For anyone in the know, the name Bob Mosier is synonymous with receiverships. Not only has Bob been a Court-appointed fiduciary for nearly 40-years – with 10-years of business turnaround experience before that – he is also a founding member of the California Receivers Forum and was the Publisher for Receivership News for many, many years.

To say Bob is an expert in the receivership field would be a significant understatement. And the CRF and Receivership News have been incredibly lucky to benefit from the hard work and dedication he put into helping make these receivership resources what they are today.

Mr. Mosier will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Loyola X Symposium, which is taking place January 18-19, 2024 at the Long Beach Hyatt. Sign up now to take advantage of the early bird rates! There, Mr. Mosier will be sharing his abundant knowledge about receiverships and reflecting on both the good – and the bad – that a career in receiverships brings. Below is a teaser interview with the man himself.

Ryan Baker (RB): Most Receivers seem to fall into this line of work as opposed to seeking it out. I can’t imagine in middle school you were thinking “I want to be a receiver when I grow up”. So, how did you end up becoming a Receiver?

Bob Mosier (RPM): My father-in-law was a retired Orange County Superior Court Judge, and I was in LA on some other business. I called him to say hello upon my exit, and he told me that he had just been appointed to oversee the winddown of a failed bank trust department (Valencia Bank in Orange County). There were a lot of bizarre assets, and would I help. I met with Judge Sumner later that day, and the rest is history. My first morphed receivership assignment as assistant to the Court-appointed fiduciary, a retired Superior Court Judge. We were successful, and I liked the space.

RB: Before becoming a receiver, you seem to have had a life in business tailor-made for preparing you for the skills needed in the fiduciary world. Can you share some stories of what you did prior to becoming a receiver?

RPM: My career after graduate school started in advertising in NYC in consumer goods advertising (Proctor & Gamble and General Foods), and one year later I was recruited to oversee the turnaround of the TWA Getaway Card (now the travel business). This effort was successful, and my career as a turnaround person was officially launched. Next, it was President of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company (another turnaround). This time I got lucky and then President Jimmy and Roslyn Carter decided to vacation on the Delta Queen for a week’s voyage between St. Paul and St. Louis. With five minutes of network news every night for a week covering the President onboard the Delta Queen, my marketing plan for the following year was set to double revenues, which happened. From the slowest form of transportation (steamboats) to the fastest form of transportation, my next assignment was to turnaround and sell Executive Jet Aviation. After a year’s effort, the company was sold. This was my last formal assignment/appointment before becoming a Receiver.

RB: I know that your father-in-law, Bruce Sumner, had a big influence on you in becoming a Receiver. Are there any other ways that Bruce affected your approach to receiverships specifically, or have advice or guidance that affected your life more generally?

RPM: As a former (and well respected) judge, Bruce was a great role model in how to deal with adversary forces, how to build consensus among the investors, and ultimately how to achieve a result of 100 cents on the dollar. With my business versus judicial background, I might have had some influence on the success in liquidating a bevy of bizarre assets.

RB: In 2009, you were appointed over Private Equity Management Group, Inc (PEMG) after being nominated by the SEC alleging an $1 billion Ponzi. This is the type of case that can be a career-maker, or a career-breaker. When you have such a large case thrown on to the table, how did you approach the case and deal with the magnitude of what is required?

RPM: Hire great (not good) counsel – I hired Nick Morgan, former SEC enforcement attorney who had just left the SEC and was highly recommended to me. Kirk Rense, a founder of the CRF, was my counsel for decades until he retired. Edy Bronston has represented me, and currently Alan Mirman and Michael Bubman are representing me. All experienced and well qualified Receiver’s counsel.

RB: We all have cases that we regret taking up in the first place. Is there a horror-story case that you wished you had never taken up in the first place?

RPM: I resigned from one recently where the financial institution (a large national firm) would not give me control of the suspect accounts without my personal Tax ID. I refused, the investment house refused, and I resigned. If I searched my memory, I am sure there may be some family-law matters that I wish I had passed on. It can be challenging to be a common-sense receiver in a family law dispute. However, I have had some great family law assignments.

RB: Are there any “receivership principles” that you live by? What would you say are the Bob Mosier Pillars of Receivership?

RPM: Always be honest even if it hurts. Always strive to be a neutral until you deem it impossible. Always defer to the Judge on the tough or really big decisions.

RB: We all know that receivers can be the target of anger and frustration of various parties to the cases we’re involved with, but have you ever been directly or indirectly threatened from an emotional or irrational party?

RPM: Not as a Receiver, but I was the Chapter 11 Trustee for Michael Goodwin when he allegedly hired a “hit man” who shot and killed his nemesis partner, Mickey Thompson and his wife. At one point, I wondered if I was next? I have confiscated loaded weapons out of the desk drawers of the principal of the defendant/debtor.

RB: You’ve been a big part of and given so much to the California Receiver’s Forum as well as Receivership News. What are some of the benefits, that maybe you’ve gotten out of being a member of CRF and a regular reader of RN?

RPM: Introduction to quality members like Rob Evans. Introductions and exposure to quality counsel like Edy Bronston and Kirk Rense. Exposure to and reinforcement for the right or preferred way to do things. The opportunity to work with and exposure to some quality Judges.

RB: In your mind, what are your favorite types of appointments – whether it relates to asset type, or rents and profits vs. equity vs. others, and why?

RPM: I prefer operating companies over real estate assignments, although I have probably handled several hundred real estate assignments. I come from an operating company background and therefore am very comfortable in this environment even though there is a dispute or insolvency. I managed one large real estate case with properties throughout CA and even a few neighboring states. These were pretty interesting as well. The PEMG case was a blend of operating companies and real estate both in the US as well as all over the world.

RB: If you could travel back in time and meet your younger self that’s just getting started out as a receiver, what advice would you say to him? Said another way, for someone who may be a young receiver or professional looking to make a career of receivership, any advice that you would impart to them as they embark on this exciting, but dubious, journey?

RPM: Become an active participant in the CRF, respect defendants in an assignment, always defer to your boss (the Judge), and in the unlikely event you make a mistake, blame it on your counsel – no, step up and take ownership. Such an approach may or might pay dividends later on depending on the size of the indiscretion.

RB: Finally, can you provide an outlook on the future of receivership and your thoughts on the evolving role of court-appointed receivers in the legal landscape? Has there been any changes or evolutions in the role from when you first started out to what you see now?

Bob Mosier on the squash court at the Jonathan Club in downtown LA with granddaughter Olivia in a squash lesson to get’um started young. It didn’t work. Olivia is now 11 and 100% into ballet with a little sailing on the side. Olivia lives with her parents in Gig Harbor, Washington and unlike her grandfather, she is a straight “A” student!

RPM: It is a lot more competitive than when I started when there were only a handful of recognized receivers. This is probably a good thing as long as the new Receivers are active participants in the CRF and listen well to the speakers (experts) at the programs.

RB: One of these questions (and only one) was generated using Artificial Intelligence—which one do you think it was?

RPM: I could personally benefit from artificial intelligence to boost my single digit IQ to low double digits.