Private equity firms are rarely, if ever, noted for their emphasis on struggling families. However, Lynn Tilton has declared a mission for her life: To keep people working in America by investing in, and restructuring, companies left for dead.
The former tennis player and banker turned financier has already worked with 240 companies, representing 700,000 jobs through her investment firm, Patriarch Partners. These days she's focusing on opportunities in "old industries" like aerospace, automotive, building and manufacturing, she told CNBC.
"I'm trying to be disruptive," Tilton said in an interview last week with "Street Signs." "I'm trying to create new products that bring design, beauty and disruption, innovation and excitement into products to keep these companies moving forward, and keeping people working in America."
Patriarch invests in nearly 80 companies across 14 industry sectors, and has revenue in excess of $8 billion. Tilton has been recognized for her efforts to revitalize U.S. manufacturing, which had been on the decline until the domestic shale boom breathed new life into the sector.
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The private equity firm which the Bronx-born, Yale-educated Tilton founded in 2000, "rescues, restructures and breathes new life into companies left for dead and piled upon the heap of creative destruction," according to Patriarch's website.