Joele is the founder and managing partner of Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher. Founded in 2000, the firm has ranked #1 in M&A since 2013. Among her many professional accolades, Joele has been named to PRWeek’s Hall of Fame and Inside PR’s Hall of Fame as an All-Star for Investor Relations. She has appeared on PRWeek’s PR Power List of the 25 top PR industry leaders and was selected for the 2011 National Association of Corporate Directors Directorship 100. Joele is:
- A Trusted Advisor: For more than 25 years, Joele has been a trusted advisor to her clients. She counsels executive teams and Boards of Directors as they manage through some of the most complex and delicate situations in their company’s history. Having played a major role in more than 1,000 special situations, Joele understands the impact communications has on a corporate reputation and a company’s ability to achieve its overall business objectives. While best known for her work on M&A transactions and defending companies against shareholder activism, Joele relishes the notion that over 40 percent of the firm’s clients rely on the firm for ongoing investor and public relations support.
A Seasoned Professional: Joele has advised on many of the highest profile friendly and unsolicited M&A campaigns, including: Teva Pharmaceuticals in its offer to acquire Mylan and its subsequent acquisition of Allergan Generics; Allergan with respect to the unsolicited offer from Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Pershing Square; Time Warner in its defense against 21st Century Fox; Verizon in its acquisition of Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless; US Airways in its merger with American Airlines; Airgas in its defense against Air Products; Merck in its merger with Schering-Plough; SIRIUS in its merger with XM; PeopleSoft in its defense against Oracle; and the William R. Hewlett Trust in its opposition to the HP/Compaq merger.
In addition, no one has defended more companies against the big-name activist shareholders. Joele and her colleagues have defended companies against Carl Icahn more than 30 times, Starboard more than 40 times, Pershing Square more than 10 times, and ValueAct, Elliott, Trian and others numerous times. Some notable assignments include: DuPont, State Street and Family Dollar against Trian; Allergan, Procter & Gamble, Herbalife, General Growth Properties and Target against Pershing Square; Hertz, Family Dollar, Oshkosh, Clorox and Lionsgate against Carl Icahn; and Sony, Sotheby’s and Yahoo! against Third Point.
Joele has also advised Boards and management teams on matters of governance and succession, including advising Phil Knight, co-founder and Chairman of NIKE, with respect to his ownership and leadership of NIKE and his ultimate transition as Chairman.
- A Strong Advocate: There is no stronger advocate than Joele. She works tirelessly to ensure her clients’ stories are resonating with the right audiences. She does so by leveraging her deep relationships with the print and broadcast business press, and analyst and arbitrageur communities.
Earlier in her career Joele served as Vice Chairman of Abernathy MacGregor Frank, where she led the firm’s mergers and acquisitions and crisis communications practices, and as a Managing Director at Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart, a corporate and financial public relations firm. Joele spent seven years in AT&T’s treasury department and worked closely with the investment community during the divestiture of the Bell System. She began her corporate career as a senior financial analyst at Allied Chemical. Before that, Joele specialized in DNA replication as a research biochemist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Joele received an AB in chemistry from Mount Holyoke College and an MBA in finance from Long Island University. She is a member of The Committee of 200, the Financial Women’s Association, The Economic Club of New York, and the Board of The Museum at FIT.