Joe provides strategic counsel and communications support to public and private clients across a broad range of industries. His areas of expertise include:
Mergers and Acquisitions and Spin Offs
He helps prepare clients to effectively communicate the strategic rationale and financial benefits of transactions and tailors communications to anticipate issues that may be raised by key stakeholders (e.g., shareholders, analysts, employees, customers) to ensure continued support. Recent friendly and unsolicited situations include: Ablynx with its unsolicited offer by Novo Nordisk and its acquisition by Sanofi; Alcoa in its separation into two public companies; Allergan in its successful defense against Valeant Pharmaceuticals/Pershing Square and its merger with Actavis; Cameron in its acquisition by Schlumberger; CSRA with its unsolicited offer from CACI and its successful acquisition by General Dynamics; CST Brands in its sale to Alimentation Couche-Tard; Enbridge in its acquisition of Spectra Energy; Energizer in its separation into two independent companies; HARMAN in its sale to Samsung Electronics; Norfolk Southern in its defense against Canadian Pacific/Pershing Square; Potash in its proposal to acquire K+S and its previous successful defense against an unsolicited bid from BHP Billiton; the merger of Progressive Waste and Waste Connections; Valspar in its sale to Sherwin-Williams; and numerous transactions for Lone Star Funds, Ventas and Warburg Pincus.
Shareholder Activism and Defense Preparedness
His recent experience defending companies against activist investors includes: AOL (successful proxy contest against Starboard), AmTrust (Carl Icahn), Chico’s FAS (successful proxy contest against Barington), Citrix (Elliott Management), CST Brands (Engine Capital, JCP), EQT Corporation (JANA Partners, DE Shaw), Juniper (Elliott and JANA), and Taubman Centers (Land & Buildings). He also advises clients in situations where an activist agitates privately and helps develop preparedness plans around escalating scenarios, including public attack. He leverages his knowledge of the temperament, tactics and capabilities of the opposition to help clients develop winning strategies. His priority in any activist situation is to minimize business disruption and build the largest base possible of support.
Investor Relations, Public Relations and ESG
He is not just a special situations expert; he also works closely with senior management and independent financial and legal advisors to develop and enhance clients’ IR and PR materials to ensure they resonate with stakeholders. His roles include helping executives prepare for quarterly earnings calls by practicing responses to anticipated questions, executing corporate profile-raising strategies, and ongoing environmental, social and governance (ESG)
Crisis Preparedness and Communications
He develops crisis preparedness plans for U.S. and international companies and has provided communications guidance in connection with a variety of situations, including earnings surprises, workforce reductions, management succession and unplanned leadership changes. When a client is in the spotlight, he helps determine how best to control the dialogue, stabilize a difficult situation and protect and enhance corporate reputation.
In 2017, Joe received a “Rising PR Star” award from PR News, which recognizes the top professionals in the public relations field for their contributions to the industry and accomplishments in helping organizations achieve their communications goals. Joe joined Joele Frank in 2010. He began his career at MacKenzie Partners, a leading proxy solicitation, investor relations and corporate governance consulting firm. He received a BS in Business and Economics from Lehigh University.