CPA and consulting firm Wipfli LLP has launched a new practice to offer turnaround and restructuring services to businesses that are experiencing operational and financial distress and attempting to recover.

Wipfli’s Turnaround and Restructuring Services practice advises moderately to severely distressed companies on how to enhance or renew corporate value through services such as profitability improvement, structural reorganization, cost management and financial restructuring. The practice also works with severely distressed companies during the bankruptcy process or other forms of capital restructuring.

“As our nation’s economy enters into a recovery phase, having weathered unprecedented economic events, many businesses continue to face lingering concerns,” said Wipfli managing partner Rick Dreher in a statement. “Wipfli is responding to the needs of these companies by creating a practice devoted to helping them address their operational, structural, or capital challenges, positioning them to more fully participate in the economic recovery.”

To lead and develop the practice, Jeff Baker and David Steichen have joined Wipfli.  Baker and Steichen both have extensive experience helping companies overcome moderate to severe business challenges, returning them to operational and financial stability, and restoring and renewing enterprise value. Together, they led a team that was awarded the “Transaction of the Year” award from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association in 2010.

“Dave and I are very excited to bring our corporate renewal and restructuring experience to a firm as widely known and respected as Wipfli,” said Baker. “Our passion for working with companies to address the issues standing in the way of their success fits perfectly with Wipfli’s focus on serving clients in all stages of their life cycle.”  

Baker, who will lead the practice, spent the majority of his career as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he was a member of the executive team for the firm’s consulting services practice.  In that role, he was responsible for global strategy and corporate development for the consulting division and completed dozens of transactions in over 20 countries. Baker also served as a partner in the firm’s Chairman’s Office and led PwC’s negotiations to sell the consulting practice to IBM, a transaction that was named “Deal of the Year - 2002” by Institutional Investor magazine. More recently, he led another Midwest-based turnaround firm where he oversaw a number of the most high-profile turnaround/distress cases in the region.

Steichen also has more than 25 years of experience, most recently serving as principal of Manchester Companies Inc., a Midwestern turnaround advisory firm, where he advised many of the firm’s largest clients. Prior to joining Manchester, Steichen served as CFO of BroadSign International, a leading supplier of content management and distribution software products to the digital sign industry, and as CFO for Analysts International, a $350 million publicly traded global information technology services company. Steichen began his career with Deloitte working in a variety of roles including an assignment to the firm’s national office where he advised partners throughout the firm on public company accounting and reporting matters and assisted in responding to SEC enforcement actions and restatement demands.

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