In the wake of management shortcomings, financial malfeasance and scandals, compliance violations…transitional requirements required by Federal regulatory agencies, advisors, or boards of directors require the use of experienced, highly vetted individuals as Officers, Governance or Named Oversight executives, Monitors, or Management Trustees. Such specialized assignments require: recognized integrity, a host of executive management skills, business acumen, broad experience, industry knowledge, direct as well as collaborative decision-making, and (even) an extremely well-developed ability to work with regulators.
Officer (President/CEO/COO), Management Trustee & equivalent; full-time or interim leadership positions Jim Wanserski has proven expertise executing CEO, COO, Management Trustee, Performance-Based, Advisory and Board-Searched, as well as Turnaround roles.
His credentials working in oversight positions, especially as required by boards of directors, Federal agencies, the Judiciary, external/internal counsel, regulators, government entities, banks, and law firms — position him for difficult and contentious positions in a host of such situations across several industries. He has served in executive roles in many different instances, ranging from a board-appointed President/CEO in the financial services industry…four wireless industry transactions overseen by the U. S. Department of Justice…and executive turnaround situations.
These have included: a public company whose board was executing a financial services company CEO search in the face of intense government scrutiny; AT&T/Centennial; Verizon/Alltel, and; as a wireless industry management consultant for the trustee in the AT&T/Dobson and Verizon/Rural Cellular acquisitions. Due to his wealth of business credentials, multiple turnaround experiences, and litigation-support roles, Wanserski was the first non-lawyer management trustee selected by the United States Department of Justice to oversee telecommunications transactions and operations.
One significant benefit resulting from having held many different positions within a variety of industries is the “hard” experience such roles then make available to current and future clients with high-end-needs. Often, clients realize they have an executive-level need, or cannot get to that next level – and require a critical role to be filled for the near and long-term – or, just to bridge the gap to the new long-term leader. At other times in a board or management team’s life cycle, a major and needed role cannot be addressed by the existing team due to a host of causes ranging from: perceived experience gaps; a specialized need; or because already-over-committed activities prohibit direct-dealing with resource and oversight requirements.
CEO, COO, President, CFO leadership for public and private entities
Unique Roles for Regulators/Advisors
Court-appointed trustee, Federal agency oversight
CEO, COO, President, CFO leadership for public and private entities
President & Chief Executive Officer (by Board of Directors): World Acceptance Corporation, a publicly-held, $550 million (revenue) and financial services company headquartered in SC, is one of the USA’s largest “small dollar” installment loan providers. Paraphrased from public filings, the company had endured a history of issues with numerous regulators (CFPB, FINRA, SEC), class action litigation and perceived, prolonged governance-risk challenges. In certain instances, investigations were concluded, but other agency scrutiny (DoJ/SEC and 2017 FCPA-related issues resolution) continued through the end of 2019. In 2020, a final $21 million penalty/fine was imposed by the SEC/DoJ.
In late 2017/early 2018, advisors to the Board of Directors initiated discussions to explore strategic options, initiating a confidential search for an interim President/CEO to lead the company subsequent to mutual separations of the company’s CEO and General Counsel. After expedited negotiations and preparation with company advisors, appointed to the role, targeted as a full-time, six-month term. During tenure, the operation was assessed and stabilized; public messaging (SEC filings, earnings calls/releases) were re-organized and enhanced; customer-focused objectives were rejuvenated; and the field management team was fully supported via renewed emphasis from headquarters. The company’s MX operations were negotiated to sale/disposition; a national CEO search was conducted; and analyst presentations, even public relations efforts received mission-critical, crisis management attention despite deep cultural resistance. Achieved new 52-week stock price (June 20th, 2018) as a result of leadership stability. All were accomplished while still under continuous, significant Federal agency investigation and scrutiny.
Chief Operating Officer (COO) — Michigan-Headquartered Wireless Telecommunications Company: Initial operational assessment resulted in being named Chief Operating Officer for an eleven-month tenure at this underperforming company, operating in mid-to-upstate Michigan, in a turnaround situation. Reported to CEO and banking consortium; actively managed company for 11 months leading to a strategic sale recouping 75% of the original $55 million of the bank consortium’s at-risk debt exposure; asked to serve as Chief Restructuring Officer.
- Managed critical vendor negotiations with service-providers and implemented improvements which generated $750 thousand incremental operating cash-flow; resolved “roaming revenue” issues increasing monthly billings by $1.0 million; personally instrumental in dealings with the banking consortium;
- Developed and executed company business plans and budgets; evaluated and implemented new billing and customer care system.
- Directed new hiring and retention for key sales and marketing roles.
- Evaluated and revised pricing plans, competitive initiatives, network software upgrades, and internal revenue assurance tools.
