Risk Advisory Services | John Spencer
John L. Spencer III
Managing Director
Risk Advisory Services | John Spencer
Quick facts
Former Head of Corporate Finance & Negotiations at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
15+ years of ​​experience in solving clients' pension problems in corporate transactions and restructurings
​Nationally-recognized expert in complex pension issues and negotiations
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John Spencer is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal’s Insurance & Risk Advisory Services group based in New York. He specializes in advising corporations and private equity firms on situations involving underfunded pensions in corporate transactions and distressed situations, often saving transactions or organizations $100s of millions.

With more than 20 years of management experience, split between both the public and private sector, Mr. Spencer has been involved in nearly every major pension transaction or restructuring of the past two decades.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Spencer has advised large corporations and boards of directors on complex pension and corporate finance issues, PBGC inquiries, labor negotiations and capital markets transactions. He has helped clients save hundreds of millions of dollars; untold amounts of time in getting deals closed and significantly reduced post-transaction pension risk.

Recently Mr. Spencer has advised large U.S. corporations on a variety of transactions where underfunded pensions increased both the potential cost of and risk to the deal. These have included mergers, take-privates, dividend recaps and distressed situations. Mr. Spencer has worked on situations across a variety of industries, including transportation (Delphi, United Airlines, GM, American Airlines, TI Automotive), retail (Talbots, Avon, Reynolds), manufacturing (Caraustar, Ardagh Group, Motorola) and others (Kraft, Huntsman/Hexion).

Mr. Spencer spent nearly 15 years at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and was the Head of Corporate Finance and Director of the Division of Insurance Supervision and Compliance, where he managed the staff of financial analysts, actuaries and attorneys who were responsible for overseeing the nearly 26,000 private-sector single-employer U.S. defined benefit pension plans. He was responsible for negotiating numerous large and complex settlements including Delta, Airlines, Tower Automotive, and Kaiser Aluminum, as well as the sales by GM of GMAC and DaimlerChrysler of Chrysler.

Prior to joining A&M, Mr. Spencer was the CEO of Palisades Capital Advisors, a small firm specializing in helping corporations and private equity firms with a wide variety of pension issues. He was also a Managing Director for several years at Perella Weinberg Partners, a New York-based investment bank.

John received a BA in Economics from the University of Maryland and has completed certificate programs at Harvard Business School and The Kennedy School for Government.