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Jonathan Keehner


Jonathan Keehner


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. Clients include AEA, Apollo, Arcline, Blackstone, CC Capital, Cinven, Cornell Capital, Cranemere, Crescent Point, EnCap, First Reserve, Fundamental Advisors, Kayne Anderson, L Catterton, Platinum Equity, Shorenstein, Sole Source Capital, Stonecourt Capital, Tailwater Capital, Terra Capital, Tower Three 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 began his career in real estate investment banking, previously covered real estate as a reporter and has spoken on strategic communications at industry events such as NAREIT.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Recent assignments include advising Eastdil Secured, in partnership with Temasek and Guggenheim, on its management-led buyout; Arcline on its acquisition of IPS from Industrial Growth Partners and the reciprocating compression division of Baker Hughes; Apollo’s Momentive on its sale to SJL Partners; Tailwater’s Silver Creek on its acquisition of Powder River Basin assets from Genesis Energy; LaSalle on its sale to Pebblebrook; CC Capital on its acquisition of Dun & Bradstreet as well as its acquisition, with Blackstone, of Fidelity; Cranemere on its acquisition of NorthStar Anesthesia from TPG; GGP, Rouse and Associated Estates on their respective sales to Brookfield; ClubCorp on its sale to Apollo; L Catterton on its investment in Equinox; 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 and Talcott Resolution from The Hartford; First Reserve on the sale of its infrastructure franchise to BlackRock; PJT on its merger with Blackstone’s advisory business; Pinnacle on its sale of real estate to GLPI; and the Memphis Redbirds on the sale to the St. Louis Cardinals.

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, HG Vora, 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 and financial sponsors 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.