Paula Sosamon was introduced to the world of restructuring after her decades long career in finance and it was love at first case.
I was born and raised in Rio, and moved to the United States in 1998. I speak Portuguese, Spanish and English and my fascination with language is similar to my fascination with restructuring.
My restructuring career started at Reddy Ice, the largest U.S. manufacturer of ice which was emerging from Chapter 11 and a Department of Justice antitrust investigation, with new private equity ownership, new senior management team and ambitious growth plans. I was the Director of Field Equipment Services responsible for the turnaround in performance of the company’s 92 locations and 300 employees nationwide, to meet the demanding standards of major retail chain customers.
What do I love about restructuring? It’s a fast-paced, multi-faceted, challenging role that requires a very pragmatic approach. To successfully manage a project, one has to speak the language of operations, finance, human resources and sales while engaging with all major stakeholders. This is similar to how I draw on my experience in working in different countries and learning the language and culture.
What roles do you engage in when working with Paladin?
Most all restructuring cases have a significant liquidity management and finance focus and I’m right at home in that world. With Paladin, I’ve been heavily involved in tracking incoming and outgoing cash flows, evaluating opportunities to reduce spend and improve liquidity, developing performance metrics, improving labor efficiencies, and reporting to status/progress to stakeholders. I also play central roles in managing companies through the Chapter 11 process which can add significant complexity and pressure to a case.
What is it about working on Bankruptcy cases that you find so interesting?
The Bankruptcy process in the United States is unique in global insolvency proceedings, highly evolved and an extraordinarily serious undertaking. This is why I find it fascinating. Literally, every stakeholder gets their “day in court.” This requires management of a multitude of interests, laws, processes, business management and accounting to get to an appropriate outcome that meets all legal criteria. We keep the bankruptcy process moving quickly to manage costs and maximize value to stakeholders. Outcomes might include: reduction of debt and recapitalization of the company, sale of assets, sale of the entire business or potential wind-down of the business. Paladin excels at helping clients to navigate this environment, which is completely unknown to them, and imbued with risk.
What do you enjoy about being a Paladin team member?
There’s always been organic growth at Paladin. While a small firm, the standards are high and team members are always pushing and encouraging each other to do and be better.
Paladin is like a second family. We all spend a lot of time together and get along well even when under pressure. It is tough being a parent, one of the few women in this industry, and being on the road away from my family. But, it is easier when you love what you do. And luckily, I work with extremely respectful and supportive colleagues at Paladin.