Mike Harmon

Lecturer, Finance

Mike Harmon

Lecturer in Management

Academic Area:

Teaching Statement

Mike Harmon lectures on financial restructuring, bankruptcy, private equity, distressed investing, and negotiations. Along with Claudia Robles-Garcia, he teaches FINANCE 333: Financial Restructuring.


Harmon is the managing partner of Gaviota Advisors, LLC, in Manhattan Beach, CA, where he advises and invests in small- to medium-sized companies. Prior to that, he spent 21 years as an investment professional in the special situations and global principal groups at Oaktree Capital Management in Los Angeles. There he executed private equity and special situations transactions involving over 50 companies. Harmon has also held positions with CS First Boston, Price Waterhouse, and Society Corporation. Over the course of his career, Harmon has served as a member of the board of directors for 20 organizations in a broad range of industries and causes. He currently serves as a board member for KCRW Radio, a nonprofit media organization based in Santa Monica. He has also served as a guest lecturer at Stanford GSB, Stanford Law School, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Law School in the areas of corporate restructuring, private equity, and negotiation. He holds an MBA, with distinction, from Harvard Business School and a BA, with distinction, in economics from McGill University.

Academic Degrees

  • MBA with Distinction, Harvard Business School, 1997
  • BA in Economics with Distinction, McGill University, 1991

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2021
  • Guest Lecturer, Harvard Business School, 2018–present

Professional Experience

  • Managing Partner, Gaviota Advisors, LLC, 2018–present
  • Managing Director, Oaktree Capital Management, 1996–2018
  • Senior Consultant, Price Waterhouse, 1992–95
  • Analyst, Society Corporation, 1991–92


Journal Articles

Edward I. Altman, Mike Harmon
The Journal of Portfolio Management
November 2021
Mike Harmon, Claudia Robles-Garcia
AIRA Journal
June 2021 Vol. 34 Issue 2 Pages 6–10

Academic Publications

Mike Harmon
Harvard Business Review
June 9, 2020
Mike Harmon, Victoria Ivashina
April 29, 2020
Mike Harmon, Victoria Ivashina
Harvard Business Review
April 9, 2020
Victoria Ivashina, Mike Harmon
Harvard Business School Case
June 2019 Vol. 219-018
Guhan Subramanian, Mike Harmon
Harvard Business School Case
February 2019 Vol. 911-022
Kristin Mugford, Mike Harmon
Harvard Business School Case
February 2019 Vol. 219-097

Stanford Case Studies

Mike Harmon, Claudia Robles-Garcia

Service to the Profession

  • Board Member, KCRW Radio, 2018–present
  • Board Member, Surfrider Foundation, 2010–2015

Insights by Stanford Business

December 03, 2020
A decade of binge borrowing has turned many corporations into the walking dead, Stanford finance experts say.