Michael A. Criscito is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura based in Irvine. He has over 30 years of experience in global banking, including extensive experience in restructuring and distressed real estate.
Prior to joining Ankura, Michael worked at Credit Suisse for over 20 years and was the global head of workout. He managed a global staff of restructuring professionals located in New York, London, Brazil, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The global portfolio which exceeded $6 billion was primarily composed of commercial real estate loans/assets, impaired/stressed corporate/leveraged loans, derivatives, and structured products. Michael provided senior level guidance and direction on strategic matters, client/investor relationships, valuation, DIP structuring/fees, problem loan management framework, and talent development. Over his career at Credit Suisse, Michael successfully restructured, owned, operated, and disposed of a multi-billion real estate portfolio across various asset classes including land, multi-family, residential, golf, office, hotel, and entertainment.
Michael’s professional experience includes:
- Advised the largest wholesale mortgage originator in the country in connection with unprecedented margin calls and short-term liquidity stress as a result of extreme volatility in the bond markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related Federal Reserve intervention. Assisted management in creating a daily cash flow forecast and constructing a transparent payment plan with the TBA counterparties. Successfully leveraged industry connections to spearhead negotiations with the appropriate counterparties to waive defaults and provide the company short-term forbearances. Reached a payment agreement with counterparties allowing the company to pay off its margin calls and become compliant with its liquidity covenant. Mitigated future risks associated with market fluctuations by altering the company’s hedging strategy and securing additional liquidity which enabled the company to avoid default and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- Advised a bank syndicate in connection with their senior debt position secured by a more than 399-room, full-service hotel located in Manhattan. The impact of COVID-19 caused the borrower to default on its debt service obligations and forced the temporary halt of the construction work that was being performed as part of a major brand-mandated Property Improvement Plan (PIP). Reviewed and assessed the hotel’s historical and projected operating performance, business plan and underlying assumptions as well as the short and long-term liquidity prospects of the hotel. Development of prospective value conclusions for alternative exit scenarios based on anticipated market recovery dates. Structured and negotiated multiple forbearance agreements as well as restructuring proposals. Ultimately recommended the banks take possession of the asset and provided on-going asset management services.
- Currently advising a large developer and operator of student housing in connection with $1 billion of debt across three universities. Occupancy was significantly impacted due to COVID-19 resulting in the inability to service debt, impacting reinvestment reserves and the collection of fees. Assisted the client with forbearance negotiations and developing restructuring proposals.
- Publicly traded golf/residential development company: Managed bankruptcy process for the bank, including valuation fight which led to the possession of eight development projects around the U.S. Hired and managed 3rd party managers for day-to-day operations while building out business plans for each asset which included residential real estate sale strategy, operational improvements related to golf and retail operations, land improvements, and development and disposition strategy.
- Multiple multi-family projects throughout the U.S. whereby capital improvement plans were devised, leasing strategies implemented, and disposition executed to maximize value for the bank.
- Public Golf course in California: Asset was acquired after a contentious bankruptcy process with pursuit of personal guarantee. Large construction project due to a landslide of the 18th hole that required a $50 million budget to complete. Significant regulatory and local ordinance requirements to manage in addition to overseeing the construction project, including approving all funding of the budget while managing the operational aspects of the course in conjunction with 3rd party manager. Developed disposition strategy which led to the sale to a well-known New York developer.
- Acted as agent and lender on over a dozen defaulted resort land deals including operating assets such as hotels and retail throughout the US that the bank originated. Worked with the largest investors to devise restructuring strategies, oversee 3rd party managers, and disposition plans. Significant litigation occurred as a result of valuation issues and acted as Person Most Knowledgeable (PMK) for depositions on behalf of the bank.
- Completed the disposition of various land parcels at a California ski resort that the bank acquired through foreclosure. Disposition strategy included: attending numerous meetings with town officials along with 3rd party managers to first seek rezoning of various parcels, reducing tax basis, combining parcels to make them more saleable and potential land swaps to maximize proceeds. Developed budgets and managed the income producing parcels that had parking and a restaurant.
Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Michael worked at HSBC Markets in a risk management function specializing in mortgages and before that held various risk management and sales and trading roles at other financial institutions such as Bear Stearns, McDonald & Company, and Paine Webber.