Tod Reichert – OFS Capital Management LLC
Once an actor, stuntman and theatrical producer, Tod Reichert traded the grind of auditions and eight performances a week for a legal career that’s brought him to OFS Capital Management LLC as its managing director, chief administrative officer and general counsel.
And yet, as a legal and operations leader for a fast-paced, high-growth asset management firm, much of Reichert’s work continues to revolve around direction—and a script that’s ever-changing.
“I didn’t expect to be in financial services after acting, but the variety of the workday is really unmatched,” Reichert says. “What’s really interesting at OFS is the complexity of the work and the expansive waterfront we cover. It’s what makes it so fun and engaging.”
Reichert was born in Cleveland and he moved often, following the career of a father who was a biomedical engineer and doctor. He lived in Berkeley, Pittsburgh, Coral Gables—the only place he didn’t live in the U.S. was the Pacific Northwest, he says.
Reichert was drawn to theater in high school as a stagehand at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, working on its production of “Cyrano de Bergerac.” After graduating with a bachelor’s in fine arts from the University of North Carolina, he pursued his craft in New York City. He consistently found work onstage, in soap operas and commercials and did stunt work, too.
Setting the stage
“On the stunt side, I loved to do things that could be repeated without injury, lower-level falls and hand-to hand-combat,” Reichert says. He produced three off-Broadway plays and studied with Bill Esper, a protege of Sandy Meisner, who taught Gregory Peck, Robert Duval and Jon Voigt, among other famous actors.
“You’re running a small business that is you,” he says. “You have to hustle. You are an entrepreneur.” But after a decade, Reichert says he could see how fragile the entertainment business was to economic cycles.
With what he’d earned from his entertainment work, Reichert was able to pay for law school, attending and graduating from Rutgers University School of Law. While he could have been expected to become an entertainment lawyer or litigator, he wanted to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses instead.
Reichert worked in private practice at WilmerHale for 11 years. There, he represented public and private issuers, venture capital and private equity firms and banks, gaining broad experience in corporate governance, securities laws, capital markets and transactional work. After working closely with companies in all phases of their lifecycles, Reichert sought a position in house.
In 2008, he found it at MCG Capital Corporation, serving as general counsel and chief compliance officer. In August 2016, he joined OFS Capital Management.
OFS is a Chicago and New York-based, full-service asset management platform providing capital and leveraged finance to U.S. corporations. The firm executes its strategy through three complimentary lines of business: direct investments in middle-market companies; broadly syndicated loans; and structured credit investments.
OFS advises three public funds, multiple collateralized loan obligations (for which it serves as collateral manager), as well as separately managed accounts and sub-advised accounts, Reichert says. To date, OFS has participated in approximately 8,100 loan transactions aggregating over $18 billion in credit investments.
“We’ve been consistently applying a disciplined credit-based approach to making investments through multiple credit cycles,” Reichert explains. “Our model is like a stool with three legs: each one is just as important as the others.”
Reichert emphasizes the role of OFS as a creative driver. For example, in 2018, OFS led an initial public offering for a fund that specializes in investing in collateralized loan obligation and debt securities—something the firm had never done before, and for which there are only two publicly traded comparable companies.
His part in the play
On a given day, Reichert says he could be executing capital markets transactions, running a board meeting, dealing with liability insurance renewals, handling the launch of a new CLO and preparing SEC filings for public clients.
When working with OFS’s public funds, he and his staff advise the funds’ boards and management teams on corporate governance, securities laws and fiduciary duties—including developing materials and leading board and committee meetings. They also chair the disclosure committees and lead all financing initiatives.
In his operations role, Reichert might be planning new facilities space, developing an employee review process, working with the firm’s back office, executing on cost savings initiatives or organizing an employee lunch or gift.
“I like being part of the strategy discussion, and having the mix of operations and legal allows me to interact with the entire firm,” Reichert says. “I enjoy being responsible for fostering a success-oriented, accountable environment and motivating a high-octane team.”
The overarching goal, Reichert says, is to enable OFS’s growth. “It really is a business-first legal team,” Reichert says. “I tell them that we have a unique opportunity to participate proactively in planning and shaping the direction of the firm.”
Inside OFS, Reichert says he works with a “very collegial and smart bunch of people.” He also relies on an extensive network of outside counsel and strategic partners, whom he calls “exemplary, business-minded and practical.”
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Reichert says OFS has continued to grow.
“The last 18 months have been a test of operations, management and our culture,” he says. “But we invest in every climate and environment, so we have to identify the changes in business and disruptions while also seeing what’s working well.”
The views expressed herein are those of Mr. Reichert and do not necessarily reflect the views of OFS or other employees of OFS.
View this feature in the Vanguard Fall II 2021 Edition here.
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