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Bring Out Your Dead!

As the dotcom boom goes up in smoke, meet a guy who's profiting from the fire sale.

This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You could call him a vulture. Or perhaps Mr. Death. In past interviews, Jim Nesfield has referred to himself a "modern-day pirate"; he told us that he's a "Machiavellian creature of the dark." Whatever you call him, pray he doesn't call on you-especially if you're an entrepreneur with a dotcom company.

Nesfield's business, based out of his home office in Nags Head, North Carolina, is called Cardinal Internet Workout Group. That sounds amicable enough. But as Nesfield, 42, puts it, he works in the "distressed and bankrupt field." He hunts for weak Internet companies and convinces investors to buy the firms and either restructure the companies or sell their most lucrative assets, which admittedly is nicer than crashing and burning completely unnoticed. Meanwhile, Nesfield takes "about 20 percent of the upside" and has created an organization worth $10 million.

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