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Word Smith: Cerberus

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. is an American private equity firm, specializing in distressed investing. They prey on companies in the weakest financial position and swoop in to see what they can find. In the process they help themselves to the available assets, diving in to cut up the pieces and stave off hunger. To be fair, they more often than not give the distressed company a capital infusion that becomes a lifeline to surviving to see another day. They can offer these indebted companies a new lease on life.

The firm is based in New York City, and it is run by Steve Feinberg, who co-founded Cerberus in 1992 with William L. Richter, who serves as a senior managing director. Cerberus has approx. $50 billion in assets under management (2019) with plans to keep growing.


Why would an investment company name itself after the three-headed hound of Hades? That’s right, it is the cursed animal that guards the gates of hell? Seems strange, but so it goes in the dog-eat-dog of Wall Street. Maybe the name is not so strange after all. The wolves of our capitalist system are alive and well in New York City, swiping their cutting claws and serrated teeth at anything in their path.

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