Thomas Lapointe, CFA
Lead Portfolio Manager, Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund
Mr. Lapointe is lead portfolio manager of the Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund. He joined Third Avenue in 2009. With his arrival, the firm launched the Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund to invest in high-yield debt, bank debt, convertible securities, DIP securities, distressed situations and debt for equity reorganizations.
Mr. Lapointe has over 20 years of investment experience and was previously responsible for managing approximately $6 billion in high-yield assets, as Co-Head of High-Yield Investments for Columbia Management. Mr. Lapointe worked at Columbia for a decade and managed a team of 10 analysts. Earlier in his career, Mr. Lapointe was a convertible bond credit analyst at CIBC World Markets where he helped run a convertible arb hedge fund. Before that he was a high-yield analyst at AIG Global Investment Corp. and a financial analyst at Caldor Department Stores.
He has served on numerous ad hoc and official creditor committees. He served on the official creditor committee of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel when it successfully emerged from bankruptcy. Mr. Lapointe also testified in bankruptcy court on behalf of Columbia during the reorganization of Hollywood Casino-Shreveport. As a bondholder he worked with other lenders and the management of XM Satellite to improve the company’s liquidity and grow the business.Mr. Lapointe holds a B.S. in Accounting and Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College. He is a Trustee for the Shenandoah Foundation, a not-for-profit that runs an educational program about tall ship sailing.
Michael Fineman, CFA
Portfolio Manager, Third Avenue Special Situations Fund
Mr. Fineman is portfolio manager of the Third Avenue Special Situations Fund, a private partnership that invests in distressed securities and corporate reorganizations. As head of Third Avenue’s distressed debt research team, Mr. Fineman helps all of Third Avenue’s managers identify appropriate opportunities throughout the capital structure. He joined the firm in 2006.
Mr. Fineman has approximately 20 years of experience in distressed, restructuring and related roles. Prior to Third Avenue, he was a distressed investing analyst for Sanno Point Capital Management, a credit-driven hedge fund. He had previously worked in the Investment Banking and Restructuring Advisory Services division of Ernst & Young (since acquired by Macquarie Group) where he led corporate restructurings and reorganizations for debtors and creditors. He has 10 years experience as a sell side research analyst for Goldman Sachs, Alex, Brown and Raymond James.
Mr. Fineman is Chairman of the Board for Home Products Inc., a $200 million house-wares manufacturing company that Third Avenue led through a rapid pre-packaged reorganization. Mr. Fineman has participated on many ad-hoc creditors committees including LandSource Communities LLC, U.S. Shipping, Grant Forest Products, Building Materials Holding Corporation and Collins and Aikman.
Mr. Fineman has an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.S. in Business Administration with honors from the University of Delaware. He is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and holds a certification in Distressed Business Valuation.
Mr. Zalewski is a portfolio manager for the Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund. He joined Third Avenue in 2009 and has analyzed distressed and high yield debt as well as special situations equity for 12 years. At Third Avenue, he has focused on the gaming, media/broadcasting, and power sectors.
Previously, Mr. Zalewski was a distressed debt and special situations portfolio manager at Credit Suisse Securities, managing a $250 million proprietary book of bonds, loans, and stocks. Prior to that he was a senior distressed debt and special situations analyst at investment firm 3V Capital, which he helped build out as the spun-off proprietary trading group of Libertas Partners. He began his fixed income career as a high yield analyst at Lehman Brothers. Mr. Zalewski gained a background in securities analysis and investment banking at First Union Securities.
He has served on the board of EasyLink Services International Corp., and on the creditors committee for Interstate Bakeries Corp. Significant restructurings Mr. Zalewski has invested in during his career include: Bosque Power, Bronx Parking, Citadel / Cumulus, Dynegy, Owens Corning, Solutia, and WR Grace.
Mr. Zalewski has a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science from Duke University and is a member of the board of directors of New York's Red Fern Theatre Company.
