Bill Welnhofer Managing Director & Partner, Birch Lake Associates, LLC
Bill Welnhofer’s inspiring outcomes include successful transactions totaling billions of dollars across a wide array of leveraged financings, complex M&A and debt restructurings. Many of these transactions have involved substantial private companies owned either by family offices or private equity. For many years, Bill led the restructuring business in the global investment banking department of Robert W. Baird & Co., which previously acquired his investment banking practice at Starshak Welnhofer & Co., a Chicago-based broker-dealer, that Bill founded and operated for almost two decades. Bill joined Birch Lake from KPMG Corporate Finance, KPMG’s investment banking division.
Bill’s representative transactions include numerous sales and acquisitions of businesses such as Arquetst, AstroTurf, Borse Industries, Coleman-Powermate, Dairy Mart Convenience Stores, Focus Products, Kiel Bros. Oil and KP Oil, KX Industries, Origin Healthcare Solutions and Starcraft Corporation, among others. He also helped lead the successful recapitalization and restructuring of such companies as London Fog, Prince Tennis, Standard Bancshares, Star Trac and Tharco Containers. Bill has also served as a trusted advisor and board member to numerous private companies. One example is Lawson Software, a large family owned ERP software provider that he helped refinance and later guided to an IPO as the interim CFO which is now part of Infor, a large privately held diversified technology company based in New York.
As a recognized thought leader in the turnaround, restructuring and distressed investing industry, Bill has authored articles on navigating complex deal making in distressed situations, including guidance on how to bypass reorganization auctions to acquire targets and price allocations in distressed sale and purchase agreements. In addition to holding numerous securities licenses, he is a licensed attorney and a member of the American Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Turnaround Management Association. Bill holds B.A. (Economics, with distinction), M.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Northwestern University. His civic and charitable activities include being an executive committee and board member of the Northwestern University Settlement (House) Association.