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Development Specialists, Inc.

DSI is a leading provider of management consulting and financial advisory services, including turnaround consulting, fiduciary roles, financial restructure, litigation support, wind-down oversight and forensic accounting services. Our clients include business owners, corporate boards of directors, financial services institutions, secured lenders, bondholders, unsecured creditors and creditor committees. For over 30 years, DSI has been guided by a single objective: Maximizing value for all stakeholders. With our highly skilled and diverse team of professionals, offices throughout the United States and in Europe, and an unparalleled range of experience, DSI not only achieves that objective, but has also built a solid reputation as an industry leader.


As one of the first turnaround firms in the US, DSI has expanded from its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, to include a significant national footprint with offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Wilmington and Columbus, Ohio. Internationally, DSI has an office in London.


DSI is able to offer a broad spectrum of services as it has amassed a diverse group of professionals with financial, accounting, legal and regulatory expertise. Our team includes Masters of Professional Accountancy, Certified Public Accountants, Certified Insolvency and Restructuring advisors, Certified Financial Forensic Accountants and Certified Internal Auditors. DSI furthermore shines due to the diverse background of many of our consultants, including a former Special United States Attorney and commercial and investment bankers.

News & Events

May 7, 2015
Joe Luzinski concludes successful law firm restructuring with creditor distributions. Click here to read the article from Daily Business Review.

April 28, 2015
Bill Brandt spoke with the Arise Xchange news program about how urban unrest and riots influence economies and when Baltimore will recover. Click here to watch the video.

April 15, 2015
Daniel J. Stermer will be participating in an all-day Bankruptcy Court Evidence Boot Camp sponsored by The Florida Bar/Business Law Section, to be held in Tampa, Florida on May 15, 2015. Click here for more information.

April 15, 2015
Daniel J. Stermer will be participating in a panel discussion at the ABA Spring 2015 Business Law Section Meeting to be held in San Francisco entitled: Who Will Be There To Shut Out The Lights, particularly about Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors. Click here to view the presentation.

April 13, 2015
On Sunday, April 19th, Bill Brandt will participate on a panel at the ABI’s Annual Spring Meeting discussing the ABI Chapter 11 Commission’s recommendations on professional fees and expenses. The panel of Commissioners will discuss recommended reforms that provide for more effective oversight, as well as alternative fee structures consistent with professionals’ ethical obligations under the Code of Professional Responsibility. For more information click here.

April 13, 2015
Bradley Sharp of our Los Angeles office will be a panelist at the American Bankruptcy Institute Annual Spring Meeting. Mr. Sharp will be an expert witness in a live demonstration of a confirmation hearing. The demonstration will address the most commonly litigated legal issues, the evidence required to satisfy those requirements, and in particular, how to present and cross-examine experts in connection with feasibility. For more information click here.

April 2, 2015
Geoffrey Berman will be presenting a 90-minute webinar on the Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors - A Bankruptcy Alternative on May 29, 2015. For more information click here.

February 26, 2015
Geoffrey Berman has been named to lead DSI’s new mediation group. Mr. Berman is a certified mediator who works from DSI’s Los Angeles office. He handles commercial litigation cases as well as those in the bankruptcy arena. Contact: Click here to find out more about DSI Mediation.

February 2, 2015
DSI is named as one of the M&A Advisor’s 9th Annual Turnaround Awards winner as Financial Advisor to Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway. Click here to find out more.

January 30, 2015
Bill Brandt and Geoff Berman provide ABI Commission Update: Report on Avoiding Powers as published in the ABI Journal February 15th issue. To read the article click here.

January 23, 2015
DSI is sponsoring Bankruptcy Court Evidence with Daniel Stermer as witness to The “Do’s and Don’ts” of Effective Witness Examination. Click here to find out more about the event.

January 5, 2015
ESPN talks to DSI’s Joe Luzinski about Michael Vick. See the full story here.

