Mr. Terren Peizer is a graduate of the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1980 and at just the young age of 20 years old, Mr. Peizer was recruited by former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin of Goldman Sachs. He was believed to be the youngest “Associate” during that era. In 1983, he was recruited by First Boston and quickly established himself as the most profitable High-Yield Bond Trader. He was often referred to as the "Michael Milken of the East Coast" because in his workaholic manner, he provided Drexel-Burnham-Lambert clients with an alternative to the Milken-controlled, High-Yield Bond market. During his association with First Boston Mr. Peizer capitalized a little known Reverse Merged company, Danaher, Inc. Today, Danaher, Inc. is one of America's largest industrial companies. Mr. Peizer's most notable work while at First Boston, came when he and his clients led the restructuring and financing of Ted Turner's insolvent Turner Broadcasting Corporation. Mr. Peizer capitalized Turner Broadcasting Corp's CNN and WTBS Super Station with $185 Million; thereby, saving the Turner Broadcasting Corporation from bankruptcy.
In the spring of 1985, in an effort to remove the competition from the marketplace, Michael Milken partnered with the young Mr. Peizer, and made him Senior Vice President of Drexel Burnham Lambert. Michael Milken immediately anointed Mr. Peizer as his "Protégé and Left-Hand Man." Because Mr. Peizer and Michael Milken shared clients, desk and phone, it was not long before Mr. Peizer assumed responsibilities for all of Milken's direct client relationships. This made young Peizer the most productive executive on the famous X-Shaped High-Yield Bond desk. His reputation as Milken's top sharp-elbowed traders would provide the foundation to his investment career.
In the midst of Drexel's liquidation that occurred in 1990, Mr. Peizer was laid off with 5,300 other Drexel employees. Mr. Peizer agreed to testify against Milken in exchange for immunity, helping send his former boss to prison.
Mr. Peizer utilized his risk-taking entrepreneurialship and purchased the Omaha Racers, a minor league basketball team. Under his ownership, the Racers won the CBA Championship. At this point, Mr. Peizer opportunistically sold the team and sought other financial ventures.
Mr. Peizer then started his investment company, Beachwood Financial and Wendover Financial Corporation, named after his hometown and home street, stating “never forget where you came from.” He later teamed up with Neil Cole to capitalize the company “Candies” which is the predecessor to today's multi-billion dollar Iconix Brand Group. During Mr. Peizer's early investment career, his function for many of these smaller and developmental-stage companies was once described as "lender of almost last resort." Mr. Peizer's investment savvy empowered him to obtain favorable deals with these companies still in their early developmental stages.
From 1999 through 2002, Mr. Peizer was Chairman of the Board of Cray, Inc., a NASDAQ Global Market company and the Super Computer industry’s leading designer and builder. He still remains its largest beneficial stockholder.
In August 2006, Mr. Peizer founded and served as Chairman of the Board of Xcorporeal, Inc., and a developer of Wearable Artificial Kidneys. For a substantial multi-million dollar upfront payment and ongoing licensing royalties, he licensed most of the company’s intellectual property to the Dialysis Industry's dominant services provider Fresenius Medical Care. Many of these companies, including Xcorporeal, Hythiam and Cray became public companies during Mr. Peizer's tenure.
Mr. Peizer's investment philosophy was taking shape in these early years, which, according to him, was to "Invest in situations where you tip the playing field in your favor and Invest in companies with low market caps but with the ability to change the way its industry does things." Peizer applied his financial acumen and structuring expertise to minimize his investment at risk, but allow for exponential returns. This philosophy has served Peizer well and has led to his founding of Cray, Xcorporeal and Hythiam. Mr. Peizer has often stated his hopes that the two medical companies will change the Addiction Treatment and Kidney Dialysis industries, respectively.
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