PBGC replenishing its list of outside financial experts

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. is expanding its roster of financial advisers that help it handle large and complex bankruptcy or transactional cases, including the closing of pension plans.

Experts in restructuring, investment banking, credit analysis and real estate valuations are some examples of firms the PBGC will turn to, “and we really want to broaden the base,” said Adi Berger, director of the corporate finance and restructuring department.

Karen Morris, chief of the PBGC’s office of negotiations and restructuring, said advisers on tap will help in a wide variety of cases. One area where advisers are useful is when the PBGC is involved in a federal bankruptcy as a contingent creditor, or when it tries to keep a pension plan intact. In bankruptcy cases where negotiation communications are tightly controlled, “having an adviser gives us a seat at the table,” she said.

In other transactions, outside advisers can help the PBGC reach realistic outcomes. “We always strive to be as reasonable and commercial as possible, with the understanding that the company knows more about their business than we do,” said Ms. Berger.

The solicitation will be issued in early May on federal government procurement website FedBizOpps, and firms will be announced by October. Firms on the current list, which is five years old, will have to reapply.