Alex Jurshevski
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Alex Jurshevski

CEO, Recovery Partners

Alex Jurshevski, co-founder and CEO of London-based specialist investment firm Recovery Partners, is no stranger to turnrounds. This, after all, is the Canadian-born investment banker who was headhunted from Wood Gundy's Tokyo office in 1993 to sort out New Zealand's finances. The country's foreign currency borrowing binge of the 1970s and early 1980s had brought the economy to its knees and triggered a crisis. As head of portfolio management in the finance ministry's debt management office, Jurshevski and his colleagues set about restructuring public-sector finances.

Three years later, the job was done: New Zealand had no foreign-currency debt, huge financial savings had been made, the credit rating was up two notches and the currency was rock solid.

Things have changed a bit. "We used to talk about the NZ dollar as being the Swiss franc South," says Jurshevski. "Recently it's been more like the South Pacific peso, although it has improved a fair bit this year."

Now Jurshevski is back in the turnround game, running a firm specializing in distressed and technology situations with four main colleagues. Of these, John Zohrab is a former chairman of Warburg in New Zealand, was the inaugural head of the New Zealand DMO and has been an adviser to Merrill Lynch in non-Japan Asia.

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