How to prep for distressed debt/special sits internship?

Wassup everyone, I landed an internship at a decent sized buy-side shop that does distressed debt/special situations investing as well as some direct lending. How can I best prepare for this? Books? Other resources? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as I would love to learn more about this area before I get started. 

Comments (32)

Dec 9, 2020 - 7:49am

Many congratulations on landing your internship. Sounds like it is going to be an interesting experience, and I am sure, given the economic backdrop, you will be busy. 

If you don't have it already, I would buy a fairly recent book by Roberto Ippolito called Private Capital Investing. I would focus on Chapter 2 (Debt Products), Chapter 11 (Private Debt), Chapter 12 (Legal Documentation) and Chapter 13 (Distress Symptoms and Remedies). The middle of the book also has useful sections on due diligence and valuation. 

Another amazing resource is a book by Howard Marks called The Most Important Thing. This books has perhaps less actionable information, but absolutely unique perspective on what matters in investing. This is the most highlighted book I own. 

I would also watch any YouTube videos you can find (there are very few) of Seth Klarman talking about any topic.

Good luck!


  • 1
Dec 15, 2020 - 9:13pm

Would you recommend the Private Capital book to someone interested in PE / Private Credit but with some professional (IB) experience? Any other books that may have helped you on the business / industry analysis side?

Thanks for your comments on different threads, always very helpful.

Dec 19, 2020 - 5:31am

Thank you for your kind words. 

I would definitely recommend Private Capital Investing for anything private debt-related, as - in my mind - this is the only book that properly addresses hybrid debt situations. I also like Applied M&A by Bruner. Even though the title says M&A, I actually find that there is plenty of useful material for principal investors. In terms of pure private equity books, the most complete and useful in my mind is International Private Equity by Talmor and Vasvari. For industry analysis, I would seek a 1990's edition of Competitive Advantage by Porter, it is unbelievably good. Contemporary Strategy Analysis by Grant is a nice update to Porter. 

Good luck!


Dec 9, 2020 - 10:17am

Direct Lending prep I can especially help w/, including analyzing recent deals. See my thread of comments in the meantime for some insight. What firm/credit fund? When do you start - Summer 2021?
Hit me up. I can also give you options for prep for Special Situations / Distressed.
Note - I can't DM either

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Dec 15, 2020 - 1:48pm

Read up on moyer's distressed debt analysis. Helped me get up to speed when I interned at a special sits/distressed fund last summer

Feb 20, 2021 - 8:08am

Moyers distressed debt analysis

corporate turnaround artistry 

Petition 11 (blog)

get a debt wire trial and download as much as possible, they have a podcast too

find freebie preqin reports 

Get the Turnaround Management Association books on legal principles and turnaround management. More so legal principles 



Petition 11 and a Debtwire sub are probably your best bet. To get the debtwire sub trial make up a fake corporate email via google domains and gmail. $10 for a 4 week trial that way..


  • NA in Consulting
Feb 20, 2021 - 1:30pm

I don't suppose you were able to find the TMA books for sale used or free online? I've look everywhere and can't find anything, don't really want to pay $150+ each

Feb 20, 2021 - 4:30pm
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