Keith E. Gottfried is a corporate partner with the global law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and the leader of its highly-ranked and nationally recognized shareholder activism defense practice. Over the course of a legal career that spans more than 25 years, Keith has been involved in advising numerous public companies in connection with high-profile proxy contests, special meeting demands, consent solicitations, and unsolicited acquisition proposals as well as contested and negotiated M&A transactions. Keith also advises public companies and their boards on strategies for making a company less vulnerable to activist shareholders, shareholder engagement, investor communications, corporate governance issues, board composition enhancement, and other board advisory matters. Because activist campaigns closely resemble political campaigns, Keith also brings to clients the political insight he gained as a U.S. Senate–confirmed White House appointee in the administration of President George W. Bush.
Frequently quoted by the national business media on issues relating to shareholder activism, Keith publishes and presents regularly on strategies for shareholder activism preparedness, shareholder activism response, and shareholder engagement. Keith co-hosts a monthly webinar series on shareholder activism preparedness and response that has attracted thousands of attendees to its live presentations and thousands more to its on-demand versions, including numerous public company executives and board members concerned with being prepared for the day when an activist shareholder comes knocking.
Earlier this year, Keith was named by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) to its list of 2018 NACD Directorship 100 honorees. The NACD Directorship 100 is an annual recognition by the NACD of the most influential people in the boardroom community, including directors, corporate governance experts, regulators, and advisors. Keith is also listed in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, which ranks him as a leading corporate/M&A lawyer in Washington, DC and, calls him “a tenacious advocate for his clients.”
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Keith was a partner in the corporate transactions practice of another international law firm, resident in Washington, DC. Keith has also held senior in-house legal positions in both the public and private sectors.
Earlier in his career, Keith served as a top executive and general counsel at Borland Software Corporation, then a publicly traded leading enterprise software company in California’s Silicon Valley. Keith is also a past member of the Business Software Alliance’s Board of Directors, the leading trade association representing the U.S. software industry.
Keith holds a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law, an M.B.A. from the Boston University Questrom School of Business and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Joseph Caruso has been an active leader in the shareholder communications and corporate advisory industry for both corporate issuers and mutual funds since 1995.
As Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Alliance Advisors, Joe leads the ongoing development and expansion of the firm's service offerings and operations. He is also responsible for overseeing the executive management personnel and operations of Alliance Advisors and its affiliate, Alliance Shareholder Communications.
Joe played a major role in introducing Alliance’s Activist Defense/Activist Watch Services to the market. As shareholders started becoming more outspoken and activist investing started gaining traction, Joe saw a need for corporations to proactively monitor their shareholder base for accumulations by activists. The goal of the service introduced to the market was to notify issuers of these activities and to enhance the issuer’s ability to respond to them in an effective manner.
In addition to his deep knowledge of shareholder activists, Joe’s extensive experience with M&A transactions and proxy contests has given Alliance the ability to provide pertinent background information on activist investors to many corporate issuers. The Activist Defense/Watch program spearheaded by Joe at Alliance has helped various issuers mitigate risk to the board and management by constantly monitoring the shareholder base for activist investors and proactively preparing issuers for potential activist threats.
A highly-respected veteran retailer, J. David Scheiner served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Macy’s Florida / Puerto Rico, a division of Macy’s Inc. before retiring in 2009.
J. David Scheiner is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Perry Ellis International. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Strategic Forum and a board member of the Florida Chapter of NACD. He is a board member and business consultant for SIB, a fixed cost reduction company. He is also an international business consultant to companies in the retail and wholesale field, as well as Investment Banks and Private Equity groups investing in the consumer retail industry.
Scheiner’s business acumen and intellect have led to a history of driving high growth opportunities and facilitating turn arounds, including periods of economic down turns and corporate bankruptcy. His passion for the retail business, along with his ability to collaborate cross-functionally, created winning strategies that achieved impressive results. He is a dynamic leader, with strong communication skills and a leadership style that is challenging, motivating and respected by his teams and peers.
With $2 billion in revenue and over 10,000 employees, Macy’s Florida / Puerto Rico is a department store well known for its ability to understand its diverse market in both population and climate. During his tenure as both President and Vice Chairman-Director of Stores, Scheiner’s strategic mission of focusing on the consumer and providing outstanding customer service led the Division to the highest customer service scores company wide, while also maintaining the lowest expense rate and highest profitability. His visionary strategic initiatives led the marketing team and capital process to focus on ROI.
At age 38, Scheiner became President of Maas Brothers / Jordan Marsh, a $650 million, 8,000 associate department store based in Tampa. His ascent through stores and merchant assignments was rapid. He began his career with Gimbel Brothers later served in various leadership roles with Burdines, a division of Federated Department Stores, before being promoted to Maas Brothers / Jordan Marsh.
Scheiner’s civic involvement weaves throughout South Florida, which has made him a pillar in the volunteer and philanthropic communities. He has devoted his time, energy, talent and financial resources for over 30 years to Miami Children’s Hospital and is a lifetime trustee at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Scheiner’s vast interests have involved him in business related politics, such as the downtown Miami renewal, working in partnership with Miami and Miami-Dade Mayors. Further, he served on statewide task forces for past Governors of Florida developing business growth strategies.
Scheiner was previously a member of the Board of Directors of United Way Miami-Dade, where he served as Co-Chairman of the annual campaign. He has received several philanthropic and leadership awards including: Apparel Magazine Merchant of the Year, the University of New Haven Alumni Leadership Award, the Caroline Halpern Award from the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Miami Children’s Hospital’s first “Thank You for Making a Difference Award.” Scheiner earned a BS with a dual degree in Marketing and Management with Honors from the University of New Haven in Connecticut.