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Meet the bankers, traders, and lawyers set for big paydays from a wave of corporate distress and bankruptcies

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  • Economic disruption caused by the novel coronavirus has put a group of investors, lawyers, and bankers back in the spotlight.
  • Restructuring attorneys and investment bankers are fielding a rush of calls from clients. 
  • Distress investing, which looks to take advantage of bankruptcies and other high-risk situations, struggled to find opportunities for years.
  • Private-equity shops are looking to invest in public equities and ramp up loans to help businesses through the crisis.
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The coronavirus is slamming global economies and sending company revenues plunging. The sudden, unexpected shock has prompted credit downgrades and sent global markets on a roller-coaster ride.
But the chaos is an opportunity for a group of advisers, traders, and investors who have been waiting years for a big shakeout. And things are heating up.
The coronavirus is accelerating work on energy companies and retailers that were already seeing weakness, restructuring attorneys have told Business Insider.  But even advisers who are veterans of the 2008 financial crisis say that the current situation, where healthy businesses have seen their cash flow evaporate overnight, is unprecedented.
JCPenney and Neiman Marcus have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, following J. Crew Group Inc. Whiting Petroleum and Diamond Offshore Drilling filed for bankruptcy in April. The parent company of Chuck E. Cheese, the family fun center known for its playgrounds and skee-ball games, is struggling under a heavy debt load and lenders are organizing and tapping restructuring lawyers.
We took a look at the top investors set to pounce on the chaos with the hopes of bagging huge returns, as well as some of the traders that specialize in dealing distressed debt.
We've also compiled the names of leading restructuring bankers and lawyers to understand who the power players are when it comes to cleaning up the mess. And we've talked to private-equity insiders to understand the opportunities they see and how they'll balance new investments with helping to stabilize existing portfolio companies.

Restructuring advisers see a surge in business

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  • Inside the rush to staff up restructuring pros at top advisory firms like Moelis and Evercore

  • POWER PLAYERS: Meet 20 Wall Street restructuring bankers who will sort out the defaults and bankruptcies of the coronavirus crisis

  • 10 lawyers who navigated the biggest bankruptcies in history are seeing a boom in business thanks to a restructuring surge

  • Restructuring bankers are suddenly Wall Street's hot commodity as they're getting swamped with calls from clients facing a cash crunch

  • 'All hands on deck': Restructuring lawyers say a sudden collapse of revenues is accelerating work with the retail and energy sectors

  • Big Law M&A work is evaporating as coronavirus spreads, but some firms are about to make bank. Here are the winners and losers.

Distressed debt trading heats up

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  • Power brokers of distress: Meet the Wall Street stars making millions trading busted bonds, bankruptcy claims, and other fire-sale securities

  • RBC is snapping up key hires in distressed-credit trading as Wall Street preps for a feeding frenzy

  • Morgan Stanley hired a top trader away from Deutsche Bank in distressed credit — an area primed for a boom as corporate debt gets crushed

Investors are gearing up

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  • Goldman Sachs just hired Kurt Hoffman, an expert in distressed situations and bankruptcy, to join a trading unit known for some of the bank's most lucrative deals

  • Meet the 10 Wall Street power players picking through up to $1 trillion in distressed debt to bag huge returns

  • Moody's warns that no retailers or apparel companies will emerge 'unscathed.' Here's which ones have the most distressed debt — and how high default rates will surge.

  • There's more than $10 billion waiting to pounce on the struggling real-estate sector. Distressed debt tied to a trendy Brooklyn hotel could be one of the first hospitality opportunities.

  • Activist investors are scooping up 'ridiculously cheap' shares during the coronavirus crisis, setting off a war of words involving top law firms and Wall Street titans like Carl Icahn

PE firms are shoring up investments while eyeing new opportunities

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  • Private equity bet billions on live entertainment in 2019. Here's how the coronavirus has turned that investment thesis on its head.

  • We talked to 14 private-equity insiders about how they're planning to play the coronavirus turmoil. They identified 2 huge opportunities.

SEE ALSO: Coronavirus is clobbering the real estate industry. From a frenzy of flex-office layoffs to iBuyers pressing pause, here's everything you need to know.
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