Sozo Investment Partners hires former co-chair of Dechert’s restructuring practice

Sozo plans to raise a fund later in 2020 that targets assets, properties and corporate opportunities.

Sozo Investment Partners hired Michael Sage as senior partner and general counsel. Sage previously worked as co-chair of law firm Dechert’s financial restructuring practice. Sozo plans to raise a fund later in 2020 that targets assets, properties and corporate opportunities. Sozo focuses on distressed activism in dislocated markets.

Press Release

Sozo Investment Partners LLC (“SIP”), a private investment partnership focused on distressed activism in dislocated markets, today announced that Michael Sage, a highly respected professional in financial restructuring, including, among other areas, distressed situations, has joined SIP as Senior Partner and General Counsel. Mr. Sage previously served as co-chair of the law firm Dechert LLP’s financial restructuring practice.

The newly-formed firm is planning a fund to formally launch later in 2020 that targets a combination of assets, properties and select corporate opportunities. Upon launch, SIP will have assembled an 8-member team of high caliber investment professionals, legal expertise and technology talent.

Michael Hanna, Managing Partner of SIP, stated, “Our firm is gratified that a professional of Michael Sage’s stature both is joining it as an integral member of our platform and of his confidence in our long-term potential. The SIP platform will be focusing on value in markets such as distressed assets, special situations created by anomalies in the securities marketplaces, as well as private opportunities. The firm strategically plans to utilize its expertise to take, where appropriate, a highly focused strategic activist approach as it relates to its investments. We are presently moving forward with building out the firm’s infrastructure in this regard.”

Michael Sage stated, “The opportunities inherent in the SIP platform and, critically, the chance to team with Michael Hanna, are highly attractive to me professionally. I feel strongly based on my background that I will provide this platform with substantial expertise in its key areas of business and investment focus further enhancing the value proposition of the platform to its investors and the investment opportunities it pursues.”

Mr. Hanna, who has a successful history of creating value in investment partnerships over his approximately 20 years of investment banking and distressed investing experience, created and established the Special Situations group at KLS Diversified Asset Management. Prior to joining KLS, Michael was a Portfolio Manager and Head of Trading at BulwarkBay Investment Group, LLC, a firm he co-founded in 2011. Previously, Michael was a portfolio manager with Concordia Advisors LLC, where he managed the firm’s Distressed Debt Fund, during which he successfully positioned Concordia’s real estate securities investments prior to the Financial Crisis.

As an investor, Michael has actively participated in financial restructurings as a secured and unsecured creditor. He is experienced in navigating inter-creditor rights as well as the Chapter 11 process. He has advised companies, creditors, and equity sponsors in a variety of matters including in and out-of-court restructuring and recapitalization transactions, exchange offers, public and private financings, acquisitions and divestitures.

Prior to joining Concordia he worked in the Leveraged Finance/Financial Sponsors and Global Corporate Investment Banking groups of RBC Capital Markets from 2004 to 2005 and Bank of America Merrill Lynch from 2001 to 2004.

Mr. Sage has been consistently recognized as a leading bankruptcy/restructuring attorney since 2006 in the legal directory Chambers USA, where he has been described as “a phenomenally intelligent attorney.” Most recently, in the 2019 edition of Chambers USA, sources hailed him as “very fine lawyer who is creative, considered in his approach and has a good bedside manner.” Mr. Sage has also been recognized as a leading corporate restructuring attorney by The Legal 500 (US), which noted in prior editions that he is “a master tactician” who is “appropriately aggressive while knowing when necessity compels conservatism.” Mr. Sage is recognized as a 2018 Notable Practitioner for restructuring and insolvency by the IFLR1000.

As co-chair of Dechert’s restructuring practice, Mr. Sage also has significant experience in the representation of financial institutions that have acquired substantial strategic positions in debt issued by troubled companies as well as the bankruptcies, out-of-court restructurings, and divestitures relating to such acquisitions.

About Sozo Investment Partners

SIP is a technology-driven, private investment partnership focused on distressed activism in dislocated markets. The fund plans to target a combination of assets, properties & select corporates that are not dependent on escalation of the default cycle. Importantly, SIP’s strategy is to actively partner with private corporates in need of capital solutions and seeks to unlock value in uncompetitive distressed asset and property markets.