David Baxt: Why a Wall Street hot shot joined Wheels Up
With over 20 years’ experience in aviation banking, David Baxt was finally lured away from the industry to join Kenny Dichter’s new company Wheels Up as president.
David Baxt has given up a career in banking to launch Wheels Up. So far he has no regrets.
“I love it. I am having so much fun. I had a very successful career on Wall Street and was involved in many of the more important transactions in the market, but being an adviser is very different to being someone who owns equity,” said Baxt in November 2013.
“In August we pretty much only had a PowerPoint. Now it is a real company with more than 40 employees and 40 pilots signed up to fly our aircraft.”
Baxt joined Wheels Up in July 2013 from global investment bank, Jefferies, where he was global head of Jefferies Aerospace and Defense Investment Banking Group. Joining from Bear Stearns, he quickly established the bank as a key arranger of aircraft and aviation deals.
Baxt was at Bear Stearns for 16 years, rising to co-head of aerospace and defense.
As a banker, he completed aerospace and defense transactions worth more than $100 billion, advising companies like Honeywell, General Dynamics – which owns Gulfstream Aerospace – Lockheed Martin, L3 Communications and Raytheon. He is a member of Angel Flight and Lifeline Pilots.
As president of Wheels Up, Baxt has been closely involved in raising both debt and equity for the new private aviation company, which in August 2013, placed an order for up to 105 King Air turboprops from Beechcraft to get its private flight club off the ground.
Along with co-founder Kenny Dichter, Baxt has signed up 150 equity investors. He was also played an integral role in Wheels Up’s landmark $100 million debt financing, working with his old firm Jefferies, which was lead arranger in the transaction.
Make sure you also read the complete guide to Kenny Dichter’s Wheels Up on Corporate Jet Investor.