Title and Organization:
Lenard Tessler is the retired Vice Chairman of Cerberus Capital Management. For nearly two decades, Mr. Tessler, who was the first employee of the firm’s private equity team, helped build Cerberus’ private equity practice into a leading platform which invests across industries and geographies.
As part of the Cerberus management team, Lenard led some of the firm’s largest and most complex transactions. He served on the board of directors of several Cerberus portfolio companies, including as Lead Director for Albertsons Companies, one of the largest grocery retailers in the United States. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ally Financial (formerly GMAC) during its transition to a bank holding company. Lenard was responsible for the investment in Alamo National Car Rental which sold to Enterprise Car Rental. He was a director of both Chrysler Financial and Avon companies, his terms culminating in their sales to TD Bank Financial and Natura & Co. respectively. Mr. Tessler was also responsible for the acquisition, restructuring and public offering of the Austrian bank BAWAG. It was the largest public offering in Austrian history.
Prior to joining Cerberus, Mr. Tessler co-founded various investment firms including TGV Partners, a private equity firm where he served as Managing Partner for 11 years. He was also a founding partner of the leveraged buyout firm Levine, Tessler, Leichtman & Co. and separately, Walker Energy Partners, where he was a director and Executive Vice President.
Mr. Tessler and his wife, Fern, are actively involved with the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where Mr. Tessler is a trustee and a member of the organization’s Investment Committee and Finance Committee, and The Whitney Museum of American Art, where his wife is a trustee and President of the Board of Trustees. In addition, Mr. Tessler was honored for his philanthropic contributions by the Horatio Alger Association, a non-profit educational organization, and inducted into the Horatio Alger Society in 2017.
He holds a B.A. from the University of Miami and an M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University.