Growth Strategies

Abraham Getzler, Turnaround Pioneer, Dies

A restructuring specialist for middle-market companies, he started out by reversing the fortunes of a failing shellac company.
David KatzNovember 10, 2010

Abraham Getzler, a former feather merchant who helped lay the groundwork for the corporate restructuring services business, died on October 29. He was 84.

Founder and longtime chairman of Getzler Henrich & Associates, Getzler consulted on turnarounds for middle-market companies, serving as interim chief executive officer or chief operating officer for hundreds of domestic and international clients. “He saw the need for the turnaround and restructuring industry over four decades ago, when no such service existed,” says Bill Henrich, vice chairman of the firm.

A graduate of New York University, Getzler started as a merchant in his father’s business of importing and processing feathers and down. He later bought a struggling shellac company, turned it around, and sold it. The experience inspired him to do the same for other companies, according to a press release issued by the firm. “The feeling of accomplishment on turning a company around is absolutely just super,” he said of his work.

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In 1968 he launched A.E. Getzler as a one-person consultancy. Today Getzler Henrich serves clients ranging in size from $50 million in revenues to $1 billion in the manufacturing, wholesale and distribution services, retail, restaurant and hospitality, and real estate industries.