Full Upright and Locked Position: A Conversation

A conversation between Mark Gerchick '73, P'13 and Al Checchi '70, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Checchi Capital Advisers.

About the Author: Mark Gerchick '73 "A full airplane is a very densely packed place. Adding to that is the fact that carriers are reducing the seat pitch, the distance between seats. If you take one inch from each row of seats and you put those together, you’ve made enough room for an additional row of seats, which is pure revenue."







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Audio icon Interview_Final.mp314.35 MB

[] Al Checchi '70 is currently Chairman of the Advisory Board of Checchi Capital Advisers which employs technology to quantify risk and create individual investment portfolios capable of mirroring and segmenting the global securities market.   In 1989, Al co-founded Wings Partners to acquire and reposition Northwest Airlines, the fourth largest airline in the United States. Despite recession and a war in Iraq that lead to the bankruptcy of six major U.S. airlines, Wings Partners joined with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to create the most profitable and extensive airline joint venture/alliance in the world and repositioned Northwest to become the most profitable airline in the U.S. from 1993 through 1996. Al served as Chairman and Co-Chairman of Northwest through 1996.   In 1997 Al left the company to seek the Democratic nomination for Governor of California.  He was defeated in a three-way race by Gray Davis.

Before forming Wings Partners, Al was a principal with Bass Brothers Enterprises, where he negotiated the profitable purchase, sale and financing of several businesses, including Arvida Corporation. In 1984, he negotiated an exchange of the stock of Arvida for stock in the Walt Disney Company and led the Bass family to purchase control of Disney, restructure its management, and change its strategy.  The initial $20 million investment in Arvida eventually reached a market value of more than $2 billion.

From 1975 to 1982, Al worked at the Marriott Corporation, where he became Vice President of Corporate Development and Treasurer, responsible for managing all hotel development, foreign and domestic, and raising all corporate and project capital—in effect managing the nation’s largest real estate merchant bank.

Al received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and American Studies from Amherst College in 1970 and received a Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1974. He is the author of several dozen articles and two books: The Checchi Plan, A Vision for California in the 21st Century, and The Change Maker, Preserving the Promise of America. Al is married with three children.