Published: 06 Oct 2023

John J. Ray III

John J. Ray III, a name that has reverberated through the corridors of corporate America, is a figure shrouded in both admiration and intrigue. From his early days in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to his pivotal role in the recovery of major corporations, Ray’s journey is nothing short of legendary. Here are 25 unbelievable facts about this enigmatic figure.

Table of Contents

Testimony to the U.S. House Committee

John J. Ray III made headlines when he testified to the United States House Committee on Financial Services in December 2022, shedding light on intricate financial matters.

Illustrious Educational Background

Ray’s academic prowess is evident from his alma maters – the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Drake University, where he delved deep into law and business studies.

The Recovery Maestro

John’s primary expertise lies in recovering funds from failed corporations, a niche skill that has made him indispensable to many floundering companies.

The FTX Saga

In a dramatic turn of events, Ray was appointed as the CEO of FTX following its November 2022 collapse, steering the cryptocurrency exchange towards recovery.

The Enron Chronicles

Ray’s association with Enron is well-documented. He served as the chairman of Enron Creditors Recovery Corp, playing a pivotal role in the aftermath of the company’s scandalous collapse.

Roots in Pittsfield

John’s humble beginnings trace back to Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He is the proud son of union plumber John J. Ray Jr. and his wife, Florence.

Initial Foray into the Corporate World

Ray’s corporate journey began at Touche Ross, an accounting behemoth that eventually merged with Deloitte. His stint at Mayer Brown in 1984 further solidified his reputation in the industry.

The Fruit of the Loom Crisis

As the general counsel of Fruit of the Loom in 1998, Ray was at the forefront when the company grappled with massive losses, leading its bankruptcy reorganization.

Founding Avidity Partners LLC

Demonstrating his entrepreneurial spirit, Ray established Avidity Partners LLC, a firm that specializes in insolvency proceedings.

Enron’s Remarkable Recovery

Under Ray’s astute leadership, Enron made a commendable recovery, returning a whopping $828.9 million to its creditors.

FTX’s Controversial Bankruptcy

Ray’s statement on FTX’s bankruptcy was nothing short of explosive. He highlighted the company’s glaring financial mismanagement and the complete failure of its corporate controls.

A Hefty Compensation

FTX’s court disclosures reveal Ray’s impressive compensation – a staggering $1,300 per hour and a $200,000 retainer fee.

The Mayer Brown Chapter

In 1984, Ray joined the prestigious law firm Mayer Brown, further enhancing his legal acumen and corporate insights.

General Counsel of Fruit of the Loom

Ray’s role as the general counsel of Fruit of the Loom was marked by challenges, especially when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Avidity Partners LLC’s Niche Services

Ray’s firm, Avidity Partners LLC, carved a niche for itself by offering specialized services as a receiver, trustee, and claims agent in insolvency proceedings.

The Greylock Partners Era

Ray later formed Greylock Partners, which provided insolvency services to giants like Nortel and Residential Capital. The firm eventually rebranded to Owl Hill Advisory in 2019.

Enron’s Asset Recovery Feat

Ray’s leadership at Enron was marked by a significant achievement – the company returned nearly 52 cents on the dollar to its creditors.

Role at Canadian Telecom Giant, Nortel

Starting in 2010, Ray took on the mantle of the principal officer of the bankrupt Canadian telecommunications company Nortel.

Independent Board Member for GT Advanced Technologies

In 2014, Ray’s expertise was sought after by GT Advanced Technologies, where he served as an independent board member.

Overseeing Residential Capital’s Liquidation

Ray’s association with Residential Capital in 2016 saw him managing a trust that liquidated the assets of the major subprime mortgage services company.

FTX’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Ray’s appointment as FTX’s CEO came at a tumultuous time when the cryptocurrency company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2022.

Ray’s Candid Observations on FTX

Ray’s observations on FTX were brutally honest. He remarked on the company’s “complete absence of trustworthy financial information” and its management by an inexperienced group.

A Staggering Hourly Rate

FTX’s court disclosures shed light on Ray’s compensation, revealing his $1,300 per hour rate, a testament to his unparalleled expertise.

Legacy of John J. Ray Jr.

Ray’s father, John J. Ray Jr., left an indelible mark on him. The legacy of the union plumber from Pittsfield is evident in Ray’s work ethic and dedication.

A Beacon in the World of Bankruptcy and Recovery

John J. Ray III’s journey, marked by challenges and triumphs, has made him a beacon in the world of bankruptcy and recovery. His expertise, leadership, and unwavering commitment have cemented his legacy in corporate America.

Final Word

In the ever-evolving landscape of business and finance, John J. Ray III stands tall as a figure of resilience and expertise. His journey, replete with challenges and triumphs, serves as an inspiration to many, making him a legend in his own right.