Jeffrey Pielusko discusses the skills he has acquired over the four years he has worked at Carl Marks Advisors and what attracted him to the firm after leaving a large financial institution.

What originally drew you to a career in restructuring and investment banking? 

I was drawn to a career in restructuring/investment banking because it gave me the opportunity to help businesses work through turbulent situations and emerge stronger. I enjoy helping companies create and implement strategies that enable them to grow and thrive. Because I engage in a variety of unique and challenging business issues, I continue to develop a more well-rounded knowledge base.  

What was attractive about working at Carl Marks Advisors?

Coming from a major financial institution with hundreds of thousands of employees, large deal teams and defined hierarchies, I was drawn to Carl Marks Advisors’ smaller, more intimate team. I knew this type of environment would provide me with more hands-on experience in which I could be involved in many aspects of a deal.

Carl Marks Advisors is a firm with values and culture that align with my own and I am lucky to have found a home here. It checked all my boxes. I am able to work with smaller deal teams with senior professionals across a wide-range of industries, and it is easy to spot my impact on a deal. Working directly with the partners at the firm has also allowed me to take on a stronger leadership role.

 How has your career progressed during your time at Carl Marks Advisors?

I joined Carl Marks Advisors in 2014 as an Associate after leaving the corporate banking world. In my four years here, I’ve been promoted to a Director, gained valuable experience and expanded my responsibilities. I have taken every opportunity to refine my skills and build my professional network. Now, as Director, I have a more meaningful leadership role in the development of client solutions and the implementation of the changes needed to capitalize on those solutions.

 Which engagements are the most challenging/rewarding/exciting and why?

Engagements that I find most interesting are typically those in which we are working directly with, or on behalf of, a company. These engagements can be particularly challenging if I have limited experience in the particular industry or market. However, it is these same situations, working hand-in-hand with management addressing day-to-day business issues, as well as develop longer-term strategic initiatives, that ultimately prove to be the most meaningful learning opportunities.

It’s always a profound experience to walk away from a successful engagement and later see that company is continuing to prosper. Even if no one else is aware, knowing that I had a role in helping that company improve is extremely satisfying.

What skills are most beneficial for investment bankers in restructuring?

Restructuring engagements are dynamic and issues often arise quickly, leaving limited reaction time. The ability to remain flexible in your approach is critical because what you think is the right solution can change in an instant. An extremely valuable skill is the ability to outline the potential paths forward given the existing circumstances, but also acknowledge the variables at play and how any shift in the situation can impact the expected outcomes. Developing this open-minded and comprehensive way of thinking helps protect clients from potential pitfalls that are not yet known or have yet to be considered.