Christopher J. Zinski is a strategic adviser to CEOs and boards of directors of mid-sized financial institutions and private equity firms investing in the banking industry.
Mr. Zinski has been in the financial institutions industry for 24 years, first in Washington, D.C. and then in Chicago. He is a CPA and a lawyer, and has spent his career structuring and executing capital markets transactions and mergers and acquisitions for financial institutions. He also has crisis management leadership experience. He combines his business acumen, project management and strategic skills with substantive knowledge of bank regulation, balance sheet management, finance, taxation and accounting to design survival tactics for distressed banks pursuing recapitalization and growth models for healthy banks and their institutional investors.
Mr. Zinski has developed three lines of business, each centered on comprehensive strategic solutions for his clients:
Restructuring and recapitalization advisory services for distressed banks
Strategic growth advisory services for private equity firms searching for investment opportunities in the financial institutions industry
Strategic direction projects that help reposition banks or their subsidiaries and divisions for improved financial and regulatory performance
His advisory projects often require that he assemble a team of professionals with financial, credit and operational experience to deliver a customized solution for his financial institution clients. He organizes these projects around six workstreams that he quarterbacks: financial performance; credit risk; communications (including media relations); capital-raising; regulatory risk; and legal risk. His team includes Schiff Hardin Strategic Advisers, LLC, which provides non-legal business advisory services from its headquarters in Charlotte and an office in Chicago. Mr. Zinski is Chairman of Schiff Hardin Strategic Advisers, LLC. Utilizing Schiff Hardin Strategic Advisers’ comprehensive strategic solutions, Mr. Zinski directs the development and execution of tactical steps to achieve the client’s strategic objectives.
His bank restructuring and recapitalization line of business prioritizes management and boards of directors of distressed banks to stabilizing the bank's financial performance and regulatory standing, evaluating and selecting viable strategic alternatives for the bank’s recapitalization and then involves disciplined execution that manages the bank's capital levels, liquidity risk and regulatory timeline. He has designed, along with his bankruptcy partner, Mark Fisher, bankruptcy options for insolvent bank holding companies that create opportunities for the recapitalization and survival of the underlying depository institution.
The financial institutions industry is highly regulated. Mr. Zinski's experience brings him before federal and state banking agencies on a regular basis and the strategic solutions he designs and executes for his clients effectively navigate the labyrinth of bank regulation.
Mr. Zinski has been on the editorial board of the Banking Law Journal for many years and he writes frequently on current and emerging strategic and finance topics affecting the banking industry, including recent articles on bank turnarounds and recapitalizations, mergers and acquisitions and private equity investments in community banks.