Millstein Names Ripplewood’s Duran for Third Avenue Venture

Millstein & Co., the turnaround advisory firm started by former U.S. Treasury Department Chief Restructuring Officer Jim Millstein, hired private-equity investor Michael Duran to help oversee a distressed investing venture with Third Avenue Management LLC.

Duran, 37, joins as a managing director in New York where he will help manage the joint venture’s principal investments, Millstein said today in an e-mailed statement. He was formerly a managing director at private-equity firm Ripplewood Holdings LLC, where he was a member of the investment committee and worked on deals including Western Multiplex Corp., Maytag Corp., D&M Holdings Inc. and Shaklee Global Group Inc.

Millstein, 57, who oversaw the bailout of American International Group Inc. as an aide to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, formed Washington-based Millstein & Co. last year. The firm has joined with investment group Third Avenue, which bought a stake in Millstein & Co. in February, to create a distressed investing fund.

“Control-oriented distressed investing will be the primary area of focus,” Duran said in a telephone interview. The venture comprises a combination of restructuring, distressed investing and private-equity experience, giving it “a lot of the right things you need to capitalize on the opportunities that are going to present themselves.”

Duran said he is building a New York-based team to run the investing venture. Before his 13 years at Ripplewood, Duran worked in mergers and acquisitions at Broadview, a technology-focused boutique investment bank.

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