December 2, 2014
DSI has again been named an Outstanding Turnaround Firm for 2014 by Turnarounds & Workouts. Among our "outstanding achievements," T&W cites our work as Financial Advisor to Patton Boggs lending group and Financial Advisor to Beverly Hills Bancorp. To read the full article in Turnarounds & Workouts click here.

June 26, 2014
Daniel Stermer participated in a CLE panel discussion entitled State Law Receiverships at The Florida Bar Bankruptcy/UCC Committee meeting during The Bar’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

May 2, 2014
Daniel Stermer and Joe Luzinski both participated in a CLE sponsored by The Florida Bar Business Law Section entitled Professional Fiduciary: Responsibilities and Duties held in Miami, Florida.

April 4, 2014
Educational Restructuring Veteran Paul Vallas Joins DSI Civic. Click here to read the press release.

March 24, 2014
DSI’s Geoffrey Berman has again contributed two chapters to the Third Edition of “Strategic Alternatives to Distressed Businesses,” addressing general assignments for the benefit of creditors. Click here to be linked to the book.

March 18, 2014
Steven Victor will be speaking at the ABI/TMA Panel – the Financial Professional’s Role in Out-of-Court Restructurings and Dissolutions on Friday, April 25th. To find out more information click here.

March 5, 2014
Bond Buyer interviews Bill Brandt, president of Development Specialists Inc. and chairman of the Illinois Finance Authority, analyzes the Detroit bankruptcy, state and local pension overhaul and creditor recovery. Click here to view the clip.

February 13, 2014
The Wall Street Journal interviews Mark Manski, to read the full article click here.

January 8, 2014
DSI welcomed Mark Manski to our New York office. Read more about Mark Manski by clicking here.

December 30, 2013
Daniel Stermer was featured on CNN regarding the Target hacking situation and what consumers can do to protect themselves. To view the CNN clip click here.

November 5, 2013
Joe Luzinski of our Miami office was quoted in The Detroit News regarding Detroit’s bankruptcy case. “Threatening (bankruptcy) is one issue and doing it is another. It’s a threat you can’t make unless you have the (political) capacity to follow through.” To read the full article click here.

September 3, 2013
Bill Brandt was interviewed by The Bond Buyer regarding Harrisburg Recovery Plan and Detroit. To read the full article click here.

July 26, 2013
Bill Brandt comments on Troubled Times in Motor City in Turnarounds & Workouts… “In appealing Aquilina’s order, says Brandt, the debate will involve the interpretation of the federal supremacy clause of the U.S. constitution and whether provisions in the bankruptcy code can override the dictates of a state’s constitution.” To read the full article click here.

May 31, 2013
DSI Consultants, Daniel Stermer and Yale Bogen, take part in turnaround management association panel. To read more click here.

May 21, 2013
An article by John Filan was published in the Turnaround Management Association’s monthly Journal on the underlying four trends which are expected to cause increased financial stress in local governments. To read the full article click here.

May 20, 2013
Yale Bogen and Daniel Stermer take part in Turnaround Management Association program. To find out more about the event click here.

March 22, 2013
DSI secures successful bid for bankrupt Toyota dealership, Lighthouse Imports. To read the full press release click here.

March 14, 2013
DSI wins distinguished deal of the year award from M&A Advisor, to read the full press release click here.

January 8, 2013
Bill Brandt speaks to the Bond Buyer about the Rhode Island pension dispute, to read more click here.

November 28, 2012
DSI applauds the installation of Daniel Stermer as the mayor of Weston, FL. To read the full press release click here.

November 28, 2012
Fred Caruso was recently interviewed by Turnarounds & Workouts on the success of his restructuring career including his leadership in the Gas City and Giordano's matters. To read the full article click here.

November 19, 2012
DSI has again been named an Outstanding Turnaround Firm for 2012 by Turnarounds & Workouts. Among our "outstanding achievements," T&W cites our work in the Dewey & LeBoeuf, HearUSA and as the Act 47 Coordinator for Altoona, PA. To see the full article in Turnarounds & Workouts click here.

October 29, 2012
Daniel Stermer was featured as a fraud specialist on In Session, part of the CNN family, with regard to the case Illinois v. Kristin Holzman. Click here to watch.

