Dr. Michael Rosen is an entrepreneur, business executive, investor, property owner and writer, a former banker, real estate developer, and professor living in Hanoi.
In New York City, where he lived for nearly thirty years, he was CEO and principal owner of Oscar Gruss & Son Incorporated, a member firm of the New York Stock Exchange specializing in investment banking, sell-side merger arbitrage, institutional brokerage, and trading. Rosen established a Tel Aviv, Israel office and led Asia investment banking work.
Rosen was also CEO of Continental Information Systems Corporation (NASDAQ: CISC), control of which he secured through a Chapter 11 distressed investment strategy. Rosen changed the direction of the firm toward early sector fintech, preparing risk management software for the securities industry’s move from trade date plus three to trade date plus one settlement. The transition did not occur because that initiative and the company itself were destroyed in the World Trade Tower events of September 11, 2001.
Prior to these efforts, Rosen was a New York City and regional real estate developer, investor, contractor, and property manager. He pioneered luxury residential rental in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and thereafter acquired a portfolio of Lower East Side mixed-use residential properties, most of which he retains ownership in.
Upon moving to New York, Rosen was an Assistant Professor in the Management Department of NYU’s business school, where he published extensively and as junior faculty was awarded a Presidential Fellowship granting a sabbatical, from which he didn’t quite return to an academic career.
Rosen is the founder and first Chairman of the East Village Community Coalition, a New York NGO which efforts included the successful landmarking of a Lower East Side historic school building, pioneering a city zoning change which was among the largest in Manhattan’s history, the preservation from the destruction of a neighborhood church and the strategic effort to support local retail businesses.
In 2010 Rosen moved to Hong Kong as a Director and internal investment banker for Brighton Energy Corporation Limited, organized as a steel forging business to fabricate high-pressure vessels for Generation Three nuclear reactors in China and India. Brighton secured two sites of approximately 800 acres each in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China, and Vizag City, Andhra Pradesh, India, and relocated a team of approximately 20 former Doosan steel forging experts to Qingdao. Rosen led a funding effort nearing the raise of some few hundred million dollars of equity. The effort faded following the March 11, 2001 nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima, Japan.
In Vietnam, where he moved in 2012, Rosen became Vice Chairman and CEO of the PAN Group (HOSE:PAN), devising the investment narrative transforming the company from a building cleaning services business to an agriculture and food firm, and raised USD 80 million from institutional investors including the IFC (International Finance Corporation) and GIC, the Singaporean sovereign fund.
Rosen then became Vice Chairman and CEO of GTN Foods (HOSE: GTN), where he raised USD 92 million for corporate acquisitions also in the agriculture and food sectors. Thereafter, focusing on value-added Vietnamese agricultural products through a concentration on process and branding, Rosen founded Sông Cái Distillery, introducing Vietnam’s first premier and international award-winning gin.
He is currently establishing a distillery focused on grain-to-bottle single malt whiskies and gins, and a cosmetics line focused on bath and shower fun. Both businesses are oriented in large part toward the young female consumer, a driving force in Vietnam.
He is the author of What Else But Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey Between the Projects and the Penthouse (Public Affairs: 2009) and Turning Words, Spinning Worlds: Chapters in Organizational Ethnography (Routledge: 2000).
Rosen holds a PhD, MBA and MA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and an MS in Social Anthropology and BA from its School of Arts & Sciences. He was designated as a University Scholar in his first undergraduate year, enabling him to then begin graduate studies rather than pursue a standard undergraduate degree, with the university covering all expenses after the fourth year of study.
Rosen was acknowledged with the 2007 Christodora Spirit Award, the 2010 Sara Curry Award, and the 2015 East Village Community Coalition Neighborhood Pigeon Award. He held the Series 7, 63, and 24 securities industry licenses and the New York State real estate salesman license.