company, so I
launched Mosier & Company, Inc., as a turnaround firm. My first project
was Executive Jet Aviation in Columbus, Ohio.
Question: What set you on the path to
become a receiver?
While doing corporate turnarounds, I worked
with an L.A. investment company that funded underperforming companies.
While in L.A. one day in June 1985, I called my father-in-law, a recently
retired Superior Court Judge, Bruce W. Sumner. He had just been
appointed to take over a failed bank trust department to recover funds for
64 pension plans. He asked for my help, and I agreed. In two years, we
recovered 110% – enough to pay investors in full with interest plus our
fees. I concluded that this court-appointed stuff was easy! I then met
Harry Gastley, one of Orange County’s first US Trustees; that led to a lot
of great Chapter 11 Trustee assignments. Thirty-two years later, I have
handled about 630 State and Federal Court appointments – most are
receiverships. But other appointments include Chapter 11 Trustee,
Examiner, Provisional Director, President and CEO of Chapter 11 Debtors,
Chief Responsible Officer, etc. While on the panel of Trustees for just
over two years in the early 90s, I processed over 4,000 chapter 7 cases.
But with 95% no-asset cases, the “turnaround” opportunities were limited
in the Chapter 7 area.
Question: You were one of the founders of
the California Receivers Forum. How did this come about?
Bob Warren (a founding member from
Orange County and namesake for the Robert Warren Award for Excellence) and
I were having breakfast one morning in the early 1990s, and we discussed a
professional organization for receivers. At the same time, and through
Edythe Bronston who represented me in an L.A. case, I learned about an
L.A. group with the same objective. Edy suggested that we merge the two.
This resulted in the California Receivers Forum (“CRF”). Edy and I ran the
first Loyola Law School seminar for the CRF that proved to be very helpful
to the Receivership Community. Loyola VII was just concluded in March of
Question: And what about the
Receivership News (“RN”)?
Peter Davidson started RN and
published 8 issues. These were black and white documents with substantive
discussions of receivership issues of the day. I had an idea for an
expanded publication to include profiles of members and judges, a list of
receivers, Tombstone ads for receivers to announce new or closed cases, a
“gossip column” and advertising from vendors to pay for it. I presented
this concept to the CRF State Board and the rest is history. Peter still
writes a very substantial column, “Ask the Receiver,” that provides
practicing receivers with useful information and practice tips. The first
expanded newsletter was published in 2003, or fourteen years ago. This
issue is number 60 so it has been a good run that includes more than
seventy-five profiles of members and judges.
Do you have a favorite case?
In 2009, I was appointed Receiver in Federal
Court in L.A. at the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission to
take over an alleged Ponzi scheme, Private Equity Management Group or PEMG,
with just under $1 billion in outstanding investments. PEMG had assets on
three continents in seven countries and included a portfolio of life
insurance policies. We are just now closing the eight-year old case and
have recovered roughly $360 million. The investors (six large banks in
Taipei made up 98% of the investor group) have recovered an average of 31%
of their investment. The portfolio of life insurance policies (assigned to
the investors) may generate another 10% or 20% recovery over time. This
was a great case that put the seven-member team of Mosier & Company, Inc.
to the test!
Question: What are your other interests
While I was in New York with TWA, I began
playing squash. Today, I still compete internationally by playing in
tournaments in Mexico and Canada. I generally get in two or three games
per week in downtown L.A. I am a past president of Southern California
Squash and currently Vice President of the International Jesters Club that
purports to include the “best” squash, racquets and court tennis players
in the U.S. and the world. So as not to overstate (a no-no for Full
Disclosure Mosier), “best” is defined as either “is or was a top player”
or a major supporter/contributor to the success of the games. Regrettably,
I fall in the latter category!
Question: Has your wife of over 40 years,
Ann Mosier, played a role in your professional development?
Ann and I have worked together since about
1982 or 35 of our 40-year marriage. Today, she is our office manager and
chief paralegal. She keeps trying to retire, but with my limited farm-boy
vocabulary, I don’t know the meaning of this word. She also raised our
daughter Elyssa and regularly visits our granddaughter Olivia (just
turning 5) in the Portland/ Vancouver area. The favorite activity for our
combined families: a vacation cruise on a Disney ship. Brittany, our
14-year-old Lab, comes to the office every day.
Question: And what about your staff?
Of all the good things that have happened to
me in this life, my associates that I work with every day would rank among
the top. Craig Collins, CPA: whom I picked up when I was Chapter 11
Trustee for Allied Education in 1991 – Craig was the CFO. He is the
quantitative side of Mosier & Company, but he is also a GREAT proofer of
all office documents plus he edits RN. Ryan Baker is the newest
member of this quality group coming aboard in 2009– a senior financial
analyst who is now a receiver; Ryan made his debut at the recent Loyola
VII conference as a participant on Alan Mirman’s panel. Jim LeSieur
is a retired bank president and handles special assignments. Nancy
Michenaud is our controller/bookkeeper who manages 200 to 300 bank
accounts at any one time and coordinates dozens of receipts and
disbursements each week. She is assisted by Aurora Bloom whom I met
while wrapping up the Pettis Tester law firm in the mid-1990s. Our staff
expands during the busy times with a receptionist and more agents. I like
to think of these associates as the best of the best.
Question: What can we expect to see coming
from you in the future?
I have always wanted to write a book. So, I
have now produced eight Blurb books about my granddaughter that present
her life’s journey from her perspective – more “Olivia” books are likely.
I have also prepared several Blurb books on the various squash events that
I attend. The foundation for these books is my high school journalism
Question: Any final thoughts?
I enjoy my cases (well, most of them) and my
associates, and I like the professional associations (CRF and NAFER
(National Association of Federal Equity Receivers)). I also enjoy the
judges that I appear before, and the counsel that represent me. I enjoy
squash (and golf – I play golf once or twice a week with retired
Bankruptcy Judge Jim Barr