October 18, 2012
Daniel Stermer’s article titled “Choosing A Proper Fiduciary” was published in the 2012 South Florida Legal Guide – Financial Edition that was published on October 15, 2012. To read the full article click here.

October 16, 2012
DSI is pleased to announce an article titled “Sales of Assets by an Assignee for the Benefit of Creditors” written by Geoff Berman was published in the October 2012 edition of the ABI Journal. To read the full article click here.

October 5, 2012
Turnarounds & Workouts publishes DSI's Fred Caruso's professional portfolio. To read the full article click here.

July 12, 2012
DSI is pleased to announce the recognition of Eric Sweitzer as one of The M&A Advisor’s 40 Under 40 award winners in recognition of his role as an emerging leader in the M&A, Financing and Turnaround industries. Please click here to share DSI’s pride in one of our own receiving this honor.

June 15, 2012
Daniel Stermer is going to participate as a panel member in the Florida Attorney General, Economic Crimes Litigation Unit, Statewide Conference on June 26, 2012 the panel topic will be on receiverships, asset freezes, and injunctions.

May 14, 2012
Fred Caruso was asked by Turnarounds & Workouts to discuss his innovative strategy in the sale of Gas City. The sale was recognized by the M&A Advisor as being the top consumer retail products deal of the year over $50 million and the top real estate deal of the year under $500 million. To read the full article click here.

April 19, 2012
DSI is proud to announce that M&A Advisor has recognized Eric Sweitzer as one of this year’s Central Region 40 under 40. Eric was chosen by an independent judging panel of distinguished business leaders from among a pool of accomplished nominees in recognition of his accomplishments and contribution to the industry. The awards ceremony will take place in Chicago on June 7th. For more information, click here.

April 19, 2012
The ABI Bankruptcy Commission, created by ABI President Geoff Berman to study and propose reforms to chapter 11 and related statutory provisions, will hold its opening public hearing today at 9 a.m. ET in 2237 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. For more information click here.

April 10, 2012
Daniel Stermer will be moderating “A Regional Approach to Transit” panel discussion at the upcoming May 4, 2012 Urban Land Institute – Southeast Florida/Caribbean District’s event entitled Envisioning South Florida’s Future: Mobility – Goods and People. For more information about the event click here.

April 10, 2012
Daniel Stermer participated in the “The Politics of Restructuring” panel discussion on March 15, 2012 at The 4th National Municipal Bond Summit presented by The Bond Buyer at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa. For more information about the event click here.

March 7, 2012
Geoff Berman contributed two chapters to the 3rd Edition of Strategic Alternatives for Distressed Businesses. The chapters were “An Overview of Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors” and the chapter on the application of assignments under California law. To obtain a copy of the book visit the Thomson Reuters Westlaw store by clicking here.

March 1, 2012
John Filan, a Vice President of DSI, was interviewed on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight on February 22nd regarding his analysis of the state budget announced that day by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, with particular emphasis on Medicaid and Pension reforms, as well as the state’s structural budget issues, and whether the steps outlined in the budget will restore the state’s fiscal health. To view the clip titled Quinn’s Budget Address Analysis (14:34) click here.

February 2, 2012
DSI was the recipient of three awards from The M&A Advisor 6th Annual Turnaround Awards. DSI received the "Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (Middle Market)" for its role in the acquisition of HearUSA, Inc. by Siemens. DSI was also awarded the “Consumer and Retail Products Deal of the Year (Over $50 Million)” and “Real Estate Deal of the Year (Under $500 Million)” for its role in the 363 Sale of Gas City, Ltd. To view the press release of The M&A Advisor 6th Annual Turnaround Awards please visit this link.

January 17, 2012
Bill Brandt participated in the 8:40 a.m. panel, "Restructuring Sovereign & Municipal Debt" at the Beard Group's 18th Annual Distressed Investing Conference, held in New York on November 28, 2011. To view an excerpt from the presentation please visit this link .

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