40 Under 40 2019 | Jim Golden

When Jim Golden, a partner at Joele Frank, joined the firm in 2005, he was one of its earliest hires. In the nearly 15 years since, he has steadily moved up the ladder, rising from account executive to director to MD to partner. 

It’s easy to see the reasons behind each promotion. In his tenure at Joele Frank, Golden has been involved in countless transactions, takeover battles, activist defenses, bankruptcies, short attacks and friendly mergers, among other high-profile corporate situations. During the height of the financial crisis, he advised on a number of pivotal bank transactions, including JP Morgan - Bear Stearns. Over the years, his client roster has included Comerica, Deutsche Bank, First Niagara, LPL Financial, State Street, SunTrust, Synovus and TIAA-CREF.

Today, he advises high-profile companies on complex, potentially thorny situations, such as M&A, shareholder activism, crisis, litigation support and bankruptcy. Over the years, he’s developed an expertise in advising clients on how to fend off attacks from Carl Icahn, Dan Loeb and Bill Ackman, among other aggressive, high-profile activist investors. For instance, he successfully assisted in Herbalife’s defense in its multi-year campaign against Ackman’s hedge that Herbalife’s stock would become worthless. 

Golden’s expertise and hard work in recent years have played a significant role in the success of the firm, which has been named the Financial Agency of the Year many times over. As one colleague put it, "When he makes situations that are so hard look so easy, he most assuredly is doing something right."

  • Golden is on the board of directors of Community Access, a nonprofit based in New York that serves people with mental illness by facilitating housing, job training, mentoring and counseling.
  • He has participated in many panel discussions, discussing shareholder activism, crisis planning, preparing for and defending against short attacks, and M&A communication strategy. 
  • He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two young sons. 

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