Alpine Tremont LLC was founded in 2021 by Gifford West and York Kreft. In combination, Gifford and York have over 35 years in the distressed and non-core disposition field. Sales include transactions across all of Western Europe as well as in Ukraine, India, Mexico, and elsewhere. Clients have included government entities in three of the largest European countries, many of the largest European banks, and numerous private equity funds.
Before co-founding Alpine Tremont, Gifford West was part of the senior management team at DebtX where, starting in 2004, he successfully launched and managed DebtX’s European business. Under Gifford’s guidance, DebtX became a leading advisor to European lenders and governments on the disposal of non-performing loans; clients included two government bad banks, two central banks, and many of the major UK and German banks. Prior to joining DebtX, Gifford held senior roles at Oliver Wyman, Booz Allen, and Credit Suisse First Boston. Gifford received his AB from Harvard College in Middle Eastern History and his MBA from The Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth.
Before co-founding Alpine Tremont, York Kreft was responsible for European transactions and strategy at DebtX. In Germany, starting in 2006, York pioneered many of the processes and legal frameworks that now are considered market standards by both large and small banks in Europe. He is a founder of the Deutsche Kreditmarktstandards. A veteran of the industry, York has successfully traded hundreds of loan and asset portfolios in excess of EUR 10 billion for almost the entirety of European banks, financial institutions, government agencies, family offices, and others. York began his career in management consulting and investment banking. He received his business degrees from Northeastern University and ESB European School of Business Reutlingen. He is a reserve officer of the German Army.
Alpine Tremont's Advisory Board is composed of professionals that are thought leaders in the areas of distressed debt transactions, loan valuation, turnaround strategy, and the precedents upon which the current European distressed debt market was built. Alpine Tremont is privileged to be able to call upon them for their guidance on the strategy of the firm. Advisory Board members offer their input but have no formal role within the operation of Alpine Tremont.
Head of C/SEE Asset Solutions and Co-Head of C/SEE Restructuring & Insolvency, Kinstellar
Denise Hamer is a recognized lawyer and thought leader in the acquisition, sale, restructuring, refinancing, recapitalizing and repositioning of non-performing and non-core assets of all classes, including financial (NPLs), real estate, corporate, and litigation, with a geographical focus on Central and Eastern Europe and Southeastern Europe. She has acted as lead counsel on such marquee transactions as the acquisition by Slovenia's Nova Ljubljanska Banka of Komercijalna Banka, in Serbia’s largest financial sector privatization; the sale by Austria's KA Finanz and Baupost Group of a Greek NPL portfolio; the acquisition by a Blackstone consortium of Erste Bank's 3.4BN Euro Romanian NPL portfolio; the acquisition by Revetas Capital of a distressed Slovenian, Czech and Polish real estate portfolio; the restructuring of a defaulted bond of Bulgarian Railways BDZ; and the restructuring of 1BN Euro debt of Balkan multi-sector company Istrabenz. Prior to joining Kinstellar, Denise held senior roles with, amongst others, DLA Piper, Arthur Andersen, BAWAG PSK (the Austrian portfolio bank of Cerberus Capital Management), and Citigroup.
President, Fintelligently – Boston, MA
Bruce Hounsell is a fintech entrepreneur and senior financial executive providing advisory services in the secondary loan marketplace, including loan valuation, loan sales, expert witness and other consulting work. A 25 year veteran of loan sales and valuation services, he is recognized both by the buy-side and sell-side as a pioneer of the secondary loan market and the creator of many of the most advanced techniques for valuing loans, many for which he holds patents. In 1999, Bruce co-founded the Debt Exchange (DebtX), a world-class, internet-based marketplace for the sale and syndication of loans and related loan services, serving hundreds of domestic and international financial clients including banks, insurance companies and government agencies. While at DebtX, Bruce was instrumental in DebtX becoming the market leading service provider in loan sales and valuations services. He currently serves on the board of DebtX, as well as on the boards of two spin-off companies, DebtX Software Solutions, Inc., which operates broker-neutral platforms for syndications and whole loan sales, and DebtX Analytics, Inc., which provides quantitative services to the loan marketplace.
Bruce was the primary architect of all DebtX business lines, including a third-party loan brokerage operation, a SaaS platform through which entities sell, syndicate and manage loans, and an analytics group providing Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) solutions, mark-to-market services, risk ratings, and data products. Bruce led the formation and maturation of DebtX's trading group which he managed for over 10 years spearheading the sale of billions of dollars of loans. Most recently, he fully developed a suite of analytics services to address banks’ CECL, mark-to-market and risk rating needs. Over 25% of all outstanding commercial real estate loans outstanding in the United States are analyzed with products he developed. During his 20-years at DebtX, Bruce oversaw product innovation, interconnecting myriad technological components to create DebtX’s dynamic online secondary loan sale marketplace and related business lines. Technology services integrated included customer relationship management (CRM), virtual data room (VDR), bidding functionality, sophisticated access controls, data warehouse, data visualization tools, inbound marketing functions and analytics tools, among others. Bruce has been awarded multiple U.S. patents related to this work.
FCA - Independent Advisor, UK based.
Derrick Woolf is an experienced restructuring professional who has played a leading role in the development of restructuring services in the UK and globally for the past 30 years. He is well known and respected across the European restructuring business, having mentored many of the current industry leaders. His restructuring clients include most of the major UK lenders and acquirers of distressed situations where he has turned around businesses and advised on critical business decisions. Derrick was a licensed insolvency practitioner for 20 years and a founding director of the Society of Turnaround Practitioners (now known as the Institute for Turnaround). In addition to advising AlpineTremont, he is currently an advisor to a top five global restructuring firm and a global ESG advisory group.
Partner - Bruski, Smeets, & Lange - Frankfurt
Jörg Wulfken was instrumental in the creation of the German NPL market conceiving and drafting many of the key legal frameworks upon which the market later developed. He is admired in the European banking industry for his clarity of thought and pragmatic solutions. Jörg Wulfken studied law in Hamburg from 1980 to 1987 and received his doctorate from the University of Constance in 1989 with a thesis on the global debt crisis. After working for Westdeutsche Landesbank in Düsseldorf, Clifford Chance in London and Frankfurt, and Bankgesellschaft Berlin, he served as a partner at the law firm Mayer Brown in Frankfurt for 14 years, including more than 7 years as German Managing Partner and in the global management functions Management Board, Partnership Board, and Asian Board. From 2015 to 2020, he joined PwC Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft GmbH as a partner, where he was responsible for the Financial Services Legal practice in Germany and globally. He is now a partner at Bruski, Smeets, & Lange and, since 2020,a member of the Supervisory Boards of Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (Frankfurt listed private equity company) and JSC Georgian Credit (a microfinance lender in Georgia).