Cohen * Frank * Johnson * Sonnenfeld

Thursday, July 28, 2022

H. Rodgin Cohen

Senior Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP

Joele Frank

Managing Partner, Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher

Tom Johnson

CEO, Abernathy MacGregor

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld

Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies & Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management, Yale School of Management


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Should corporations take position on social and political issues?

H. Rodgin Cohen

H. Rodgin Cohen is Senior Chair of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, having served as Chair from 2000 to 2009. The primary focus of Mr. Cohen’s practice is acquisition, regulatory, enforcement, cybersecurity and securities law matters for banking and other financial institutions and their trade associations, and corporate governance matters for a wide variety of organizations.

Mr. Cohen has been engaged in most of the major bank acquisitions in the United States, representing clients in transactions of strategic significance. Mr. Cohen also advises the financial services industry on the full range of regulatory, compliance and enforcement matters, including international capital and liquidity standards, and multiagency investigations. Mr. Cohen is also a frequent advisor on the rise of strategic and corporate governance activism and its impact on institutions.

He has played a singular role in the market events that have changed the face of the financial services industry and economy, for which he has been recognized by organizations such as The American Lawyer, The Clearing House, and the Financial Times. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the New York Law Journal, Who's Who Legal, Chambers, Legal500 and the M&A Advisor. Most recently, Mr. Cohen was inducted into Legal500's Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Burton Awards inaugural Law Firm Leadership in Law Award.

Joele Frank

Joele Frank 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. For more than 30 years, Joele has been a trusted advisor to executive teams and Boards of Directors as they manage through some of the most complex situations in their company's history. Having played a major role in more than 1,000 special situations, Joele understands the impact of communications on corporate reputation and a company's ability to achieve its overall business objectives. Joele has been named to PRWeek's Hall of Fame and Inside PR's Hall of Fame as an All-Star for Investor Relations, and she has appeared on PRWeek's PR Power List of the 25 top PR industry leaders. 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.

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson is Chief Executive Officer of Abernathy MacGregor (AMG), where he is shaping a growth strategy that builds upon AMG's powerful heritage as a trusted partner to leading organizations in times of change. Tom counsels CEOs, executive teams and Boards of Directors on all strategic communications matters, with a particular focus on special situations such as transactions, activist investors, crises, management changes and governance matters.

In line with the firm's tradition of long-lasting client relationships, Tom has advised leading global public and private companies through a number of critical situations including; CBS Corp., Comcast, Carlyle Group, GCM Grosvenor, Hershey's, JAB Holdings, Keurig, Mylan, T-Mobile, TPG, Sanofi, SunTrust, Starwood Capital and Vodafone. He also has a particular expertise in M&A and activist defense situations, having advised companies on a wide variety of complex and high-profile transactions and activist situations over the past several years.

As a recognized leader in communications, he is frequently asked to speak at events and has been a guest speaker at the Tulane Corporate Law Institute, the Garrett Corporate and Securities Law Institute, the Equilar Board Leadership Forum and 13D Monitor's Activism conference, among others.

He serves as Vice Chairman of Board for the Volunteers of America's Greater New York Chapter. Prior to Abernathy MacGregor, Tom was editor-in-charge of Investment Banking and Finance for Reuters, where he also ran the M&A and IPO desks. Earlier, he worked at CNN Financial News and at The Daily Record newspaper in Baltimore.

Source: Abernathy MacGregor

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld served as full tenured professor at Emory's Goizueta Business School for a decade and a professor at the Harvard Business School for a decade, and is currently the senior associate dean of leadership programs as well as the Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management for the Yale School of Management, as well as founder and president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute, a nonprofit educational and research institute focused on CEO leadership and corporate governance.

Professor Sonnenfeld's related research has been published in 100 scholarly articles which appeared in the leading academic journals in management such as Administrative Sciences Quarterly, the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Social Forces, Human Relations, and Human Resource Management. He has also authored eight books, including The Hero's Farewell, an award-winning study of CEO succession, and another best seller, Firing Back, a study on leadership resilience in the face of adversity.

Professor Sonnenfeld earned the 2018 Ellis Island award from the US Ellis Island Foundation. He was Harvard's first John Whitehead Faculty Fellow and won outstanding educator awards at Yale, Emory and the American Society for Training and Development. His work is regularly cited by the general media in such outlets as: BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, the Economist, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, CBS (60 Minutes), NBC (The Today Show), ABC (Nightline, Good Morning America), CNN, and Fox News, as well as PBS, where he is a regular commentator for FORTUNE and CNBC. BusinessWeek listed Sonnenfeld as one of the world's 10 most influential business school professors and Directorship magazine has listed him among the 100 most influential figures in corporate governance. He is the first academician to have rung the opening bells of both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

Source: Yale School of Management