Eric Brielmann: 40 Under 40 2014

Partner, Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Age: 38

When the partners at Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher were looking for someone to open the agency’s first new office outside New York – in San Francisco – they turned to Eric Brielmann. That decision is a testament to his leadership and abilities, but is just one achievement in a distinguished career.

Brielmann joined the agency in 2001, having previously worked on Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign, and quickly rose up the ranks. He is a trusted adviser to CEOs, CFOs, general counsels, and boards of directors at Fortune 500 companies including Merck, Amgen, and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

During his time at Joele Frank, he has worked on dozens of high-profile and challenging situations, including multibillion-dollar M&As, proxy contests, and the kind of corporate crises that get covered by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, and CNBC.

He has led high-stakes assignments including counseling Merck on its merger with Schering-Plough and Amgen on its acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Brielmann also represented Microsoft in its unsolicited acquisition proposal for Yahoo, Public Storage in its unsolicited acquisition of Shurgard, and PeopleSoft in its defense against Oracle’s hostile takeover.

One of the longest-serving members of the team, he plays a key role in mentoring and training junior staff. This includes coordinating summer learning seminars for interns and new team members who recently graduated from college.

He has also taken an active role in corporate and industry events and regularly speaks at Columbia and Stony Brook Universities, where he discusses PR and communications trends with graduate business school students and undergraduate media and communications students.

"Eric is an outstanding leader within our firm and the field of PR," note various colleagues. "He is a strong writer, talented strategist, and trusted adviser. The long-standing, almost 15-year relationships he has maintained with some of the firm’s largest clients are a testament to his skill, counsel, and acumen."


• Brielmann is an active supporter of various important causes and charities, including the New York City AIDS Walk and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

• He also supports the Partnership for Children’s Rights and its annual Partnering 4 Kids charity event

• Brielmann would say his biggest accomplishment is being a proud uncle to his eight nieces and nephews

• He has been a guest speaker at Columbia Business School’s Mergers & Acquisitions Deal Camp for
Executive MBA students

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