Jonathan Keehner

Jonathan Keehner

Partner New York D 212-895-8632 Download Vcard

A former journalist who began his career in investment banking, Jon advises financial sponsors and public companies on media and investor relations, as well as mergers, shareholder activism and other special situations. His areas of expertise include:

  • Financial Sponsors: He advises private equity and credit firms, as well as portfolio companies, on strategic communications for investor and media relations, investment activity, new listings and fundraising efforts. Current and former clients include Apollo, Arena Investors, Ascendent Capital, Aurora, Bernhard Capital, Blackstone, Cranemere, Crescent Point, Cinven, Consonance, Cornell Capital, EnCap, First Reserve, Fundamental Advisors, Innovatus Capital, Kanders & Co., Kayne Anderson, L Catterton, Park Hill Group, Ridgewood, Shorenstein, Stonecourt Capital, Terra Capital, Tower Three, Warburg Pincus and Z Capital.
  • Real Assets: He advises REITs, lenders and operators in real estate, hospitality, gaming and infrastructure. Current and former clients include Affinity Gaming, ClubCorp, Chatham Lodging, GGP, Ladder Capital, LaSalle, Mack-Cali, New York REIT, Penn REIT, Pinnacle Entertainment, QTS, RMR, Strategic Hotels and WP Carey. Jon previously covered the real estate industry, including shareholder activism and deal activity, as a reporter and began his career in real estate investment banking.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: Recent assignments include advising Cranemere on its acquisition of NorthStar Anesthesia from TPG; LaSalle on its sale to Blackstone, GGP, Rouse and Associated Estates on their respective sales to Brookfield; ClubCorp on its sale to Apollo; L Catterton on its investment in Equinox; Blackstone and CF Corp. on the acquisition of Fidelity; Kayne Anderson on the acquisition of KKR-backed Sentio and sale of student housing to Temasek’s Mapletree; EnCap on the sale of EagleClaw to Blackstone; Cornell Capital on the acquisition of World Kitchen; First Reserve on the sale of its infrastructure franchise to BlackRock; Anbang on the acquisition of Strategic Hotels from Blackstone; Catterton on its merger with L Capital; PJT on its merger with Blackstone’s advisory business; Pinnacle on its sale of real estate to GLPI; Apollo on the acquisition of CEC Entertainment; the Memphis Redbirds on the sale to the St. Louis Cardinals; Perella Weinberg on the sale of the Flagship Rail Services to Sumitomo; and Värde Partners on the acquisition of FirstCity.
  • Shareholder Activism: He counsels public companies on activist investors and helps defend against proxy contests. Jon has worked extensively with REITs, asset managers and casino or hotel operators facing dissident shareholders and has particular expertise in activist campaigns related to financial services or real estate. Recent assignments have been opposite Corvex, Elliott, FrontFour, Greenlight, JANA, Land & Buildings, Marcato Capital and Snow Park.

Jon joined Joele Frank in 2012. He previously worked as a financial journalist at Bloomberg News, where he established the restructuring beat and led coverage during the Credit Crisis, regularly contributing to BTV and Businessweek as well as Bloomberg’s conferences globally. While a reporter, Jon was also published in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Newsweek, Institutional Investor and Investors & Pensions Europe. He began his career in investment banking at Credit Suisse and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), where he advised REITs on capital markets and deal activity. Jon received a BA in political science from Columbia University and an MA in journalism from New York University, where he graduated from the Business & Economic Reporting program with a merit scholarship. He was named an Emerging Leader in 2017 by the M&A Advisor.