Bankruptcy specialist reportedly held meetings with Bear Stearns when its hedge funds were on verge of collapse last year; rescue proposal eventually dropped. Born in Morocco, attended Clark U., then New York Law School. Ran bankruptcy operations at Cowen & Co.; approached by Robert Bass, agreed to manage small sum of money. With sister Sonia Gardner founded distressed debt brokerage Amroc Investments 1989; 6 years later siblings founded hedge fund Avenue Capital. Sold 15% stake to Morgan Stanley for $275 million in 2006. Today firm manages $22 billion.