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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.

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

You could call him a vulture. Or perhaps Mr. Death. In pastinterviews, Jim Nesfield has referred to himself a "modern-daypirate"; he told us that he's a "Machiavelliancreature of the dark." Whatever you call him, pray hedoesn't call on you-especially if you're an entrepreneurwith a dotcom company.

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

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