Other C-Suite and management roles (CFO/SVP, Internal Audit, National Billing/Credit & Collections): Chief Audit Executive for Sprint/United Telecommunications (Kansas City metropolitan area), SVP Finance for Telecom*USA (Cedar Rapids, IA); Financial operations roles included National Director of Credit and Collections & Billing…re-engineered business processes leading to world class status; replaced systems platforms (partnering with information technology management); consolidated multiple locations; optimized 650 professional staff resources while implementing nationwide best practices. Reduced bad debt by $200 million, and drove DSO improvement significantly accelerating cash-flow — by $1 Billion.
Management Trustee and Oversight Roles
CEO/Management Trustee – AT&T/Centennial Merger: Recommended by the US Department of Justice (“US DoJ”), Antitrust Division and appointed by the US District Court for the District of Columbia to serve as Management Trustee overseeing divestiture assets in U.S. V. AT&T Inc. and Centennial Communications Corp (2009-2010). Responsibilities included preserving and maintaining divested wireless assets as viable and independently competitive until the assets can be sold and transitioned to a new buyer, approving the selection of a trust management team located in Ft. Wayne, IN and Alexandria, LA and overseeing 250 sales and field operations personnel in eight markets (MS and LA) supporting 160,000 subscribers, 32 retail locations, 320 cell sites, and approximately $160 million of annual revenue. In addition, position managed all shared services supporting the independently-managed markets and the assigned outside advisors, while providing monthly reports to the US DoJ, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), and the State of Louisiana.
CEO/Management Trustee of “Hold Separate Assets” Trust — Verizon/Alltel Merger: Appointed by the US District Court for the District of Columbia, at the recommendation of the United States Department of Justice, served as a CEO/Trustee over wireless telecommunications assets and business operations in U.S. v. Verizon Communications, Inc., and Alltel Corp (2008-2009). Key activities included: selected the management team comprised of executives, sales, marketing, finance, and network personnel, 1,000 in-market field sales, training and network personnel selling and supporting 1.6 million subscribers and the associated $1.1 billion revenue of (primarily) metropolitan areas in six states. Additional responsibilities included: managing coordination of shared services across numerous business functions; devised systems separation approach to ensure competitive independence of all IT, ERP, customer, and operational systems; directed the selection and retention of outside advisors (anti-trust, FCC counsel, telecom consultants); and, worked in tandem with representatives of the US DoJ — all to ensure compliance with the court order, federal agency goals, economic competitiveness of entrusted assets, and oversight of defendants’ performance.
Management — AT&T/Dobson and Verizon/RCC Trusts: Recommended by the United States Department of Justice (“DoJ”) to serve as telecom management consultant to a court-appointed, antitrust Attorney in Washington, DC, serving as Management Trustee overseeing divestiture wireless assets and operations in U.S. V. AT&T Inc. and Dobson Communications, Inc. (2007-2008), and in U.S. v. Verizon Communications, Inc. and Rural Cellular Corp. (2007-2008). Responsibilities included overseeing all management – retail, network/tower administration, finance & accounting, sales, operations, roaming, and all related business activities – each transaction required a tenure of 10-14 months of daily/weekly involvement at the operational territories, and numerous submissions of updates to the US DoJ, FCC, and the various states:
- AT&T/Dobson — 95,000 wireless subscribers across four RSAs in three states; estimated annual revenue of $95 million.
- Verizon/RCC — 165,000 wireless subscribers in six CMAs in three states; estimated annual revenue of $168 million.
Court and Advisor-Appointed Roles: Officer (President/CEO), Management Trustee, Monitor; full-time or interim
In the wake of management shortcomings, financial malfeasance and scandals, compliance violations…transitional requirements required by Federal regulatory agencies, advisors, or boards of directors require the use of experienced, highly-vetted individuals as Officers, Monitors, Management Trustees, and named Oversight executives. Such specialized assignments require: recognized integrity, a host of executive management skills, business acumen, industry knowledge, direct as well as collaborative decision-making, and an extremely well-developed ability to work with regulators.
Jim Wanserski has proven expertise executing Trustee, Turnaround, and Performance-Based roles. His credentials working in oversight positions, turnaround roles, especially as required by boards of directors, Federal agencies, external/internal counsel, regulators, government entities, the judiciary, banks, and law firms — position him for difficult and contentious positions in a host of such situations across several industries.
He has served in executive roles in six different instances, ranging from a board-appointed President/CEO in the financial services industry…four wireless industry transactions overseen by the U. S. Department of Justice…and executive turnaround situations. These have included: AT&T/Centennial, Verizon/Alltel, and as a wireless industry management consultant for the trustee in the AT&T/Dobson and Verizon/Rural Cellular acquisitions. Due to his wealth of business credentials, multiple turnaround experiences, and litigation-support roles, Wanserski was the first non-lawyer management trustee selected by the United States Department of Justice to oversee telecommunications transactions and operations.