Edwin Tai, CFA
Mr. Tai is a portfolio manager for the Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund. In 2010, Mr. Tai joined Third Avenue's credit team from the Seaport Group where he was a managing director in distressed debt research specializing in distressed bonds, bank debt, trade claims and special purpose vehicles.
Prior to that, Mr. Tai spent three years at Barclays Capital as a senior member of the distressed debt trading team managing more than $500 million in distressed investments. He was a director and analyst focusing on the power, oil & gas, consumer, technology, homebuilding and financial sectors. Significant restructurings Mr. Tai has invested in during his career include: Lehman Brothers, Nortel, AIG, Ainsworth Lumber, Lyondell, Ion Media, Spectrum Brands, Calpine.
Previously, Mr. Tai was an equity analyst covering global semiconductors at Credit Suisse. He began his career in Lucent Technologies’ Financial Leadership Development Program.
Mr. Tai is currently an adjunct professor of finance at Fordham University. He received an M.B.A. from MIT's Sloan School of Management. Mr. Tai holds an M.S. in Accounting from Babson College and graduated with honors from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Finance and a B.A. in Economics.
Mr. Kirk is a portfolio manager for the Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund. He joined Third Avenue after seven years at J.P. Morgan, where he was most recently in high yield research, specializing in health care, where he covered over 80 issuers. Mr. Kirk was actively involved in the financing of six LBOs, five dividend re-capitalizations, and six debut high yield issuers in addition to over a dozen separate refinancings. Since joining Third Avenue in 2011, he has focused on stressed, distressed, special situations and restructurings across chemicals, consumer, energy, foods & beverage, healthcare, home construction, and metals & mining sectors.
Mr. Kirk also worked on J.P. Morgan's emerging markets trading desk where he traded Mexican, Turkish and Russian sovereign bonds and options as well as corporate debt for issuers including Pemex. Additionally, he worked with J.P. Morgan's Principal Finance team performing due diligence for purchasing and securitizing non-performing loans in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Mr. Kirk holds an M.A. in Economics from Cambridge University where he wrote his thesis on the causes as well as the probability and severity of international financial crises. He holds dual undergraduate degrees in Economics and Political Science from Yale University. He was captain of the crew team at Yale and was stroke of the winning Cambridge Blue Boat in the 150th anniversary of the Cambridge/Oxford Boat Race.
Mr. Savage joined Third Avenue’s Credit/Distressed Team after three-and-a half-years at Morgan Stanley, where he was most recently a credit analyst focusing on the consumer and retail sectors. He also worked in Morgan Stanley’s Leveraged & Acquisition Finance Group where he focused on structuring and pricing U.S. high yield bond, leveraged loan and bridge loan financings. Mr. Savage participated in the execution of 52 lead managed high yield bond deals and 53 lead bank deals totaling $74 billion. Notable transactions Mr. Savage worked on include Supervalu, North American Breweries, Kinetic Concepts, Allflex, CSM Bakery Supplies, CF Industries, MSCI, United Rentals, CTI Foods, Ferrara Candy, and Academy Sports. Mr. Savage began his career at Stanfield Capital Partners, a credit-based alternative asset manager, in 2009.
Mr. Savage holds a B.A. in Political Science (American National Government) from Trinity College. He played fullback for Trinity’s championship varsity men’s football team.
Managing Director and Associate General Counsel
Mr. Lennon joined Third Avenue in 2013 from Kirkland & Ellis LLP where he was a partner in the restructuring practice group. He worked on a number of successful financial restructurings including The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Innkeepers USA Trust, Visteon Corporation, Hawaiian Telecom Communications, Inc. and Calpine Corporation. Prior to Kirkland & Ellis, Mr. Lennon worked on various bankruptcy cases as an Associate at Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP and served as law clerk to the Honorable Stuart M. Bernstein of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Lennon works closely with Third Avenue’s Credit Team.
Mr. Lennon holds a B.A. in Sociology and Economics from Vassar College and a JD from Brooklyn Law School.