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MD Sass: ownership and opportunism

Martin Sass

Martin Sass celebrates his thirtieth year in the distressed-debt investing business this year. He is in no doubt that business prospects are the best he's ever seen.

Sass, chairman of MD Sass Investors Service and also chairman of Resurgence Asset Management (which is 50% owned by Sass and 50% by its employees), describes himself as a "long-term investor" in distressed situations.

The funds he controls are a mixture of private equity, which focus on buying control of companies, and hedge funds, which take more opportunistic trading positions.

"Our private-equity funds are focused 100% on control," he says. "Our hedge funds have some trading situations because of the need for liquidity but often we can use these as toeholds for what will eventually become control investments."

He adds: "We can buy a ticket to the show and gradually source the claims over time - until we sense that the time is right to move to a control position."

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