FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Suzanne Kelly

Kelly Garfinkle Strategic Restructuring LLC

Phoenix, VA, USA

Suzanne Kelly, Co-Founder and Principal
Kelly Garfinkle Strategic Restructuring LLC

Before launching Kelly Garfinkle Strategic Restructuring, Suzanne Kelly served as a Senior Financial Analyst with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in Washington, D.C. She joined the agency in 1991 stayed until 1997. In 2003 she returned to the PBGC to work on major restructurings involving complex pension issues.

For PBGC, Suzanne Kelly led multi-disciplinary teams including lawyers, actuaries, outside professionals and management in various cases where she was responsible for developing the case strategy, including in response to distress termination and Minimum Funding Waiver requests. Kelly represented the PBGC on numerous bankruptcy unsecured creditors’ committees for reorganizing and liquidating companies that sponsor defined benefit pension plans. In addition to issues of financing, operational changes, asset sales, supplier settlements, plan distributions and waterfall issues, these committees frequently address issues related to pension plans sponsored by the debtors in numerous countries.

For AMR/American Airlines, Suzanne Kelly led the team responsible for securing the survival of four large pension plans with over 100,000 participants and a $10 billion exposure to the PBGC. She represented the agency on the creditors’ committee and worked directly with major financial creditors on issues related to the merger with US Airways and value allocation.

She also led the termination of the Nortel Networks pension plan for the PBGC and, as a creditor committee member, worked on issues including asset sales, proceeds allocation and pension issues related to the world-wide liquidation of Nortel assets and the wind up of underfunded pension plans in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers in New York, in the first bankruptcy, she negotiated the continuation of the pension plan and additional funding to the pension when creditors were receiving 90 plus-cent distributions. In the second filing, she led committee efforts to increase the value received for real estate and negotiated settlements that produced recovery for the PBGC. Kelly took a lead role for the PBGC in cases involving Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation, Delta Air Lines, LyondellBasell, Chemtura Corporation and Quebecor, Inc. (now known as World Color Press) and many others.

Among her accomplishments at the PBGC, Kelly developed a major study on the health care industry and led development of a financial model that assessed PBGC’s exposure to hospital pension plans based on the sponsor’s operational and financial data.

Prior to joining the agency, Suzanne Kelly was Senior Consultant to S&J Consulting, Inc. where she worked with a privately held company to restructure financial obligations, the Acquisition Management Branch (AMB) at the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Suzanne Kelly holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Maryland, a Masters of Economics – International Development Banking from American University, and holds a Certified Insolvency & Restructuring Advisor Certification.

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