NIRI*DFW Luncheon on IR Insight: Understanding Shareholder Activism

When: Friday, November 22, 2013
11:30 a.m. networking
12:00 p.m. luncheon
Where: Lawry’s Prime Rib
14655 Dallas Parkway
Dallas 75254
Cost: No charge for NIRI D*FW Members
$35 for Non-Members
Register Here  



Crisis Communications: Eric Brielmann from Joele Frank, Wilkinson, Brimmer, Katcher
Proxy Solicitor: Mark Harnett from Mackenzie Partners
Corporate General Counsel: James F. Brasher from ZixCorp

Eric Brielmann, Partner
Joele Frank, Wilkinson, Brimmer, Katcher

For over 13 years, Eric has provided strategic communications counsel to clients involved in special situations, including M&A transactions, shareholder activism, complex litigation, management changes, regulatory investigations, earnings restatements and other crisis events. His areas of expertise include:

  • Mergers & Acquisitions: He advises clients on the communications challenges involved in both friendly and unsolicited M&A transactions. Notable assignments include Amgen in its acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals; Thermo Fisher Scientific and Life Technologies in their merger; DigitalGlobe in its acquisition of GeoEye; Catalyst Health Solutions in its merger with SXC Health Initiatives; Ralcorp in its spin-off of Post Foods and subsequent sale to ConAgra Foods; Merck in its merger with Schering-Plough; Microsoft in its unsolicited acquisition proposal for Yahoo!; Electronic Arts in its unsolicited acquisition proposal for Take-Two; PeopleSoft in its defense against Oracle’s hostile takeover; Public Storage in its unsolicited acquisition of Shurgard; Express Scripts in its unsolicited offer to acquire Caremark; and SIRIUS in its merger with XM.
  • Shareholder Activism: Assignments include Electronic Arts (Relational Investors); Ralcorp (Corvex); Clearwater Paper (SAC); Nu Skin (short sellers); Astex Pharmaceuticals (Sarissa Capital); Comverge (Raging Capital); Ambassadors Group (Lane Five); Ceridian (Pershing Square); CPI Corp. (Ramius); Cyberonics (Metropolitan Capital Advisors); and Houston Exploration (JANA Partners).
  • Crisis Communications: He advises companies facing a variety of crisis situations, including litigation, restructurings, fraud and accounting irregularities, government investigations, regulatory actions, litigations, product recalls and sudden management changes. He served as a media advisor and spokesman for NTP, an intellectual property firm that successfully litigated its claims against BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion.
  • Public Relations and Investor Relations: He develops and implements corporate communications and IR programs to help clients achieve their business objectives. He also provides communications support to private equity firms at both the firm and portfolio company level.

Prior to joining Joele Frank, Eric worked for Vice President Al Gore during the 2000 presidential campaign. During that time, he worked on the Democratic National Convention and spent a month in Florida participating in the 2000 election recount. He provided pro bono public relations counsel to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk High School, when HMI was preparing to launch its new, publicly-funded New York City high school. Eric received a BA from the University at Albany and an MSc from the London School of Economics.

Mark Harnett, President
MacKenzie Partners, Inc

Mark cofounded MacKenzie Partners, Inc. in 1992. MacKenzie Partners is a full service proxy solicitation and corporate governance consulting firm. The firms is the leading proxy advisor in control contests and information agent in friendly and hostile tender and exchange offers for equity and debt.

Representative transactions include:
Cracker Barrel/Biglari Holdings,McCormick & Schmick’s/ Landry’s,AOL/Starboard Value Fund,Casey’s General Store/Alimentation Couche-Tard, Lionsgate/Icahn,Target/Pershing Square, NRG/Exelon, Midwest Air/AirTran/TPG and Northwest Airlines,Express Scripts/CVS/Caremark, H J Heinz/Trian, Engelhard/BASF and Unocal/Chevron and CNOOC.

MacKenzie Partners is based in New York City with offices in Palo Alto, Los Angeles and London.

Mark holds a B.A. Government from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

James F. Brashear, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

James F. Brashear joined ZixCorp in February 2010 as Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Mr. Brashear was most recently a partner at the law firm Haynes and Boone, LLP. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Governance Officer at the global travel commerce company Sabre Holdings Corporation. He also served as a senior attorney for American Airlines and an associate at the law firms Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and O’Melveny & Myers. Mr. Brashear earned a juris doctorate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at San Diego. He is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, the State Bar of Texas and the California Bar Association.

NIRI D*FW will also host a dinner event in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, November 20, 2013: Join us for a panel discussion on shareholder Activism – Behind the Scenes with speakers from Abernathy MacGregor, Jones Day, Georgeson and Tudor Pickering Holt & Co.

Register here for the Oklahoma dinner event