Our People

Jonathan Keehner


Jonathan Keehner


A former journalist who began his career in investment banking, Jon leads the financial sponsors practice at Joele Frank, where he advises private equity firms on media and investor relations, investment activity, fundraising, regulatory and portfolio issues, shareholder activism and other special situations. His areas of expertise include:

Financial Sponsors

He advises sponsors, as well as portfolio companies, on strategic communications. Current clients include AEA, Apollo, B Capital, Blackstone, CC Capital, Centerbridge, Cerberus, Cinven, Cornell Capital, DigitalBridge, GIC, Kayne Anderson, KSL, L Catterton, Oaktree, Platinum Equity, Pretium, Quantum, Rithm, Roark and Rockpoint.

Real Assets

Having covered real estate as a reporter, worked in real estate investment banking and spoken at industry events such as Nareit, Jon advises REITs, lenders, sponsors and operators in real estate, gaming and infrastructure.

New Listings

He advises sponsors including AEA, Apollo, Bernhard, Blackstone, CC Capital and Neuberger Berman on new listings, including IPOs and SPACs.

Shareholder Activism

He counsels public companies on activist investors and defending against proxy contests or short attacks. Jon has particular expertise in activist campaigns related to asset management, real estate and financial services. Recent assignments have been opposite Blackwells, Bow Street, Corvex, Elliott, FrontFour, Greenlight, HG Vora, JANA, Land & Buildings, Marcato Capital, Muddy Waters and Snow Park.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Assignments include advising Apollo on its acquisitions of Verizon Media Group, Athene, Atlas, Tenneco, Lumen and Miller Homes as well as investments in Western Digital, Taboola and Limelight; Blackstone on its acquisitions of PSB, HPA, Bluerock and sale of Alight; Oaktree, with Centerbridge, on its acquisition of OTG as well as Centerbridge’s Suntex on its acquisition of Westrec; GIC on its acquisitions of Summit and STORE; Quantum on the sale of Rockcliff and Repsol; DigitalBridge on its acquisitions of GD Towers, Switch, AMP, Vantage, Boingo and Zayo; Pretium on its acquisitions of Anchor Loans and housing assets from Zillow; Rithm on its acquisitions of Sculptor and SLS; KSL on its acquisitions of Hersha Hospitality and Tierra Hotels; Kayne Anderson on its acquisitions of KKR-backed Sentio, Synovus portfolio and sale of student housing to Temasek’s Mapletree; CC Capital on its acquisitions of Getty Images and Dun & Bradstreet as well as its acquisition and sale, with Blackstone, of Fidelity; Eastdil, in partnership with Temasek and Guggenheim, on its management-led buyout; GGP, Rouse and AEC on their sales to Brookfield; and PJT on its acquisition of Camberview and merger with Blackstone’s advisory business.

Jon joined Joele Frank in 2012, where he established the firm’s dedicated financial sponsors practice. He previously worked as a journalist at Bloomberg News, where he led restructuring coverage during the Global Financial Crisis, regularly going on-air for Bloomberg TV, contributing features for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine and moderating Bloomberg 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 real estate investment banking at Credit Suisse and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ). 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.