DALLAS, Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Lantern Asset Management ("Lantern"), a firm that oversees and acquires financial and operating assets related to timeshare resorts and commercial real estate, today announced the appointment of several key hires, including the appointment of L. Andy Mitchell, the former Managing Director and Head of the Global Special Assets Group at Ally Financial, Inc. ("Ally"). Mr. Mitchell joins Lantern as President and will serve as Chief Risk Officer of Resort Finance America LLC ("RFA"). Mr. Mitchell will lead the firm with William T. Phillips, who is President of RFA and a Senior Managing Director and head of Resort Operations for Lantern. Mr. Phillips was formerly a corporate officer of Marriott International and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Marriott Vacation Club International.
Lantern is a new asset management company formed in September 2010 by Centerbridge Capital Partners, L.P. when the investment firm acquired RFA, the resort finance business of GMAC Commercial Finance LLC, a subsidiary of Ally. RFA primarily consists of a $1.0 billion portfolio of loans related to timeshare resorts throughout North America, now managed by Lantern.
During Mr. Mitchell's tenure at Ally, he led the Global Special Assets Group as Chief Risk Officer and President of the Business Capital Group, which included management of commercial real estate portfolios with assets in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Mr. Mitchell also formerly served as an officer with Cerberus Capital Management and Ableco Finance.
Joining Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Phillips at Lantern are several senior-level hires with deep expertise in the financial and commercial real estate industries, representing extensive experience in commercial and real estate workouts, debt restructuring and turnaround situations:
- Chris Halpin, formerly the Controller at Highland Capital Management, assumes the position of Lantern's Chief Accounting Officer and Chief Financial Officer of RFA.
- Clifton M. Dugas, II, who was previously a partner at the international law firm K&L Gates LLP, has been appointed Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer. At K&L Gates, Mr. Dugas represented lenders and loan servicers in connection with loan workouts and distressed real estate debt.
- Joseph Glica, also from GMAC, joins Lantern as Managing Director and Senior Workout Officer. Mr. Glica has more than 30 years of experience in all facets of commercial and real estate loan workouts and project management.
- Robert Rahr and Thomas K. McInerney, Jr., who both have extensive distressed investment experience working at Ally's Special Assets Group and Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company, have joined Lantern as Directors.
Mr. Phillips stated, "After nearly 20 years of double digit annual growth, the global timeshare industry experienced sharp sales declines in 2008 and 2009, but appears to have stabilized in 2010. A new operating model has emerged with a much greater focus on capital efficiency, prudent credit underwriting, and operational effectiveness."
Mr. Mitchell added, "The market dislocation and dearth of capital in the hospitality and specifically the timeshare sector has exposed significant opportunities, but which require careful assessment and risk management in order to identify the most compelling assets and build their value over time. With an experienced and growing team now in place at Lantern, we believe we are uniquely situated to build the value of our current asset base and capitalize on future areas of opportunity in this space."
About Lantern Asset Management & Resort Finance America
Lantern is a new asset management company created in September 2010 to manage the assets of Resort Finance America ("RFA"). RFA is an entity formed after Centerbridge Partners acquired the resort finance business of GMAC Commercial Finance LLC. RFA principally consists of a $1.0 billion portfolio of loans related to timeshare resorts throughout North America. Lantern and RFA are both wholly-owned subsidiaries of Resort Finance Holdings, a newly created holding company that is wholly-owned by Centerbridge Partners and management.
About Centerbridge Partners
Centerbridge Partners, with approximately $12 billion in capital under management, was established in 2005 and invests across multiple strategies, including private equity and credit investments. The firm is dedicated to partnering with world-class management teams to help companies achieve their operating and financial objectives. Centerbridge's limited partners include many of the world's most prominent financial institutions, university endowments, pension and sovereign wealth funds, and charitable trusts.
Christina Stenson /April Kabahar-Emspak, Brunswick Group, 212-333-3810
SOURCE Lantern Asset Management